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Topics - cenosillica

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All Grain Brewing / Water Profile for Imperial IPA
« on: January 02, 2012, 07:19:05 AM »
Today I'm brewing an IIPA. I'm using 16.5lbs of pale malt and 1lb of Crystal 60L for a total of 17.5lbs of grain weight. I'm using the bru'n water profile adjustment spreadsheet starting with RO water, and am posting my intended additions for a quick reality check from you. Please let me know if I am missing something here or if this looks good to you.

Yeast and Fermentation / 3 month old Slurry - too old?
« on: August 31, 2011, 04:36:14 PM »
I brewed in April and dumped the yeast slurry in May when kegging to a sterilized mason jar that went immediately to my refrigerator. I'm planning on brewing the same recipe with an OG of 1.070. It is a British Ale Yeast (Dogfish Indian Brown Ale clone - all-grain from BYO clone recipes).

I typically do a 1L yeast starter several days in advance.

Having never tried to re-use yeast, is it too old for me to try to re-pitch this slurry into a starter?

All Grain Brewing / Mash rests and timing between steps
« on: August 05, 2011, 11:53:45 AM »
I've always done a pretty straight forward mash rest and never tried step mashing.

My question is when a recipe calls for a specific time to rest, when does that timer start and stop? What about the time in between when raising the temperature from 122 up to 148 then to 158 (hypothetical but typical mash rests - I'm trying to ask this question style-agnostic) are you running the timer during this 'step up' part as well?

Just as a background on my mash tun equipment, I use a keggle w/ false bottom and am considering using a pump to circulate the mash while heating up to the next temp. I also have a concern here about the heat melting the tubing connected to the valve at the bottom.

Also, when heating to the next step and you are beginning to approach your target temp, do you throttle back the heat so as not to overshoot the target?

Yeast and Fermentation / How often do you check your gravity?
« on: July 17, 2011, 02:00:17 PM »
I'm curious how often others are taking gravity readings.

Until recently, I have simply ignored it and waited 2 weeks in primary then 2 weeks in secondary to keg. Does anyone do daily gravity readings? For those who do check regularly, how do you prevent contaminating your fermenting wort?

Yeast and Fermentation / High Gravity fast fermentation?
« on: July 17, 2011, 01:32:38 PM »
I'm a little surprised to see how quickly this beer fermented. Eight days ago I made an Imperial stout with a SG of 1.096 measured by way of refractometer (I don't really use software, I just x4 to get my gravity so brix was originally 24). I took a reading today (8 days fermenting) and had 15 on the refractometer. I remember reading that you have to adjust your readings by refractometer due to the non-sucrose elements in the wort (e.g. alcohol). So by entering this in my brewing software calc, it tells me that 15 Brix of fermented wort is really 1.039.

The type of yeast I used was whitelabs WLP002 English Ale Yeast which is supposed to have an attenuation of 63-70%. I also created a 1L starter and added yeast nutrient along with a fish pump O2 diffuser stone for about 3 minutes. Currently, by my fuzzy math, I have an attenuation of 57% ((1.096-1.039)/1.096)=.57 right? I'd venture to say that I'm about 85-90% through the fermentation.

I'm going to let it sit for another week and check the gravity again. Come next Wednesday or Thursday I will raise the temp and give it a diacetyl rest then keg.

My question after a long winded background is if this is really possible to ferment an imperial stout or any high gravity style for that matter this quickly? Most of the recipes I have dealt with have been 4-6 weeks total fermentation time. I'm happy, don't get me wrong, just a little befuddled that it is fermenting so fast!

All Grain Brewing / Boiled too fast...
« on: July 12, 2011, 09:35:17 PM »
past my 5.25 gallon mark and lost an additional 1/4 gallon in the keggle, so now I'm left with 4 gallons at my target gravity; I didn't want to dilute by topping off with plain water. What I'm wondering is, after a week in the primary, can I boil another small 1 gallon batch and combine the two in the secondary?

I know I could probably just ferment out the 1 gallon batch and combine the two at bottling/kegging, but has anyone done this earlier in the secondary stage?

I'm brewing an Imperial Stout OG 1.092 with English Ale yeast. I was planning to use a champagne yeast in the secondary. I'm factoring in if I should just dump the 1 gallon on top of the stuff in the primary without racking - or - combine in the secondary with the champagne yeast. I also forgot to add molasses in the recipe and wanted to add it to the 1 gallon batch (4 oz). With all this considered is there anything that makes you leap out of your chair to scream heresy lunatic at me?

All Grain Brewing / Mash PH using 5.2 stabilizer
« on: July 07, 2011, 02:46:34 PM »
My last couple of brews, I used a product called 5.2 stabilizer added during the mash. Then pre-boil, I added my brewing salts. By doing this, it seems my beers are coming out grainy with a low malt profile, almost like mineral water. Is that because the 5.2 stabilizer is essentially like adding brewing salts? I started using it cause I was lazy and didn't want to buy a bunch of stuff to test and adjust PH levels in my mash. I'm willing to go the extra mile if this is changing my water profile causing the grainy tastes. Any thoughts?

Wood/Casks / Oak Cubes - Secondary or while carbonating?
« on: April 06, 2011, 08:34:23 PM »
I have recently returned from a trip to Fort Collins and had the wonderful opportunity to try an Irish Red aged in Makers Mark Bourbon barrels from Odells pilot room. I'm not sure if anyone else can confirm but it distinctly tasted like it came from a nitrogen tap. I digress...

They decided not to commercialize this beer, a one off, so I decided to take matters into my homebrewing hands. So I have an Irish red ale that has been in primary for a little over 1 month now. I bought French oak cubes and am soaking them in Makers Mark.

1. How long should I soak them?
2. Should I add them to a secondary or (I keg in cornys) sink them in my corney while carbonating?
3. Probably a matter of choice but should I pitch the cubes and bourbon or just the cubes? (I'm temped to goose the whole kit and kaboodle)

I'm going to let the cubes sit for 4-6 months.


Yeast and Fermentation / Fermentation turned brass into different color
« on: December 21, 2010, 08:04:13 PM »
I ferment in my keezer when empty of beer. I'm using a johnson controls thermostat brass probe and I leave my CO2 tank in the keezer during fermentation. I have done this without incident over the past year and several batches of brew.

This time around, I tried two batches of all-grain for my first time. I always use a starter and had krausen blow out through the airlock a few days later from an active fermentation. There was a LOT of krausen spewing out of two - 5 gallon carboys. I threw a towel around the top lids to soak up the mess until I had time, 4 days later to transfer to secondary.

Four days later, I opened the lid to my keezer and noticed everything that was brass had turned a dark rust color. Even the thermostat connecting the the johnson controller. I keep a regular thermometer in there just to be sure my temps are right and noticed they were off by about ten degrees. When I adjusted, the thermostat thought it was warmer and kept the condenser running until I checked on it in time (30 minutes later) to see it had cooled to 20F. Yikes! So I used a peice of sandpaper to sand down the corrosion of the temp probe hoping that would help. Not sure yet if this will.

What would cause this oxidation or corrosion of my brass fittings? Really, the only thing wafting inside the keezer would be CO2 and ethers right? Here's a pic of the damage... these were shiny brass fittings days earlier....

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