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Topics - troy@uk

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Other Fermentables / Bottling Cider
« on: December 22, 2011, 05:31:49 AM »
This is the first time that I have made cider.  I used pasteurized organic cider and made two batches to compare yeasts. In one I used WLP775 English Cider and in the other I used Safale04.  My question is: After I move it to a secondary, how long can I hold it there and still have enough yeast in suspension for bottle conditioning? 

Ingredients / Matching Falconer's Flight Hop Blend
« on: May 27, 2011, 01:06:22 PM »
I primarily brew German and English beers, so I am not very familiar with the West Coast Hops.

I got a 4 oz package of Falconer's Flight Blend from Hop Union at an AHA Rally.  I brewed an APA for the Memorial Day Block Party with it.  WOW this stuff is sooooo good!  Not too piney, not too citrusy, fresh and fruity!

Since I think Hop Union did this as a one off, I now need to come close to a blend of my own. 

If anyone else has used this blend, can you please help me decide what would be close?  If I remember, it ended up being about 10.3 AAU.

Ingredients / Melinoidan Malt vs Munich 10L
« on: March 30, 2011, 01:18:21 PM »
I am going to make a Helles Bock (I know it will be too late for May Day) with an infusion mash rather than a traditional decoction.  I want to use about 20% Munich 10L and was going to use about 1/4 lb Melanoidan Malt to make up for the lack of decoction, but it is 20L.  I want to keep this beer as light in color as possible. 

How much more Munich 10L would I have to add to get the same amount of melanoidan flavor as the melanoidan malt?

Kegging and Bottling / Looking for priming sugar
« on: February 03, 2011, 04:08:47 PM »
I want to continue to support my LHBS and do with grain, hops, yeast and some equipment, but I can't help thinking that the mark up on priming sugar is too high.  It is corn sugar (Dextrose) pre packaged by the distributor in 5 oz ($1.00) and 4 lb packages. I know that powdered sugar from the supermarket won't work because it has corn starch included.  What is a suitable alternative for priming and/or where can I get corn sugar at a more reasonable price?

I have used LHBS Priming Sugar, DME, Honey, and Molasses to prime with and understand when to use each one to it's best advantage.

Yeast and Fermentation / Zinc for your yeast
« on: January 22, 2011, 06:39:32 AM »
So, I read in Chris and Jamil's Yeast book that Zinc is important for my yeast and that it is not included as a by-product of the mash.  Is it included in the yeast nutrient that we get at our LHBS? (mine carries Crosby and Baker) I remember listening to a Brew Strong pod cast where they mentioned putting a penny in the boil, but I can't remember what that was for.

General Homebrew Discussion / My Wit is too clear!
« on: January 15, 2011, 03:31:25 PM »
I have a recipe for a great tasting wit beer.  The only problem is that it clears up very fast and very clear.  I use 40% wheat, oats, (w/no protein rest) and I use WLP 0400 Belgian Wit yeast fermented @ 62*. I also used Irish moss and I have transferred to a secondary for one week.  Obviously I should lose the Irish Moss and skip the secondary.

I would love to have a more cloudy beer, but don't know what aspect affects the clarity the most. What is the best wheat to use and would a protein rest help the oats? 

General Homebrew Discussion / Purging my Carboy
« on: December 02, 2010, 08:38:04 PM »
I bottle condition all of my beers so I don't have all of the CO2 tanks and equipment common to kegging. I want to have something easy and convenient to purge my carboys when I transfer from one to another.  My LHBS showed me a can made for wine makers, but it was a small aerosol can for $9. Someone else told me about baking soda and vinegar in a bottle with a hose into the carboy. This worked well but the aroma of vinegar was so strong that I'm worried about it affecting the beer's aroma. I'm hoping for something convenient, maybe that works with a CO2 cartridge or something.

Yeast and Fermentation / Stepping up a starter?
« on: November 05, 2010, 07:09:28 AM »
I am going to brew a 5 gal, 1.055 OG lager and need a large starter.  The WL yeast I bought from my LHBS is 3 months old (Best by Dec. 11).  On last Wed (11-3) evening I pitched a 1600 ml starter on a stir plate.  I plan to run that for 48 hrs, crash and decant over 24 hrs, then add another 1600 ml wort to the flask and run for another 48 hrs on the stir plate. Then I plan to crash it again and on Thurs (11-11)(brew day) I will decant, raise to pitching temp (45 F) and pitch into the batch.
  My question is about the crashing in between starters. Is it good to crash in the fridge and then warm up so many times in a week or should I just let it settle at the same temp and decant cloudy wort?

Kegging and Bottling / Priming/Bottle Conditioning with Molassas
« on: October 25, 2010, 10:37:17 PM »
I made a Baltic porter and added 8 oz of Grandma's Molasses (by weight, not fluid oz) to the end of the boil.  Having tasted a few times when testing gravity and during trans to secondary, I think I want to prime with molasses to get some more from it. I have the formula from Mr. Wizard at BYO ( (I do need to insert the brix for the molasses which I got from the manufacturer) but I don't know if the answer should be by weight or by fluid oz.  Any ideas or expieriences? 

