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All Grain Brewing / Hop spider/hop bags effect on hop utilization
« on: March 03, 2017, 08:46:47 AM »
I know this is a topic that's been discussed before, but I am wondering if anyone has any actual results of testing that show the effect of a hop spider on hop utilization.  I have always used a large hop bags in my brews but generally brew low to moderately hopping beers.

I am currently designing a NE IPA recipe that has a total of 7 oz of hops in the kettle.  1 for 60, 3oz at flame out and an additional 3oz as the temp of the wort drops to 160.

I would like to use a bag or spider as I usually do, because it keep my kettle and pump clean but I don't want to lose any hoppy goodness.     

Yeast and Fermentation / Safe to lager is plastic better bottle?
« on: February 12, 2017, 02:59:29 PM »
Is it safe to lager in a 6 gallon plastic better bottle carboy?  I know there is always a concern with plastic and oxidation.  My lager phase will be 8 weeks at the most.

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Is there a safe way to move beer from 22oz bottles to 12oz bottles?  I brewed a beer about a month ago planning to enter it in the AHA National Homebrewers Competition.  They decided to now allow 22oz bottles this year. 

Other Fermentables / Bottle conditioning cider
« on: January 23, 2017, 08:39:31 AM »
I started a batch of hard cider back on October.  After primary and secondary, I am sitting at .992.  What’s the best way to bottle condition this?  I am guessing my yeast numbers are probably pretty low.  Do I need to sprinkle some more in when I bottle?   

Yeast and Fermentation / First lager yeast help
« on: January 20, 2017, 08:05:21 AM »
Planning to brew my first lager next week and was looking for advice.  It’s 5.25 gallons of 1.051 Vienna lager.  I am using Saflager 34/70.  Trying to figure out if I want to make a starter or just pitch multiple packets.  According to Brewsmith, I need roughly 450 billion cells.  I am not sure the exact cell count of saflager but I am thinking that’s about 5 packets.  Not sure I can make a proper starter as all I have is a 2L flask. 

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. 

Kegging and Bottling / No carbonation on first barrel aged beer
« on: December 26, 2016, 06:41:05 AM »
Just opened a bottle from my first barrel aged beer.  15 gallon Imperial stout...

Brewed: 6/24
Into the bourbon barrel: 8/3
Bottled: 12/3

Used my normal bottling routine off boiling water/sugar mixture and adding to the bottling bucket.  I also added 1.25 liters of bourbon to the barrel to achieve the bourbon flavor I was looking for.  I opened my first bottle yesterday and there is no carbonation.  Do I need to give it more time or did I not bottle correctly for the amount of time it was in the barrel?  Did I kill the yeast by adding the bourbon?  FG going into the barrel had it at about 10.5% and the Scottish Ale yeast I used is rated up to 12%.

Yeast and Fermentation / Stuck fermentation?
« on: December 03, 2016, 08:52:28 AM »
I have an English Brown ale that has been fermenting since 11/18.  I used Wyeast 1450 and I'm stuck at 1.020.  I was hoping to get closer to 1.010.  I started at 1.055.  Should I add more yeast or just let it ride another week and bottle.  I am happy with how it currently taste but I have never had a beer finish this high so I am not sure what to do.  Recipe listed below. 

Mashed single infusion @ 156 (Although it may have been a little higher)

Maris Otter- 65.2 %
Caramel/Crystal Malt- 10.9 %
Flaked Oats- 8.7 %
Victory- 4 6.5 %
Brown Malt- 5 5.4 %
Chocolate Malt-6 3.3 %
Wyeast 1450- Denny's Favorite

Other Fermentables / OG of unfermented cider
« on: October 15, 2016, 10:37:52 AM »
Do you take the OG of cider the same way you do beer?  I just got back from picking up my unfermented cider from the local orchard and one of the guys there insisted you have to take you cider reading with a grain of salt.  He said all the excess fiber and pectin in the cider can keep you form getting an accurate gravity reading.

