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Messages - wingnut

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Forgot to add yeast nutrient
« on: October 29, 2010, 08:10:15 AM »
+1 on Tumarkin's comments. 

Also, unless there is hops in your starter, exposure to light is not an issue.  Hops + Light = Skunk. If there are no Hops, then there is no potential issue.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Using ICE for fermentation/conditioning
« on: October 29, 2010, 08:07:52 AM »
Plastic Carboy in direct contact with Ice is no problem.  Glass may be an issue, but even then I would not hesitate to put my 70F glass carboy into a bath of 32F water/ice.

The only hitch I see with the carboy, is that you will want to keep the water level on the outside (after ice melting) below the water level on the inside of the carboy.  That way the carboy will not begin to float and possibly tip and .... cause a bad day!

What I have heard other people doing is putting their carboy into a trash can/cooler like what you have, and then with a pond pump, circulating the water through an ice bath, usually in a igloo or othe cooler.  The pond pump being controlled by a Johnson or other temp control... that way when you fermentation temp has cooled to the desired temp, you are not actively cooling, but if things get to warm, the pump pulls in water from the ice bucket/igloo into the fermentation cooler and drops the temp.  If you go with this setup, a cooler with frozen milk jugs works great in the igloo.  They last a long time and are easy to cycle back thorugh your frezzer.


Kegging and Bottling / Re: Great keg deal
« on: October 26, 2010, 07:17:05 PM »
I bought a set of 8 pin locks from them about two months ago.  I also have found their dual regulator design to be great.  Most of the other regulators I have seen set the pressure via set screws.  The regulator I got from them had dials, which is very convenient!

Fantastic service.  If you have questions, E-mail them and they will get back to you...usually the same day.  

I can verify that they pressure test their kegs, as I was able to get mine in person and witness the process.  I liked the kegs I got so much, I went back a month later and got two used 3gal pin lock kegs from them.

If you are within driving distance, they can fill or supply a filled CO2 tank as well.  (They can't ship it filled, however.)

Although I guess New Mexico is not around the corner...

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: repitching high og to lower og
« on: October 26, 2010, 08:22:42 AM »
Where "High Gravity" begins is debatable, but for the most part, anything less than 1.080 to 1.090 can be re-pitched with no issues, either higher or lower.  Much above that, what happens is the yeasts "mutate" that is they change the way they work.   The changes allow the yeast to process the higher gravity/higher alcahol enviornment better without dying.  Once the yeast mutate for the higher enviornment, they do not change back to "lower gravity processing mode" very easily. 

Re-Pitch with no reservations!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lager yeast slow to act
« on: October 22, 2010, 03:08:07 PM »
FYI with the 830 yeast, when it does get rolling, it will thorw off a lot of sulphur.  If you smell rotten eggs... That is actually a good thing! Do not be alarmed!  Also, if you are used to doing Ale yeast, you will find that the lager yeast never really gets going like an Ale yeast.  Ales tend to ferment "like sprinters", they go fast and finish quickly.  Lager yeasts tend to start slowly, ferment with less activity, and take longer to finish out.  (I usually allow the lager to ferement for two weeks vs one week for the ale).

In the end, I expect you will have a tasty beverage on hand, even with the longer lag time. 

One other thought, with the long lag time, and likely under pitch, you may wish to do a diacetal rest to let the yeast clean up their by products from multiplying so much.

Good luck!!

The Pub / Re: Finally it is Hockey time again!
« on: October 22, 2010, 08:12:58 AM »
I'm sure Tubercle will let the north and south be by-gones and watch the Carolinas' Hurricanes.

I know when I was working in Southern Indiana/Northern KY... and I wanted to watch the STANLY CUP... that was not on TV, so I hear what Tubercle is saying!!!  The teams may be there, but TV coverage is not what we Yankees enjoy!! 

