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Messages - davidgzach

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1546
All Grain Brewing / Re: All grain brewing in the winter
« on: November 08, 2011, 01:45:27 PM »
I too am in a bit of a dilemma about how to use my wort chiller this winter.  I'm in PA, so not as bad as WI, but it does get below freezing and we had some 28' of snow last year.  I really do not have a good way to let the output of the chiller go without turning my driveway in to an ice rink.  It's about 110' long and on a steep angle so not to mess with.

I will probably go back to what I did pre-wort chiller.  Put the kettle in the laundry room sink, add ice and water, and start to stir when it gets below 90F to avoid hot-side aeration.  Takes 45-60 minutes as opposed to 20, but gets the job done.

Dave

1547
All Grain Brewing / Re: All grain brewing in the winter
« on: November 08, 2011, 01:36:15 PM »

1548
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling Carbination Methods Info Overload
« on: November 08, 2011, 01:21:25 PM »
+1 to table sugar. Unless I am being clever I rarely use anything else. Check out the carb calculator a10t2 mentions. I have not used that one but I can't imagine there is that much difference between calculators. The only tricky thing about adding the sugar to the bottling bucket is making sure it is well mixed.

I measure out the sugar I need 5 oz is fine for most styles although I often use a little less for british styles as I don't like them as carbonated. put it in a pan with enough water to disolve and bring to a boil. pop a lid on there and let it boil for a moment then turn off the heat. Do this an hour or so before bottling so it has time to cool a bit. Add to the bottling bucket first and rack the beer onto the sugar syrup. I have not had a problem with inconsistant carbing this way but some people like to gently stir the beer in the bucket with a sanitized spoon to make sure it is well mixed.
+1.  If I remember correctly I used to use 3/4 cup of corn sugar and the method above.  For British Ales I would use 1/2 cup.

1549
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: French Saison yeast quirky?
« on: November 08, 2011, 10:36:52 AM »
Good to know.  I used the Belgian in my last Saison and it stalled at 1.030.  Had to raise the temp over 80F to get it kick-started again!  The beer came out great, but what a hassle!  I think I know what beer I'm making next.......

1550
All Grain Brewing / Re: Does shape of Tun matter?
« on: November 08, 2011, 10:26:41 AM »
Including the questions from above, I have a few.  What did you use as a manifold/false bottom?  What were the mash temps?  
Changing the brewery means you also need to get used to your new equipment.  Was anything different in the build?  IMHO, I think the temperature change is the culprit here.

1551
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling Carbination Methods Info Overload
« on: November 07, 2011, 11:49:23 AM »
What kind of beer is it?  If you are using Grolsh bottles, I would use corn sugar in the racking bucket.

1552
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer Camping
« on: November 07, 2011, 10:56:29 AM »
I just returned from Sierra Nevada Beer Camp.  It was probably the single best, most fun beer experience I've ever had.  We spent the first day touring the plant and learning about how they do things there.  The second day we brewed 2 10 bbl. batches of our beer, "Alternate Ending" altbier, in the pilot brewhouse.  We used both American and German hops, including a new experimental variety called only #366.  I'll be writing more about it in the next few days, but here are some pics to get you started.

Very cool indeed, Denny!  They are one of my favorite commercial breweries.  Very jealous as well.....

1553
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Secondary or Keg?
« on: November 07, 2011, 05:10:26 AM »
Make it a hat-trick! 

1554
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Quick, quick carbing question?
« on: November 04, 2011, 12:12:34 PM »
OK, good timing here.  This is what I am doing as I need a Pale Ale carbed for a party tomorrow.  It was warm so I put it in my beer fridge at 25psi last night and shook it a couple of times.  It's down to 40F now so I shook it this morning, plan to shake again this afternoon, test this evening, shake a few more times if necessary and then take down to serving psi tonight and let it get to volume.  Looking at 12psi for ~2.4 volumes.  Good plan?
Terrible plan, if the beer gets over carbed you're screwed.  Set the pressure to the appropriate level for the current temp and desired volumes of CO2, then shake it as much as you like and it cant get over carbed.
I see your point and the flaw in the plan.  I typically crank up to 25psi and let it sit for 2 days when in a rush-no shaking (but plenty of testing ;)).  The shaking variable changes everything and I was not accounting for it.  Glad I posted and thanks for pointing it out Tom!  

1555
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Quick, quick carbing question?
« on: November 04, 2011, 06:03:56 AM »
OK, good timing here.  This is what I am doing as I need a Pale Ale carbed for a party tomorrow.  It was warm so I put it in my beer fridge at 25psi last night and shook it a couple of times.  It's down to 40F now so I shook it this morning, plan to shake again this afternoon, test this evening, shake a few more times if necessary and then take down to serving psi tonight and let it get to volume.  Looking at 12psi for ~2.4 volumes.  Good plan?

1556
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Storage temperature of Ales
« on: November 04, 2011, 05:42:36 AM »
Maybe I should just be drinking faster...
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It's fine, as long as you are using good beer handling practices it will keep.
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+1 Been doing it for years. Haven't found out how long is too long, I drink faster...  8)
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+1 Keep it in rotation and don't let unpasteurized beer get up in the 80's unless it's your intention to do so. Otherwise it's just conditioning no matter what you do...
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+1 more.  I would rather have my ales ~65-68F so the yeast stays active and they keep conditioning the beer.  I've never had one past 4-5 weeks so I've never had a problem.  If you are using the keg as a secondary and go straight to 34-40F, the yeast will go dormant.

1557
If you can, bring it down to 50-52F for 2 weeks, then drop to lagering temps for 2+ weeks.  It will be AWEWSOME!   ;)

I have Steam Beer #6 on tap right now.  2112 rocks.  If you can, save the slurry.  I haven't bought a new pack this year.  It keeps very well.

Edit:  *First rack to corny, put in a little pressure and purge to make sure you have good seal.

Dave

1558
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Too Small a Starter or RDWAHAHB?
« on: November 03, 2011, 08:20:56 AM »
You probably did under-pitch, though not by a whole lot. With a brand-new pack, the MrMalty calculator puts it at 250-300 billion cells total.

A 24-48 hour lag is normal for most lagers anyway, IME.

I figured as much, but did not check the date, or Mr. Malty.  Should have done that.  I'm a bit lazy today after finishing off my Pale Ale during the brew last night..... ::)

I've had lagers percolating huge the next morn, but with a monster pitch.  I'm trying to RDWAHAHB but it's hard! 

1559
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Too Small a Starter or RDWAHAHB?
« on: November 03, 2011, 06:44:54 AM »
I grow my lager starters at 68F. You don't need to grow them at lager temps as you're only making more yeast at this stage of the game. Let it slowly warm up to about 68F and ferment out for a day or so then crash cool and decant the spent wort prior to pitching.

Bluesman, I pitched it last night.  No activity today.....bummed.

1560
Yeast and Fermentation / Too Small a Starter or RDWAHAHB?
« on: November 03, 2011, 05:57:16 AM »
Made a starter last Saturday morning for my Czech Pils.  I used the last of my DME-6.5oz in ~.6 gallons for ~1.030OG.  Saturday afternoon we lost power so stir plate went down.  I swirled it every hour or so, but did not see any activity.  It went down to 58F in my house until late Sunday evening.  The stir plate fired back up and I let it go until Tuesday at 68F.  It smelled great, but no krausen and not a lot of foam.  Decanted and pitched last night at 52F.

No activity this morning.  Was it too small a pitch to take off quickly?  Do you think I did not let it go long enough on the stir plate?  It's too early for a homebrew so need some thoughts.  Thanks!

Dave

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