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Topics - yso191

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Going Pro / Consistency
« on: August 06, 2014, 08:55:35 AM »
This is a topic I am curious about.  I keep hearing about and experiencing the tendency for small breweries to produce an inconsistent product.  What I never hear is why. What do small breweries not have or do which contributes to their beer being inconsistent?

Questions about the forum? / Certificate error
« on: August 01, 2014, 08:30:29 AM »
Today I got the message that the certificate for the form was expired.

Equipment and Software / Blichman Hop Rocket
« on: July 29, 2014, 12:56:05 PM »
I've owned my hop rocket for about a year and never used it.  Primarily because I didn't want to deal with scaling my recipe to account for the loss.  Anyway, I brewed a Black Brett IPA on Saturday and decided it was time to use it.

It will likely be the last time also for one reason: endless amounts of hop material in my plate chiller.  Other than that it worked as advertised.  I'll probably sell it.  I don't think it will work as a Randalizer either - I imaging keg quick disconnects would be constantly plugged.

So if you plan to use one, use an immersion chiller, or plan on LOTS of back flushing.  And yes, I used whole hops.

All Grain Brewing / Brett / Black IPA mash pH?
« on: July 23, 2014, 05:37:07 PM »
Saturday I'm going to brew a Black IPA which will be fermented with Brettanomyces Bruxellensis Trois - WLP644. 

I've used the Pale Ale profile in Bru'n Water for my IPA's, but with this one I'm thinking the Black Bitter profile as the SRM is 39.  I've targeted the mash pH at 5.37 rather than my usual 5.4 for an IPA because I don't want the IBU's to fight with the Brett character.

Do you agree with my thinking?

General Homebrew Discussion / Hop steeping process
« on: July 21, 2014, 03:50:12 PM »
I want to nail down my hop steeping process.  I use this primarily for AIPA's and APA's.

What I currently do is this: At flameout, dump the hops in the wort and immediately begin cooling the wort to ~170* (in my case using a plate chiller which gets it there in very little time).  Then let it sit for 10 minutes and run the batch through the chiller to the fermentation vessel.

I am uncertain if this is normative or in the category of 'best practices.'  What do you do/recommend?

Yeast and Fermentation / Yeast shock?
« on: July 17, 2014, 05:34:11 PM »
I usually brew Ales, and I usually have the yeast to the same temperature of the wort I pitch it into, but I'm wondering...

I have just brewed a CAP that I'm going to pitch yeast into this evening when the temperature gets down to fermentation temp.  My yeast is sitting in the fridge at ~34.  Will it shock the yeast to dump it into 54* wort?

Yeast and Fermentation / Wyeast 2007
« on: July 14, 2014, 08:29:02 AM »
I've only brewed one CAP to date, about a year ago.  So not overly familiar with this yeast.  I'm wondering about a typical primary fermentation time.  I've planned two weeks including 2 days for a D-rest.  I know it will be determined by the gravity readings, but I'm looking for predictions.

I'll ferment mid-temperature range at 52* and I followed BeerSmith's guidelines for a yeast starter.

Ingredients / German & Domestic Pilsner Malt: Difference?
« on: July 12, 2014, 04:36:11 PM »
The obvious is 15 cents per pound.  But beyond that what difference is there?  I'm brewing a Pilsner on Wednesday, and making my supply run, saw that the LHBS had both.  I went for the German, but now I am curious.

Beer Travel / Untappd
« on: June 17, 2014, 05:55:52 PM »
So who's on untappd app so I can friend you and we can see what we think of the beers we drink?

Equipment and Software / Conical Review
« on: June 13, 2014, 08:49:24 AM »
I have put half a dozen batches through my new conical now, so I thought I'd share what I have learned.
This ( is the one I bought for $374. 

First, the positives:
* As far as conicals go, a good price. 
* The welds are very smooth /sanitary.  I can't fault them on the construction.
* It is nice being able to dump yeast prior to dry-hopping & hops prior to kegging.
* Clean-up is a breeze.
* I don't have to worry about scratching plastic while cleaning
* I can re-use yeast

The Neutrals:
* My son-in-law is a pipefitter (welder) in the commercial food industry so I had him add leg extensions so that a 2 liter Erlenmeyer flask *just* fits under the bottom valve so I can harvest yeast easily.  I also had him weld a tri-clamp fitting on the lid so I can pump from the boil kettle through the plate chiller and into the conical which is sitting in the freezer/fermentation chamber.

