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Topics - rbowers

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Yeast and Fermentation / Unplanned open fermentation
« on: June 21, 2012, 05:43:49 PM »
So I brewed up my long planned Baltic porter, dropped it in the keezer to ferment at 58F and promptly left town the next day for Florida for five days.  Came home and found the airlock top sitting on the floor of the keezer- I suspect the fermentation activity and foam blew it off but there was no significant mess to suggest all that much of an overflow of fermentation activity.  Anyways, the carboy sat open to the air of the keezer x 5 days at the most.  There is an internal small fan in the keezer circulating air.  The SG has dropped from 1.085 to 1.050, it tastes fine, and no horrendous odor.  I replaced the airlock and fermentation continues, albeit, slowly.  What are the chances this is infected?  How do I tell?  Is this worth following thru to the end of my planned 3-6 months aging.  I was really excited on this beer and pretty pissed this happened especially since I genuinely considered a blow off tube but then decided against it.

All Grain Brewing / 1st wheat brew
« on: June 14, 2012, 01:13:57 AM »
Going to brew up a raspberry wheat for the first time tomorrow- really my first effort at a beer with a good amount of wheat (50% grist).  I have heard these mashes can prove tricky so I was hoping to elicit any advice others may have. 
I plan on using a good amount of rice hulls. 
I've heard wheat beers can foam up pretty good in the carboy- any use for silicone anti-foam agents and if so how do you use these?
Any suggestions on mashing?  I have initial plans for a single infusion mash at 150F x 60 min.  Any role for protein rests or other steps?
Sparge as normal or additional cautions?

I'm all ears.

Beer Recipes / Peaches anyone?
« on: June 06, 2012, 02:16:05 AM »
Any ideas for a good style to brew with peaches.  Just brainstorming a bit here to try and get some ideas going down the line.  Was down at LHBS  and someone mentioned an APA  which caught my attention.  A light Belgian blonde was another idea.  I'm not sure how an IPA recipe would match up with the fruit. I don't know of many commercial examples.

Kegging and Bottling / Altitude and beer transport
« on: June 03, 2012, 01:23:16 PM »
What can be expected from beer brewed and bottled at 2000 ft and then transported to say 8000 ft?  Can I expect exploding bottles or excessively carbonated/foamy beer due to the lower pressure or is this not an issue?  I figure breweries in Colorado (which is where I'm headed) have the same reverse problem shipping their beer to lower states.  Does anyone have any ideas about this?

Yeast and Fermentation / Storing Yeast Starters?
« on: May 22, 2012, 06:45:53 PM »
I've got a big two weeks of brewing coming up with a laid back work schedule and my wife and kids leaving town for 2 weeks thus leaving me to attend my hobby.  I am going to try and cram in 5 batches so I'll be set for months.  I've been planning this for awhile.
In preparation I was hoping to get my yeast starters ready a week or two ahead of time.  2 batches will require sizable starters (big baltic porter and dunkel).  The other 3 will be smaller beers.  Is there a way to store starters for a week or two?  Perhaps placing them in cleaned and sanitized bottles and capping them?  I could then crack them open as needed.  I only have two starter flasks.  Suggestions welcome.

For my upcoming raspberry wheat recipe I plan to secondary the beer on top of a raspberry puree for 2-3 weeks.  Likely going to use 3lbs.  Is there a way (or a reason) to account for the fermentation of raspberry sugars contribution to the alcohol level or is it negligible?

Beer Recipes / Raspberry Wheat Ideas
« on: May 07, 2012, 04:36:17 PM »
Looking to brew up a raspberry wheat for my sister's wedding at her request.  I've never brewed this style before (wheat beer +/- fruit) so I thought I'd kick this out for some pointers.  I want more of an American Wheat style so will probably use a neutral yeast- will WLP001 work or does anyone have specific recommendations.

6lb 2-row
4lb white wheat
0.5lb munich
Hallertauer 1oz at 60min, .5oz at 20min

Is there any role for crystal malts in the style?

Then there is the issue of the raspberries.  I've seen the vintners harvest cans which sounds easy enough.  Buying fresh raspberries might turn this into quite the expensive brew.  I'd plan on adding them to the secondary for 1-2 weeks.  I am going for hints of raspberries NOT fermented raspberry juice so will 3lbs suffice for a 5.5 gallon batch?

