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Topics - Visor

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Ingredients / Maple syrup
« on: November 08, 2018, 04:01:14 PM »
   I found a qt. of pure maple syrup in the pantry the other day, since I don't bother to make pancakes or waffles any more I figured I'd use it in a beer. Any great suggestions?

Equipment and Software / wort oxygenation
« on: August 29, 2018, 03:37:24 PM »
   How much of a difference does it make using a .5 micron stone instead of a 2 micron stone and pure O2? I found a setup with the bottle for a very reasonable price, but it has a 2 micron stone that is welded to the wand and can't easily be replaced.

The Pub / A constellation of cannabis?
« on: October 31, 2017, 03:02:47 PM »
   I saw on the news that Constellation Brands has purchased a 9.9% stake in Canopy Growth corp., which is the world's largest publicly traded cannabis grower, with the stated intent being to develop cannabis infused alcoholic beverages in anticipation of cannabis' eventual legalization in the U.S.
   What is everyone's take on this story?

Going Pro / Formal education
« on: October 17, 2017, 03:02:57 PM »
    Does anyone on this forum have any experience with, perspectives on or opinions about The Brewing and Distilling Center in Knoxville, TN and their program?
   As a follow on, any other concise certificate level programs that you would recommend? I realize that there are a number of 1, 2 and 4 year programs offered at various colleges and universities, and that every one seems to offer a different certificate or degree. I am looking for accelerated programs of less than 6 months.

Ingredients / Highest OG brew?
« on: September 05, 2017, 02:26:18 PM »
   At the risk of over doing the survey thing, I'm curious what every ones highest O.G. beer has been, and what the FG ended up at. Mine was somewhere around 1.138 and finished at 1.045

The Pub / The approaching darkness
« on: August 14, 2017, 02:29:45 PM »
   Just an out of curiosity survey, how many forum folks are planning on viewing the eclipse next Monday, how many are planning on travelling to see it, and how far will those people be traveling?

Equipment and Software / Accurately measuring gravity
« on: July 02, 2017, 12:02:59 AM »
  I increasingly been having serious doubts about the accuracy of the tools I use to try to measure gravity, so this afternoon I decided to set up a test to see what was most accurate. Ray Daniels' "Designing Great Beers" says that 1 lb. of table sugar dissolved in water to make 1 gallon yields a Specific gravity of 1.046. I scaled that down to 1 oz. of sugar and water to make 1 cup, which equals 1 lb. per gallon, and proceeded to test the Vee-Gee refractometer I recently purchased to replace the POS I originally bought, and an assortment of hydrometers I have collected.
   The 1st test at a concentration that should be 1.046, the VeeGee gave a brix of 10.8 = 1.043 s.g., hydro #1 said 1.047, hydro #2 said 1.049, #3 said 1.050, #4 which I just bought as part of a 3 hydro set that is supposed to be super accurate as they each cover different gravity ranges said 1.049 [it covers a range from 1.000 to 1.070].
   Next I heated the water to about 100*, added another oz. of sugar which should put the s.g. at 1.092, stirred thoroughly and cooled to room temp. The results corrected for temp were VeeGee - Brix of 20.5 = 1.085, Hydro #1 - 1.089, #2 - 1.089, #3 - 1.090, & #4 which covers a range from 1.060 to 1.130 said 1.088.
   I then repeated the process with another ounce of sugar which should put the actual s.g. at 1.138 and tested all again. Results were VeeGee - Brix 28.4 = 1.122, #1 - 1.024, #2 - 1.124, #3 - 1.125, and the same #4 as the previous test - 1.124.
   Needless to say I was anything but impressed. Clearly the refractometer was the least accurate instrument tested. Hydrometers #1 & #2 are the most accurate at most "normal" brewing gravities, and #3 is the most accurate above about 1.060 or so. The narrow range hydro's were generally the least accurate, even if they are the easiest to read. The refractor is now destined for the trash can, and the set of hydro's I just bought are going back to Midwest, unless they won't refund my purchase, in which case they're traveling with the VeeGee.
   Maybe I am expecting too much from my tools, but this BEER for Pete's sake, not friggin horse-shoes, close isn't good enough for me.
   Has anyone else found a more foolproof [or perhaps tool-proof] way to measure gravity? I look forward to everyone's input, including critique of my testing protocol [gotta luv them fancy words!].

