Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - gmac

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 23
Beer Recipes / Bluesman German Pils recipe need clarification
« on: April 05, 2014, 03:22:47 PM »
On the wiki you posted a German Pils recipe that I'm going to try to brew tomorrow. But I'm confused by the hop schedule.
You have an addition at 1 min and then another at 0 mins. Is that right?  If so, how would 1 min make much difference?

Yeast and Fermentation / Lager starter and krausen.
« on: April 04, 2014, 02:43:00 AM »
I had two vials of WLP833, one that was past the due date and one that was getting close. I pitched them both into a 1.5L starter of 1.035 OG wort. They took a while to show any evidence of fermentation on the stir plate but I crashed it yesterday, decanted after a few hours and then added a second dose of wort at the same concentration. I was thinking of doing this 3 times to get it built up to a reasonable amount.

But this second one is showing no sign of activity. Could it be possible that when I decanted I dumped the good yeast and the dead yeast from the vials was what dropped out first?  Or, do lagers normally show very little activity. I know they start slower but I expected this to take off faster since it was already active? 

I will check the wort tomorrow to see if it tastes sweet still and maybe check it with a refractometer to see if it had dropped much. I know it's not exact once it's fermented but it should give me a feeling of progress.

Beer Recipes / What did I brew?
« on: March 31, 2014, 03:53:10 AM »
I started out to make 10 gals of mild essentially as large starters for some upcoming 20 gal batches.
But, my efficiency was higher than I had expected. OG was about 1.045, was aiming for 1.038 or so.
My recipe was:
13 lbs Maris Otter
1 lb C45
1 lb C120
4 oz pale chocolate.
2 oz EKG@60
1 oz EKG at flameout with a 15 min stand

Split into two 5 gal batches. One with a very fresh Wyeast West Yorkshire, no starter. The other with two older but not expired vials of WLP Irish Ale.
I wasn't anticipating the gravity so I didn't use a starter, these were supposed to be a starter.

My question, if I had to categorize the beer, without tasting it I know it's tough but would this be more similar to a Northern English Brown or a Best Bitter? 

Beer Recipes / How low can you mash?
« on: March 24, 2014, 06:56:21 PM »
On a recent Brewing Network show, Annie Johnson was profiled and she made a comment about making good light lagers and commented about mashing at lower temps for longer times, I think her comment was something about 138 for 2 hours.  Is this real?  Not sure how low you can go for fermentability. 
Has anyone down to these low temperatures for longer mash times in order to get better light lagers?

Yeast and Fermentation / The Yeast Bay
« on: March 24, 2014, 06:44:40 PM »
Has anyone used this company?  I just saw it on my on-line suppliers site.  They seem to specialize in Brett blends and "rare" yeasts. 
I ordered a tube of their Wallonia Farmhouse to compare with WY3711.  They look very similar from what I'm reading on their website and maybe they are the same thing, can't really say.

General Homebrew Discussion / Inspire me.
« on: March 18, 2014, 03:29:22 AM »
I haven't brewed in a while.  I have a 5 tap kegerator with two beer on tap and a cider, two empty taps and nothing to put on them.

I'm in a real brewing funk.  Not sure what to make, not sure what to do next.  I want to try some new styles (see my recent Berliner Weiss post) but now doesn't seem like the right time.  This winter keeps dragging on, I got into a disagreement with my usual on-line supplier so I'm back to the one I don't like as much.  I've had a couple batches go bad recently due to a wild-yeast infection so I bought 3 (yes 3!!!) stainless conicals that I haven't used yet.  I threw my back out again so I can't really do much right now anyway and we cancelled the Movie Channels so I don't get HBO and can't watch the new Game of Thrones episodes. 

There, now I'm done venting.  I need that kick in the pants to get me back at it.  What keeps you motivated to brew?  I've got base and specialty malt sitting in the garage, lots of yeast to use and obviously fermenter room. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Berliner Weiss Starter question
« on: March 13, 2014, 02:03:29 PM »
I am going to try a BW when the weather gets a little warmer.  I was planning on using both an ale yeast (maybe German Alt) and the Lacto from White Labs.  I am going to try the Brewstrong recommendation of pitching both at the same time.
I'm wondering if I need a starter for the Alt yeast or if I should just pitch a vial of each per 5 gals.  The gravity will be on the low side anyway. 

My logic is that a large pitch won't leave as much for the lacto to eat although I realize that they will eat more than what the yeast will. 

Since its actually close to me I would like to sign up to judge for the experience but I'm not planning to attend the conference. Is that possible? 

Beer Recipes / Adjusting bitterness post-fermentation
« on: March 04, 2014, 04:38:43 PM »
I have a blond ale that is too sweet.  It is well attenuated so I think the issue is just a lack of balance because it does have a high level of adjuncts and was brewed to a higher gravity (1.068 OG).  I was making this for someone else who wasn't a hop head at all so I'm pretty sure that I just need more balance.

Is there anything I can do to back-bitter this?  Would some hops boiled in plain water give me any IBUs that I could then adjust with?  Normally I leave things alone and drink what I get but since this is for someone else I thought I'd see if there was a way to try to adjust the bitterness.

Yeast and Fermentation / What to expect when it's too cold
« on: February 10, 2014, 02:49:11 AM »
I have 5 gals of ESB that I made a few days ago and I ended up under pitching it slightly due to poor planning (2 WLP 007 vials that were within date but not fresh, about 2-3 months old).  OG was 1.045.
The beer is sitting in my fruit cellar but it's been so darn cold that it's about 60 F in there.  I normally ferment all my ales in there because it stays fairly cool, even in summer but it's gotten so cold that it's way below norm.

