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Messages - erockrph

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: PBW solution longevity?
« on: December 02, 2014, 02:59:55 PM »
I often reuse it, but I do a good cleaning before I introduce the PBW - often cleaning 3-4 kegs at once this way, then proceeding to rinse and Star San.  I will carry over the PBW until it gets a bit grungy looking.  I heard a rumor that Ruth's Crist steakhouse uses it for cleaning the grilled on oils from the cast plates used for grilling - and they continue to use it when it is almost entirely black.... Could be urban legend, of course.

I wouldn't be surprised if they used it (not sure about the reusing it thing, though). I've used it for pots and pans with burnt-on crust. It works great to clean a Keurig coffee brewer as well.

Ingredients / Re: how much hops for late hop additions
« on: December 02, 2014, 01:20:52 PM »
If you can give a beer style, others will likely have some good advice.

Well, I had bought some Falconer's Flight that I wanted to get to know, so I brewed the simplest IPA with 95% pale and 5% amber, S-04 yeast, 1064 SG and 55 IBU with nothing but FF. I had no clue how much to add at 5, 0, and whirlpool.
It really depends on your taste. For an IPA I'd save all your late hops for the hop stand. I think 1 oz/gallon is a good starting point for your whirlpool hops, and maybe half as much for dry hops. Whirlpool at 170F or so for 30-60 minutes.

How do you decide on how much bittering hops to use? Can you give me an example with IBU amounts? I have been wanting to try this but am afraid to get most of my IBUs from the bittering addition. I am worried that it will come off as too bitter. I know I shouldn't worry too much about how many IBUs but I need some frame of reference.

I usually use bittering hops to get about 50% of my total IBUs for a hoppy beer.
If I'm shooting for a specific amount of IBU's (something like an APA, for example), then I'll get all of my IBU's from the 60-minute addition, then chill to about 175 or so and add my hop stand hops. You can adjust the coarseness/smoothness of the bitterness by choosing an appropriate hop variety.

For a full-bore IPA, I skip the 60-minute addition and do my hop stand right at flameout. I use a massive amount of hops, so this is well over 100 IBU's. But the bitterness is still pretty smooth at this level of hopping when they're all flameout hops.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: PBW solution longevity?
« on: December 02, 2014, 10:05:01 AM »
I wouldn't use PBW more than once myself.
Same here. I'm generally mixing it in the vessel to be cleaned, so it's pretty dirty and gross by the time it is ready to pour off.

Just about all my beers are just a 60-minute addition and a hopstand addition for my kettle hops. The 60 minute addition controls my bitterness, my hopstand controls my flavor and some aroma, then dry hops are primarily aroma with a small amount of flavor.

I don't feel like I've lost anything by moving to this approach. I feel like I've gained more control, and I can now put a lot more hop flavor in my beers than I was ever able to get using traditional late boil hops.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Adjusting a stout after kegging
« on: December 01, 2014, 07:28:50 PM »
Try some bicarbonate. That may neutralize some of that acidity. Try a small amount in a glass first. If it works, then work out how much is needed for a full keg.

Equipment and Software / Re: Refractometer Calibration
« on: December 01, 2014, 06:01:37 PM »
What do you recommend as a good one?

Search ebay for "brix refractometer". It'll cost about $19 including shipping from Hong Kong. When it arrives, check the calibration. If you got a bum unit, buy another one. If that one's no good, buy a third. You'll still be ahead of what your LHBS would charge.
+1 to this. If you can be patient, then watch homebrewfinds for when one goes on sale at a good price. I got this one on sale for $16 and I'm very happy with it:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 25% off sale
« on: December 01, 2014, 05:56:20 PM »
Merry Christmas to me. I gave myself the gift of lagers for the next year or so.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belgian fermentation stalled
« on: December 01, 2014, 11:00:03 AM »
I mashed at 152. I'm getting my target FG from Beersmith. The sample didn't taste overly sweet to me so I guess that's what matters the most.
I relied on the kit instructions for the amount of yeast to pitch. Next time I'll check Mr Malty.
I did aerate by stirring with a wisk. I probably could of done a better job with aeration.

