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Topics - kramerog

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Ingredients / 2011 NZ Rakau hops
« on: May 14, 2013, 10:44:07 AM »
I was given 4 oz of 2011 NZ Rakau hops last week.  Does it play well with C hops?  What is the best use for it?

Yeast and Fermentation / lacto starter
« on: May 10, 2013, 04:32:21 PM »
Before pitching a saccharomyces starter, I usually put it in the fridge to drop the yeast out so I can decant the beer off before pitching the starter.  If I put a lacto starter in the fridge, will the lacto drop out like out yeast?  The starter I'm making smells pretty funky so i want to decant it before pitching. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Berliner Weiss
« on: March 28, 2013, 11:43:00 AM »
I am reviewing the 2012 NHC seminar called "A Perspective on Brewing Weisse-style Beer" again and I just noticed that slide 30 recommends making a lacto buchneri starter at 70-80F for 5-7 days.  Also the fermenter temps during the souring and before pitching the yeast starts at 93 drops slowly to 79 F on day 7 (slide 36).  Frankly these temps seem rather low for lacto.   Any idea why they are so low?  Did I miss where the presenters gave a reason?

General Homebrew Discussion / Can't clean fermenter
« on: March 26, 2013, 10:32:01 AM »
My Better Bottle fermenter still has remnants of the last fermentation in the shoulder of the fermenter.  I think the technical term for this stuff is braun hefe.  I soaked twice overnight with a cold PBW solution of 1 tsp/ gal.  I've soaked for several days in a cold solution of oxyclean (lots of oxyclean).  I've used a spray wand several times.  What is next?  I'm hoping to stay away from caustic.

General Homebrew Discussion / Dryhopping a Belgian Pale Ale
« on: March 14, 2013, 08:13:00 PM »
I brewed a BPA with Belgian Abbey II (Wyeast #1762) to propagate yeast for a Rochefort 10 clone.  Just tasted the beer after 1.5 weeks of fermentation and it tasted a little insipid.  Not bad, no flaws that I noticed but lacking zip.  I'm thinking about dryhopping it now.  Any ideas on what I should do?  Traditional or stylistically correct suggestions are preferred, but I'm open to all ideas. 

Commercial Beer Reviews / Index for Commercial Calibration in Zymurgy
« on: January 30, 2013, 02:24:54 PM »
Is their an index of beers tasted in the Commercial Calibration article of Zymurgy?  It would make it a lot easier to practice tasting for the BJCP exam.

Ingredients / Vanilla extract
« on: January 15, 2013, 02:25:50 PM »
I used some pure vanilla extract and added to a mild stout to taste and then doubled the amount right before bottling.  Two weeks went by and the vanilla had disappeared.  What happened?

Other Fermentables / Mead with Pomegranate Seeds and possibly blueberries
« on: January 14, 2013, 09:30:09 AM »
I'm thinking of making a fruit mead with pomegranate seeds as I got a lot of pomegranates from Costco.  I'm thinking of picking the pomegranate seeds and adding pectinase before adding the seeds to the mead in secondary.  How many pomegranates do I need to significantly impact the flavor of 4 gallons of mead? Would I be better off with some kind of concentrate.  I'm also thinking of adding blueberries too.

Ingredients / Cranberries in American Brown Porter
« on: November 29, 2012, 01:26:01 PM »
I got about 2 lbs of cranberries leftover from Thanskgiving sitting in the freezer.  I was thinking of adding them to 5 gallons of American Brown Porter (American here means more alcoholic and Cascade flavor hops, clone of Flossmoor Station's Pullman Brown).  I'm planning to add a 1 lb to the secondary, tasting it after a couple of days, and possibly adding more cranberries depending on the taste.

Questions:  Is it possible that 1 lb of cranberries would be too much as an initial addition?  Should I run the cranberries through a blender in addition to the freezing?


Kegging and Bottling / Can't find leak in regulator
« on: November 29, 2012, 12:32:25 PM »
If I open and shut my CO2 bottle really quick with the valve downstream of the regulator closed, the dispense gauge will shoot up to 15 psi or whatever my dispense pressure is and over then minute or so the pressure will drop to zero.  I've squirted Star San solution over various fittings of the regulator but can't find a leak.  What's my next step?

Equipment and Software / Curtain around brew stand
« on: November 13, 2012, 01:54:25 PM »
I'm thinking of putting a curtain around my 3-tier brewstand so that the combustion gases, particles and pollution are better captured by my 470 cfm through wall ventilator.  I'm thinking that the curtain would reach from whatever curtain rod I use to the bottom of my brew pot or so, which is about 8 inches off the floor.  My source of fresh air would be outside the curtain and the idea is for the fresh air to pass under the curtain. 

The curtain rod would be in a U to surround the brewstand.  Is there a way to do this so the attachment hardware does not interfere with opening and closing the curtain?

Any recommendations, thoughts, photos, gotchas?

I was thinking of fermenting in a heated water bath during the winter because the temperature of the beer tends to drop slowly throughout fermentation.  An aquarium heater with an adjustable thermostat appears to be ideal.  The water bath would be held in a plastic rubbermaid tote that I use for cooling fermenters in the summer.  Any thoughts?  Any recommendations for aquarium heaters that can hold the water at ale fermentation temperatures?

Ingredients / Best time to selectively pick hops
« on: September 10, 2012, 07:04:45 AM »
I selectively pick hops rather than picking all hops from a plant at one time because I see many immature hops on my plants.  I tend to pick hops just as they are beginning to brown whether it is brown tips or the emergence of brown tints in the leaves.  I also take into account the extent that the hop is opened up.  I believe that this may be the same criteria used by commercial growers to drop bines and harvesting all hops including ones that are not as mature.

Am I using the right criteria for selective harvesting?  Does it matter that my hops are primarily used for flavor and aroma?

General Homebrew Discussion / Best AHA Conference Seminars
« on: August 29, 2012, 09:22:47 AM »
Audio and slides from this year's AHA conference is now available to members at  What were some of the best seminars?

I have an opportunity to get a 5-year-old fridge for free from my neighbor.  The fan blowing cold air from the freezer into the fridge is broken.  I was thinking of getting the fridge and just drilling hole(s) through the bottom of the freezer into the fridge so I don't need to replace the fan.  I don't need the freezer. Good idea?  Any tips to make sure I don't drill through something important?  A search on the internet didn't reveal much.

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