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Topics - metron-brewer

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Yeast and Fermentation / Surly Wort Give Away, Help on my First Lacto
« on: June 30, 2015, 05:47:55 PM »
So I signed up for the Surly Wort give away at the AHA rally for July 2015. I think I may be in over my head with this one. I’ve never made any kind of sour before as the wife and I are not huge “sour” fans. I was hoping to get a little help here to determine how to proceed. I have absolutely no idea/experience with the process for this type of fermentation.

We both signed up for the giveaway so I’ll end up with (2) five gallon batches of wort, specifics below. I’d prefer to keep the process as simple as possible and the sourness at the low end.

I’d like some yeast recommendations as well as fermentation process recommendations, times, temps etc.

I’d like to know if bringing this type of wort into my brew house will cause any issues with my “regular” non-sour fermentation and equipment.

Should I dedicate the two fermenters to only sour beers after using them for this or can I still use for non-sours?

•   Pale Lacto-kettle soured wort
•   Brewed with Simpsons Golden Promise & aromatic malts
•   Minimal bitterness
•   Boiled & oxygenated for your experimental homebrew pleasure
•   Target OG: 13° P (~1.053 OG)
•   pH: 3.2

Equipment and Software / pH Meter Calibration
« on: May 13, 2015, 04:33:06 PM »
I use a Milwaukee pH-56 meter and use (2) point calibration (7 and 4), at the start of each brew day. I've noticed lately that on the second point I initially get a "Wrong" reading, but then it will calibrate. I'm wondering if maybe an issue with the meter, or my process or the calibration fluids? The meter itself has not always displayed this characteristic. It seems to have started over the last 3-4 months. The issue has continued to show up after I have opened a new bottle of calibration solution.

I rinse meter in plain tap water and gently blow off, then first reading. After it registers I again rinse in tap water and blow off, then into second solution. The meter is about 3 years old, and the tip itself was replaced just over one year ago. It is cleaned using cleaning solution after each brew day and stored in storage solution until the next brew day.

Yeast and Fermentation / 2 or 3 Packs Dry Yeast for Lager
« on: April 29, 2015, 02:29:36 PM »
I'm planning on a 1.048 German Pils using W-34/70 for the first time. Yeast packs dated 01-2016 so production date 01-2014 and 69% viable. BeerSmith says I need 353 billion cells and (2) packs of yeast yielding 276 billion, a bit of an under pitch as calculated by BeerSmith. Mr. Malty indicates using 2.50 packs yielding approximately 345 billion cells. The cost of the third pack is not an issue, just want to make the best beer.
So my question is, pitch 2 packs at 276 billion, or 3 packs at 414 billion?

I have not decided on the mach schedule yet, may just do a single infusion but the Recipe Specifics:
Recipe: German Pils
Brewer: Ron
Asst Brewer:
Style: German Pilsner (Pils)
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 7.98 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.98 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.25 gal   
Bottling Volume: 5.25 gal
Estimated OG: 1.0479 SG
Estimated Color: 3.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 38.3 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 82.1 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
9.00 lb               Best Malz Pilsen Malt (2 Row) German Pil Grain         1        100.0 %       
2.00 oz               Hallertauer [3.10 %] - Boil 60.0 min     Hop           2        23.5 IBUs     
1.00 oz               Hallertauer [3.10 %] - Boil 30.0 min     Hop           3        9.0 IBUs     
1.00 oz               Hallertauer [3.10 %] - Boil 15.0 min     Hop           4        5.8 IBUs     
1.00 Items            Immersion Chiller/Pump (Boil 15.0 mins)  Other         5        -             
0.50 tsp              Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 mins)          Other         6        -             
0.50 Items            Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 5.0 mins)         Fining        7        -             
1.00 oz               Huell Melon [4.50 %] - Boil 0.0 min      Hop           8        0.0 IBUs     
2.0 pkg               Saflager Lager (DCL/Fermentis #W-34/70)  Yeast         9        -             

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 9.00 lb
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 14.00 qt of water at 154.9 F        145.0 F       45 min       
Mash Out          Add 8.00 qt of water at 189.3 F         160.0 F       45 min       

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun , 3.56gal) of 185.0 F water

Other Fermentables / 1st Mead - Green Olive Aroma/Flavor
« on: November 25, 2014, 05:08:20 PM »
Made my first Mead, after 4 weeks smells and tastes a little like green olives. I plan on transferring soon and aging for a few months at least. Wondering if this is a normal aroma/flavor for something this young and if it will go away?

Northern Brewer Artisinal Dry Mead Kit
12# Ames Farms Clover Honey
5 Gallons Filtered Tap Water
Wyeast 4021 Champagne Yeast, Made a 1.75 liter starter with about 1 to 1-1/2 cups Sue Bee honey, S.G. 1.045. Decanted starter, (I may have decanted some good yeast as it was not very compact.)
Staggered Nutrient additions at day 1-2-3-4.
Fermented at 60-64
Made 10-26-2014, tasted 11-21-2014.


