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Topics - BrodyR

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General Homebrew Discussion / First time using Gelatin
« on: September 28, 2015, 10:42:21 AM »
Currently I have a czech pilsner lagering/carbing up at 30f and decided to give Gelatin a crack on it.

I heated 2 oz of water and 1/2 tsp of Gelatin in a mug using 7 second bursts until it hit 145f. Then I poured it into my serving keg. The plan is to wait like 4 days then pull a couple pints off. I just wanted to check to see if theres anything I'm doing wrong or should be aware of? I'm thinking ideally in the future I'll do this in the fermentor so I can completely rack off it.

General Homebrew Discussion / PBW Alternative?
« on: September 22, 2015, 04:59:50 PM »
I've been pretty happy with using PBW except for the cost. I've heard oxyclean mentioned before as a cheap, effective alternative but never used it - any thoughts?

General Homebrew Discussion / Goosing the Mash? Brewday issues
« on: September 22, 2015, 07:00:57 AM »
So yesterday I tried out a couple new things: 1st was I tried a real quick brewday set up (meant for workdays) which was a 3 Gallon BIAB with the mash and boil shortened to 45m (inspired by the brulosopher exbeeriments). I also used Lactic Acid + a medicine dropper instead of my usual acid malt.

A couple things went a little off during the day - first, my pH dipped too low after the acid addition (like mid-high 4s) which I had to increase with a few chalk additions. And mashing in the kettle meant a more variable mash temp then I'm used to in a cooler which meant I put it on low heat and stirred a couple times. At the end of the mash though I had a nice pH of 5.3 and hit my efficiency target.

Is that really all that matters? Or should all the goosing that involves temporarily high or low pH, chalk/acid additions, and fluctuating temperatures negatively affect my beer?

Oh, and my big mishap of the day was using a mesh bag that accidentally went through a regular laundry cycle with detergent... had meant to rewash that a couple times in water only. Hoping the residue doesn't lead to issues. I guess that's a downside of being rushed, but all in all it was a nice easy brew day that only took around 3 hours. Perfect for a work night.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Pilsner Urquell
« on: September 11, 2015, 07:54:22 AM »
This may sound funny from the guy who's been posting about Czech Pilsners a lot recently... but I just had my first PU (of recent memory, I know I've tried some at one point in the past) out of the 16oz cans. Especially considering it's an SAB Miller brand, I thought it was awesome. The very noticeable diacytel was interesting which, I think, is what made it taste different than the various American Craft Bo Pils I have had.

Any one know if the beer underwent any heavy changes after the SAB Miller acquisition?

General Homebrew Discussion / Berlinner Weiss Help
« on: September 08, 2015, 06:32:15 AM »
A friend of mine just got into brewing and wants to tackle a Berlinner Weiss for his 2nd brew. I haven't done any sours yet so wanted to make sure we have everything straight:

1) Grain Bill: 60% Pils, 40% White Wheat
2) Hops: 6ibus from Hallertauer Mitt
3) Water: Targeting 50 Calcium, 50 Sulfate, 100 Chloride
4) Yeast: Wyeast 5335 then S-05

The Process:
We plan on doing a normal BIAB mash targeting 5.3pH.
After the mash we plan on cooling to ~120f (no boil yet) then adjusting the pH down to 4.5
Rack into a carboy with a heating belt and wrap it up to stop it from loosing too much heat
Pitch the Lacto (no starter and no oxygen) and let it cook for a few days.
Transfer the brew back to the kettle, boil for 10m to add the hops and kill the bugs
Chill and ferment with S-05 as normal.
Are we messing anything up process or ingredient wise? Think a 10m boil is going to a problem, especially with Pils malt? Was considering a full length boil.

Kegging and Bottling / Carbonating PSI - Temperature of Serving or Carbing?
« on: September 07, 2015, 03:02:07 PM »
When carbonating in a keg and using a chart like this ( do you set the regulator to the desired pressure for serving or the temperature when carbonating?

In my case I'm lagering at 30f but plan on serving at 46f - wasn't sure if I should have it pumping at 15psi to hit 2.5 volume when serving or at 7psi.

General Homebrew Discussion / Czech Pils Water Profile
« on: August 31, 2015, 07:13:27 AM »
Low Calcium, Low Sulfate, Low Chloride right?

Currently my profile is around 30ppm for each. Think I should make any tweaks? pH adjusted to 5.3 with acid malt, filtered tap blended with R/O water, very small addiion of CaCl & Gypsum (1g each).

Ingredients / Saaz or Hallertauer Mitt?
« on: August 27, 2015, 07:29:43 AM »
Being an ale guy recently getting into lager I haven't brewed with either. What do you guys prefer for a pils and how heavily do you tend to late hop with the style? I was thinking about a FWH & 10m addition but open to suggestions.

If I understand correctly a Czech pils uses all Saaz, German styles hop heavier and use German noble hops, and Helles is a lighter hopped pils? Anyway my recipe is:

100% Pils (well almost 100%, a touch of acid malt for ph)
Czechvar Yeast

Sounds like Best is the preferred pils grain?

