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Topics - DrewG

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Wood/Casks / General advice for a new bourbon barrel
« on: December 18, 2013, 07:54:29 PM »
I recently acquired a 5 gallon Few Distillery Bourbon barrel, freshly emptied. I'm planning on putting a KBS clone in it for a club thing we're doing for the 2014 NHC. Anyway, just looking for some input on contact times, prepping it for the beer, temps, etc. Really any advice you might have for someone who hasn't used one before. Thanks in advance.

Yeast and Fermentation / Tartness with wlp300
« on: August 19, 2013, 04:48:14 PM »
Recently kegged a dunkelweizen (BCS recipe). Noticed a fair amount of tartness in a sample during racking, which kind of overwhelmed the banana and clove flavor profile I was expecting (those flavors are present, but like i said, a but overwhelmed by this tartness) Pitched at 60, strong ferment at 62, raised to 66 days 7-10 and then it sat on the yeast another week. After carbonating, the tartness has dropped off some, but it's still present. I've read what I could about it on the interwebs, and I gather the yeast just throws this flavor sometimes? Should I expect it to age out? Is it preventable, if so how?

Yeast and Fermentation / wlp300/dunkelweizen
« on: July 31, 2013, 03:16:49 PM »
Having never used this yeast (quite the adventure, so far) or brewed this style, I had a question regarding finishing the beer. I'm assuming I don't want to cold crash this beer in order to keep the yeast in suspension?

Beer Recipes / 90 miunte bittering charge harshness
« on: July 02, 2013, 03:25:00 PM »
Just tapped an IPA, more or less a blind pig clone. I've done it a number of times before, and it's usually one of my favorites. I was cross checking my old brewing logs with a published version of the recipe just to make sure i hadn't wandered too far away from the core beer, and I noticed that the RR version used a 90 minute (I'm sure for the sake of utilization) bittering charge instead of the 60 I had done in the past. So thats what I went with. 3/4 oz of Chinook and 1/2 oz Columbus for roughly 50 of the 60 IBU's total. The result was a really harsh bitterness, almost solventy in the nose and really not all that pleasant to my palate. It dominated the flavor of the beer.

 Has anyone else experienced this? 

Beer Recipes / Conversion from brewery to homebrew system/math help
« on: June 17, 2013, 08:02:26 PM »
I'm trying to make a coffee brown ale similar to the one at a local brewery (Perrin Brewing Co in Grand Rapids, MI) and after an email exchange with the head brewer (who answered my email almost immediately, one more reason the craft/homebrew community kicks ass) on the coffee addition to this beer I need to figure out how to convert 25 lbs coarse ground coffee in a 30 bbl batch to oz per gallon on my system. A check with google and the conversion i get is roughly .5 oz per gallon to 1 pd per bbl. So that makes 2.5 oz per gallon at one pd per bbl, but it's not 1 to 1, so I come up with a .83 pds per bbl rate for their batch, which looks like .33 oz per gallon on mine. Sound right?

Going Pro / Need some input
« on: April 11, 2013, 04:37:18 PM »
I have been given an opportunity to talk with some folks who are opening a brewery about making beer for them. This was set up through a mutual friend. I'm bringing 6 different beers for them to try. The plan is to sit down and see if there is a mutual interest in me brewing for them, and moving on from there. In the meantime, I've been volunteering at a local brewery trying to learn as much as I can about operating on a professional system. The brewers there have been absolutely great, answering anything I ask and a lot I haven't. A huge learning experience.

So I'm wondering, if you were in my shoes what questions would you have for these folks? What else can I do to prepare myself for this job if it is something I/we want to pursue? What advice in general might you have for an aspiring professional?

Thanks in advance for your time.

Kegging and Bottling / What the?
« on: March 26, 2013, 01:32:11 PM »
I have a 2 tap dorm fridge style kegerator.

My normal procedure to carbonate is to cold crash in the fermentor to 33 F, transfer to a keg, purge 02 and put c02 on it at 10-12 psi depending on what I'm shooting for. Typically in 5-7 days I'm where I want to be.

8 days ago I racked a brown porter to a keg. I had not cold crashed this beer. Put the keg in the kegerator without hooking it up to the gas to allow it to chill for 24 hrs. Hooked up the gas the following evening and let it sit for 4 days. Checked it. Nothing. Figured it must have been a temp issue and turned the gas up to 15. 2 days, no difference. took it to 20 psi, rocked the keg for 5 minutes. 2 days, no difference. Put another keg in at the same 20 psi (exact same procedure, racked warm, no gas for 24 hrs to chill) and that one is fully carbed in 3 days, porter still the same. Leak tested the keg with soapy water, no visable leaks. Pull the PRV, there's plenty of pressure in the keg.


General Homebrew Discussion / Ever have one of those beers.....
« on: March 15, 2013, 04:07:09 PM »
...that seems to fight you every step of the way?

Brewed my standard over hopped 4.5% abv pale a couple 3 weeks back. Here are a few highlights:

Mashing in: Ball valve open. Unaware brewer in sock feet.

Boil: Out of propane at 30 minutes

End of boil hop additions: Fancy new El Dorado hops come out of bag in one cow pie-like brick. Brewer attempts to separate said brick with thumbs. Brick explodes. Fancy El Dorado hops all over kitchen floor.

