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Topics - rbowers

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Ingredients / Cryo Hops
« on: August 27, 2017, 05:52:32 PM »
Can anyone recommend the best method to containing cryo-hops/lupulin powder while dry hopping?  I anticipate dry hopping in a corny keg.  Standard hop sock I imagine is way to permeable.  Id seen pantyhose suggested before.  I imagine an actual mesh bag may also be a little too permeable.  I have one of those stainless steel dry hopping tubes but also a little concerned about how fine this powder may be.  Anyone have any experience with these type hop products?  Is dry hopping not even a good idea with this?  Going to throw some in at flameout/whirlpool for an APA this week. 

Equipment and Software / Ss Brew Bucket Thermowell
« on: July 17, 2017, 01:20:13 PM »
Finally committed and bought an Ss 7 gal stainless brew bucket.  Very excited about this.  I also picked up one of the thermwells to install as I will be using a Johnson controller to control fermentation temps. 
Does anyone have any recommendations on where to place it on the brew bucket?  Initial thoughts were on the side but out of the way of rotating racking arm but now thinking maybe in the top is better.  This seems easier and also will allow me to wrap a fermwrap heating element around the outside during the cooler months a lot easier.  It will submerge the probe down to about the 4gal mark if installed up top which seems sufficient as I more or less always will brew 5.5 gal batches.  Any thoughts?

Equipment and Software / Auber Instruments Brew Panel
« on: December 22, 2016, 04:25:48 AM »
Does anyone have potential feedback or review on the electronic brewing system from Auber Instruments (link below).

Continuing to research electronic brewing system options and while this is not quite the definitive system on "The Electric Brewery" site, it may offer what I need (at a more acceptable cost).  The system will be a HERMS 3 tier system using 3 keggles with the PID controller working to maintain the HLT temp with a continuously recirculating wort pump through the HERMS coil- basically just as they do on the electric brewery website.  The MLT temp can be monitored by a separate thermometer with the assurance that the MLT will never overshoot the HLT temp.

The other option would be to purchase a tower of power module from Blichmann to do the same thing however I like having the independent controls for pumps, alarms, etc all on one panel. 

Just curious if anyone had experience with this panel or can comment on things from auber instruments in general,  Thanks.

Yeast and Fermentation / FG still to high
« on: September 12, 2016, 07:40:23 PM »
So I brewed up a large amount of oatmeal stout 3 weeks ago and split the batch across 3 different yeast strains- WLP005, WLP540, and Wyeast Denny's Fav.  The brew day went a little off course with initial mash temp way too high at 159 but we got it down to 152 after a bit and let it sit there for at least 60min.  At 3 weeks all signs of fermentation have long since stopped and the gravity readings are hanging at 1.023-1.024.  OG was ~1.067. 

I plan to recheck it again in a week but assuming I'm at or near the end here is there any way to reduce that gravity a it further?  It's definitely a bit sweeter and heavier than I'd like.  Done some perusing and seen ideas such as Beano (may drive it too far the other way), adding sterile and deoxygenated water, etc but a lot of these don't seem to have a lot of solid support.  Also, I had planned on adding some post fermentation flavor with coffee, cacao nibs, maybe even oak (not all together, but in individual batches).  Any chance any of those will add a drier impression or taste to the beer?

Hoping there is a way to salvage this beer otherwise it's going to take a long time to drink all this heavy stuff.

Equipment and Software / BrewEasy Water Volumes
« on: August 21, 2016, 02:21:05 PM »
Need a little help from anyone who maybe has worked on a brew easy system.  I am going into LHBS tomorrow to brew on their Breweasy system and give it a test ride before considering purchasing one down the road.  I have an Oatmeal Stout recipe planned but was curious how calculations for water volumes work on that particular system.  Should I just default to the BIAB settings on beersmith or is there a more specific recommended ratio of water to grain recommended?

Ingredients / Dry Hop saison and IPA
« on: March 19, 2016, 05:22:28 PM »
About 8-10 months ago I brewed two large batches of saison and IPA.  3.5 gallons of each was set aside and I threw in some Brett Trois and Lambicus.  The beers have now been sitting in my basement for a long time and actually both survived a move.  I was thinking of dry hopping both to liven things up but was looking for recs on particular hops to do it with.

The saison had Perle and Saaz for bittering.
The IPA had amarillo/columbus/simcoe equally mixed through various additions.

I am betting the flavor and certainly aroma additions they were originally brewed with are pretty well muted by now.

The brett has added some different flavors at this point and some nice funk. 

I have Wakatu, Nelson, and Citra lying around.  Never used Saaz to dry hop with but may go nice with the saison.  If anyone has any thoughts on this I am all ears.

Kegging and Bottling / Tap lines and turbulence
« on: October 03, 2015, 08:58:15 AM »
Continuing to battle bad pours on my tap lines with excess head.  It's been an ongoing issue- I've tried lower pressures, longer lines, etc and still seem to have trouble.  I'm replacing the tap lines now (it was time) and considering having them run along the collar of the kegerator kept in place by threading through a series of eyelet screws.  In the past the lines have been coiled up and kept coiled with a zip tie.  The coil had about a 10-12 in diameter.  Could that coiling be leading to additional turbulence and foam? 

I was at a conference recently where a speaker recommended a 38F serving temp and carving and serving at 14PSI with ~7ft length lines.  I was told if I can see bubbles in the line the pressure is too low.  Anyone else have suggestions on this.

