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Topics - afacini

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All Grain Brewing / Sour mashing technique - how to be precise?
« on: October 09, 2012, 03:08:39 PM »
Over the course of the past few years, I've worked on and perfected a berliner weisse recipe that is pretty delicious. I can definitely share the recipe if anyone is interested.

My issue is this: I've never yet been able to get a sour mash to run successfully. Instead, I've taken the shortcut to add lactic acid at packaging to the tune of exactly 3.75 fl oz (at 88% dilution).

Knowing this, I want to reattempt a sour mash, so that my BW can be "truer." But as I have another go, I want to try and reach this ~3.3 oz of acid to keep the recipe intact. How does one control the sour mash fermentation, and is it possible to gauge the amount of acid produced?

Thanks as always.

Yeast and Fermentation / Consensus on racking out of primary?
« on: May 14, 2012, 05:40:10 PM »
Common advice is to go with 2-stage fermentation (especially for heavier worts) to avoid having the fermenting beer sit upon the trub. I've read other opinions, which say that there's no harm, and sometimes even added benefits, to have the fermentation take place on top of the spent yeast.

Basically, I would like to know the consensus about this. I have a 6.5 gal conical, so I've been able to get away with a "middle ground" approach (having much less surface area for trub to be in contact). What do you think is best practice?

(This might get filed with the controversial "don't sparge" movement, heh)

Going Pro / "The Grand Timeline"
« on: March 09, 2012, 05:33:04 PM »
So let's say you have a full business plan written out, got some estimates on equipment, a rough idea of real estate costs (inc. renovations), and a willing investor. The dream!!

Now is the cart-before-before-the-horse question: In what order do you proceed?

For the sake of argument, let's say you can purchase the real estate at any time. When do you do this?

I am aware that TTB is absolutely overwhelmed with requests, as are many local authorities. The process of getting certified and cleared could take up to a year, according to new breweries I've talked to.

So should you go and get your property and proceed on renovations while proceeding with TTB? Or is it a strict one-before-the-other situation?

This is something I'm still not clear about, and any insight is greatly appreciated.

EDIT: My current understanding is this...
Close on real estate--> Submit TTB application --> Receive TTB license --> Submit local app --> Receive local license --> Complete construction, renovation, etc. --> Open for business

It might be easier to just make corrections on this instead. Thanks again.

All Grain Brewing / My one hang-up before going all-grain...
« on: March 09, 2012, 04:55:11 PM » gotta be the burner situation. I have a small apartment, but do in fact have some space in the back of the house/driveway where a burner would work (they do barbecues there, as well). I have a gas oven range, but doubt that will be effective, based on other peoples' accounts.

So my question is: how do folks going all-grain work with it, and keep it going year-round? When it's freezing outside (or snowy, etc.), how does the boiling process generally work? I have a brewkettle with a nice spigot, but what are the logistics of moving around that much hot liquid?

Once you get your boiled water into the HLT, do people generally move inside?

Sorry if this is a scatter-brained question, but it's the last remaining problem I just can't wrap my mind around with all-grain. I am afraid of 10 gal @ 200F burns, etc.

Thanks as always!

General Homebrew Discussion / Vanilla extract
« on: June 07, 2011, 04:01:38 PM »
Hi there,

A quick question regarding the use of vanilla -- I've noticed plenty of people with examples of success using vanilla beans in their beers. Is there any glaring reason that brewers aren't looking to pre-made vanilla extract instead of beans, other than the desire to avoid pre-mades and other extracts in general? It seems extract would be a far more consistent and predictable alternative, at least for a first-timer.


All Grain Brewing / Electric stove-top: how far can you go?
« on: May 18, 2011, 06:24:04 PM »
Hi there. I'm Andrew. My introductory post didn't make it, so I'll just jump in to the discussion with this one.

So one of the hurdles to agb is finding an adequate heat source. Most just recommend going with a gas burner, but in the case that using a burner is impossible or unsafe (indoors-only, enclosed space, etc.), I am wondering how far one can make a stove-top electric element go.

Given a basic setup of 5gal brew and using an adequate 6-7 gal brewpot, is it possible/practical/intelligent to rely on an electric stove to heat? Granted that it will take a while longer to heat, less precise, etc., but is it still worth it?


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