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Topics - cempt1

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All Grain Brewing / pH woes
« on: February 23, 2016, 12:55:34 PM »
I am new to pH measurement.  I test my 1st 2 batches without filtering out the grains so I have learned that will potentially cause a low reading.  I have a new milwaukee 101 meter.  This weekend I brewed and tested the mash 10 min in and was at 5.5 (bru'nwater estimated 5.4).  I rinsed the meter in RO water and tested distilled water and got 7.5 (I assumed this should be 7).

I am calibrating with the packets that came with the meter which I assume to be diluted giving me erroneous readings.   I will get new solutions but any other newbie pH meter user suggestions?

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Wood/Casks / Barrel aging questions
« on: February 23, 2016, 12:47:16 PM »
My son is getting me a 7 gal whiskey barrel that I believe is getting dumped this week.  I will get it in a week and a half which is also the earliest I would be able to brew.  So I have a few questions.

1.  How long does it take a barrel that size to dry out to much?

2.  As far as maintaining sufficient moisture, is it recommended that I keep one end of it in a basin of water?

3.  How full should I fill it with beer?  I usually brew 5-6 gal batches.

4.  And lastly, what to fill it with?  Personal preference I know.  I was thinking about Denny's BVIP but leaving out the bourbon since it should aquire the bourbon flavor from the barrel.

Any other thoughts or suggestions are welcome. This is my first barrel experience.

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Beer Recipes / Single hop columbus APA
« on: February 18, 2016, 12:49:04 PM »
I have time to brew this weekend and looked to see what I had on hand to work with.  I am new to recipe formulation and want to do a few beers to learn about and perceive for myself how different hops and grains contribute to the various aspects of the finished product.  I really want to start out with a simple slate and build on it.  I have 10 lbs of Rahr 2 row, 1 lb each of crystal 40 and 80, 4 oz of columbus and plenty of s-05.  I am thinking of the 10 lb 2 row and 1/2 lb crystal 40 mashed at 152* for an hour.  The hop schedule I have planned is .5 oz FWH, .50z at 10 min, 1oz for 15 min whirlpool and 1 oz dryhop.  That puts me at about 43 IBUs according to beersmith.

The questions I have are: Should I add .25 of the crystal 80 to boost the color or leave the grist alone to get a feel for the rahr 2-row?  I am leaning towards no 80 but suggestions are welcome.

What about the hop schedule?  I want to get a good feel for the flavor/aroma of Columbus but I like a balanced APA and like I said previously, I want to be able to get a feel for the contributions from the 2-row.  I would be left with 1 oz of hops.  Keep it for another day or add it elsewhere (2 oz. dry hops).

I will also add that I will be playing with some new equipment - Pump and whirlpool arm so I really want to maintain some type of whirlpool addition.

Equipment and Software / Speidel spigot sanitation
« on: February 08, 2016, 11:29:08 AM »
I just kegged my second batch brewed in  a 30l speidel fermenter I got for Christmas. My procedure has been to cleanse and sanitize the keg and tubing used to transfer then just before transfer spray star san into and around the spigot, attach the hose and let it go.  Are there any other cleaning or sanitizing steps other speidel users suggest?

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All Grain Brewing / 1st time water adjustment question
« on: January 17, 2016, 10:52:18 PM »
I am brewing an oatmeal stout and want to try to do so using 100 percent RO water.  I have entered the grist into bru'nwater and played around with adjustments using the black and balanced profile.  Before I pull the trigger and brew, I wanted to make sure I was on the right track.

Grist is 8 lb British 2 row
1 lb flaked oats
12 Oz victory malt
8 Oz English dark crystal
8 Oz black patent
6 Oz chocolate malt
6 Oz pale chocolate malt

In Bru'nwater I have added .15 gm/gal gypsum, .20 g/gal calcium chloride and .48 g/galas baking soda  (not adding this to sparge water but adding that part of the addition to the kettle).  This gets me an estimated mash pH of 5.47.  I just purchased a milwaukee 101 meter to confirm that.  The program also has me adding .04 ml/gal of lactic acid to my sparge water which seems very hard to measure. Am I on track? 

Edit:  I used the SRM values from beersmith for the grains when entering into bru'nwater.

Beer Recipes / chocolate? oatmeal stout
« on: December 11, 2015, 01:15:20 PM »
I have brewed this recipe before and it was fantastic.  Planning on brewing it again this weekend and have some cacao nibs on hand that I thought about adding to secondary for a chocolate oatmeal stout.  I have also considered a vanilla bean in secondary to make it a chocolate oatmeal cookie stout.  Any thoughts?

