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Messages - topher.bartos

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Kegging and Bottling / Super Hoppy Irish Red Ale.
« on: February 24, 2013, 01:08:43 PM »

This is a super hoppy Irish Red Ale that I just bottled. It's unbelievably clear. It's the clearest beer I've ever bottled.

My question is is there enough yeast in such a clear beer for carbonation? Should I have pitched more yeast prior to bottling?

My FG was right around 1010 - 1012 and fermented for about 3 weeks.

All Grain Brewing / Re: My First Batch Sparge
« on: February 18, 2013, 09:36:09 AM »
From John Palmer's How to Brew Chapter 17:

"Sparging is the rinsing of the grain bed to extract as much of the sugars from the grain as possible without extracting mouth-puckering tannins from the grain husks. Typically, 1.5 times as much water is used for sparging as for mashing (e.g., 8 lbs. malt at 2 qt./lb. = 4 gallon mash, so 6 gallons of sparge water). The temperature of the sparge water is important. The water should be no more than 170°F, as husk tannins become more soluble above this temperature, depending on wort pH. This could lead to astringency in the beer."

All Grain Brewing / Re: My First Batch Sparge
« on: February 18, 2013, 09:15:56 AM »
A mashout really doesn't matter in batch sparging, and unless you hold a temp of 170 for 20 min. or more you aren't really doing one.  I usually use sparge water around 185-190F so that I can be sure I've gotten complete gelatinization and conversion, not for a mashout.

I thought you don't want your water to be higher than 170 to prevent extracting tannins...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Green Beer Question
« on: February 12, 2013, 01:58:47 PM »
Good news.

I put some bottles of my two green beers in the fridge for about 24 hrs or so... and they are definitely getting better. They are much more drinkable now! I was getting scared there for a second.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Green Beer Question
« on: February 12, 2013, 12:03:31 AM »
That's part of the "clean up" post attenuative phase. It can last longer depending on yeast health, beer strength and how cool the overall fermentation temp was. One way to combat this is to raise the temp of the beer several degrees towards the end of this stage. Another is to wait more days if you have less control over ferm temps.

To me it really doesn't taste like apple but like raw pumpkin- which I think is absolutely disgusting in beer.

I agree, but will it clear up in the bottle? Or, will it only clear up in the primary?

General Homebrew Discussion / Green Beer Question
« on: February 11, 2013, 06:52:17 PM »
I have a stupid question about green beer.

I've heard mix opinions about green beer. I know it's acetaldehyde that gives it's green apple / tart flavor. But where I have a misunderstanding is when yeast starts transforming acetaldehyde back to ethanol.

I've heard you should keep the beer in the primary for a week (or more) longer than usual to give the yeast some time to metabolize the acetaldehyde because once you take it off the trub there is nothing you can do about it. But also, I've heard that you can just condition it in the bottle for a few weeks and the same thing will occur.

So, what is the best way to go about the acetaldehyde? I brewed some extract batches that had that green apple taste but because I was young and inexperienced, I'd drink it thinking it was just how extract homebrew tastes. But, now I'm not convinced.

What do you think?

Equipment and Software / Re: Aeration Systems
« on: February 11, 2013, 11:55:05 AM »
Thanks everyone.

I'm going to find a nice something or other for aeration and pitch a starter. Let that beer sit in the fermentor longer than I usually do to promote the yeast to clean all their crap up before I bottle.

Also, I'm going to start using Bru'n Water. I started to play around with it and it seems pretty straight forward.

Hopefully, my next batch will taste more like beer and less like sour apples.

I appreciate all the help!

Equipment and Software / Re: Aeration Systems
« on: February 11, 2013, 11:26:20 AM »

As for the water, do you have an analysis of your tap water or do you plan to build it from RO?  And have you downloaded Bru'n Water? 

I recently got my water analysis back from Ward Labs. I have not yet downloaded Bru'n Water. I usually just add a Campden Tablet and a teaspoon of Gypsum simply because my Calcium is a bit low.

Where can get Bru'n Water?

Equipment and Software / Re: Aeration Systems
« on: February 11, 2013, 11:01:29 AM »

Why concerned?

I use either a mixstir attachement for a cordless drill (like a paint stirrer, in fact you can USE a paint stirrer) or lateley I have been sanitizing my balloon whisk and just going at it.

My beers are very green apple-y (acetaldehyde) and sort of puckering at the end. Generally, I make Stouts and IPAs and never really had that problem before because the flavors are usually hidden by dark malts or lots of hops. But, now I'm making session beers and it's simply frustrating. So, I have a few ideas of what it might be:

1. Young / Green beer. I'm going to age it a little bit to see what happens.
2. Unhealthy yeast. I'm going to try to create a yeast starter and increase aeration.
3. Water problems / mash pH problems. I'm going to try different brewing salt additions to my water to see if I can get the pH under control.

I'm would like to do one thing at a time so I can see what the true problem is....

If you have any ideas, let me know!

Equipment and Software / Aeration Systems
« on: February 11, 2013, 10:41:59 AM »
I've been very concerned about my level of pre-fermentation aeration. I feel it is lacking.

Does anybody know of any good / affordable aeration systems or aquarium pumps or something else.


at least you ain't drinkin' outta the fermenter!

Some people call it a racking cane...I call it a straw.
Just make sure you don't backwash, or you'll contaminate your beer!

I find that bottles are mostly carbonated in a week if you have them at 65-70F. They just need time to condition. I have a hefe in bottles right now that is stellar, and it's only been in the bottle for a little over a week. Hefes are good young though.

Young beer kind of tastes like spit to me. I thought it was an extract problem but I'm getting that with AG too. Apparently, I need to age it longer.

So, I tried my first AG batch again after 2 weeks in bottles.

It's still not clear. It still kind of yeasty / sediment-y... I never brewed a beer that was so cloudy so I'm not really sure what the deal is. I'm thinking it will clear after a few more weeks. I really do think this will be a delicious beer once it (hopefully) clears up. It's quite good by itself. It's just a little yeasty.

A few more weeks? A couple months? What do you think?

Well, increasing the yeast activity prior to bottling will help as well.

1. Agitate the beer without oxidation.
2. Increase the fermentation temperature.

I've heard of brewers injecting some CO2 into the bottom of the fermentor. CO2 helps to allow off-flavors to escape. Just don't confuse CO2 with Oxygen, you'll oxidize your beer and you'll end up drinking cardboard.

Both of those things might help to increase the yeast activity. When yeast are more active more CO2 will escape releasing the sulfur compounds. Perhaps you are bottling too early for this to happen?

+1 to conditioning the beer longer.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: IPA Hop Combo
« on: February 07, 2013, 11:41:20 AM »
You can't go wrong with Amarillo/Citra.

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