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Topics - brewsumore

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All Grain Brewing / minimum size kettle for 11 gal yield into fermenters
« on: November 23, 2017, 03:47:05 AM »
I have been brewing all-grain 11-gal wort yield-to-fermenters batches (10 gal finished beer) for the past +12 years, using a 15.5 gal keg kettle, basically via the Denny Conn Cheap n' Easy style batch sparge set up, and I do a minimum 60 minute boil.  I plan to continue brewing with this set-up and boil length but I'm considering sourcing a slightly bigger kettle. 

The reason is that experience has taught me that the more hot + cold break material plus pellet hop spooge I leave behind in the kettle, the less taste difference I get between the final two buckets of finished beer (which get racked into corny kegs), since I end up not having to strain out some of the spooge (through a sanitized fine mesh strainer) to get full volume (5.5 gal) into the second bucket when running off chilled wort from the kettle.

Again, in my experience it's not unusual to have to strain the last gallon or so of wort, even though I'm leaving 1 -1.5 gal of spooge + wort behind in the kettle.

Especially for hoppy beers I sometimes suspend a 5-gal paint strainer bag into the boil via a hop spider, and reduce my spooge load that way.  Maybe I just need to quit being lazy and do that every brew.

Have some of you found it simplifies matters to brew a larger than needed kettle yield, and still get full 11-gal clear wort volume yield into the fermenters, simply by using a 17-gal or larger kettle, rather than a 15.5 gal kettle?

General Homebrew Discussion / On tap for the holidays
« on: November 23, 2017, 02:12:43 AM »
How about you?  As for me:

London Porter (adapted from a Fuller's clone)

Raspberry Porter

Saison Buffoon (co-fermented with Blaugies and Dupont yeasts)

Plum Soured Saison (kettle soured with lacto, with red plum puree.  Idea from Orpheus Brewing's Atalanta.  Re-pitch of yeast from above batch)

ESB (adapted from 2011 NHC Gold-winning recipe)

Rochefort 8 clone

cherry apple hard cider

Happy to report they're all tasty, and hoping they'll get me through Christmas.

Beer Recipes / Blending two batches of Porter
« on: October 27, 2017, 06:50:24 AM »
So, I had that moment, "I need to get a move on if I'm going to brew this weekend."

I went from work to my LHBS on a Thursday afternoon and bought varying amounts from a list of ingredients that I would later choose to use or ignore when I actually put together a porter recipe.  One of those ingredients was 5 lbs of Baird Brown Malt (and had 3 more lbs, pretty old, at home).

My plan in the back of my mind had been to definitely incorporate brown malt, and checked through a few recipe books including a book full of historic English porters.  Yeah, I know, that historic British brown malt is different from what is used today.

That night I decided to use Kristen England's Fullers London Porter clone that is available through BYO on the internet.  So I busily added it into Pro Mash and adapted for my batch size and estimated brewhouse efficiency, calculated my water spreadsheet in Bru'n Water, and went to sleep since I needed to get up the next morning (Friday) at 3:00 am to head out for a day-long salmon fishing trip.

I returned from a good day on the Columbia River, even if fishing was only so-so.

Come the next day (Saturday morning) I put together my grains and milled them and brewed the beer.  After all was done, THEN I realized I had doubled the already generous amount of brown malt called for in the recipe, up to 24% of the grist.  I tasted the beer on 3rd day of ferment and sure enough it was too roasty/toasty.

So, I decided to make a second, adapted recipe batch (Imperial Pub yeast is fast anyway, right?), and blend the two 50/50.

In 2 days I'll be blending them, into four 5-gal cornies, except for one of the 5-gal portions which at that time, while still in a bucket will be getting a can of raspberry puree added to then ferment out.

Anyway, below are the two recipes.  It won't be Fuller's London Porter, but I'll report back if it comes out well.

Fullers London Porter

Batch Size (Gal):        12.00    Wort Size (Gal):   11.00
Total Grain (Lbs):       24.69
Anticipated OG:          1.054    Plato:             13.38
Anticipated SRM:          35.3
Anticipated IBU:          28.8
Brewhouse Efficiency:       74 %
Wort Boil Time:             60    Minutes

Actual OG:  1.054

   %     Amount     Name                          Origin        Potential SRM
 60.8    15.00 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row)              Great Britain  1.038      3
 24.3     6.00 lbs. Brown Malt                    Great Britain  1.032     65
  8.1     2.00 lbs. Crystal 75L                   Great Britian  1.034     75
  6.1     1.50 lbs. Chocolate Malt                America        1.029    350
  0.8     0.19 lbs. Roasted Barley                Great Britain  1.029    525

   Amount     Name                              Form    Alpha  IBU  Boil Time
  3.50 oz.    Fuggle                            Pellet   3.64  25.0  60 min.
  2.00 oz.    Fuggle                            Pellet   3.64   3.8  15 min.

