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Messages - yeastmaster

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Equipment and Software / Motorized whirlpool?
« on: February 02, 2013, 09:33:23 AM »
I've never been able to get a very effective whirlpool in my kettle (10 gal polarware kettle).  I don't have a pump to recirculate the wort.  I use an immersion chiller which makes it difficult for me to whirlpool with a spoon.  I was wondering if anyone had ever attached a small paddle to a motor to sit over the top of the kettle and stir/form a whirlpool while chilling?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fun fermentions!
« on: February 01, 2013, 12:03:59 AM »
That looks awesome!  I'm also curious about the stone box.

Me too. Did you contruct it? What kind of rock? How is it sealed?


It is made with old slate pavers that had been sitting in a pile in my parents back yard for about 20 years.  Figured out my dimensions and cut them to size with a tile saw.  I used a food grade silicone to seal them together and built wooden collars to wrap around the top and bottom to keep the walls from pushing out when it is filled so I am not relying entirely on silicone.  I built a wooden lid for it as well.

It weighs about 50 pounds empty so I have it on a piece of thick plywood that is a little bit larger than the footprint of the fermenter.  I created rope handles on two sides so I can pick it up and move it.  When I am racking out of it I will pick up one corner of the plywood and set it on a 2x4 and set the racking cane in the low corner I create by doing this.  I can rack out almost everything and have very little waste. 

It is easy to scoop yeast out of the bottom but it is a bit of a pain to clean.  I scoop out as much as I can and then fill with warm/hot water and get everything as mixed up as I can and then sifon out.  I usually have to do this a few times and typically will put in some oxyclean to help me break up any crud.  Once it is clean I usually fill it with starsan.  I don't leave the starsan in for extended periods because I think the acidity interacts with the slate.

So far it has been really fun to use and made some pretty good beer.

Check out my blog to see some more pictures:

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fun fermentions!
« on: January 31, 2013, 11:50:43 PM »
That is very cool! Is that fermentor tiled? What yeast are you using? Very cool picture. I remember a tiled, open fermentor build similar to that from BYO years ago.

PacMan yeast

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fun fermentions!
« on: January 31, 2013, 10:52:54 PM »
I had to recheck the title of the thread to make sure it wasn't dessert!

Lid or no lid?

I have a loose fitting wooden lid.  During active fermentation where the krausen is rising I usually have it sitting up so it leaves about a 3/4 inch gap between the lid and the top of the fermenter in case the krausen wants to spill over which it has.  As it falls and I don't have a good krausen layer I set the lid on so it is closed but anything but airtight.  Once the primary fermentation is open I will usually transfer to a carboy for secondary.  At that point I like to get it airsealed, less worried about contamination as I am about oxidation since I don't always get things kegged or bottled right away.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fun fermentions!
« on: January 31, 2013, 10:46:54 PM »
So what different character you notice with the stone square? anything that might not be attributable to the open fermentation in general?

Looks really neat by the way and it DOES look like whipped egg whites.

I haven't done a side by side comparison between this and my carboys so I can't really say if it makes a big difference.  I don't notice anything that really stands out to make me know which fermenter I did a beer in.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fun fermentions!
« on: January 31, 2013, 10:44:11 PM »
What is fermenting in there?

A big IPA.  If you look close there are a few bits and pieces of citra hop cones floating around ;D

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast for English Barleywine?
« on: January 27, 2013, 03:49:16 PM »
I like 1469 for mine.

I haven't been able to get a hold of that one yet.  I sure would like to try it sometime

Beer Recipes / Re: Malt bill for an English style Barleywine?
« on: January 27, 2013, 02:00:51 PM »
I like a pretty dry barleywine but I have to disagree with the sugar. no need. if you mash long and low enough  and use the right yeast it could get down to 1.015 which is about as low as I would want it.

My favorite simple barley wine recipe right now is 100% munich, about 25 lbs first runnings only. (second runnings capped with a bit of medium crystal make a nice ordinary bitter as well) mash at ~2 qt/lb at 148 for 90+ minutes no mash out.

How much wort at what gravity do you usually get from that sort of schedule?

Ingredients / Re: Prefered base malt for brewing?
« on: January 26, 2013, 03:47:15 PM »
Thinking I might buy 2 bags and split with a friend so we each have a choice.  Maybe some Thomas Fawcett MO and Best Malz Pils.....

Yeast and Fermentation / Fun fermentions!
« on: January 26, 2013, 01:44:58 PM »
Some fermentations just make me smile  ;D  Love using my stone fermenter!

Yeast and Fermentation / Yeast for English Barleywine?
« on: January 26, 2013, 01:36:18 PM »
What yeast strains do people out there like for an English style Barleywine with and OG >1.100?

Beer Recipes / Malt bill for an English style Barleywine?
« on: January 26, 2013, 01:31:53 PM »
I'm thinking it is about time I brewed an English style barleywine.  The last time I brewed one was about 20 years ago and it was an extract batch at that time (BTW I still have some and last time I tasted it was incredible!)

I would like to do an all grain batch with an OG >1.100.  Does anyone have any thoughts about malt bills?  I was thinking about doing about 25 pounds (~5 gallon batch size) of grain.  My thought was to use 100% good maris otter malt.  My thought was that this beer will be big enough that there will be enough depth and sweetness of malt without anything else like crystal malts.  Does anyone out there have any thoughts?

Ingredients / Re: Prefered base malt for brewing?
« on: January 22, 2013, 06:18:28 PM »
What are you making?
For some British Ales I like GP, for others I like MO. I do like GP for a sweet-malty flavor.

I never know what I'm making until the spirit strikes me.  It looks like the new supplier also has some basic 2-row also but I'm interested in something with a little character.  I brew fairly frequently but not enough to keep two different types of base malt on hand.

I haven't brewed with Golden promise for years, could be interesting to try.  I think I've only ever used it for Scottish ales. 

Ingredients / Prefered base malt for brewing?
« on: January 22, 2013, 03:32:08 PM »
I typically by 50 pound sacks of malt for my brewing so I always have some on hand when I want to brew.  I have a limited selection where I live (Fairbanks, Alaska) and tend to have to get whatever is available (frequently gambrinus or great western 2 row).  I just found a source with a selection of malts that has inexpensive shipping for me and I was wondering what people liked. 

I tend to brew a variety of ales ranging from blondes, red ales, IPA's, Stouts, Belgians, you name it...but I do tend to like malty beers.  This survey has a list of some of the malts I have to choose from and I just wanted to see what people liked ;)

Ingredients / Re: Spruce Tips
« on: December 11, 2012, 02:27:15 PM »
I only use hops for bittering in my spruce beers, but I would imagine an English variety hop would pair better than a citrusy American one.  You can boil the tips in plain water to get an idea of the flavor and aroma.  Pete's wife Aimee makes jelly from boiled spruce tips - it's fantastic.

noble hops.

Alaskan uses blue spruce.

I was thinking about English hops but I could see noble hops working as well....

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