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Topics - topher.bartos

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I was wondering if the water you use in a mead could potentially create bacterial infection since there is no boil. Should you use warmer / hot water? I'm thinking about making my first mead this weekend and would like some good tips.


All Grain Brewing / Supposed to be a Saison became a Belgian
« on: August 19, 2016, 08:36:32 PM »

I brewed a Saison according to the recipe in Brewing Classic Styles. I was told that if the Belgian Saison yeast stops fermentation, I'm free to add more yeast but he didn't specify if I needed to change the fermentation temperature for this yeast. I added California Ale yeast but kept the temperature Saison yeast high (80°). I think that was a dumb idea because I successfully turned a Saison into a Belgian. I used WLP565 and I used WLP001 for additional attenuation.

I've tasted plenty of Saisons to realize that it's way too Belgiany and yeasty to be a true Saison. But, it's a pretty good Belgiany tasting beer.

I guess my question is it possible to add a "clean" yeast to DuPont style Saison yeast at high temperatures without doing what I did? Should I add more Saison yeast next time? Is Champagne yeast cleaner than California Ale yeast? And should I use it next time instead of California Ale yeast?

Back story: I usually brew IPAs and Stouts and now my goal is to brew all the recipes in Brewing Classic Styles. So far I've brewed a Saison and a Kolsch and the Kolsch got contaminated and turned into a Berliner Weiss and my Saison turned into a Belgian Ale. So, far I'm either 0 for 2 or i guess 2 for 2 depending on your tastes...

Kegging and Bottling / Keg tap beer comes out very very slowly.
« on: June 21, 2016, 03:30:22 PM »
I couldn't find a topic about this problem. Most of the issues seems to be a clogged dip tube. However, I put my CO2 on around 40 - 45 psi in the beer out side and I could hear the beer bubbling so I'm sort of confident this isn't a clog. I'm also confident that there are no leaks as pulling the release valve CO2 seems to be coming out along with some beer as well. The problem is, I've been rocking the keg at about 30 psi and I only get a dribble of beer. And, since I can hear beer bubbling when I throw in CO2 into the out, I'm pretty confident my beer isn't frozen.

Any help would be awesome.

Hey homebrewer,

I was just wondering a few things:

1. What do you do with competition scores and critiques? Do you keep them? How do you organize them? Do you through them away?

2. Is it helpful for you to keep old competition scores and critiques for future reference (to see if you are getting better or getting worse as a brewer)?

3. Does an excel spreadsheet work, or is a notebook more helpful? Why?

Thanks for your help!!

Keep brewing!

General Homebrew Discussion / I have an idea for home-brewers
« on: January 23, 2014, 04:15:18 AM »

I'm a life long member of the AHA and I want to take my brewing to the next level. Please believe me that I'm not selling anything, but would love some feedback. If by some off-the-wall chance there is a big demand for something like this, I'd love to complete this creation.

Here is my vision:

And here is my current site:

Also, here is my email if you want to talk in private (hate mail, feedback, love mail, etc.):

Please understand that I'm not selling anything, but interested in feedback about my idea. And if anybody is a programmer and would like to help out, don't hesitate to email me!



Yeast and Fermentation / FYI: Yeast Aeration
« on: May 24, 2013, 05:09:30 PM »
I highly recommend "Yeast" by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff. It talks a little bit about aeration and it references a study that shows that VHG (very high gravity) beers, would benefit a great deal with adding a 2nd dose of oxygen 12 to 18 hours after inoculation.

Here is the study:

I wanted to figure out what the study considered "very high gravity" so, I read the study and turns out a VHG beer is one at or higher than 18 PLATO (1074 OG). I didn't really think 1074 was "VERY" high... oh well...

Adding a 2nd dose of oxygen around 12 - 18 hours will reduce fermentation time by 33% and reduce acetaldehyde and diacetyl production for much tastier beers.

I thought some of you would like to know.

Keep brewing,


General Homebrew Discussion / cold conditioning
« on: April 30, 2013, 07:53:56 PM »
I recently made a Blonde Ale and I just finished bottling it. The BJCP guidelines say that sometimes Blonde Ales are cold conditioned and Kolshs seem to also be cold conditioned as they are in the same category of beers. However, John Palmer in his book says that Cold Conditioning just helps to participate out large proteins including tannins and phenols which is what fining agents do anyway. I'm of course paraphrasing but my question is if one were to use fining agents, in my case I use whirlfloc, is cold conditioning really necessary?