Homebrewer Bios / Brewer Bio Ron Bilotta
« on: April 29, 2014, 03:05:47 PM »
Brewer Bio: Ron Bilotta

Me at New Glarus last year

Who Are You (please include a picture): Ron Bilotta, AKA “metronbrewer”
Home Town (City, State): White Bear Lake, MN
Homebrew Club: I have not joined one, yet
I've been a homebrewer since: I brewed a few extract batches many years ago, but got back into the hoppy, I mean hobby, in December 2009. Brewed 16 extract batches and then jumped into All-Grain, coming up on batch 94.
Do you have a homebrewing disaster you'd like to share? Nothing major, running out of propane, boil overs, leaky mash tun.
What is your favorite style(s) to brew? IPA
What style(s) will you never brew? Nothing definite at this point, but any style that I don’t particularly care for probably will not get brewed.
What was the first beer you ever brewed?  How did it turn out? Northern Brewer “Steller Tois” extract kit. It was good. My palate sure has matured since then.
Have you ever had a homebrew mistake that turned out great? Nope, most of my mistakes have been “oops’s” and they turned out ok.
What is your favorite beer recipe? My house IPA in development is pretty good; Greg Muller’s “Racer 5” clone is tasty as well. My wife and I took a keg of that down in about 3 weeks. People really like the BVIP from Denny as well.
Are you a BJCP Judge?  If so, what is your rank and how long have you been judging? Not a judge.
Do you have a good beer judging story you'd like to share with the rest of the homebrewing world? Not a judge.
Do you have a favorite homebrew trick or gadget that you've found to make your beer better/brewing easier, etc? I think Brun’Water has probably helped me the most in taking the taste of my beer to the next level.
Describe your brew system. Denny’s Cheap-N-Easy cooler, aluminum kettle on propane. I am in the process of turning my downstairs workshop into a brew-house, and converting to electric.
How frequently do you brew (times/month or /year)? Probably 20-25 batches per year.
What is your favorite malt?  Why? I use a lot of Rahr Pale Ale malt for the versatility.
What is your favorite hop? Why? Centennial, I just like that flavor.
Do you have a favorite or house yeast? What qualities do you like about that yeast? My favorite yeast is probably US-05, just due to the convenience.
Do you have a good homebrew club story you'd like to share? Not in a club.
What haven't we asked that you would really like to answer? Not really a question but my wife and I took a “Beercation last year. We visited, New Glarus, (the hard hat tour), Capital Brewing, Ale Asylum, Minhas Brewing, and the Lazy Monk. I’m really looking forward to my first National Homebrewers Conference in Grand Rapids this year!
If you could serve your homebrew to someone famous, who would it be and what would you give her/him? I’d love to give Denny Conn, Martin Brungard, Brad Smith, as well as most of the people on this forum a beer, just to thank them for all the help they’ve given me.
Can you send a picture or two of some labels you've created for your homebrew? I keg pretty much everything so no labels.
What's the most unusual ingredient you've ever used in a brew? I don’t really use anything unusual. I’m a bit boring that way, but I like my beer to taste like “beer”.
Do you have any pets or kids named after beer styles or ingredients? My laptop is named “Centennial”
How many medals have you won from homebrew competitions? I’ve only entered one, the 2013 Minnesota State Fair. I did not medal but was very happy with a 30.50 for my first competition. While I’d like to win a medal, someday, I’m not really brewing to compete.
Do you brew alone, with friends or with someone you live with? I brew with my wife.
Are you an indoor or outdoor brewer? Currently an outdoor brewer.
List some of the names you've given your beers. Which is your favorite? I usually just name my beers by their style, pretty boring I know.


General Homebrew Discussion / Volunteering at 2014 NHC?
« on: February 12, 2014, 09:31:57 PM »
My wife and I are planning on attending our first National Homebrewers Cconference  this year. I was wondering what opportunities there are for volunteering at the conference. And looking for suggestions for a couple of newbies. We've never volunteered at any competitions or conferences before so I'm not sure what qualifications would be required/beneficial.

Zymurgy / eZymurgy on Kindle Fire HD
« on: June 18, 2013, 04:52:07 PM »
Anybody else have issues signing in and reading eZymurgy on a Kindle Fire HD? I can't even sign in, just sits there and does nothing. Tried the change password etc. Just wondering if it's a glitch or something I'm doing.

Beer Recipes / IPA for Pig Roast
« on: May 29, 2013, 07:01:10 PM »
I’m looking for any comments. I’m planning this for our annual Pig Roast in September. I purchased some “Centennial Type” hops last year and thought this may be a nice opportunity to use them. I’m looking for an easy drinking IPA. I’m looking for a nice citrus flavor but with a little more depth than just Centennials. I’m hoping the FWH, 15 minute steep, and Ahtanum will provide that. My house IPA is straight 2-Row with a little C40 or C20, I was hoping to get a little more depth to the malt, that’s the purpose of the Maris Otter. Like I said it’s for our pig roast so it’s got to be “all-day” drinkable.

10.50 Gallons
O.G. 1.056
IBU 66

14.00 lb   Pale Malt (2 Row) US (1.9 SRM)                 66.7 %
6.00 lb   Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM)      28.6 %
1.00 lb   Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM)   4.8 %

2.00 oz   Centennial Type [9.70 %] - First Wort 20.0 min   23.2 IBUs
1.00 oz   Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min                      23.4 IBUs
2.00 oz   Centennial Type [9.70 %] - Boil 10.0 min      12.6 IBUs
2.00 oz   Centennial Type [9.70 %] - Boil 5.0 min      6.9 IBUs
2.00 oz   Centennial Type [9.70 %] - Aroma Steep 15.0 min   0.0 IBUs

2.0 pkg   Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) [50.28 ml]   Yeast   9
2.00 oz   Ahtanum [5.20 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days      0.0 IBUs
2.00 oz   Amarillo [9.30 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days   Hop      0.0 IBUs
2.00 oz   Centennial Type [9.70 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days      0.0 IBUs

Thanks Guys!

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