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Messages - kramerog

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Gigayeast
« on: August 20, 2014, 07:10:55 AM »
GigaYeast has twice the yeast (200 billion) as Wyeast.  I'd calculate the desired pitch rate for the beer with Mr Malty, YeastCalc or both and then I'd figure if I would take a chance with a direct pitch.  A starter is good insurance in these circumstances.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Additions to the seconday
« on: August 19, 2014, 10:08:26 AM »
You could make a simple syrup with blackberry to add to a glass of your lacto beer if you want something like a Berliner Weiss with syrup. 

Equipment and Software / Re: Super cheap pH meter
« on: August 16, 2014, 01:34:32 PM »
Going to buy 1 of these suckers.  Having used pH meters for work, I never wanted to go through the hassle of calibrating them to take occasional readings plus the lost money when they go bad.  I have more interest in taking readings at least until I verify how well Bru'n water and pH strips work with my water, my mashes, and my sour beers and the price is too good to pass up.

Thanks for posting this.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: forgot to prime???
« on: August 15, 2014, 01:20:07 PM »
Do you see a thin layer of sediment on the bottom of your bottles?  That would normally be the yeast from bottle conditioning.  Shake the bottles up to rouse the yeast.  If you don't see any sediment, I suspect that you forgot to prime.

A fellow brewer told me that you can carbonate with 1 sugar cube and that they provide about 2.5 v/v of sugar.  I haven't tried sugar cubes but I was going to try it the next time I have more beer than will fit in a keg or I want a few bottles for competition.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Times
« on: August 15, 2014, 08:34:23 AM »

Do you check your conversion efficiency?  Mine has gone from about 85% at 60 min. to 99-100% at 90.  I always do a 90 min. mash these days.

I used to.  Once I figured out that a consistent fine grind and 1.5 qt/lb mash thickness gets me consistently near a 100% conversion efficiency with a 60 minute mash for mash temps above 150 F, I stopped measuring.  To each their own!

I might start measuring again if I get a refractometer and try some new mash tweaks.

Homebrew Clubs / Re: AHA Club Insurance Program
« on: August 15, 2014, 07:03:22 AM »
I would think there is a need for better Club recognition, such as clubs required to provide yearly rosters of paid members, up to date by-laws.  The way it stands now a club could pay for 3-4 members, even though there are more than that in the club.  I would think that the Broker & the Carrier would want a more accurate count other than one done on the honor system.  The real test will be when the first claim is filed.

The policy provides for an audit for the premium.  At the end of the audit, the club will be billed for additional premium or refunded excess premium.  I wouldn't be surprised if there is a "mini-audit" annually around about the start of the next coverage period.

From a budgeting standpoint, it would make sense to make a good faith estimate of what your membership is so you don't get hit with a big bill after an audit.

You would want to keep good records of membership as a lawsuit can happen several years after the triggering incident to make sure that you can prove that  club members involved in the incident were in the club so that there is the possibility of insurance coverage.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Roeselare Blend
« on: August 15, 2014, 06:18:53 AM »
Served a near 100% lacto BW at the last homebrew meeting without syrup. Too sour for some, not too sour for others.  I would monitor the lacto ferment for the Flemish Red so it doesn't go off the charts.

Sent from my SGH-T839 using Tapatalk 2

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Roeselare Blend
« on: August 14, 2014, 01:25:11 PM »
Did you plan to make several 5 gallon batches to fill the barrel or do you have a larger capacity?

The balance of yeast/bacteria in Roselare is supposed to allow Lacto to produce sufficient acidity before alcoholic fermentation begins. It also has enough sacch to complete primary fermentation so that the bretta will work during conditioning.

Lactic acid production is the main point. You want lactobacillus to produce acid before alcoholic fermentation begins.

I've never filled a barrel, but I would attack it like this:

If you're making multiple batches to fill the barrel, take advantage of it. Sour some the batches with a pure lacto culture (Wyeast 5335) or a sour mash (I recommend the former). For the others, pitch rehydrated dry yeast for a clean primary fermentation. Pitch the Roselare blend in one of the 'clean' batches along with the dry yeast.

