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Topics - gmac

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226
Yeast and Fermentation / Wit Starter
« on: July 13, 2011, 10:15:50 AM »
I just had a thought.  Normally I'd let a starter run for a few days and then cold crash it and pitch the healthy yeast at the bottom.  But for a wit, is this the right plan?  I'm wondering if the yeast will settle properly.  If I was to pour off the liquor on top, am I really getting rid of the less floculent yeast that I should be keeping?

227
Yeast and Fermentation / Plastic starter vessel...
« on: July 12, 2011, 08:55:48 PM »
I made some starter today and put 2L in two different plastic jugs.  The jugs used to hold distilled water.  So, now I'm wondering if I can just boil 2L of starter and cool it and put it back into a the same jug (after sanitizing it).  Is there a problem with plastic and alcohol?  I'm not going to drink it so would it matter for a starter?  I'm going to start a kolsch tomorrow, please let me know if I need to use a glass vessel or if this is OK?
Thanks

228
Yeast and Fermentation / Making starter from grain.
« on: July 12, 2011, 08:17:26 AM »
I don't have any DME on hand and I need to make a starter.  If I crush and mash 1.5 lbs of 2-row in a gallon of water for an hour at 150-155F and then strain out the "wort", is there any reason that won't make a reasonable starter?  I think 1 lb in 1 gal would give me a wort of 1.036 if I got 100% of the sugar.  Since I won't get 100%, I thought I'd just go a lb and a half.  I was just going to bring the water to temp, add the grain and adjust to hit my temp and then put it in the oven.

Any reason it has to be super clear?  I won't be vorlaufing, just pouring it into another pot through a strainer and then boiling for a few minutes to sterilize.  But, assuming I do a starter and then cold crash it and discard the liquid, what does it matter?

229
Beer Recipes / Adding dry hops timing advice needed
« on: July 10, 2011, 09:59:42 AM »
I've never dry hopped a beer in the primary but I don't really use secondaries any longer so I was wondering when the right time is to do that.  I have an IPA that I brewed last Monday and I thought of dry hopping it today but when I opened the bucket, I was surprised to see how much krausen was still present on the top.  Would you wait for that to fall or add dry hops now?  I don't have a gravity reading as I am loath to take them during fermentation for fear of contamination.
Thanks

230
Equipment and Software / Freezer condensation
« on: July 10, 2011, 09:57:12 AM »
How do you control the condensation in your keg freezers?  Mine is getting a bit damp inside. 
Thanks

231
All Things Food / Fish Taco's
« on: July 08, 2011, 10:21:01 AM »
I've got some cod filets that I don't really know what to do with (actually I do but the Mrs. and I are trying to eat healthier so battering and deep frying isn't an option this time).  I was thinking perhaps of trying to make fish tacos.  Is it as simple as it sounds?  Just fry the fish in a frying pan and then add them to the taco shells with lettuce, tomato, salsa etc?  Just figured someone one here would probably know the best way to do it.  Of course, I'll need a beer recommendation to go with that...

232
All Grain Brewing / Efficiency drop
« on: July 06, 2011, 07:31:51 AM »
Just wondering how much impact the malt plays in driving efficiency?  I switched 2-row malt and my effiiciency seems to have dropped dramatically.  I did not adjust my roller spacing although I'm considering tightening them until I get through this bag.  I mash at 2L/lb, same as before.

I was running 82-85% and all of the batches I've done with this grain have been in the 70-72% range.  Yesterday I used 8.5 lbs 2-row, 1 lb of corn and 0.5 lbs of C45 and got 18L of 1.052 OG.  Did I screw up the math?
Thanks

233
Beer Recipes / Wit Recipe
« on: July 05, 2011, 05:30:27 PM »
A good friend asked me to brew him a wit similar to Blanche de Chambly, a Quebec beer that I'm sure most of you have not had before.  Since its probably not that familiar to most of you, I know it will be hard to answer some of my questions but I'd appreciate some starting comments.

I know I won't hit it 100% the first time but I have a few questions.  I'm going to use bitter orange and coriander for this and I don't want to over do it so some guidance there would be appreciated.  How much is a good starting point for each (I know I can probably find recipes with this but what does the group think)?  Further though, one of the comments that come up on-line when you see reviews of this beer is that it has a lemony character.  Not sure if this is coming from the yeast that they use or from the use of lemon.  I was thinking of using lemon grass and I asked in another post about how much but it's sort of buried in there.  So, any thoughts on a good starting point if using lemon grass and how to use it?  Lastly, I've read that chamomile flowers are also nice and I've ordered some.  How much is a good start?  I want to make a nicely layered assortment of flavours without being overly busy but am I reaching too far on this first attempt?

