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Topics - rbowers

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All Grain Brewing / First Wort Hopping/ Black IPA
« on: August 25, 2011, 03:50:53 PM »
Got a black IPA planned for next week.  This will be my first black IPA and I have been reading up on some finer points with regards to hops. First wort hoppping sounded interesting and something I have not done before but there seems to be a debate about how to re-arrange the rest of the hop profile around it.  The recipe (which I am altering to experiment with a FWH) calls for 3oz magnum (60 min), 2oz amarillo gold (1 min), and 0.5oz cascade (0min) followed by additional cascade and amarillo dry hop (2 oz apiece).  Is it best to move all the magnum forward to a FWH vs. a portion.  I plan to leave the dry hopping out of the equation for now.  Should I take a portion of all the additions and move it forward? 
And just to get this right- the hops are merely added to the kettle and allowed to sit with the sparged wort until and then through the entire boil?  Is there a set time to allow them to sit in the sparged liquid pre-boil? The desrciption this process seems to yield, based on my review on the web, is that of a hoppy but smooth beer with elements of blended bitterness and hop flavor. 
Any suggestions, as always, are very helpful.

Kegging and Bottling / Splitting a batch to 2 kegs
« on: August 18, 2011, 01:16:09 PM »
Is there a way to split a 5 gallon batch between 2 5-gallon kegs and still carbonate effectively?  I was hoping to brew a black IPA and age half of it on some oak.  I assume force carbonation is going to be the only way to go?  Has anyone done this? 

Kegging and Bottling / Freezer for a Keezer
« on: August 18, 2011, 07:21:44 AM »
Looking into building a keeper sometime soon.  I am hoping for a 4 corny keg setup with room in the keezer for a 10lb CO2 tank.  A bonus would be extra room to lager a primary 6 gallon carboy possibly at the expense of one or two kegs at times.  Any recs on size/model/brand of freezer to look into?

All Grain Brewing / Saison Brew Day
« on: July 06, 2011, 06:30:24 AM »
Going to brew a saison for the the first time next week.  The recipe is based off a Saison Dupont clone I found.  From what little I have read it seems higher fermentation temp is the way to go.  Using Wyeast 3711 French Saison strain.  Any additional suggestions?  I was also considering dry hopping it to add some additional aroma- the only dry hopping I've done is with high AA hops in IPAs which I don't think is the goal here.  The beer is to be brewed with EKG and Styrian goldings; just use the same hops for the dry hop?   Plan to mash in at 150 I think for 90 min. 

All Grain Brewing / Small Batch Test Brewing
« on: July 04, 2011, 07:43:03 AM »
I was looking to brew a few test batches in smaller quantities to fine tune some things and experiment a bit.  In general is everything scaled down equally in terms of ingredients?  Any recs on adjustments to yeast pitching?  If I use CO2 to cover the beer in the fermenter is their any problem with using my 5 and 6 gallon carboys or is an additional investment needed for a smaller carboy?  Things to consider for hops?  Dry hopping?  Thanks in advance for any suggestions

General Homebrew Discussion / My First Dry Hop
« on: May 26, 2011, 04:42:06 AM »
So I am going to dry hop a APA today and wanted some general recs.  I haven't done this before so a little clueless.  Going to use citra hops at the recommendation of LHBS.  Is there any benefit to placing them in a weighted mesh bag if I plan to transfer back to a clean carboy after 5-7 days?  Is it ok to have the hops simply floating on top of the beer?  Add the hops first then the beer or vice versa?  I assume I maintain the same fermentation temp ~67F. 

Equipment and Software / Kegerator
« on: March 26, 2011, 10:18:46 AM »
So I've decided to take the plunge and get a kegerator.  I'm trying to discern the difference in cost between buying a kit and likely a new small (dorm size) fridge or buying a kegerator outright.  I am looking for at least a 2 cornie keg capacity with a twin draft tower.  I've seen completed systems with co2 tank, 2 cornies, and everything else for around $750.  Does anyone have experience with building their own and if so what were the overall costs and labor time.  I'm not the handiest person around but could probably complete the task with adequate instruction.  Any advice?

