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Messages - cmooreseymour

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lager Fermentation - Stuck??
« on: January 14, 2015, 04:40:06 PM »
I repitched a 1500 mL starter with WLP 001 yeast at 68 degrees to attempt to save this beer that is stuck at 1.028.  Most likely won't be the best beer I've ever made, but I figured it was that or pour it down the drain.

I've taken OGs of 1.080+ to my goal FG with 2 vial/1 gallon starters before, but not with lager yeast and reduced temperatures.  Next time, I'll have to consider 1.5 gallon and a stir plate.

Any idea if repitching will lead to a drinkable beer?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lager Fermentation - Stuck??
« on: January 09, 2015, 02:13:07 PM »
Great ideas so far!!

My hydrometer is brand new and I calibrated it in distilled water at 68 degrees at 1.000. 
I can taste the residual sugar in this beer right now. 
My starter was one gallon, but don't have a stir plate.
I aerated the wort as much as humanly possible before pitching the starter.

My plan is to move from my temp controlled freezer to a closet to increase the temperature.
My temp controlled freezer is in the garage and have tried heating it to 60+ in the winter with no luck.

Keep the suggestions coming.  I greatly appreciate the speedy feedback!

Yeast and Fermentation / Lager Fermentation - Stuck??
« on: January 09, 2015, 12:38:31 PM »
My first attempt at using lager yeast has hit a wall.  I used Zainasheff's dopplebock recipe and two vials of WLP 820 yeast for a huge starter.  Fermenting at 50 degrees (with a diacetyl rest at 58 degrees from day 14 to day 18), here is my gravity schedule:

OG = 1.086, Day 16 = 1.052, Day 24 = 1.038, Day 31 = 1.032, Day 38 = 1.028. Transferred off yeast cake, set up fermentation/blow-off in keg. Day 59 = 1.028. My FG goal is 1.020, but I'm afraid I'm stuck.

Any suggestions on how to reach my FG??  Thanks in advance for the help.

Equipment and Software / Re: Garage Freezer Fermentation - Winter Problems
« on: September 15, 2014, 03:47:59 PM »
Thanks, guys.  I think I'll look into the heat wraps or reptile heaters.  I'm a little weary of the light bulb/paint can or the cut off extension cord, but I bet they work.  I'm not sure if a fan would heat up a 7 cu ft freezer, but could be worth a try.  Any of these options would leave me wanting a thermowell vs my current copper probe taped/insulated to the outside of the carboy. 

Any additional ideas on how to heat up a fermentation freezer during colder months?

Equipment and Software / Garage Freezer Fermentation - Winter Problems
« on: September 11, 2014, 07:32:22 PM »
Temperatures across most of the country are currently homebrew-friendly, but I'm already planning for winter.  I have a 7 cubic ft freezer in my garage with an external thermostat that I use to brew to temperature control my fermentation.  I can make the freezer as cold as I want, BUT I don't have a way to add heat to the freezer once garage temperatures dip below brewing temperatures.

I don't want to ferment in a closet and don't want to only brew lagers all winter.  Any ideas for safe, cheap ways to add heat to my garage freezer so I can keep fermenting at ideal temperatures all year long?  Thanks, guys.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Saison per Wyeast
« on: September 10, 2014, 01:23:54 PM »
Ok, I used the fermentation schedule that I previously mentioned: "WLP565, Brewing Classic Styles recipe.  OG = 1.060, 2 days @ 70 degrees, 5 days @ 76-78 degrees, 8 days @ 82-86 degrees. FG = 1.002."  After a week to mellow and further tasting, this beer ended up more like a wheat beer or belgian with some dunkelweizen-like notes. 

Does not really resemble a saison and I can't help but think I should have fermented a lower temperatures.  I was afraid of not attenuating and read all about saison yeast loving warm temps, but I don't know what else would contribute to a tried-and-true recipe resulting in these flavors.


Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: All Grain to Extract Success Stories
« on: September 05, 2014, 12:28:44 PM »
Thanks guys!  I currently use Brewing Classic Style's method of LME/DME base malt and 30 min steeping of whichever grains are recommended per the recipe.  I've considered changing to a mini-mash by increasing the steeping time and adding base malts to the grain sock, but I haven't bought the equipment for a false bottom, etc. to go full mash.  More importantly, my wife is due in less than a month and I want to limit my brew day to 3-4 hours instead of going full mash and sleeping in the dog house..... Thoughts on a mini-mash method?

Equipment and Software / Re: Mini fridge
« on: September 05, 2014, 12:25:27 PM »
Thanks, guys.  I'm going to start taping my probe to the oustide of my glass carboy and tape insulation around it.  Also, since I don't trust the probe 100%, I'm going to tape the end of my thermometer inside the insulation.  I use this to calibrate temp adjustment, since I usually see a few degree difference between the thermostat setting and the thermometer reading.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: All Grain to Extract Success Stories
« on: September 04, 2014, 12:48:05 PM »
The Featured Stories on right now contains a great, short article on this topic. Basically:
- Identify your base malt
- Convert base malt to extract
efficiency 65  70   75    80
LME      0.63 0.68 0.73 0.78
DME     0.52 0.56 0.60 0.64
- steep specialty grains @ 160 degrees for 30 mins

Santoch, I've never heard of grains like Munich, Vienna and oats not being meant for steeping.  From what I've seen, Jamil's Brewing Classic Styles recommends these for steeping grains in most of his recipes.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.  Thanks!

Equipment and Software / Re: Mini fridge
« on: September 04, 2014, 12:30:16 PM »
I currently just lay the copper probe in the bottom of the freezer, suspend a thermometer next to the carboy and adjust the thermostat until the thermometer reads what I want.

You're saying I should instead suspend the probe or wrap it in insulation instead of placing it in a small or large amount of water?  I finally got a 7 cu ft freezer for fermentation temperature control and want to make sure I'm doing it correctly. Thanks!

Equipment and Software / Re: Mini fridge
« on: September 03, 2014, 03:40:42 PM »
Instead of a thermowell stopper, I've considered just putting the copper thermostat probe into a bottle of (cheap) beer or glass of water.  This would eliminate the contamination risk while still giving you an accurate temperature of liquid inside your fridge/freezer.  Any thoughts?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Saison per Wyeast
« on: August 27, 2014, 02:48:47 PM »
I just brewed my first saison using WLP565, Brewing Classic Styles recipe.  OG = 1.060, 2 days @ 70 degrees, 5 days @ 76-78 degrees, 8 days @ 82-86 degrees. FG = 1.002.  Kegged it last night, taste tested throughout.  Definitely has the tart finish I wanted with the low FG and I can detect some citrus and spice flavors. 
Any recommendations?  Sounds like I could finish the fermentation sooner by starting near 90 degrees and staying there.  Great thread

Equipment and Software / Re: Upgrade decision. Advice needed
« on: August 15, 2014, 03:32:43 PM »
Thanks again for all the advice and encouragement, everyone!

The only reason I haven't bumped up to all-grain is that I work 6 days/work (in the military) and don't want all the extra time on brew day (especially with a kid on the way).  I currently use steeping grains, but want to look into BIAB as soon as I make this upgrade.

Most importantly, I love the beer that I make and love sharing it with friends.  Even though it's extract, I've always tried to brew on Palmer and Zainasheff's principles of: sanitation, yeast starter, temp controlled fermentation and SANITATION.

Equipment and Software / Re: Upgrade decision. Advice needed
« on: August 14, 2014, 05:16:38 PM »
Thanks for the big post, kylekohlmorgen, too.

I'll probably try the closet or "swamp cooler" method at first.  I've heard a water bath with an ice pack thrown in every day or so can keep temps in the 60s for ale yeast.  Jamil and John really preach temp controlled fermentation and I don't want to sacrifice quality for quantity.  I can always go with the Craigslist freezer/Amazon thermostat if I really get worried.

Equipment and Software / Re: Upgrade decision. Advice needed
« on: August 14, 2014, 04:39:57 PM »
I love all of you guys geeking out on this homemade thermostat.  DYI homebrewing for sure.  Is there anything wrong with this external thermostat?

And how much money are you saving in the end with the STC + parts?  I've never heard of this option, I'm intrigued.

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