Mash temp seems to be high in most recipes I've seen ~154F x 60min.
60min boil

Wedding is in September and hoping to have 1-2 test runs prior to the final product.

I'm all ears on suggestions

General Homebrew Discussion / Aging temp
« on: May 02, 2012, 01:51:57 AM »
I've got a Baltic porter recipe planned that will ferment around 62F using San Fran lager yeast.  I had planned on aging it 2-3 months. What is a good temp to do this at?

Beer Recipes / Critique Baltic Porter Recipe
« on: April 12, 2012, 07:36:46 PM »
Been throwing things around on this- let me know what you think

6 Gallon Batch

9lb Marris Otter
6lb Munich

1.5lb Crystal 120
3oz Special B
4oz Aromatic Malt
8oz Chocolate
8oz Carafa II

Czech Saaz 2.25 oz at 60min
Czech Saaz 1 oz at 30 min

San Fran Lager with large starter

Mash at 156F x 50 min
Boil x 90 min
Ferment as close to 60 as possible (any lower will be difficult)

OG: ~1.082

My concerns:
- Will the Carafa II provide enough roast character or is it better to go with some black malt?  I'm trying to make it as smooth as possible with little astringency

- Would caramunich offer any advantage over crystal 120?

Any thoughts or comments appreciated.

Beer Recipes / Yeast Recomendations for Baltic Porter
« on: March 30, 2012, 02:19:13 PM »
Looking for good recommendations for a Baltic Porter Yeast.  Looking for something reasonably neutral.  I've seen everything from German lager strains to Irish ale recommended in recipes.  I have a hard time fermenting below 62F, negating most of the lager strains.  The OG will likely be fairly high 1.090 to 1.10.  Any ideas?

General Homebrew Discussion / Best time to and finnings for Kolsch
« on: March 27, 2012, 01:35:36 PM »
I have a batch of kolsch fermenting in the primary now and plan to continue for at least 2 weeks.  I will then place into lagering keg for 4 weeks at 34F or so.  When is the best time to add gelatin finnings- into the lagering vessel or wait to add to serving keg?  I'm shooting for excellent clarity with this batch.

Equipment and Software / New Boil Kettle
« on: March 16, 2012, 02:44:12 AM »
I just picked up my new kettle from the welder today- I converted a 15.5G sanke keg into my new brew kettle complete with a ball valve and site gauge.  I calibrated the site gauge today and realized my dead space is a lot more than my previous kettle.  It came out close to 2 gallons (basically the volume left in the kettle after letting it drain without tipping it on its side. 
How should I account for this in recipe formulation and water needed?  In my prior kettle I did tip the kettle towards the end of draining it thru the wort chiller and into the fermenter to maximize my volume.  Any suggestions?

Yeast and Fermentation / Sanitation and Brett
« on: March 03, 2012, 02:13:57 AM »
Fermenting a saison with farmhouse blend that contains Brett- what is the best way to sanitize my gear?  I had it in glass Carboys (primary and now secondary), it has touched a metal SS racking cane with plastic tip, and a short length of tubing.  Can I boil all the small stuff?  I've heard that starsan can sanitize Brett.  If I keg this beer what can I do to sanitize the keg?

All Grain Brewing / Short higher temp mashes
« on: February 26, 2012, 03:42:54 AM »
I recently looked over Stone Brewing's book that contains a fair amount of their recipes and I noticed some of these recipes call for significantly shortened mash times compared to the standard 60-90 min I'm used to.  Some are as short as 10-20 min at 157F followed by a mash out step.  What are the effects of this?  Will this add substantially to the body of a beer?
I have often felt my beers are sometimes a bit thin despite higher mash temps.  Is this something worth considering or am I merely going to sacrifice overall yield?  Any thoughts?

Yeast and Fermentation / WL 670 American Farmhouse
« on: February 19, 2012, 03:35:04 AM »
Has anyone used this strain before and if so what have been your impressions?  I picked up a bottle for a saison I have planned.  I was curious what anyone thinks about progressively increasing the fermentation temp may yield in terms of flavors.  The suggested temp range is 68-72 but I know a lot of saisons ferment progressively higher.  I was thinking of trying this going up into the high 70s thru primary fermentation to accentuate some of the yeast flavors but not necessarily sure how this yeast may react.  Any thoughts?

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