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Topics - JKL

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Ingredients / Please help me understand my water additions
« on: June 12, 2015, 02:27:10 PM »
Hi everyone,
Long time brewer but I'm just getting into building water and could use a little help with my water additions. I recently had my water tested and it appears to be very low mineral.
CaCO3 (total hardness)=22
CaCO3(total Alk)=16
According to Bru n water and through experience on my last 2 beers, I am able to hit a mash ph of roughly 5.4-5.5 with only small additions of acid malt.
I have 3 beers that I'll be brewing on the next few weeks that I want to add "salts" to. An American Blonde (yellow balanced), an IPA(pale ale), and a Cream Stout(dark balanced). Building these with Bru n Water, it looks like I can get away with adding different quantities of Gypsum, Calcium Chloride, Epsom Salt, and Baking Soda to the boil.
1.) Am I doing this right? Lol  I just add these flavoring "salts" to the boil kettle? Surely it's more difficult than that? What am I missing?
2.) Using the mineral parameters that Bru n Water states, the lighter beers fall within the Bicarbonate level my water has but what about darker beers? So, I just need to add Baking Soda to the boil?
3.) I've been reading lots on the net and also have Palmer's "Water" book and I suppose Alkalinity and Total Alkalinity are the concepts that I'm having the most trouble understanding? Is it possible for someone to explain this in layman's terms or point me to a source that can? ISO "Water for dummies"

Thanks in advance everyone!

Kegging and Bottling / Jockey Box Build / Coldplate Help
« on: March 03, 2014, 09:08:31 PM »
I'm looking to build a 4 handle jockey box but I noticed that the price of cold plates varies quite a bit?  On some beer equipment sites (Chico, Micromatic, kegman...etc) a 4 product coldplate runs around $180? Re beer and soda coldplates the same? I've also seen them on soda sites for as little as $125, then again some of these say pre-mix and post-mix? Post-mix being more expensive? Can someone school me on the difference and help me get the correct one?  Some sites also specify Stainless tubing, do they make these things out of anything else? I was looking at this because it's cheap but just wasnt sure?

Thanks in advance

Yeast and Fermentation / WL Brett C. Starter questions
« on: January 21, 2014, 01:34:01 AM »
Hi all,
My 1st attempt at a 100% Brett. is not going as planned? I made a 4L starter and pitched 2 vials of White Labs Brett C. Saturday evening. I've had it on a stirplate since and I don't see any signs of fermentation? To be honest, I have no idea what to expect. Should I see Krausen or any sort of CO2 production? I'm tempted to warm it up? Its in a closet at probably 65-70F?  Hindsight I should have made a 1/2 Liter starter and stepped it up but it os what it is at this point? Any thoughts are much appreciated.

Yeast and Fermentation / 2 yeast strain advice
« on: May 31, 2013, 07:51:59 PM »
Hey all,
Brewing a 1.060 Saison on Sunday using WLP565 to start and Wyeast 3711 to finish. 1st time using 2 strains and need a little advice. I like the qualities of each strain on their own so want to see how they'll play together. My thought is is to pitch the wlp565 @ 65F and leave it there for a couple days then ramp the temp 3-4F a day till I hit 1.020. After that cool to 70F and pitch my 3711. Good plan or no? I'm also wondering should I build the 3711 starter for a 1.020 wort or a 1.060 wort? Thx in advance!

Kegging and Bottling / Setting up kegerator suggestions
« on: July 10, 2012, 02:09:35 PM »
I'm needing some advice/suggestions on setting up a kegerator.  I've got a small serving fridge that I can fit 5 Cornys in.  I'm looking at buying 3 or 4 SS perlicks (not sure yet if I want to leave room for lagering a batch?) 3 5.25" SS shanks, and 50' of 3/16 line.  Does anyone have experience with the perlick flow control model? Is there any reason I should go that route? I've also heard that longer shanks were better (insert jokes here), is that true?  I can get 6" if that would be better? Is 50ft enough line for 3 possibly 4 kegs? I have a 3 way CO2 manifold but I'm going to need a new regulator anyway. Should I go with a dual regulator? Any other suggestion such as faucet height, tap placement (front or side), and line routing would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance.

Yeast and Fermentation / Anyone have problems with US-05 lately?
« on: March 20, 2012, 03:30:17 PM »
I brewed 11 gal of Porter last Saturday and pitched a packet of US-05 into each 6.5 gal carboy at 60F. By Sunday evening I had signs of fermentatation in one carboy but not the other. I've used a lot of this yeast and know it can be a slow starter at low temps so I didn't think much about it until I stil didn't have any activity last night when I got home from work.  I bumped up the temp and pitched another pack. This morning I finally saw a little activity. I just bought that yeast last week from my LHBS and pulled both packs from the same box. I bought those because I was afraid the packs I had may have been old? I'm glad now I had the extra. I was just wondering if anyone has had problems lately?

Ingredients / Hop age questions?
« on: March 05, 2012, 04:28:17 PM »
I'm looking to use up some pellet hops I bought last year in 2 batches.  Some are sealed in barrier bags, some are vacuum sealed, and some have been opened, sealed tight with tape. All have been in my freezer double ziplocked since I've bought them.  I sat down this weekend and reformulated my recipes
to use most of what I had using the "hop age" tool on Beersmith. Not knowing when these things were harvested, I figured the "months" from November 2010. Is this the correct way to figure this and to those who have used this tool, how accurate is it at refiguring the A.A's?

General Homebrew Discussion / Westy in the US!
« on: November 15, 2011, 11:02:30 PM »
For those who have never tried one it looks like you might get to try an ABT 12 next year....well if ur lucky enough to find it?

