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Topics - johnnyb

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Kegging and Bottling / Brown Stain in Corny Keg
« on: August 29, 2015, 11:59:49 AM »
Just getting around to cleaning some corny kegs a friend gave me, and I have one with a brownish stain in the bottom that I can't remove. It is probably a spot where a bit of liquid (assuming beer because he was a brewer but who knows) pooled for a long period of time. It's not a solid brown spot. It's more like sort of haphazard rings of various shades of brown and roughly 3" across.

So far I've tried PBW, Craft Meister Alkaline Brewery Wash, and StarSan with no luck.

I just want to use this keg for periodic cleaning of beer lines, so I'm not sure if the stain is a big deal. But I would feel better if I could get it cleaned up.

Any ideas? 

Homebrew Weddings / Brewed for Small Wedding This Summer
« on: August 29, 2015, 11:34:03 AM »
I brewed two beers for a small wedding this summer. The bride and groom to be came over to help on brew day and brought some nice local honey that they wanted to use. We brewed an American IPA and a Honey Rye.

The wedding was at the beginning of August. I was planning on just serving them old school out of a plastic tote bin full of ice, but the temps were forecast for the mid 90's and I was worried about the lines foaming. I ended up using the tote bin system, and then I got a cheap Styrofoam cooler to coil up the lines in and drilled holes in it for the picnic taps. Filled it up full of ice and it kept the lines chilled and pouring without foam.

They also bought a keg of Yuengling, but it went pretty much untouched until my two kegs floated.

I've brewed for many parties, but was surprised how nervous I was about screwing something up for the wedding. I'm glad everything went smoothly and both beers came out great.

Yeast and Fermentation / British Ale Yeasts
« on: August 27, 2015, 06:56:36 PM »
I stopped drinking British style ales years ago but recently I tried a nice English pale ale and enjoyed it. I'm getting a bit sick of APA's and AIPA's so was thinking of brewing an English pale soon.

All I know is I do not like the Ringwood yeast because a local brewpub uses it for almost every beer in their lineup and I got sick of it. And I once tried Safale S-04 for an ESB and it produced a sulfur bomb. (Which apparently did get a bit better with age according to the friend I left the keg with.)

So any ideas for what yeasts I might like for a nice English pale ale? Something with some character but not super duper fruity would probably suit me.


Kegging and Bottling / What Volume C02 for Gose?
« on: August 27, 2015, 09:02:01 AM »
I have 2 pressure settings available in my kegerator and 3 beers to serve. APA, Hefeweizen, and Gose.

I plan to serve the APA about 2.5 volumes and the Hefe about 3.2 volumes (higher?). Out of these 2 settings, which should I serve the Gose at?

General Homebrew Discussion / Turning Around a Hefeweizen Quickly
« on: August 15, 2015, 07:30:33 PM »
I brewed a hefeweizen this past Monday that I would like to serve at a party on Sept. 5. (Brew day got delayed several times for various reasons out of my control.) Normally I give all my beers 3 full weeks in primary, then cold crash, the carbonate and cold condition for a full 2 weeks.

It's done with the really active phase of fermentation but there is still tons of yeast in suspension and I've move it from 620 to 700 over the past 24 hours to finish up.

Should I keep the beer on the yeast as long as possible, and then try the rush carbonation method? (I've heard something like 30 PSI for 24 hours, then dial back to serving pressure for a couple of days should do it.)

Or is it better to maybe rack off the yeast after just under 2 weeks and let it carbonate over 10 days or so?

Also, cold crash it or rack "as is" to try and keep it cloudy? I'm thinking cold crash but not sure.

Ingredients / When to Start Looking for Bulk Whole Hops 2015 Season?
« on: August 15, 2015, 05:18:44 PM »
My entire supply of leaf hops is from 2011 and 2012. I want to toss most of them and buy a bunch of varieties in bulk when this years crops are available for sale from places like Freshhops and Yakima Valley. When should I start keeping a close eye on the websites?

Do you keep a spare keg handy for cleaning and sanitizing lines and faucets?

I only own 4 kegs and my new kegerator has 3 taps and a 4th CO2 station for use as the on deck circle. Do I need another keg for cleaning lines and faucets?


General Homebrew Discussion / Getting Smegma out of Better Bottles
« on: August 08, 2015, 08:54:30 AM »
How do you guys clean these things when they are coated with stubborn smegma? The 1st 2 times I used them they cleaned up fairly easy with a soak in PBW, a bit of swishing and swirling, then a soak in StarSan and a rinse.

This time I have stubborn smegma that I cannot seem to get off. I've done 2 three hour PBW soaks followed by swirling and swishing then an overnight StarSan soak -- and still can't get it clean.


