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Messages - mainebrewer

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: surprisingly low wort fermentability
« on: September 11, 2012, 05:00:56 AM »
When I was an extract brewer, occaisionally, fermentation would stall.
I found that 1/2 tsp per 5 gallons was enough to get the last few points that I wanted.
Never had issues with "bottle bombs".

Ingredients / Re: determining alcohol potential using Promash
« on: July 23, 2012, 05:36:54 AM »
Since the OP is trying to predict the ABV and the lactose/milk sugar has little or no fermentability, then reducing the gravity points that Promash predicts it will add should bring the Promash prediction of the ABV closer to actual.

The standard 'fridge with freezer on top, as noted by Euge, uses the freezer to cool the refrigerator compartment.
Set both controls (freezer and refrigerator compartment) to max cold.
The probe from the external temp controller would be located in the refrigerator compartment (ideally attached to the fermenter or using a thermowell) will control the temp in the freezer and 'fridge compartment.
The freezer will be the same temp as the refrigerator compartment.

Ingredients / Re: determining alcohol potential using Promash
« on: July 20, 2012, 04:39:05 AM »
If you go into the malt database and choose sugar, highlite the sugar you want, then on the right hand side click on edit.
From there you can change the gravity potential for that sugar.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: New Wort over an active yeast cake
« on: July 12, 2012, 04:45:48 AM »
I'm assuming that the "basil" in the name of your beer indicates that you have or are going to add that herb.
Anyway, assuming that you didn't add basil to the primary fermentation, there won't be any major negative effect.
You might be over pitching, but if the original beer isn't infected, reusing the yeast cake won't infect the next one.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Setting up kegerator suggestions
« on: July 11, 2012, 06:11:36 AM »
To echo the previous post, if you can afford to set the 'fridge up for 5 faucets, do it now.
Get the beer line that stays flexible at cold temps, it will make your life easier.
I serve my beer at 10 lbs and find that 7' of beer line works best.
I would start longer than I thought was necessary and then reduce the length. (Its easier to make the line shorter than longer!)
As noted, definitely get the Perlicks.
Faucet placement will be determined by the location of refrigerant lines in your 'fridge walls.
I had none on the side of the 'fridge, so I put my faucets there.
Unless you expect to be using two different serving pressures, I wouldn't bother with the dual regulator.


As noted, 8 hours isn't a long time.
Don't know what you are fermenting in but if its buckets you may simply have a poor seal between the lid and the bucket and the CO2 is going out the leak versus the airlock.
Two different yeasts are going to work on a different schedule.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Temp control for fridge/freezer
« on: April 05, 2012, 11:58:18 AM »
When I set up my fridge with temp control, I set both the freezer and fridge temp controls to max cold. The external temp controller will control the actual temp inside the fridge.
So, as noted earlier, the cold air usually originates in the freezer. As a result, the  temp in the freezer will be approx the same as the setting on the external temp controller.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Okay Princess Bride fans...
« on: April 04, 2012, 05:14:26 AM »
 I can not go to a wedding without being reminded of the wedding scene and the priest with the lisp!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Slow lager ferment
« on: March 28, 2012, 05:36:45 AM »
Thanks for the feedback and suggestions.
As far as copper goes, I think my IC probably takes care of that.
I have read in the Jamil Z/Chris White book about the relative slowness of first gen yeast. Maybe I'll harvest some of the yeast from the current batch and make another CAP just to see what impact that might have.
Also, from the Jamil Z/Chris W book on yeast, I did figure out that I might have under pitched by 20% from the recommended level.
I guess the take away for me is more/better yeast and some additional nutrients.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Slow lager ferment
« on: March 27, 2012, 05:27:30 AM »
I don't make many batches of lager, 2-3 out of 15-20 batches per year,
Anyway, I don't have any issues with ale fermentations and I've not had this issue with other lagers, only  with the two batches of CAP.
My starter receipe is 1/2 lb DME, 2L water, 1/8 tsp DAP, stirplate for a couple of days, same for all my starters.
2 minutes of pure O2 seems like it should be enough.
For my ales I just use a Servomyces cap per batch and I have done the same for these.
Wondering if the 25% flaked corn is resulting in a wort with to little FAN?

Jeff, how much nutrient do you use in the wort prior to pitching?

Yeast and Fermentation / Slow lager ferment
« on: March 25, 2012, 06:56:04 AM »
I've made a CAP twice recently and both times the ferment takes about 6 weeks to reach terminal gravity.
The grist is 75% american 2 row and 25% flaked corn.
OG is approx. 1.06
Both times I've used WLP800, 2L starter stepped up to a 4L starter.
I cool the wort down to around 65 degrees, transfer to a carboy and put in the 'fridge to cool down to pitching temp (I put the 4L starter in the fridge along with the wort so its the same temp as the wort when I pitch)
I rack the cooled wort off the trub, add pure O2 for 1-2 minutes, decant starter, pitch yeast.
I leave the temp control set at 50 degrees.
After two weeks it will be around 1.04 and takes the next four weeks to reach 1.015.
What I've ended up doing is at the three week mark raising the temp to 60 degrees and leaving it there until I reach the 1.015.
I'm wondering if the percentage of flaked corn is resulting in the yeast not having enough nutrient.
I add DAP to the starter and Servomyces to the wort.
Should I be adding more nutrients to the wort prior to pitching?
Would it help to add, say Fermaid-K, at the 2 week mark?

I use a temp controled fridge and routinely let my beer ferment for 2 weeks.
Occaisionally, using WLP01, it takes the krausen a long time to fall, even when it doesn't appear to be actively fermenting.
As noted by others, having a temp spike after several days should have no negative effect.
You asked about dry hopping, you can dry hop anytime after the active ferment is complete.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: stuck ferment????
« on: March 08, 2012, 06:32:19 AM »
I wonder what the OP decided to do?
Anyway, when I used LME I had a couple of occaisions when everything else failed to restart a fermentation and used amalyase enzyme to get the beer to finish.
I found that a half tsp per five gallons and a couple of weeks usually resulted in another 10 point drop.
While I only have a couple of data points, I never had any issues with over carbed beer or exploding bottles.

Equipment and Software / Re: Manifold Placement in Fridge
« on: February 16, 2012, 06:27:35 AM »
In my case, since I had already figured out that there were no refrigerant lines in the side wall of the fridge, I attached a 1/4" strip of plywood with 3/4" SS screws to the plastic. Then just put some 1" SS screws in the plywood and hung the manifold from them. Its been there for three years, no issues.

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