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Messages - James

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1
Ingredients / Re: Water Question
« on: February 07, 2019, 03:11:14 PM »
50/50 dilution with distilled, more or less distilled?

2
Ingredients / Water Question
« on: February 06, 2019, 05:15:01 PM »
So I have a recipe I got from a brewery in the area for an awesome Hefe. I've just started with tweaking water and have a question about trying to match their water. They use RO water and the recipe says that they add 4:1 Calcium Chloride to Gypsum. I do not have access to RO water. How would I go about adjusting my water to match this, or approximate it. 

My Water:
Calcium: 59.1ppm
Magnesium: 6.06ppm
Sodium 69.4ppm
Sulfate 95.1ppm
Chloride: 59.3ppm
Bicarbonate 117.12ppm

I carbon block filter it before use.

Thanks.

3
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Trying to determine source of off flavor
« on: November 11, 2018, 06:49:20 PM »
SO I brewed a small one gallon batch using some extract and bittering with an once of the hops used in the worst of the bunch, and while not a great beer, it was just a test, there is none of the off flavor.

Thinking back on it I remembered that I did try something new for awhile where I would leave my immersion chiller in for the entire boil to avoid having to remove the hop spider to add it at the last 15. The 1 batch in the midst of the 4 that I didn't do this because I do all late hop additions is the one that turned out fine Could this cause off flavors?

Other thought was maybe something was in the air, I don't have an oxygen setup yet, but that would be odd in that I had one batch in the midst of the 4 that did just fine.

I've done three batches now, not including the test one, and have had no off flavors.

It's kinda driving me crazy because I can't figure out where it came from.

In the books How to Brew (Palmer) and Brewing Beer: Problems (Hendricks) the most common cause of grassy flavor is poor ingredient storage. Like malt or hops picking up moisture or being stored poorly. Also, you could get a grassy flavor from adding hops at knockout or whirlpooling due to hop polyphenols no being neutralized by the boil. If that's something you were doing.

Two really good resource books, imho.

Read Palmer's book many times, never read the Hendricks one I will have to check it out. The malts were all new from a homebrew store that has good turn around and used with in a week of getting them. The hops were all vacuum sealed in a freezer, and I've done a few beers since using them and didn't get it. The hops were all added during boil on the three beers that had it, with the latest being a 10 minute addition.

I gave all of my equipment a very intense cleaning and have not had it since. I am wondering if it was perhaps something on the heating elements that I didn't see, but was there. I just replaced them with stainless steel ones when after doing the deep cleaning I got rust flaking off my cheap ones. Still not sure why one in the middle had no off flavors at all and was the hoppiest beer in the 4. But I have now done 3 batches on it and had no problems. Brewed a Scotch Ale yesterday so we will see how that comes out.

4
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Trying to determine source of off flavor
« on: November 01, 2018, 06:04:27 PM »
SO I brewed a small one gallon batch using some extract and bittering with an once of the hops used in the worst of the bunch, and while not a great beer, it was just a test, there is none of the off flavor.

Thinking back on it I remembered that I did try something new for awhile where I would leave my immersion chiller in for the entire boil to avoid having to remove the hop spider to add it at the last 15. The 1 batch in the midst of the 4 that I didn't do this because I do all late hop additions is the one that turned out fine Could this cause off flavors?

Other thought was maybe something was in the air, I don't have an oxygen setup yet, but that would be odd in that I had one batch in the midst of the 4 that did just fine.

I've done three batches now, not including the test one, and have had no off flavors.

It's kinda driving me crazy because I can't figure out where it came from.

5
Quote from: denny
Didn't realize you were using a stir plate.  You should definitely decant, then.  I stopped using my stir plate a couple years ago because I found it wasn't necessary.

Definitely going to decant the next batch. Might have to split a 10 gal batch and use stir plate on 5 and not on the other and see if I notice a difference.

Quote from: RC
I'm skeptical it has anything to do with your starter. I, and others I know, have pitched hundreds of (propagation) starters, both decanted and not, and haven't had this flavor result.

My money is on the hops. Being plants, hops are full of chlorophylls and other not-so-great tasting chemicals, and the levels of these chemicals will vary from year to year, grower to grower, etc, just like resins and oils will. These chemicals will leach into the beer, just like the good stuff will. If they're at high levels in the hops to begin with, the grassiness could overwhelm the good stuff.