All Grain Brewing / 50:50 or 60:40 Wheat to Vienna for Hefeweizen?
« on: August 04, 2015, 01:29:36 PM »
Went to LHBS to get malt for a hefeweizen I'm going to brew soon. They had a problem with their recent supply order and had no pils malt in stock. I remembered (incorrectly as it turns out) that Kai had a hefe recipe with 50:50 wheat to Vienna malt. (Turns out its more like 75:25).

Anyway, I decided to get 5.5 pounds Vianna and 5.5 pounds wheat in the same bag unmilled.

Got home and realized Kai's recipe was more like 25% Vienna. I could add more wheat and get the ratio to about 60:40 wheat to Vienna without getting the gravity too high. Anyone think that grain bill will make a decent hefe?

If not, would it possibly make a good dunkelweizen if I add a little caraffa II for color during the sparge?

Or should I bite the bullet and start over with wheat and pils like I originally planned? As it turns out, after he bagged the wheat and Vienna he told me he didn't have the yeast I wanted, so I have to take a drive anyway.

Yeast and Fermentation / WY 3068 and Avoiding Banana Bomb?
« on: July 24, 2015, 08:10:58 AM »
I've avoided brewing a hefeweizen because almost all the domestics I've tasted seem to be banana bombs. My friends are big German hefe fans and I'm thinking of brewing one tomorrow. My LHBS only carries Wyeast and from what I've read 3068 is probably the best choice for a balanced hefe.

Any tips on avoiding a banana bomb if I use this yeast?

What I've dug up online so far is:

* Pitch a nice sized starter to accentuate the clove over banana
* Ferment cooler (right now the best I can easily maintain during fermentation is about 66o (beer temp)
* Possibly do a 20 minute rest at 111o then finish the mash at 152o. I'm not sure how to enter a multi-infusion mash into Bru'n water though and would rather stick with a single infusion unless it makes a big difference.

Also, should I just use German pils and German wheat (with maybe a touch of Caraffa II in the sparge for color) or should I use a bit of aromatic for body and color?

I'm looking for a nice balanced hefe with a giant creamy head and a cloudy appearance.


Kegging and Bottling / Arrrggghhh Both CO2 Tanks Out-of-Date
« on: July 21, 2015, 11:34:32 AM »
When I started brewing I bought a new 5 pound tank and a new 10 pound tank and kegged right from the first batch. When I needed to get them filled the only place I could find was my LHBS. I was hesitant to swap them out for older tanks (knowing I had 2 newly stamped tanks) but figured the convenience was worth it since nobody around me wanted to fill them.

Of course now I have 2 tanks that need filling and are both past the inspection date, and my LHBS stopped swapping tanks. Plus I'm stuck with 2 tanks that are pieces of crap compared to the shiny new tanks I traded for them.

Might was well stamp "sucker" on my forehead.

General Homebrew Discussion / Help: How to Raise Wort pH?
« on: July 19, 2015, 07:00:32 AM »
Sorry not trying to spam the forum but I'm about to start my boil and need some quick guidance if anyone has experience with this.

I used lactic bacteria to sour my wort pre-boil and it took it down a lot faster than expected. It's currently at about pH 3.0 in 6 gallons. I want to get it back to about pH 3.6 so my yeast will work without trouble and because I don't want it super crazy sour.

I'm diluting it back up with a gallon of distilled water and 10 ounces of light pils DME (need a few more gravity points) but don't expect that to have much affect on the pH.

Can I just use pickling lime in the boil to bring the pH back up a little bit?

Time for another dumb question.

I am partway into brewing a gose and collected 6 gallons to sour with lacto bacteria.

Once the pH got down to 3.6 I was going to add about 1 gallon of water and then boil back down to about 5.25 gallons before pitching my finishing yeast. (I only had a 6 gallon carboy to sour the wort in so couldn't collect my normal pre-boil volume, which is why I was planning to dilute.)

But now I realized diluting the wort will raise the pH, and I don't believe boiling it back down will lower it back again, correct? Does anyone know for sure?

Ingredients / Fresh (green) Coriander Seeds?
« on: July 17, 2015, 03:06:46 PM »
Anyone ever tried fresh green coriander seeds in beer? I have several plants full of green seeds and they smell intense (in an awesome way) when crushed up in my fingers. Distinct lemony smell.

Brewing a gose tomorrow for which I bought some nice Indian coriander, but now I'm wondering if I should go fresh from the plants instead?

Beer Recipes / Gordon Strong Presentation on Dubbels
« on: July 14, 2015, 06:56:21 PM »
Does anyone know if the Gordon Strong presentation, "Designing Great Dubbels," is available anywhere? I did a web search but haven't found it yet.

(Hoping it's been put up somewhere legit with Strong's permission. Not looking for anything pirated or whatever.)


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