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Messages - narcout

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Gravity consistently off by 10 points
« on: November 06, 2016, 02:41:36 PM »

Your water isn't terrible, but if you aren't making any adjustments I bet your mash pH is higher than optimal, especially on your lighter beers. 

Download a copy of Bru'n Water, fill it out using the last recipe your brewed, and see where your estimated mash pH comes out.

I just did that using your water profile and the recipe I brewed Friday night, and the estimated mash pH was 5.79.  Depending on the style, you want to be down between 5.2 and 5.5.  You could fix this with acid, acid malt, darker malts, or additional calcium (your water is pretty low in calcium, and you'll probably want to bump that up regardless)

Be sure to read the Water Knowledge tab at the end.

Let us know if you need any help with the adjustments.

All Grain Brewing / Re: First Low Oxygen Brew
« on: November 06, 2016, 02:23:21 PM »
How did the wort taste?

Round, rich and full

I'm looking forward to seeing how the final product comes out. 

I'm going to try fermenting to completion and then naturally carbonating in the serving keg using the method you outlined in the other thread.

All Grain Brewing / First Low Oxygen Brew
« on: November 05, 2016, 04:52:13 PM »
Last night, I brewed a Belgian Pale using the full low oxygen method.  It was actually pretty easy.

I underestimated how long it would take to bring 7.75 gallons of water to a boil.  Next time, I'm going to split it between two pots and combine them when they are close to a boil.

My usual efficiency on this recipe is in the low 80's.  Not being sure what to expect, I targeted 70%, but ended up hitting 73%.  I can live with that for now.

I did have to do some gentle stirring to break up dough balls.  Hopefully, it didn't burn through too much SMB (I used 50 mg/l).  I may need to order some sulfite test strips.

Typically, I heat my strike water to 13 degrees above my target mash temp, and then I gently stir for about 5 minutes to even the temp and break up dough balls.  Given the increased volume of strike water and not being able to stir, I guessed 11 degrees would work.  It turned out 8.5 degrees would have been the correct target.  On this beer, I doubt mashing at 152 instead of 150 will make any difference, and I'll get it right next time.

That said, I've been hitting my mash temp on the nose every brew for the last 10 years, so it's a bit irritating.   If I get really into low oxygen brewing, I'll probably switch to a RIMS.

I did a 70 minute boil targeting 10% evaporation.  Actual evaporation was 11.5%, which is pretty close.   

The ground water here is warm.  I usually chill to 90 or so and then let the chest freezer bring it to pitching temp overnight.  Last night, I chilled the wort to 100 and then started recirculating 4 gallons of water I had chilled to the low 40s in the freezer while brewing.  That got me down to 80 at which point I pitched the yeast into the fermentor, racked the wort on top, oxygenated, and put in the chest freezer to bring it down to 68.  Next time, I'll pick up a bag of ice.  That should get me where I need to be, at least for ales.

Overall, it was a pretty smooth process, and I learned what adjustments I need to make for next time.  It was a long brew day, but it's nice to get everything done in one shot rather than having to chill overnight and oxygenate/pitch yeast in the morning.

This was also the first time I conditioned the grain before milling.  I don't think the crush really looked all that different though.


Kegging and Bottling / Re: Oxygen scavenging caps
« on: November 05, 2016, 04:15:28 PM »
Northern Brewer carriers oxygen absorbing caps, but the bag they came packaged in says oxygen barrier caps on it.

Are they the same product?

I've always sanitized them in an Iodophor solution, but I only bottle for the occasional competition. 

Ingredients / Re: Polyclar Brewbrite
« on: November 04, 2016, 06:54:19 PM »
All I'm finding are Polyclar VT and Polyclar 10 (not even sure if they are different).

The directions for both are to add post-fermentation, which I have no interest in.  Can either of these be used successfully in the boil?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Low oxygen Brewing Now Has a Site
« on: November 04, 2016, 06:15:13 PM »
I think I've read every post on the GBF since you guys re-opened, but it is really nice to have all that information well organized and in one location. 

Compared to digging through a bunch of forum threads, this makes it so much easier to find what you are looking for.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing
« on: November 04, 2016, 04:43:59 PM »
I'm brewing my first low oxygen batch tonight, wish me luck.

Bryan, what type of fitting are you using to go through the wall of your kettle mashtun?  Is it just a threaded nipple with type A camlocks on either end?  I'm interested in using a similar setup for my cooler tun.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Omega Yeast - Pro Strains
« on: October 28, 2016, 10:02:08 PM »
Looks like they've got quite a few brett blends.  I need to get a batch of sour beer going...

All Grain Brewing / Re: Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing
« on: October 27, 2016, 05:38:36 PM »
I bet the constant recirculating is pretty helpful.  I'll see where I come out and report back. 

I do have a pump and could set up a recirculating system, but everytime I have seriously considered it, I've decided not to.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing
« on: October 27, 2016, 04:13:52 PM »
I'm planning a low oxygen brew for my next batch (hoping to brew it next weekend).

I'm thinking I can follow the paper pretty well with the following exceptions:

- I'm brewing a Belgian ale so the fermentation schedule will be different
- My understanding from reading the GBF is that you want to use less than 100 mg/l of SMB for ales so I was   
  thinking maybe I would start at 50 mg/l
-Given my schedule, it's extremely likely I will miss the window for spunding so I'll have to add some 
 priming solution in the keg

I think I have everything else covered (condition grain, pre-boil strike water,fill mash tun from bottom, minimal stirring/splashing, no sparge, 60 minute boil targeting 10% evaporation, stainless chiller, etc.).

Any comments or suggestions?

Is it recommended to skip the vorlauf when not utilizing a recirculating mash system?

I really don't know what to expect in terms of the efficiency hit.  I'm usually in the low 80's for this beer, but with no sparge, no stirring to break up any dough balls, shorter boil, and conditioned grain (which I think will result in a coarser crush), I designed the recipe to target 70%.

Ingredients / Re: Polyclar Brewbrite
« on: October 20, 2016, 10:27:39 PM »
Thanks, I may have to give it a try. 

It might work well in conjunction with Brewtan since, as I understand it, one works mostly on proteins and the other on polyphenols. 

Is there a US source, or do I need to order it from Australia?

Ingredients / Polyclar Brewbrite
« on: October 19, 2016, 10:19:03 PM »
To anyone here using this stuff, how are you using it?  What do you think?  Does it require downstream filtration to remove?

Equipment and Software / Re: Cold crashing with Ss Brew Bucket?
« on: October 18, 2016, 08:25:24 PM »
This is what I did:

You could supplement what I do by pumping in more CO2 as the temperature drops to keep it under positive pressure. 

My experience has been that after the initial fill with CO2, it will hold a vacuum as the wort contracts which can then be broken on the day you transfer by adding more CO2.  Don't forget to break the vacuum before you open the ball valve or a bunch of air will get sucked in.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing
« on: October 17, 2016, 11:06:30 PM »
OR ferment to gravity and sugar prime the keg.

What method are people using to add priming solution to a purged keg without introducing too much air?

The best I can think of is adding a sampling port to your transfer tubing and using a syringe to dose the beer in-line.  Maybe someone else has come up with an easier solution?

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