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Topics - mpietropaoli

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16
All Grain Brewing / What exactly is...
« on: January 06, 2013, 07:47:58 PM »
This?  On the necks of a Cali common I bottled off a keg about a month ago. 


17
All Grain Brewing / Head retention in a raspberry stout
« on: January 06, 2013, 07:37:13 PM »
Had some issues with head retention in my last stout where I added 32oz grade b maple syrup post-fermentation.  Am planning a choc raspberry stout with 4-5lbs of raspberries post-fermentation.  Is it simply a matter of adding some dextrin malt to my mash?  Mash higher to compensate?

18
Adjuncts include coffee, chocolate, and yes, maple syrup (eh?).  Basically a foreign x stout recipe/gravity pre-32 oz of maple syrup fermented in secondary. 

Was thinking either 13b, 23a, or 21a.

19
Brewed the following IPA-borderline-IIPA this past weekend.  I have been brewing in a bag and typically getting around 75% efficiency.  This time I did a superfine double crush through the mill, 75-minute mash (as usual for BIAB) with mash hops, and a single batch sparge in a spare fermenter with 170* water.  The only difference is I didn't do a 10minute mash out.

I am dumbfounded because after my 'lauter', I had 7.5 gallons of wort @ 1.047 pre-boil.  Based on the 90 minute boil I was doing, I figured I would be down to at least 6 gallons as my blichmann burner evaporates like a mofo.  So:

7.5 gallons @ 1.047 = 352 gravity points
6.0 gallons end volume = 1.058 OG PLUS 1# cane sugar, which should have added about 8-9 gravity points.  1.067-68, not the end of the world. 

First off, my efficiency was miserable this time (total grist of 14.75# = 545 possible gravity points, 352/545 = 64% efficiency or ugh.  Have NO IDEA why it was so bad.

Anyway, here is the weirdest part.  I decanted the wort after chilling off the trub, aerated like crazy, and took a small refractometer sample.  15 brix, or about 1.060.  WTF?  Since this was bordering on a IIPA, and most of my hops were late, I went a little nuts with hop additions, bittering to 105.8 calcuated IBUs thinking that a BU:GU ratio of 1.38 was a touch high, but wouldn't TASTE that bitter, as most were late.  Then, when I had this abysmal gravity of 1.060, my BU:GU ratio became more like 1.76.  Ouch.  And bitter. 

I gave this a taste tonight, and it was pretty damned bitter (not terrible but bitter, even for my tastes).  It is super early (pitched 2 packs of US-05 Sunday night @ 10pm), as I was adding 3oz of dry hops per Tasty's method of tail end of fermentation, so maybe its not done fermenting... 

Any thoughts on what could have happened with my gravity?  It makes no sense at all.  Also, could I brew and ferment one gallon of malty, high-gravity beer and blend?

Flight of the Phoenix IIPA
14-C Imperial IPA

Size: 5.5 gal @ 68 °F
Efficiency: 75.0%
Attenuation: 81.6%
Calories: 251.62 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.076 (1.075 - 1.090)
Terminal Gravity: 1.014 (1.010 - 1.020)
Color: 12.33 (8.0 - 15.0)
Alcohol: 8.17% (7.5% - 10.0%)
Bitterness: 105.8 (60.0 - 120.0)