The beer is very sluggish, slight bubbles on top but no real krausen after a couple days.  I know that it will work it's way through the sugars but it's gonna take a lot longer than I'd like.  Any idea what sort of flavours I can be expecting by the colder sluggish fermentation? 

Edit: I should mention that I cooled the wort down to probably 40F, maybe a bit less.  Pitched the yeast directly from the fridge so both were very cold to start with.  I then moved the beer into the warmer area (relatively speaking).  At this time of year, I often cool with a wort chiller down to about 70 or so and then put the sanitized lid back on my kettle and just leave the wort overnight in the garage with a window open.  It gets pretty cold that way and then I can siphon off very clear wort the next morning.

Yeast and Fermentation / Hydrating US-05
« on: January 15, 2014, 03:18:34 PM »
I have a couple packets of this that I'm going to use for a brew on Saturday.  My neighbour wants to make a light coloured but higher alcohol beer for his 21 yr old brothers B-day (which is no big deal here where the drinking age is 19).
I'm gonna do a 10 gal batch using:
20 lbs Pils
5 lbs Minute Rice
1 lb White table sugar.
Should run about 1.072.  This is NOT my choice but I'm doing a favour for a friend.

I'm gonna split the brew in 1/2 with 5 gals getting a big pitch of WLP007 and I have the US-05 that I was gonna try in the other half.  Should I hydrate the yeast or just pitch both packets dry.  I would like to hydrate but is it as easy as pitching the yeast onto some distilled water?  Please let me know what you think would be best route for 5 gals of 1.072 wort with US-05.

Beer Recipes / Very pale ale for a friend.
« on: January 05, 2014, 07:16:52 PM »
My friend wants to make 5 gals for his brothers 21st bday. The brother drinks Busch.

So I need something that we can pull together in a month.
Thinking of:
90% pils
10% Munich
1 oz of Hallertau.

That's it. Any comments?  Thought about simple sugar to cut the body down or minute rice. Replace up to 20 percent of the Pils?  Leave out the Munich?  Category would be American Light Lager. Slowly working him towards CAP but not there yet. What about rice syrup?  Don't see many folks asking about it.

Beer Travel / Florida beer recommendations.
« on: December 29, 2013, 08:25:06 PM »
In Florida until the 11th. Anyone have any "don't miss" beer recommendations?  We are doing a week in the Naples area and a week in Orlando for the kids.

Equipment and Software / Using Damp-Rid
« on: December 20, 2013, 02:24:08 AM »
My keg freezer has some condensation that I'd like to deal with.  I've got some Damp-rid in bags but do you just pour it into a bowl or something and set it in the freezer?  I bought a pail of it once that had a permeable paper layer on top but this is in bulk.
How do you folks use it in your freezers?

Pimp My System / 5 Tap Keezer Build
« on: November 24, 2013, 04:22:06 PM »
First of all, sorry for the quality of the photo's the Blackberry just doesn't have a great camera and heck if I can find my good one since we moved.

Our new house has a nice bar area but no room for taps.  Had to have some sort of taps but my wife was adamant that she didn't want something that looked like a freezer just sitting there.  The bar area is adjacent to a large "great room" where we entertain and spend most of our time so I can't say I blame her.  And my oldest son was getting pretty tired of going down to the basement to get beer.
So, I built this:

The bar is a distressed black finish so the intent was to match this or at least come sort of close.  The panels don't match perfectly but good enough for what I was after.
The panels are attached with 2x4's cut down slightly to give 3 inches of clearance all the way round.  There is no ventilation right now but if I find that the freezer isn't working properly I will add a computer fan and hook it into the temperature controller so that it comes on when the freezer is running.  The temp control is a simple Johnson analog control with the probe in a water bottle in the freezer.  The whole thing is on rollers so it can be moved and pulled away from the wall.  It has to be rolled out to get adequate clearance for the taps with the lid open anyway.

The taps are Peerless taps and the tubing was made for me by a friend that works in the food handling industry.  It cost me $50 for parts and a case of beer for the guy that welded it up for me.  Another friend who owns a machine shop made the fittings for the taps to screw into.  I've already more than paid for them with beer over the years....

The lines aren't insulated and I lose about 2 oz or so to foam with the first pour but that is not a major concern for me. I usually just start the pour into a solo cup and then finish in glass. The next item to add is a drip tray but I haven't gotten that far yet.  The peerless taps really don't drip much so if I wait a couple seconds, there isn't any issue.
The top is just peal and stick floor tile and the while top is attached to the freezer top with construction adhesive.  Everything on the walls of the freezer is also attached with construction adhesive to avoid puncturing anything.

I have a 10 lb tank in there right now running all 5 kegs so individual gas control isn't possible yet, and probably won't be.  The lines are 1/4 inch and it has taken some work to get them balanced alright but it's working for now although I may switch them out to 3/16 sometime in the future.  Right now I'm carbing new kegs elsewhere because I'm running pretty low pressure on this system.  The freezer will hold 4 cornies and a smaller 3 gal on the hump for the compressor. The 3 gal will likely either have cider or hard lemonade in it most of the time just for variety.  If we're having a party or something I may even mix up 3 gal of rye and ginger or something.

My wife made the sign for above the bar so that we can keep track of what is on tap although she's gonna have to be the one that writes on it because my penmanship is terrible.

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 23