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Topics - BP79

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Yeast and Fermentation / Drop hopping and fermentation temp
« on: February 14, 2014, 05:02:34 PM »
What's the concensus for dry hopping and raising fermentation temperature once fermentation is complete? I pitched at 64 10 days ago and my gravity  has stabilized for a few days now. I want to raise the temp to about 70 to hopefully drop a few more points but I also want to dry hop for a week before kegging. Should I raise the temp and dry hop at the same time, or dry hop for a week then raise the temp? Or, does the relationship between the two not matter?

Classifieds / Free 6.5 Gallon Glass Carboy
« on: December 30, 2013, 11:39:38 AM »
I purchased the carboy off Northern Brewer, did two brews with it, but it's too much of a pain for me to clean in my small sink... darn condo living.  If you live near Hoboken, NJ, feel free to take this off my hands.  It's a monster, no blow-off tubing required.

Equipment and Software / Gravity-fed Therminator duration-to-pitch
« on: December 11, 2013, 09:18:42 AM »
I plan on breaking in an early Christmas gift this weekend.  I don't have a pump yet, so it'll be gravity fed for now.  My groundwater is pretty cold, esp with the recent snow.  Are there any gravity fed users here who can give me an estimate for how long it should take?  It's a for a stout that only calls for 1.95 oz hops, which I'm going to put in bags, so it shouldn't clog.   

Kegging and Bottling / Aging in a keg
« on: December 03, 2013, 07:57:22 AM »
I'm finally building a kegerator this weekend after Williams-Brewing had an awesome deal where I was able to score a free keg in addition to the one in the kit.  I've had an Imperial Stout in the primary for 4 weeks now that I've had some issues with ( that I'd like to age for a while before tapping.  It seems most people will just add enough CO2 to purge the oxygen in the tank, then let it sit at room temp for a few x months depending on the style of beer?

Yeast and Fermentation / Fermentation never started
« on: November 15, 2013, 12:03:11 PM »
I brewed the Imperial Stout recipe below 6 days ago, pitched a big starter of WLP007 per Mr. Malty - then adjusted it according the advice of several people here (thanks Mort, Jim!).  Aerated with an aquarium pump and obtained an OG of 1.090 (target of 1.099), then pitched @ 62 and was going to let it warm up.

After less than two hours the airlock was bubbling away, and there was a good 1/2" of krausen too.  But overnight activity died, and since then nothing.  The krausen has collapsed and the my gravity only fell a few points.  The weird thing is the surface is 'clean', i.e. no bacteria (at least to the naked eye), and it smells nice and chocolaty. 

I soaked the glass carboy overnight in PBW and remember washing it out very thoroughly since this was the first time I used a glass one and thought it was a good arm/shoulder workout given how heavy it was.  And I even let my 2.5 yr old daughter put in the Starsan b/c she likes seeing bubbles.

I pitched another starter after 4 days of nada as a Hail Mary and still nothing.

Any thoughts as to what I could have done?

14.43   2-row pale
1.99   floaked oats
1.54   chocolate malt
0.93   15L crystal (used 20)
0.90   black malt
0.90   roasted barley
0.82   Carapils mal

Yeast and Fermentation / Step-up starter
« on: November 08, 2013, 10:39:51 AM »
My efficiency tends to be consistently low for my big (>1.080) beers), so members here have suggested I'm not pitching enough yeast.  Using a stir-plate, Mr. Malty says I need 366mm cells @ 1.4L using 2 vials of WLP007 for my next stout.   I double checked the calcs and I agree based on:

Last week I made the first starter and put it in the fridge for 4 days.  Monday night I decanted that, made a 250ml starter, and poured that into the flask.  I'd say the cake is around the 500ml line on the flask now, with barely any liquid noticeable.  Is that all there is to it?  Such a small amount of sugar from the second step is all that's needed for the yeast to get to the target number? 

Equipment and Software / Kegerator faucet location
« on: November 01, 2013, 10:56:52 AM »
What's the consensus on where everyone installs the faucet?  I'm leaning towards putting the faucet on the door, this way I can keep the top clear for storage.  My one concern is my 2 1/2 year old daughter, who already loves the smell of hops.  I figure to get around that, I'll just put the whole fridge on something sturdy that I can double up as storage... condo living in the city has its limitations. 

