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Messages - nateo

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I didn't take any pictures because I had a boil going and didn't have time to go find my camera. I racked from under it. The tartness tasted more lactic than acetic, but maybe that's just wishful thinking. If whatever it is forms again in the carboy I'll post a pic then.

I found this chart on Raj Apte's page:

Beer is 8.5% ABV and about 30 IBUs. I thought Lacto was inhibited by IBUs that high, but maybe some strains aren't? The ABV would rule out enterobacteria, right, so I probably won't get sick from it? Could be acetobacter. I started the fermentation in two vessels, then combined when I oaked the first time. I may have gotten some O2 in there accidentally. I'm hoping it's pedio or brett though, those would probably taste pretty good.

If it is some kinda bug I don't want, is there any reason I shouldn't use metabisulfite?

we are kind of a bunch of hippy rednecks.

I wonder what a hippy redneck is. I'm picturing someone flying the Cascadia flag with their Confederate flag at their self-sufficient compound in the woods. I guess that makes sense, now that I think about it. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast for a barleywine?
« on: March 28, 2012, 12:28:26 PM »
Fracker: Have you seen Fred's website? It's the best resource for brewing big beers I've found. My big beers sucked before I found it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Unexpected pellicle? I hope I'm wrong
« on: March 28, 2012, 10:19:23 AM »
I added oak to a Belgian Brut a few weeks ago. When I added the oak, fermentation was definitely over, and it was still and clear. I go to rack it off today, and it had a splotchy, sticky, slimy white film on the top. It sure looks like a pellicle, but maybe it's not? I don't know what else it would be.

I tasted the white film, and it didn't taste like much, just kind of chalky and kind of tart. Do I have a Brett infection? It doesn't look like my Berliner Weisses do, so I don't think it's Lacto.

Would adding more oak (and probably whatever bug it is) make it finish faster?

Gravity is 1.010 right now. If it's Brett, how much lower should the gravity drop? I'm planning on bottling in champagne bottles, so I'm not super worried about bottle bombs, but I was really hoping to bottle it before May.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Buying Beer
« on: March 28, 2012, 06:15:28 AM »
It is interesting how times have changed.

When my wife and I were still dating we brewed extract batches together. Then I got into all grain, and pH adjustment and water chemistry, and she lost interest. She'll still help out if I need it, but it's more technical than she really wants to get.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: When is too late to top off?
« on: March 27, 2012, 11:00:18 AM »
Put 8 0z. in a metal cocktail shaker and put it in a bowl of ice water.  Swirl it around.  In a minute or so, it will be in the 60s and you can take an accurate reading.

That's a good idea. I'm thinking I could add my -60min hops, boil for 30min, check gravity, if it's low, plan on boiling longer. I don't think you'll get much more bittering at -90min vs -60min. If it's too high, I could add the top-off then. Sound good?

Woops, Major beat me to it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: When is too late to top off?
« on: March 27, 2012, 10:51:28 AM »
well, theoretically at least, you are breaking up the colloids which can affect mouth feel if you water down any beer post boil. Maybe it is not a genuine concern. I personally feel that you are best topping off before flame out if ever.

How accurate do you think it'd be to use the temp correction tool in beersmith to measure gravity on the wort during the boil? Or should I cool the sample down before measuring? I usually don't check the gravity until it's chilled and in the fermentor.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: When is too late to top off?
« on: March 27, 2012, 08:05:35 AM »
+1. Watered down beer sucks.

Sorry to revive a dead thread, but I thought I'd add my $0.02 in case anyone reads this later. I've topped off my beers at all the different stages (during primary, during secondary, or at bottling) at one time or another, and never had any ill-effects that I could tell.

I recently made a special bitter with an OG that was too high (1.052, diluted to 1.040), and topped that off with water at bottling. The beer definitely tastes watery now, and it's bumming me out. So I would say use caution when topping off low gravity beers, and don't worry about topping off higher gravity and fuller-flavored beers.

Ingredients / Re: White Table Sugar
« on: March 26, 2012, 12:55:00 PM »
I have found no difference in the end result between using inverted or non inverted sugar.  It seems to be an issue where theory is overwhelming simply tasting the beer and deciding.

The only reason I'll invert my sugar is for ease of handling. I really can't tell a flavor difference between invert and plain. I have noticed a difference between dextrose and sucrose, though. A large amount of dextrose with phenolic yeast (I've only tried it with T-58 so far) gives the beer more clove. This is only apparent in large amounts (like 20% of fermentables). I might be completely wrong and it's just coincidental.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Table Sugar Starter
« on: March 26, 2012, 12:44:44 PM »
ETA: I did some starter trials a few years ago. All else being equal, using DME grew 93% more yeast than sucrose.

On "another" brewing forum, someone was arguing that pure sucrose would work just as well as a malt-based starter medium. It's nice to see some numbers support my position. My gut told me sucrose wouldn't work as well, but I didn't have any numbers to back it up.

Going Pro / Re: Looking into starting a meadery
« on: March 25, 2012, 12:14:56 PM »
Last night I ran out of homebrew. I've spent every free day over the last few months working on business plans and doing research, and haven't had any time to brew. It occurred to me that if I did get the meadery off  the ground, I probably wouldn't be able to brew recreationally more than a few times a year, if at all. It also occurred to me that I don't really want to spend the next decade in Missouri, and if we have kids, I really don't want to raise them here.

At this point I'm putting the meadery project on the back burner, and I'll revisit it later if my life situation changes.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: IPA or IPL?
« on: March 25, 2012, 06:56:52 AM »
I'm not convinced the yeast know if they're supposed to make lagers or ales. S. bayanus and S. cerevisiae had a baby, and we're supposed to act like they're all completely different from each other? If it looks like a duck. . .

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Doomsday yeast vault?
« on: March 24, 2012, 07:34:58 PM »
I refuse to live in a world without 3787. My doomsday plan is a single bullet.

I ordered some caustic potash so I'll try that on the next batch.

Ingredients / Re: soaking oak chips in red wine
« on: March 23, 2012, 12:43:55 PM »
40% ethanol was bactericidal with a 1-2 minute contact time in this particular study and found a MIC of 10% for the aerobic bacteria tested and 8% for anaerobes.

Am I missing something? Here's what I saw "The aerobic and anaerobic MIC of ethanol for growth was 10 percent and 8 percent; 50 percent inhibition of growth rate occurred at 3.7 percent and 2.8 percent. Ethanol (40 percent) was bactericidal within 1-2 min, but 10 percent had almost no effect.

If I'm reading that correctly, at 10% you won't get bacterial growth, but it won't actually kill it. 80 proof will kill bacteria quickly, though.

So I guess the OP shouldn't count on the wine killing anything on the wood to begin with, and I can start using bourbon for mouthwash.

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