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Messages - metron-brewer

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1
Ingredients / Re: Brand new brew guy needs advice
« on: Today at 05:16:34 AM »
I'm not familiar with yeast berries so I can't offer an answer to your question. I can offer some advice though. If you have not brewed your first batch yet, I would recommend keeping it simple. Using standard basic ingredients. Save the unknown ingredients for down the road once you have your process mastered a bit.

2
Any news on how this beer is fermenting? I haven't done anything with mine since I pitched the WLP644. I'm getting a bit anxious for this one.

J

I checked both of my batches yesterday. The one with US-05 checked 1.014 to 1.015, the batch I did with Wyeast 3711 checked 1.008. I added a 3# can of Apricot Puree to the US-05, going to let them ride for at least another week.

US-05 batch had a sharper-tarter taste to it. Some grapefruit and lemon flavors coming out.

The 3711 was much smoother, less tart and less citrus flavors. Mellower mouth feel than the US-05.

Not being a huge sour fan as of yet, I enjoyed the 3711 more so than the US-05.

3
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 2 or 3 Packs Dry Yeast for Lager
« on: July 16, 2015, 10:02:58 AM »
I just wanted to post the results of this brew.
Brewed 05-31-2015 O.G. 1.044, pitched (2) packs re-hydrated 34/70 at a temp of 49, Set Point temp of 48 = fermentation temps of 48-50. After no activity the first day I bumped the Set Point to 49. After the second day with no visible signs of fermentation I opened up the fermentor and took a gravity sample, there was no change from O.G., I bumped the Set Point another degree to 50 so fermentation temp should run 50-52. On the third day following brewing I again opened up the fermentor and found a full head of kreausen. On 06-24-2015,  I took a final gravity reading of 1.012, calculated 72%AA, yeast is rated 73-77. I detected no off flavors. I let the beer sit on the yeast for another 12 days for clean up and kegged on 07-06-2015. Took a taste test last night and it's very tasty. I detected a pretty subtle faint sweetness to it. I'm going to enter it in the 2015 Minnesota State Fair competition so we'll see what the judges think of my first ever Pils.

As a side or follow up, I harvested the yeast on 07-06 and re-pitched the slurry into a "Hoppy Pils" on 07-12-2015. Fermentation at 50-52 degrees and it took off in less than a day developing a full head of kreausen within 24 hours.

4
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Trippin' about my dry hopped IPA
« on: July 09, 2015, 09:45:19 AM »
Alright guys, just added my dry hops to the fermenter about 9 days after pitching my yeast. I had a long fermentation, around 4 days of activity in the air lock, so I think 9 days isn't too late.

I put my hop bag in boiling water and washed my hands with star san solution before adding hops to the hop bag. When I was putting my dry hops into the fermenter though, the bag rubbed against the lip of the lid. How easy is it to get an infection in your beer? The lid is definitely not sanitary. I've read that getting an infection in your beer isn't as easy as you would think, but I've also seen some nasty pictures of infected beer.

I hope I dodged a bullet here. The closet I store my fermenter in has been smelling really good this past week of fermentation. Can't wait to try the West Coast IPA inside.

I'm sure you'll be fine. For what it's worth, I use a spray bottle filled with Star San and spray my fermenter before opening them. I also try to minimize skin contact with Star San and use a 3M hand sanitizer instead as Star San really dries my skin.

5
We're in the 6:00 group. Still formulating my plans but kinda thinking of one batch keep it simple, US-05. For the second batch maybe a Hef strain or something like that and maybe some fruit after primary fermentation is complete.

6
Equipment and Software / Re: pH Meter Calibration
« on: July 02, 2015, 06:09:18 AM »
I looked at my meter last night and did not see the junction sticking out. It is a replacement probe tip so maybe they don't have that option?

7
Equipment and Software / Re: pH Meter Calibration
« on: June 30, 2015, 04:15:48 PM »
I've had the same slow read time issues from the day I bought it. The fact that I could replace the probe was a big selling point to me. After having some experience using a meter and this one in particular, I'll definitely be looking at some other models when/if I ever have to replace it.

8
Equipment and Software / Re: pH Meter Calibration
« on: June 30, 2015, 01:35:13 PM »
Thanks pfabsits and Martin. I never actually wipe the bulb but usually blot the end of the probe so it's possible that it touches the paper towel, no more blotting. I'll also re-look at the probe info on the Bru'n Water Facebook page.

9
Equipment and Software / Re: pH Meter Calibration
« on: June 30, 2015, 11:39:20 AM »
I had the same problem when using the pH56.  Try shaking it 2-3 times hard like your trying to shake off all liquid from the probe after the 7 and before the 4 calibration.  Worked for me.    No idea why.
Next time I'll try giving it a good shake in between.

Sure is better than letting it drip dry all over your pants!

DOH! Walked into that one!  :o

10
If the beer was soured in the kettle and THEN boiled you will have no issues bringing these fermenters (and using them again) into your brewhouse.  The reason being that the boil will have killed off any potential souring microorganisms prior to being racked to your fermenter.  You will however need to pitch some sort of yeast (either brett or sacch) to finish off the fermentation process at home. 