Other Fermentables / Timing of pectic enzyme in cider fermentation
« on: October 12, 2016, 02:42:52 PM »
When is the right time to add pectic enzyme to a hard cider fermentation?  This is my second year doing cider.  Last year I added it at the start of primary and again when I racked it for ageing/secondary.  Cider came out fine but curious as to when you are suppose to add it.

Yeast and Fermentation / 6 weeks in primary too long?
« on: September 19, 2016, 04:51:23 PM »
I have a beer that hit 4 weeks in primary yesterday. Normally I would have kegged it but I ran out of time. I leave tomorrow for a 2 week work trip. Am I risking it leaving it in primary for 6 weeks?

Yeast and Fermentation / Wyeast 1968 coagulating on stir plate
« on: September 18, 2016, 06:59:12 AM »
Is it normal for wyeast 1968 is coagulate on the the stir plate?  I have never seen this before but it's my first time using this yeast.

Kegging and Bottling / My beer cold crashed in the keg
« on: September 11, 2016, 04:37:53 AM »
I brewed a rye saison and used Wyeast 3711.  After 4 weeks and a packet of super kleer, I thought I was as clear as I could get with this yeast and I kegged it.  It's been in the keg for a week and I pulled a sample yesterday.  The beer is very yeasty. 

I remembered that when I was kegging, I had approximately 12 oz left in the bucket that I had put in a 12oz bottle and stuck in the fridge.  I tried that this morning and it is super clear.

I think the time in the fridge causes most of the yeast to drop out.  I know going forward, I should probably cold crash it but my question is, is there any harm in racking what is in the keg into my bottling bucket to get it off all the yeast in the bottom and then rack it back into the keg.  I imagine the kegged beer is so cloudy because in tube is sitting in the yeast bed that the cold crash caused.  My concern is oxidation and that the beer is at about 80% of what I want to carbonation level.       

Yeast and Fermentation / Blow off question
« on: August 27, 2016, 09:28:20 AM »
A week ago I brewed an ale-toberfest.  The OG was 1.062.  I pitched a 1 liter starter with 2 packets of wyeast 1007 in it.  I put it in my chest freezer and set the temp to 58.  I set it up with a blow off into a 1 gallon carboy half full of sanitized solution.

Upon my return from a week long work trip today, I see that the fermentation overflowed the 1 gallon carboy and made a nice mess.  In the 1 gallon carboy there was roughly 3/4 inch of a yeast bed.  In the freezer there was quite a bit of yeast as I was wiping up.  I took a gravity reading as well and I'm sitting at 1.030.

I am not too worried about t he gravity right now as it's a little early to tell but my question is I need to add more yeast to account for all the lost yeast in the blow off carboy and bottom of the freezer?

All Grain Brewing / Pumpkin weight in water/grain calculation?
« on: August 22, 2016, 01:19:01 PM »
When I calculate the amount of strike water for a pumpkin ale, do I use the weight of the pumpkin in my calculation?

So if I have a 10 gallon grain bill and 4 pounds of pumpkins do I do (14 * 1.25) or (10*1.25).

Maybe I am thinking about it all wrong.  I think canned pumpkin is something like 90% water, so maybe I should not be including it in my grain weight but rather including it in the volume of strike water. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Wyeast 3711
« on: August 11, 2016, 08:53:37 AM »
Does anyone have a lot of experience with this yeast?  I brewed a rye saison and pitched this 5 days ago.  I tried it last night and it taste fine but I am getting a little bit of a banana ester taste.  I know it produces esters but not that taste like banana.

I know it's early and maybe it will go away.  When my house A/C is one it ferments at around 70 degrees.  I went out of town for a few days and my wife turned it off so it's been fluctuating from 70-74.  Could the temperature be the problem?  I know it good at that temp but maybe the changes in temp?   

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