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Messages - bluedog

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1
Equipment and Software / Re: Mesh bags for hops?
« on: May 10, 2013, 10:47:02 AM »
That's pretty much what I was thinking - a bigger bag would probably have no noticeable effect. Thanks.

2
Equipment and Software / Mesh bags for hops?
« on: May 10, 2013, 10:31:39 AM »
I have a question about bagging hops for the boil. I typically use hop pellets and just drop them into the boil kettle. Recently at big brew I noticed a lot of brewers using mesh bags to contain the hops for the boil. I also saw someone using a hop "spider" which was basically a large mesh bag attached to a PVC collar with posts to the edge of the kettle. The hops were just dropped into the bag and later the whole bag removed and the wort drained. My question is there any loss of efficiency or extraction by bagging the hops?

3
Equipment and Software / Re: Stuck recirc in blichmann mash tun
« on: April 09, 2013, 06:08:02 PM »
I also have a 15 gallon blichman kettle and run a RIMS with a March pump - 1/2" hightemp lines and 2 valves. The mash tun valve wide open, the outlet on the pump at about 1/4 open or less. I use 2 pint glasses of rice hulls for a 5 gallon batch and 4 glasses for wheat beers - double for 10 gallon batches. My crush is set at 0.036. I turn the pump on after the grain and water are in the mash tun and I close the outlet valve first anytime I stir up the grain bed - usually once after 15 minutes of recirculation and again at the 30 minute mark. For me rice hulls are cheap insurance and work well. It has been my experience that stirring up the entire grain bed while recirculating will compact the bed. 

4
General Homebrew Discussion / Harvest Ale
« on: July 31, 2011, 06:21:28 PM »
OK so what is a harvest ale? Every fall I see this brewery or that brewery has a "harvest ale" out. They are usually something like an American amber - copper/red in color and kind of hoppy with some biscuit or toasty component. Is this a just marketing term? Something to compete with the O'fest offerings from other breweries?

5
The Pub / Re: My garage fridge
« on: June 30, 2011, 04:21:55 PM »
I agree about the 10F with the freezer - I read it somewhere and it didn't make sense to me except maybe something to do with the oil in the system.

6
The Pub / My garage fridge
« on: June 30, 2011, 12:44:13 PM »
So my garage fridge is dying a slow death. When I grabbed a beer the other day, it seemed warm so I did what any brewer would do. I got my lab thermometer and took a reading. 50F was a little high for my drinking enjoyment. The controller was all the way down. I could get the fridge checked out but I paid $50 for it and it would cost twice that to get someone over to look at it. Here's the thing I live outside Chicago and if I understand it right some new refrigerators don't work well in the garage with the temperature extremes we have in the midwest. Apparently the freezer doesn't work if the outside temp goes below 10F or something like that. The fridge I have now has separate thermostat settings for the freezer and the fridge. It seems the new fridges have only one controller and could cause a problem. Anybody out there know about this and could shed some light on the subject?

7
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 5526 - Brettanomyces Lambicus
« on: June 13, 2011, 11:20:28 AM »
Yes I did see your thread and didn't realize you were using this yeast. Maybe it's time to get a barrel started.....

8
Yeast and Fermentation / Wyeast 5526 - Brettanomyces Lambicus
« on: June 05, 2011, 05:19:56 PM »
Wyeast 5526 is the Brettanomyces Lambicus strain. Has anybody out there used this before? A while back I had a oak aged Belgian that had an awesome tart cherry flavor and aroma and would like to make something similar.The Wyeast description of this yeast states that this strain has that sour cherry character. I'm wondering is there a best temperature for this strain? I have never fermented anything with Brett before and could use some advice.

9
Yeast and Fermentation / Diacetyl rest - how long is too long?
« on: April 29, 2011, 04:52:22 PM »
Diacetyl rest - how long is too long? I have a lager that is resting at 66F in the primary on the original yeast. I have another one using my lager fridge for primary right now. How long can I let the first one sit at room temp?

10
So do you include crystal and roasted malts in your main mash or do you steep them separately?

11
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belgian saison
« on: April 23, 2011, 06:51:46 AM »
50 days in the primary fermenter - SG is at 1.009.  No airlock activity and it is starting to clear. I am racking it tonight. For sure this is the longest I have ever waited on a primary - hopefully the results will be good.   

12
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belgian saison
« on: April 12, 2011, 07:13:30 AM »
So how low should I expect this to go. My OG was 1.070 and is currently at 1.013. I am patient, but are single digits out of the question with this starting gravity?

13
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belgian saison
« on: March 30, 2011, 12:30:52 PM »
My OG is still dropping (10B), fermentation is at 80F, no krausen and cloudy. Tomorrow's forecast when we come back...

14
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belgian saison
« on: March 25, 2011, 11:51:44 AM »
3 days ago it was down to 1.025. I can see activity in the air lock so I will check it again in a few days to see where it's at then.

15
Yeast and Fermentation / Belgian saison
« on: March 25, 2011, 10:54:21 AM »
How long should my primary fermentation last for my saison. My OG was 1.070 on March 5th. I am using the wyeast Belgian saison which everything I have read can be problematic. I pitched a starter that had been built up twice with a half gallon each time and pitched only the slurry. My 70 F fermentation stalled right around 1.030 which I kind of expected. I put a heating pad underneath and raised the temp up to 78 F. The airlock is bubbling again and my gravity is dropping. Last summer I did a saison with the French saison yeast and left it the primary for almost a month. The aroma was great and it tasted like I expected but had kind of yeasty aftertaste. Anyway if the airlock is showing signs that active fermentation is happening I guess I just let it go until I get into the single digits without moving it off the primary yeast. I think that this yeast likes warmer temps and maybe with the room temps being around 66 F my fermentation time is going to be longer. I just want those cool saison phenols and esters without the yeasty aftertaste. Thoughts?

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