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Messages - richardt

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Mise en place works very well, especially if one brews, as I often do, in a location separate from where the supplies and measuring equipment are kept.  The brew day itself should be relaxing and fun while following the script.  I do all my worrying and measuring in the weeks and days prior to brewing.  Between steps, I prefer to relax and chat with friends or clean up equipment and put it away.  Shortens up the brew day.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottle pressure limits
« on: May 07, 2013, 01:25:38 AM »
Freshly sanitized and New caps are fine if you've got them handy. 
Just thought I'd make the point that a gently pried-off bottle cap can be reused if one has a wing capper :)

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottle pressure limits
« on: May 06, 2013, 06:49:17 PM »
Who hasn't encountered a bottle of beer that had become over carbonated?  What do you do when you realize your batch of bottled beers are over-carbed (e.g., bottled too soon before reaching FG)?

A practical pearl regarding dealing with over-carbed bottles exploding and how to safely diffuse the situation.  If you don't know the amount of overcarbonation--assume the worst, e.g., champagne-like levels in a bottle not designed for the purpose.

Safety first:  Protective eye wear (and face shield), clothing, shoes, and gloves would be advised while handling the bottles.  Wrapping the bottle with a thick towel adds another layer of protection during handling and processing.  Careful handling and placement of the bottle onto surfaces is also wise.

1.)  Chill the bottles down to refrigerator temps.  Reasons to do this are:  a.)   to drive the excess CO2 into solution and b.)  slow down/or stop fermentation (and further CO2 production).
2.)  Once chilled, take one bottle at a time to a utility sink, set it down inside the sink, spray starsan around crown and neck of bottle, and carefully pry off the crown w/o bending the crown too much.  At a minimum, eye glasses and gloves are suggested for safety.  A thick towel loosely wrapped around the glass would also help absorb a bottle explosion if it should occur during handling or decapping.
3.)  Excess gas will escape, some beer will foam and escape the bottle, as well.  Expect to lose an ounce (or even more) if the beer is chilled; however, a warm over-carbonated beer may rapidly disgorge the entire contents of the bottle when opened.  A chilled beer will retain some carbonation after recapping and keep the remaining beer reasonably carbonated.  If excessively over-carbonated, you may still lose the entire contents of the bottle regardless of beer temp.
4.)  Push down on the crown and recap with bottle capper.  If the crown falls off, squirt star san onto both sides of the crown and recap.
5.)  Rinse off  beer foam.
6.)  Keep chilled, thereafter.

It's not perfect, but it allows one to safely defuse the bottle bombs, avoid potential injury to yourself and others, prevent further messes, all while saving most of the beer.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lemonade in beer
« on: May 06, 2013, 05:33:31 PM »
If you've ever had Radlers in the beer tents around Munich... they're really good!
I use some carbonated lemonade w/ any suitable lager or ale.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Oops...Session IPA
« on: April 04, 2013, 05:06:29 PM »
Dear Naming Committee:

Since APA, EPA, and IPA are already defined and taken, may I suggest: 

XPA = eXtra Pale Ale = "session(able)" IPA.

I define an XPA as "a pale ale that's extra hoppy (prominent hop flavor and aroma) and extra dry (like an IPA)."  There should be some leeway with respect to hop bitterness which can range from clean and restrained like some APA's hopped with Magnum or Warrior to boldly prominent like some IPA's that have been hopped with Columbus, for example.  Having said that, I prefer the restrained, clean bittering approach when trying to showcase hop flavor and aromas.

Going Pro / Re: Starting a brewery
« on: March 05, 2013, 03:56:11 AM »
I loaned "brewing up a business" by Sam C. to a friend and never got it back.,r:2,s:0,i:88&iact=rc&dur=419&sig=115239486528409948087&page=1&tbnh=201&tbnw=201&start=0&ndsp=20&tx=83&ty=102 But, I digress.
In that book, I recall him recounting the fact that his "board of directors", which included his father and other experienced businessmen, basically telling him that he wasn't making money as a brewer, and that the restaurant, which, along with his friend/chef, he used to fund his business during the early days, basically funded his brewery venture for quite a while.  The BOD called him on that.  Eventually, his Sam and his friend parted company.  A friendship was lost.  Business is brutal.

Equipment and Software / Re: Wide tray for soaking in sanitizer
« on: January 01, 2013, 01:10:47 AM »
I also use those $5 blue PVC gloves to protect the hands and minimize contamination issues when handling strainers or transfer tubing during kegging. A quick dunk in the homer bucket StarSan solution helps allay any fears of contamination.

Equipment and Software / Re: Wide tray for soaking in sanitizer
« on: January 01, 2013, 01:05:11 AM »
While you're at HD or Lowes, buy a 5 gallon homer bucket and lid.  Use RO water and Star San to make up 4 gallons of StarSan solution and store it in the HD bucket between brew days.  The size and volume makes it easy to quickly sanitize pre-cleaned equipment and corny kegs.

