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Messages - brewsumore

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BJCP written exam on Saturday.

I hope this went well today Jeff!!!!


Yeah, I know a couple brewers who finish cooling with pumps in ice water. My sanitation (like most here) is good enough to sit the bucket in the fridge and be just fine. I just don't like having to. This worked really well. This is the one I bought. No need for one bigger than 1/4 hp :

Sounds great, just ordered one.  It helps to let someone else research a good product.  Thanks.   ;D

Summer Tex-Kolsch time for me:

90% Pils
5% white wheat
2.5% Vienna
2.5% Munich (10 lov)

Mash 149 for 90 (while I put kids to bed)

22 IBU German Tradition at 60m

Wy2656 @ 60

I brewed a pretty similar kolsch today:
83% pils
11% white wheat malt
6% vienna

"Yellow Full" profile in Bru'n Water (50% RO water / 50% tap water)

Mash 150F for 90 min (I mowed the lawn during the mash)

25 IBU Hallertau Mittelfruh @ 60 min

K-97 re-hydrated and pitched at 60 and will let rise to 63F

1.048 anticipated OG, 1.046 actual OG (80% brewhouse efficiency)

My first kolsch.

Last weekend I brewed a Mandarina Pale Ale

I'm still brewing 11 gal batches to yield 2 full cornies, and normally my 4-tap kegerator has a different beer on every tap.  I feel like it's not that much more work to brew 10 gallons than a 5 gallon batch and I'm not crazy about just getting into enjoying a beer when wham - the little 'ol single keg kicks.  And I do have friends visiting pretty often, and sometimes give away some bombers and/or growlers, although insist on getting the empty growlers back! 

I do like the idea of brewing a 2.5 gal lower gravity beer to grow a yeast cake while yielding BEER.  Also, I keep telling myself to try more often to split batches (different yeasts) but rarely do that either, I guess because I get focused on the fermentation regimen which is easier to control with same yeast working the same in two buckets going in my ferment fridge.

Although due to a health issue I've been nearly completely on the wagon for about 6 weeks and hoping that won't last too long.  So I have made a couple beers in the meantime that do well to age a few months, namely Skotrat's Traquair House Ale clone (wee heavy), and have a batch of Rochefort 8 clone bubbling away in the ferment fridge currently.

Now in my late 50's I might have to tone down the production but honestly, I only brew about 10 batches per year, and at least a couple of them are taken to lawn parties or on fishing trips.

Equipment and Software / Re: Thermowells and temp probes
« on: March 01, 2016, 09:09:10 PM »
I was wondering about the cleaning aspect. It's all good to know!

Yeah, FWIW I always immediately wash and sanitize my two fermenter buckets (10 gal batches) after beer transfer to kegs, so after hitting the buckets with some PBW and a good sponge job I drop the thermowell in the left over warm PBW in a Home Depot bucket for at least 20 minutes, wipe the stem hard with a sponge to remove any bits of remaining krauesen and beer stone (smooth sponge usually works), rinse really well under hot tap water, dip in Star San, and then store the thermowell upside down/inverted so all water drains from the inside of the stem.  I don't like to put anything with hard edges, thermowell included, into my fermenter buckets - that's why the extra HD bucket.

Equipment and Software / Re: Thermowells and temp probes
« on: March 01, 2016, 08:40:09 PM »
I ferment two buckets at a time.  I equalize the amount of wort in each, and use a thermowell in a tight fitting hole in one of the bucket lids + a Ranco temp controller.  5.5 gal wort in a 6.5 gal bucket, with anti-foam drops and a blowoff tube.  Works fine.

Thank-you. I've been looking for a problem to fix and have been considering experimenting with a thermowell in the freezer that doesn't have a fan to circulate the air. The holes with grommets in the lids of my fermenters ought to work. Thermowell is dirt cheap too.

I used the grommet hole as the starter hole but drilled a 1" wide hole which provides a snug fit for the rubber stopper utilized in the thermowell I purchased.  Depending on your stopper, just remember to drill a hole for the narrow end of the tapered stopper since you want a good seal and don't want the thermowell to ever push through the lid into the wort when you are inserting it into your bucket lid hole.  But don't drill to small width hole either, or the lid will crack at the edge of the hole due to too much forcing the stopper into it.

This has worked really well for me.  I have a new backup thermowell but I'm still using the one I've had for maybe 8 years.  I give the stem a good soak in PBW after using, so as to be able to wipe off the beer stone that collects on it otherwise.   :)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: February 20, 2016, 07:52:03 PM »
I had a lot of brewery stuff planned for the weekend.

Looks like I'll be taking a 4 to 6 week hiatus instead though. 

I feel your pain.  I'm waiting to see an orthopedist on Tuesday.  A recent MRI indicated I have torn labrum cartilage in my left hip and Avascular Necrosis in the weight-bearing portion of the femur head in both hips.  Most certainly some surgery and big interventions coming my way in the near future.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: YCH Hop and Brew School
« on: February 20, 2016, 07:41:54 PM »
I wish it wasn't 2000+ miles away.