Yeast and Fermentation / Lager Fermentations
« on: August 24, 2015, 07:39:42 AM »
Hi guys - One lager batch in I had a few more questions/clarifications I'm trying to sort out:

1) Aeration: I don't own any aeration setup. My current process is when I cool down the wort I open the valve, let the wort pass through a filter, and splash into my fermentor. After that I give it a good strong splashy stir. I understand getting enough oxygen into the wort is more important in lager brewing. Do you think getting an aeration setup would help a lot and if so where do I begin? Basically I would need a wand/stone and an O2 tank and regulator? With a 2l starter is this less important?

2) The Lagering Phase: I was looking through some of the award winners recipes on the page and noticed that a few people lager on the yeast. Is there a benefit to letting the beer sit on the full yeast cake for a month or 2? I always thought this created problems after about a month.

3) Starter size: For my first batch I pitched a vial of white labs into 2l of 1.040 wort the morning of brewday and allowed it to cook until the following morning (after my wort cooled to the 50s in the kegerator). Is this too little yeast? I hear a lot of monster starters for lagers.

4) Am I really wasting my time and should just do the fast lager approach with the ramp up/ramp down serve in under a month?

5) Concerning Hops: Not really a yeast question but do noble hops really make a difference? If I'm just using bittering additions why not use whatever high alphas I have in the freezer?

Other Fermentables / Cider on Nitro?
« on: August 21, 2015, 08:31:03 AM »
Anyone ever try this?

Currently I have a C02 tap and a nitro tap on my kegerator. I'll have a lager taking up the C02 tap and was planning on tapping a cider with it when I host the Eagles-Falcons game.

I do have the ability to switch out the taps and serve them both on C02 but thought cider on nitro may be interesting.

General Homebrew Discussion / Lagering/Filtration
« on: August 19, 2015, 12:47:31 PM »
I currently have my first batch of lager lagering away at 34f (Fest beer: Split of Munich, Pale, Vienna with White Labs oktoberfest) and had a few questions before I try a pils:

Are there any intricacies to lager brewing vs ales besides a higher pitch rate and obviously temperature?

Since with a lager you're going for that clean/crisp character is filtration more important and would incorporating a filter reduce the lagering time? I think I remember hearing the Miller turns their beer around in 3 weeks?

I'm not really sure of the science involved but what are the beneficial effects of cold conditioning for an extended period except dropping out the yeast and other stuff?

Ingredients / Carafa in a Stout?
« on: July 31, 2015, 09:12:17 AM »
Since I now have a nitro tap I was planning on doing a Guinness clone but have been thinking about going in a different direction. I recently got to hear Randy Mosher speak and bought his book Mastering Homebrew. In it he mentions how, despite the names, if you want a smooth chocolate flavor from a dark malt Carafa or Chocolate Wheat is a much better choice than Chocolate malt or Roasted Barley.

My thought was to keep the Guinness inspired theme but sub Flaked Oats for the Flaked Barley and use Carafa III instead of Roasted Barley, maybe a little lactose too (Marris Otter as base, Irish Ale yeast). When I entered the recipe in beersmith a few questions came up:

1) Beersmith recommends no more than 5% Carafa III - I was planning on using 10+%. Do you think this will cause any issues I'm nit aware of?

2) I know the dehusked special version is supposed to be a lot smoother and sometimes used for Black IPAs. Think this would be a better call or would the dehusked leave too little 'stout' flavor.

3) Is Carafa just a bad idea overall if I'm going for a stout character?

General Homebrew Discussion / Nitro
« on: July 24, 2015, 07:23:29 AM »
I think I'm going to run out to my LHBS this evening and finally pull the trigger on a nitro setup.

I currently keg so I assume all I'll need is a stout faucet, a beer gas tank, and regulator - I have no experience with nitro so is their anything I should be aware of? My plan was to lightly carb with C02, switch over to beer gas to serve, and run it through the stout faucet.

Hoping this works out well and I'll be pulling an ordinary bitter next week with it.

Yeast and Fermentation / Fullers - WLP 002
« on: July 23, 2015, 08:04:37 AM »
I brewed my first batch with this strain (an ordinary bitter - Muntons MO, Thomas Fawcett C45, Boadicea Hops) and good lord everyone wasn't kidding about how flocculant it is! I'm 10 days from brewery and just pulled a sample and it was clearer than any beer I've made even after a cold crash. 

I did detect a bit of diacytel, while it doesn't seem out of place for this strain/style I was hoping to tone it down a bit. Should I just rouse the fermentor and bump the temp to 70f or something for a few days? I fermented at 65f.

All Grain Brewing / Water for an Oktoberfest?
« on: July 20, 2015, 06:48:51 AM »
I'm about to try my first true lager and had a question about water. I've been messing around a lot lately with Sulfate & Chloride in my pale ales but wasn't sure what an appropriate level is for a malty lager.

My first thought was to target around 50 or 60ppm each of sulfate & chloride, shoot for a 5.3ph, and at least 50ppm calcium. Any thoughts?

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