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Messages - lazydog79

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16
Yeast and Fermentation / Stuck Fermentation - Best Course?
« on: July 24, 2012, 08:44:47 AM »
Brewed up a a Robust porter two weeks ago.  OG. 1.065.  Fermented with WLP013 London Ale at 67 degrees.  It has been in the primary for twelve days.  The fermenter has been quiet for a couple days, so I pulled a gravity/tasting sample to see where I was.  I was expecting a FG somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.017, but I have 1.022 (insert favorite swear word(s) here  >:( ).  It tastes like the cloyingly sweet mess you would expect finishing five points high.  I haven't had a stuck/under-attenuated brew in quite a while.  What is my best course of action to save this batch?  Throw in some yeast energizer or run to the store to get some S-05 and dump it in?  As always, thanks for the advice.

17
Air temperature is going to fluctuate very quickly. The walls will stay cold after the freezer shuts off, cooling air near the sides and causing convection currents that show fluctuations on your probe reading.  Even with a fan to even things out, you're never going to be able to keep the air temperature around 63 without cycling the freezer on and off constantly, and this will break your freezer pretty quickly.

You don't care about air temperature; you want to maintain the temperature of your beer, so tape the probe to the side of your carboy (or use a thermowell).  5 gallons of liquid has a lot more thermal mass, so the freezer will run for longer periods of time and then shut off for longer, and your beer temperature should only fluctuate 1 or 2 degrees.

+1  I've been running an A419 for several years.  By the time it cycles off, my 3.5 cu ft. chest freezer will cool down at least five degrees more, but it warms back up fairly quickly.  However, like clock work, a fermenter will run about a degree or so above my SP (depending on the vigor of the fermentation).  I dangle the controller probe about an 1" or less from the fermenter.

I learned from experience, though.  You don't want to run a freezer with a controller with a probe in a thermowell.  That will cause severe over-run.  I do use a thermowell, but just to run a thermometer probe down to check the beer's temperature.  The controller-in-the-thermowell setup is good if you are running a fermenter heater, though.  Holds mine almost constant.

18
All Grain Brewing / Re: Efficiency
« on: July 13, 2012, 07:58:25 PM »
I envy/miss that kind of consistency.  I used to be dialed in - knew I was at about 78%.  With BeerSmith, I could get my target OG almost dead on.  Since we moved, I have started using Brun'n Water.  Slightly better water and being more mindful of water chemistry has boosted me up to around 85%, but what is vexing me is the loss of consistency.  My efficiency jumps around almost 10 points over the last half dozen or so batches.  I'm thinking the culprit has to be the water chemistry, but what precisely it is, I can't nail down.  I just got 92% on my last batch, but I was planning for 83!  I would gladly go back to 78 if I knew I could keep it!

19
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Best Yeast for an Oatmeal Stout?
« on: July 07, 2012, 08:09:22 AM »
Although, they (Wyeast) do still make Pacman yeast. However, I don't like ordering yeast during the dog days of summer, even with a cold pack or two, as I've gotten it before almost hot in the shipping box.  :o

Exactly!  I gave up on internet ordering liquid yeast a long time ago.  Even though I can get a NB order in three days, it's just not worth it.  A liquor store here stocks most common White Labs strains and will special order just about any others for me.  So, I am a White Labs man.  I do use a lot of dry - S-05 and S-04 are used heavily in my brewery.  Chico strain has been the closest thing to a "house yeast" for me.  I don't want to say I'm turning against it - it's a danged good yeast, but I have come to see that it is a not a once size fits all.  White Labs has a big selection for a reason - it's time to play with yeast strains  ;D

If you want a Rogue-ish mouthfeel then I would go with WLP002, but WLP001 will lend a cleaner and dryer profile. Depends on what you would prefer fruitier/silkier or cleaner/dryer?
Thanks for the succinct distinction, bluesman.  That really clears it up.  I am doing a Porter here in a week or so with London Ale (013) so I will see how I like that yeast.  I'm thinking that or the English Ale or Dry English Ale as several of you suggested.  Thanks for all the help everybody!

20
Beer Recipes / Re: Strawberry Blonde
« on: July 03, 2012, 04:11:52 PM »
O.k. - You guys are talking me back into using an extract (as long as it is the right one).  The control and ease has me thinking about it.  NB has one that says "natural extract"; not one of those "flavorings.'  I'm leaning that way...

21
Beer Recipes / Re: Strawberry Blonde
« on: July 03, 2012, 11:28:23 AM »
I tend to agree with hoser on the extracts.  The two worst beers I have ever made were with extracts.  No more for me.  NB has a "natural strawberry extract" that I find tempting, but I'm sticking with real fruit.  I'll go with the consensus and do 1 lb/gallon.

