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Topics - -Liam-

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Kegging and Bottling / Anti oxidation ideas
« on: August 03, 2015, 06:25:11 PM »
As things stand, I am not in a position to start kegging; I can only bottle for now. My wife and I are expecting our first child in December and I can't see my brewing setup changing for a good while. So, what I need are your tips and ideas that you have found to work for you, from experience, when it comes to keeping your bottled beer from oxidizing. My last IPA started out so good in the bottles and really began deteriorating in a matter of a couple weeks. I just can't get through my batches that quickly and I have about a dozen left that just seem to be getting worse and worse. (They are definitely still drinkable, but not great). I'm also not really keen on the idea of making batches less than 5 Gallons, as I don't really see the pay off being as good when I spend the same amount of time to brew so little beer. I just want my beers (IPAs especially) to taste good for longer.
I've gotten great advice and ideas from these forums and there is so much knowledge here, so thanks in advance...

Ingredients / Flaked oats in IPA
« on: July 08, 2015, 02:37:39 AM »
Just curious if anyone here has ever tried adding some flaked oats to an AIPA for a bit of body and smoothness? If so, how did it turn out? What effect did it have on the finished beer? What did you learn or what would you change in future etc?

All Grain Brewing / American IPA FG question
« on: June 10, 2015, 12:24:40 AM »
I brewed up an AIPA 10days ago that seems to have a lower than expected FG.
The recipe:

7lb 2 Row
4lb Pale Ale
12oz Flaked Wheat
6oz Carapils
6oz Carastan

1oz Simcoe @ 50 mins
2oz Amarillo @ 10 mins
1.5oz Equinox @ 5 mins
2oz Mosaic @ 170* steep


I intended to mash @ 152*, but it seemed to mash at more like 150*.
I undershot my OG by a few points and started with 1.064.
I checked my sample tonight and the FG is 1.007 (7.5%)
Fermentation seems to be well and truly finished since probably Friday.
The body seems a little thin, but the flavour doesn't seem quite as dry as I'd expect for such a low FG. (the aroma is superb, btw!)
Is there anything I can do give it a touch more body at this stage? Will carbonation make it feel even thinner? (I still need to dry hop). Should I just roll with it or any suggestions as to what to do?

Yeast and Fermentation / Wyeast 1098 temp
« on: March 18, 2015, 12:35:58 AM »
I brewed the Black IPA recipe (that I've discussed here recently) on Sunday. I started my brew day late and it was 8pm by the time I pitched my yeast starter - Wyeast 1098 at 68F. I put it in my fermentation fridge with probe attached and set at 68F. The following morning, the krausen was high and activity was under way. I left for work and when I arrived home that evening at 9pm, I realised the probe had come off the side of carboy and when I re-attached it, it was reading close to 71F (It was very active at this stage). I brought it back down to 68F and continued at that temp. What will be the consequences, if any, and will it affect the final flavour negatively?

Beer Recipes / Thoughts on Black IPA recipe
« on: March 02, 2015, 12:57:36 AM »
I'm planning on brewing a Black IPA and have come up with the following recipe. I would be grateful of input/suggestions/criticism etc.

5 Gallons

11lbs Briess 2 Row
13oz Carafa Special III
8.3oz Carahell
4.5oz Flaked Oats
3oz caraaroma

1oz Columbus FWH
1.25oz Centennial 15mins
1.25oz Centennial 10mins
2oz Columbus 0mins
1.5oz Centennial 0mins

Perhaps dry hop with 3-4oz Columbus Centennial mix

Mash at 152F    OG 1.070  IBU 85
Wyeast 1098 @ 68F

All Grain Brewing / Pilsner Malt question
« on: February 05, 2015, 02:16:18 PM »
I cloned a version of Allagash Black recently which called for Pilsner malt to be used as the base. I got Bohemian Pilsner for the recipe which I believe to be of better quality than the standard Pilsner malt available from them. I checked my gravity after 10 days (WLP500) and everything seemed to have stabilised. But there's a fairly strong sulphur type smell and taste that comes along with my hydrometer sample. It's very similar to the taste and smell that I got last time I brewed a Dunkelweizen and a Hefe before that. Reading up on this seems to suggest that this will mellow out and dissipate, but it never did in my Dunkel and remained quite unpleasant (it mellowed somewhat in the Hefe but not completely). I'm worried that this is going to end up tasting the same. I plan to leave it in the primary for another week or so as it seems this strain takes an age to drop out.
My question is whether or not this is being caused by a weak boil? I can only boil on my stove top and although I can reach boiling point, it is a gentle boil rather than a vigorous one. I used 90% RO water & 10% tap. I added a campden tab and 2 tsps of Calcium Chloride.
Should I steer clear of recipes that use Pilsner malt until I get a gas burner that can boil wort aggressively?

All Grain Brewing / Candi Sugar/Candi Syrup question
« on: January 09, 2015, 02:06:27 PM »
I was looking at trying the recipe for Allagash Black (Craft Beer for the Homebrewer book) and I see that it calls for 2lbs of dark candi sugar rocks. Would it make a difference if I used dark candi syrup, and if I were to use that instead, is 2lbs of syrup equal to 2lbs of candi rock?

