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Messages - Pi

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All Grain Brewing / Re: HERMS vs RIMS
« on: November 14, 2012, 09:04:22 AM »
I built a RIMS and use propane for HLT and BK; electric for pimps PID and heat element. i looked at The Electric Brewery site and was impressed. My only concern with going all-electric is this: I tend to brew on cold, windy/rainy days. our power goes out pretty easily around here so if the lights go out i'm screwed. Whereas gas at least can get me through the process.
So how much of a cost difference are we talking (percentage-wise)? If it is significant, i could see upgrading and getting a generator for backup. And how long would it take to re coupe the $$s just needed for the upfit? The generator i could justify because that can be used for other things like chest freezer (fermentation) and simple house power needs.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Troubleshooting a funky fermentation
« on: October 04, 2012, 10:34:28 AM »
OK, just tasted a sample; definite phenolic (medicine) taste. Completely different than the smell. I will take Euge's advice and RDWHAHB.
 Now 5 days in primary and still chugging along. Gonna rack tomorrow and dry hop. Over 15 years of all grain brewing, I wont cry if I have to dump one. Just would like to know what went wrong. Probably time to reassess my sanitation practice- gotta keep those nasties on the run ya know...

Ingredients / Acid rinse cloudy
« on: October 04, 2012, 10:13:59 AM »
Using StarSan to sanitize i have noticed the water gets really cloudy like really thin skim milk. Is this normal? I am getting similar with the low-foaming Saniclean, muddy water. I am using well water through a carbon filter.

Yeast and Fermentation / Troubleshooting a funky fermentation
« on: October 04, 2012, 09:38:01 AM »
I have something "different" going on in the primary of a SNPA clone recipe. I did an identical batch about 4 days ahead and is doing fine. I repitched the 1056 from that but the head in the fermenter looks like melted ice cream instead of the usual Rocky Krausen i am used to. It's hard to explain the smell, sour, acidic, maybe vinagar? does not smell right. I'm thinking infection but would like some guidance as to specifically what it might be.
I did an AG cooler mash at a festival/ demonstration, and after chilling didnt pitch till the next day. I rinsed the carboy with the low-foam acid rinse a day or so before, and plugged the carboy with a stopper. Could that be the cause?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Reusing yeast
« on: October 01, 2012, 05:40:52 AM »
It's easy enough to just harvest the yeast (trub and all) in a gallon ziplock bag and then pitch about half of it, if pitching within 2 weeks of harvest.  That way you can clean the fermenter.  Now, whether the yeast is appropriate for a Kolsch is another question entirely...but it started as a Kolsch yeast, so it should be good to go.
Never thought of using a Ziploc bag. Is it sanitary right out of the box or do you need to rinse?
Pitching onto the entire cake is WAY over pitching. It's better to start off with a small amount of healthy yeast thanhaving allot of tired/half-spent yeasties. Use Mr Malty. If you are going to reuse the carboy, first spray the stopper/airlock area with some sanitizer or Grain alcohol and dump 2/3 or 3/4ths of the slurry out.

Ingredients / Re: Pellets or whole for dry hopping?
« on: September 27, 2012, 12:25:42 PM »
Just read the thread in dry hopping below...
Answered allot of my questions!

Ingredients / Pellets or whole for dry hopping?
« on: September 27, 2012, 12:17:45 PM »
I usually toss em in after fermentation is about done, but how much, and how long?

All Grain Brewing / Re: SMaSH for my first AG batch
« on: September 11, 2012, 10:17:15 AM »
Just finished this one, went very well.  OG was only off by two points!  copious notes here
Your notes are key here. When fermentation is complete, give it a taste and if there's not enough flavor in the hops, toss some more in and let it go another week or so.

All Grain Brewing / Re: step-mashing, and when is it inappropriate?
« on: September 05, 2012, 02:34:37 PM »


It comes back to the malts used as much as anything.  British maltsters make highly modified malts so step mashing isn't a requirement.  I think it comes down to tradition, also.
Briess/American malts are also well modified and dont need a P rest. I have found a single step around 153* is a fine compromise between Beta and Alpha and produces a well rounded wort for most ales

All Grain Brewing / Re: step-mashing, and when is it inappropriate?
« on: September 05, 2012, 12:48:01 PM »
Someone on this forum referred me to this BYO article by Dave Green.
I've read it 3 or 4 times and i get something out of it every time.
In it Green says "if a malt is undermodified, it will clearly say so in the name." thus, some sort of protein rest is needed to finish degrading the glucans and proteins.
I recently brewed a double decoction Hefe My mash schedule had me rest my first decoction at beta and alpha before gradually raising to a boil for 30 minutes. this left my main mash in like a 60+ minute protein rest.
The beer tasted great but had virtually no head.
Now I only do a P rest if there's alot of low-mod malt (German) in the grist.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: how long does dry hopping last?
« on: September 05, 2012, 12:07:33 PM »
BTW: If IPA doesn't move fast with your buddies then  it may be time to get new buddies. ;) OTOH I think I could move 10 gallons of IPA myself in 4-6 weeks.
...And all of us being loyal AHA brewers, I am sure if it came down to good beer going stale, there are plenty of us around to help you out...

Kegging and Bottling / Re: How fast do you carbonate?
« on: September 05, 2012, 12:01:54 PM »
I guess what i was wondering is do you lager at serving pressure, or should you condition (sometimes months depending on style) at ambient (ie. airlock)? Or are lagering and conditioning two different animals?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: How fast do you carbonate?
« on: September 04, 2012, 06:21:38 PM »
Just keeged a dry stout, a amber lager, and an Oktoberfest. The Oktoberfest and lager have been lagering 3 and 4 weeks respectivly. Now that it is kegged, do you FC now or wait till it's done conditioning (another 2 months at least)?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Fly Sparging Question
« on: September 04, 2012, 06:12:06 PM »
Oats will give you body, mouthfeel and a nice head. I did AG Russian Imperial stout today. I had a mash Ph of 5.5, but didnt add the dark malts (chocolate and roasted) till 15 minutes prior to mash out. this gives you color without alot of bitterness associated with dark malts. Nonetheless it lowered the mash Ph .2.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Fly Sparging Question
« on: September 04, 2012, 07:00:25 AM »
Astringent maybe? Over sparging and/or high sparge temp can pull tannins out of the grain.

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