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Messages - rbowers

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Yeast and Fermentation / Washing Brett
« on: December 03, 2014, 07:30:37 AM »
I have my first 100% Brett beer fermenting (about 20 days in).  I used a 3L starter of Brett trois and 1.5L starter of Brett lambicus all pitched together in primary.  I haven't taken a reading yet but likely plan to transfer to secondary soon.  I wanted to wash the yeast and re-use if this beer turns out good as it took awhile to build up all that Brett in the starters.  Is there anything I should know about washing Brett before I transfer?  Anything different from normal sacc yeast washing practices?  I know it will be a mixed culture obviously but I am ok with that especially if the initial Brett beer comes out well.  Thanks.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 100% Brett First Attempt
« on: November 09, 2014, 01:55:15 PM »
Separate question:  I have a split batch of dark saison fermenting now of which I wanted to take 3 gallons and pitch some brett as a secondary fermentation once primary fermentation is about complete.  Would it be better to:

a) Rack the beer off the saison yeast then pitch brett with beer into a new carboy
b) Simply toss in the brett and let beer sit on all the yeast (old and new)
c) Is it possible to rack the beer to a small 3 gallon keg and do a secondary fermentation there with the brett, periodically releasing pressure so as to prevent excessive CO2 buildup. 

Knowing that not too much extra growth would occur with the brett addition due to not many sugars being left in the beer I wouldn't be too concerned about excessive yeast build up in the final beer.  Also its fairly dark and a saison so not excessively concerned about brilliant clarity.  Is that sound logic?

Yeast and Fermentation / 100% Brett First Attempt
« on: November 04, 2014, 01:34:42 PM »
Going to try a 100% Brett fermentation and needed some help.
I was going to use the recipe from the AHA website ( which describes using a mix of two different strains of Brett.
1) will the Brett perform well at the low temp recommended (65F)?  Seems well below the optimum temp recommended by white labs.
2) will Brett Brux Trois strain also work well for a primary fermentation (if I can't get my hands on Brett brux/lambicus)?
3) there seems to be a lot of variety in how fast I should expect these to ferment out- some say months, others something not too longer than a typical ferment schedule.
4) are starters necessary?


Equipment and Software / Re: Heating element for HLT
« on: August 12, 2014, 12:47:05 PM »
Very helpful.  As I know little of electricity these are the things I overlook.  Guess I will need to talk to an electrician.

Equipment and Software / Heating element for HLT
« on: August 12, 2014, 07:19:45 AM »
I am slowly working towards increased control of my current brew system and wanted to add an electric element to my HLT thru which a 50ft herms coil circulates.  I have little to no knowledge of electricity and prefer to buy a prefabricated model.  I was looking at the blichman 120V boil coil 10 gal models.  The HLT will likely end up being a old 15.5 gal keg but would only hold 10-12 gallons for the HLT and herms coil.  My question is does anyone have experience with these?  Will it work well on a old keg for an HLT?  Again, not looking to boil water obviously in the HLT but more hold temp between 150-180F.  Would use a Johnson controller to do that.  The heat efficiency calculation blichman lists states it would have an efficiency of ~1-1.5 degrees F per minute heating capability which seems reasonable.  Ideally I would opt for a 240V model but that incurs the cost of creating a new outlet which I'm not too interested in.  Any thoughts?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Super carbed keg
« on: June 11, 2014, 07:23:38 AM »
So I checked the gravity and it is around 1.026, down from 1.030-1.032 at the time of kegging.  Didn't add any priming sugar as I had planned to force carbonate it.  It tastes fine so I imagine it simply was still fermenting.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Super carbed keg
« on: June 10, 2014, 12:26:11 PM »
Yeah working on that now.  I pulled off about a gallon of foam that has the consistency of yeast slurry and waiting for it to settle down.  Thanks for the advice

Kegging and Bottling / Super carbed keg
« on: June 10, 2014, 12:06:01 PM »
I kegged a RIS a few months ago and planned on letting it sit in basement around 60F for awhile before ultimately carbonating it further and drinking it. When it went into the keg the gravity was around 1.030 down from 1.10. I periodically checked to make sure it was holding pressure and never had a problem.  Today I put it into the kegerator and it is acting like it is pressurized way above normal.  I guess it may have gotten shaken up a little bit in tranfer but not like we rolled it down a hill.  Hooking it up to a gas line, the beer shot back into the gas line despite about 20 psi on the line.  I have disconnected the gas, tried pouring off some through the beer line and pulled the pin several times to try and off gas it a bit but eventually it starts shooting foam out the pin.  Also whatever I pour off is almost pure foam and coming out rather violently.  Any chance this is infected?  Doesn't particularly taste bad or off.  I also thought terminal gravity had been reached or at least very close to it (it had about a month to ferment in the carboy).  Any suggestions? 

