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Messages - matt

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentation Temps
« on: January 01, 2011, 05:49:32 AM »
Yes - when you look at a yeast package or recipe and it gives the fermentation temperature it is talking about the wort and not the ambient room temperature. Get a stick on thermometer and a regular room thermometer. Place the room thermometer next to your fermentor and see what your difference is. At my house it's about 4-6 degrees - a little higher in the summer. There are simple and easy ways to knock off a few degrees. If your beers are tasting pretty good now maybe lowering the fermentation temps by a few degrees will be the difference between good and great.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Conditioning Questions
« on: January 01, 2011, 05:36:24 AM »
Conditioning is not secondary fermentation. I would eliminate the term 'secondary fermentation' from your vocabulary. Any way, conditioning is the time after fermentation is complete when you let the beer rest or age prior to serving. You can bulk condition, keg condition, cask condition, bottle condition. In your case, the beer was in the fermentor for 38 days and hit it's final gravity. The yeast has done it's job. I think you kegged at the right time. Now that it's sitting in the keg, some of the remaining yeast and other particulate matter will drop out of suspension and the beer will clear up nicely. Also, the carbonation will balance out and the bubbles will become finer. At this point there are chemical reactions and balancing going on, not yeast action. Try a glass now, let it sit for a month, try another glass. I think you'll see a marked improvement.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sharing beers at the NHC
« on: June 21, 2010, 10:24:40 AM »
After many years of my asking clubs to have at least one beer of session strength (I recognize that we're trying to show off our biggest and baddest beers), the Ann Arbor Brewers Guild (AABG) has decided to present a session beer themed club night.  So please stop by our British Pub at club night and take a break from the liver-busting (albeit tasty) beers and relax.  I think we have about a dozen tasty but low alcohol beers.

One beer that we are presenting is my "April 7, 1933," a 3.2% abw (4.0% abv) Classic American Pilsner.

Here is my "point-of-sale" description"

"In March, 1933, just after FDR and the new congress took office, Congress passed the Cullen-Harrison Act, amending the Volstead Act, and raising the definition of "intoxicating liquor" under the 18th Amendment from 0.5% abw to 3.2% abw (4.0% abv).  The act went into effect on April 7, 1933; breweries shipped at midnight and taverns opened at that hour.  After 13 years, thirsty Americans at last could have a beer.

"This is that beer."

Great beers at your pub! I liked the mild on cask. Thanks for showing me how to use the hand pump/engine.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Throw caution to the wind!
« on: May 20, 2010, 03:01:18 PM »
I left my hydro sample in the garage and when I discovered it 2 days later it was fermenting. Give that a try

Equipment and Software / Re: Better Bottle question
« on: December 02, 2009, 03:13:17 PM »
I've got 2 years on my 6 gallon BB and still good ( well as good as I brew that is ).

A tip for you...get yourself a couple milk crates to put them in so when you pick them up, they won't flex and suck stuff back in through the airlock. 

I wish they would make a 6.5 gallon version though.  I just did a 1.098 beer and came up short on volume ( 4.5 gallon ).  Good thing I did because it went nuts, even with the blowoff  tube.  Can't image what my basement would have looked like if I had the actual 5 - 5.5 I was shooting for.

+1 on the milk crate. They are amazingly flexible. Especially when filled...

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fining carbonated beer
« on: December 02, 2009, 01:42:46 PM »
I add it to carbonated beer because I rather have the beer clear on it's own during lagering. Only if it has a very subborn haze do I feel the need to fix it. By that time the beer is already carbonated.


true - I do mostly ales so I like them to clear up quickly so I can get to drinking them. I don't like cloudy beer either, whether its from haze or other stuff (yeast, fermenter gunk, etc).

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fining carbonated beer
« on: December 02, 2009, 11:16:32 AM »
I usually add my finings (gelatin) right when I start carbing the beer and after I let it chill for a day or so. How it usually works is that I rack to the keg, hook it up to the co2 and place it in my keg fridge. The next day I add my gelatin, put the lid back one, purge the headspace once or twice and give the whole thing a gentle shake. Back in the fridge it goes where it will sit for another day or two. The first pint has the gunk in it and after that it's pretty clear. Since I use the 'set it and forget it' method to carb there isn't much to worry about with foam during the first few days. I read somewhere that you want to cool it first so the chill haze stuff forms first. Then you add the finings. Don't know if it's true but my beers are very clear.

not brewing anything - but I will be cleaning 4 new kegs along with all my fermenters and other stuff - planning on several brew sessions over the next couple of weeks.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Room temperature keg?
« on: November 20, 2009, 01:31:36 PM »
I did that for a few months and the biggest issues were getting cold beer when I wanted it and having consistant carbonation. It took a lot of hit and miss but both were just minor problems. As for sging, I never had many that stayed around that long, so...

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Danstar Munich dry wheat beer yeast?
« on: November 20, 2009, 06:58:48 AM »
I didn't care for it much. You are better off sticking with liquid strains for HefeWeizens IMO. I like WB-06 "ok" but it is no real substitute for a good liquid weissbier strain. My preference is for WLP380 HefeWiezen IV.

+1 - used it once and went back to liquid yeast. Seemed a bit one dimensional toward an herbal citrus flavor.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer Review Generator.
« on: November 19, 2009, 03:30:29 PM »
Pours a turbulent coffee color with a ruddy brown head. Half-decent lacing. Brilliant lemony nose, maybe a little old newsprint and banana. Lovely yeasty palate, with forward alcohol and bourbon. Chalky mouthfeel and light finish. Score: 4.60/5.

Thanks for reminding about this site...

Beer Recipes / Re: Beersmith?
« on: November 19, 2009, 09:44:05 AM »
I have always used beertools lastnight I download the trial version of beersmith is there a big difference between the trial version and real thing? The grain ingredients is really lacking, and some of the text is very difficult to read, also in beertools while makeing a recipe I can duplicate ingredients but not in beersmith. Otherwise I really like the layout and versatility of beersmith and may be changing soon.

You can download more grain options from the beersmith site. In addition you can always add and customize ingredients

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Stout or Porter
« on: November 19, 2009, 08:10:33 AM »
In addition to Ron's blog, this is a good read on the topic:

Thanks for the link. Anothr great site for debunking some of the beer myths that are out there.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Stout or Porter
« on: November 18, 2009, 12:47:14 PM »
Check out Ron Pattinson's blog
There is a ton of information about porter and stout from a historical perspective. He goes into old brewing logs and deciphers the information. After reading a lot of the posts its pretty clear that our understanding of beer styles and history is pretty limited. I believe he states that stout and porter are the same beer and that, historically, stouts were stronger than proters. Read through the recipes and you will find that a lot of our ideas about what ingredients should make up a certain style of beer are way off. Let's just say that the english brewers used a lot of sugar and coloring.

All Grain Brewing / Re: What kind of mash tun do you use?
« on: November 05, 2009, 08:47:31 AM »
I use an 8 gallon round Gott cooler with braid - got everything at my local menards many years ago. Still going strong, however, I recently converted a much larger coleman cooler so I could make bigger beers.

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