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Messages - beersk

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I've been using baking soda with good results lately for dark beers. Martin says to be sure to keep Na levels under 50ppm, but if you use RO water, it's not hard to do that even on a dark beer.
Agreed. I don't understand all the hate for baking soda. You don't have to use that much and it raises the pH and alkalinity enough with small doses. And it's cheaper and safer to handle than pickling lime...

I'm planning to start using distilled water because you can never really trust the water to even be RO on those machines. You just don't know how much they pay attention to keeping the filters up-to-date.

Ingredients / Re: Water for Märzen
« on: August 07, 2014, 09:05:27 AM »
Damn...I've got that recipe fermenting right now and I COMPLETELY overlooked the caraMunich..oh, well.
Ha! A friend of mine did exactly that last week. He was pretty bummed out about it. I told him it'd still be a great beer and not to worry.
I'm brewing that same recipe next Tuesday. Planning to build from 100% distilled water. Great info, thanks, Martin!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Aging vs. lagering for ales
« on: August 07, 2014, 08:45:30 AM »
There are some beers that are best aged at 50 degrees - mostly high gravity beers such as barley wine. But all beers benefit from some cold conditioning time. IMO even hefeweizen benefits from a week or so at below 40 temps.
But only a week or so...then those damn things start dropping bright. I have a hefe on now that's been in the keg for about 2 weeks and it's already clearing. Argh! That's the only time I want my beer to stay cloudy! Then my damn lagers take 4+ weeks to drop bright... can't have it all I guess...

I'd say most styles benefit from cold storage.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: polyclar and carbonated beer
« on: August 05, 2014, 11:14:39 AM »
Does fermenting it like that somehow make it more prone to chill haze, or what? I do like my lagers bright and clear, I just need to give them more time. I don't like adding things to my beer if I don't have to.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: polyclar and carbonated beer
« on: August 05, 2014, 09:46:04 AM »
It's only been lagering a week? It wouldn't be clear in a week, give it 2 or 3 more weeks. Just be patient!

gah! why does everyone say that to me?  ;D

So your maize gave a haze for the first 7 days???

I'm amazed...


FWIW since I started fermenting lagers using the Narziss method (some BN loyal call it the Tasty method), my lagers are never clear when they're ready to drink (14-20 days).

So far, I have stuck with Polyclar and creative naming: "Keller Pils" or "Unflitered Pils". I bought a filter but haven't used it...

I've been really happy with Polyclar. Its definitely your best (only?) veg/vegan-friendly option for cellar fining. Shouldn't matter if the beer is carbonated, it will just take longer to drop out.

It is inorganic (plastic), so you might transfer to another keg once everything settles out.
Is this the method where you warm it up a few degrees after 48 or 72 hours until it's in the mid 60's? This is how I ferment my lagers. They sometimes take up to 6 weeks to really get clear which is a tad annoying. I'm not that patient.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: polyclar and carbonated beer
« on: August 05, 2014, 08:58:57 AM »
It's only been lagering a week? It wouldn't be clear in a week, give it 2 or 3 more weeks. Just be patient!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Burning your bag in BIAB?
« on: August 05, 2014, 08:53:52 AM »
If you don't heat your kettle during the mash you never have to worry about scorching. Insulating your kettle during the mash should help you keep your heat loss to an acceptable level.

If you're thinking of doing step mashes with BIAB, I think you're a lot better off doing it as a separate infusion. Directly heating your kettle during the mash can create hot spots. If you're worried about scorching your bag you should have the same concerns about the enzymes in your mash as well.
You can apply heat if the grains and bag are not close to the bottom of the kettle. I think the guy in the club recirculates while applying heat. If I make it to the club meeting on Friday I can ask him.
As for the enzymes denaturing, well many in this area do a RIMS approach all of the time with a false bottom and a pump. You just need to be judicious with the heat.
Yes, you will denature enzymes. I had a slew of beers I did with brew in a bag that wouldn't finish below 1.020, even with lots of healthy yeast, pure o2, and low mash temps. I would stir, but it wasn't enough, the heat on the bottom of the kettle was much warmer than what my thermometer near the top was reading... and now I know...