Ingredients:
0.5 ea Campden Tablet - added during boil
12.75 lb (81.0%) American 2-row - added during mash
.5 lb (3.2%) Crystal Malt 20°L - added during mash
.5 lb (3.2%) Crystal 40 - added during mash
1 lb (6.3%) Melanoidin Malt - added during mash
1 lb (6.3%) White Table Sugar (Sucrose) - added during boil
1 oz (8.3%) Caliente (17.8%) - added during mash
1 oz (8.3%) Columbus (15.0%) - added first wort
.75 oz (6.2%) Magnum (14.5%) - added during boil, boiled 60 m
.3 oz (2.5%) Amarillo® (8.5%) - added during boil, boiled 20 m
.3 oz (2.5%) Centennial (10.0%) - added during boil, boiled 20.0 m
.3 oz (2.5%) Caliente (17.8%) - added during boil, boiled 20.0 m
.3 oz (2.5%) Amarillo® (8.5%) - added during boil, boiled 15.0 m
.3 oz (2.5%) Centennial (10.0%) - added during boil, boiled 15.0 m
.3 oz (2.5%) Caliente (17.8%) - added during boil, boiled 15.0 m
.5 oz (4.1%) Centennial (10.0%) - added during boil, boiled 10.0 m
.5 oz (4.1%) Caliente (17.8%) - added during boil, boiled 10.0 m
.5 oz (4.1%) Centennial (10.0%) - added during boil, boiled 5.0 m
.5 oz (4.1%) Cascade (5.5%) - added during boil, boiled 5.0 m
.5 oz (4.1%) Caliente (17.8%) - added during boil, boiled 5.0 m
.5 oz (4.1%) Centennial (10.0%) - added during boil
.5 oz (4.1%) Cascade (5.5%) - added during boil
.5 oz (4.1%) Caliente (17.8%) - added during boil
.5 oz (4.1%) Amarillo® (8.5%) - added during boil
1 oz (8.3%) Cascade (5.5%) - added dry to secondary fermenter
.5 oz (4.1%) Centennial (10.0%) - added dry to secondary fermenter
.5 oz (4.1%) Caliente (17.8%) - added dry to secondary fermenter
1 oz (8.3%) Amarillo® (8.5%) - added dry to secondary fermenter



00:03:00 Dough in - Liquor: 6.0 gal; Strike: 162.79 °F; Target: 153 °F


20
General Homebrew Discussion / FWH with BIAB
« on: November 12, 2012, 03:23:59 PM »
any ideas on how best to do this?

Was thinking of just tossing a FWH addition between the bag liner and the kettle, then leave them in while I am warming up to and during the boil?

SUB-question:  anyone ever FWH a Cali common?

21
Ok I have been brewing for almost 3 years and have had MAJOR improvements in my process and my beer, and have won a few comps.  Added temp control, adequate/healthy yeast pitches from starters, and nice long primary ferments.  I recently started kegging occasionally (only occasionally because I live in the city and don’t have room for a dedicated serving fridge) and noticed something.
 
I kegged my first lager, an Oktoberfest fermented @ 50 degrees (~3 weeks), lagered at 35 degrees for 4 weeks, but also bottled/primed about a gallon of it and allowed for natural carbonation in the bottle (still doing this with the majority of my brews, again given the absence of a serving fridge and using my spare fridge for a ferment chamber)
 
The O fest tasted GREAT out of the keg.  A touch caramelly (maybe too much Vienna), but otherwise, great aroma, rich malt character, and clean/dry finish.  I grabbed a 22oz  bottle of the bottle-conditioned O-fest to take to my brothers house, which we had with a steak last night.  The bottle conditioned version had a slight cidery/astringent/sherry ‘edge’ in the aroma (not so much in the taste).  My brother couldn’t pick it up, but perhaps because I was expecting the beer I had out of the keg, I definitely caught something weird an unpleasant that I have noticed in other beers I’ve made, particularly those that are bottle-conditioned.
 
There is an off-chance I poured some yeast in the glass.  There is also an off chance my bottles were not GLEAMINGLY clean (typically, I triple/quad rinse HEAVILY after emptying a bottle and store them uncapped prior to sanitizing only before re-use…I know it’s a bit of a dice roll, but I feel like I am dislodging any gunk, then rinsing away anything else with my ‘after-use’ cleaning of bottles).
 
My question is, has anyone ever experienced off-flavors from the priming sugar itself (I use corn sugar dissolved in boiling water), or conducted a side-by-side to taste a kegged beer vs. a bottle-conditioned beer?  Usually, I will add the cooled simple syrup ON TOP of the racked beer prior to filling bottles, trying to minimize splashing.  I do this because I want to know my exact volume to properly measure priming sugar weight (sans trub).  Also, I am somewhat lax in CLEANING bottling wands, racking canes, hosing, etc., but typically soak in sanitizer for 30 minutes or so prior to use.  I know, I know, you can’t sanitize a turd and all that.
 
So it is likely there is an issue for me at packaging, and I need to discipline myself to clean AND sanitize everything.
 