Ingredients / Re: Water Check - not Happy with "Pale Ale" profile
« on: January 01, 2013, 12:17:09 AM »
That modest Mg content is probably not going to alter the taste that much.  The main objection is probably the sulfate and calcium.  The bicarbonate is there only as necessary to produce an acceptable mash pH.  I assume Paul adjusted it up or down to meet the needs of his mash. 

If that Pale Ale profile was not to your liking, I would reduce the sulfate even lower than 242 ppm.  A 60 ppm reduction is not that significant if you were used to (and liked) about 100 ppm.  I'd drop it to about 200, since that is midway. 

Remember if you find water profiles that are more to your liking, custom water profiles can be entered into the water profile table on the Water Adjustment sheet.  The table even has the ability to error check your ion totals to make sure that you enter a reasonably 'balanced' set of ion inputs.   

By the way, I'll be brewing my next SNPA using the yellow bitter profile.  I've always used the Pale Ale profile and like it, but AJ kept hounding me that better pale ales can be made with lower sulfate content.  I'll be finding out.  The good thing is that I can always add additional gypsum to the keg if I don't like the low sulfate taste!

This may be a situation where tastes and genetics collide.  I don't consider myself a super taster, but, with repect to sulfur aromas, I may be one.  I personally intensely dislike sulfate aromas regardless of source (e.g., water or yeast strain) as it evokes "septic" and "rot/decay" perceptions--i.e., unpleasant and not something I want to put in my mouth.  I think you'll find AJ's suggestion to be a good one.  I routinely use the more balanced SO4:Cl levels (usually around 50-60 ppm) on the "yellow, balanced" profile, while keeping ca levels over 50 ppm.  I think if one is brewing an APA, and agrees with the notion of using clean ale yeast (e.g., WY1056), and restraint with the grain bill with respect to specialty and crystal malts, then why wouldn't one want to use a "cleaner" (i.e., less minerally) water profile?  Let the focus be on the hop bitterness, flavor, and aromas.  IMO, AJ is definitely right on this point.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water profile: Can someone just tell me what to do?
« on: December 16, 2012, 02:32:05 AM »
In Brewing Better Beer, Gordon Strong states he uses RO water and adds minerals for the beer being brewed. At the NHC in WA, his comment to the locals who have the mineral free water was "I hate you!" with a big smile. That water would be wonderful to brew with.

I think AJ DeLange said the same thing during the water symposium at NHC.

In Florida, ambient temps and humidity levels are too high to store grain in the garage or shed--regardless of whether or not the container is sealed or "air tight."  Storing the grain bags indoors is the only way to go.

I've had good success storing the bags purged of excess air (i.e., rolled up tight and taped shut) and placed inside my igloo coolers, mash tun cooler, and SS boil kettle.  I also have a large x-mas storage bin for various specialty grain and crystal malt bags.  Again, use the indoor space efficiently by storing the grain inside the coolers and boil kettle w/ lid on.  No issues with critters, mold, or spoilage.

Ingredients / Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
« on: October 02, 2012, 11:04:43 PM »
i did a single hopped IPA with summit hops a while back and used Summit for all additions (FWH, 40, 30, 20,10, and aroma steeping).  Your descriptions of onion/garlic + tangerine/citrus are pretty much spot on.  I did find that the onion/garlic flavor dissipated with time (2-3 months) which is would entail an aging or mellowing process that is not typically employed with IPA's, especially if dry-hopped.  I guess my point would be that if one did use summit hops and found the beer to be too onion/garlic in taste for their liking, just cellar it for a few months and come back to it--it should be more fruity/citrusy by then.

Equipment and Software / Re: Speidel Plastic Fermenters
« on: October 02, 2012, 10:43:03 PM »
The space savings of fermenting in a single 60 L (15 gal) container would allow me to use just one fridge and still make 10 gal batches.  I cannot fit two bucket fermenters in one fridge.

All Grain Brewing / Re: your experiences in moving to 10g?
« on: September 21, 2012, 12:54:17 AM »
The old adage is a good one:  vessels should be twice the size of your batch.

60 qt (15 gal) BK = 7.5 gal batches.
80 qt (20 gal) BK = 10 gal batches.

I also use a 20.5 gallon (82 qt) Coleman cooler for mashing and batch sparging.  Realistically, when mashing in, I never try to fill the cooler with more than half+1 gallon of the total water needed.

All Grain Brewing / Re: IPA Help PLEASE!
« on: September 21, 2012, 12:42:30 AM »
Infection, excessive hopping, and water warrant further investigation.  I would take the time to run your calculations through brunwater just to help optimize your ppms.  You can always add gypsum to the finished beer to see if it brightens the taste.

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