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Messages - narcout

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling from a keg
« on: May 05, 2013, 06:01:26 PM »
Why not just chill the keg down to about 33-35 and fill with a picnic tap with a tube to reach the bottom of the bottle. Or just a tube off the kegerator tap?

Either of those methods can work well.  You'll want to turn off the gas to the keg and bleed most of the pressure off first. 

I do think it's worth flushing the bottles with CO2 (which you can do just fine without a counter pressure filler).

I made a run to the LHBS after work so I can brew an oatmeal stout tomorrow night.  Last night I kegged a dunkel which I also have high hopes for.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Second thoughts on brewing
« on: April 20, 2013, 04:36:09 PM »
I ordered the below kit with the glass carboys. I also ordered a case of 22 oz. bottles.

That's the same kit I started brewing with 8 years ago in an apartment in Nashville - no burner, no chiller, made excellent beer.

The groundwater here in LA is pretty warm most of the year, but a simple immersion chiller does the job just fine.  An ice bath in the kitchen sink will serve you well for the time being.

I would definitely recommend getting a $7 rubbermade storage bin and using it to keep your fermentor cool though.  Just fill it with water and change out frozen two liter bottles (or refreezable ice packs) twice a day. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 2352 Munich Lager II
« on: April 07, 2013, 06:53:42 PM »
Well, I brewed my Munich Dunkel last night.  According to Wyeast, the minimum fermenting temperature for this yeast is 52 degrees. 

I read some posts on another forum that made it sound like running this strain lower than the recommended minimum was a bad idea, so I pitched at 47 and set the controller to 53.

We'll see how it turns out...

I'm hoping to brew a Munich Dunkel on Saturday - got the starter on the stirplate now. 

I don't brew a lot of lagers so I'm looking forward to it.

Yeast and Fermentation / Wyeast 2352 Munich Lager II
« on: March 25, 2013, 07:21:48 PM »
Anybody have experience with this yeast?

I'm going to try it in a Munich Dunkel in a few weeks.

I was attracted by the description which promises low sulphur and diacetyl.

The Pub / Re: Cats are not Hop Heads.
« on: March 24, 2013, 01:08:24 PM »
Does anyone else know any random facts about pets and brewing?

Hops are poisonous to dogs.  I'm not sure about cats though.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: BRY-97 First Impression
« on: March 24, 2013, 12:58:59 PM »
I take it this strain is more flocculant than US-05?

I will definitely give it a shot.

The Pub / The Wheel of Time
« on: March 24, 2013, 12:55:44 PM »
I just finished A Memory of Light.

I think I started reading this series in 10th grade (I'm 34 now).  It's hard to believe that it's over.

Brandon Sanderson did a fantastic job.  I can't imagine what a daunting task that must have been.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison Dry Yeast
« on: March 23, 2013, 01:16:09 PM »
This statement and others I have read like it raise questions.  Does it assume 70* surroundings?  Is it the yeast or the surrounding air temp that lets it 'rise naturally' into the low or mid 70's?

I live in Southern California, and the ambient temp in my fermentation area (in which sits the fermentation chest freezer) varies between 65 and 75 degrees depending on the time of year.  In my case, it is a combination of the surrounding air temp and the heat generated by the yeast during fermentation that lets the temp rise into the 70s.   

I ferment in a kegerator with a 2 stage controller (controls heating and cooling), and it sits in my unheated / uncooled garage.  During the winter it stays about 45*, during the Summer it stays about 80*.  So I cannot rely on ambient temperature to provide a happy medium.

I have only read insufficient explanations in that there are so many variables not dealt with, one could end up way off base.  So I guess my confusion lies in the statement "letting it rise naturally."  I don't see that happening in my situation, so how do I replicate it through temperature control?

If you have a two stage controller and are fermenting in a kegerator, can't you hook up your controller to both the kegerator and a heating source to keep fermentation temperatures exactly where you want them?

Although I rarely have to use it, I do have one of these heaters that I can tape to the inside of my chest freezer if I need to bring the temperature up a bit.  It works pretty well.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison Dry Yeast
« on: March 23, 2013, 09:47:17 AM »
In future saisons, I was thinking about using Saaz/Styr Goldings throughout, with good-sized additions at FWH, 30, 15, and after KO.

I stole this Saison hop regimen from a Northern Brewer recipe, but I really like it (for a 5 gallon batch):

1 oz EKG - 60 min
.25 oz each of Saaz and Styrian Goldings - 10 min
.75 oz each of Saaz and Styrian Goldings - 2 min

Pitch too low or control to 'normal' ferm temps = too low of a flavor contribution from the yeast

Pitch to high or dont control temp = temp drop at end of ferment, stressed yeast, fusels/phenols, poor attenuation.

Is this just a balancing act I haven't mastered yet?

I brew mostly Belgians, and I've had the best success (at least with 3711, 3522 and 3787) pitching in the low 60s, fermenting in the upper 60s for 36 hours, then letting it rise up naturally into the low to mid 70s.

I'm always nervous about keeping it too cool for too long or letting it get too warm too soon.

I mashed in on a rye pale ale a half hour ago, and I'll be kegging a batch of tripel during the boil.

I kind of just made up the recipe while at the LHBS.

7 lbs. 2-row
3 lbs. malted rye
.7 lbs. British medium crystal
1 oz nugget 60 min
.5 oz nugget 30 min
.5 oz of cascade and .5 oz of centennial at 10 min., 5 min., and flameout
Dry hop with .5 oz cascade and .5 oz centennial

Equipment and Software / Re: FastRack
« on: March 09, 2013, 09:37:21 AM »
Mine arrived in the mail a few days ago. 

The racks themselves are solidly constructed out of very heavy duty plastic.  The drip tray is a bit flimsy, but it is the least important component of the system.  When stacked, the whole thing is really stable (more so than I would have expected).

I bought it for storage more than as a sanitizing system.


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast harvesting question
« on: March 08, 2013, 09:52:10 AM »
Well, I pitched about 4 fluid ounces of the slurry (as per the mrmalty calculator) on Monday morning and the resulting fermentation was of usual vigor.  I'll check the gravity next weekend and see where I stand (OG was 1.077).

Did you harvest by top cropping or from the bottom of the bucket?

I harvesting from the bottom of the fermentor after racking into the serving keg.

How many times have you rinsed this jar of yeast?

Just once, then I crashed it and decanted the liquid before pitching.

Yeast and Fermentation / Yeast harvesting question
« on: March 03, 2013, 02:07:02 PM »
Oddly, in 8 years of homebrewing, this is my first attempt at yeast rinsing.

The white layer on top is obviously yeast, but what about the slighty darker layer below?  Is that yeast and trub or just trub?

The crud on the outside of the jar is label residue (these jars originally contained pasta sauce).

Edit: I should clarify that the picture above is post-rinse.

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