Sorry for the long post, but just trying to pinpoint this and see if anyone else has had bottle-conditioning issues.

22
General Homebrew Discussion / Passed my bjcp online entrance!
« on: October 30, 2012, 07:39:49 PM »
Was originally planning on taking it and failing just to get some recon on the exam, but I guess since i read ray Daniels in the bathroom at work and listen to jamil on the way to work, I could futz my way through the questions!  Hopefully taking the tasting portion in feb, any pointers appreciated!

23
General Homebrew Discussion / Holy Hell....its hot-side aeration
« on: October 17, 2012, 07:27:30 PM »
So I have been trying to pinpoint a flavor that is coming through in the majority of my beers.  Some people, BJCP-certified in my club even, can't pick it up.  But I know it.  Well.  And haven't really been able to pinpoint it. 

After tasting my latest IPA experiment, I noticed it AGAIN.  Its a somewhat cardboard, tart, papery off flavor. 

When my boil is complete, I have been immersion chilling, as for a 5 gallon batch, my plate chiller is just not worth the trouble.  Until recently, I would cool it down to pitching temp or near it with the immersion.  Lately, I've been partial chilling below 140 to stave off DMS, then placing in the fermenting fridge to get the beer exactly to pitching temp (albeit a bit more slowly).  In both methods though, I have been directly dumping out of the kettle into the fermenter, sometimes a bit vigorously.  I will leave as much trub as I can behind (I don't whirlpool), but after my wort has chilled to pitching temp, I will vigorously dump into a new clean, sanitized fermenter before pitching, and decant off the trub. 

Either way though, aldehydes are forming from introducing the beer to too much oxygen when its above 80 degrees right?  (it is rare that I will chill with my IC below 80...usually more like 100-110). 

Has anyone else made this mistake, or corrected it and noticed improvement??

I need to read How to Brew all over again....I spent my first 10 batches boiling with the lid ON because I had it in my head that I didn't want to lose volume (this is before Ray Daniels schooled me that the TOTAL GRAVITY in the pot cannot change!!  Ie, no you are not losing WORT with boil off!!)

24
Events / One extra Farm to Table for GABF
« on: October 03, 2012, 06:00:29 PM »
Anyone need one?  $140.  My wife had a work thing come up and I'm going with our two friends on Friday night.  I have it on Stubhub right now, but would rather an AHA member have it.  PM me or reply. 

25
So I've been messing with IPA recipes and techniques.  I have never bothered with trying to weight down hop bags for dry-hopping, but I thought I'd give it a try this time.  As I am not a 19th-century British schoolchild, I do not have marbles on hand, which I know are the recommended weight of choice.  I was racking my brain for something to use, then I saw my tool box.  Why not use the attachments for a socket wrench?  Stainless steel, able to be sanitized...boom, I have http://www.google.com/imgres?q=socket+wrench+set&um=1&hl=en&safe=off&client=safari&sa=N&rls=en&biw=1272&bih=605&tbm=isch&tbnid=lQ0dxi-EuUQfCM:&imgrefurl=http://www.cdsct.com/products/show-2666.html&docid=vFcwxC5ThScm5M&imgurl=http://www.cdsct.com/uploads/201008/Socket%252520Wrench%252520Set.jpg&w=350&h=262&ei=JmZrUJihMMTz0gGuqIDwAQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=263&sig=103855574045057058693&page=1&tbnh=115&tbnw=154&start=0&ndsp=21&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0,i:119&tx=84&ty=80 weights. 

Then after muscling them into the carboy neck (they bunched up in the bag and it was harder than I thought), and racking the beer, I noticed that despite the weight, the hop bags were still on top of the solution.  Fantastic.  Well the hops were wet, and hopefully it didn't matter.  Later found out that weighting down the hop bag really isn't worth the trouble. 

THEN I found out that the socket wrench attachments weren't stainless steel.  They were chrome/chromium-plated steel.  Usually for socket wrenches, they use cheap chrome.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromium_toxicityChrome is toxic.

So I ran home, racked the beer out of the carboy, and it does smell fantastic.  It seemed to taste good, but I haven't been feeling great and I'm not sure my palette is the sharpest. 

