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Messages - jjflash

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Ingredients / Re: Good belly lacto pitches
« on: April 12, 2018, 07:58:09 PM »
I use Good Belly for all my lambics and use the kettle souring technique.
Then gets racked to wood barrels for the next few years with Wyeast Roeselare.
Works great for me.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Canned Starter Wort
« on: October 23, 2017, 09:58:39 PM »
12 gallons! That must take all day.

Yes sir, all day into the evening.
Making the wort is the easy part.
The pressure cooker takes the most time.
Heat it up, let it cool down, repeat, repeat, repeat....
Worth the time spent to me.
Forty eight quarts of starter instantly available all year.
Like last night, pulled a pint of yeast out of the refrigerator, added two quarts canned starter, placed on the shaker plate at 76 degrees, 24 hours later big yeast propagated, then into the refrigerator at 35 degrees.
Ready to decant and pitch for the following weekend.
Took only minutes to prepare the starter.
Trade off more up front time.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Canned Starter Wort
« on: October 23, 2017, 06:21:03 PM »
When I make starters for canning I boil and skim off the hot break surface crud, then take it just past the hot break boil point.
This reduces the hot break in the canning jars considerably.
I pitch the entire contents of the canning jar into the starter.
Never had any issues with this technique.
I can 12 gallon batches at a time which lasts almost a year.

Equipment and Software / Re: Plate chiller cleaning
« on: July 06, 2017, 12:56:14 AM »
TM DESANAMAX is my favorite for my plate chillers, pumps, etc.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Big dry Quad with mellow quad flavors
« on: June 29, 2017, 06:19:41 PM »
I brew almost exclusively big Belgian beers.
I have found that big Belgian beers using Belgian yeast need considerable lager time to mature their flavors.
Most will take 6 - 12 months to peak.
The other issue is Belgian yeast is very finicky, this is not the fool proof 1056.
Pitching rate is huge for flavor production for me.
My underpitch beers have much more / better flavor than my overpitch beers.
Fermentation temperature is big also.
Little temperature elevation at the tail end of acitive fermentation helps.
Yeast manipulation overall to me is more important for flavor than recipe changes for better flavor. 

I've got a BDSA made with D-240 and WY1768 on tap now.  I'd use the same fermentation for WY3787.  I start at 63F and keep it there for maybe 4-5 days.  Then I bump it to 70F and leave it there til it's done...maybe another 7-10 days.  Then crash it to 33 until it's ready.  Personally, I hate what happens when you go much warmer than 72.

I assume this means ambient temperature, rather than temperature probe in the fermentor??

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Storage Space
« on: March 03, 2017, 08:20:00 PM »
Older refrigerators cheap from CraigsList, 20 cubic feet or larger.

Equipment and Software / Re: OFF LINE BREWING SOFTWARE
« on: February 20, 2017, 08:23:36 PM »
Used ProMash for many years and loved it.
Sure beat doing calculations by hand
When ProMash support went away switched to BeerSmith several years ago.
Got to say BeerSmith is quite an advanced program.
Little intimidating at first but well worth the effort to learn.
I give it the double thumbs up.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Barrel Aging a Tripel- the memoirs
« on: February 20, 2017, 07:49:05 PM »
Just my two cents on barrel aging.

When someone states the beer should sit in the barrel ____ weeks, be wary of the advice.
There are more factors here that affect the final flavor.
As noted, the size of the barrel makes a significant contribution to flavors.
What is not discussed, and perhaps even more important is temperature.
Beer aged in a barrel at ambient room temperature will be significantly different than a beer that is aged in a temperature and humidity controlled enviroment.  A beer in a barrel at 80 degrees and 20% humidity tastes quite different to me that 60 degrees at 60% humidity.  To me the lower temperature range is preferable - the barrel does not seem to overwhelm the beer.  Longer barrel time and lower temperature works well for my barrel program.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Beer Gun for High CO2 beers
« on: January 04, 2017, 02:55:09 AM »
I think I now need to build a beer bottle cold water spritzer.
Turn the bottle upside down, shoot a blast of ice cold water inside, lightly drain, then fill with beer.
Perfect for high CO2 volume beer bottle filling.
Could double as a beer glass cold water spritzer!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
« on: November 24, 2016, 03:56:18 PM »
Chimay uses the Meura mash filter system.  I can't think of a more oxygen rich mash system.  Grist hammers to pulverize the grain to a powder, which then gets loaded into the filters.  We all know what excellent beer Chimay produces.  It's just not used in big Belgian beers with Belgian yeast.  Even Coors Light is made with a Meura mash filter system. Not sure this low oxygen mash is real issue.

Ingredients / Re: suggestions for food (beer) safe wetting agent?
« on: July 26, 2016, 06:22:43 PM »
Is your water from a well or municipal?

Also, wouldn't a wetting agent be detrimental to head retention?

Good quality community well water.

Would especially like to use a wetting agent in my sanitizers; peracetic acid and Starsan - to get them to drop clean from glass and plastic rather than beading up, especially vessels used in yeast propogation.  Not sure about effect on head retention. I suspect residue would be minimal in final beer product.  Willing to try.

Ingredients / suggestions for food (beer) safe wetting agent?
« on: July 23, 2016, 07:58:55 PM »
My water is very hard. 
It leaves larger water drops especially on glass, and mineral spots unless wiped off immediately.
I was thinking of adding some kind of food safe wetting agent.
Would especially like to add a wetting agent to my sanitizers so they drop clean out of glass vessels, rather than beading up.
Any suggestions?

Couple years back I bought two large stainless steel welded "hop spiders" in 300 and 400 mesh.
These are absolutely the best in the kettle, 300 mesh for pellet hops and 400 mesh for whole hops.
Multiple pellet hop additions during the boil by just pitching the hops into the hop spider.
Whole hop stands in the 400 mesh at the end of the boil.
Mine are very well used over the years.

That said they have been a challenge to keep clean.
The 300 mesh (larger screen) cleans up well with hot PBW or oxyclean / TSP and lots of elbow grease.
Not so the 400 mesh.
The 400 mesh inside and out come clean.
But in between where you cannot reach has become encrusted with crud.
So much crud it has become no longer useable.
I have been working on trying to clean the hop spider the past year.
I soaked it in hot PBW.
I soaked it in hot oxyclean / TSP.
I painted it with CLR.
I soaked it in muriatic acid.
I soaked it in Acid#5.
Nothing worked.
I gave up and was ready to order a new 400 mesh hop spider as I felt this one was at its end of life.

Then I was out power washing the pond and I thought, what the heck, power wash the hop spider.
If it breaks, I was going to buy a new one anyway.
It is unreal how well that worked to clean the stainless steel mesh.
Both these hop spiders are spotlessly clean.
Did not break the welds.
Put new life into both these hop spiders.

Equipment and Software / Re: DO meters
« on: May 27, 2016, 08:23:19 PM »
I have used a Hach dissolved oxygen meter for years.
Works great but was very expensive.
That said I almost exclusively brew big beers > 1.100
Use it all the time as I dose oxygen before and during fermentation.
Never felt the need to have one when I brewed regular / light beers.
Of course back then I used air via aquarium pump and stone.
In my opinion it is one of the last instruments you might add after you have purchased every other piece of gear.
In search of perfection I have gone to full instrumentation.

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