All Grain Brewing / Year old grains
« on: October 29, 2015, 01:59:47 AM »
I have some belgian pilsner malt I bought crushed about a year ago (15 lbs) and life got in the way and I wasn't able to use it until now.  It has been stored in a sealed plastic bag in my garage inside of a pastic tote.  It has stayed dry but has been exposed to 90 plus degrees.  I recently purchased some fresh and compared the two in terms of taste and texture and there was no perceptible difference.   Any reason not to use it?  I'm thinking of brewing a belgian dark strong ale with it this weekend.

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Ingredients / carafa malt question
« on: October 01, 2014, 02:19:40 AM »
I ordered ingredients for a winter saison recipe I found on the homebrewers association website.  Grain bill called for:
11.5 lb Belgian pilsner malt
.6 lb crystal120L
1 lb Munich malt
.4 lb Vienna malt
.4 lb wheat malt
.25 lb carafa malt
.5 turbinado sugar (not a grain I know)
5.5 gal batch

As I was ordering, I was also finishing a nice Belgian Abbey that weighed in at 10 percent ABV...  I inadvertently ordered carafa special 2 instead.  Will this have a significant impact on the finished beer with just a quarter pound or is it mainly going to add color?  I haven't used either grains before.

Yeast and Fermentation / Saison stalled (again)
« on: August 03, 2014, 11:27:11 PM »
I've had a belgian ale in primary for 3 weeks today.  I pitched a 1500 ml starter of 3787 on brew day. It was kicking away within 10 hours and fermented for several days then slowed way down.  OG was 1.057.  A week later it was 1.034 and it completely quit doing anything for 2-3 days.  I sloshed it around and it took off again.  Airlock activity slowed significantly after a week and a half. I checked the gravity today and it is only down to 1.025.  I sloshed more gently today and it had returned to a more active a state now.  I have 2 questions.  1) should I gently agitate the bucket daily to keep it active?
2) my original plan was to use the yeast cake from this for a pumpkin saison.  Is this a sign of stressed yeast and should I get some fresh yeast for the pumpkin beer?  I know 3787 is prone to stalling.  Just want to make sure this particular yeast is up to the task since it has stalled twice.

EDIT:  I used 3724 not 3787.  I'm currently drinking a "white IPA" brewed with 3787 which may have contributed to the typo.

Beer Recipes / Rye IPA recipe feedback
« on: July 19, 2014, 02:53:03 PM »
My son wants to brew something with rye in it.  He found this recipe on brewtoad.  I haven't brewed with marris otter before but like what I read about it. Seems like a base that fermented drier would compliment the rye.

Marris otter  7 lb.
Rye               1.75 lb
CaraRed.       1 lb
Vienna malt.   1 lb
CaraMunich    .5 lb
Carapils.         .5 lb
Biscuit malt.  .25 lb

Mash at 152 for 60 min. Mash out 167 for 10 min.

Zeus .5 oz. 50 min
Columbus .5 oz. 50 min
Amarillo .5 oz. 20 min
Zeus .5 oz.  20 min
Cascade .5 oz.  15 min
Amarillo .5 oz. 5 min
Zues .5 oz. 5 min
Zues .5 oz. Dry hop
Amarillo 1 oz. Dry hop
Cascade .5 oz. Dry hop

Wyeast 1272 american ale 2

How does this sound?  Any suggestions or recommendations?

Yeast and Fermentation / First high gravity attempt
« on: July 14, 2014, 06:04:54 PM »
I tried my hand at a high gravity dark ipa 2 weeks ago.  Target OG was 1.092 and my actual was 1.100 (partial mash).  I pitched a 3 stage starter of 1056 and oxygenated the hell out of it with a O2 stone.  It fermented very steady for 2 weeks.  I racked to secondary and dry hopped yesterday and my gravity was 1.024. That would be a shade under 10 percent.  I know the alcohol tolerance of 1056 is 11 percent.  Is there anything I can do to dry it out a bit more?  My thinking is that my yeast is done due to alcohol to high.  I do have some US-05 on hand and wondered if pitching one of those may get it going again.  My target final gravity was 1.017.  Any advise or suggestions appreciated.

Kegging and Bottling / leaking Co2 connections
« on: July 09, 2014, 06:27:11 PM »
I am new to kegging and seem to be going through Co2 a lot quicker than my research indicates that I should.  I have been checking for leaks by spraying with star san and have found 2 that do not seem to completely resolve by tightening.  They are at a connection from the regulator to a 2 way manifold and at a connection coming off the manifold.  Is there another solution for small leaks like these other than tightening?  I have read not to use teflon tape.  Would keg lube on the threads work?

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