Imperial Pub Yeast (same as WYeast 1968 London Extra Special Bitter)

Saccharification Rest Temp : 153  Time:  60
Sparge Temp :                168  Time:  10

Fullers London Porter Redux

Batch Size (Gal):        12.00    Wort Size (Gal):   11.00
Total Grain (Lbs):       23.00
Anticipated OG:          1.052    Plato:             12.97
Anticipated SRM:          31.2
Anticipated IBU:          28.0
Brewhouse Efficiency:       74 %
Wort Boil Time:             60    Minutes

Actual OG: 1.054

   %     Amount     Name                          Origin        Potential SRM
 81.3    20.00 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row)              Great Britain  1.038      3
  4.2     1.00 lbs. Crystal 75L                   America        1.034     75
  6.3     1.00 lbs. Chocolate Malt                America        1.029    350
  4.2     1.00 lbs. Black Patent Malt             America        1.028    500

   Amount     Name                              Form    Alpha  IBU  Boil Time
  1.00 oz.    Northern Brewer              Pellet   8.00  15.7  60 min.
  1.00 oz.    Willamette                        Pellet   4.00   7.8  60 min.
  2.00 oz.    Willamette                        Pellet   4.00   4.2  15 min.

Imperial Pub Yeast (same as WYeast 1968 London Extra Special Bitter)

Saccharification Rest Temp : 154  Time:  60
Sparge Temp :                168  Time:  10

Ingredients / Source for quality dried bitter orange?
« on: September 24, 2017, 08:11:17 PM »
I'm considering brewing Candi Syrup's recipe for Chimay Doree (Gold).

I'm wondering if anyone can recommend and vouch for a brand and/or supplier of dried bitter orange, that doesn't have a ton of pith.


Ingredients / Does freezing sulfited fruit puree dissipate so2?
« on: September 19, 2017, 04:12:54 PM »
I realize that when using sulfite that the recommended process is to sulfite fruit or puree, say to 50 ppm, let sit overnight (12 - 24 hrs) to dissipate the so2 and then add the fruit to primary or rack on top of it in secondary fermenter.

In this instance I pureed ripe plums (minus pits) when available and added sulfite to 50 ppm (.33 g pot meta per gallon of puree) to protect color, reduce wild yeast, and prevent browning, and then put it in gallon zip locks and immediately froze it for later use.

I'm wondering if upon thawing the puree if I need to open the bag tops and let the puree "breathe" for let's say 12 hrs, before fermenting, or if having frozen it for a few days that the so2 will already have dissipated.

The fruit puree will be added to actively fermenting saison in primary fermenters, so sacchromyces yeast tolerance of so2 is at the center of the question, and whether it dissipates during freezing so becomes a non-issue.

My hunch and general inclination is that I could thaw the full bags, open their zip tops for a few hours to let the puree breathe, and then add the puree to primary, but I wonder if the sulfite already dissipated during the few days in the freezer.

Thanks for any insight here.

Does anybody know if these lower pH range ColorpHast strips, like the normally used 4.0 - 7.0 range strips, measure at .3 lower than the actual pH?

I'm monitoring a full volume wort lacto sour, to begin boil when I hit ~3.6pH.

I assume that is the case.

All Grain Brewing / drop wort pH via phosphoric acid prior to souring it?
« on: September 14, 2017, 11:57:08 AM »
I'll be sour worting this weekend.  I know that the common practice after collecting the mash runoff is to use lactic acid to drop pH to 4.0 to 4.4 (or 4.6) before pitching a starter into the wort to sour it.

I will be pitching 2000 ml of lacto starter made with WY 5335 Lactobacillus culture, into 13.5 gal wort, at ~92F.

I don't have any lactic acid on hand and was wondering if it would be ok to use phosphoric acid instead to drop the pH. 

I plan to treat my mash and sparge water to create a 5.2 pH wort as the starting wort.

Martin, are you there??!?!  :)

Yeast and Fermentation / Harvest this yeast cake for reuse or no?
« on: September 09, 2017, 04:51:53 AM »
I've read it's not recommended to harvest and store for later re-use, a yeast cake from the bottom of a fermenter if any fruit or spice was used.  I'm curious if there are degrees of grey here.

Tomorrow I will begin to cold crash two 5-gallon buckets of saison (OG 1.055) and then rack the beer into kegs a couple days later.  The remaining two yeast cakes will undoubtedly have a tiny amount of non-yeast particulate that is not from malt. 

