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Topics - Joe Sr.

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Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Off Flavors from Water Additions
« on: July 14, 2016, 06:02:08 PM »
I've only just started using Bru'nwater so my experience with water chemistry and additions is limited.

The last two batches I have brewed (a Bavarian wheat and a Belgian wit) I have used the yellow balanced profile and used additions of calcium chloride and lactic acid per the spreadsheet.

Both of these batches have tasted off to me.  It's hard to describe, but the wit has an odd bitterness and a bit of an oddness to the nose.  I thought it was maybe yeast at first (could be, I've only just tapped the keg) but I'm not so sure as it's not a yeast flavor I've gotten before.

Both batches have been partial mashes with pils and wheat supplemented with Breiss pils extract.

The lactic acid is old.  Maybe 10 years?  I have no recollection of where it came from, but it had been unopened until recently.

The wit is supposed to be served on Saturday at a party, but I'm not sure I can serve this beer.

Is it possible to get off flavors from water additions?  The additions were 0.4g of calcium chloride in each the mash and sparge water (2 gals each) and the lactic acid was 2ml in each.  These don't seem like significant amounts.

I recall that Breiss uses water that has high sodium (IIRC) but the beers don't taste salty.

I don't think these are infections.  The wheat beer had a milder off-flavor but no one else seemed to notice it.  I has not gotten worse over time.

Both beers were in different fermenters and different kegs.  I used the same racking can and tubing.

Is it possible to get off flavors like this from water additions?  I assumed these would be improving the beer, but right now I'm regretting doing them.

Kegging and Bottling / Cleaning old taps
« on: June 10, 2016, 07:44:48 AM »
I've got a couple of old taps (standard, not perlick) that I plan to disassemble and rebuild (new gaskets, etc.).

They are chrome plated brass.  They look a little crusty on the inside.  Black-ish color on the brass.

What's the best way to clean these up?  I was thinking of soaking them in starsan and then brushing them out with a bottle brush or something.

They've been sitting around for years and are pretty old.  I have no idea how they were treated at the place the came from.

The crust (such as it is) doesn't look like beerstone.  But maybe it is?

The Pub / Cigars
« on: February 28, 2016, 05:38:47 PM »
We need a thread on cigars.

I'm enjoying an Upmann Havoc right now, while sipping a saison which I just kegged.  It might go better with a bourbon... The cigar, not the saison.

The kids, wife, and MIL are watching the Oscars in the other room. So I have time to slip out back (not smoking it in the house, that's not allowed).

Anyone else smoking a stogie tonight?

Equipment and Software / Thermowells and temp probes
« on: January 26, 2016, 09:45:48 AM »
Is a thermowell necessary?  I'm looking to control temp a bit more accurately, and am not certain I can put the temp probe directly into liquid.

Right now I have a saison with 3724 ripping along at 85F.  I have the fermenter in a tub of water and am heating the water with an aquarium heater.  I'm not sold on the precision of the dial on the heater for setting temp.  I'd prefer to plug the heater into a temp controller.

Basically, I'm just trying to figure out if I can drop the temp sensor from a Ranco (or other controller) directly into the water, or if I need to protect it in a thermowell of some sort.

Ingredients / Dubble grain substitutions
« on: December 12, 2015, 08:18:43 AM »
I'm looking at brewing the Candi Syrup Chimay red recipe.

It calls for Dingemans Cara 8, which I do not have.

Any recommendations on a substitution?

I have biscuit, aromatic, victory, carastan, English brown, and a variety of crystal malts (40, 80, 120, maybe 60).  I went through the inventory this morning.

My other thought was to follow Denny's Chimaybe recipe, but I don't have Special B.

Any thoughts?

I'm leaning towards some Munich and some C-120.

Classifieds / Free Bottle Tree - Chicago
« on: November 27, 2015, 02:42:53 PM »
Cleaning house.  Free to anyone who wants a bottle tree.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Happy and sad at the same time
« on: September 07, 2015, 08:12:40 PM »
Just wrapping up my brew day (10 gallons of RIS) and I realized two things.

Firstly, I was not happy with my OG thinking it was too low.  Then I realized that I only added DME for a 5 gallon batch, so my mash efficiency has actually increased significantly since the last brew.  Nice.  Glad for that.

Then I realized, I had only added hops for a 5 gallon batch.  Not so nice.

I know this is a tough one to fix and I probably need to re-brew and blend.

I have extra wort in the freezer and could probably boil that with the missing hops and add it the to fermenters.  Not sure if that's a good idea or not.  I probably have 1 gallon or so.

The lesson for the day is, adjust the recipe in advance for 10 gallons rather than trying to work it out on brew day.

Kegging and Bottling / Dripping beer faucet
« on: July 20, 2015, 08:12:05 AM »
Anyone with a link to a good resource on fixing a dripping tap?

