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Messages - wingnut

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Timing a D rest
« on: November 25, 2014, 05:29:28 AM »
in my experience, a D-rest of 3 to 5 degrees with about 25% to go is my goal.   However, I have had many instances where I had to choose to bump up the temp early, or not at all due to having to travel out of town.   I have found that anywhere after 50% done seems to give the same results.   

The only other bit of advice I would give is even when you have a steady final gravity, you may need to leave the beer alone for another week or two.  Taste the beer when you think it is done, and look at it too.  I find that at 8 to 11 days, the beer is at a steady gravity, but still cloudy and depending on the yeast, I still detect diacetyl.  The cloudy is yeast still in suspension doing what they need to do for the lager.... dont cold crash yet if the yeast is still clouding the beer... let them do their work.  Let the beer stay at the d-rest temp for up to another two to three weeks.  (I have not had good results with the cool one or two degrees a day many people do).   

I find that the yeast will settle out just fine given time, and time is what the yeast need to clean ther beer up. 

You can even just grab some yeast off the bottom of the fermenter for krausening   (that way you can save the other packet)

If I need to get a yeast starting for another beer, I sometimes stick my racking cane into he yeast cake at the bottome of a beer and siphon off into a two liter flask and let it settle for an hour or so... then decant the beer on top and dump in some 1.036 wort I made up with DME. 

Do this an when the yeast is fully going, dump it in.

I would keep the yeast starter at room temp and dump into room temp beer. (That way temperature wont be a shock to the new yeast)  My experience is that you need to pitch in active yeast to bring the beer down further.   Sleeping yeast...stay sleeping.  Active yeast...stays active, and at the very least, grabs a bedtime snack before going to sleep.

John Palmers book "How To Brew" talks about this (great book and worth picking up... below is a pretty good take from his website)

Bazooka will result in a less efficient extract from the grain bed.  You are esssentially draining the sugers efficiently from a much smaller area compared to a false bottom.   With the bazooka the middle of your cooler is having the grain rinsed well, but the edges are not, and will have more residual sugars left in the grain since thw water flow through that section will be slower than the  flow of water through the grain on top of the bazooka.

Two options are to accept the reduced efficiency and adjust your recipe, or if you are getting less than 70%, switch to batch sparging instead of fly sparging.  (I consistently get 73 to 78pct efficency with a similar setup and batch sparging).

The other option is going back to the false bottom and really slowing the flow during your lautering.  That will keep the grain bed from compacting.   (Becaue your bazooka is pulling from a smaller area, it is creating less suction on your overall grain bed and not compacting the grain as much.) 

Good luck!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Vienna/Octoberfest Maltiness
« on: September 09, 2014, 11:28:35 AM »
My first attempt at an oktoberfest is currently in the fermenter. If my memory serves correct it was roughly a 4:3:2 ratio of pils to munich to Vienna with the remaining 10% being split between dark munich and some crystal 40. The crystal malt may not be traditional or necessary but I am not too worried about it as long as the result is good.

The malt bill sounds like it will do well.

A bit of advice... take some notes on your yeast type and fermentation temps.   I spent a couple years taking a recipe similar to what you have, and used different yeasts at different temps... I found that I could influence the Malt and hop flavors in the final beer a "suprising amount" just by changing yeast strains.  (Mexican lager is my go-to for this style).    In the end, if you are dialing in this style... from here I would keep fermentation the same and play with recipe... or keep the recipe the same and try a few yeasts.


Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg charger to go?
« on: September 09, 2014, 06:00:20 AM »
The regulator does not have a part number on it but it is very similar to the link in the prevous post. 

As for notes on using it...

I still pulsed the charger and simply used the regulator to limit the maximum pressure. 
I do not think the cheap hand held CO2 charger can really hold up to the sustained stress of the cartidge pressure, which gets up to 850 PSI. 

NEVER fully close the regulator, pulsing the charger with no place for the gas to go is where the bad things happen (850PSI through a pin hole dissipates to low pressure quickly, but you need to give the gas some place to dissapate pressure to... like a keg)

I never dialed in the regulator to a specific "12 or 13 PSI", I just dialed it back so that the keg does not get too much pressure, and left it.  (again, never fully closed the regulator... I started Hi and worked lower so that the gas always had someplace to go. I might be over cautious... but that was my thinking on dialing it in)

The Williams ones, reporteldy will let you dial in your PSI and you can leave it "on" all the time.  It is a better quality setup for sure, while mine is a step up from spit and bailing wire and duct tape.  :-)   

If you are going to use it 5 or 10 times a year, I would say spend the money.  If you are like me, and only bring a keg or two to the christmas party once a year  (the rest of the parties seem to be at my house... the curse of having lots of good beer on tap during the holidays), then I found this to be an acceptabe $15 solution to a minor problem.


All Grain Brewing / Re: IPA colour change
« on: September 09, 2014, 05:11:00 AM »
You are likely not using oxygen barrier cap.  The O2 ones cost more, so it is unlikely to be the default cap at your LHBS, and the O2 ones are usually clearly marked (so you know why they cost more) in the shops I frequent. 

The darkening of beers is nomal.  Oxygen (and other things) in the beer from transfering will darken the beers over time.  Some brewers go through great lengths to keep O2 away from beers, doing "closed transfers" so the beer is not exposed to the atmosphere.  Hot Side aeration...and many other topics all add opportunities to add oxygen effects to the beer.

This great care in reducing oxygen exposure slows the rate, but does not stop it.  The more O2 exposure during your process and bottleing, the faster it will occur.  (Note O2 is not the only thing that causes the beer to darken, just one of the main reasons)

I have noticed that beers stored warm, darken much faster than beers stored cold.  So that is another tool that can slow it down. 