That is, for an 11-gal yield of wort runoff from the kettle (after leaving behind a gallon of hop/break/spice/peel spooge in the kettle), I had added with at least 5 minutes remaining in the boil 1.3 oz of lightly ground coriander, an ounce of dried bitter orange, a small amount of fine zest from a couple fresh sweet oranges, and 2 grams cracked grains of paradise.  And when I ran off the wort from the kettle into the fermenters, all was first strained through a fine-mesh strainer.

I'm pretty much looking for three basic options for a response, as follows:

1) in my experience, or from reading articles and/or other forum threads it's not worth the risk,

2) I've done the same thing a time or two with no problem or read, or know from industry practice that it's not very risky,

3) I've done this plenty of times with no problem.


General Homebrew Discussion / High temp ferment in buckets
« on: August 29, 2017, 09:42:52 PM »
I've gone mid-high 80's before with no problems, but curious if anyone has experienced off flavors from fermenting at ultra-high temp in well-cleaned and sanitized plastic brewing buckets - of course not associated with other brewing faults, such as from chlorinated water, improper pitch rate or yeast health, minimal aeration, lack of nutrients, etc.

So just based on plastic bucket at high temp.

I have a couple buckets temp-controlled holding at 90F (beer temp) for my version of Randy Mosher's Saison Buffoon using Wyeast Saison Yeast (WY 3724),and just curious of other people's experience.

FWIW, I pitched at around 92F and have held it at 90F since then.

General Homebrew Discussion / Summertime beer cocktails
« on: July 09, 2017, 05:19:49 PM »
I'm interested in hearing what beer cocktails you enjoy.  Especially in hot weather sometimes this is very appealing.

I have a Mexican Vienna Lager (similar to Negra Modelo) on tap and sometimes enjoy making a michelada when it's hot.  These are popular in Texas -- I know to be on the restaurant/bar menu in numerous places in Austin, typically with light colored Mexican lagers.

My recipe: to a beer glass 2/3 filled with beer add and gently stir in 3 or 4 oz V8 / tomato juice, a shake or two of worcestershire and tabasco, a squeeze of fresh lime juice and then drop in 3 ice cubes.

Equipment and Software / Oktober Can Seamer
« on: October 30, 2016, 10:53:03 PM »

I had 5.2 gal of 1.085 wort to which I added 2 liters (one half gallon) of 1.035 starter wort.  I'm wondering if anyone knows of a calculator, or has the formula for determining the OG following the starter addition.

I realize it should be simple algebra but it's been a long time since I studied that.

I know, that's an awfully large starter to pitch whole for an ale... my excuse is old liquid yeast and a high OG.

General Homebrew Discussion / On tap for the Super Bowl
« on: February 05, 2016, 09:36:58 PM »
- Karmeliet Tripel Clone
- Robust Oatmeal Porter
- Raspberry Oatmeal Robust Porter
- English Brown Ale (Northern English)
- Blind Pig Squared IIPA
- German Hefeweizen (bottled)
- various cellared bottles are coming with guests including a sampling of some New Glarus - Score!!

How about you?

General Homebrew Discussion / Means to prevent sliminess in hard water?
« on: January 03, 2016, 08:06:42 AM »
So, I keep a couple buckets full of tap water in my wine/beer cellar into which dish towels are suspended and humidify the room via the wicking action, with help from a fan blowing on the wet towels.  I just keep adding water into the buckets every day or two as it evaporates.

However, I believe due to lots of temporary hardness (bicarbonates?  Alkalinity?) in my tap water, the water gets very slimy in the bucket and I have to fairly regularly (once or twice per month) wash the dish towels (they get crusty) and dump out the water in the buckets, scrub them out, and then refill with fresh water.

I'm wondering if I can treat my water to prevent the sliminess, so I don't have to revitalize my setup as often.  I was thinking that maybe adding phosphoric acid to reduce the alkalinity might do the trick.

Martin, I hope you see this question!  Otherwise it's time to experiment.

Here are several attributes of my water that might show what causes the sliminess:

Total Hardness, CaCO3      138
Bicarbonate, HCO3            151
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3      124
Total Dissolved Solids Est  183

I realize it's kind of an oddball question.  I know a lot of us deal with the similar problem of Star San solution turning slimy quickly when diluted with hard water.

General Homebrew Discussion / AHA Rally at No-Li in Spokane
« on: November 06, 2015, 06:45:28 AM »
Nov 15th, 1-3 pm.  Anyone going?  If so, I hope to meet you there.

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