I feel your pain.  For me it's just 200 miles away.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: YCH Hop and Brew School
« on: February 20, 2016, 01:15:59 PM »

Ingredients / Re: Vitners Harvest Purees
« on: February 20, 2016, 12:57:15 PM »
I've used them before in secondary. I gave them 2 weeks and was at FG by that time.

Do you think there is any additional fruit flavor extracted for a letting the beer sit on the fruit puree after it is done fermenting?

Yes, to a point, which some in the know put at about 10 or maybe up to 14 days total on the fruit.  Otherwise there is a potential for sliminess and/or contamination/off flavors.

YMMV depending on the fruit and its origin.

edit: personally, I recommend pasteurizing fruit puree used if it doesn't come that way.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: YCH Hop and Brew School
« on: February 20, 2016, 12:40:15 PM »
Wow, thanks Denny!  I had never heard about this.  I'll be calling them on June 6, at 8:00 am to register!  And hopefully get a chance to meet Steve after class hours since he's local (if he won't be attending), and looking forward to meeting Jim and all other fellow forum craft brewers whom will be there, including finally getting to meet Denny, if he will be there presenting or otherwise attending.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: February 16, 2016, 06:14:08 PM »
Heat wave coming our way for the weekend. May do double brew- all el dorado IPA , and a pils so I can try the modified steam injection system for a step.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Ken, as a fellow picnic cooler masher, and one who's pretty much given in to single infusion mashes, I heartily applaud your effort at solving the problems of multiple liquid infusions to step mash.  And I eagerly await your report.  Thank you.   

What's the benefit of pitching the entire starter?

My last brew I cold crashed the starter and poured 90% of the liquid off the top of the yeast cake then let the cake come up to wort temp and pitched. Then you don't have to worry about any (very very little) drop in OG right?

The best answer in a short reply is "that's why you should read the book 'Yeast' by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff."  But I need to and will look again at my copy.  edit:  without having looked at the book, let me give a brief reply based on my understanding (which is somewhat limited, but well-practiced):

Because yeast is an organism you need to "ranch" it to have the best possible outcomes.  In sufficient quantity and recent cell reproduction, and due to the ability to create a large population thru the "full ferment and decant" approach to yeast starters, you will be successful.  But also, when yeast are at the height of their reproductive activity (FK starter) and again in sufficient numbers they will immediately go to chewing on the sugars of the wort, resulting in a fast initial reproduction/growth cycle that will shorten lag time and thereby ensure a good start to the large task of working through a high gravity wort without leading to poor health, population or mutations at critical phases of the ferment.  I see it as insurance through a short lag time.  Both approaches work.  For me, doing a next-day impulse brew using old yeast (all available the day before brew day) in limited supply, a larger than normal full krauesen starter was the best option.  And it worked, with minimal negative side.  It's chugging very well in the ferment chamber I am happy to report.  8)

I guess I've normally thought in those terms but how do you get around the fact that when yeast eat sugar that they in turn release the "waste" products of ethanol and co2?

Certainly the smell of a full krauesen starter is yeasty, with no alcohol aroma.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: February 15, 2016, 07:47:27 PM »
good luck with the Skotrat recipe, been wanting to try that one myself for a while now, dont know when I will get to it. This weekend, I will finally be getting around to my Hazelnut Double Brown @ 1.100 that I have been asking questions about for around 4 months now. Third attempt at this beast, so hopefully I have learned a few things through the first 2 times

Thanks!  Your Hazelnut Beast sounds like what you'd drink with a Hero Sandwich!!

I think I'll be ok.  I had +1" of krauesen today, by 12 hrs into the ferment.  The tradeoff is that I had to pitch twice as much full krausen starter into the wort as listed in the recipe, so that will impact the beer a bit.  If you do make it, I'd pay close attention to the order of how to proceed on brewday per the recipe.  Also, I recommend that you look for the AHA 2011 recipe provided on the AHA Forum by Skotrat that includes the ferment temps and schedule, not some of the earlier versions on the Net.  You can google "Skotrat Scotch Ale".   edit: the thread is at -

Per the recipe you should runoff and then hard boil for 30 minutes the 2 gal of first runnings, towards making the syrup, and only after that, start the 2 hr full volume boil.  I started the wort reduction and then immediately went ahead and started my full volume boil of 14.5 gal.  So, I ended up having to stop/interrupt the full volume boil, to focus on reducing the syrup, which took way longer than I thought it would.  You want to time it so that the syrup is added to the kettle before the first hop addition (45 min), and I also recommend to NOT boil down more than 2 gal of first runnings.  The very best pot to make the syrup would be both wide and tall - since once it starts reducing it foams a lot and doesn't continue to evaporate/reduce quickly.  I started in a 2.5 or 3 gal pot and when mostly reduced switched to a SS large sautee pan, but ended up with at least 4 cups of syrup vs the recipe's recommended pint.  Also, although I was closely monitoring both kettles simultaneously I nearly had boilovers a few times on one or the other.  Mine was a marathon brewday, 10 1/2 hrs not including the time before that to make the starters - mostly due to hunkered over a too low boil in a too small pot or pan of reducing syrup!  Still - somehow I hit my OG exactly.  I'm looking forward to this beer.

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