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Messages - ukolowiczd

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Just tallied my gallons of beer for the last two years at 347 gallons and I'm going to make my first American Pale Ale!?

All Grain Brewing / Batch sparging specifics
« on: April 05, 2012, 05:54:31 PM »
Does it matter how you batch sparge?

#1 - put about 1/2 your water in the mash, drain and then add the other 1/2 around 175F.
#2 - put ALL of your water in for the mash and drain.
#3 - put about 2/3 of your water in, add other 1/3 boiling for mash out of 168, drain.

Any of these options give better efficiency, body, flavor?

German Gose with sea salt and acidulated malt - a spring time thirst quencher.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Scottish Ale, Oak and Brett.?
« on: March 05, 2012, 11:33:50 AM »
I think I'll do a 5 gal batch and split it - 3gal in the barrel and the other ~2 bottled w/o the barrel. Then I can compare. If any is worth sending, It'll come your way.

All Grain Brewing / Scottish Ale, Oak and Brett.?
« on: March 05, 2012, 11:09:23 AM »
I have a 3gal oak barrel that I've been using for sour beers. I don't sanitize it; I simply rack whatever is in it out and rack the new in. What if I racked in a primary fermented Scottish Ale on top of the Brett. c. and Brett. l. leftovers in the oak barrel? Would this be worth it or would it just be terrible? Any experiences?

You could take it off the plate and pop it in the fridge so that you can decant the starter wort off before pitching.

I wanted it to be super viable for tomorrow - thus 65F - like pitching a yeast cake, so I don't want to chill it.

Yeast and Fermentation / Stop yeast starter stir plate when it's finished?
« on: February 11, 2012, 04:31:14 PM »
I made a starter yesterday using Wyeast Trappist with a stir plate. Tonight, 24 hours later, the foam has receded and it looks all done. I'm brewing tomorrow and will probably pitch around 3pm (approx. another 24 hours). Question: should I stop the stir plate, airlock the flask and just let it sit until tomorrow or will the constant stirring not hurt it?

Beer Travel / Re: Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Chicago breweries?
« on: February 11, 2012, 07:01:30 AM »
These are awesome suggestions. Looks like I'll have a lot of "research" to do!

Beer Travel / Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Chicago breweries?
« on: February 10, 2012, 05:47:06 PM »
Going to Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Chicago in late June. Can I get some brewery info? Any must sees/drinks?

Equipment and Software / Re: Plastic bucket vs. glass carboy
« on: February 08, 2012, 04:01:04 PM »
I have always fermented in plastic buckets, but my last 5 batches I've fermented solely in glass (all lagers so haven't tasted any yet for results). I read "Wild Brews" by Jeff Sparrow and he has a chapter devoted to oxygen for wild yeast. He has a chart in the book that gives the following shocking oxygen diffusion through selected fermentation vessels:

Wine barrel 8.5 O2 cc/L/year
Glass Carboy (depending on stopper) 0.10 - 17 O2 cc/L/year
Homebrew Bucket 220 cc/L/year

I know it's per year but the bucket is 13x more permeable to oxgyen than the glass! This changed my tune.

Equipment and Software / Re: DIY - heated fermentation chamber
« on: February 07, 2012, 02:42:19 PM »
I have built a 32" square 24" tall box out of 1 1/2" Styrofoam .Got at Home Depot. This sits on a card table and is big enough for 4 carboys. I don't have to move them to transfer to secondary or bottling bucket. I use a 50 Watt plant starting heating pad with a Johnson A419 controller. Keeps a 68 degree temp in a 55 degree room. Works really well, also do my bottle conditioning in it as well as fermenting.

I think i'll do something like this - build a big box out of the rigid foam insulation, seal it and just set it on top of the carboys with the heater inside. I figure it'll cost me about $40 and be way easier to handle than a wooden box.

I get that thermowell idea - duh, yeah two heating jackets but just one thermowell! I think it's safe to assume they're the same temp. - great idea!

Also in my experience when working with Belgian yeasts especially the Ardennes and Saison - I get 25% better attenuation when I raise the temp above 70 (and I'm usually pushing into the 75-80F range)! That and the beers aren't cloying b/c the yeast eats up most of the sugar. My Belgian failures - an Abbey and a Rochefort clone were all due to poor attenuation that I blame on low temp. When I heat them - they rip through the sugar and give off those amazing Belgian flavors.

Equipment and Software / Re: DIY - heated fermentation chamber
« on: February 06, 2012, 07:18:20 PM »
I use a small heat wrap like those available at Northern Brewer or B3 or Rebel Brewer and wrap the fermenter with reflective insulation (like that you use for a water heater) with a thermo well and digital temp controller. Works well, even down to 38 degrees and uses very little energy.

I've definitely looked into and am interested in this technique but issue is you can only do this with one fermenter unless you have more than one thermo well and dig temp controller. I'm usually doing 10 gal batches in two fermenters minimum, so that'd be at least two of everything. Plus sometimes i'm fermenting and carbonating and want higher temp.

Equipment and Software / DIY - heated fermentation chamber
« on: February 06, 2012, 06:29:06 PM »
I have been heating a small bedroom with a 41" long space heater that has a thermostat for my Belgians that need 75F or higher. Obviously after 2 weeks of this thing heating the room even with the thermostat, my electric bill is not cheap. So I was thinking of building an insulated box about 48"Wx28"Hx26"W that could hold up to 4 fermenters/kegs, etc. The size is due to the size of the heater I have.

My question: What kind of insulation would you use to insulate this box? I've seen thin reflective type stuff. I know the about inch think foam stuff. And I don't think fiberglass would be a good option. Any ideas?

Oh and also, I'm assuming this is safe since I leave the heater on in the bedroom free from fabric, etc. and with the thermostat it shuts off when it gets to temp.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Speed Starter?
« on: January 28, 2012, 10:56:19 AM »
Can you get another pack? Just pitch two. When I'm rushed or forgetful, I just pitch two and it works fine.

Beer Travel / Re: Going to Belgium, France, and Turkey
« on: January 25, 2012, 07:04:58 PM »
You could look through the books "Farmhouse Ales", "Wild Brews" and "Brew Like A Monk" and visit every possible brewery in Belgium and France in these books!!!! THAT would be an awesome trip!

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