Maybee if Hockey players only made left turns, the Southern States would be more interested! :D

Equipment and Software / Re: Heating a Fermentation Fridge
« on: October 22, 2010, 08:08:27 AM »
All of the light/skunk information looks like what I have read.  Just to be safe, wrap the carboy in a t-shirt, cardboard, paper...etc..  it is a minimal amount of effort for a lot of piece of mind. 

Equipment and Software / Re: Heating a Fermentation Fridge
« on: October 22, 2010, 05:09:43 AM »
Before I moved my fermentations to the basement, I used a "BrewBelt" on my plastic buckets.  I do not know how well that would work on glass.

Some people I know take an incandecent light bulb, and just cycle that on and off to produce heat.  If you are using glass, however, I would recommend some paper or cardboard around the carboy.   I do not recall if incandecent light will turn beer skunky or not, but my suspicion is that it will. 

I have also heard people have good luck with an electric heating pad... not up against the carboy, but in the fridge.  They also make a "Fermwrap" I think is the name... that works like the brewbelt, but the heat is more evenly distributed.

Good luck!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Quick recirc question for the weekend
« on: October 18, 2010, 10:10:53 AM »
Note, the decoction is not needed in my opinion... hitting the rest temps are. 

The decoction is acually more for melenoiden development, and for the most part most of that flavor can be had with the right mixture of malts.  Besides, there are really few people who know what to look for to appreciate a decocted beer.

So the decoction effort is not needed, just hit the steps via infusion or direct heat if you have the capabilty.

Good luck

All Grain Brewing / Re: Quick recirc question for the weekend
« on: October 18, 2010, 08:42:55 AM »
I DO however do all of my CLEANING with tap water - I've noticed that a lot of my SS tubing gets crystalline deposits on it when I soak it in no-rinse oxidizer, and I try to shake it off, but maybe there's enough lingering CaCO3 to have an effect?

For your other idea, is that a rest at 130 f BEFORE mashing at 150-155 or after? If I'm doing a 90-minute mash would I include the time used for the protein rest in the time for the overall mash?

I am afraid if CaCO3 is an issue in your house, the whole house filter will make the water taste better, but not do anything for the residue (unless by filter you are going to go Reverse Osmosis).  Instead, you will need a water softner to remove some of the CaCO3... however, the salt it adds to the water will make it less suitable for brewing.   

I have vienna like water with hardness around 275 to 300... so I know what you mean!  The good news is that the CaCO3 is not a factor in your clairity at all.

As for the protein rest... it is derrived from decotion mashing used for undermodified malts.  By resting at between 122F and 131F, enzymes cause the proteins to change and also, cuase the release of more soluable starch for the other rest steps to work.  The common tale is that these days, with todays highly modified malts... that a protein rest is not needed... and for many malts that is true.  Although, now that I think about it, I do a protein rest for my vienna/octoberfest beers.   Those beers have a large proportion of Munich and Vienna malt that may benefit from the protein rest.  Most beers that are mostly 2-row or pilsner malt, I do not do a protein rest.  My useing a protein rest for Vienna/Octoberfest is just a hold over from recipies I used as a starting point.  Since it produces awards, I have not strayed from the schedule on those beers. 

Regardless, the 2 step decoction method starts with a dough in around 122-130 for a protein rest, pull a portion of the thick part of the mash to boil and add back int to hit 149-158, then rest until conversion is complete.  Then pull the thin part of the mash(liquid) and heat to boil and then dump that back in to reach mash out temps.

Note, that starch conversion is going on at 130F.  Because of that, you may want to step to a higher second temperature than you would normally do.  Essentially, at 130F, you are getting some Alpha action, but no Beta.  By giving the Alpha a head start, you may change the balance of sugars in your wort to be more fermentable and wind up with a thinner beer.  So if you normally do a single infusion of 152, then you may want to do a mash schedule of 130F for 10 to 15 mintues, then ramp/infuse/decoct up to 158F until conversion is complete.

So after all that, what I think you may want to try is doughing in to 130F for 15 mintues, then stepping up to 155-158 F for 45 to 60 minutes.  Do an iodine test to see if conversion is complete, and then mash out.

