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Messages - rbowers

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General Homebrew Discussion / crash cooling ales
« on: October 04, 2011, 05:46:38 AM »
Does anyone know much about crash cooling ales?  I have a lager in my keezer now lagering for  6 weeks at 34F and wanted to put my two other ales (currently in the primary but likely done fermenting) in kegs and crash cool them to help clear them up.  Can these simply be rapidly chilled down to 34 degrees or is it better to slowly drop the temp down?  How long will they need to cool for- ideally I would just leave them in the keezer, force carbonate, and drink when ready.
Also one is going to be aged on some bourbon oak cubes in the keg for anywhere from 1-4 weeks depending on flavors obtained- can this be done at such low temps or would it be preferable to do this at room air temp and then crash cool?
Are there consequences to having rapidly shifting temps (32-68F) to beers after fermentation is complete?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Too much head on beer
« on: September 28, 2011, 07:36:22 PM »
This brings up some points I could use clarified re: ball lock kegs and co2 in general.  If I were to carbonate at 30 psi for 2 days I assume once the co2 has dissolved the co2 tank continues to push a pressure of 30 psi onto the beer unless reduced.  If you do reduce the pressure prior to purging the valve or pouring a beer does the head space pressure drop to the new setting or does it remain at 30 psi?  Will the co2 tank only actually put more gas into the keg once the pressure drops at or below the new co 2 pressure setting?  Does the excess foam come more from too much carbonation suspended in the beer, too high a head space pressure, or some combination- or are these in the end the exact same thing?  I should have paid more attention in physics class I guess.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Too much head on beer
« on: September 28, 2011, 03:45:24 PM »
So I have lengthened the hose to 7 ft but still a lot of foam.  I've turned the pressure off and I am just letting off some of the gas every hour or to see if that helps.  Is it just difficult to dispense beer at higher temps because to keep it carbonated you have to have these high psi levels of 17 or so?  I am letting my lager warm up to get rid of some diacetyl but dropping the temp back down to lager temps over the next few days.  I'll have to wait and see how hints pan out.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Too much head on beer
« on: September 28, 2011, 12:30:20 PM »
I'm gonna try releasing all the co2 off for a few seconds and then retry at a pressure of 4-6 psi.  Keep u posted

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Too much head on beer
« on: September 28, 2011, 11:36:09 AM »
I guess my question is: once the beer is carbonated at the force carbonation pressure does reducing the pressure to say 7-10 psi result in any co2 coming out of solution?  Does it make any sense to say the beer tastes under carbonated but there is copious amounts of head?  Beer line is about 4-5 ft.

Kegging and Bottling / Too much head on beer
« on: September 28, 2011, 11:07:07 AM »
I just started kegging and my first beer on tap seems to have an inordinate amount of head (I'm pouring half beer, half foam).  I had the keg force carbonate at about 17 psi for several days at around 50 degrees.  After that time should the pressure be reduced to a certain pour pressure?  Will the beer stay carbonated if I drop the pressure to say 6-10?  I am planning on dropping the temp for my lager (same fridge as tapped beer)- what should I do regarding the pressure setting once it's at a much lower temp, say 36 degrees.

All Grain Brewing / lagerering vessel
« on: September 25, 2011, 08:33:26 PM »
For lagering (this is my frst batch):
1) Is it okay and/or recommended to use a corny keg as the lagering vessel?  Can beer be dispensed from the same keg after lagering is finished?
2) How close to final gravity should I be prior to lagering?
3) Is it best to cool the beer in the primary prior to transfer to the lagering vessel or rack and then cool?
4) If the beer lagers in the keg do I need to periodically release pressure so as not to affect yeast activity?


Pimp My System / Re: Keezer build + some questions
« on: September 13, 2011, 01:35:12 PM »
Ok let's try this.  Link should take you to the photos:

Pimp My System / Re: Keezer build + some questions
« on: September 13, 2011, 12:47:02 PM »
Ok obviously no pic- how are pics uploaded?

Pimp My System / Keezer build + some questions
« on: September 13, 2011, 12:41:17 PM »
So I finally got around to it and got to work on my keezer.  Surprisingly simple to do (I am not a handy person) and really had a good time with this. Trying to figure out how to post a pic so they may or may not be included below (suggestions if you can't see them?).  Going to have four taps going hopefully soon (big brew week ahead).  The design was taken off the web and I have to say was incredibly straight forward and easy to do.  A couple of questions:

1) For temp control I have a Johnson digital thermostat controller with the temp probe coming through the wood.  I have seen a lot of other people place the temp probe in a bottle of water- I tried this but there was always a big delay in equalization of the temps and at times the ambient temp would be close to freezing while the water bottle was still above 45 degrees.  Is this ideal or is it better to simply have the probe sensing the ambient and true air temp inside the keezer.

2) This finally gives me some temp control to pursue some lager brews.  I will have room for a carboy for primary fermentation and lagering.  Is there any problem with respect to the other beers on tap in increasing and decreasing the temp over a period of weeks between 35 and 55 degrees to allow for proper fermentation and lagering of future brews?  Outside of not being able to always have very cold beer all the time (which may not be a bad thing for some of the beers) could there be any other problems?

I still need to install a 4 sided manifold to split the CO2 tank across all taps but other than that its coming along well.

All Grain Brewing / Re: First lager batch
« on: September 10, 2011, 12:36:30 PM »
Thanks for suggestions.  Looking forward to having some more options with fermentation temp control now that I've invested in some extra equipment.  Lagers will be an interesting departure from my usual brew days. 

All Grain Brewing / Large Starters
« on: September 10, 2011, 12:33:48 PM »
What is the best way to make a large starter?  Planning for a brew day in 4-5 days for a lager batch.  I have one vial of German lager yeast (WL I forget the #).  Is it best to ferment a starter at room temp or at the specified temp ( in this case 45-55 F)?  Is it best to add the same amount of wort as usual, ferment, cool and then add more wort or to just add more wort than usual from the start?  Is it detrimental to the yeast to keep warming and cooling it with each subsequent addition of wort?  Suggestions?

All Grain Brewing / First lager batch
« on: September 09, 2011, 01:05:20 PM »
Going to try a batch of lager this week and haven't been down this path before so looking for a few tips.  The recipe will likely be an Oktoberfest or Shwarzbier (Sprechen Black clone?).  In terms of pitching: Is a starter necessary?  If so at what temp do I make the starter at? 
Is it ideal to pitch the yeast at room temp and then chill to 50 degrees or so or chill first. 
How long does primary fermentation take and what is a reasonable time to lager the beer for?  I am hoping to have it kegged and ready by thanksgiving.
I have a chest freezer (recently turned keezer) that I am hoping to use as the lagering and chilling vessel with the aid of a thermostat controller.  No kegs yet so I thought this would be an opportune time to use.  All suggestions appreciated.

Pimp My System / Re: Keezer time
« on: August 30, 2011, 08:49:55 AM »
All great suggestions.  I hadn't thought about the extra swing height if the collar is attachednto the lid and that may push me to just leave attached to the freezer.  Off to go pick it up now.  Thanks again

Pimp My System / Re: Keezer time
« on: August 30, 2011, 04:30:51 AM »
By at risk I mean malfunctiong to any degree.  Do you like the setup you have with the collar attached to the freezer?  It would certainly eliminate the weight concerns with the hinges.  Does it make it difficult to transfer the kegs in and out or is it a negligible problem?  What did you do to attach the collar to the keezer?

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