Would US-05 be a good idea to bring the FG down or is it better just to call this one done when I get a steady reading?
If T-58 was pitched into wort and finished up at 1.020, there's no reason to think that US-05 is going to do any better in an environment that has a lot more alcohol and a lot less O2 and sugar. It's generally not worth it to pitch a new yeast unless there's some reason to think your yeast kicked the bucket way too early and the wort is still pretty sweet and low in alcohol.

If you really want to give it a shot, then your best chance for success is to pitch a starter at high krausen of a yeast that is both attenuative and alcohol tolerant. WLP099 is an option. WY3711 could work in a Belgian beer, but that may backfire and drive your FG all the way down to the mid single-digits.

You could also go the long route and pitch Brett, then sit on it for another year or two. That has the potential to yield fantastic results.

TL;DR - if it doesn't taste horribly underattenuated you're better off leaving it alone

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling Logistics
« on: December 01, 2014, 09:27:36 AM »
Unfortunately my fermenter doesn't have volume markings. I don't know the exact volume of beer going into the beer bucket until I transfer. Looks like I can't add the sugar solution first.

You could always calibrate your fermenter. I calibrated my better bottles to 5, 4, and 3 gallon marks. Between the lines I estimate.
Same here - you have to guesstimate how much trub you're going to leave behind anyways. A best guess should get you close enough. The other option is to add it after you transfer and stir it in gently with a sanitized spoon.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: December 01, 2014, 08:09:49 AM »
Yes...I just realized I hooked my caboose on an old train...newbie mistake...thought the date listed in the post was the date of the post, not the particular weekend up for discussion.

Ignore the date on the header. There used to be a new thread put up weekly for this, but we've all been using this post as an ongoing "what are you brewing?" post.

Speaking of which, I have an unplanned brewday coming up on Wednesday. I'm leaning towards ESB, but I'm not sold on it yet. The only definite is that I'm using WY1968 for the yeast.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Right now I have a doppelbock on tap and a Baltic Porter next in line, so I'm looking for something 1.050's or smaller.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling Logistics
« on: December 01, 2014, 08:01:30 AM »
Like others, I add the sugar hot and add it early. Hot sugar solution is less viscous and will give you less risk of incomplete mixing. I actually start my siphon fist and add the sugar after there's maybe a half inch or so of beer in the bottom of the bucket. I feel a little better about the syrup getting mixed fully this way, rather than some still sitting under the beer unmixed.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First Year Hops
« on: November 29, 2014, 09:20:33 AM »
Happy Holiday All!! I'm a first year hop grower and winter is coming. I live in NYC and I had to grow my hops in two 4 gallon buckets. I got about 4 ounces dried this first year. Next year I will plant the root balls in the ground, but to preserve them over the winter what would be the best way? Should I keep them in the buckets and put them in my garage?

Any help would be appreciated!


I'd pull them into the garage... Just as long as your garage stays pretty cold. They need to go into a dormant stage, but if we get a cold winter like we did last year, I'd be afraid of the buckets freezing solid.
+1 - I started my hops in large pots for my first few years. the first year I pulled them right against my house (under the deck) to keep them a bit warmer than where they were growing, but still allow them to experience winter temps. The second winter I left them out in a more exposed area. None of the hops came back for the third year, so I think the roots froze solid.

Ingredients / Re: Can I add a coffee extract at bottling?
« on: November 29, 2014, 08:27:46 AM »
The only tip I can offer is to try it with a small sample first to determine the right amount to use. Then scale it up to the whole batch.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lambic not getting sour
« on: November 29, 2014, 08:00:49 AM »
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Part of my frustration with this was that I was planning on this batch being year 1 to start my gueuze program. I was planning on racking this batch to secondary, then adding a new batch to the cake from this first round. I don't want to invest yet another year with a bug blend that isn't getting sour.

I'm really happy with the Brett character so far, so I may stick with my original plan. But I'll plan on pitching a pack of lacto and/or pedio along with the new batch. This first batch I'll bring up to room temp (instead of cellar temp) and monitor it for a few more months (maybe I'll pitch some of the pedio going into the new batch). If I see some acidity developing then I'll keep it going for the gueuze. If not, then I'll put it on some fruit.

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