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Topics - t-bone

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Yeast and Fermentation / New Toy
« on: July 14, 2013, 05:50:06 AM »
I want to purchase a microscope for yeast counting and infection identification.  I searched and there was a informative post by member Kaiser.

What do you guys think of this

I am not well versed in microscopes.  Is this a decent model from a reputable brand?

Thanks as always


Yeast and Fermentation / Infection
« on: June 06, 2013, 02:50:58 AM »
OK Guys this one has me scratching my head.

I use a 26 cu foot chest freezer with a Johnson controller for my fermentation chamber.  A while back I was making a few batches of various lagers (four in total) and had them fermenting in the chest freezer.  I got lazy for a couple of these beers and didn't make yeast starters.  As a result the beer, all the beer, got horribly infected, lactobacter most likely.  OK flash forward a few months and I placed another couple of beers in the freezer and they also got infected.

I suspected a sanitation issue.  I tore down all my equipment and scrubbed, pbw'd, and star sanned everything.  I use a blichmann thermonator  plate chiller and I pumped pbw at 150 deg thru it for about four hours.  Then cooked it at 350 deg in the oven and pumped pbw back thru it.  Then I soaked it in star san for an hour.

I made another couple of batches  and didn't place them in the freezer.  No issues.  Then I made a run of the mill ESB, a recipe I have brewed dozens of times with no issues and placed the beer in the freezer and viola infection.  The ESB was pitched with dry yeast that was rehydrated exactly as specified by the directions.

Here's the question can a freezer harbor a lactobacter infection and if so how do you get ride of it?



All Grain Brewing / Water Connundrum
« on: March 26, 2013, 05:20:16 PM »
I need help with with my water adjustment.  I have been brewing with RO water but want to try to use the local water supply with no RO dilution.  The water is filtered thru an activated carbon filter.  Other than that it is untouched. 

Here's the profile

Total disolved solids           700
Phenol Alkalinity CaCO3    <1.0
Total Alkalinity CaCO3       133
Total Hardness CaCO3        230
Chlorides CL                      133
Sulfates SO4                     182
Flourides                           .62
Silica SiO2                         20
Nitrates NO3                      2.1
Nitrites NO2                     <0.05
Phosphates PO4                 .68
Calcium CA                         71
Magnesium Mg                    15
Sodium Na                         133
Potassium K                        8.6
Iron Fe                             <0.03
Manganese                      <0.0010
ph                                      7.3

I know this water is pretty bad.  I want to brew lagers (Pils, Amber, and Dortmunder).  What additions would you recommend excluding RO dilution.



Equipment and Software / Chilling
« on: September 05, 2012, 01:28:04 AM »
I have a question concerning wort chilling.  I am currently using a Blichmann plate chiller in a standard setup.

Here's what I want to try.  Listed in order of connection 

Boil kettle to
march pump to
hop filter to
plate chiller to
boil kettle for a whirlpool thru tangential inlet.

I plan to whirlpool and chill for approximately fifteen minutes.  Then let the wort settle for five.  Then pump to carboy.

Good idea or bad?  Any potential drawbacks?

As always thanks for any input


All Grain Brewing / Parti-Gyle Brew.
« on: July 02, 2012, 06:10:23 PM »
I'm making a big Russian imperial stout this weekend.  As is typical the grain bill is pretty substantial, not huge, for a 5 gallon batch.  I was thinking of trying a parti-gyle beer with the left overs. 

This is the grain bill (5 gallon batch)

10.5 lbs Marris otter crisp
2 lbs      crystal 40
1.5 lbs   Munich 10l
1.25 lb   American chocolate malt
.25 lb     black patent
1 lb        flaked barley

Any ideas for a beer recipe to do with the second runnings. 

As an incentive I will send a complementary 22 oz beer to whoever provides the recipe I use.

Thanks as always

All Grain Brewing / Mash schedules for Lagers
« on: June 30, 2012, 02:29:54 PM »
I’ve been accused of being a day late and dollar short before; but I love to brew lagers in summer.
I have a couple of lager brew days coming up I would like to hear what mash schedule everyone uses for them.  “Nateo’ has an excellent thread started addressing ‘whether triple-decoction or no-sparge single infusion provides better results in a pale, delicate, malt-centric beer for an average homebrewer.’  I look forward to reading the results.

I usually do step mashing all around but would like to try something different on this round.  Has anyone used Hochkurz mash method?  I’ve read that some malt masters have stated that a single infusion is permissible even with lagers.  Which mash schedule would be most appropriate for the following beer styles:

Bavarian Helles
Generic American Lager (very light)

As always thanks to everyone who responds.


All Grain Brewing / Brew Suggestions
« on: June 23, 2012, 01:19:39 PM »
Hello everyone I'm new to this forum. 

I would like some opinions, advice, or just plain rantings and ravings on my brew method.  I’ve been brewing all grain for a couple of years and I’m trying to work on polishing my brewing skills.  Here’s a quick description of a brew day.

Water Treatment

Use RO water with one teaspoon of CaCo3, Gypsum, and phosphoric acid (in lieu of acidulated malt)


Mill grain on motorized barley crusher stock setting

My defacto mash schedule is a three step mash at the following temps:
113 degree for 15 minutes
144 degree for 35 minutes
158 degree for 25 minutes
172 degree for 5 minutes
Mash out with 172 degree water.

I mix everything thoroughly at dough in and then don’t mix it again.  I use a sabco rims wizard for recirculating, maintain temps, and data logging.
Pump to boil kettle
At the conclusion of the boil I recirculate the wort with a tangential inlet for 15 min to whirlpool.
I then pump through an external hop filter to a plate chiller.
Pitch yeast starter (usually 1 liter from magnetic stirrer grown for about 6 hours)

Here are my questions.  Should I be mixing the mash tun more?  I don’t conduct an iodine test after mashing should I incorporate on?  I live in the desert southwest so summer brew days are usually in the triple digits.  Even with the plate chiller the lowest I can drop the wort temp is 78-80.  After pitching I move the carboy to a temp controlled chest freezer set at 65 (for ale strains).

Any recommendations or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



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