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Topics - colinhayes

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All Grain Brewing / Wee Heavy extended boil time?
« on: October 06, 2014, 02:47:56 PM »
Hi all,

So I'm looking at doing a wee heavy as my next beer and I want to get a solid idea of the two methods I can try for the boil.

1. Boil gallon to a quart, add back. Overall boil time regular
2. Extended boil time of unspecified length.

On here, I've seen people advocate boiling the first 1 gallon of running down to 1 quart. That sounds great and all, but I'd like to also know what the "extended boil" time actually is that would produce the caramelization that we're looking for in this beer. Some things I've seen are boiling 10 gal down to 5 gal, which seems a bit excessive to me right now. Would a 2 hour boil do it? 3? Is it more a function of time or volume?

My set up right now boils off about 1.2 gallons per hour (at work away from notebook right now) with the lid partially on the pot. My usual setup is starting with 8 gallons, boiling for 90 minutes, ending with 6.25 gal after cooling, putting 6 gal in the fermentor, and bottling 5.75 gallons. A two hour boil means I need to collect almost 8.4 gallons, and a three hour would mean ~9.2 which is possible in my 10 gal kettle.


Ingredients / Chestnuts
« on: January 15, 2013, 11:18:46 AM »
I'm interested in pretending that I'm Italian and doing a chestnut beer, but good, solid information on how they brew the beers is scarce. 

Does anyone have some good sources on how these beers are brewed in Corsica?  As far as I can tell, there's a mix of how it's done, but possibly roasting, grinding them into a flour, and adding to the mash may be the best way.

So far I have these links:

All Grain Brewing / Phenols/Chlorophenols from decoction?
« on: September 30, 2012, 01:33:54 PM »
Has anyone had any experience with getting a strong phenol presence in a beer after decocting? I recently brewed two beers one day apart, and one came out amazing while the other came out really terribly plasticy and medicinal to the point of being undrinkable.

10 lb floor malted bohemian pilsner malt
3 lb munich malt
1 lb vienna malt

Mash in at 98°F, pull decoction, rest at 155°F for 15 min, boil 15 min, recombine to hit 122°F. Repeat to hit 155°F, and then 170°F.

Fly sparge with 2.5 gal.

Begin 90 min boil
2 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrüh @ 60 min
0.5 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrüh @ 20 min

Chill to 60°F, put in 50°F swamp cooler, pitch wy1007 (1.6L starter, stir plate - 300 billion cells - 150% recommended cell count pitch). Ferment at 55°F for 3 weeks.

OG 1.056 FG 1.008
carbed to 2.5 vols

I'm at a complete loss as to why this one came out disgusting and the other one came out incredible. 1007 done that low should be clean as hell. The only thing that I can think of is that the decoctions made the chlorine gas that Chicago uses in their water react with the grain... but it seems like the chlorine gas would just boil off and not do anything. Everything is sanitized with fresh starsan, and no bleach ever comes close to any of my equipment.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Partial mash/sparge size with full boil
« on: August 02, 2011, 08:48:47 AM »
Hi all,

So I'm changing up my brewing method to take advantage of the 3 gal MLT my friend has that I'm brewing with tomorrow.  I normally do BIAB in my 10 gal kettle, but we'll just be using that to boil this time.

So we'll be mashing 5 lb of grain at 1.5 qt/lb which gives us 1.875 gal of water in the mash.  Now before I've done ghetto sparge by placing the grain bags in a colander and pouring water over them, but we'll be doing a batch sparge with the cooler.  Beersmith says I'll need to collect 6.4 gallons of sparge to have enough preboil volume to hit my final target volume (90 min boil with 1 gallon total loss to kettle and fermenter means 7.75 gallons pre-boil).  Now, common sense says that 6.4 gal is WAY too much and that the pH will rise too much and we'll extract bad stuff.

My instinct is to just mash it, drain it, and sparge with ~1.5x the mash volume, or 2.8125 gallons (split into two sparges), and then top off with water in the kettle, which is what I've always done before since my capacity to heat sparge water was really limited.  Is my instinct right?  Could I get away with sparging more?  If I sparge more, should I adjust the pH of the sparge water?  I know sparging should stop when the runoff drops below 1.010, can I just sparge until this happens?  With his other kettle, we should be able to heat as much sparge water as needed, so no worries there.

Oy, what should I do?


Zymurgy / May/June Issue, already?!
« on: April 27, 2011, 11:40:36 AM »
Did this issue catch anyone else off guard?  I could have sworn I had another month to go before it showed up.

Equipment and Software / Autosiphon with bad seal
« on: April 03, 2011, 08:35:45 PM »
So my newish autosiphon has a crappy seal between the racking cane and the outer part and ends up sucking in a bunch of air through that seal.  Has anybody else had this problem?  Anyone know of a good easy fix for this?

Kegging and Bottling / Bottle options for 5 volumes of CO2?
« on: February 17, 2011, 04:44:29 PM »
So I plan on making a rather sparkling beer for my wedding in May, and I'm wanting to go for somewhere around 4.5 - 5 volumes of CO2.  Regular old brown bottles will surely explode at this pressure, and I don't really have the money for a corker, big bottles, cork, and cages.  So what are my options?  Anyone know any sources for thick, heavy bottles of a decent size that can just be capped?  As much as I'd love to go out and buy ~50 bottles of a good belgian of the same carbonation level I'm going for, I'm simply not a millionaire.

Yeast and Fermentation / Is my fermentation stuck?
« on: November 28, 2010, 04:33:12 PM »
Hi all,

Recently did my 5th batch and I feel like my fermentation is stuck, and I need some help deciding whether it is time to pitch some champagne yeast or leave it be.  Beer is:
6 lb dark dme
2 lb light dme
1 lb smoke malt
1 lb chocolate malt
.5 lb black patent malt
.5 lb roasted barley
.5 lb maltodextrin
grains mashed w/ 3 gal. water at 145-150 for 60 min., boiled with 6 oz hops total, put into a 6.5 gal carboy at 70°, pitched wyeast 1098.  Starting gravity was 1.073.  In a day and a half it was down to 1.031 @ 72°F, after 5 days it was down to 1.021°F, and now 4 days after that it is still the same. 

Fermentation was pretty intense, and I think we lost about 1 gallon is foam out the blow-off tube.  Did we lose too much yeast in the blow-ff tube?  Is 1.021 too high of a final gravity for this beer?  I was hoping for it to get down to at least 1.013, but I'm not sure how much the maltodextrin is going to add to the final gravity.  For the past batches we've started at about 1.060 and ended at 1.010, and I feel like the maltodextrin wouldn't raise it THIS much.


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