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Topics - Herminator

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Beer Recipes / German Pilsner Recipe/Procedure Advice
« on: July 22, 2015, 03:09:47 AM »
So I am in search of some guidance.  I love a good german pilsner but have yet to brew one.  I am deciding to take a stab at one this weekend and am looking for some advice on two items/issues.

A brief snapshot of the recipe: 5.5 gallons
100% pils (10.5#)
1 oz Magnum or Perle at 60 mins
1 oz Hallertauer at 20 mins and 5 minutes
White Labs 830

1. I have planned to do a single step mash with a protein rest for 15 minutes at 15 minutes and then ramping up to 148 sacch rest for  60 minutes.  My question, which I am asking because I have found conflicting opinions/suggestions.  Would I be better off doing a step mash or decoction?  I was thinking for a beer like a german pils, I would want to limit any mallard reactions which is why I decided to go with a step mash, but would love to know what others do and any feedback you can provide. 

2. D-rest: I have read to ramp up to 58-60 when activity starts to slow but also have seen ramping 1 degree F per day.  Any suggestions or thoughts on best practice? 

Thank you for any feedback or thoughts you can provide.  Brewing my first pils on a new system is probably not the smartest ideas but...hey! What the heck!



Beer Travel / New Orleans Beer Spots?
« on: March 21, 2015, 07:14:38 PM »
Besides NOLA brewing, anyone have any suggestions for places to go for quality beer?


All Grain Brewing / Berliner Weisse Question - Blend +Lacto?
« on: February 26, 2015, 08:39:09 PM »
So I am going to take a stab at brewing a Berliner Weisse.  I have never brewed this style before and decided to go with White Labs 630 to get it started.  The 630 is a blend of weizen yeast and lacto.  From what I have read, the Lacto can be slow to grab and the blends may not sour to a high level.  My question, is adding a vial of lacto in addition the blend a solid option?  Or should I just let the blend do its thing? 

If adding both the lacto and blend, I was thinking of adding the lacto for 2-3 prior to the yeast.  Sour/infected beers are a new frontier for me but I am excited to get started. 


General Homebrew Discussion / BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« on: February 24, 2015, 03:12:06 AM »
Well...results are in and I passed the tasting exam. Scored an 80 which I feel good about.  Only a recognized judge as I only have 1 experience point.  Need to get some more experience points.  Anyways, just wanted to share the good news and say thank you, as being part of this forum helped my knowledge base.  Cheers! 

Equipment and Software / Welding question
« on: September 28, 2014, 03:22:57 AM »
Alright, I am new to welding and I  am currently building a single tier stand. I have a question about welding on the legs. I am building the top tier by welding all four corners. I want to lay that on the four legs and weld them on. My question is about welding where the legs and top will join. Should I weld the top tier and then double weld or should I connect the legs and try to weld the three pieces together with essentially one bead? 

Any feedback or thoughts?

I know think I should have welding the legs as the corners but thought it would be more structurally sound to lay the top into legs.

Thanks for any advice you can provide.


Ingredients / Sour wash or not wash
« on: July 22, 2014, 04:31:41 PM »
So I have a co-worker who has a booming sour cherry tree in her yard.  We made a deal on me taking the cherries for an upcoming brew day. 

My plan is to make a sour cherry ale (not sure what kind yet).  I plan to freeze them until I decide on a recipe and ensure they keep until I brew. Because I am freezing them, I am sure that most of the wild yeast and micro-organisms will be killed off.  This is a good and bad thing for me as I am interested in the wild yeast. 

My question.  Would you wash them  and freeze or freeze unwashed?  Any suggestions? 


Yeast and Fermentation / Cold Crashing Causing Oxidation?
« on: July 03, 2014, 08:45:33 PM »
So I visited another forum just to check it out.  Then a thread grabbed my attention.  The thread was about cold crashing causing oxidation.  Basically what was discussed is that cold temperatures cause air to be sucked in and thus O2 and CO2 mix together.  Additionally the conversation indicated only cold crash under pressure.  Anyone have any experience with this? 

This jumped out to me because the last two beers I have cold crashed in the carboy have a slight oxidation flavor that I just couldn't figure out. 


Kegging and Bottling / Bottle conditioned lager
« on: April 18, 2014, 12:58:34 AM »
So I bottled a lager about 3 weeks ago. Lagered at 35 for 1.5 months. Wanted to see how it was coming so cracked one open and nothing. Flat as the day I bottled it.