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Unfiltered beer
« on: August 01, 2014, 11:30:44 AM »
I've got a dampfbier carbonating now........

Hey, I'll be curious to hear how that dampfbier comes out for you. It's a style I've wanted to brew for a while and I always end up brewing something else. And I assume it was mostly Pils with some Munich ?

Yeah, that's basically it. Kind of Oktoberfest-y with that phenolic hefe yeast character. Nice an clear and gold, bordering on amber. Instead of Munich malt I used Red X malt. I think it was 65% Weyermann floor malted pils and 35% Red X. It's a nice beer. Still needs time to carbonate, but I've been drinking about one a week to check it out. Another couple weeks it ought to be good to go.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Unfiltered beer
« on: August 01, 2014, 10:04:19 AM »
Carbing in the bottles will then take longer, presumably?

perhaps slightly, but since it is fresh healthy yeast, if you keep the bottles in a 75-80f space they should carb up plenty fast.
Hmmm, perhaps. It might take a little bit longer. I've got a dampfbier carbonating now that I cold crashed for 5 days, bottled it, and it's been 2 weeks. It's still bit light on carbonation. I trust that it will carbonate, but it just might take 4 weeks to get there. It's damn clear though, and I like that. And there's just a dusting on the bottom of the bottle (like Sierra Nevada) and I also really like that.
I would add yeast to my bottling "bucket" (keg), but I don't want to waste most of a pack.  The extra time waiting for it to carb is good for the beer anyway. I'm usually drinking all my beer (on tap) waaaaay too early and young.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottle bombs, they can happen to the pros too
« on: August 01, 2014, 07:04:04 AM »
I suppose it's possible. I've never had one and hope I never do.

I don't even dry hop anymore. I load the end of the boil up with hops and find I have plenty of flavor and aroma for my tastes. Maybe it wouldn't be enough for you... But I'm not a huge hop head, so that probably explains most of it. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love hoppy beers, just not for every beer, ya know? I'm more into balance...

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermenting in a corney keg
« on: July 30, 2014, 05:32:16 PM »
Oh, good. So it's not just me then...

Cheers, fella. I won't hijack the thread any longer. Sorry, OP!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermenting in a corney keg
« on: July 30, 2014, 12:29:55 PM »
So, did you boil all your poppets and what not to get rid of the infection?
Yes.  I replaced all tubing, boiled everything small, and hit everything else with a sanitizer I don't normally use.
I see. I just cleaned my racking jumper and disconnects with BLC recently, I would think that would take care of the problem, if there were bacteria in there. Poppets could probably be boiled though to be safe.
After a keg empties, the crud on the bottom of the keg is kinda brown and flakey looking. It's doesn't look like yeast that settled out...I wonder if that's a sign of something...
I don't want to derail the thread here though.

OP, I bought a pump that I can recirculate ice water through my chiller with. It works great for getting down to lager pitching temps.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermenting in a corney keg
« on: July 30, 2014, 11:20:04 AM »
Thanks for the good replies.  Another question, I am using White 833 German Bock Yeast.  Should I start fermentation at room temp and then move to fridge?  Or just start it in the fridge?
It's best to pitch the yeast at or below your planned fermentation temperature. Put the fermenter in the fridge over night to let it cool down to the upper 40's or low 50's, then aerate and pitch.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermenting in a corney keg
« on: July 30, 2014, 11:17:21 AM »
So, did you boil all your poppets and what not to get rid of the infection? I am highly doubting this is infection for me, but not ruling it out. But it seems equally as unlikely it's oxidation too, but also not ruling that out. I'm guessing I either didn't purge my keg enough OR it's a combination of the special B and victory malts (albeit there was only about 4% of each in the grain bill, along with rye and just plain 2-row) making me perceive this character after some hop aroma/flavor faded. Not sure. But if it persists in other beers...well I'll know.

My issue was a moldy gas disconnect before. Tore apart the entire gas side of my system, cleared that problem right up. And it was VERY demoralizing for about 2 years.

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