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Messages - brewmonk

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottle Bombs, ...oh my.
« on: July 17, 2013, 07:35:48 PM »
You need to be aware of:
1) your finishing gravity, was it correct?  This is the biggest factor. 1 Plato can add about 5 grams/Liter of CO2.  If your beer finished out as it should, this is not a problem, and need not be accounted for.

2) temperature. There is a residual amount of CO2 in the beer due to the temperature.  The colder the beer, the more residual CO2 there is.  You can find charts online to tell you the amount of CO2 in the beer (John Palmer's "How to Brew" site has a good chart. Also

3) Amount of bottling sugar, based on the above info, you need to fill in the rest of your CO2 need with sugar or fermentables.
Braukaiser is good for that also.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Uh oh, didn't mix yeast well.
« on: July 17, 2013, 07:26:10 PM »
Shouldn't the carbonated bottles have a layer of yeast on the bottom?  I would think that would be an easy thing to check.
Ok, well, to make a short story longer, there was some yeast left, but the yeast wasn't carbonating well.  This actually happened last year, and we've since changed our yeast for a more robust yeast for bottling high alcohol beers.  We've found that a random bottle will have great carbonation but the others are flat and sweet.  They all tend to have yeast, but the ones with the fresh yeast (I'm guessing) seem to be the ones that are good.
I know it's too late for this time, but if you mark the level in the bottle with a sharpie, you can actually see when it is carbonated, because the level raises up an eighth inch or so.
Hmm, unfortunately it is too late, but that is an interesting observation.

The only thing we have noticed is that some of the less filled bottles (ie a bit more headspace) seem to have carbonated a bit more ... and are less sweet.  We tried shaking them a bit and looking at the foam, but there really didn't seem to be any noticeable difference between them.  May have to just chalk this up to experience.

Kegging and Bottling / Uh oh, didn't mix yeast well.
« on: July 17, 2013, 04:31:37 PM »
To make a long story short, beer was filtered (so no residual yeast and this is a high gravity beer at 10%, then in bottling, added bottling sugar first and it was mixed in well.  Later added fresh bottling yeast, but forgot to mix it up before bottling.  Now, some bottles are carbonated fine, but other bottles are flat and sweet.  The question is: is there any way to tell which bottles are carbonated and which ones are flat without opening them?  :-[

Going Pro / Re: Cleaning chemicals
« on: May 09, 2013, 02:42:50 PM »
We use Ecolab products

mipCIP (lye solution) for cleaning
Horolith V (nitric acid solution) for beer stone
Oxonia Active (peracetic acid solution) for sanitizing

(Actually haven't had to remove any beer stone yet)

Going Pro / Pro Brewing Software
« on: February 14, 2013, 10:30:54 AM »
I'm finding that templates in MS Word and Excel are getting cumbersome.
So who uses what?  ProMash seems to be the most common one I see online, but BeerSmith claims to be good for professionals too.  Are there others that are solid, and is there anything I should "look for" in brewing software?

Going Pro / Re: What have I done?
« on: December 13, 2012, 11:01:53 AM »
Been busy, so just saw this.  Congrats!  Don't worry, it's all the work it's cracked up to be.   ;)
If you got through nuclear engineering, you should do fine here.  8)

Good luck!

Ingredients / Re: What is candi sugar?
« on: October 06, 2012, 05:12:18 PM »
Here's info from one of the major "candi sugar" suppliers for beer in Belgium:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beard beer?
« on: October 01, 2012, 10:13:53 AM »
As interesting as that's more revolting.  :-\
The name doesn't help either.  :o Especially since I really didn't like the "old" one either.  :P
Ironically, I'd still be willing to try it.  It sounds better than chicha.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Newb Question - Original Gravity
« on: September 23, 2012, 09:22:19 AM »
I know this might be hard since this is your first batch, but leave it alone for two weeks.  It'll probably be done at that point.  Opening the fermenter a bunch of times can just introduce more opportunites for oxygen and contamination.
And make sure you take readings two days in a row to make sure it's done. Don't go by what the kit tells you it should be.  You'll know it's done if you get the same reading two days in a row.  Your final gravity could be higher than what the kit tells you or it could be lower.  Go by the two days in a row reading though.  I never had a kit get to the final gravity the kit said it should, but all my beers turned out pretty good (well on that side of things ... tinkering with adding additional things later sort of wonked one up  ::) To this day one friend tells me to never attempt a coffee stout again.  ;D )

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Newb Question - Original Gravity
« on: September 22, 2012, 11:51:08 AM »
My kit beers always ended up less than it was supposed to.  I think the pre-printed markings on my fermentation bucket were off.  I also never got the attenuation the kit said either, but that was probably due to lack of oxygen.

The beer will probably have a bit less alcohol, but you should still get beer.

Welcome to brewing.

According to

A person who supervises the brewing process in a brewery.

So technically, we are all brew masters in our own brewery.  I think most people assume the name is an earned rank of some kind.  I don't refer to myself as a brew master but rather as a brewer (or hack with dumb luck  ;) ).  If others call me a brew master while drinking my beer, I don't correct them.

I'm called the brewmaster in our monastery because I'm in charge of the brewing.  However, I really don't like having that title precisely because it infers so much training, knowledge, and experience.  I'm learning a lot every day I brew, but to really consider myself a "master" is a far stretch at this point.  I personally prefer being called "head brewer".

However, I would say that a lot of homebrewers are true brewmasters (even if it's only on their system).  The creativity and art is much more thriving in a home environment than a professional/business one.  And of course consistent and good results are the sign of that.  Understanding the ingredients, process, and results, as well as being able to formulate a recipe based on what flavors you want seem to me to be the biggest criteria for being a master.

I agree. To me, as a someone who has no background in legal matters, this is a flagrant copyright violation. The breweries are using a brand developed by someone else to sell their beer.

Absolutely right.  They haven't got a prayer... the product may have been birthed in a fictional world, but the name and concept is the intellectual property of 20th Fox and provable as such, and these guys stole it plain and simple.  After 20+ years on the air (the longest running sitcom in broadcast history), "The Simpsons" is an international brand in and of  itself, which these clowns are blatantly trading on.

As to what the courts in Columbia will have to say about it...well, THAT should be interesting to watch. 
But the brothers will most probably lose...and frankly,  they deserve to.

+ 2

I see this beer, as well as people wearing t-shirts with the logo, all over the place here in Italy (and the Simpsons is hugely popular here).  I've seen it so much, that I assumed that it was approved by Fox.  I had no idea that it wasn't.  I think the Duff Beer name, and especially the logo being exact, is a copyright violation.  It's pretty clear they're cashing in on the popularity of the Simpsons.  I've been curious to try the beer, but I would think it's pretty mediocre, given it's mass marketing and the use of the "Simpsons" schtick. That's probably the only thing that really sells the beer.

Going Pro / Re: Blog post on going pro
« on: August 20, 2012, 03:06:07 PM »
I'm learning that this post is pretty true.  Thankfully a monastic brewery is not quite as volume oriented.  Still, due to the nature of the process, brewing days and cleaning days are pretty long.  I think someone else said somewhere "you have to remember, a brewery is a factory.  It's a factory that makes pretty cool stuff, but still it is a factory."

But at our inauguration, seeing people enjoying the beer just made all the work worth it.  8)

Going Pro / Re: And now comes the REAL test
« on: August 13, 2012, 04:59:25 PM »
Congrats, I hope it goes well with you and you're able to get more business.

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