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Topics - ukolowiczd

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All Grain Brewing / Troubleshooting a Zymurgy Cherry Choc Stout
« on: December 11, 2011, 06:45:40 PM »
So last weekend we made the Cherry Choc Stout from Zymurgy and didn't come close to either OG or FG. I've been all-grain brewing for over 2 years and this year we've made almost 200 gallons! Since we got our grain mill over the summer the last 20 batches have all been over 75% efficiency and we usually come within a point of our FG. With this stout we did a ton of new things and just wondered if anyone sees any big no-no's. We're mostly concerned with our horrid FG. I'd really like to not repeat this mistake. Estimated OG was 1.077 and we got 1.062; estimated FG was 1.019 and we got a whopping 1.038 (after 8 days fermenting)! Here is the list of new stuff that could have caused problems.

     *high mash temp of 158F
     *6 lbs. of caramunich I and chocolate dark malts in 17 lb recipe
     *50 min mash
     *batch sparge (only done this twice)
     *5 ounces Ghiradeeli Bakers Choc in mash and 5 in boil at 15 minutes
     *kind of a lower boil this time; not sure why
     *3/4 lb lactose at flame out

Yeast and Fermentation / Help! Brett only beer slow/stuck fermentation?
« on: December 06, 2011, 07:26:16 PM »
I have never used Brett lambicus (wyeast 5526) but I read the Wild Brews book and a couple articles. Anyway I made a 3 gallon recipe with an OG of 1.062, used a pound of accidulated malt to lower the pH and only inoculated the batch with the Brett. l. It's been 3 full days now going on 4 and nothing. Nothing at all. Should I expect to see nothing? Tiny bubbles are in the bubbler but no big bubbles have happened and no krausen or any type of activity. Should I wait longer? Should I pitch some normal yeast? Add lactic acid? Give up?

General Homebrew Discussion / Friends and kegs of beer
« on: September 18, 2011, 06:45:08 AM »
I'm sure many of you have experienced this; it is a great feeling to supply kegs for a friend's party and finish them all. It's a new feeling for me yet tears of pride and happiness swell in my eyes every time this happens (it's either that or I'm just sad there's only a 30 pack of PBR left to drink...)

Kegging and Bottling / Adding Brett 4 weeks later?
« on: September 17, 2011, 11:00:24 AM »
So we made this Dark Winter Saison from the summer's BYO mag withOUT the Brett c. that it called for and now I'm feeling like I want to add it.

Plan: bottle half the saison, put other half in 2.5gal oak barrel and add Brett c. (which is a less aggressive flavored Brett).

Questions: will the Brett have anything to eat? Will it not multiply thus work b/c of no oxygen? How long should I leave it in the barrel (it's a 7% beer)? Or any other thoughts...

Yeast and Fermentation / Mixing Yeast?
« on: September 13, 2011, 04:10:43 PM »
What are people's experiences with mixing yeast strains. I made a simple dry stout last year from Wyeast Irish Ale yeast but didn't get the full attenuation I wanted. I read (somewhere - BYO mag?) that Irish Ale yeast attenuates poorly in lower OG beers. Anyway my plan this year was to throw in one packet o' Irish yeast and one packet o' American 1056. Will I get a more fruity Irish ale taste but with a fuller attenuation, will the yeasts compete and one will just win out or will the this reality collide with another?

Ingredients / Elder flowers?
« on: August 01, 2011, 05:45:06 AM »
Does anyone have any experience with using Elder Flowers in beer? Mosher's "Radical Brewing" says they have a "sophisticated fruity/floral sweet aroma. Use towards end of boil; all parts of the plant must be cooked - it is toxic when raw." That last part kind of scares me.

Beer Recipes / Does rye/wheat affect mash efficiency?
« on: July 20, 2011, 02:59:26 PM »
My last 3 beers have been rye/wheat (about 50%) based and I have been getting lower mash efficiency. I haven't changed anything in my system and even did a protein rest at 122F. Anyone have any issues with these grains?

I am an all grain brewer who is dissatisfied with my wort chilling and hop/trub filtering into the primary fermenter. I use a copper immersion chiller that usually takes 20-30minutes, but in the summer I still have to use ice on the outside of the kettle to chill below 70F. I have a plate chiller but found, obviously, that it only chills to temp of water going in and I guess you have to recirculate or something to get it all down to 60-65F. Secondly the way I filter trub/hops from my primary is by putting an elastic mesh covering over my primary bucket and pouring the wort into the bucket. I have to remove this mesh cover 4-5 times and clean off all the trub/hops clogging it to reuse it to finish filtering the 5 gallon batch (can't imagine doing 10gal with this). Both processes I feel are time consuming and have possible sanitation issues (although I've yet to have a sanitation issue). Any experiences out there that would help?

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