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Messages - rbowers

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Ingredients / Cryo Hops
« on: August 28, 2017, 12:52:32 AM »
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 / Re: Ss Brew Bucket Thermowell
« on: July 18, 2017, 02:37:06 AM »
So I guess my question is more about the best place to measure temps within a fermenter.  Is the top two inches of wort going to be much different than 8-10 inches down in the fermenter

Equipment and Software / Ss Brew Bucket Thermowell
« on: July 17, 2017, 08:20:13 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, 11:25:48 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 / Re: FG still to high
« on: September 14, 2016, 12:10:12 AM »
Sounds good.  Thanks for the advice.  I have never done one of those tests before but basically sounds like I just draw off some wort, add a bunch of yeast (any particular type?), stick it on a stir plate and see what it drops to?  Safe assumption to go with maybe a more attenuating strain (US05-have some lying around) and if I do get a few points out of it, pitch the same into the remaining beer?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: FG still to high
« on: September 13, 2016, 04:50:14 PM »
How about champagne yeast?

It was a 15 gallon batch brewed on a brew easy system at LHBS (wanted to give the system a try).
Toasted quick oats 3lb
Roasted barley 3lb
Maris otter 24.75 lb
Crystal 90 1lb
Chocolate 2.5lb
Victory 1.5lb

Was supposed to mash 152F X 60 min but as I said things got screwed up early on.

Yeast and Fermentation / FG still to high
« on: September 13, 2016, 02:40:23 AM »
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, 09:21:05 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 20, 2016, 12:22:28 AM »
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 / Re: Tap lines and turbulence
« on: October 03, 2015, 05:05:29 PM »
Zip ties were not that tight and it was thick walled 3/16 diameter tubing so I imagine tough to squeeze real tight.  I do have a fan so I do not think that's the issue.  I'll give it a shot with some longer lines I guess.

Kegging and Bottling / Tap lines and turbulence
« on: October 03, 2015, 03:58:15 PM »
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.

Beer Recipes / Re: Hefe + Berliner Weisse big batch
« on: August 25, 2015, 12:07:55 AM »
Thanks for the advice guys.  I will sit on it another week or two at least.

Beer Recipes / Re: Hefe + Berliner Weisse big batch
« on: August 23, 2015, 09:53:06 PM »
Update: so the souring didn't quite go so well with my lacto brevis starter (very slow going) and on day 4 or 5 I threw in a pouch of Omega lacto blend split between the two 5 gallons.  They were not kidding about fast souring.  While it took 4-5 days to get from 4.6 to 4.2 with L. Brevis, the omega blend (or a combined effort of both strains) dropped it to 3.6 in about 30 hrs.  I transferred it back to the kettle for a short boil, cooled to ~70F, and pitched US05 to one 5gal portion and WLP351 to the other. After 9 days in the primary the gravity is down to ~1.008 and signs of fermentation have stopped.  Tastes nice and sour.  The FG seems slightly higher than I'd like but I imagine it will come across even crisper with carbonation and cooler temps.  Any ideas on how to drop the gravity a few more points?  I think the Sacc is done.  Simply adding sterile water I guess is an option but have never done this.  Brett I assume will take awhile and not really looking to add it. 
Half of this is destined for some blackberries, the other half plain.  I am assuming the blackberry sugars will ferment out completely and not really affect the gravity but correct me if that's a bad assumption.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lactobacillus and starsan
« on: August 11, 2015, 07:42:28 PM »
So brew day went pretty well.  I have two batches of BW with lacto starters added and I am holding them at reasonably stable temps (100-110).  After 48hrs I decided to take a sample and the pH is only down to 4.6 and 4.5.  The podcast at the NHC I listened to seemed to suggest pH would be plummeting by day 2 or 3.  I had purchased a pH meter but unfortunately it didn't show up till yesterday so I was stuck with pH strips on the brew day which were not very helpful.  Original wort pH was around 5.2-5.4.  I added 1 tsp of 88% lactic acid and kinda chickened out on adding anymore.  Repeat pH per test strips was hard to interpret.  Would a single tsp of lactic acid added to 11gal of wort drop pH much?

It seemed like there was a fair amount of activity in the airlock (more than expected but not as aggressive as a primary yeast fermentation) so I assume something is going on.  Assuming this strain produces some CO2???

Specific Gravity today was roughly unchanged (not sure it is supposed to/expected to change with lacto)

It tastes not the least bit acidic which is frustrating.

So now I am at 48hrs of attempted wort souring, what to do?  Wait another 3-4 days?  I have a pack of Omega labs lacto so could always pitch that and see what happens.  Any advice?

General Homebrew Discussion / Lactic acid and ph adjustment
« on: August 09, 2015, 02:52:26 PM »
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?

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