Ingredients / Molasses in a Porter
« on: October 05, 2010, 10:24:23 PM »
  I am working on a recipe for a Baltic Porter on the low ABV side (btwn 5.5 and 6.0).  I also want to add some home made molasses that I bought way back in the Blue Ridge Mtns. 
  My question is about how much to add (difficult to know without the final recipe) and more importantly, when to add it.  I was thinking to add it late in the boil so I can sanitize it without boiling away any more flavor/aroma than I have to.  I also should consider if the fermentation will drive off much flavor/aroma.  Has anyone worked with this ingredient lately that can give some input to consider?

General Homebrew Discussion / What influences absorbtion rate?
« on: September 24, 2010, 05:33:23 AM »
  I started batch sparging about five or six batches ago. I use a square 5 gal Coleman cooler set up like Denny's larger cooler. I have my grain milled at my LHBS, so I don't know what setting is used on the mill.  The LHBS has high turnover of product so I am sure that it is as fresh as most/any.
  The first four batches had an absorbtion rate of between .10 and .13, which seems about on par with most of the information avail on batch sparging.  But the last two batches have had a rate of .27.
  Yesterday's brew was with:

5.5 lbs Maris Otter
.75 lb  Caramel Malt - 40
.5  lb   Victory
.5  lb   Flaked Wheat

I mashed in with 9.06 qts water (1.25 qts/lb) which should have left aprox 8 qts avail in my first running. I need a boil volume of 4 gals, so this would work out great to divide the two runnings in half.  After I recirculated, the run stopped at 6.5 qts.  I thought maybe it stuck, so when I looked inside to stir there was no visable liquid. I tried anyway and got no additional liqiud.  I added the 8 qts of water for the second running, and after the recirculation I drew off all 8 qts before it stopped again.
  Since this same thing happened the last session, I was very careful to correctly measure the water at each step especially the first 9.06 qts.
  In the end, every thing turned out just fine because I forgot to allow for the space that my 3.75 lbs DME would take up in the pot, if I had gotten the full 4 gal boil volume, I would have been too full.  But, I am still wondering what is causing my absorbtion rate to be so high.

Kegging and Bottling / Taking longer to carbonate
« on: September 13, 2010, 10:30:30 PM »
  I bottle condition all of my beers. It generally takes about 2 weeks to finish @ 68 - 72 degrees.  Lately (the last five batches) it has taken closer to a month.  I use beer smith software and use corn sugar or DME depending on the style.
  Obviously I need to look at what changed.  I wish I could remember where on the WWW I read about not clamping down the caps right away.  The idea was to place a crown cap on the bottle loosly and that the priming sugar and yeast would start working right away and create CO2 which would drive the lighter O2 out of the bottle before you crimp it down.  This sounded like a good way to reduce ozygynation, and I could work alone and take my time so more O2 gets out.  After all of the bottles are full, I start crimping, so we're only talking about 30-35 minutes.
  Does anyone think I could be loosing that much CO2 in such a short time?  I now have some O2 absorbing caps, so I will try going back to capping right away and see how that does.  (I'm still trying to interprite the proper sanitation method for these caps based on the thread on this subject.)

Yeast and Fermentation / Brown Yeast in bottle?
« on: September 02, 2010, 05:20:18 AM »
Recently I have experienced something new. I bottle condition all of my beer. I use corn sugar or DME depending on the beer/style. I have just drank the last of an ESB (WLP 002 English Ale) that was bottled 4-5 months ago and the last of a Wit (WLP 400 Belgian Wit) that was bottled 2.5 months ago.  In both of them the yeast sediment has turned darker brown. No noticeable change in flavor, only cosmetic. Am I waiting too long or beginning to have OTHER (sanitation) issues?

All Grain Brewing / Missed Mash out Temp
« on: August 15, 2010, 10:25:40 PM »
If I am batch sparging and miss 170* as my mash out temp and for my second run, what kind of damage did I do?  I added 170* water for my second run and the temp only settled in at 162*, I got lazy and went ahead and ran it.

Other Fermentables / Which Yeast for Mead?
« on: July 15, 2010, 10:32:37 PM »
I would like to try my hand at my first batch of Mead, but, of course I have a few questions.  I would like to make a few small batches using different local honeys.  I am thinking of using a 1 gal. jar for the primary and I can get some 96 oz. Juice jars for the secondary.
  I can scale down the recipes easy enough, but how much yeast should I pitch for 1 gal batches and will there be krausen like with beer or do I need to leave head space? 
  I would like to start in the middle with a semi-sweet batch.  What types of yeast do you recommend for this?
  I have read the other forums and some web sites, so I think I have an idea about how I will handle a nutriant schedule, but could use some advice on a good educational book that I can read after my first batch.  I find it easier to understand the book if I have already tried to do something.

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