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Topics - narcout

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Yeast and Fermentation / Interesting 1056 behaviour
« on: February 23, 2015, 02:18:58 PM »
Wednesday night I made a 1.7 liter starter, hit it with some O2, pitched a smack pack of 1056 and set it on a stir plate at a low RPM.

It was at high krausen when I got up for work at 6:30 Thursday morning, and I put it in the fridge before I left the house around 8:00.  When I got home around 7:30 p.m., I checked the starter, and it was still fermenting (though slowly) after having been in the fridge for just under 12 hours.  I don't know how cold my fridge is, but I think upper 30's is a good guess.

Saturday morning when I was ready to decant and pitch, I took it out of the fridge and put it out on the kitchen counter while I was sanitizing my oxygenation gear.  Less than ten minutes later, there was a quarter inch thick ring of krausen around the inside of the flask, and it was bubbling pretty steadily.  It couldn't have warmed up much past the mid 40's at that point.

Anyway, I was just surprised that this yeast was still active at such a low temperature.  It makes me wonder if you could ferment a full batch with it at lager temps (not that there's really any reason to do so).

I feel as though the culture was in pretty good shape when I pitched, and I'm going to continue the crash at high krausen method.  I wonder if any other strains will behave similarly.

Yeast and Fermentation / Coopers Dry Yeast
« on: February 20, 2015, 10:36:28 AM »
Does anyone know if Coopers Dry Ale Yeast is the same yeast the brewery uses or if there is a Wyeast or White Labs equivalent of the yeast used by the brewery?

I'd like to brew something similar to Coopers Best Extra Sparkling Ale.

My recollection is that there is a fair amount of yeast in the bottles that could be cultured, but they aren't all that easy to find (at least not here).

Kegging and Bottling / Leaking Regulator
« on: January 22, 2015, 10:32:37 AM »
After 6 or so years of no issues, I finally have a gas leak somewhere in my system.  I think I have it pinned down to the high pressure portion of my regulator, but I'm wondering if you guys can let me know if my thought process is correct.

What I did was turn the gas on so that the high pressure gauge read about 500 and the low pressure gauge read about 14.  I then closed the valve that leads from the regulator to the gas manifold and turned off the gas.  When I checked it a few hours later, the high pressure gauge read 0, but the low pressure gauge still read 14, and there was still pressure that could be released through the pressure release valve (which then brought the reading on the low pressure gauge to 0).  I repeated this process twice and obtained the same result.

My thinking is that this means the leak is in the high pressure portion of the regulator, so it's either the connection between the reg stem and tank, the connection between the reg stem and body of the reg, or the connection between the high pressure gauge and body of the reg.

I believe my experiment shows that the low pressure part of the reg (pressure relief valve, low pressure gauge connection, pressure control knob, and valve leading to the manifold) are not leaking.

Does that seem logical?  I'll try to verify the source tonight using soapy water.

I've tested all the other parts of the system, and this seems to be the only one that won't hold pressure overnight once the gas has been turned off.

Equipment and Software / Beer Stone (maybe)
« on: January 13, 2015, 02:31:49 PM »
I've noticed a whitish film building up on the interior of my new stainless fermentor (and also a bit on the dip tubes of my corny kegs). 

Neither oxyclean nor PBW seems to be effective at removing it.  I can just barely scrape a bit off using my fingernail.

If I run my finger down the inside of the fermentor, I can feel exactly where it starts (it has kind of a rough, almost non-slip surface feel to it).

Is this beer stone?  If so, what is a good way to remove it?

I feel like bar keeper's friend would probably work, but I've only ever used it to clean the outside of kegs and the inside of kettles.  Is it safe to use on the inside of a fermentor with non-scratch (blue) scrub pad?

Kegging and Bottling / Beer Gun Tips
« on: December 23, 2014, 11:55:44 AM »
When filling bottles for competition or to take to an event, I usually fill them directly from the tap.  However, I need to bottle 10 gallons for a friend's rehearsal dinner so I purchased a beer gun.

Using the included 10 ft. of beer line, what is the best pressure setting to minimize foaming?  I gave it a test run last weekend, and, while it worked pretty well, there was a bit more foam than I would have liked.