General Homebrew Discussion / A few ideas for better beer.
« on: March 04, 2013, 12:39:10 AM »
I have a few ideas that I personally need to do for better beer. Please send me some suggestions.

1. Aeration system (aquarium pump / stone)

2. Yeast starter (using or wyeast calculator)

3. Cooler fermentation temps (fridge / water tub / lowering my apartment temp, etc.)

4. Bru'n Water / 5.2 pH stabilizer (does this work) / John Palmers Nomograph

I think all these are very important but I haven't really worried about them because I was worrying more about mash efficiency more than anything else.

My question: Should I try these all at once or should I do each one one at a time?

General Homebrew Discussion / I need a palate
« on: March 02, 2013, 02:10:50 AM »
My palate needs prepping before I can taste any subtle flavors in beer. I'm not a BJCP judge so I'm not trained in beer flavors and off-flavors, etc.

I know what good beer tastes like, but only when I prep my palate with a wide range of tastes (or beers), is when I can really taste the subtle nuances of beer.

I've been brewing since 2005 and I just started doing all-grain a few months ago and now I'm absolutely obsessed. I just submitted a beer in the NHC for the first time. This will be my very first beer competition. I think I make really good beer for a brand new all-grain brewer. I don't have a lot of control over my fermentation process. I still don't have a good aerator, I don't have a stir plate, I don't have a good way of controlling temperature (YET), but I still make pretty good beer.

Even typing that makes me think that's far-fetched. So, I need a palate. I need somebody to judge my beers and tell me what is wrong with it. I want to become a better brewer. I want to become the best brewer.

Please help a homebrewer out!

Kegging and Bottling / Super Hoppy Irish Red Ale.
« on: February 24, 2013, 08:08:43 PM »

This is a super hoppy Irish Red Ale that I just bottled. It's unbelievably clear. It's the clearest beer I've ever bottled.

My question is is there enough yeast in such a clear beer for carbonation? Should I have pitched more yeast prior to bottling?

My FG was right around 1010 - 1012 and fermented for about 3 weeks.

General Homebrew Discussion / Green Beer Question
« on: February 12, 2013, 01:52:17 AM »
I have a stupid question about green beer.

I've heard mix opinions about green beer. I know it's acetaldehyde that gives it's green apple / tart flavor. But where I have a misunderstanding is when yeast starts transforming acetaldehyde back to ethanol.

I've heard you should keep the beer in the primary for a week (or more) longer than usual to give the yeast some time to metabolize the acetaldehyde because once you take it off the trub there is nothing you can do about it. But also, I've heard that you can just condition it in the bottle for a few weeks and the same thing will occur.

So, what is the best way to go about the acetaldehyde? I brewed some extract batches that had that green apple taste but because I was young and inexperienced, I'd drink it thinking it was just how extract homebrew tastes. But, now I'm not convinced.

What do you think?

Equipment and Software / Aeration Systems
« on: February 11, 2013, 05:41:59 PM »
I've been very concerned about my level of pre-fermentation aeration. I feel it is lacking.

Does anybody know of any good / affordable aeration systems or aquarium pumps or something else.


My very first AG batch has been in bottles for 6 days. I can't wait any longer.

I think I'm going to try one just to make some notes on how my beer ages over time...

I need some encouragement.

General Homebrew Discussion / BJCP Guideline question
« on: January 29, 2013, 12:10:17 AM »
I'm brewing an Irish Red Ale. (Heating up strike water)

Using BeerSmith2, I started with an Irish Red Ale that I created based on BJCP Guidelines. Then, I changed the beer style to American IPA and tried to get everything within that guideline. So, I basically turned an Irish Red Ale into an Irish Red IPA. I have high hopes for this beer. I think it will turn out delicious.

But, I may want to submit it to competitions. So, since it's technically an American IPA minus American Ale yeast, I probably won't be able to submit it to American IPA competitions. I'm using White Labs Irish Ale Yeast for this beer. Yes, I'm doing this to experiment but also, St. Patty's Day is near.

How do I submit this to competitions assuming it going to come out to be delicious? Or, do I have to find one of the "creative competitions"?

-- Chris

The Pub / AHA Conference 2013 Financing Question
« on: January 24, 2013, 04:24:59 PM »
This is going to be my first conference if I can register on time.

Is there a financing option ($$ / month) ? Or, do you have to pay in full when you register?


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