22
Yeast and Fermentation / Best Yeast for an Oatmeal Stout?
« on: July 03, 2012, 08:25:46 AM »
I am putting together a recipe for an Oatmeal Stout.  I am using a clone recipe for Rogue Shakespeare Stout as the basis, but I wouldn't exactly call it a clone.  Obviously, the original recipe called for PacMan Yeast.  I can't source Wyeast, and I don't think they make that anymore. I'm looking on opinions for a good White Labs yeast for American/Oatmeal stouts.  I was thinking either WLP005 British Ale or WLP013 London Ale.  I am thinking of going with the London Ale.  Thoughts?

23
Beer Recipes / Re: Strawberry Blonde
« on: July 03, 2012, 08:18:46 AM »
Thanks, hoser, that's what I was wondering - if I needed to go to 2.  I didn't think 1 would be over-doing it, but was thinking it was under-doing it.  I forgot about Daniels - I'll give that a look.

24
Beer Recipes / Strawberry Blonde
« on: July 03, 2012, 08:02:13 AM »
I have been scratching at this Strawberry Blonde ale recipe for a while and was looking for some input.  I'm not usually a fruit beer fan, but a local brewpub makes a good one.  It has just a subtle hint of strawberry - just enough to know it's there but not overpowering.  I was looking to try to replicate it.  Here's what I have come up with so far:

8.2 lbs. Domestic 2-Row
7 oz. Crystal 10L
.4 oz. Galena @ 60 min
White Labs WLP 011 European Ale Yeast
1 lb. frozen strawberries - secondary for five days
OG: 1.051; IBU: 18; est. FG 1.014; est. ABV 4.7%

I am pretty confident in the base beer.  The only switch I made was to go with the European Ale Yeast to compliment/support the fruit better.  What I am unsure of is the fruit.  I wanted to go with the frozen berries because I don't like extract flavors.  Not sure of the amount though.  I don't want it to not come through at all, but I don't want to make fruit juice either.  Thanks in advance for your input!

25
Equipment and Software / Re: GIve Up on ProMash??
« on: June 25, 2012, 11:26:04 AM »
Beersmith is without a doubt my favorite piece of brewing equipment and has paid the highest return on investment.

With Beersmith and Bru'n Water I CAN CONQUER THE WORLD!!!!!!!! aaaargh

Here, Here!  as some one who is mathematically impaired and has somehow gone my entire academic carreer without taking a Chemistry class, I need the tools.  I've resisted upgrading to BeerSmith 2.0 mainly just because I am cheap.  I used to hack my way through water adjustments (with hack results!) but have recently started using Bru'n Water (which rocks, Martin!).  I am glad there are smart people in the world to figure this crap out for me  :P

26
No brewing for me either.  Scottish 70 /- bubbling away nicely in primary and Lakefron IBA clone in secondary.  Still on pace for 8 brews (a record for me!) for the year   8)

27
Pimp My System / Re: Sharing my keezer
« on: June 24, 2012, 02:35:44 PM »
SWEET!  I'm working on finishing our basement with a bar and keezer.  I had been thinking of cladding the keezer in wood to match the bar.  I love the "coffin" idea on top.  If that is attached to the lid, is it hard to open?  Would love to see some detailed plans, if you don't mind the theft  ;)

28
Kegging and Bottling / Re: To yeast, or not to yeast...
« on: June 02, 2012, 10:59:56 AM »
I never chill until I'm carbed up for that reason.  Come to think of it, my last lager was a Bock that had some fermentation issues.  I only do about one lager a year.  I also didn't want the Munton's to screw up what looks to be a decent Pils.  Thanks, Denny!

29
Kegging and Bottling / Re: To yeast, or not to yeast...
« on: June 02, 2012, 09:49:34 AM »
Hi jacking a thread here - sorry in advance.  I had the same question.  I had a Pils I was going to bottle today - OG 1.052 (yeah, I know; my efficiency was a little higher than planned).  It's been lagering for 7 1/2 weeks.  I have had some trouble in the past with lagers carbing up.  They have eventually, but they take their sweat time about it.  I've got a 6g satchet of Munton's I was going to throw in the bottling bucket.  Good idea or bad idea?

30
All Grain Brewing / Re: All grain brewing in the winter
« on: November 04, 2011, 07:13:37 PM »
All this confirms my opinion - outdoor brewing in the winter is a B*TCH!  I usually try to get my last one in around Thanksgiving-ish and brew enough before that so I will be good until March or so.  Winter is for working on projects, next year's calendar, and recipes.

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