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Topics - madscientist

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Kegging and Bottling / Keg... "Logistics"
« on: March 16, 2014, 05:14:11 PM »
Hey all, I have a question.  Currently my keg fridge is only big enough for one keg and a CO2 tank ($40 craigslist find).  I am OK with this, but my wife and I are throwing a party in May, and of course I am making the beer.  I am OK with bottling one batch and kegging the other, but if I can use both of my kegs that would be even better. 

If I carbonate one keg in my fridge then move it to say a 60-68 degree room whilst the other keg carbonates for a week, is that going to cause some issues with the carbonation in the first keg?  Serving I'm not worried about because the kegs will be in a tub of ice. 

All Grain Brewing / Water/Mash questions re: Kolsch
« on: March 03, 2014, 06:02:37 PM »
Hello once again,

I am looking to brew a Kolsch for my latest venture - A style I have really come to love.  I've done several All grain batches and seem to have finally dialed in my process, and I have all the necessary temp control in place for a beer like this. 

I've been reading a lot of resources and it would seem that it'd be in my best interest to shoot for a mash pH of 5.4 for this beer.  The question is what is the best way to do that?  With a grist of 93% Pils Malt and 7% Wheat malt, i should have a mash pH of roughly 5.8.  Would acid malt be the appropriate way to go, or is there a better way to treat my water to achieve my target pH? 

Once again, your help is appreciated.

Beer Recipes / Pale ale feedback
« on: November 08, 2013, 05:40:50 PM »
So I'm finally going to be able to brew my second all grain batch this weekend (albeit at 5am) with all the suggestions you guys made for increasing my efficiency.  Heading to the store after work to pick up the ingredients, and I was just hoping I could get some feedback on my next recipe (Pale Ale)

9.0 lb Maris Otter
3.0 lb Vienna
0.5 lb Crystal 20
0.5 lb Crystal 40

Mash 152 for 60 min/Batch Sparge

0.5 oz warrior @ 60 min
0.5 oz Nelson Sauvin @ 20 min
0.5 oz warrior @ 5 min
1 oz Nelson Sauvin @ flame out

ferment with US-05 @ 62-64 deg F
Dry hop 7 days with Nelson Sauvin and Zythos


Hello AHA.  It's been a while since I posted here, but I have been on a brewing hiatus for the past few months while my wife and I prepared to move into our first house.  Since it is a brand new house, and she didn't want me brewing in the kitchen, she gave me the full support to convert from extract and partial mash to all grain.  This weekend i brewed my first two batches - Two hefeweizens for an upcoming party. 

The brew day went as planned and I didn't have any more troubles than expected for working with a new set up, however, on both batches my OG came out significantly lower than anticipated.  Beersmith told me 1.055 and I got around 1.043-1.045 on both batches.  While it's not a huge concern to me, I would like to know where I can improve my process. Here is what I did:

10lb grain (6# wheat, 3# pils, 1#munich, hefty scoop of rice hulls - figure 0.5 lb) - Grain was crushed by my LHBS.
1 oz German Hallertauer @ 60 min

Mash @ 1.4 qt/gal for 60 min - 152 deg F (14.00 qt)
Batch sparge with 4.2 gal of water - 168 deg F
Total boil volume = 6.5 gallons.  Boil 60 min, chilled to 70 and pitched a 1.2L starter of WY 3068
Anticipated OG: 1.055

So as I said before, my OG came in around 1.043-1.045 for each batch.  While 152 was my target mash temp, I only ended up hitting 149-150.  I didn't preheat the mash tun, and I think I could heat my strike water up to a higher temp.  (I only was going to 164). 

After the 60 min mash, I recirculated about 2 quarts of wort and drained the tun into the kettle.  Added my sparge water (at 168), mixed thoroughly (at least what I considered thorough), recirculated another 2 qts, and drained for a total boil volume of 6.5 gallons.  I had no stuck sparges, but there was some liquid left in the bottom of the tun (expected dead volume?)