Lastly, I have found that as things drop out of my beers with aging, and it goes from slightly hazy to opulescent to clear, the beer seems to appear to darken.   The light simply passes through and you can see all the way through the beer, instead of only part way. 

In the end, if it still tasts good, I would not change a thing!  If the beer is beginning to get sweeter over time or pick up cardboard flavors, then make sure you are capping good, watch the splashing on transfers, and keep it cold are the easy things.  The O2 caps might help as well, but better to keep the O2 out in the first place rather than add stuff to take it back out.

Enjoy!!  I am jealous! I have been out of IPA for a couple months and I could really go for one right now!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Oktoberfest vs Alt bier grain bill
« on: September 09, 2014, 04:21:53 AM »
Yep, Alt beer leand more toward hops than malt compared to O'fest. 

I have won awards for both, and use the same malt bill for both.   For the alt, I do a single infusion mash, for the lager I do a three step mash.  The hops are increased for the Alt recipe.   For the O'Fest I usually do  a 60 and 30 minute addition, for the Alt I do a 60, 30, 10 additions. 

So as you observe, they are close in ingredients, but I approach them very differently. 

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg charger to go?
« on: September 08, 2014, 08:25:49 PM »
ill have to dig it out of my parts drawer and see if the regulator has a part number.  It is made for air hoses, and i just bought the fittings to connect the hand held CO2 charger everyone uses.

something like this :

and this:

with a barb screwed into the outlet and tube to a pinlock gas connector.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottle Labels
« on: September 08, 2014, 07:39:14 PM »
Laser printer with Milk is my standard.  A good printer and a very quick dip in the milk works best.

Recently, I bought some shrink wrap label holders from the Fast Rack guys.   I saw their product at NHC, tried a couple they gave me and it worked really well.  (Dont have to worry about labels running in the milk and it holds up OK in the cooler too.)

Grog tags are REALLY cool though, but price wise, that might add up. 

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg charger to go?
« on: September 08, 2014, 07:30:31 PM »
If you have issues with guests over pressurizing the keg with these, Williams Brewing sells a version with a regulator.  I have not used it (bit pricy) but I did make one of my own with Harbor Freight parts.   I have used it a couple times and love not having to cart the big tank around.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Vienna/Octoberfest Maltiness
« on: September 08, 2014, 07:23:38 PM »
Id be willing to bet Gambrinus Honey malt was in the recipe.  I used it for a couple itterations of my Vienna Lager recipe... looking for a little something to add "malty" when my returned judging sheets were asking for more.  (At the time I was using a 50/50 blend of Vienna and Munich for a Vienna Lager...).  I got a very distinct "honey grahm cracker" addition to the beer that I did not care for.  It added the perception of sweetness without being overly sweet, and a unique flavor that I like in my belgians, but not in my Vienna lager. 

Below 3% was not really perceptiable, at around 10%, it took the beer too far. 

Equipment and Software / Re: Mini fridge
« on: September 01, 2014, 07:06:07 PM »
I use a wine fridge (glass door dorm fridge) with a Johnson Temp controller wired into the compressor circuit.   It has been in service for about 4 years now, with no complaints. 

I chose this model because I could put a bucket or carboy on the floor NEXT to the hump and still close the door.  The evaporator is a plate along the back, so there is plenty of height.   

That is the killer with the dorm fridge, most are just a little bit shy on space depth wise for a carboy next to the hump (that houses the compressor) and once you build a shelf so you can put the carboy on the shelf, you run out of height. 

I would look at the dimensions and if it fits.....GET IT!!!   My beers improved from "homebrew" to winning awards once I started managing my fermentation temps. 

DoitDoitDoitDoit...  :-)

ok. i'll ask...   Why would you want to add soy?  What are you hoping to get from it?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Monitoring freezer fermentation temps
« on: August 28, 2014, 04:57:36 AM »
I wouldn't be the least bit concerned about disturbing the wort other than possible sucking the liquid in your fermentation lock into your wort.  Wort doesn't have any feelings.


Though lifting is a pain.  Get an inspection mirror from the autoparts store...smalll 3x2inch mirror on a stick.... that way you can monitor the temp and save your back!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Roeselare Blend
« on: August 17, 2014, 07:08:08 PM »
The wisdom I heard....  Sac, Bret and Pedio all seem to take over the wort for a period of time.... but different times...  First Sac...then... i think it was pedio...then bret.   

I think if you ferment out your beer with Sac, then toss in a few vials (not even scaling up to  the ratio of 1 vial/5 gallons)... the bugs will all take their turn on the wort and munch on their part.    (assuming the alcahol levels do not exceede the tollerence of each bug)

Essentially, the Sac is going to ferment to a terminal gravity... then a while later the Pedio will have grown in enough numbers to do their thing .... and eventually eat up what they can and then go to sleep...  then Brett will dominate at the finish and keep working on the remaning sugars... all the while adding more and more brett character. 

It seems like sac just goes off fast, but cannot ferment everything. It starts and finishes before brett and pedio even start the race.   What sugars the sac leaves behind, the Pedio and Brett go after.  Pedio/Brett character ratio is governed by the available O2.    The more o2, the more pedio character comes through. 

I would gather with this, each barrel will kind of govern what the ratio of pedio/brett character you get based on how the staves allow the slow ingress of oxygen.   So in short, the barrel itself may have more say in how your final beer tastes then the ratio of bugs you pitch at the start.

Good luck! 

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