We use the regular powder Cascade in the dishwasher too and doesn't seem to affect the head. That being said I have also done the salt scrub Denny mentioned and really that works the best!
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I am brewing all grain. I am pretty sure my thermometer is accurate, but will test it. I'll also start using a 6g fermenter for the primary. Thanks - I appreciate the advice!
In your example I would use the term "mash" as my main purpose is to achieve proper conversion of the grain as in mashing my grain;)
I was being an ass, I know, but but other than time (and of course the specific grains) there's very little real difference between steeping and BIAB.
Regardless, I don't think the OP is using enough grain to get a significant gravity impact unless it's a really small batch.
Perhaps you need to ease up on all the tasting as the more times you pull samples and mess with the beer the more risks you run in contaminating the batch
I dry hop a lot of my beers and have never had an infection from it. I guess it's possible. Basically I put the wort in primary, pitch yeast, cover the bucket, add the blow off tube and leave it be for a minumum of 10 days before taking a reading and it's usually done, add the hops, sit for 5-7 days and then package. The primary is only opened twice.
Ahh, cool! Could you be more specific in your description of "gross". A more specific descriptor of off flavor would help diagnose what might be happening as the beer conditions. May be reading this:http://www.beerjudgeschool.com/uploads/Beer_Characteristics_Flash_Cards.pdf can help.
I guess I should have clarified: whenever necessary to pull a sample (pre-ferment, post-ferment, decant starter) I'm now tasting it. I don't normally take samples mid-ferment for precisely this fear of contamination.
Maybe I'm misinterpreting this but are you actually mashing the grains or simply steeping in 170 degree water? If just steeping you really won't get much gravity contribution from the grain, mostly flavor and color.
Clarify for me your distinction here between "mashing" and "steeping." Time? Temp?
I "steep" my grains for 60 minutes at about 150 and get plenty of conversion.
I've since doubled down on sanitation. Plus I'm now tasting at every step including tasting my starters. I threw away the last two ounces of the hops I used but now I wish I had kept them and done an experiment. Oh well.
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Hey, I'm doing mostly extract batches with small 1-2pound partial mashes. I seem to get pretty poor efficiency from the initial steeping grains. I just got a water report, which showed calcium=3, Mg=1, total hardness=12. I'm not sure if the pH strips are accurate or not, but they seemed to show fairly acidic (like in the 4.0 range). Is my soft water causing me to get poor efficiency? Does this really matter since the bulk of the gravity comes from the malt extract? I've also had some issues getting a reliable thermometer, so this might be part of the issue as well. Do I need to adjust my water?
Well, they get a big +1 for service.
I gave them a call to see about the mod fix. I have the 1.5 inch mill and they did not make the retro fix for that one because people weren't having the same issues with it as the 2.0. So no luck there.
But he spent 15 minutes on the phone with me going over the mechanics of the mill and giving me some ideas to try. He indicated that it matters which direction you turn the adjustment knobs.
if you turn them clockwise (if facing the drive shaft side of the mill) the idle roller moved up and towards the drive roller, while counter clockwise, it moved down and toward the drive roller.
Clockwise means that the thumb screws are above the center line of the knob so if the idle roller tries to move away from the drive roller it hit s the thumb screw. Counter clockwise, on the other hand, means the center point of the knob is ABOVE the thumb screw and as the idle roller moves away from the drive roller it moves down as well, eluding the thumb screw and loosening enough to jam.
I don't know if this will be the answer or not but I will give it a try over the next few weeks and see what happens!
is it just me or is customer service among Homebrew related companies just a step or two above and beyond the norm?
Soak the beans in some vodka for a bit to sanitize them before adding
Unnecessary IMO. I always add them without sanitation. No problems.