I slapped together a bar for our block party over the weekend and one of the taps wouldn't stop dripping.  Thankfully, it was the local micro and not my homebrew on that tap.  Regardless, I'd like to get it fixed.

I used to old draft towers that I was gifted some years back, so the faucets are not new and likely need maintenance.

A quick Google search was pretty useless for this, and I assume someone here has experience.

All Grain Brewing / Saison has zero bitterness
« on: July 17, 2015, 04:39:39 PM »
Title says it all.  Even my wife, who doesn't care for hops agrees that you can't taste them.

Fermented with 3711.  It's nice and winey with a tart finish, but no bitterness that is discernible.

I'm planning to serve it tomorrow, and will probably still do so, but any thoughts on boosting bitterness?

I don't really want to do a hop tea, but I suppose I could.  Some magnum hops in two cups of water?

Or try adjusting with gypsum?

Or just go with it?

The recipe (Saison d'ete from NB) comes up with 23 IBU in Beersmith, but NO hop flavor.  I've never had none.  The other 5 gallons are similar, but fermented with 3724.  No bitterness there, but still not at terminal gravity.

All Grain Brewing / Another efficiency thread
« on: July 03, 2015, 03:22:16 PM »
Finished my first out door all-grain batch today.  I did one all-grain on the stove top, years ago, so this maybe counts as my first.

Anyway, on to the questions.

My efficiency is maybe around 65%, which seems low.  I milled my own grain, and I've got it set pretty tight.

Strike water was 160 and dropped to 140 in the tun.  I add boiling water to bring it back up to 150.

I mashed for 90 minutes.  Recipe is Saison d'ete from NB.  Pils, Vienna, torrified wheat.  Expected OG = 1.041.

Mash was three gallons (I mashed in two round coolers, so 3 gallons each).  Sparge was 4 gallons.

My boil was pretty hard (Dark Star burner,  LOTS of soot but NB is sending a new one with a redesign to control the soot).  I wound up with 8 gallons at 1.048.

Curious as to thoughts on how to increase efficiency.  Was my mash and sparge water not enough?  I think pH was fine but didn't check.  Crush, as I said, was pretty fine.  The mash had trouble draining. Sparge drained pretty much OK.

I've been doing partial mash batches on the stove-top, BIAB.  That efficiency has been crappy, too.  But there wasn't much sparge with that process and I never worried about it because I adjusted with DME.

Here's Himself (Jr.) stirring the mash.

Commercial Beer Reviews / North Coast Puck - Petite Saison
« on: June 23, 2015, 07:45:50 AM »
Was excited to try this, as a nice flavorful petite saison would be perfect for the hot humid weather we had yesterday.

Unfortunately, I found it disappointing.  Thin and watery.  Too bitter with few other flavors.

It was OK, at best, and I doubt I'll buy it again.  Especially since it costs the same as their other beers, even at 4% abv.  Next time, I'll just get a four-pack of Pranqster.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Spencer Trappist Ale
« on: May 22, 2015, 11:47:15 AM »
I had some of this a couple weeks ago when I was in Rhode Island.

It was tasty and pretty much as they described it.  Peppery.  Had a linger bitterness that was a bit odd but not off putting.

All of the bottles (4 pack) were gushers.  Slow gushers, but nonetheless.  I'm wondering if they bottled too early or if they were infected.  Maybe that's the odd bitterness.

The beer was expensive.  I'm not sure I'd do it again, but I probably would just cuz.  And to see if another four pack would be gushers.

So, I've got a tripel in the fermenter where I overshot my OG a bit.  I've changed up my process a bit (new grain mill and mash tun) so I'm still dialing it in.

Anyway, my OG was 1.1.  It's sitting in the fermenter now at 1.014.  I was hoping for something lower, but I'm not sure if that's unreasonable.

It tastes good.  Maybe a bit sweet, but maybe I'm fooling myself.

Ardennes yeast.

I have no worries about being patient and giving it time, but it seems a little unreasonable to expect it to drop much lower.  Any thoughts?

Kegging and Bottling / Universal Poppet O-ring
« on: April 20, 2015, 08:49:56 AM »
I had one of these tear recently.  They are theoretically replaceable.

Anyone know where to get them in bulk?  I've seen a couple on-line vendors selling them individually for $0.10 or $0.15, but I don't want to place an order for less than $1.

Anyone know a McMaster Carr part #?

Equipment and Software / Aquarium Heaters for Temp Control
« on: February 18, 2015, 01:26:16 PM »
Anyone use one?  I have a saison going and I'd like to raise the temp as it ferments.

My thought was to put it in a tub of water with an aquarium heater.

I tried this before with a small heater that did nothing, so I'm looking for recommendations on one that would work.

I'm not looking to put the fermenter in a box or fridge with a brew belt, heating pad, or light bulb.

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