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Topics - nateo

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Please let me know if anyone has a bit of free time and access to the American Chemical Society catalog. I can send you the links to the articles I want to read.
Thanks in advance

Yeast and Fermentation / How versatile are German wheat yeasts?
« on: May 23, 2011, 05:58:35 PM »
Has anyone used any of the various German wheat yeasts for non-wheat beers?
How similar are the various wheat strains to other German ale yeasts?

I've never tried fermenting wheat strains cold, and was wondering if you did, if you could make a kolsch or an alt that way. I've never tried fermenting wheat strains under ~65* and wondered how they would behave.

I made a dampfbier recently that was 100% barley, with WB-06 fermented around 65* that turned out really well, and I'm thinking about using wheat strains on other types of beers.

Zymurgy / May/June issue pitching rate article
« on: May 09, 2011, 09:17:16 AM »
Interesting article about pitching rates. I thought it was interesting that ester levels were pretty similar, while the underpitched beer had a lot more fusels and solvent character. The lacing and head retention difference was interesting also.

I've heard a lot of people say that underpitching Belgian beers results in more esters, but it would seem from this test that you'd be getting more hot alcohols and impairing fermentation performance, which was always my gut feeling on that.

General Homebrew Discussion / Post-ferment pH adjustment
« on: May 06, 2011, 11:03:03 AM »
Not sure if this is the right place to put this, mods please move if wrong.

Does anyone measure and adjust pH post-fermentation? I know this is something wine guys do a lot, but I was wondering if anyone does this for beer. I've only tried this on a few witbiers. A little acid can really make some flavors pop, and make the beer taste a lot better.

Does anyone have a pH range for finished beers? I've seen ranges of 4.1-4.5 given. Does that sound right?

Equipment and Software / 2 stage lime decarbonation plant
« on: April 28, 2011, 05:07:37 PM »
I'm planning on construction a gravity-fed decarbonation plant, and wanted to get some feedback. I'm thinking of using a 30 gallon and two 60 gallon tanks for this. Basically, the the 30 gallon would be the highest and I would use it for magnesium hardness reduction, then I would have the bottom of the tank ported to dump in the first 60g tank, where it would mix with 30 gallons of untreated water to precipitate the untreated water's carbonate hardness. The bottom of that tank would be ported also, and it would drain into the final tank for storage, or it could drain directly into a hot-liquor tank, or be pumped from storage tank into hot liquor tank.

Would it be helpful to use inductor tanks for this, or would plain flat-bottom tanks work fine? I'm not really sure how much precipitation I'll be getting in each tank.

Has anyone tried anything like this?

Equipment and Software / Any calculators for immersion chillers?
« on: April 20, 2011, 09:09:18 AM »
There are a number of calculators to figure out plate-chiller cooling capacity, but I was wondering if anyone knew how to figure out cooling capacity for a simple immersion chiller?

Let's say I know my start and end temps, and the temp of the fluid in the chiller, and I want to know how much area I need for the chiller to achieve those.

It would save me a trip to the library if someone could help me out with this:

It's an article on beer stability.

Ingredients / My dark candi syrup
« on: March 29, 2011, 05:01:34 PM »
During the recent D2 shortage, I tried to make my own candi syrup. There are a lot of recipes for homemade candi syrup, but I made and was disappointed by all of them. After chasing windmills for at least a few dozen hours, I've come up with a reasonable substitute for D2. It's close enough that I doubt I'll buy D2 again, but your mileage may vary.

Temps were at 5280ft above sea level, water boils about 10 degrees cooler here. You may need to adjust your temps accordingly.

Also, don't turn the heat up past medium. It should take about 45minutes from start to finish. If you heat it up too quickly it will behave poorly.

Small pot with tall sides
Digital thermometer

3oz Dextrose (corn sugar)
13oz Sucrose
1/2tsp DAP
1/2tsp KHCO3

Add sugars to pot.
Add 1c H2O
Stir well

Bring to a boil. At boiling add:
1/2tsp DAP
1/2tsp KHCO3
Stir well to dissolve

Heat mixture to 320*
Add1/2c H2O
Stir well

Heat mixture to 310*
Add 1/2c H2O
Stir well
Pour in mason/ball jar

Be careful when adding water as it will spit quite a bit at first. Only stir when adding ingredients, otherwise leave the pot alone.

I measured PPG and got 1.046 at the given concentration, and maybe 40SRM. Total batch weight was 515g. If your batch is a lot heavier/lighter than that you'll get a different PPG number.

Variation: Add 1c instead of 1/2c at the end if you want a thinner syrup that's great on French toast.

If you want to see the whole progression of this recipe, go here:

All Grain Brewing / Help troubleshoot intermittent husky/grainy off-flavor
« on: February 20, 2011, 05:28:46 PM »
I've been digging through the "Search" function for a few hours now, trying to get info, but I'm at an impasse.

I've gotten a husky/raw grain/ astringent? flavor on a few beers I've done recently. The obvious culprit is tannin extraction, and the most common cause of tannin extraction is sparging too hot and at too high of a pH. I've read that tannins could also be from break material in the fermenter. But I've also read that break material and trub don't affect the beer.

Here's my process: I use the Deathbrewer BIAB method, squeeze the bag, sometimes use decoctions, batch sparge, don't filter the wort going into the kettle, or into the fermenter. Sparge @ 165* and I acidify the sparge water with 88% lactic acid to make sure it's under 5.8 before sparging. Mash pH between 5.2-5.5.

I've made a lot of beer (20+ batches) with the above method without grainy flavor. I'm trying to pin down when exactly the flavor started, and I think it was about the time I bought my last bag of malt. I've made about 6 batches with malt that was milled by a maltster, instead of my 2-roller mill. The crush is finer than I get on my mill, and extract efficiency is better. I also used to use a metal colander to strain out hop particles going into the fermenter, but in the last 6 batches haven't bothered.

Going over my brewing log, the only differences between the 3 batches with the grainy flavor and the 3 batches without has been the OG, with the lower OG batches not showing the graininess, and the high OG batches showing it.

I notice a bit more fine grain going into the boiler than before, and I wonder if filtering before the boil might help. Also, I wonder if straining the hops out pre-ferment might help, maybe by catching some of the break material in the process.

Any ideas?

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