Equipment and Software / Fermentation Temperature control
« on: March 04, 2011, 05:34:45 AM »
I'm looking to better control the fermentation temperatures of my beer.  Right now I have a bit of a drafty house and temperature can vary a bit.  I've looked into some carboy warming gadgets as the basement (where most of my brewing takes place) stays about 60 or sometimes a bit cooler.  The fermwrap heater seems to be a reasonable choice.  Does anyone have experience with this?  Also with regards to the controls will a Johnson Digital Thermostat control do the trick with the aid of a thermowell stopper?  Any advice or recs would be appreciated.

General Homebrew Discussion / Hop substitutions
« on: February 18, 2011, 12:09:51 PM »
Getting ready to brew a dry stout.  The recipe called for about 0.7 oz of target hops for 60 min (11% AA).  These were unavailable at LHBS so owner suggested goldings as a replacement, but only at 3.7% AA.  I plugged this into a hop conversion app and it calls for 2.1oz of the goldings as a replacement.  If this is purely for bitterring purposes should it work out?  I've never had to substitute hops before (this is only batch 8 or so for me).  Open to any and all advice.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / 1st batch partial mash and headaches
« on: February 15, 2011, 12:25:32 PM »
I just sampled the finished product from my first attempted partial mash recipe- overall tastes pretty good but it left me a bad headache the next day (after drinking only 2) and the phenomena repeated itself the following day after just one.  It was an IPA recipe, alcohol content ~5.5%.  Any ideas what could be causing this?  Tannins?

Equipment and Software / Brewstand
« on: December 20, 2010, 11:14:37 AM »
Fairly new to home brewing but now that I've got a few extract brews under my belt I was going to try my hand at a partial mash recipe.  I was contemplating building a VERY basic 2 or 3 tier brew stand and was curious if anyone had some general recs or blueprints.  Or even just things I should consider prior to just jumping in and building something.  It will need to be mostly wood as I don't know how to weld.  Also cost will need to be controlled.  I have looked around at other threads and while the majority of the brew stands posted are impressive they are a bit more advanced than what I was looking for.  Thanks

Equipment and Software / concerns about copper tubing
« on: December 19, 2010, 11:22:48 AM »
I just made a counterflow wort chiller with some copper tubing that the wort will flow through.  In terms of sanitation should I be concerned about the potential corrosive effects of sanitation solution on the interior of the piping?  Will my usual routine of a weak chlorine bleach solution do?  If this is a concern how should I be sanitizing the piping prior to my next batch?

Equipment and Software / Counterflow chiller
« on: December 11, 2010, 08:04:40 PM »
Looking to build a counterflow chiller.  I like the idea of a cylinder model with PVC piping as the cylinder and copper tubing inside.  Does anyone have any basic blueprints for an easy to build model or other recommendations.  Looking forward to a fun project.

General Homebrew Discussion / Banana Taste
« on: December 09, 2010, 03:12:25 PM »
I brewed up a first attempt at a holiday winter ale and after a few days primary fermentation I made the switch to the secondary fermenter and out of curiosity gave the stuff a taste and there is a fairly distinct banana aroma and taste.  Not exactly what I was shooting for.  The only complication I can recall is during the first day of fermentation, the primary carboy overflowed a bit over the airlock with foam (unexpected 1st in my 6.5G carboy which normally handles 5 G fine without need for a blowout hose).  Can I expect the banana flavors to persist?  Is it worth even continuing to ferment and bottle or just bag it already down the drain?  Help for the newbie is appreciated.

Equipment and Software / Spigot
« on: December 03, 2010, 08:22:27 AM »
I was looking to install a spigot on my aluminum brew pot.  Does anyone have any recommendations on the best place to acquire necessary materials, specifically the actual spigot?  Thanks.

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