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Topics - aaspinall

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All Grain Brewing / increasing abv
« on: March 27, 2019, 10:42:59 PM »
I'm making a smoked porter in which the OG is 1.080 with an FG of 1.020. The result is an ABV of 7.9%. I'd like to bump the ABV up a bit more, like 8.5 - 9.0% (trying to make it like an imperial porter). The recipe has no adjuncts. What might I add to make the increase - perhaps molasses or treacle. And if so how much should I add for a 5 gallon batch? I don't want to mess with the overall smokey flavor to the beer. Is it possible? Thanks for your suggestions.

All Grain Brewing / no carbonation
« on: February 25, 2019, 03:34:19 PM »
Just before Christmas I brewed a DIPA (OG was 1.090). After 10 days I needed to leave town for 2 weeks, and I decided to not bottle until I got back (I did not take a gravity reading at the time). 2 days after returning I took a gravity reading (it was 1.012) and primed with 5 oz. of corn sugar. After 2 weeks I opened a bottle and there was no carbonation. I waited another week - still no carbonation. I then tried the swirling method (swirl - place bottles upside down for a few days, turn right side up swirl and wait a few more days) No carbonation. Then, I uncapped all the bottles, added carbonation drops, recapped. Waited 2 weeks no carbonation. So, after that long explanation, is it worth uncapping, sprinkling in some neutral dry yeast and recapping, or am I wasting my time. Thanks for any suggestions.

All Grain Brewing / pale malt difference
« on: June 20, 2018, 10:47:02 PM »
I'm brewing a recipe that calls for two different brands of pale malt (9 lbs. of Maris Otter and 4 lbs. of Briess). Will I really notice the difference if I just use 11 lbs of the same kind? Not sure if my supply store carries Maris Otter.

All Grain Brewing / mash or steep
« on: February 27, 2018, 01:37:55 AM »
I'm using an AHA recipe to make a Tank 7 Saison clone. This recipe uses about 6 lbs of malt extract, but about 6 lbs of grain and flaked corn. The directions state "mash pale malt, flaked corn, and wheat malt for 45 min at 150 degrees". Then it states "Rinse grains." Do I really mash the grains and sparge, or do I steep the grains and rinse?
I'm confused by these directions. Give me your ideas, please.

Equipment and Software / wiring a pump
« on: November 03, 2016, 12:55:23 AM »
I bought a MKII pump that comes with a three pronged plug. I want to connect it to a switch so I have better control. So, when I cut the plug off, I’m a little afraid of what I’ll find. I doubt if the wires come sheathed in black, white and green coverings. How will I know which wire is the ground ( I’m assuming the other two wires are interchangeable, hot and neutral). I’d appreciate any advice.

Equipment and Software / pump
« on: August 28, 2016, 07:50:05 PM »
With my brewing set up I have to haul my kettle full of water, hot wort etc. from basement to garage and visa versa. This got to wear on me so I bought a pump. It is not self priming. Now I’m thinking this might not work for me because both of the kettles I plan to use do not have a spigot. Originally, I planned on putting the hose over the lip of the kettle and down into the wort or water (using clamps so the hoses didn’t fly all over the place). I know the pump has to be below the source, which is no problem, but I would somehow have to have liquid in the intake hose, right? Any ideas or suggestions?

All Grain Brewing / rice hulls
« on: January 13, 2016, 01:43:03 AM »
I'm planning on brewing a weizenbock that has a total grain bill of 16lbs, and 4 lbs of that is red wheat malt. Trying to avoid a stuck sparge, I'm using rice hulls. What's the amount of the rice hulls should I use, and do I include that in my calculation of strike water volume?

Beer Travel / albuquerque,nm
« on: December 13, 2015, 09:29:50 PM »
What are some suggestions for a good brewpub (not brewery - we want to eat) in Albuquerque? Thanks!

General Homebrew Discussion / Belgium
« on: June 11, 2015, 04:49:59 PM »
In June of 2016 my wife and I will be on tour in Germany and Austria. We plan on extending our stay for three days to visit Belgium specifically to drink beer. Any suggestions as to where to go? We will be traveling by train from Frankfurt, Germany. Thanks for any advise.

Kegging and Bottling / film on bottles
« on: November 01, 2014, 06:24:50 PM »
I use Star San to sanitize my bottles. I've noticed a film on the glass now that I've reused the bottles a number of times. Just out of curiosity, I used a bottle brush to see if I could remove the film. I was able to get most of it off.  Do I need to go through all my bottles and remove the film, or just not worry about it?  I can't detect have any off flavors in the beer.

Yeast and Fermentation / stuck fermentation
« on: May 18, 2014, 09:43:28 PM »
I brewed a high gravity (1.078) biere de garde and after two weeks in the primary the gravity has only dropped16 points. This recipe has 12 oz. of sugar and I usually see an explosive fermentation, but that never occurred.  I did all the usual things for a high gravity beer: 2 qt starter, aerated with a stone, proper temp (68-70). So, I'm kind of flummoxed. I brought the carboy upstairs (temp 72), stirred and rocked it, and after 24 hrs. not seeing much of anything (although it's chugging along slowly). Would adding another round of a neutral yeast help? Should I make another starter for that?
Give me your ideas, please.

Yeast and Fermentation / Second dose of yeast
« on: April 27, 2014, 09:45:36 PM »
I plan on using a recipe from Clone Brews by the Szamatulski's. The recipe calls for adding a second dose of the same yeast strain (as used in the primary) into the secondary, three days before bottling. I've never come across this instruction before. If I use a starter, is this step necessary (the OG is 1.086)?

All Grain Brewing / first wort hops
« on: April 09, 2013, 01:16:36 AM »
I'm following a recipe that calls for first wort hops. Do I leave those hops in throughout the boil, or should I remove them before hand?

Equipment and Software / march pump
« on: May 26, 2012, 08:57:47 PM »
I'm thinking of buying a march pump because all my setup is in the basement, but I boil up a flight of stairs in my garage. I plan on transfering liquids both ways. I read that the pump should be near the vessel one is pumping out of, so that would mean I have to move the pump from basement to garage and visa versa.  Some basic questions: Would I be better off getting the pump with a plug or one that I wire? I have to pump about 16 feet, 5 of which is up hill. Can the pump handle that? The pump has to be primed. What does one actually do to prime the pump? Is it a hassle? And, do I have to prime it each time I start the pump?  Thanks for any advice.

All Grain Brewing / stuck fermentation
« on: April 14, 2012, 06:20:47 PM »
Without going into detail I managed to leave out 1 pound each of victory and chocolate malt when brewing my porter. Couldn’t figure out why I was 13 points below gravity, but added DME to hit my target gravity( 1.073). After realizing my mistake, I steeped the found grain for 30 minutes in 150 degree water. I boiled it down to just under 1 gallon, and added that to the fermenter (about a day and a half in to fermentation). I then got an explosive fermentation for the next day. After 10 days my gravity was 1.026. I wanted it at 1.018. Thinking my basement was too cold, I moved it upstairs to a warmer place (70-72 degrees). After 1 week my gravity is still 1.026. I feel if I bottle at that gravity, I’ll have problems with the beer. Any suggestions? Is this beer a loss?

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