The attachments did not appear to have any corrosion.  There were some flecks on the inside of them, but then I looked at the attachmenets I didn't use, and they had the flecks as well.  However, I do know that beer pH is usually well below 5, and could likely corrode something like this. 

As I do not want to poison myself, my wife, friends, or family, should I dump this beer?  Its one of my better IPAs, and would sting like hell to dump it. 

Anyone familiar with corrosion of chromium on steel?


26
All Grain Brewing / Too much caramunich, doh!
« on: September 27, 2012, 08:45:11 AM »
Making Jamil's standard saison today:

10.5# pilsner
.75# wheat malt
.75# munich
1# table sugar

it is supposed to have 2oz of caramunich, but instead I measured, milled, and then MIXED with the rest of the grain .75 LBS (12oz) of caramunich. Yes, six times the recipe (but still under 6% of the total grain bill; 5.4% of total fermentables).

I know caramunich will add body, caramel, and sweetness (the latter very NOT appropriate for the style), HOWEVER, here is the catch:

I am planning on doing a secondary fermentation with this beer with 3-4lbs of fresh cranberries for our brewing guild Christmas party. Would this sweetness help to balance out the tartness/sourness of the cranberries, or will it simply just be too much? The good thing is, I have kind of written off hitting my color completely, as I've read around the interwebs that cranberries will add a brownish color to the beer anyway.

Could I/shouldni kick up the table sugar or add a half lb of honey to further dry?  I was planning on doing 90 minute mash at 147 anyway.

27
Yeast and Fermentation / Very quick high krausen with S-04
« on: September 18, 2012, 02:28:04 PM »
Wow, did a double brewday with 2 american IPAs (both around 1.062).  Pitched about 1 cup of pure slurry into each, harvested from a 2L starter of new S-04.

Pitched on Sunday morning at 64 degrees, had visible airlock activity within 4 hours (temp maintained), went to go top crop some this afternoon, and boom, the krausen had already dropped....on both fermenters!

Has anyone had a krausen drop within 48 hours?  I know I borderline overpitched, but that is damned quick!

28
Yeast and Fermentation / Band Aid Beer
« on: August 27, 2012, 08:27:50 PM »
I have never had this phenolic before, and, as a dues-paying member, I'm going on a rant that's full of rhetorical questions...

Trying to find where in my process this could have happened...have made a few changes recently:

1.)  went to a BIAB set up.  Forgot to rinse the bag that I ordered from BIABrewer since i can't sew for crap.  Could there have been some chlorine used to wash the bag?  The manufacturer said no way.

2.)  maybe my under sink charcoal filter is due for a change?  HOWEVER, made a steam beer 7 days before that turned out great. 

3.)  I could have rushed this beer off the yeast.  Primary at 65 for 4 days, raised up to 75 for another 6 days, cool to 50 before racking to keg.  Was trying to get it ready for Labor Day weekend

4.)  Don't think I underpitched.  Used a 2000ml starter of US-05 (last used about 6 months ago).  Starter smelled a little sour, so decanted. 

5.)  Went to a partial chill set up where i use the IC to get it down to ~120 or so, then throw it in the ferm chest and let it get down to pitching temp, then transfer/aerate into a new fermenter

6.)  Its Jamils American Wheat, and wheat supposedly contains more ferrulic acid than other malts...(used white wheat malt)...I don't make a lot of wheat beers, is there a mashing procedure thats different?  (I would think not with BIAB/no sparge, as I don't even need rice hulls).  Also has 3lb rye malt.  Maybe I simply overdid the rye?  This is what he suggested!
 
7.)  Did a 75-minute mash, per the BIAB mavens.

8.)  This one's weird:  I had some 3 year-old pH strips, and in the steam beer I made, they read that the pH was in the 3's AFTER using 5.2 stabilizer (which I've since stopped using per Denny Conn).  However, the steam is great (so far), and an actual pH of 3 would have been vile...I know pH being off can cause this phenol

I guess if there are this many potential culprits, I need to nail down my processes a little bit.  HOWEVER, I am not typically getting off flavors, and my palette is getting better (BJCP in February!), and my wife's is excellent!

