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Messages - sdevries42

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegerator Stopped Working
« on: May 04, 2015, 12:07:09 PM »
What temperature do you keep the keggerator at? Where is the temp probe? I recently had no flow in all of my taps and couldn't figure out why. Everything seemed to be set up properly. I had my Johnson temp controller set at 39 degrees with a diff of 2 degrees so I thought for sure freezing wasn't the issue. But it was. I went to grab the kegs and they were both frozen solid. After further investigation, I realized that my temp probe was near the top of the keggerator which was about 12 degrees warmer than the bottom, which was at around 25 degrees. What I did to fix that was put a fan into the keggerator for better airflow and less temp differential. I attached the temp probe to a glass of water and put it near the bottom. I thawed the kegs out and now everything works great!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg outflow problem
« on: May 04, 2015, 11:56:39 AM »
Beer is now thawed and flows great from the taps....and still tastes good too!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Transition from primary to secondary
« on: May 01, 2015, 05:11:42 AM »
Let it be at this point. Most Belgian yeasts are pretty hardy and also tend to stick around in suspension so you should be fine, but as you have surmised it's not a good idea ever to rack before fermentation is finished.
If you let fermentation complete in the primary and do not plan to add anything more to the beer, is there any point to rack in a secondary fermenter?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg outflow problem
« on: April 30, 2015, 09:33:59 AM »
Great suggestions thanks! Does it matter where the fan is mounted or where it is pointed?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg outflow problem
« on: April 30, 2015, 09:09:27 AM »
Sounds like the beer is freezing, as Amanda asked, where is the probe?
Well it looks like that was exactly the problem . I moved the probe closer to the bottom of the keggerator and the temp dropped over 10 degrees to the mid 20s. Hopefully the freezing won't affect taste now....

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Secondary ferementer help
« on: April 30, 2015, 08:48:24 AM »
I had a local home brew shop owner where I used to live drill into my head when I was brand new to brewing that you want to get the beer off the sediment asap. I know better now but for some reason that thought still sits in the back of my head

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg outflow problem
« on: April 30, 2015, 08:45:46 AM »
Where is your temp probe measuring 39F from?
The probe is hanging off one of the CO2 lines into open air so is measuring ambient air temp. Now that I think more about it. The probe is near the top of the freezer so maybe air is warmer there? Wouldn't think it would make much difference though as the collar is insulated.

Kegging and Bottling / Keg outflow problem
« on: April 30, 2015, 08:06:06 AM »
I am new to kegging. I have a cream ale and stout on tap. I have a chest freezer converted to a keggerator. I use a Johnson A419 temp controller and keep set at 39 degrees. Initially everything was working great. Now if I let it sit for a few days I get almost no flow out of the taps when I open them. At first I noticed some icing in the lines as they were touching the sides of the freezer. Thawed them out and worked fine again. I tied off the lines so they weren't touching the sides of the freezer and haven't noticed any more icing. However, after about a week I opened the taps and again I have absolutely no flow. There does not appear to be any obstruction in the beer line itself. Maybe icing at the out connector but if it's at 39 degreeswith a 2 degree differential I can't see any reason for icing. With that said, this is the third time this has happened and when I shut off the freezer and let it warm up a few degrees the problem has resolved the last 2 times which would suggest an icing issue I would think. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions to help me out? This is getting frustrating!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Transition from primary to secondary
« on: April 30, 2015, 07:32:49 AM »
Have you checked the gravity? How long has it been since you transferred. In the future you would want to check gravity at least twice a few days apart. It should be at least close to what you expect for a final gravity and be at the same gravity if you check it say two or three days apart. For now check the gravity if you haven't already. If its on the high side for now I would still wait a few days, most likely it is just slowed down. Some yeast would have been racked over to secondary and it just needs to build up. What temp is it? I recommend you let it get up to 75 ish to finish. If the gravity is high and not moving in several days you can pitch a very large starter of neutral yeast to finish but I bet you won't need to. Also make sure to test your hydrometer in plain water at the recommended temp on the paper that comes with.
I transferred last night and after realizing I should have checked the gravity before, I checked it when it was already in the secondary. Reading was 1.026 with a goal of 1.010. I have it at 70 degrees now. There are still signs of good fermentation so maybe I'll be ok?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Transition from primary to secondary
« on: April 29, 2015, 07:44:23 PM »
After more research it looks like I moved it too soon before fermentation was complete. Can I add more yeast to the secondary to help finish fermentation or am I stuck?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Secondary ferementer help
« on: April 29, 2015, 07:43:05 PM »
It's unlikely that there is a problem.

Generally, if you are going to move to secondary, you should wait till you know the fermentation is complete. You know this because two gravity readings several days apart will be the same.

That said, 1.011 sounds in line with what i would expect. I suspect there was a temp change and/or the hops provided nucleation sites for co2 bubbles so more co2 is coming out of solution.

That said, keep an eye on the gravity and if it keeps dropping it means either it wasn't done when you moved it and now it's finishing up in which case, yay! or you picked up a more attenuative yeast somewhere along the way in which case, well you'll have to wait and see, might still be yay!

Going forward, you can skip the secondary most of the time. in this  case with the pliny and the heavy dry hopping getting the beer off the yeast first can be beneficial but most of the time it's more effort for no real return and offers some rick of infection or oxidation.

I moved a Belgian from primary to secondary too soon while fermentation was still ongoing. I don't know what I was thinking. Now I'm worried fermentation will not complete as it has significantly slowed now. Could I just add more yeast to the secondary or am i stuck?

Yeast and Fermentation / Transition from primary to secondary
« on: April 29, 2015, 07:21:42 PM »
I have a Belgian Tripel fermenting now. Recipe said to add grapefruit and brown sugar at 60 hrs into primary and transition into secondary after 1 week. It's been a week now and it is still fermenting fairly strong. I moved it into the secondary fermenter like the recipe,said and now fermentation has significantly slowed. Should I have left it in the primary fermenter longer? How do you know when is a good time to transition into the secondary fermenter?

Don't spray them with star san.

With vanilla and cacao nibs and that sort of thing I usually nsoak them in vodka for about a week and then add entire contents to beer (I usually add to primary as I do not use a seconday even with most fruit beers). For fruits I just freeze it and hope for the best. For oak I toast it at 380-400 in my oven.

Beer is fairly stable once fermentation is finished. To be honest I use the vodka to help extract flavors, not so much to sanitize. I would have no qualms just adding the beans directly to the fermentor.

I've been experimenting with some coffee beers and the beans get ground and added directly to the fermentor for 12-12 hours, no sanitizing. That's after they are run through the local coffee shop grinder.
Is there a certain type of vodka that would work better depending on the beer its being added to or does it not really matter?

I actually just had the exact same problem. At first I thought it was a loose connection between the regulator and the tank. I tightened it up but it kept happening. I actually lost an entire 5 lb bottle and all the pressure in my keg after leaving it alone for a weekend. I think I've isolated the leak now to the quick connect for the co2 line attaching to the keg. Am going to try putting keg lube on the seals and hope that will take care of it.

Yeast and Fermentation / Sterilizing secondary fermentation additions
« on: March 24, 2015, 01:54:06 AM »
I currently have a vanilla porter in my primary fermenter. I plan on adding sliced up vanilla beans at secondary fermentation. The question I have is how do I sanitize the beans prior to adding them to the fermenter? Can I just spray them its star san first? I've read some soak the beans in vodka for a while but I'm not yet convinced I want to go that route.

How do you sanitize other things like fruits you want to add in the fermentation? My next brew I plan on is a tripel that calls for grapefruit in the secondary fermenter.

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