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Topics - johnnyb

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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.)


Yeast and Fermentation / Denny's 50
« on: July 13, 2015, 08:39:00 AM »
Pitched at 62 in a 64 degree water bath. Let it rise to 64 (on fermometer) and have kept in it there by adding ice bottles to the bath. (Beer is still at 64 on fermometer and water bath is around 61 to keep it there. Room is 66.)

It's been chugging along pretty strong for about 18 hours. At what point should I start the rise up to 68 and over how long of a period?

I would be extremely grateful if anyone can help me with this... I'm putting the finishing touches on my new chest freezer kegerator build and am confused by my temperature controller. I want to get the settings correct so I don't kill the compressor.

It's a Love TSX-10140. It has a ton of settings and I'm not clear on all of them even after reading the tech sheet that came with it and doing some online searching.

Here we go with the first group of settings that are giving me trouble...

SP = Set Point
r0 = Differential or hysteresis
r1 = Lower value for SP
R2 = Upper value for SP

So SP is self explanatory. I think r0 is the how many degrees above and below set point to kick the compressor on or off? But if that's the case, what are r1 and r2 for?

Next group of settings that are giving me trouble...

c0 = Minimum stopping time of load
c2 = ON time of fault cycle, when ambient probe is broken
c3 = OFF time of fault cycle, when ambient probe is broken
c4 = Minimum time since compressor start-up until the next stop
c5 = Minimum time since the compressor start-up until the next start-up

Anyone have a clue where I should start with these in order to prolong compressor life? Anyone know if these settings take precedence over the settings in the first group? (i.e. - if c4 = 10 minutes but the temp reaches my lower set point differential in 5 minutes, what happens?)

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