Here's my real question:
IF you were a complete maniac and wanted to try to salvage this beer, how would you feel about boiling a few ounces of orange/lemon peel, straining, and dumping the 1-2oz or so of then-cooled water with the zest flavor into the keg?  Cuz I did that.  Might do it again tomorrow if the beer doesn't get right. 

Oh did I also mention that I tried to weigh down a hop bag that was already in the keg by removing it, tying an outer layer cheesecloth around it, only to have the outer layer fall apart once the thing got back into the keg and the weight (a small glass votif holder) hit the bottom of the keg with a mocking 'klink'?

Oh did I also mention that this is my first time kegging after 3  years and 40+ brews?

If this beer doesn't turn into methlamine I will be lucky.

29
Kegging and Bottling / Some Basic Kegging/Force Carbing Questions
« on: August 22, 2012, 05:51:27 PM »
TLDR: whats the quickest way to carb a beer (carbonation stone?) and how should I travel with it (carbed or uncarbed, or doesn't it matter)?

So I decided to try to get a beer ready for Labor Day weekend. Spending the weekend by a lake, all I could think of was some solid suds to enjoy with friends. So, I brewed a session American Wheat on 8/15, thinking it would be fully fermented by 8/25, and I'm leaving for the lake on 8/30.

As it happened, my LHBS had a special on cornies, so I picked one up with hosing, new o-rings, quick connect in/out, and some other stuff. A guy in my club traded me a 5 gallon CO2 tank, and loaned me a regulator. What better time to get into kegging!? Like when a thousand other things can go wrong (though I do have a backup steam that is fermented and ready to drink, minus carbonation).

My two most-pressing questions:

1.) What is the quickest way to carb it and does it work? I don't have means for refrigeration or getting it to serving temp. I have read about the methods where you attached, set your regulator to 30 or so PSI, set it sideways on your knee, and roll back and forth every hour or so for 24 hours. (please correct me if any of this is inaccurate...complete kegging n00b). I may be able to fit the keg, once filled, in my fermentation chest, but it would probably only get down into the 40's, as I have an Octoberfest in there with the temp controller set to 50 degrees (on the fermenter).

2.) I have about a 5 hour drive ahead of me to get to this lake. My plan is get the keg there, pack it in a container with some ice, and let it sit for 24 hours or so to settle out and get down to temperature. I will have to rotate the ice all weekend to keep it cool, which isn't a huge deal...hopefully it will be good enough to kick pretty quickly! If I am doing the 'quick carb' method, should I just wait until I get there, or do it at my house?

Many thanks in advance, and my apologies if there is already a thread out there, couldn't find much on here...

30
If memory serves, I believe that is is in the first 48-72 hours of pitching yeast. This is when they are most active in producing phenols, fusels, esters, etc., and if you want to minimize those, make sure to keep a 'leash' on the yeast by regulating the fermentation temp. I do this with a temperature controller probe insulated with styrofoam, duct-taped to the outside of the fermenter.

I ask the question because I only have room for two vessels in my fermentation chamber/lagering fridge. Currently, I have a California Common in there, and the yeast was pitched Saturday night @ 9pm (pitching + 84 hours at the moment) at 64 degrees. The yeast is actually Wyeast 2204 Bavarian lager.

I have a bit of an aggressive brewing schedule coming up. I am planning on brewing a hoppy american wheat tonight, THEN I am brewing an Oktberfest with my wife on Sunday. Bottom line, I need to have the Oktoberfest set to 50 degrees on Sunday, meaning that the ferm fridge will likely have a lower ambient temp.

My current plan is to brew the wheat tonight (estimated OG of 1.051), pitch a stepped-up US-05 starter (as I need a quick and vigorous fermentation, this wheat is going to be kegged in 12 days) at 66 degrees, then on Sunday (pitching + 4 days), remove the wheat, leave it in the basement (ambient temp of ~74 degrees) to finish up.

The only issue with this plan is that I would need to remove the California Common tonight, as if I tape the probe to the wheat, the freezer will likely get down really low to try to stabilize the fermenter temp AND I would need to do the same with the wheat to make room for the O-fest.

Clear as mud? I'm just trying to minimize unwanted esters, phenols, fusels, etc., and was hoping that I could let these fermentations go after a few days. Alternatively, I could rig up the <shudder> swamp chiller.
 

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