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Messages - brewsumore

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pics of recent brews?
« on: June 20, 2017, 02:28:57 PM »
Score!! Found a 2+ year old bottle of bottle conditioned Tripel (8.5 abv) behind a couple of bigger bottles in my beer fridge. Thought the batch was long gone. All in all, it's still excellent. Gotta like it.

I love it when that happens - probably subconsciously on purpose, right??  I "lost" a case of barleywine in my mother's basement for nearly a decade and still have some, that must be around 15 years old.  It originally was "forgotten" because at that time I didn't re-dose with yeast before bottling and it is still.  Nevertheless always intriguing to try a bottle and at around 11% ABV it's held up remarkably well (cool-cellared for the last 5 years or so).

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: fermentation: carboy or bucket?
« on: June 18, 2017, 01:39:21 PM »
I use buckets.  I gave up on those lids that have a rubber grommet - a true PITA to clean.  Just solid lids for me.  And I found that the replacement lids from Morebeer (no hole - I drill the hole) come on and off quite easily, and still seal well enough, although they are a bit pliable.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend?
« on: June 16, 2017, 09:01:43 AM »
  All went pretty well and I got my volume and hit the target OG, but I should have started with 1 - 2 more gal of wort total.

yeah, I actually target an extra 1.5 gallons (13.5 vs. 12) to account for the losses to the hops in the kettle and dryhopping.  one of my biggest pet peeves is not being able to completely fill my kegs when packaging.

Yep.  Paul, usually, if I'm brewing with two kettles I brew two 10-gal (finished beer) batches, rather than splitting one mash/sparge into two kettles. So, I didn't think it through carefully enough and compensate for the doubled evaporation from two kettles while boiling two "half" batches.  I figured it out once I filled the kettles with wort, so to hit target volume I did a little dance of reducing boil time, doing a low-to-moderate boil rate, covering the kettles at least partially, and changing my hop additions timing slightly.  Thankfully, I had done a double pass of the grist through my 3-roller Monster Mill so my brewhouse efficiency was good.  Afterwards, re-calculating my recipes in Pro Mash, it appears that my IBUs are still very close to what was originally intended, and the wort hydro samples both tasted very good.  So I'm a happy camper. 

And so I wouldn't screw up, I brewed one "half" batch and then the other, and just kept the one waiting at +150F so no bacterial spoilage could begin.  It ended up being a 10-hour brew day, same amount of time it would have taken for 20 gallons of beer instead of 10.  But you live and you learn!

And thanks Jon - I researched hops for my Western Sunset IPA to balance between citrus and tropical with a  tad of dank.  We'll see how it goes.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend?
« on: June 15, 2017, 10:01:36 PM »
Tuesday I collected 14 gal of wort designed for the AHA recipe for early version of Blind Pig, and split it between two kettles -- one for a 5-gal batch of Blind Pig clone, the other for a 5-gal batch of an IPA I came up with that has Azacca, Amarillo, Citra and Mosaic (late-loaded -- FWH, 10, 5, 0 and 30-min hop stand).  All went pretty well and I got my volume and hit the target OG, but I should have started with 1 - 2 more gal of wort total.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Moving to dry yeast exclusively
« on: May 09, 2017, 01:52:56 PM »
Didn't know the Mangrove stuff was dry...  For some reason I was turned off with the name and dismissed it/never looked it up until now. 

I haven't used any of the Mangrove stuff. I've heard and read several accounts here and from brewer friends of subpar attenuation on some of their strains. High FGs aren't a good selling point for me. I'm sure it's probably not across the board.

Yeah, I've heard the same.  There's a thread on another forum right now about poor attenuation and flocculation.

I've had poor attenuation with MJ M44 West Coast Ale 2 out of 3 times I used it -- IIRC 2-3 points higher than US-05 on a split batch from 10-gal, but made really good beer both times using their Burton Ale yeast.  I pretty much gave up on the M44, although it flocced better than US-05 for me.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Moving to dry yeast exclusively
« on: May 07, 2017, 02:47:12 PM »
For me in Spokane when ordering from MoreBeer, I've found it helps to buy four ice packs for two packs of liquid yeast, and more in summer, and via online delivery notification be sure I can get home within about 15 minutes from time of delivery on my porch.  Shipping up here and coming from warm California, in my experience we need thermal protection that only extra ice packs can provide...usually.  That's worked for me without having to pay overnight shipping.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend?
« on: April 30, 2017, 09:04:50 PM »
I made a DIPA today with Amarillo, Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe.

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Ingredients / Re: Belgian Dark Strong Ale
« on: April 30, 2017, 08:50:41 PM »
If it was me I'd ferment primary and let the beer tell me when it is fully fermented, typically at least 2 weeks for a BDS.  Then let it sit another week in primary for the yeast to clean up any remaining fermentables, ramped back down to around 64 - 66F.  Then, if kegging go to keg and purge of 02, after adding the oak (first steamed or soaked-in-preferred-liquor-or-Everclear) in a sanitized nylon bag that can be removed when at the right level of oak -- typically ~7 days for chips.  I prefer shavings/chips to reduce oaking time.  If you will be bottling, you could go to secondary FULL carboy after the 3 weeks mentioned above, including the oak, again recommending chips instead of stave since you'll want to keep the beer around cellar temp or at least <70F until the oak incorporates, and then get it bottled.

