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Messages - ukolowiczd

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Yeast and Fermentation / Mixing Yeast?
« on: September 13, 2011, 11:10:43 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?

Equipment and Software / Re: Help me improve my efficiency
« on: September 05, 2011, 01:27:56 PM »
I'm not too familiar with the HERMES system, but can you fly sparge with it? I've never had good results with batch sparging. I always end up under 70%. With fly sparging I'm always at least at 70% if not at 85%. I know many swear by batch sparging but I'm either doing it wrong or don't understand it.

Ingredients / Re: Molasses in a stout
« on: August 28, 2011, 03:52:00 PM »
I made an imperial stout last year with 8oz of molasses (and 8oz of date sugar). It was a high OG at 1.084 and finished at 8.3% ABV. Even with all that alcohol, dark malt and hops, the molasses was very present - even after aging for 6 months. It wasn't overwhelming, but when people tasted it one of the tasting notes I consistently got was "molasses flavor". If you like that then 8-10 oz is fine but if you want a subtler character maybe 4oz? Only did this once and like I said I also added 8oz of date sugar which does have a molasses flavor also, so that could have put it over.

All Grain Brewing / Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
« on: August 21, 2011, 11:40:59 PM »
 The higher the gravity, the thicker the infusion needs to be, assuming you're trying to get equal runnings.

Does thicker mean less water per lb, like instead of 1.25 quarts/lb, 1 quart/lb? Or do you mean just more water and barley b/c it's a higher gravity beer, thus thicker mash?

All Grain Brewing / Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
« on: August 21, 2011, 11:20:09 PM »
I don't want to take over this strand with Batch sparging questions but Denny and Skylar, why do I fly sparge? Denny, I read your webpage and it seems too good to be true. I can't wait to experiment with a batch sparge beer. So what benefits does fly sparging have and what about beers in the 1.060-1.100 range? Can you batch sparge there?

All Grain Brewing / Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
« on: August 20, 2011, 03:46:34 PM »
Is batch sparging simply pulling out all the wort at once, adding all your sparge water, mixing and pulling out the wort again? Or do you add sparge water in steps? Do you guys find that this is just as effective as fly sparging?

All Grain Brewing / Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
« on: August 20, 2011, 01:43:01 PM »
I first want to say that when I looked at all grain brewing from an extract brewers perspective, I too thought it impossible. But since I did my first all grain, I haven't looked back. It really isn't that much more difficult but does add probably about 3 hours. The thing an all grain brewer is doing that an extract brewer isn't is pulling out the sweet wort from the grains rather than using extract. I like just buying a mash/lauter tun. You can mash easily right now by just putting in 10 lbs. of grain and hot water into a cooler to get a mash temp b/w 150-155F. Let it sit for 1 hour. Then you need a lauter tun with holes on the bottom for the grains to settle out. You'll pour hot water (168-170F) over the grains, slowly for an hour. Wha-la! You've got your wort! I lauter out about 6.5 gallons and boil in a 7 gallon pot so I don't have to add water at the end. Once you get this process done, you'll find tons of new toys to add to make your beer better and better. But I promise you, once you do all grain, your first beer will be so much better than all your extract versions (although not to insult anyone; I personally have never made a better extract beer).

Overall you'll be adding about 2 1/2 - 3 hours to your brew day (1 hour mash, 1 hour sparge/lauter and 1/2 - 1 hour of getting liquids to temps).

2 of the many suppliers where you can buy cooler mash/lauter tuns for under $150.

The Pub / Re: I just discovered brewing indoors
« on: August 20, 2011, 01:33:34 PM »
My brew partner and I really have to brew outside with a propane burner as all we have are electric stoves at our houses. They really don't allow us to boil vigorously. Once we got the burner, we realized that we could boil full batches starting at 6 or 7 gallons. We found our beer was far cleaner than our "electric stove" beers (Diacetyl?). Also the clean up outside is so easy. We can just spray everything down with the hose in the yard or driveway. Now that I think of it, since we're doing full grain batches, I can't imagine all our stuff fitting inside our little kitchens!. I usually go to sleep dreaming about building a brew shed...

The Pub / Re: Which sport do you enjoy drinking beer to the most?(Poll)
« on: August 11, 2011, 02:30:02 AM »
Although my favorite sport to watch is football, sadly I don't usually drink during it b/c it's on Sunday and I have to work the next day. So I had to pick hockey as I'm a Buffalo Sabres fan and most always drink beer while watching a game or at a game. I found this question very complicated. Was it just watching the sport or playing it? What about cards like euchre? I always drink beer when I play cards.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Fermentation taking LOOOONG time
« on: August 10, 2011, 06:09:04 PM »
yeah, wow! what was your OG and what yeast are you using?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Fermentation taking LOOOONG time
« on: August 10, 2011, 06:04:46 PM »
5 weeks and it's still bubbling every 7 seconds!? Did you mean 5 days? I have definitely had different mash efficiencies and yeast attenuation rates with different grains. I've never used mostly Munich though so I'm no help there.

Repitching the yeast (WY3068) from a dunkelweizen, so probably a weizenbock.  I am also considering crafting a gose with a mix of the german wheat yeast and some lactobacillus.

I made the Gose recipe from the BYO magazine (couple issues ago) with wheat, flaked sea salt and accidulated malt. It came out perfect. If only it were my recipe. Was so impressed with the souring of the accidulated malt that I put it in a elderflower saison. Trying it today.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Started washing my yeast...
« on: August 01, 2011, 03:59:31 PM »
Can you explain how to wash yeast? I've read about it and kind-of tried it by just adding purified water, stirring, and letting it settle but I didn't get good results.

Ingredients / Elder flowers?
« on: August 01, 2011, 12:45:06 PM »
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 / Re: Smoking malt
« on: July 30, 2011, 10:31:36 PM »
I've never smoked malt but I have toasted my own pale malt in the oven to make amber and brown malt. One BIG, important thing - you need to let it set for 3 weeks to mellow out. I made a smoked porter last winter with a very dark brown malt that only set over night and the beer literally tasted like cigarette ashes. We called it "Ashes Porter", cried and commenced to pour it all down the drain. I'm not sure if it's the same for smoked malt just wanted to add that. Also when using toasted grains we have to use more mash/sparge water because the grain is so dry it soaks up a lot. We up our mash from 1 1/4 quart/lb. to 1 1/2 or 1 3/4 quart/lb. I've never smoked my own malt but sounds like an awesome idea.

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