When the batches have soured / completed fermentation, allow them to settle and then rack into the barrel. This will minimize trub/yeast carryover.

The blend of sour/'clean' batches is up to you - depends how sour you like it.

If you can make 25-30 gal in one shot, I would pre-sour the batch, pitch plenty of yeast + the blend, then rack to the barrel after primary is complete.

Thanks for the insight.  This should be easy for me to do as I do sour worting for Berliner Weiss. I will probably brew 2 batches and possibly topoff with some Berliner Weiss in case I run out of the Flemish red before filling the barrel.  I might go 100% lacto (no yeast) in one fermentors, mixed in another, Roeselare in another, and clean in the other one to three fermentors.

Equipment and Software / Re: Upgrade decision. Advice needed
« on: August 14, 2014, 07:35:49 AM »
In the winter you should be able to brew easily.  If you brew in a water bath, your fermentation will stay close to ambient avoiding fermentation temperature spikes.  I use an aquarium heater at the end of fermentation to make sure that the fermentation finishes warmer than the rest of fermentation so that the yeast clean up after themselves.

In the summer, you can brew saisons and sours.  You can also add ice packs to the water bath to brew other beers.

I think that you will be hard pressed to find time in the next few years for all grain once you become a happy father.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My reason for signing up here...
« on: August 13, 2014, 01:44:27 PM »
You need software! 

If the OP reads a brewing book first, he will not need software to perform basic brewing calculations. The calculations encountered in recipe formation do not require a great deal of mathematical maturity.  Brew house calculations are middle school level at best.  I have formulated several hundred batches of beer without the aid of brewing software. 

I don't disagree with you, but software is cheap (and there is even some free stuff) especially when you compare it to other parts of the brewery and my time.  I can't imagine not using software.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My reason for signing up here...
« on: August 13, 2014, 11:34:07 AM »
You need software!  There are lots of threads on software here already.  Even if you are a kit brewer, you should get software to calculate your bitterness.  If you only boil part of the water necessary for a batch, you can increase your bitterness by adding the malt extract in the last 15 minutes of the boil and even then your bitterness levels will still likely be low when using a kit, perhaps less than 50% of what you should be targeting for an IPA.  The software will help you figure out your bitterness levels and what you need to do to improve it.  The benefits of software increases once you start formulating your own recipes.

You need quality thermometers such as LCD strips for your fermentor and a good digital thermometer.  There are plenty of threads on digital thermometers here that are accurate.  The more you spend the quicker the response.  You are going to need at least one good thermometer for measuring (and controlling) your fermentation temp.

Read a good homebrewing book too.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Roeselare Blend
« on: August 12, 2014, 01:40:09 PM »
How about if I pitch the Roeselare blend in 5-gallons in primary and make a yeast-only starter for the rest of the batch? 

Yeast and Fermentation / Roeselare Blend
« on: August 12, 2014, 12:40:52 PM »
I was thinking about using Roeselare Blend to make a Flemish red in a 26-gal barrel.  Per Wyeast, I'm not supposed to make a starter as I'll disturb the precise proporations of brewers yeast, lacto, brett, flor and pedio.  Should I then pitch 5 or 6 separate packages of Roesealare?  Call me cheap but I'm hoping to avoid that expense.  Is there a different/better way?

Homebrew Clubs / Re: AHA Club Insurance Program
« on: August 12, 2014, 12:02:24 PM »
I have reached out to West, the insurance agent, through their website for coverage information and have not gotten a response.  It's great that there is affordable insurance, but the roll out has not been smooth.

Hello.  I do not see in my inbox that I have received an email from your club.  Could you please email me directly at and I will help you get your questions answered?
West's Insurance Agency

Luke, I sent you an email. Thanks, Roger.

Homebrew Clubs / Re: Homebrew Club Insurance Program Questions
« on: August 11, 2014, 01:10:17 PM »
Is the insurance coverage on a claims made or claims occurred basis?  I hope I got the terminology right.

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