Dry hop: Repeat above, only hops are all over bottom of ferment fridge.

Cold crash: Brewer forgets that a fridge outside behaves differently in winter than a fridge outside in the summer. Beer freezes.

Fining: Gelatin turns into gelatin before making it into beer.

Kegging: Normal routine, except lid gasket decides things look better at the bottom of 5 gallons of beer.

In spite of all that, the hydrometer sample tasted pretty good.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Hey Michigan
« on: November 28, 2012, 01:57:57 PM »
I'm headed up to traverse city this weekend to celebrate my birthday, and as a gift I'm having 2 of my cornies filled, one at Shorts, the other at Right Brain. Anyone been to either taproom lately and can make a recommendation? I'm familiar (of course) with all of the year round stuff from Shorts, and most of the flagship beers at Right Brain, just looking for something pub only thats great.


All Grain Brewing / Toastin Oats
« on: November 09, 2012, 03:40:12 PM »
Brewing a mild tomorrow, basically the recipe out of BCS with a couple of minor tweaks. I'd like to add some toasted oats to it this time around. I've never used them before, so a couple of questions are in order:

What oats should I use? Pretty sure my LHBS has flaked and "regular" oats.

Oven or pan? How long, what color etc?

Should they sit a couple of days before use?

Add at the beginning of the mash? End?

I'm assuming they dont need to be milled.


Yeast and Fermentation / Great attenuation.....a little too great
« on: October 11, 2012, 02:07:05 PM »
Brewed an ESB a while back, racked it to a keg last night and checked the FG, which was 1.008 (expecting around 1.014). Fullers strain, 1.5L starter pitched at 18 hours. With an SG of 1.059, that's approx 87% attenuation and 6.8% ABV....

I've used 002 a fair amount and never had it go this low. The beer tasted clean, a touch boozy but it's green yet. Zero off flavors I can detect, anyway. Decent mouthfeel, didn't seem overly dry.

I'm not sure where to start, my refractometer, hydrometer or all of my thermometers. I mashed at 154, but even if I was off by 10 degrees low, I wouldnt think 002 would go 87%. My beers all attenuate well, but somethins funky here.

Kegging and Bottling / Cleaning kegerator
« on: October 08, 2012, 07:48:30 PM »
So I acquired this:

And I realize now I have no idea how to clean lines etc, other than a bottle of BLC the guys at the LHBS told me I needed. My understanding was to mix up the appropriate solution in a keg and push it through the system with c02? Also, what about the faucets? Do they need special attention or is the BLC treatment enough?

Thanks in advance, don't know where I'd be without the awesome resource that is this forum.

Kegging and Bottling / 2nd half of keg undercarbed at bottling?
« on: October 08, 2012, 01:53:06 PM »
Bottled a beer the other night, usual routine for a beer at 2.5ish volumes. I usually pull a half pint or so a day when I think its close, when it's right I'll bottle. Set up my gear and got to work with the beergun. bottled a case or so, poured one for myself while I was at it, and it was right where I wanted it. Got a 6 pack into the second case and I notice I'm getting less foam in the neck, didn't think too much of it at the time. Opened a bottle out of that case a cpl days later and it's maybe 1.5 vols. Tried another, same thing. Tried one from the first case and its 2.5. Very strange.

The only thing different on this batch from every other is I dry hopped in the keg. I did not remove them while I was bottling. Could that have anything to do with it? Ideas?


All Grain Brewing / Brewing for a party on a deadline.
« on: October 03, 2012, 03:58:49 PM »
So, we're having a big party on the 19th of this month. I already have a couple of beers close to being ready to keg, and then bottle, but I need 2 beers for the kegerator and I'm worried I wont have enough time. I decided to brew a 1.038 mild for one tap, which I think I can get into a keg pretty quickly at that gravity and using 002 which clears pretty quick for me. The rub is I have a couple of dear friends coming that LOVE IPA and I don't have any on hand. I can't brew until friday afternoon (the 5th) and I need it in the keg and ready to serve on the 19th.

Two questions: a) can it be done, and b) do you have any suggestions as far as process or recipe that can help me get it done in time. The beer I have in mind is a RR Blind Pig clone at 1/057 OG.

Any help MUCH appreciated.

General Homebrew Discussion / Where'd my hops go?
« on: October 01, 2012, 03:37:23 PM »
2 very hoppy beers I've brewed before, one an IPA (RR Blind Pig clone) and the other Kelsey McNairs west coast bitter. Brewed again, with 2 changes. I swapped out 001 for 007 , and I fined both with gelatin. Identical grist, hops, mash temps, etc.

End result, huge reduction in hop flavor and aroma. In the IPA, there's a fruity note that I wasn't surprised to get given the 007, but the hop flavor is almost totally absent. The west coast bitter seems thin, and while the bittering is good, the hop flavor is also totally absent. It's a 5 gallon batch with 5 oz at flameout and another 5 oz in dry hops. I dry hopped in the keg in an attempt to salvage it.

What I'm wondering is if it's the yeast or the fining? I used 1/2 tsp gelatin per fermentor and left them at 35 for a week. They are both crystal clear, which is great but I'll take a bit of haze over losing flavor anyday.


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