I've gotten grassy beers before, but it has been conclusively due to dry hopping. I'm guessing you didn't dry hop your grassy beers...did you do a late addition with them?

Yeah I thought the yeast was a stretch, but was trying to figure out what the common denominator was between the good batches and the bad. The hops seem like the most likely culprit. Need to do the same recipe and use fresh hops in one and my stored hops in the other. I've been storing hops this way and not had any issues for about 3 years now, and the age of the hops in the beers varied greatly with one of them only being a few month old, and one being close to 2 years old.

The only other time I had this was when I first started using my DIY electric Keggel and some hops stuck on the heating element, I built a hop spider to keep them from touching the element and haven't had any problem in over a year.

Thankfully none of them have been so bad that I wanted to dump them, and the flavor does seem to age out, albeit slowly.

6
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: PBW vs Oxiclean
« on: October 13, 2018, 05:44:23 PM »
I started using Oxiclean for the money saving aspect. I was sold on it when I bought a used carboy off craigslist that had been sitting in some guys garage for 4 years, had some beer from the last batch caked on the bottom along with bugs and other crud, he clearly didn't attempt any cleaning before storing it. I soaked it for three days in Oxiclean, and then dumped it out, gave it a good rinse and the things was as good as brand new.

I have found that if I leave it in too long it will get this film covering that water won't rinse out, but if I put a gallon of star san in and swirl it around for a few minutes it comes right off. I think PBW may be a bit better, but for the cost you can't beat Oxiclean, just make sure it is non scented.

7
While crashing your starter is worth a try, I haven't found any problems from pitching the whole thing.  How big a starter did you do?

The Marzen was a 2 liter starter for a 10 gallon batch. The other 2 were 1 liter starters for 5 gallon batches.

I will usually get my starter going Wen. night for a Saturday brew. It stays on the stir plate until I'm ready to pitch.

I will try crashing and decanting on the next brew, and not change anything else.

Quote from: Richard
Pitching a large starter that was fermented at high temperature could cause some off flavors, but probably not grassy ones. That does sound more like something from the hops, or stale grain.

The grains I order fresh every batch from a homebrew store with good turn around, so I doubt that it's the grains. The hops are what I am fearing because I have a rather large stock of hops vacuum sealed and in my freezer, and would hate to have to throw them away. They have all smelled fine when I opened them, which from what I have read usually means they are still good.


8
hopfenundmalz,

I am planning on bringing a few samples to my clubs meeting this weekend for just that reason, but thought I would throw it out here as well.

Robert,
One was a Marzen, Jamil's recipe from Brewing Classic Styles, one was the Can You Brew It Arrogant Bastard Clone, and one was a Celis Pale Bock clone from Austin Homebrew. In the mix as well I brewed my Pale Ale recipe, with no problems, and my Hefeweizen with no problem.

Richard,
I do pitch the whole starter. I thought about decanting, but I thought part of the idea of a starter was to pitch active yeast and thought cold crashing would negate that, but I guess I could crash, decant and then maybe add a bit of wort in on the brew day to get it active again. 

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General Homebrew Discussion / Trying to determine source of off flavor
« on: October 11, 2018, 03:42:22 PM »
So several, but not all, of last few batches have come out with a similar off flavor, and I am trying to determine what caused it. The flavor is to me a green sort of grass flavor.

From what I have found online the closest thing I can find that would cause this is improperly stored hops. I keep my hops vacuum sealed and in a freezer when not being used. I have read that they should stay good for a fairly long time. The hops I used were in the freezer ranging from around a year for one batch to a month or so in another. So I am not sure that is the issue.

I had another thought, but can't seem to find any information on rather it would cause such an issue. I did a yeast starter for all the batches, and just let it sit on the stir plate at room temperature, and it being Texas summer that temp may have hit the high 80s during some days. Could that cause an off flavor like this?

I'm planning a brew day for next Weekend, and going to rebrew one of the recipes, but stick the stir plate in my fermentation fridge, and see if that fixes it, but was wondering if anyone had an insight about off flavors from too high of starter temps.

Also if anyone has any other suggestions as to what would cause it I appreciate it.

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Zymurgy / Re: Zymurgy on Kindle Fire - SUCCESFUL INSTALL
« on: October 20, 2017, 04:02:15 PM »
Will this only work on a Fire? I have a paperwhite and would love to be able to read the mag on it. Any ideas?

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