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Topics - brewsumore

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Ingredients / Does freezing sulfited fruit puree dissipate so2?
« on: September 19, 2017, 09:12:54 AM »
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, 04:57:08 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 08, 2017, 09:51:53 PM »
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, 02:42:52 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, 10:19:49 AM »
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, 03:53:03 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, 02:36:58 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, 01:06:42 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 05, 2015, 11:45:28 PM »
Nov 15th, 1-3 pm.  Anyone going?  If so, I hope to meet you there.

Ingredients / Green Magic experimental hops
« on: August 22, 2015, 08:39:35 PM »
This past May I redeemed a coupon with YVH and got 8 oz of these for free with my order, leaf hops.  Does anybody have any experience with them?  Mine are still in my freezer.  Thanks.

Kegging and Bottling / Maximum psi for ball lock liquid side QD
« on: July 19, 2015, 11:12:50 PM »
Anybody know what they're normally rated to withstand?  I have a pal visiting from out of state tomorrow and to hurry along the carbing of a Pliny the Elder clone, I was hoping to get it mostly force carbed at 40 psi (34F) over 48 hrs.  I attached the liquid side to a faucet (in my kegerator) to check progress occasionally. 

I went and checked it and there was a bit of beer foaming out the top of the QD.  Had to clean a few ounces of beer from the bottom of the kegerator but no big deal.  I replaced the QD with another one and disattached it from the keg for tonight.

I'm thinking I had a bad QD - the top was screwed down tight.  Still, I'm curious what pressure they normally can take.

I couldn't find info after doing a google search.

Equipment and Software / New batch sparge picnic cooler mashtun build
« on: February 15, 2015, 10:42:08 PM »
Thought I'd share notes from today's new build.  First of all, this is my first MT build in a long time that is not using a blue Rubbermaid cooler and it hurts just a little bit. 

I bought a Coleman Extreme 70 qt rectangular picnic cooler, since it already had a drain hole in the right size and place, since it is a 5-day cooler, because the cooler interior is standard (no weird contours), and since I have seen how popular the Extremes are in the homebrewing community.  I do 11 gal batches.

I switched from braid to straight bazooka screen I believe about 8 years ago.  It works great.

This build was different than those I did previously, in that I used epoxy putty between the cooler walls to solidly reinforce that area, and to putty in the pipe nipple.  This idea was given to me by Maxieboy on NB Forum almost exactly 6 years ago and now is the first chance I've had to try it, since I recently cracked my other smaller MT (inadvertently kicked the ball valve).  Maxieboy, if you're out there, THANKS!  This thing appears to be basically bulletproof, meaning built to last, with no leaks or rot at all.

Photos follow but here's how it went today, with excellent results:

1) I used a 2 1/2" long, 1/2" ID pipe nipple, not shown in the photo, which worked just right with my materials.
2) After removing the drain plug, using a long, slender, small head screwdriver, my finger, and a dust buster, I removed ~2.5" insulating foam all the way around the hole, and it took some time and care, especially since I also scraped the inside walls bare of sprayed foam in this circumference, to create a bonding surface.  2" would have been plenty, and would have required a bit less putty.
3) After thinking about it and sight-testing it, I realized that I would need more of the pipe nipple and pipe threads on the outside of the cooler, less on the inside.
4) I screwed the ball valve all the way onto one end of the loose pipe nipple, and marked the top of the pipe with magic marker as the "up" position when installed.
5) I wrapped the pipe nipple threads with masking tape everywhere I planned not to have putty, transferring the "up" mark onto the tape.
6) I kneaded and then stuffed epoxy putty (check Home Depot/other HW store plumbing section) to completely, firmly fill the cavity.  I used the Rectorseal brand, at $3.81 per tube.  It took seven 2-ounce tubes.  Look for the more economical 4-ounce size.  I had underestimated and originally bought only three tubes so had to run back to the store mid-project.  After kneading, you only have 2 - 3 minutes to work the putty before it QUICKLY sets hard -- it sets to like steel in 15 to 20 minutes. 
7) immediately after packing the cavity with putty, I used what I needed of what was left to pack a little collar of putty around the exposed outside of the pipe nipple up to the tape.
8 ) I stuffed the putty-wrapped pipe into the hole, removed the excess, and using my finger quickly packed a little more putty into the remaining outside crack, inside and outside of the cooler where the pipe protruded.
9) again quickly, I pulled off the masking tape before the putty smeared onto it had a chance to set hard.
10) an hour later I tightened down my silicone washers backed by SS washers, and bazooka screen inside, and brass nut outside.  The silicone washers cover the hardened residue of putty.  Also, although not really needed to prevent leakage (the putty does that by itself), the silicone washer/SS washer/nuts balance each side with equal opposing pressure, so there' not constant pressure on the hardened putty. 
11) There's plenty of room on either side of the bazooka screen to stir with my mash paddle without hitting the screen.

Rectorseal Epoxy Putty MSDS:

Yeast and Fermentation / Should I refrigerate dry yeast
« on: February 14, 2015, 09:48:09 PM »
So, for years, I have found some LHBS's that store their dry yeast at room temp, other refrigerated.  My standard operating procedure either way, has been to toss the yeast packets into my fridge when I get home thinking that most companies recommend this for extended, higher percentage viability.

Until this week when I bought some set out at room temp, and asked the owner why he doesn't store it refrigerated.

His answer was that he used to work at a brewery that used dry yeast, and their practice was to store it at room temp with the understanding that temp swings, i.e. putting it into the fridge from warm, actually ruptured cell walls, making the yeast less viable than if they maintained storage of it at room temp, and I believe this was with the understanding of using it within 3 months.

When I buy dried yeast, should I put it in the fridge for anywhere between a few days and a few months, or should I leave it at room temp?

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