If you desire a minimal amount of sourness (and at pH of 3.2 it probably is already pretty darn sour), then I would recommend pitching some sort of neutral ale yeast that can handle a low pH (i.e. WY 1007, or even US-O5).  You can then go about treating this brew as a normal fermentation.

Thanks for your input. I'll have to see if I can find out if the wort was soured pre or post boil. If it was post boil would I be safe just keeping the fermenters segregated to another room in the house? As far as the yeast is concerned does the low pH have any impact on how much yeast to pitch or can I treat it as a "normal" wort and pitch just based on O.G.?

11
Yeast and Fermentation / Surly Wort Give Away, Help on my First Lacto
« on: June 30, 2015, 10:47:55 AM »
So I signed up for the Surly Wort give away at the AHA rally for July 2015. I think I may be in over my head with this one. I’ve never made any kind of sour before as the wife and I are not huge “sour” fans. I was hoping to get a little help here to determine how to proceed. I have absolutely no idea/experience with the process for this type of fermentation.

We both signed up for the giveaway so I’ll end up with (2) five gallon batches of wort, specifics below. I’d prefer to keep the process as simple as possible and the sourness at the low end.

I’d like some yeast recommendations as well as fermentation process recommendations, times, temps etc.

I’d like to know if bringing this type of wort into my brew house will cause any issues with my “regular” non-sour fermentation and equipment.

Should I dedicate the two fermenters to only sour beers after using them for this or can I still use for non-sours?

•   Pale Lacto-kettle soured wort
•   Brewed with Simpsons Golden Promise & aromatic malts
•   Minimal bitterness
•   Boiled & oxygenated for your experimental homebrew pleasure
•   Target OG: 13° P (~1.053 OG)
•   pH: 3.2

12
Equipment and Software / Re: pH Meter Calibration
« on: June 30, 2015, 10:11:30 AM »
I had the same problem when using the pH56.  Try shaking it 2-3 times hard like your trying to shake off all liquid from the probe after the 7 and before the 4 calibration.  Worked for me.    No idea why.

In between solutions I rinse in distilled, wipe the outside of the meter with paper towel and give it a light shake and blow the excess water off. Next time I'll try giving it a good shake in between.

13
Equipment and Software / Re: pH Meter Calibration
« on: June 30, 2015, 09:49:30 AM »
There can be mulitple reasons as why the pH meter is not holding its calibration. They include:
Coating on glass electrode: Any coating that forms on the electrode will change the value the meter displays when in the pH buffer. Typically, the change would affect all buffers, so a change that is observed in pH 4 would also be observed in pH 7. This type of change is known as an offset error.

Contaminated buffer:The calibration of a pH meter is as only as good as the buffer. If a pH buffer value changes then the value displayed will change. Typically a contaminated buffer will affect only one calibration point. This will change the slope of the electrode. This should not be a problem as long as the buffers are fresh (less than 6 months old) and changed frequently. For example place buffer in a small baby food jar for daily calibration and change out at least once/week.

After using a cleaning solution it is important to place the probe in storage solution for 2-3 hours before performing a calibration.

Rinse the probe with purified water (distilled, reverse osmosis, deionized) water when moving the probe from one solution to another. For example I have my probe in storage solution then I would rinse and then place in a calibration buffer. If performing a two point calibration then rinse between buffers. After calibration rinse. After taking a reading rinse before placing back in storage solution.

Always store the probe in a solution. It is important to maintain the hydrated layer on the glass and keep the junction hydrated as well. If you do not use storage solution then use pH4. If you do not have pH 4 then use pH 7. Storage solution has microbial inhibitors to keep stuff from growing on the glass. pH 4 is the next recommendation since bacteria do not grow well at lower pH's. For this reason pH 4 is recommended over pH 7. NEVER store in purified water.

pH probes do not last forever. They have a life of 1-2 years. If you have a pH meter with a mV mode the offset/slope can be checked. As long as the offset/slope is acceptable then the probe can be used indefinitely.

Thanks for your response. I've pretty much determined that either the electrode is going bad or I have a bad bottle of calibration fluid. The only item that I wasn't doing correctly per your post was using tap water instead of purified water to rinse with. I've since adjusted that part of my process and still have the issue during second point calibration. It seems to be working ok and it will calibrate so I'm going to continue using it as is. I'll be switching to new bottles of calibration fluid here soon, if it continues I think I can narrow it down to a failing electrode and I'll switch that out.

14
Equipment and Software / Re: Chest Freezer Modification
« on: June 08, 2015, 06:21:59 PM »
Bet you all feel sorry for my cronies at this point! Ha.
Assuming they are barrel-aged?

15
Equipment and Software / Re: Chest Freezer Modification
« on: June 08, 2015, 10:07:53 AM »
We looked at electric hoists too, but I have 2 chest freezers in 2 different locations and the rope hoist is lightweight and easy to just clip on an eye bolt or the garage door rail.

My second freezer is strictly for fermentation of 5 gallon buckets. I plan on using the electric hoist for the kegerator but I may look at your setup for the fermentation freezer.

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