The Negatives:
* My system losses have gone way up.  I used to brew 5.5 gallon batches to end up with a full corny keg.  Now I am at 6.5, and I'm not sure that is enough.  I have yet to get a full corny.  Dumping yeast & hops = dumping beer.
* Even with a racking arm I was plugging Quick Disconnects with hop material like crazy.  On the last brew I bypassed the QD completely and directly fed the beer into the 'Beverage In' tube with a plastic hose barb.
* There was a learning curve - which I did not expect.  I imagined easy peasy.  After 2-3 'Oh crap!' moments when beer or wort was shooting where it ought not, I think I'm done with that.
* The worst design aspect of this fermenter is the seal.  One really has to crank down on the wing nut to get it to even have enough seal to direct the CO2 to the airlock.  So when I go to keg I put a couple of pounds of CO2 into the top, it wont hold pressure at all.  So I go through a lot of CO2.
* I can't see the wort/beer level inside the fermenter.  This is the worst aspect of the conical to me.

If I had known this I may have stuck with my Speidel.  Not sure though - it is on the bubble.  At $53 each, one can buy 7 Speidels for what I paid for the conical, and they have none of the drawbacks stated above (except the scratching-while-cleaning fear).

But it looks cool. Which is something.

Ingredients / Crystal Sweetness
« on: June 04, 2014, 12:27:01 PM »
Here is something I don't understand but am confident ya'll can bring me up to speed.  How does Crystal Malt make a beer sweet to the taste?

The problem I'm having is understanding that unfermentable starches don't taste sweet, but maltose does.  However, maltose is fermentable, and therefore wouldn't be in the finished beer to make it taste sweet.

What am I missing?

Beer Travel / Phoenix / Glendale / Peoria, AZ?
« on: May 24, 2014, 04:01:55 PM »
I am headed to Glendale, AZ in late June.  Any must-visit breweries in the Phoenix area?

Ingredients / Grain tea
« on: May 18, 2014, 02:08:13 PM »
A few of us here in Yakima recently started a BJCP class which meets at my house.  I've just concluded that I want to incorporate a new element to get more familiar with the specific flavors that different malts and grains contribute to beer.  In a recent exchange with Denny, he suggested making teas out of the various malts in order to taste & evaluate them.

So here is what I'm thinking:

Logical groupings: (each grouping at a different meeting)
   *Base malt comparison
   *Crystal Malt comparison
   *Roast malt comparison
OK you get the idea...  What are some other logical groupings?

I have some questions for you all though.
   -What is the best grain to water ratio for grain tea?
   -What is the best temperature for steeping?
   -How fresh does the tea have to be?  If I did it at noon and the meeting was at 7:00 would that be a problem?

I'm also not sure how to best organize a tasting form.  It seems to me that consistently asking the same right questions on an evaluation form (kind of like the BJCP Score Sheet) would be helpful for the process and remembering afterward.

Yeast and Fermentation / Am I being too anal?
« on: May 18, 2014, 01:52:20 PM »
In my ongoing quest to make my brewing process as perfect as possible, I've hit an impasse - I can't figure out if it even is a problem.  And then, I don't know how to fix it anyway.  Here's the essence of it:

Cold crashing wort after fermentation causes the beer to condense; the consequence of which is the intake of air (or starsan).

Obviously installing a filter will prevent any spoilers from getting in, but I also think about staling brought on by post-fermentation exposure to oxygen.

So is the amount of oxygen so small as to be insignificant?  If true then yes indeed, I am being too anal.

Do pro-breweries address this?  If so, what do they do?

No, I have not experienced any of the negative effects this post is concerned with, I'm just trying to fine-tune my process.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Central Washington Brewfest
« on: May 16, 2014, 10:01:42 PM »
My wife and I just got back from this event, held in Ellensburg at the Iron Horse pub on Main Street.  There were (I think) 8 or 9 breweries represented, each pouring at least two beers.  Our favorites were from breweries that we had not tried before: Orlison, from Airway Heights Spokane, who had a couple of very interesting lagers, and Wild Earth, from Roslyn that had 3 Belgians to try. 

I'm going to have to check these out further.

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