I also don't have any flaked wheat although I do have flaked oats and malted wheat.  Can I live without the flaked wheat?  Is there anything else that I could sub in? 

Sorry for asking so many recipe questions lately but I've got a few yeast strains headed my way so my mind is working on about 3 different recipes at once.  I'm even getting them confused in my mind (sometimes I can remember if I'm thinking about a kolsch or a saison or a stout or an APA or what?)

234
Ingredients / What is candi sugar?
« on: July 04, 2011, 08:33:17 AM »
I'm not sure I really know what candi sugar is.  How does that differ from plain table sugar, especially "light" candi?  Our sugar is mostly from beets so I don't know how much different it would be.  Is it worth buying for a saison or would a lb of table sugar get me close enough to where I need to be?
Thanks

235
Zymurgy / When's the next edition?
« on: July 03, 2011, 09:23:08 PM »
Just curious.  I joined April 21, still waiting for my first edition to arrive. 

236
All Grain Brewing / Unbalanced pale ale
« on: July 03, 2011, 11:20:53 AM »
I made a very plain pale ale using only 1 oz of Cascade FWH.  The rest of the grain bill is 8 lbs 2-row, 1 lb vienna.  That's it.  I think the beer is a bit unbalanced.  It's OK but it has too much body and if I do it again I'll leave out the vienna and add 1 lb of corn or maybe even plain sugar to make it lighter in body.  My question is, would dry hopping this now do anything to improve it?  I know it won't add bitterness nor will it lighten the body but I was wondering if you thought it would add any complexity that would make this more drinkable.  Like I said, it's not terrible but it's not what I was shooting for.  Right now I can see myself blending this with something else in the glass until I get it used up.  I won't throw it out.

More radically, could I boil 1/2 an ounce of hops in a quart of water and add that to lighten it slightly and add more bitterness?  Probably not the best remedy.  I'd prefer to just try the dry hops if you think it's worth the effort.  Can you dry hop cold, carbonated beer?  I've never done it before.

237
General Homebrew Discussion / Frozen beer
« on: June 30, 2011, 01:31:10 PM »
Does freezing hurt beer?  I put a controller on my freezer and apparently it's in Farenheit, not Celsius.  Beercicle anyone?

238
Beer Recipes / Pumpkin beer
« on: June 29, 2011, 06:50:58 AM »
I checked the recipe wiki first and didn't find much so I'm going to ask.  Does anyone have a pumpkin beer recipe?  I'm looking for something that I can brew soon to store for fall.  If you have a fall pumpkin recipe, can you please post it?
Thanks

239
All Grain Brewing / Tell me about Kolsch please
« on: June 27, 2011, 01:20:18 PM »
I'm looking for something new to brew and I will be picking up a few different yeast next week when I drive close enough to my not quite local HBS.  I'm considering a saison now that it's getting warmer and I may be the Wyeast French Saison yeast but I am seeing a lot of Kolsch on here and I really don't know much about the style.  I'm gathering it is a German ale from Cologne but other than that I don't know much about it.

How is it as a summer beer?  I can look up the BJCP guidelines but is this a beer that you'd consider a session beer?  What makes it special as opposed to other styles?  Is this something you usually have on tap or something that you do once in a while? Can you give me a good, commonly found commercial example of the style?
Just looking for alternative styles to try. 
Thanks

240
Equipment and Software / Fermenter build questions
« on: June 21, 2011, 08:05:35 AM »
I've decided to build a bigger fermenter and I have a couple questions.  In particular, does the diameter of the vessel matter?  I know if it was a pot it would impact boil-off rates but in a closed fermenter, does it matter if the fermenter is tall and skinny or narrow and wide? 

I'm looking to build something of about 15 to 20 gal capacity and we've ordered a 4X8 sheet of stainless to get started.  But, the dimension is clearly one of the key points to consider before we start cutting anything. 
I'm lucky that I have a good friend who has a machine shop and is slow right now so we are going to have the steel rolled to dimension and then a seam welded. He has a very good TIG welder on staff so I'm not that concerned about the weld as it will be done well and ground.  We're also looking at having a cone rolled for the bottom and welded. 

The other consideration was, would it make any sense to have the entire fermenter made conical?  Instead of having straight sides attached to a cone, would it make sense to have it all as a cone and weld wedges on the exterior to bolt legs to.  The lid will likely be formed with an o-ring groove and clamps to hold it in place.  Any other thoughts?  I've looked at some on-line and I don't know if I like how the lid attaches on some of them.
Thanks for the advice.

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