To be clear, I'm talking about foam in the actual beer line before it hits the bottles (I know the trick about chilling the bottles first).

I carbonate and dispense at 14 PSI, so I turned the regulator down to 2 PSI and purged the head space.  This is what works well for filling bottles off the tap, but I'm wondering if a little more pressure would have been better for the beer gun.  The directions state you should use the minimum pressure necessary to fill the bottles at an acceptable rate, but that seemed to cause a fair bit of foaming in the line.

Fortunately, the wedding isn't until April so I can do a few more practice runs.

According to the label, it is brewed with 2-row, amber malt, carapils, and flaked oats as well as coffee and cocoa.

This is really interesting beer.  I'm not quite sure how to describe it, but it has a great roast aroma and flavor as well as the the light chocolate notes you would normally get from darker grains.

I don't know how they incorporated the coffee without extracting any of the color(or really much coffee flavor other than roastiness), but I'd like to find out. 

My only complaint is the noticeable alcohol presence.  It has a sweetness to it that I think undermines the other aromas and flavors a bit (it's 9.7% ABV).

Overall though, I really enjoyed it and will likely pick up some more.  This would be a fun beer to try to replicate at home, though I'd probably drop the ABV a bit.   

Equipment and Software / Insulated stainless mash tun
« on: November 24, 2014, 06:00:55 PM »
So many new homebrewing products have come onto the market in the past few years, doesn't it seem strange that no one is selling an insulated stainless mash tun?

I see homebrewers in Europe using them, but I don't think they are readily available in the States.

Am I the only person who would be interested in something like this?

Beer Recipes / Ale with honey and oats
« on: November 01, 2014, 11:02:13 AM »
I've been wanting to brew with honey for a while, and I finally got around to it a few weeks ago.  I tapped the keg last night, and I'm pretty happy with it.

5 lbs. 2-row
4 lbs. Belgian pils
1 lb. oats (toasted at 300 degrees for 30 min.)
8 oz. British dark crystal

2 oz. EKG (60 min.)
1 oz. Styrian Goldings (10 min.)
1 oz. Styrian Goldings (5 min.)
1 oz. Styrian Goldings (flameout)

1 lb. Ames farm honey (added post chill but prior to racking to fermentor)

Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale (appropriately sized starter)

OG: 1.062 (6 gallon batch)
FG: 1.009
ABV: 7%
IBU: 50

Yeast and Fermentation / Wyeast 1332
« on: October 18, 2014, 07:50:05 PM »
What are your all experiences with this yeast?

I tried it for the first time in a beer I kegged this afternoon and found it to be a slow fermenter (there were still signs of active fermentation on day 14) but pretty attenuative.

It brought a 1.062 beer down to an FG of 1.009 (mashed at 152; 9% honey).

The Pub / PBR Sold
« on: September 19, 2014, 04:57:28 PM »

Ingredients / Barley Varieties
« on: September 18, 2014, 09:15:17 AM »
Why is it some maltsters, Thomas Fawcett for example, sell malt by barley variety (maris otter, optic, golden promise, etc.) but some sell malt labeled only pilsner, pale, ESB, etc. without specifying the variety used? 

If no variety is specified, does that indicate it is likely a blend?

Also, no one seems to denote the variety used for any of their specialty malts.  Is there a particular reason for that?

The Pub / Vegan Oktoberfest
« on: September 12, 2014, 09:26:01 AM »
See you on the 4th... (seriously, I will be there).

The Pub / The Drunken Botanist
« on: August 29, 2014, 12:07:34 PM »
Someone mentioned making bitters in a recent thread, which I would like to try.

While googling it, I came across this book that I think sounds pretty interesting.

Can someone please take a look and let me know if I have the correct parts to attach a gas post to a drilled stopper?

First, the barbed end of this fitting is inserted into the drilled stopper:

Then, this piece screws on:

To which you can attach a type B keg post:

Will that work?

Yeast and Fermentation / Safbrew Abbaye Ale
« on: August 14, 2014, 08:54:13 AM »
Is this new?

I've never seen it before.

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