Kegging and Bottling / Trouble with gas posts
« on: September 07, 2013, 07:20:17 PM »
I have a few ball lock kegs that seem to mostly have these gas posts with a star pattern.  I'm not too happy with them, they are infuriating to try and get off as I can't use a socket wrench (works fine with the liquid posts which have typical shape), and would love to find a replacement or better way to get them on and off.  Any idea what type these are?  Tried looking on keg but can't find any manufacturing marks to describe the keg (Firestone, challenger, etc).  I bought a matching gas post compared to the liquid post (it is def a gas post) but the threads are different I guess cause it won't screw on.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Bugs in the bottle
« on: May 09, 2013, 04:05:02 PM »
well I guess aging is out of the question. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Bugs in the bottle
« on: May 09, 2013, 08:25:46 AM »
Will chilling the bottles to say 40F completely halt fermentation once Ive reached where I want it?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Bugs in the bottle
« on: May 09, 2013, 08:19:42 AM »
I mashed reasonably high at 154F for 60min.  I pitched roselare blend + a bottle of cali ale yeast.  The pellicle was never huge but did form and then dropped.  there was perhaps a little activity of pellicle left at bottling.  The secondary was kept in a basement that probably averages 60F which in retrospect maybe accounts for the slow brett/bacteria activity.  I'll try one in 10 days and see where I am at.  I assume it will take the brett awhile to continue to produce enough gas from residual dextrins. Ive never made a bottle bomb before- do these spontaneously explode or is just dangerous when you open them?

Yeast and Fermentation / Bugs in the bottle
« on: May 06, 2013, 06:38:56 PM »
Just bottled my first attempt at a Flanders red, 5 gal batch.  It spent 8+mos in the secondary, pellicle seemed to drop out so I decided to bottle.  SG was still a little high (not sure how much 3/4cup priming sugar would add to that) at 1.014.  Can I expect the yeast and bugs to continue to metabolize leftover sugars/dextrins and it to further drop over time or am I pretty much done beyond carbonation.  Also hoping it sours a bit more with time. I also threw in champagne yeast at bottling to help carb it up.

Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian Stout Critique/Help?
« on: April 26, 2013, 04:34:16 PM »
Alright this is where I am at thus far:

6 Gal Batch, 75 % Eff

14.5 lb Belgian Pale
1.5 lb Midnight Wheat
1.5 lb Chocolate Malt
1 lb Carafa II
1 lb D180 Belgian Candy Syrup
0.25 lb Special B

Herkules 14.5 % : 2 oz at 60 min- these hops are new to me but I am told very smooth, similar to magnum

1.8L Starter of Belgian Ale Yeast (WL550)

Mash at 153F x 60 min
Mash out to 167F

Ferment 68F x 3 days then raise to 72F till done

I have not used the midnight wheat before.  I'm looking for overall very smooth with touches of roast from the Carafa and midnight Wheat.  I am forgoing the late hop additions as I don't see a huge point in their presence for this beer.  Additional Suggestions?

Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian Stout Critique/Help?
« on: April 18, 2013, 06:19:37 PM »
Yeah the midnight wheat was something I was considering, available locally.  without the black patent will it have enough roasty character to it just from the other grains as the caraffa won't add much?  On the plus side it would be awfully smooth with the caraffa 2.  Special B I like but need it restrained- my baltic porter had a good dose of it in it and it was overpowering.  I'm hoping to have the final gravity around 1.02, maybe a bit less. The sugar just sounded interesting and I thought it would add some more complexity.
Still confused on late hopping these type beers- does it come thru at all, and if not, why do it.  Right now I am planning on 2oz magnum at 60min to bring it to around 70IBU.
 Thanks for the suggestions. 

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