Don't forget to check for CaCO3 is not the same as just Ca....

All Grain Brewing / Re: Quick recirc question for the weekend
« on: October 18, 2010, 07:29:48 AM »
"Clear" may depend on your definition.

In my mind:
For mashing out, "Clear" means no bits of grain/husk.  The wort is basically free from visual debris, however, there are still starch and proteins that keep the liquid from being able to see through clearly.

After the boil, “Clear” to me means that there are no visual bits of tube, hops, break material…   The wort is clearer than before the boil, but not translucent (can see things through it)  Although it is fairly close.

After fermentation “Clear” to me, means that if I put a picture on the other side of the glass (assuming it is a lightly colored beer), I can see the picture on the other side. 

You say that you have never had “clear beer”.  I will concentrate on this one, since, in my opinion, “clear” in all the other steps has more to do with how long you have allowed the particles to settle/filter.

One thing to check is the calcium in your water.  50 to 100ppm is a good number.  Also, use irish moss or other similar product during the last 10 -15 minutes of the boil. 

If your beer is still not clear in the end, after these two steps (this has always worked for me), you can try fining before kegging/bottling.  Gelatin is a popular one, but there are many others such as polyclar to try.

One other thing that I can think of, is to check your sparging.  If you are sparging too much, you may be extracting extra tannins.  Essentially, chill haze is derived from tannins and proteins combining to form a haze matrix.  If you can lower your protein or lower your tannin levels, that will reduce the ability for the haze to form. 

One other thing I have heard some people doing, is to have a rest around 130F (could be wrong on the rest temp) to allow the enzymes to reduce the long chain proteins and create more “FAN”. (Free Aminio…nitrogen?)   I would have to re-consult with Greg Noonan’s Book “Brewing Lager Beer” to recall the rest temp for sure.  I also think I recall there being a protein content needed by the malt for this rest to provide a significant benefit.

If you do the 130F rest, it should only be about 10 to 15 minutes, or too much protein may be converted!

Good luck

All Grain Brewing / Re: Quick recirc question for the weekend
« on: October 15, 2010, 09:59:41 AM »
in addition to the sparge water for mash out, should I also be doing a recirc into the mash tun during (or before or after) the sparge? Or during the mash?

Doing a Recirc during the mash is OK... The extra movement may darken the wort slightly (you probably will not notice it), will help filter a little better, and will provide a more even access of starches to enzymes.   HOWEVER, the contribuition of each of these will be very small. 

The recirc during mash out will set the grain bed, however, and that may take some addional time off your brew day as some of the time spent on mashout... waiting for the running to come clear... will not be needed.

Bottom line, the recirc is not needed, but it won't hurt.

The Pub / Re: Finally it is Hockey time again!
« on: October 15, 2010, 05:35:03 AM »
I don't care how bad they are, but I don't consider a 3 hour drive local.  :-\

WOW, your are in BFE BFE!!! 

OK, now to digress in to a little rant...

The Idaho Steelheads are part of the ECHL (East Coast Hockey League), along with the Alaska Aces.... (I think someone needs a geography lesson!)

Next year the Big 10 will have 12 teams...
The Big 12 will have 10 teams...

We drive on parkways and park on driveways...

Am I the only one who is confused by all this?

Equipment and Software / Re: Hot Water Heater Burner?
« on: October 14, 2010, 05:32:48 PM »
Years ago Bill Owens put out a small "how to build a home brewery" book that included using an old water heater.

edit: looks like the "book" is still available on Amazon

Hmm... looks like another book to add to my christmas list!!

The Pub / Re: Finally it is Hockey time again!
« on: October 14, 2010, 05:13:30 PM »
Local team!!!! hahahhahaha!!! You kow live in BFE Idaho, right? I'm headed over to right now to see if it's my price raange. Thanks for the tip.  :D

What the Steelheads arn't good enough for you? 

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