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Messages - nateo

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Ingredients / Re: Anybody use Fermcap-S?
« on: July 25, 2011, 07:52:06 PM »
I've heard that alcohol slowly hardens your liver over time, but that hasn't stopped me from drinking beer.

Equipment and Software / Re: anyone need an 880K BTU burner?
« on: July 25, 2011, 01:47:52 PM »
Would the water absorb the heat fast enough to not melt your pot? Maybe steel would be okay, but I'd be afraid of using an aluminum pot on there. Maybe I'm crazy.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Help with Dubbel Trouble
« on: July 24, 2011, 08:43:07 PM »
I've found a step mash will let me mash for attenuation, then finish with a short alpha rest that boosts body and improves my efficiency.  I don't think you can duplicate this with a single infusion at a compromise temp.

I've brewed a lot of Belgians, some with step mashes and some with single infusions. I can't really tell a difference either way. I think pitching rate is the most important factor by far in getting the attenuation you want. But, I've never brewed the exact same recipe back to back with different process.

I'll also use about 5% wheat malt in most recipes. This does seem to help my head retention and body, but again I haven't tried any back-to-back trials to compare, so take what I say with a sack of salt.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Straining direct onto trub
« on: July 24, 2011, 11:36:47 AM »
I'd probably use 1/4 of the yeast cake if you're brewing another batch of similar gravity. The only time I'll use a whole cake is if I jump from a small beer (1.040-ish) to a big beer (1.100+).

All Grain Brewing / Re: Ether smell coming from carboy?
« on: July 23, 2011, 09:53:17 PM »
I'm actually just brewed a Koelsch, and stuck my head in the fermentation freezer a little too far. Definitely some harsh solvent smells. Beer tasted fine going into secondary. My thinking is anything coming out of the airlock is something not in your beer anymore, so it's good the harsh smells are coming out.

"Using a starter makes better beer." <- True (from my experience)

I used to have a lot of problems with head retention and weird flavors. Then I began using starters, and my beers got a lot better in a hurry.

[I drank a lot of that back in the dark ages called the 1980s/early 90s in Utah

Utah sells booze? I was there in 2005 and had a hard time even finding coffee, let alone anything stronger.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Octoberfest
« on: July 23, 2011, 02:45:03 AM »
Oktoberfest, with a 'K'. Deutschland über alles!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
« on: July 22, 2011, 07:20:43 PM »
Can anyone verify that European malts are actually made with European barley? N. America grows more 2-row than anywhere else. I know Italian pasta is usually made from wheat from the Dakotas. I suspect the same thing happens with malts. Grown here, shipped there, malted there, shipped back here.

I never use less than 1oz/5gal. I frequently use 2oz/5gal for aggressive oak flavor. I'd recommend oaking and booze-flavoring separately, to taste, instead of soaking the chips.

Pro breweries use "brew length" to describe fermenting capacity. So if they brewed it longer, maybe they just used the extra-big industrial tanks?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Help with Dubbel Trouble
« on: July 22, 2011, 06:49:06 PM »
That's 145 not 154, but otherwise he's right you'll be ok with the single rest.  The step mash would be good too though

I actually recommended 154* because anything under 149* (like 145*) won't gelatinize the starch. If he then does a mashout he'll liberate unconverted starches which may cause issues with his beer.

The original recipe called for steps @ 140* and 160*. Splitting the difference would mean 150*. With the amount of candi syrup in the recipe, I'd mash a little higher than you might for an attenuative all-malt brew.  

All Grain Brewing / Re: High Gravity
« on: July 21, 2011, 02:29:30 AM »
Are you sure it's done fermenting? I don't start counting weeks until it's done fermenting. If the gravity has been at terminal for 3 weeks, then maybe that's too long. If it's still fermenting, 3 weeks isn't long enough.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Help with Dubbel Trouble
« on: July 21, 2011, 02:22:52 AM »
IMO the step mash seems silly with this recipe. If you're truly using malts that need to be step mashed, that'd be a different story. But even continental pils malt should be able to do a single infusion. You'd probably get the same results from a single rest @ 154*

I'm not sure about some of those, but I've had similar issues with bottle infections. I had a run of infections I traced back to both expired starsan and a house bug. Now I use softened water and check the pH with a meter every time I use the starsan. I also alternate between starsan and a pH adjusted bleach solution. 1oz bleach and 1oz vinegar per 5gal. The pH should be between 6.5-7.5. I'll use starsan for the primary, bleach-water-vinegar for secondary/bottling, then switch it up the next batch, bwv for primary, starsan bottling, etc.

I like to use clear plastic tubing so I can easily inspect it for gunk. After a year or so it'll have enough little scratches in it that I'll replace it. But it's pretty cheap.

A long time ago I figured out the spigot on the bottling bucket can be taken apart and cleaned, and I found a bunch of gunk in there, but I couldn't tie that directly to any infection issues.

I probably lose 1/4-1/2gal in the bottom of the kettle. I don't worry too much about that.

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