General Homebrew Discussion / Lactic acid and ph adjustment
« on: August 09, 2015, 07:52:26 AM »
Going to brew my first Berliner weisse today and had a question about using lactic acid to adjust pH.  I will be souring the wort with L. Brevis for 4-5 days and boiling again prior to adding the primary yeast.  From what I've read, it seems to be suggested that the pH of the wort is lowered to 4.5 or so prior to adding lactobacillus to facilitate its growth as well as prevent other nasty bacteria from taking hold before the pH can be lowered by lacto. 

Is there any way to calculate how much lactic acid (88% strength) to add to ~11 gallons of wort to get the pH down around 4.5?  I guess I don't know my starting pH yet (assume 5.3-5.5 maybe???) which I'm sure affects the answer.  Just looking for additional advice.  Is this just kind of a "test and see" type thing?  What's a good increment to start with?

Yeast and Fermentation / Lactobacillus and starsan
« on: August 07, 2015, 12:26:58 PM »
I had a lacto starter all set for a Berliner Weiss brew day for next week.  I had some star San solution in the airlock and it appears (after placing in fridge to keep) that some star San was sucked back into the starter.  Knowing that starsan is an acid based sanitizer is there any reason to think adding a small portion to the starter by accident will annihilate the lacto which probably was already in an acidic solution from the lacto fermentation?  It was about a 1.75 L starter.  Concentration of the starsan solution unknown- just eyeballed it.

Yeast and Fermentation / Lacto Souring
« on: July 18, 2015, 03:59:30 PM »
Planning on brewing a Berliner Weisse and souring using lactobacillus brevis.  I wanted to try kettle souring (well actually "fermentor souring"), tossing a starter of pure lacto into the wort for a few days until appropriate sourness obtained.  It sounds like getting a really oxygen deplete environment is best for this part and I contemplated doing this in a CO2 purged corny keg.  My question is: should I expect significant CO2 buildup?  Will it be enough to simply burp the keg every 12 hrs or so?  From my research is sounds like L. Brevis can be heterofermentative and produce both alcohol and CO2, just not sure how much.
 Benefits to doing this in the keg would be easy sampling (just put a picnic tap on keg) to hit the sourness just right.  I'm not looking to make some co2 bomb in the garage though.  Any thoughts?
Also is there any benefit to boiling after the lacto is done to sterilize wort?  I don't mind some continued acidification/souring of the wort to go along with the primary sach fermentation.  Can't think of any other reason to do this step.

Beer Recipes / Hefe + Berliner Weisse big batch
« on: May 20, 2015, 11:34:04 AM »
I get less and less time to brew these days so when given the chance I have been trying to get two batches in.  This is easiest to do if I can brew two batches from one base beer.  Lately I've been contemplating a Hefeweizen/Berliner Weisse combo.  Both can have similar malt bills.  I would boil the entire batch briefly, pull off the Berliner portion after minimal hopping, then continue on with a full boil for the Hefeweizen.  This would result in a lower OG for the Berliner and a higher one for the Hefeweizen which would fall in line with typical characteristics of both styles.  Has anyone else done something similar or have comments on if this can work.  I'm also open to other combo suggestions.  This would be my first attempt at either style.

Kegging and Bottling / Force carbonating temperature
« on: May 19, 2015, 05:18:59 PM »
I have always kept my CO2 tank inside the keezer and force carbed the beers at a corresponding pressure knowing that both the beer and CO2 tank were the same temperature.  I need to move the tank out of the keezer now for needed room, so it will be closer to ambient (~75-80F) temps.  Will this affect anything or do I just set the dial at my usual number based on corresponding beer temp?  Probably a stupid question but thought I'd ask.

Equipment and Software / Shurflo pumps for cold transfers
« on: May 06, 2015, 11:35:16 AM »
Does anyone have any opinions regarding the shurflo pumps you can find on some of the online shops?  I have a bad back with a few bulging discs and lifting carboys for gravity induced transfers from primary to secondary or secondary to keg are difficult/not ideal.  I have transferred under small amounts of CO2 pressure and while effective this is somewhat cumbersome and seems a tad risky.
Specifically does anyone have any recs regarding how easy these are to clean?  I've got some brett beers floating around from time to time and would hope to be able to sanitize the pump by circulating some starsan or the like for awhile. 

The prices on the online shops are prohibitive but amazon appears to sell the same pump for way less.

SHURflo Industrial Pump - 198 GPH, 115 Volt, 1/2in., Model# 2088-594-154

Any thoughts?

Yeast and Fermentation / Jolly pumpkin dregs
« on: December 19, 2014, 08:23:55 AM »
I managed to acquire several bottles of Jolly Pumpkin (big fan) of which I am hoping to harvest the dregs and add to a little wort to sustain them until I'm ready to toss into some wort.  Does anyone know if the yeast and/or bugs located within the bottles are all the same or different for each bottle?  Do sour beers like Jolly Pumpkin typically contain live cultures of lactobacillus or Pedio?

Yeast and Fermentation / Belgian Saison Blend (WL568) starter?
« on: December 16, 2014, 12:28:06 PM »
Planning on brewing up a big batch of saison in 10 days or so.  I wanted to split 10 gallons into two separate 5 gal worts- half to be a traditional saison the other half to be pitched with Brett Trois/lambicus left over from a 100% Brett farmhouse that finished up fermenting (saved some of the yeast).
LHBS only had WL568 belgian saison yeast blend which came highly recommended.  I need to build it up though over the next few days for the total 10 gallons.  Since it is a blend, will making a starter alter the characteristics much of the final beer and if so would it be bad to do anyways?

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