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Topics - DW

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General Homebrew Discussion / Astringency expected?
« on: December 22, 2013, 02:20:10 PM »
Did a Russian Imperial Stout a week ago.  Fermented well.  I had the fridge set at around 63.  I noticed that the stick on temperature gauge on the side of my fermenter read 77!  Could it really have been 10+degrees warmer in the fermentation chamber than the ambient temperature?  If so, will the beer taste astringent?  I checked a sample for FG today, and it didn't' taste notably astringent.  Total abv=9.6%

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Steeping dark malts
« on: December 15, 2013, 01:25:12 PM »
I'm brewing Russian Imperial Stout tomorrow.  I've got 4 lbs of specially grains to steep before the boil.  Do you think I would get more dark roasted flavor/color by cold steeping all night and then heating up to 155 tomorrow and holding for 30 minutes, or would that be too much and lead to tannin extraction?  I did not buy extra grain to cold steep only. 

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Cold steeping specialty grains
« on: December 05, 2013, 06:02:31 PM »
In Brewing Classic Styles Palmer says you can steep specialty grains overnight in cold water, especially if you have a lot of dark grains.  Has anyone done this?  If you steep them overnight can you skip heating up to 155 degrees and holding for 30 minutes on brew day?

General Homebrew Discussion / Thermometers?
« on: December 02, 2013, 01:48:29 PM »
What's the best kind of thermometer to use for measuring mash temps?  I do extract brew mostly, with the occasional all grain in an Igloo cooler.  For my boils/cool downs in the kettle I have the blichman thermometer attached to the kettle, and that works well.  A while back I bought a cheap little electric one that ceased to allow me to calibrate it.  What's the best bang for the buck? 

General Homebrew Discussion / Poor efficiency/very soft water
« on: November 25, 2013, 06:41:03 PM »
Hey, I'm doing mostly extract batches with small 1-2pound partial mashes.  I seem to get pretty poor efficiency from the initial steeping grains.  I just got a water report, which showed calcium=3, Mg=1, total hardness=12.  I'm not sure if the pH strips are accurate or not, but they seemed to show fairly acidic (like in the 4.0 range).  Is my soft water causing me to get poor efficiency?  Does this really matter since the bulk of the gravity comes from the malt extract?  I've also had some issues getting a reliable thermometer, so this might be part of the issue as well.  Do I need to adjust my water?

Yeast and Fermentation / yeast starter temperature and gravity
« on: February 06, 2013, 11:28:36 AM »
In "How to Brew" Palmer states that you should make your starter to match the conditions of your intended batch fermentation (gravity and temperature), but in "Brewing Classic Styles" the authors state that the OG of the starter should be 1.03-1.04, and temperature for lagers should be a little less than 70 degrees.  How to make sense of this?

Kegging and Bottling / cornelius vs firestone
« on: February 01, 2013, 04:58:21 PM »
What's the difference between a firestone and cornelius keg?  They look the same, but the posts are different. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Signs of Infection
« on: January 31, 2013, 05:16:15 PM »
What are some signs of infection? Everyone advices that we anally watch over our wort so that infection won't set in.   But what would be a sign that your beer was infected?  I just put a light lager in the secondary to begin the lagering phase.  I noticed some little target like looking films on top of the fermented beer.  It literally looked like a perfect round target.  I felt it with my hand and it was very cohesive.  Not sure if this means my beer is infected.  It took forever (about one week) for the fermentation to begin.  I had to check the gravity several times to see if anything was happening.  Any thoughts?

Yeast and Fermentation / No lager activity
« on: January 14, 2013, 05:55:59 PM »
It's been 72 hours and no bubbling or krausen yet.  It's a 1.04 light lager based on the recipe in Brewing Classic Styles.  I pitched the recommend 3 Wyeast packages at 44 degrees, and slowly brought the temp up to 50, where it is now.  NO activity at all.  The smack packs did not swell very much initially.  I wonder if the yeast were inactive.  The package said Sep of 2012, so they had been stored in a cold fridge for 4 months.  Any help?  Not sure what to do.....

Ingredients / Pumpkin
« on: September 11, 2012, 03:26:37 PM »
I brewed the Papazian pumpkin ale (curcurbito pepo) last weekend.  I roasted the pumpkin for an hour.  I wondered if the pumpkin was soft enough?  SHould it be soft like a microwaved sweet potato?  ALso, do you expect much gravity contribution from the pumpkin?  Much flavor?  Mouthfeel? 

General Homebrew Discussion / Krausen
« on: July 14, 2012, 08:10:14 AM »
I brewed a Bell's Two Hearted Ale clone 6 days ago.  The Krausen is still high and mighty.  The airlock has definately slowed down, but I'm wondering when that Krausen will fall.  I wanted to transfer to the secondary and dry hop on day 7, but I'm wondering if I should wait for the krausen to fall? 

Ingredients / Carbon filtered water
« on: July 03, 2012, 03:04:19 PM »
Zymurgy's Two Hearted Ale recipe in 2011 called for carbon filtered water with 4g Gypsum added to it.  What is the purpose of carbon filtered water?  Isn't that just Brita filtered water?  If so, wouldn't I need to know Bell's water report to know if I need to add gypsum to it? 

General Homebrew Discussion / Apples
« on: April 20, 2012, 03:23:22 PM »
Hey.  Why does my friend's beer continue to have an apply smell/flavor?  He's made several beers in the past with similar results.  The last beer, an oatmeal stout, he brewed with me at my house.  He then transported the cooled wort back to his house for fermentation and later carbonation.  I read that acetaldehyde can cause it?????????

General Homebrew Discussion / Begian Dark vs Quad
« on: December 03, 2011, 07:50:06 AM »
Is there a difference between a Belgian Quad (like Rochefort 10, St. Bernadeus Abt 10) and Belgian Dark Strong Ale (like Chimay Grande Reserve, Thelonius)????They seem quite similar.  Just Curious

Kegging and Bottling / Belgian Bottling
« on: November 11, 2011, 10:51:17 AM »
Hey, just made a Belgian quad and I want to make it look nice and authentic.  I've got a bunch of belgian bottles and corks with the little metal twisties to go on top......Question: How do I get the corks in?  I don't want to go buy some expensive wine/champagne corker.  What dare the forum say? 

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