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Messages - ipaguy

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1
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: three tier systems how do they work
« on: January 21, 2011, 09:22:18 AM »
Lee,

    Don't wait too long until you switch to all grain.  Once you do, you will wish you did it sooner!  I'm glad I did a three extract batches before I switched to "brew in a bag", which is all grain.

On the other hand, don't feel bad if you don't have the budget of space to do all-grain.  It's possible to brew fantastic beer with extract.  Doing a partial mash (aka mini-mash) is in some ways a 'best of both worlds' solution.  Although a big deal is sometimes made of AG vs. partial mash vs. extract, there are other factors in your process that are probably more important:  sanitation and running a good fermentation.  By running a good fermentation I mean pitching enough health yeast and controlling your fermentation temperature.

2
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Shotgunning a Competition?
« on: January 21, 2011, 08:30:25 AM »
60 entries?!?!  :o

Do competition entries have to be original recipes?  If you copy a recipe or use a kit, do you have to keep the name or credit the original brewer, or can you make up your own name since you brewed it?  I guess what I'm asking is....does such a thing as 'beer plagiarizim' (sp?) exist?

I wouldn't worry about it too much. imo brewing good beer is maybe 20% recipe and 80% having a good process.  I don't think you need to retain the name, but when listing a recipe I think you should give credit if it's an exact copy.

3
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Two questions
« on: January 20, 2011, 01:33:54 PM »
One thing the OP didn't mention is what he's using in his airlock.  If it's plain water, I would be more concerned about the wort bubbling though making for a dandy bacteria culture medium that might get sucked back in.  If the OP did have plain water in the airlock I would strongly recommend against yanking the thing out, as this could suck contaminated water into the fermenter!
I would recommend that he first use something like a turkey baster to replace the liquid with sanitizer before trying to remove the airlock.   When I've had similar problems I've gone to using StarSan at 5X the recommended concentration, just to make sure that the pH doesn't get buffered to a point where the sanitizer is ineffective.  +1 on removing the 'x' at the bottom of the airlock.  Airlocks are cheap.  They also break occasionally.  It makes a lot of sense to keep a couple spares on hand.  When changing airlocks I place a StarSan wet sponge over the hole.

4
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Oxidation during fermentation
« on: January 20, 2011, 01:12:22 PM »
.... You could have 100 psi CO2 on the other side but the O2 diffusion into the vessel is not affected. At least that is my understanding of the mechanisms involved here.
....
Your understanding in 100% correct.  This is a point a lot of folks don't get.  I would guess that a factor that minimizes oxidation during active fermentation is that while you have residual sugar it can serve to reduce O2 to CO2 by aerobic metabolism of the yeast.

5
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Shotgunning a Competition?
« on: January 20, 2011, 09:47:16 AM »
I agree that you shouldn't bother entering anything that you don't consider a least 'good'.  On the other hand, you shouldn't limit yourself to entering what you consider perfect.  I see the main value of competitions not to be winning awards, but getting feedback on how to brew better beer.  If you have what you consider a great beer, don't be afraid to enter it in more than one category if you think that is appropriate.

6
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Stout Recipe
« on: January 19, 2011, 10:31:03 AM »
imo, the Oregon fruit purees are the best for making a fruit beer.  Many less sanitation worries than with fresh or frozen fruit.  I even rip the label off, wash down the can w/ StarSan, and open it with a sanitized can opener.  I haven't done cherry yet, but a 3lb. can of blackberry in 5 gal. of stout was plenty for me.  +1 on adding the fruit to a secondary.  That's the only way to really retain the fruit aroma.

7
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: I think I messed up???
« on: January 19, 2011, 10:14:24 AM »
If you don't see any air-lock action within 24hr. my guess would be that you were hotter than 95F, and did kill your yeast.  You could always put a positive spin on this and consider it a 'yeast nutrient' addition (that's pretty much what Servomyces is).  If your initial yeast addition is dead, you should be fine with re-pitching at the correct temperature.

8
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Boil the water?
« on: January 19, 2011, 09:59:47 AM »
I boil my well water in quart canning jars & seal them up.  Doing a dozen at a time gives me enough make-up water for several batches.  I can also refrigerate a few of them to get down to a lower pitching temperature than I can get with my immersion wort chiller.  This may not be strictly necessary, but I figure that it's impossible to be too careful about sanitation.

9
Thanks for the information, richardt.  I'll definitely give it a try next batch.

10
I add the Fermcap-S to the boil (not the fermentor)--reduces my worry about boilovers as well as contamination.

The same goes for adding Fermcap-S to the starter wort when boiling/preparing my yeast starter.
My understanding is that adding to the boil still gives you the anti-foam action in the fermentor.  That sounds like the best way to go.  Again, any effect on head retention?

11
(I have since started using an anti-foam agent and haven't used a blow-off tube in years)

Yep, that stuff is great.  I use Fermcap added directly to the fermenter and just beat back a very full 3787 fermentation.  First time I've been able to keep that one in the bottle.
I'm thinking about doing another batch with the WY1007 and am thinking about trying the Fermcap-S.  Do you get good head retention using the anti-foam?

12
Ingredients / Re: When to add Coconut and what type???
« on: January 16, 2011, 10:23:00 AM »
If you use shredded or flaked, you might want to check the ingredients label to see if it has been treated with preservatives.  They sometimes use sulfites or sulfur dioxide, which be toxic to yeast. 

13
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Short's Cup of Joe or CupaJoe?
« on: January 16, 2011, 10:17:44 AM »
Never heard of it!

Good to see ya back, Dean.
I believe that distribution is pretty much limited to Michigan.  I don't like some of their stuff, but you have to give Joe Short credit for courage for some of the things he comes up with.

14
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Glass or Plastic
« on: January 16, 2011, 08:03:38 AM »
I've avoided the better bottles because of the difficulty of cleaning them without scratching.  I use the 6.5 gal plastic buckets for most things & don't worry about O2 for less than 3-4 wk. total time in fermenters (primary or secondary).  I usually don't do a secondary unless I'm doing a fruit beer, or am dry hopping.  I do have glass carboys that I occasionally use as secondaries.  I recommend that anyone using glass invest in a sturdy canvas carboy bag for a little more safety.

15
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Question about aging.
« on: January 16, 2011, 07:50:37 AM »
Another point is sanitation.  The longer you plan to age a beer, the more immaculate your sanitation needs to be.  I also agree that it depends a lot on what style you're aiming for:  the same beer sampled young might be considered an IIPA.  Age it a couple years and you could call it a barleywine.

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