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Messages - duboman

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Kegging and Bottling / Well carbed but no head
« on: October 23, 2013, 01:25:07 PM »
So I have now brewed my Hard Root Beer twice and have a kegging question regarding head:

It is really a beer and it is sitting at 30psi at 40F using 25' of 3/16" Bevflex. I get a nice timely pour and the root beer is well carbonated but there is no head at all and am trying to figure out why.

Is it recipe driven?
Do I need a higher PSI? Shorter lines?
Too much sugar syrup to back sweeten?
Too high ABV?

Here's the Recipe and process:
Boil Size: 5.00 gal
Post Boil Volume: 2.25 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 3.00 gal   
Bottling Volume: 2.75 gal
Estimated OG: 1.090 SG
Estimated Color: 28.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 20.3 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 88.9 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
6 lbs 6.4 oz          Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           Grain         1        75.0 %       
4.1 oz                De-Bittered Black Malt (Dingemans) (550. Grain         2        3.0 %         
2.7 oz                Carafa I (337.0 SRM)                     Grain         3        2.0 %         
2.7 oz                Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM)   Grain         4        2.0 %         
1 lbs 4.5 oz          Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (1.0 SRM)         Sugar         5        15.0 %       
4.1 oz                Milk Sugar (Lactose) (0.0 SRM)           Sugar         6        3.0 %         
0.25 oz               Warrior [15.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min        Hop           7        20.3 IBUs     
0.15 tsp              Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins)              Fining        8        -             
0.24 tbsp             Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 mins)          Other         9        -             
1.0 pkg               American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) [124.21 Yeast         10       -             

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 8 lbs 8.6 oz

Once fermented out and cleared the product is cold crashed, back sweetened with 1450 grams of table sugar dissolved in 6 cups of water and racked to keg. 40ml of Gnome Root Beer Extract is then added for flavor.

I put the keg on at 30psi and set and forget. Takes a few days to carbonate being a 3 gallon keg.

I can't really change the recipe as it is exactly how it is supposed to taste and is a full 10%ABV which is what I wanted. Anything that I were to add to the recipe for head creation would have to be completely flavor neutral or not change the profile I have worked hard to achieve.

Appreciate any thoughts to get some head out of this!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sparge temp
« on: October 21, 2013, 01:55:14 PM »
Out of curiosity are you washing/re-using your yeast? It might be that the harvested yeast is mutating over time and the overall attenuation is becoming an issue, just a thought............

I've had this issue with a couple strains that I frequently use and found that after 5-7 harvests the yeast begin to behave a little differently like less attenuation or lower flocculation, things like that, subtle but noticeable

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Correct volume for boil
« on: October 21, 2013, 06:23:23 AM »
I am going to brew a partial extract this morning. The recipe that I am following asks me to steep my grains and boil the extract and hops in 1 1/2 gallons of water and then add 2 gallons of chilled water to the glass carboy and then top up to 5 gallons. Is there anything magic about the 1 1/2 gallons for the steeping and the boil or could I just use 5 gallons since I have a wort chiller?

What I would do is steep in the 1.5 gallons for the designated time, add the additional 2 gallons for the boil and add approximately 1/3 of the extract at the start of the boil and follow the recipe's hop additions. Add the remainder of the extract at the end of the boil. Cool and rack to primary and then top off.

The split extract additions will help maintain a truer color to the beer and prevent some caramelization of the wort. The increased boil volume will also help minimize this as well as you will lose about a gallon to boil off over 60 minutes. If you wanted to do a full boil you would need to reduce the amount of hops due to better utilization in a full boil

All Grain Brewing / Re: Low really low
« on: October 20, 2013, 03:22:46 PM »
You could also just throw a few handfuls of rice hulls in the mash to help with the run off!

The Pub / Re: Duvel-Moortgat to buy Boulevard
« on: October 17, 2013, 02:43:12 PM »
The story about this in the New York Times seems to indicate that the intent was to bring American Craft beer to the European market.

We are having an effect folks!!!!!!!!

Well, if that's really the case it will certainly be interesting to follow along and see how it goes!

The Pub / Re: Duvel-Moortgat to buy Boulevard
« on: October 17, 2013, 02:08:55 PM »
If anything, Duvel made Ommegang better, not that it was bad, but they have moved it to another level. Now Boulevard has been putting out some outstanding beers lately so I'm not sure how they will take something like Tank 7 to another level. Should be fun to hide and watch.  8)

I agree, Ommegang is doing some really nice beers and they are pretty available anywhere I go. I know recently Boulevard has really been doing a lot of new Belgian style beers and they have been really great so it will definitely be interesting to follow along and see what happens, I just hope they don't lose their friendly ways!

I've done their tours a few times and have spoken to their brewers regarding recipes, they have always been very open to the home brew community and I hope that continues.

The Pub / Re: Duvel-Moortgat to buy Boulevard
« on: October 17, 2013, 01:17:02 PM »
Here's a link to the letter sent out:

Based on the success of Ommegang one can only hope that a great KC tradition carries on but it is sad. Growing up and being a huge fan of Boulevard, one can only hope that their Midwest values and quality beer remain the same or only improve with the growth.

Pimp My System / Re: Re-purposed 'Gin Bucket', now 2-tap Jockey Box
« on: October 17, 2013, 09:21:38 AM »
That's a really nice set up, putting this lil project on my to do list! Thanks for sharing:)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Off flavors in La Petite Orange?
« on: October 13, 2013, 01:29:08 PM »
Phenols would produce a plastic taste/aroma but if this is the first batch that's had it it could be something different in your process. First guess would normally be chlorine in your water but there are other causes as well.

Look at this:
And go to phenolic, you can see the various reasons this would pop up and perhaps you can see what happened with this batch.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: jeffy wins pro-am!
« on: October 12, 2013, 02:15:25 PM »
Congratulations Jeff, that's awesome!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dry hop transfer
« on: October 11, 2013, 07:00:09 PM »
You can also just place a hop bag, paint strainer or nylons over the end of the racking cane as a filter as well

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Racking
« on: October 08, 2013, 03:17:57 PM »

I guess I'm old fashioned...I just use a plastic racking cane and a piece of tubing.  No autosiphon, no carboy cap, no pump.  I guess if ti didn't work I'd change, but I've never had a problem using such a simple setup.  I can't imagine why I'd want to do anything more complicated.

This is exactly how I do it as well and for the exact same reasons, simple and basic and functional

All Grain Brewing / Re: Low really low
« on: October 05, 2013, 04:36:45 PM »
I'd say crush too. Also did you stir the mash? Did you stir like hell for vorleuf? Makes a difference as well as when you sparge.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Help hitting my OG with Brew In a Bag.
« on: October 05, 2013, 03:39:12 PM »
Maybe provide us a recipe and state your process including mash in volume, boil volume pre and post and batch size, etc so we can see what's going on. Are you doing full boils or partial?

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