Yeast and Fermentation / Stalled out
« on: June 20, 2017, 04:01:03 PM »
   Okayso, the Imperial Stout I brewed a 9 days ago has now stalled out at 1.051, with no SG drop for at least 2 days. O.G. was 1.124, two packets of US-05 with Servomyces in the boil, 2 hours aeration, and Fermaid K added on day 3 at 1.065, temp has remained between 62 & 68, mostly near the higher end. The total grain bill was 23 1/2 lbs. consisting of 12 lbs two row and the rest more or less equal parts roast barely, Carafa II, 120* crystal, Paul's chocolate, rolled oats, Special B, Victory, flaked barley, Blackprinz, 60 * caramel Munich, brown malt, rye malt and 1 lb of light DME, 90 minute mash a 154*. I expected it to finish pretty high, but right now you can stand a fence post up in it. Any great ideas, or am I going to have to resign myself to consuming this with a spoon?

Yeast and Fermentation / bumblebeer
« on: June 20, 2017, 02:37:14 PM »
   Just read an interesting article on about a couple of new strains of potential brewing yeast which were isolated from a bee and a wasp. I'm interested to hear what the forum folks take on this is.

All Grain Brewing / Suggestions?
« on: June 11, 2017, 02:55:52 PM »
   I just mashed in an Imperial stout, 3 gallon batch with a 23.5 lb. grain bill comprised of 12 lb. two row & the rest more or less equal parts black roasted barley, Carafa II, 120* crystal, 60* caramel Munich, Paul's Chocolate, rolled oats, Special B, Victory, flaked barley, Blackprinz, brown malt and rye malt. I'm looking for suggestions on what to do with/ make out of the sparge. My guess is that 5 gallons of sparge should come somewhere around 1.060, but that's just a WAG.

Yeast and Fermentation / High alcohol tolerant yeast
« on: April 25, 2017, 02:00:30 PM »
  I'm seeking suggestions for a yeast to try on a stout recipe that is supposed to finish out over 12% ABV, preferably a dry yeast. It might be a plus if the resulting beer actually tasted good too.

Yeast and Fermentation / 34/70 & M76
« on: March 07, 2017, 05:42:04 PM »
   Are 34/70 and Mangrove Jack's M76 essentially the same strain? I recently split a batch of Munich Dunkel between the two and I'll be damned if I can taste a difference in the resulting beers.

Yeast and Fermentation / And the opposite of volcano beers
« on: February 07, 2017, 12:21:21 AM »
   I have 2 1/2 cases of a dopplebock which was brewed last September and wasn't ready to bottle before I got shut down in October, so it sat in the beer fridge, in the conical until a couple weeks age when I finally was able to bottle it. I debated pitching some fresh yeast at the time I primed it, but unfortunately my more rational, cautious and sensible side lost the debate and I just bottled it as is. It has been exactly 2 weeks today and I popped one open just to see how things were progressing and it is dead flat. It's been in a 50 degree room and I realize that bottle conditioning will take more time at lower temps, but I'm thinkin' I massively screwed up, even if it does taste okay. It was fermented with 34/70, and there was a very thin film of sediment on the bottom of the bottle. I'm not set up to keg, and not planning on being so in the immediate future. Any ideas, other than to just leave it for a few months and see if anything develops?

Yeast and Fermentation / Volcano beers
« on: February 07, 2017, 12:10:20 AM »
   I was perusing my brewing notes today and discovered something interesting, I've used WLP007 for only two batches of beer, and both those beers eventually became volcano beers, as in pop the cap and the beer immediately gushes out of the bottle until less than half the bottle remains. These are also the only 2 batches that I've had this happen to, I've had more than a few over carbonated batches but no Vesuvius Specials.
   Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Yeast and Fermentation / Cool fermenting ales
« on: January 27, 2017, 07:45:43 PM »
   Aside from longer fermentation times and perhaps reduced attenuation, what are the possible negatives from fermenting ales in the low 50s? I realize the effects will vary from one yeast strain to another, but I really don't know at the moment what all I will be brewing in the next few months. I ask because I ferment in the basement, and depending on the specific room, the temps are holding pretty steady between 50 and 54, and I don't want to spend the next 3 months brewing lagers exclusively.

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