This is from BA. Posted a couple weeks ago.

Westvleteren Beer To Be Distributed In U.S.

Westvleteren is coming to the U.S.

You read that correctly. For the first (and more than likely) only time in history, Westvleteren beers will be bottled, shipped and legally sold on U.S. soil.

Widely regarded as the maker of some of the most coveted beers in the world, the brewery will ship a limited amount of product to the U.S. in an attempt to raise money for an aging monastery in need of repairs and also planning and expansion.

Daniel Shelton, of Shelton Brothers Importers confirmed that next April, he will be importing 7760 special ‘gift-pack’ units from the Belgium-based brewery and monastery. The packs contain six bottles of beer and two, 15cl glasses.

Shelton is still working out the exact details of the deal and could not yet confirm what the suggested retail price of the gift pack will be or which markets will receive the beer. Shelton is based in Belchertown, Mass.

Undoubtedly, the gift packs will sell for considerably less than what the “grey market” is offering at this time on auction sites like eBay.

Additionally, Shelton mentioned that Manneken-Brusel Imports out of Austin, TX would also be importing an undisclosed amount of the beer into the U.S market.

All of the proceeds from the packs sold into the U.S. market will help fund the rebuilding and expansion of the Westvleteren monastery. Westvleteren made about 4,500 hectoliters of beer last year (approximately 3,800 U.S. barrels).

The Shelton Brothers import beers from approximately 100 different breweries into the U.S. market.

Source: ... ted-in-u-s 


Posted: Nov 04, 2011 - 20:13:48 UTC (2 weeks ago) | Permalink

Beer Recipes / Help building Black RyePA / Rye CDA please.
« on: September 01, 2011, 08:03:10 PM »
I'm switching gears this weekend and decided to do a Rye CDA or whatever you want to call it.  Thinking of a cross between a Hop Rod Rye and a CDA. Here is what I have so far.  Looking to come in around 1.072 OG / 1.012 FG and 75 ibu.  My big question is how to get it darker without adding too much roastiness. I thought a .5 lb of Carafa III would have done the trick but according to this free recipe builder I'm using here at work it comes in low on the color chart.  

Original Gravity (OG): 1.073  (°P): 17.7
Final Gravity (FG):    1.018  (°P): 4.6
Alcohol (ABV):         7.17 %
Colour (SRM):          17.2   (EBC): 33.9
Bitterness (IBU):      69.6   (Tinseth)

69.57% American 2-Row
11.59% Rye Malt
5.8% Flaked Rye
5.8% Munich I
5.8% Victory
1.45% Carafa III malt

Equipment and Software / Beersmith 1.4 won't save anything?
« on: August 30, 2011, 02:12:28 PM »
I tried to change a couple of ingredients on an upcoming recipe last night and realized that everytime I shut down and reopened the program nothing was saved.  Has anyone experienced anything like this?

Yeast and Fermentation / US-05 temp...How low can I go?
« on: August 23, 2011, 04:54:37 PM »
I've been wanting to brew a Schwarzbier recipe that I formulated for about 6 months now.  I had originally planned to reuse some WLP830 from this years O'fest that I brewed in early May.  Due to the lack of lagering space I have, I haven't got around to it and dont think I'm going to use it now.  I'm thinking of just pitching some US-05? Yeah, I know it will not be even close to the beer it could've been but I need to use these Ingredients.  We have a lil' girl coming in OCT and I have a feeling there won't be much brewing after that for a little while.  Anyway, I've used US-05 down to 58F with great results.  Has anyone gone lower than that?  I was thinking 55F then ramping up at the end of fermentation? Thoughts?

Yeast and Fermentation / Stepping up US-05 for 11 gal batch
« on: July 19, 2011, 09:13:52 PM »
What size starter is big enough to pitch 1pkg US-05 into to step-up for an 11 gal 1.055 O.G. beer? I was thinking 1/2 gal?

Equipment and Software / Where to buy a Sanke?
« on: July 07, 2011, 03:19:23 PM »
A recent thread on fermenting in a Sanke has got me thinking of buying a couple.  Anyone got a line on where I can find some semi-cheap?  Sabco seems to be sold out at the moment.  I also thought about checking my local distributor. I Just haven't got around to it.  What the going rate / reasonable price for a Sanke these days? Thanks!

Kegging and Bottling / Kegging from Freezementer?
« on: July 06, 2011, 01:55:51 PM »
Right now I'm using 2,  6.5gal carboys in my freezementer but I have to lift them out to siphon to kegs.  They are just too low to the ground to get a good siphon going.  I'm thinking about going to 1/2 bbl kegs so I can ferment 2 beers at a time but I know I won't be able to lift those.  Is there a better way that i'm missing?  C02?


Ingredients / Hop Shelf Life Adjustment?
« on: June 17, 2011, 03:26:41 PM »
I recently brewed an IIPA that Beersmith calculated at 93 IBU's.  I took a gravity reading last night and while it tasted amazing, it doesn't taste anywhere near 93 ibu.  I got to thinking that these hops I used are probably at least 7-8 months old and I had them in my freezer for about a month before I used them.  I bought the 4 varieties from 2 different places online and none of them were vacuum sealed. Of course Beersmith has a shelf life adjustment tool but I never thought about using it until now.   Should I just calculate from harvest time 2010,(last Sept/Oct?) for the months?  I also thought about using an average of the 3 choices; poly/barrier/vacuum, not really knowing how they have been stored? How do you guys adjust your hops ?

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