My mash tun is a 52qt cooler with SS Braid. 

I believe my lack of OG can be attributed to the mash but I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what I could change.

Edit: I did not see a previous post on almost the same topic, so I'll read through that but feedback would be appreciated nonetheless.

Yeast and Fermentation / Rouse yeast?
« on: November 25, 2012, 03:42:43 PM »
So this relates to this topic

I'm wondering if I Should rouse my yeast and see if I can get it to go down a few more points and maybe clear up a bit.  Right now it's as cloudy as hell.  While I forgot to write it down I'm almost positive I used Irish moss.  Also I'm wondering if I should attempt a cold crash?  I would have to stick the fermenter on my deck since I don't have a fridge.  Is this just asking for trouble?  The gravity sample tasted fine.  Maybe slightly sweet but nothing stands out as a problem.  Currently the fermenter is at about 69-70F.

Equipment and Software / Boil kettle
« on: November 21, 2012, 09:36:10 PM »
So, my wife and I are looking to purchase a house in the next few months.  Once we move out of our tiny apartment, I'll be able to take my brewing to the next level - all grain, so I'm attempting to put a wishlist of equipment and upgrades together.  My first purchase will most likely be a turkey fryer with 30qt pot - I want to add weldless conversion kit so i don't have to siphon the wort out like I currently do.  My question is - what goes between the wort and the break material/hops?  I've been looking online and stuff like the bazooka screen and some of the false bottoms say they're only good for leaf hops.  Is there a false bottom that will work for pellet hops or are these kettles usually set up that they don't have anything there?  Thanks.

Yeast and Fermentation / Dead yeast?
« on: November 13, 2012, 12:31:44 PM »
So Sunday I brewed an IPA and pitched a packet of US-05.  Starting gravity was 1.063.  I don't typically rehydrate and have ha excellent results.  So like the others I just sprinkled on top.  Pitching temp was probably around 62.  There have been no visible signs of fermentation.  When I looked at the beer it looks like its done fermenting but there is no Krausen at all.  Refractometer says its still 1.063.  So I'm wondering if the yeast is dead, I killed it, and should I repitch or rouse it somehow.  Yeas was purchased from my LHBS and well within the exp date. 


Beer Recipes / IPA Help
« on: September 30, 2012, 01:30:12 PM »
Since I've started brewing I have yet to brew an IPA.  I really want to try one for my next batch, but I need some help building the recipe.  I have decided I want to use a Columbus, Summit, Simcoe, Amarillo combination of hops, bittering with Columbus.  Below is the grain bill for a partial mash 5 gal batch with a 3 gallon boil volume.  I am just unsure if I should combine hops at each interval (20, 10, 2, 0 min) or use each one individually.  Here is the grain bill:

1.5 lb Pilsner malt
1.0 lb Munich malt
0.5 lb Crystal 20
0.25 lb Crystal 40
0.25 lb 2-Row malt
3.3 lb Pilsner LME
3 lb extra light DME @ 30 min

I really want to have a good balance between malt and hops.  I also think that using an english yeast (S-04) with this recipe will give it a nice character.  Or, should I drop the pils all together or go with US-05?  Anything to know about brewing an IPA?  In the end I'm shooting for something about 55-65 IBU.  This grain bill should put me at 1.068 OG which is where I want to be gravity wise.  Any help or advice would be appreciated.


General Homebrew Discussion / NB Marris Otter Extract
« on: September 07, 2012, 08:22:44 PM »
Anyone try this yet?

I used the grain once as part of a partial mash Irish Red.  Was a great beer, but I'm wondering what a beer with all MO would be liek. 

Was thinking of maybe doing a quick SMASH extract with MO.  Maybe a pale ale.  Marris Otter/Amarillo maybe?

