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Messages - awfenske

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I ended up dosing with BioFine when I racked it, then on bottling day added 1g of rehydrated yeast to the bottling bucket with the priming sugar. Adding yeast with the priming sugar made for a bit of a bubbly bottling session and I had to go back and top off some of the bottles that foamed up during filling, but overall not a big deal. The good news is the beer tastes great, is carbonated perfectly, nice and clear, and has a thin and fairly solid yeast cake at the bottom of each bottle that does not disturb when I pour. By far my best results yet. Thanks to all for your input.

If I cold crash it, do I still need to add more yeast at bottling time? I appreciate everyone's input and suggestions - thanks!

I like the idea of using Mother Nature's curse to help me with this. I'm concerned though, since my outdoor thermometer has been reading right around 32 degrees (currently 32.9) and I don't have a garage that would be a few degrees warmer than outside, just a carport. Maybe it'll warm up a little in a few days. If not, it sounds like pulling a Sierra Nevada will do the trick.

My primary concern is the batch in progress right now, so switching to kegging is not an option in the next 3 days. I am just looking for some info as to whether Biofine will drop out too much of the yeast thereby preventing regular carbonation in the bottle.

Yeast and Fermentation / Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
« on: March 04, 2013, 07:35:37 PM »
I have an Imperial Nut Brown in primary fermentation - today is the 11th day in the primary. After two weeks, assuming I have hit the appropriate FG, I'd like to rack it and add Biofine, then bottle it once the Biofine has done its work (maybe 24-36hrs, based on visual).

I used Biofine recently in a batch of mead I made, and it had an amazing effect even within the first few hours. Over a month after bottling there is almost zero visible sediment in the bottles. So I figured it would be great to use this stuff in beer, but I want to make sure it will not drop out all or too much of the yeast since I will be bottle conditioning.

Just to clarify (no pun intended!), I'm looking for opinions or experience on using Biofine after fermentation is complete, not to stir up (again, no pun intended) epic battles about how long to wait before racking to secondary or whether secondary fermentation is necessary or beneficial. I'm only planning on racking it in order to get the Biofine mixed in without kicking up the yeast cake, so if the consensus is that the Biofine will drop out too much yeast then I'll just bottle straight out of the primary after the two-week mark, again assuming the correct FG has been reached. I would love to be able to drink a home brew straight from the bottle rather than decanting and leaving that precious bit behind, but maybe I'm just crazy.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Why does all my beer taste the same?
« on: February 08, 2013, 12:44:53 AM »
Wow, that is all incredibly helpful information. The comments about similarities in yeast and malt extracts make sense, but I don't think they are at the core of this problem because these three beers each tasted great and different from each other before going into the bottle. Drinking it a little warmer does let a tiny bit more of the flavor out, but it's still nowhere near what it tasted like before bottling. After comparing the priming sugar calculators that were posted on this topic, I know I'm overcarbing. The companies that make these kits measure everything out in such precise quantities and provide such specific directions, it really surprises me that they just throw in 5oz of corn sugar for every kit (and the directions say to use it all, in all three kits) when that is evidently not a good practice. For the Midwest Supplies Irish Stout, for 2.1 volumes in 5 gallons at 65F I should have added only 3.23-3.45oz of corn sugar rather than 5oz. Ouch.

Really wish I'd have learned all this before I overcarbed 150 bottles of beer. I guess I'll just have to go make 150 more the right way.Thanks for all of your input!

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Why does all my beer taste the same?
« on: February 05, 2013, 03:02:20 PM »
I started brewing recently and have made three batches from extract kits (details below). I had a little experience before this in helping my dad make mead and wine, so I at least had a clue when I started. I sanitized and followed all directions religiously, and I ended up with three beers that should taste pretty different from each other but all taste incredibly similar. There are no off-flavors. The aroma is very nice on all of them, and the color, head, etc. all look right. OG and FG were exactly where the instructions specified. But they all have a very thin flavor profile and/or seem overcarbonated, with only subtle notes of the beer's intended flavor.

#1) Brewer's Best Scottish Ale, OG 1.034, boil volume 2.5gal
#2) Midwest Supplies Hex Nut Brown Ale, OG 1.043, boil volume 5gal
#3) Midwest Supplies Irish Stout, OG 1.047, boil volume 3gal

After the first one came out thin but with everything else seemingly on-target, I figured I needed to steep the specialty grains for longer (30 minutes on batches 2 and 3 compared to 20 on batch 1), which resulted in little to no improvement. All three seemed to have a much fuller flavor just before bottling compared to after bottle conditioning - going into the bottles each batch tasted great, and all three notably different from each other as they should be, but after 2 weeks in the bottle they all taste very similar and seem to have lost their flavor. There might be a tiny improvement in the flavor after extra time in the bottles (a month or two), but it's small enough that I could just be fooling myself.

I'm using secondary fermentation (roughly a week in the primary and a week in the secondary), bottle conditioning with the 3/4 cup of priming sugar that is included in the kits, and the fermentation/carbonation temperature is around 65F.

I'm stumped.

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