Just don't be petrified of including sulfate in your water. Use enough to dry the finish of your beer to the degree that you prefer. This can be especially true when brewing big beers that may not attenuate very well. Zero sulfate is rarely the proper recommendation.

Off topic, but why I also mash low (149F) when making a BDS.

Ingredients / Re: Belgian Dark Strong Ale
« on: April 30, 2017, 02:03:31 PM »
Agreed with all the above. No worries. Much more important here to hold fermentation temps down for the first few days, so that you don't end up with a fuselly banana bomb.  I'd try to hold 63F-ish for 3 or 4 days before letting temp raise up to 68-70F for the duration.

+1  Good luck with your BDS!  On basic principles, but also be aware that many of the Belgian ale yeasts can become very active and therefore generate krauesen and heat very early in the ferment if the yeast is pitched too warm.  The term "explosive" has been oft used to describe some Belgian ale yeasts.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: kolsch observations
« on: April 30, 2017, 11:52:59 AM »
My last kolsch used Hallertau Mittelfruh (60 min, 25 IBU) and K-97 Safale German Lager yeast, ramped from 60F to 63F, and I thought the beer was excellent.  Just posting to share my personal experience.

All Grain Brewing / Re: How long does it take you to brew a beer?
« on: April 18, 2017, 11:21:54 AM »
Hey remember the nut job that pulled off 3 brews in the same day?  He did it again.  He is soar, and whining about his back pain, imagine that.  He tried to pull off another crazy 3 brews but somehow got it done in 9 hours and 49 mins with clean up, on a 2V setup.  I don't know what his problem is...  A therapist would probably say an unhealthy amount of self abuse, and a little burn on his wrist.

Baby Brown - 1.044
Black Beard - 1.052
Krompus at Midnight - 1.097

Anyone up for a nap??  This midnight vacation brewing is making an old man out of that jack-a$$

You sure you don't want to call one of them "Grandpa Has Arthritis"?   :D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dryhop clump oops!
« on: April 15, 2017, 12:17:32 PM »
Long-handled spoon or racking cane?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pics of recent brews?
« on: April 15, 2017, 12:08:46 PM »
I'm recovering from hip replacement surgery (2nd one in 8 months) so didn't spend a lot of time with these, but here they are and they all taste very nice, especially after weaning off of pain pills:

2 hip surgeries... that's terrible, very sorry.  Glad to hear you're able to enjoy some brews again.

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Thanks JT.  Darned osteo necrosis ("bone death") in the femur heads from too many/long-term steroids used to keep my throat from shutting when had long-term acute bronchitis and couldn't get Urgent Care, ER docs I ended up seeing to prescribe a sufficient antibiotic to kick the chest infection.  It was plain weird how all the timing at various stages kept me from seeing my own doctor or a good doctor, including getting sick just prior to a vacation in a medically underserved part of Hawaii, and in the mean time eventually going through four different courses of antibiotics and then lungs rehab, and subsequent cortico-steroids (shots, pills, nebulizers).  Otherwise my hips had been in great shape.  Getting good antibiotics prescribed right away these days can be a free-for-all.  I learned my lesson too, to not try to "wait through the weekend" before getting into a solid medical practice, and therefore ending up in urgent care or ER.  My motto remains RDWHAHB.

That said, I'm drinking very little alcohol, instead focusing on good nutrition, rest, PT, and pain control for proper healing. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend?
« on: April 11, 2017, 10:05:33 AM »
Brewed up some Best Bitter yesterday.  I seem to have an innate (ha!) inability to make wort that is over about 1.043.  I wanted to make my regular recipe a bit bigger this time, so I added 2 pounds of base malt to it (5gal batches) and ended up only getting a 4point bump in my OG.  I'm not exactly sure what went wrong, but I did find some dry spots in the mash afterward, even with stirring it after dough in.  I didn't check the mash temp since I usually know where it is going to land, but maybe something was up with that. 

Here is the recipe:
10lb Maris Otter
10oz Flaked Barley
10oz C40
3.5oz Victory
1oz Double Roast Crystal

0.5oz Nugget @60
0.5oz Nugget @5
1oz EKG @5

Wyeast 1968

Based on that malt bill, I was expecting about 1.050 so I don't know what is going on.  I thought all was good, as my refractometer said 1.048, but my hydrometer said 1.043.  The hydrometer reads 1.000 for water, and the refractometer reads 1.005, so I think the hydrometer is right.

The original recipe comes in at OG=1.039, so this will probably just end up like the normal version of it.

Stirring out dough balls at mash in is so important to hitting target OG.  I use a big doweled mash paddle that never misses and always feel kinda bad for guys with smaller mashtuns, like cylindrical coolers, that require a smaller, single-surface, spoon-like mash paddle.  Sounds like you're still in range for a bitter, taht I'm sure you'll enjoy!
Why are cylindrical coolers and spoons so bad? My stainless steel spoon works just as good as a 50 dollar mash paddle hand crafted from whatever kind of wood the make those things out of. And it works just fine in my Home Depot mash tun.

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You got me there.  What's worse, in my own personal experience anyway, is a big rectangular cooler and a spoon, with full volume, that can become a "seek and destroy" the dough balls vs just a good stir with a larger flow-thru style design mash paddle.  YMMV.

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