Yeast and Fermentation / Wyeast 2124 @ ale temps
« on: July 17, 2012, 02:31:00 AM »
Preliminary results are in - Fermenting at ale temps with 2124 results in a very clean beer.  I used it in an "Oktoberfest."  I used 2 smack packs and made about a 1.5 L starter.  OG was 1.052, FG is sitting at 1.010 on the nose.  Fermented at about 62-64 for 2 weeks, and in week 3 let the temp rise up to 68.  Will bottle it probably Thursday night. 

Anyone thinking of trying this, I highly recommend it.  Just my 2 cents.

Beer Recipes / What makes a good Saison?
« on: July 01, 2012, 02:52:20 PM »
I got my hands on some ECY Single Strain Saison yeast, but I admit this is a beer I know little about.  The only one I have had is Ommegang's Hennepin.  I often see terms like light, effervescent, peppery.  Has anyone ever done a Rye saison and how did it turn out?  What hops would you use?  Thanks!

General Homebrew Discussion / Fermentation... box?
« on: June 26, 2012, 08:48:39 PM »
So I snagged a box from work designed for shipping cold materials.  I removed the foam lining, which is coated in some sort of foil/reflective material and was able to construct a 14 x 14 x 14 box (roughly the size of a milk crate).  It fits a fermenting bucket perfectly, with some room to spare on the sides.   About 1/4 of the bucket sticks out the top. 

My question is what can I do to utilize this as a fermentation chamber?  My thought is a few water bottles on the sides, but I also have a fan or two from a computer that I am thinking of hooking up to keep the air flowing.  I apologize I have a lack of pics, I did this on the fly after brewing yesterday and I think I can make it work. 

General Homebrew Discussion / One heck of a brew day.
« on: June 18, 2012, 09:16:16 PM »
A starter of Wyeast 3068 is apparently a monster... It was spewing out of my airlock this morning.  Was quite a surprise I wasn't ready for at 5:30 AM.  At least it wasn't all over the walls.  Just the carboy lid.  This brew has been plagued with more setbacks then I ever experienced in brewing.  I was given the wrong extract (didn't find out until after I sparged) so I had to get it replaced (wasn't a huge deal, but delayed my boil for a long time), my tap water has decided it doesn't want to come out cold for whatever reason now, so I could only get the wort down to 100F or so.  My autosiphon decided to clog up on me when transferring the wort and then blow out onto the kitchen floor in my attempt to unclog it.  I ended up cooling the wort by pouring it into the fermenter with near freezing water.  It got the temp to 65 and I was happy.  And now I am just rambling and have probaby gone way off topic, but I've been hitting my head against the wall at work for the past 8 hours because of people's stupidity, and working on a project that people are trying to overly complicate.

Beer Recipes / Blonde ale
« on: May 21, 2012, 09:22:17 PM »
So i've decided I want to do another blonde ale.  Something easy drinking, but a little bit on the hoppier side. 

Was thinking of doing a partial mash with pilsner and 2-Row, and then adding some Pilsner LME to finish it off.  I think I want to use Mt. Hood and Saaz or maybe perle.  I am thinking of bittering with Mt. Hood and finishing with some Saaz.  I'm also considering using something like Magnum as a clean bittering hop and then finishing with Mt. Hood and Saaz.  Thoughts? 

Also if i do a mash with mostly pilsner (let's say 3lb roughly), should I do a 90min boil?

So i'm sitting here drinking one of my latest brews (Hefeweizen), and I can definitely see and taste an increase in quality since I started brewing.  My last three brews have all exceeded my expectations, and it couldn't make me happier.  I feel I am getting to the point where I am being smart about recipe formulation and understanding what goes well with what.  I also think I'm really starting to dial in on my whole grain to glass process.  With these latest three brews (Irish Red, Pale Ale, Hefe) I sometimes forget I am drinking homebrew.  Maybe I'm tooting my own horn, but I am just trying to describe the improvement I've noticed in my beers.  Tooting aside, I owe a good chunk of that improvement to this forum and the people who have taken the time to answer my sometimes probably dumb questions.  So thank you AHA forum.  Cheers.   

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