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Topics - my99thtry

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Equipment and Software / Temp Controlled Fermentation in a Kegerator?
« on: February 25, 2011, 01:29:24 PM »
I was wondering if anyone here uses a kegerator for temperature controlled fermentation.  I have had issues finding a compact refrigerator that would work.  [I live in an apartment so things like chest freezers or full size refrigerators are out].

Obviously the dual fermentation/beer serving functionality also makes it appealing, even if I can't always do those at the same time.

If you do use a kegerator:
- Do you have a brand/model suggestion?
- Were there any problems with hooking up a secondary temperature controller?

Yeast and Fermentation / Controlled Temp. Fermentation Equipment
« on: February 01, 2010, 10:34:30 AM »
I would like to start doing controlled temperature fermentation.  This will enable me to brew all year and it is part of some feedback that I have received from some of you on the message board here.

I am looking for input on a good refrigerator that will fit a 6-gallon bucket or 5-gallon carboy.  AND it should fit in my apartment.  So a chest cooler or full-size refrigerator is out.

It does not seem like a lot of the mini fridges out there will fit the bucket w/air-lock, but maybe some of you know of or use an appropriate sized model.

Has anyone used a wine fridge?  It seems that would eliminate the need for an additional temperature controller since you could probably achieve the desired ale and lager fermenting temperatures.

Yeast and Fermentation / No Carbonation: A bad condition
« on: January 03, 2010, 08:40:03 AM »
I've made a few posts here regarding a batch marking my reintroduction to brewing.  I have gotten some great feedback so I figured I could tap you guys again.

I recently had one of my first beers and it has no carbonation (I did put the correct amount of priming sugar in).
- 2 weeks in the fermentor
- 2+ weeks in the bottle at the present time.
- Gravity readings are right on target

What is likely the cause is that after bottling I stored the beer around 65 deg. F for a few days and then put it right in the fridge.  Not realizing until two weeks later that this may have caused the yeast to go dormant. Does that make sense?

I'm not sure why I did this.  I'm pretty sure that I read that good carbonation depends on cooler temps.  But after referencing Palmer's book it does not seem to be the case.  Perhaps I misinterpreted my previous directions.

I have since taken some of the bottles out of the fridge and put it back into warmer temperature and gently shook up the bottles in the hopes of putting the yeast back in suspension.  Does this seam a reasonable means of damage control?

If nothing else, the brown ale I made did taste fairly good and I was happy with that aspect.

I am a beginner/intermediate home brewer and use basic equipment and instruction as might be found in David Miller's Home Brewing Guide. 

I use the following: Grain and Extract, standard SS brew kettle,  2 stage fermentation, bottle conditioning, no chiller, no finings/clarifiers, etc.

I was hoping some of the more experienced brewers could offer up one or two solid ideas that would have the biggest impact on smoothing out the brewing process or improving beer quality.  Perhaps some lessons-learned that you have encountered.


Kegging and Bottling / Bottle Type?
« on: December 01, 2009, 07:14:15 PM »
I will be doing some bottle-conditioning soon.  Is there any reason I should not use regular pry-off bottles?  That is bottles that are not the returnable kind.

Does anyone have any special preference between pry-off or swing-top closures for bottle-conditioned beer?

Yeast and Fermentation / < 48 Hr. Primary Fermentation?
« on: November 24, 2009, 05:05:08 PM »
Signs of fermentation have stopped after 48 hrs.

I pitched my yeast at 5pm on Sunday.  Signs of vigorous fermentation were visible through the airlock on Monday morning and still going strong on Tuesday morning.  However by 6pm Tuesday evening all activity in the airlock stopped.  No bubbling through the airlock.

What does this mean?

Here is some background info:
- Brown Ale
- Wyeast 1272
- Activated smack-pack on Saturday night before brewing (I believe I followed all directions from my homebrew store and packaging)
- Cooled Wort to ~ 75 F and pitched
- Original Gravity: 1051
- Aerated through stirring pitched wort
- Primary fermentor is 6.5 gallon plastic bucket (from standard brew kit)
- Fermentation temperature has been a steady 67 - 68 deg. F

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