All Grain Brewing / Stout IBU/gravity mess query
« on: December 20, 2014, 09:25:32 PM »
I made a stout 3 weeks ago that essentially did not go to plan in various ways, and frankly has been a bit of a mess! - I was hoping to make a Cherry Choc RIS oat the lower end of the style's OG but with some good bitterness. I mashed @ 156 and my target OG was 1.086 with an est. FG of 1.024 and 65 IBU. I decided to FWH to try smooth out the bitterness but my measured OG was waaaay off! I tried compensating by giving it a 100 min boil and managed to get an OG of 1.080. I fermented for two weeks (2L starter) and had a very fast take off and aggressive fermentation with a blow out. I then added around 10oz of cherry juice concentrate, let that ferment out and then added 4oz of toasted cocoa nibs. Fermentation seems well and truly over now but I've only got an FG of 1.029. I'm going to end up with a bitterness ratio of .770. Is this going to be a complete disaster? Is there anything I should/can do with it before I plan to bottle it tomorrow?

Yeast and Fermentation / Wyeast stout question...I'm a little drunk!
« on: November 22, 2014, 03:51:04 AM »
So, I wanted to brew a 1.080 stout this weekend. I got 2 packs of wyeast 1028 which I intended making a starter with. I smacked them both yesterday, one swelled and one didn't. My stir plate crapped out and I couldn't make my starter. I realised that I have a US05 in the fridge that has been sitting there for months. Should I pitch the 2 wyeasts + the US05 or just the 2 wyeasts?

Yeast and Fermentation / Secondary fermentation/carboy question
« on: November 11, 2014, 04:41:16 AM »

I've been considering brewing a pretty big Chocolate cherry stout soon and I see that if I wanted to add Knudsen cherry juice, I would need to do this in a secondary fermenter. I have never transferred to a secondary before and if it's a case that I do this time, I've only got a 6 gallon carboy to transfer too. I'm worried about the extra head space in the secondary and that the stout will get oxygenated. So, what are my options? Can I just add the Cherry juice and cocoa nibs to the primary once the initial fermentation finishes? If so, how long more can I leave it in the primary? (assuming an initial fermentation period of 2 weeks).

All Grain Brewing / Hop stand newbie advice
« on: October 16, 2014, 04:37:01 AM »
As a hopstand/hopburst novice, I'd love any opinions or suggestions regarding my (very loose) plan for this weekend's 5gl. brew...

I have (but of course don't necessarily need to use all of the amounts)

11lbs of Thomas Fawcett Pearl
1lb Carafoam
1lb Carared
1oz Magnum
9oz Citra
5oz Nelson Sauvin
Yeast Bay Vermont yeast.

I wanted to keep the malts relatively simple and was going to add some Magnum at FWH and some/all of the Citra & NS at/after flameout, hoping to get some great hop flavour & aroma. I intend to dry hop also. What experience do you guys have at particular addition temps and in what amounts? I've no experience of this technique and would be very grateful for any advice that can be sent my way.

Yeast and Fermentation / Dunkelweizen fermentation
« on: September 22, 2014, 12:50:15 PM »
I brewed up a Dunkelweizen yesterday and feel that my starter was possibly too small (Wyeast 3068). I woke this morning and fermentation had definitely started, but with a whimper instead of a roar! Should I pitch more yeast on top or will it just do its thing?

All Grain Brewing / IPA colour change
« on: September 08, 2014, 11:59:19 PM »
It seems that an IPA I've had in bottles for perhaps 2 months or so has become darker in colour and the sediment at the bottom of the bottle that I pour out, seems to be darker and slightly greyish in colour. Does this seem normal? It doesn't taste like it has gone off. It started out quite golden and has gone more towards an amber/red colour.

All Grain Brewing / Saison maturing/aging
« on: September 05, 2014, 12:56:23 PM »
I have a Saison in bottles for about 3/4 weeks. It finished super dry @ 1.000 and is perhaps ever so slightly harsh. I think the next one I brew I will try aim for an FG of around 1.004-6 for a little touch of sweetness. Anyway, what should I expect this brew to do over the course of time and how does a Saison's taste change, generally speaking? I know all Saisons will taste differently, but as a general guide, what tends to happen to them as they age?

All Grain Brewing / Stout in primary question
« on: August 08, 2014, 10:40:39 PM »
I brewed a chocolate milk stout almost 4 weeks ago and I had intended to bottle this evening. I realised that I don't have any bottle caps and I have visitors arriving tomorrow and won't get a chance to bottle for another 2-3 weeks. Is it ok for me to leave it in the primary bucket sitting on the yeast for that long or do I need to rack it to a secondary (something I've never done before)? If I do need to rack it, my carboy is a 6 gallon and there will probably be quite a bit of head space for a 5 gallon batch, will this cause any problems?

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