Anything I can do? Really bummed as most of what I read only suggested new yeast after 2 months.


Events / Conference Week Events
« on: March 07, 2014, 06:58:55 PM »
Anyone doing any of the events or tours?  I looking at a few options. 



Yeast and Fermentation / Dunkel Lager Temp
« on: February 23, 2014, 08:52:01 PM »
So I have a quick question about Dunkel lager temp.  I and a friend recently brewed a dunkel (thanks for all of the help and feedback on the recipe by the way!) and we fermented at a solid 52 and then raised for a D rest at 63-64 for 4 days. 

We racked into our layering vessels.  My question is, what temperature should we be lagering? I was under the assumption that it should be lagered around high 30s, getting there by dropping 5 degrees per day or so.  Some information indicates to lager at 50 degrees, which from all that I have read and gathered is a little warm.  Can anyone help with some clarification?

I am lagering in a carboy.



General Homebrew Discussion / mash-in volume concern
« on: February 22, 2014, 03:50:02 PM »
So I am planning to brew a session pale with 8.40# of grain for a 5.5 gallon batch.  Utilizing a popular brew software program, it indicates that I need to mash in with with 2.88 gallons of water and sparge (in my case, batch sparge) with 7 gallons.  It seems rather low amount of strike water and a large amount of sparge water.  But, it is consistent with the 1.25 qt/lb ratio. 

I typically mash in with roughly 4-4.5 gallons (based on the recipe) and try to create equal runnings, but for some reason, I am getting drastic numbers on this one, utilizing both software and my own calculations.


Roughly 2 gallon evap (rocky mountains), with little equipment loss. 

All Grain Brewing / Worst Efficiency Yet
« on: February 17, 2014, 04:56:48 PM »
So yesterday was an all time low for me.  I hit roughly 52% efficiency. I have been really tweaking my system and averaging 75% with exception to yesterday. 

I batch sparge with a screen.  I milled my grain by hand utilizing a barley crusher at my LHBS because that seemed to make a difference in previous batches.  I hit my strike and volumes right on the money. 

I just can't seem to understand why my eff. is so low on this one.  I probably would have been better off no-sparge on this batch....because from what I understand they even get better efficiency than I did yesterday. 

Any suggestions?  Obviously I know it is difficult to offer suggestions without knowing my process and equipment, but I really am having trouble wrapping my head around this low OG. 


Beer Recipes / Dunkel Recipe - Feedback
« on: January 30, 2014, 05:35:00 PM »
Will be taking a leap into brewing a lager for the first time.  Thoughts on this dunkel recipe?  Any feedback is appreciated. 
Munich Malt     10 lbs 12 oz    90%
Crystal 60L       8 oz              4%
Dextrine           8 oz              4%
Carafa I           4 oz              2%
Northern Brewer   .5 oz  90 min Boil
Northern Brewer   .3 oz  60 min Boil
Northern Brewer   .5 oz  10 min Aroma

Munich Lager Wyeast 2308

O.G. 1.054
IBU  22.2
SRM  16.7
Est ABV 5.5%

Equipment and Software / single tier vs. two tier brew structure
« on: January 21, 2014, 09:02:03 PM »
Alright...I have been thinking about this for months now.  As of recently, I have been planning for a 2 tier structure with the HLT and MT utilizing a pump and then gravity feeding into the BK.  I have began to get all the components necessary and then thought about direct fire MT with re-circ.  but then thought about the weird set up with having to pull from the side of the MT (due to gravity feeding the BK) into the pump then back up to the top of the MT. 

So...then I started thinking about single tier.  To be honest though, I like the idea of only having one pump and would love to continue to batch sparge and control the mash out flow. 

So, I am trying to gather opinions and really see if there is anything I am missing.  I am starting to keep myself up at night thinking about this.  ha.  Any suggestions or opinions on 2 tier or single tier?


Events / NHC 2014 - Lottery System for Registration?
« on: December 21, 2013, 02:49:23 PM »
So I was just recently looking at the latest issue of Zymurgy online and noticed that there was a small write up about NHC in Grand Rapids. It indicated a pre-registration over time but there is a chance of not being selected to attend.  Can anyone explain how this will work?  Also, when would one know if one is selected to attend through this lottery system?  I have never seen a conference utilize a lottery registration system.


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