Any pros/cons of going with the door route?  I see the biggest pro would be not cutting cooling lines on the top and killing the fridge.   

Equipment and Software / thermowell & blow-off valve set-up
« on: October 07, 2013, 08:13:29 AM »
I finally want to start measuring fermentation temperature more accurately.  I currently use a swamp cooler as my fermentation chamber, measure the water temp, and tack on 5-8 degrees as my assumed internal carboy temperature for the first 4-5 days.  My blow-off valve gets a lot of use.  Has anyone here built a thermowell - blow-off valve combo?  I was thinking of just drilling a hole through the rubber stopper, putting a 12"-15" SS rod through it, and sealing the top and bottom of it with silicone.  Does that seem like it'll work?       

Yeast and Fermentation / Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
« on: October 01, 2013, 10:44:19 AM »
2.5 weeks ago I brewed what was supposed to be a 1.100 OG ale (June Zymurgy Lagunitas Brown Shugga' clone).  My 60 minute mash was 2o under, @ 153o instead of 155o.  I used a stir plate and pitched a 1800mL starter, per Mr. Malty, at 59o, and have slowly been warming it up since then.  It's currently up to 66. 

My issue is I've been stuck at 1.040 for about 5 days now.  I added some yeast nutrient and roused the cake twice.  I'm probably answering my own question, but could being 2o under lead to such a difference in readily available sugars that my FG could end up being so high?  Should I raise the temp to the low 70's?

Yeast and Fermentation / starter volume
« on: April 29, 2013, 10:22:32 AM »
Whenever I make a starter, I always decant off the 'beer' and just pitch the slurry.  I recently upgraded to a 2L flask, am brewing a 1.078 ale, and according to Mr. Malty I should prepare a 1.7L starter using just one White Labs Vial.  My question is: if I'm decanting off the 'beer', what difference does the volume of the starter make, as long as it's around 1.040 OG?  Does volume correlate to yeast growth?

Ingredients / Java beans in coffee porter
« on: April 22, 2013, 10:17:56 AM »
I was thinking of using American Roast Java Superior beans for some cold-brewed coffee to put into a porter and can't find any info about acidity... though I probably don't need to worry too much about that since I'm cold-brewing it, right?  Has anyone here used those beans before?  Do you have any other recommendations?  I was going to start off with 1/2 lb coarsely ground beans and 32oz water for a 5 gal batch.

Yeast and Fermentation / Burnt starter
« on: April 04, 2013, 07:25:01 PM »
I made a starter last night in it appears I burnt the DME.  I placed the flask directly on the stove top as I always do, had the flame at medium as to prevent a boil-over, examined the flask this morning after putting it in the fridge, and the bottom of the yeast cake inside the flask looks like a giraffe.  Has anyone else experienced this?  And of the golden question, do I toss it? 

Yeast and Fermentation / stir plate overflow - start again?
« on: September 27, 2012, 01:25:27 PM »
I made a starter with WPL001, 1150ml water + 115g DME, boiled it down to 1L after 10 minutes, hit 1.039 and put it on the stir plate overnight at low-medium speed.  This morning I noticed what I thought was a slight overflow on the side of the flask ended up being a thick, gooey sludge underneath the flask.  Is it safe to assume that what spilled was the crux of that starter, i.e. the yeast, and that I'll need to start over?

I prefer stouts over porters but want to take a stab at the recipe in the May/June Zymurgy issue.  Has anyone added flaked oats to the recipe to give it more body?  I was thinking I would go on the light side and add 5% to the total grain bill.  Will I be banned from the message board for trying this?

I brewed 5.5G of a big 1.098 oatmeal stout Friday morning with a 1L 1.038 starter using two tubes of WLP007 per Mr. Malty.  After about 18 hrs of pitching I had a nice 1" layer of krausen.  Fast forward to this morning and the rubber stopper and blow-off tube I had going to a 1G milk jug of star-san were on the floor, and krausen was everywhere.  No big deal, I've had krausen explosions before and it still hadn't fallen so I'm not too worried about oxidation, but... the neck of the carboy cracked on the inside! 

The yeast are going so crazy that the beer inside the carboy looks like it's on a stir-plate.  I pitched a bit on the cool side for this yeast @ 68, so that shouldn't be the issue.  I've never seen anything like this.  I think I really like it, but I'd love some feedback.  I've never recycled yeast before either, but I think after this batch.

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