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Topics - yso191

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1
The Pub / Week 1 done
« on: June 19, 2016, 07:49:40 AM »
Having left a career of 25 years I have found myself unable to get a decent job for a few months.  So I am back in school working on an MIT (Master's in Teaching) degree.  The good news is that I will start earning a salary in September when I start teaching.  The bad news is that I will be still going to school full time while learning a new job.  So my brewing activities are going to be but a memory. 

I'll be teaching Special Ed in what is called an SST classroom.  SST stands for Social Skills Training.  It is a class for kids with behavioral problems, most particularly violence/anger issues.

Anyway I have one week of this semester done.  The semester by the way is crammed into six weeks.  You should see my list of assignments due! :o   So I will be scarce on this forum until next June when I graduate and the school year ends.  See you all then!

3
The Pub / Save a Life!
« on: June 05, 2016, 08:13:23 AM »
It is the beginning of Summer.  Lots of people will be swimming and thousands will die from drowning.  Often people right next to someone drowning do not realize it.  Please watch this video so that you can recognize what drowning looks like and save someone's life.

http://mariovittone.com/2011/07/video-of-instinctive-drowning-response/

4
Yeast and Fermentation / Wyeast 3711 French Saison
« on: June 02, 2016, 10:15:43 AM »
My next brew will be a Saison.  It will be light, at 5%.  I am trying to highlight the yeast.  According to Wyeast, this yeast's temperature range is 65-77F.  Those of you that are familiar with it, what temperature to you recommend?

5
Beer Recipes / Barrel Fermented Farmhouse Saison?
« on: May 20, 2016, 02:31:07 PM »
I'm in an experimenting mood.  I recently read that most (all?) real Saisons back in the day in Belgium were fermented in barrels.  I have a barrel!  It is a Rye Whiskey barrel that was used once for a Stout and then put to sleep.

So I'm thinking about formulating a recipe that would be low alcohol like the originals.  I'm thinking around 4.5-5%.  But I would like a lot of flavor.  And maybe add a fruit puree (I think they did that back then).

I understand that Pilsner malt is the standard, but I have a new 55# bag of Golden Promise (Fawcett).  Would that be a poor choice?

Also I'm thinking of using Wyeast 3711, and just letting it ferment in the barrel on the floor of my garage.  These days the temperature will stay in the 70's (f) and reach into the 80's.  Should I wait for warmer temps?  Non-temperature controlled fermentation is part of what I want to play with.

Thoughts?

6
General Homebrew Discussion / Beer dumb phase
« on: May 16, 2016, 08:56:30 PM »
I've been noticing that my APAs and IPAs go through a dumb phase after they are on tap.  Just to head off questions, my routine is to ferment for a few days then ramp the temp up gradually and let that sit for a couple of days, dry hopping for 2 days then cold crashing, for a couple of days.  After which I keg and force carbonate for a week or so.  So all in all this process typically takes the better part of a month before I think about tapping the keg.

Then when I do taste it, it usually tastes acceptable but 'acceptable' isn't.  For example, I brewed a single hop IPA with Idaho 7 hops Feb. 15.  It was reasonably good, but I was underwhelmed.  As a consequence it has been languishing for some time.  Until this weekend.  Now I find it quite good.  As I said, this seems to be a well established pattern - at least with my beer.  So is it something I am doing or not doing, or is this typical?

It could be that my darker beers go through the same phase, but I intend to drink them later, so I haven't noticed it as much with them.

7
Ingredients / Old hops vis. oil
« on: May 16, 2016, 12:51:04 PM »
Has anyone seen any research on the aging process of hops with respect to their oil content?  I'm pretty familiar with alpha degradation, but not with oils.

I want to use Eureka hops, but my local source yakimavalleyhops.com is out.  I have 8 oz. that have been stored in my freezer in a vacuum sealed Mylar bag...but they are 2013's crop (back when they were referred to as Experimental Pinefruit).

Would you use them?  What can I expect?  Flavor changes?  Do I need to use more to compensate for age?

8
I brewed a chocolate Imperial stout a week and a half ago.  OG was 1.095.  I used Denny's Favorite (#1450).  I have never before used chocolate.  I broke up a 4-Ounce Ghirardelli Chocolate Baking Bar (100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate) and put it in the boil with 10 minutes to go.

