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Topics - awfenske

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Yeast and Fermentation / Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
« on: March 04, 2013, 07:35:37 PM »
I have an Imperial Nut Brown in primary fermentation - today is the 11th day in the primary. After two weeks, assuming I have hit the appropriate FG, I'd like to rack it and add Biofine, then bottle it once the Biofine has done its work (maybe 24-36hrs, based on visual).

I used Biofine recently in a batch of mead I made, and it had an amazing effect even within the first few hours. Over a month after bottling there is almost zero visible sediment in the bottles. So I figured it would be great to use this stuff in beer, but I want to make sure it will not drop out all or too much of the yeast since I will be bottle conditioning.

Just to clarify (no pun intended!), I'm looking for opinions or experience on using Biofine after fermentation is complete, not to stir up (again, no pun intended) epic battles about how long to wait before racking to secondary or whether secondary fermentation is necessary or beneficial. I'm only planning on racking it in order to get the Biofine mixed in without kicking up the yeast cake, so if the consensus is that the Biofine will drop out too much yeast then I'll just bottle straight out of the primary after the two-week mark, again assuming the correct FG has been reached. I would love to be able to drink a home brew straight from the bottle rather than decanting and leaving that precious bit behind, but maybe I'm just crazy.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Why does all my beer taste the same?
« on: February 05, 2013, 03:02:20 PM »
I started brewing recently and have made three batches from extract kits (details below). I had a little experience before this in helping my dad make mead and wine, so I at least had a clue when I started. I sanitized and followed all directions religiously, and I ended up with three beers that should taste pretty different from each other but all taste incredibly similar. There are no off-flavors. The aroma is very nice on all of them, and the color, head, etc. all look right. OG and FG were exactly where the instructions specified. But they all have a very thin flavor profile and/or seem overcarbonated, with only subtle notes of the beer's intended flavor.

#1) Brewer's Best Scottish Ale, OG 1.034, boil volume 2.5gal
#2) Midwest Supplies Hex Nut Brown Ale, OG 1.043, boil volume 5gal
#3) Midwest Supplies Irish Stout, OG 1.047, boil volume 3gal

After the first one came out thin but with everything else seemingly on-target, I figured I needed to steep the specialty grains for longer (30 minutes on batches 2 and 3 compared to 20 on batch 1), which resulted in little to no improvement. All three seemed to have a much fuller flavor just before bottling compared to after bottle conditioning - going into the bottles each batch tasted great, and all three notably different from each other as they should be, but after 2 weeks in the bottle they all taste very similar and seem to have lost their flavor. There might be a tiny improvement in the flavor after extra time in the bottles (a month or two), but it's small enough that I could just be fooling myself.

I'm using secondary fermentation (roughly a week in the primary and a week in the secondary), bottle conditioning with the 3/4 cup of priming sugar that is included in the kits, and the fermentation/carbonation temperature is around 65F.

I'm stumped.

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