I have done this recipe before (sans chocolate).  Like last time I fermented at 64* for a week then ramped up to 70*.  Airlock activity stopped long ago. 

I just too a gravity reading.  It is at 1.040  The last time I did this recipe the FG was 1.019, but I also let it sit at 70* for 3 weeks before testing the gravity.

My questions:
Did the chocolate add unfermentable sugars?
Maybe it is just not done fermenting - I have never had a stalled fermentation, so I haven't studied it.  Do you think I have one, and if so, what is to be done?

9
Other Fermentables / Fruit in secondary
« on: April 29, 2016, 10:30:10 PM »
My wife and I made a blackberry melomel.  It is about 4 weeks old and a week in secondary.  I understand that putting fruit in secondary gives more of a fruity punch to the finished mead.  So I bought a pound of blackberries today at Costco.  My questions:

Is that too little?  Will I need to get more, and if so, how much?

I assume I will need to sanitize them.  I'm thinking about putting the berries in a sealed container with some vodka and rolling them around to completely cover the berries, then dumping the whole thing into the batch.

Anything else I need to think about?

10
Equipment and Software / Blichmann Hop Blocker doesn't
« on: April 22, 2016, 05:04:19 PM »
As far as I can tell my new Blichmann Hop Blocker does little to nothing in terms of blocking hops.  I thought it would be wonderful to have all those little hop particles swimming free, releasing all their goodness.  I'm pretty sure the hops did their job.  The BHB let so much through it plugged my plate chiller.  I mean plugged it dead.  I had to have the pump pushing and me sucking to get flow restored.

So I'm a gallon short on my batch and out $60.  Back to the teabag method.

11
Other Fermentables / Apple juicer setup
« on: April 13, 2016, 09:23:45 PM »
I'm thinking about buying an apple juicer setup.  I am wondering if I can get some recommendations.  Does anyone make a crusher/press combo?  I'm thinking it would be nice to have it all in one unit.

12
Other Fermentables / Degassing
« on: April 08, 2016, 11:50:29 AM »
It seems odd to me that for days 1-7 I need to degass my melomel twice a day, but on day 8 and beyond there is no need.  More specifically I am curious why the instructions are not a taper off - like on day 8-10, once per day, then day 12 is the last one.

Does everyone stop on day 8?

13
Other Fermentables / Fermaid O
« on: April 03, 2016, 08:46:29 PM »
A quick question:  Is there a good way to get the Fermaid into solution?  It seems to just clump up and float.

14
Other Fermentables / Mead Primary
« on: March 31, 2016, 12:50:52 PM »
Is 2 weeks for primary fermentation reasonable?  I'm trying to set my brewing calendar and I want to know how long my fermentation chamber will be tied up.  I was just asked to do a beer for an event in mid June which is cramming things up a bit.

I'm following the instructions on www.meadmaderight.com

1.Clean and sanitize all equipment
2.Rehydrate yeast at 104F (more info here)
3.Dilute honey into 2-3 gallons of water
4.Fill to 5-gallon volume
5.Gradually temper yeast with must until within 10F of must
6.Pitch yeast and ferment in low 60F (62F best)
7.Add nutrient additions (more info here)
8.Degas twice a day for one week to release CO2
9.​Once fermentation has ceased, rack to secondary
10.Age until clear or add clarifying agent

15
Beer Recipes / Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout
« on: March 31, 2016, 09:56:15 AM »
I have brewed stouts before, but never one with cocoa nibs, and I have never tried to coax the coffee notes to the fore... so I am asking you all about the following recipe.  It is for a five gallon batch that I want to be ready for the holidays.  I am also curious about what (if any) late addition hop would go well in this beer since I am not sold on the EKG listed below.  Thanks!

15 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) 66.0 %
2 lbs Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)  8.5 %
2 lbs Roasted Barley (450.0 SRM)  8.5 %
1 lbs Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM)  4.3 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)  4.3 %
1 lbs Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM)  4.3 %
1 lbs Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM)  4.3 %
2.00 oz Magnum [13.20 %] - Boil 60.0 min  61.8 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) 
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins)
5.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.70 %] - Boil 0.0 min  0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Denny's favorite (Wyeast Labs #1450) 
5.00 oz Cacao Nibs (Secondary 1.0 weeks) 

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