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Messages - drjones

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: IPA's
« on: November 22, 2013, 05:51:41 PM »
I'll buy a six pack of Celebration today, then go back to the pub and order another so that I'm better informed.  Sounds like I got the wrong beer. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Gusher from the bottle. Why?
« on: November 22, 2013, 05:43:08 PM »
This is something like 3 out of 7 batches of IPA with the same issue and the only thing I can see they share is switching over to dry yeast.
If it's an IPA thing, is there a chance it has to do with the dry-hopping?  Consider this a noob question, but it does seem the chance of contamination is increased with the introduction of hops - especially whole leaf.  I understand the alcohol should take care of most contaminants, but it seems there's always a chance.  Just a thought - waiting for the barrage...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: IPA's
« on: November 20, 2013, 06:58:28 PM »
The big exception is SN Celebration which I feel is a beautifully made IPA;  to me, it's the best one out there in both flavor and balance. 

I had a Celebration just the other night at a local pub and felt it was closer to an American Amber.  While it was lovely, I found it quite mild in hop bitterness and aroma.  Maybe I've become desensitized - or perhaps the bartender is just grabbing tap handles randomly again (I've never returned a meal, but I've returned the wrong draft on occasion).  Or, had this one faded from its fresher glory with time and travel distance (I'm in CT).

All Grain Brewing / Re: First "big" beer
« on: November 07, 2013, 05:55:30 PM »
re. mashing process.  I don't see a real advantage of mashing in the kettle.  While I do this myself in a small 8 gallon pot with a false bottom, it requires an extra level of temperature monitoring and stirring.  Why not do a simple batch sparge in the insulated cooler?  I assume it is big enough to handle the grain bill. 
I agree with everyone else regarding the addition of sugar - at least a pound near the end of the boil would help.  And which chocolate variety?  Pale or dark?  That will have a significant flavor impact as well.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: High school brewing class
« on: November 07, 2013, 05:40:19 PM »
"In no way does this assignment promote the use of alcohol, but rather a deeper understanding of anaerobic respiration."  Well said.  My 15 year old son must have recently had a similar class and was asking me about yeast fermentation based on my brewing experience.  I think one of the interesting biology lessons here regards brewer's yeast's ability to take advantage of both aerobic and anaerobic environments - the first for cell reproduction (thus we aerate our wort to insure a robust yeast population), the second for the metabolism of carbohydrates.  This is good science, and should prompt kids to ask questions about the yeast's preferred "natural" (pre-beer/bread) environment.  That path should lead to interesting discussions.  So, yes, I would certainly support a bio class tour of a local brewery.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bottle Cleaning
« on: September 25, 2013, 03:59:22 PM »
Stuck out in the Pacific, I doubt PBW is available.  Can you get your hands on any oxyclean powder?  That would do the trick - use a long soak, even a couple of days to loosen up the organics, then scrub as best you can.  Anyone know if a strong baking soda solution would work in a pinch?  At least you could probably find that at a local market.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Number of House Yeasts?
« on: August 12, 2013, 04:07:20 PM »
US-05, 04, and Belle Saison - dry and easy to manage.  This thread reminds me I have aging mason jars of washed Bavarian lager and 3711 in the fridge that need to be dumped...

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: US-05 at low temp
« on: August 12, 2013, 03:58:59 PM »
could just be starch/protein haze instead of yeast. or perhaps the us-05 is just slowly chewing away at those dextrins. Majorvices posted about having issue with us-05 over carbing in the bottles for him regularly. maybe it's more capable of metabolizing more complex sugars/starches then we generally think?

Thanks Morticaixavier, I agree this is looking like a starch/protein issue.  The FG stayed for two weeks prior to bottling - so I'm pretty sure not much fermentation was going on, though.  Drank some over the weekend and it tastes and smells terrific (about 5.5 oz hops in this small beer, about half chinook).  I'm wondering how this might relate to the experimental 160 degree mash temp - though I did do a successful iodine test because of these exact concerns.  Did the high temp not play well with the rye proteins, perhaps?  The recipe included 8 lbs MO, 1 lb Munich, 1 lb rye, and 8 oz C20.  I'll just have to see if it settles out in the bottles.  I plan on sharing it with the band soon, so it should move quickly, anyway :)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: US-05 flocculation
« on: August 08, 2013, 04:33:54 PM »
Jumping back to this thread for a general US-05 question.  As noted above, 05 has always given me great results.  My most recent batch (a low-gravity, high dextrine session rye IPA) did not drop clear after three weeks.  I bottled and will just sit it out I guess, but I'm curious why this might have happened.  Was it this particular recipe?  Was it this pack of yeast?  Did I manage to infect it with a wild yeast or something else? (tasted fine - but that doesn't say much yet).  Final gravity was 1.015, so it had some viscosity - and the rye no doubt added to that as well.  Is that enough to slow settling that much?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Alpha Amylase conversion post mash
« on: August 07, 2013, 03:46:14 PM »
Yea, I meant the second step being in the kettle - just may try it as an experiment, but not likely a standard operating procedure for the future.
So the idea is to drain off via a batch sparge a bit early so you can bring the temp back up in the kettle?
I don't see any problem with this - depending on your recipe, there may actually be hardly any starch left to convert anyway (as some have noted), but conversion will continue until either the starch is spent or the enzymes have denatured.  I think if your'e careful, you can hold a roughly 158 degree temp for long enough, but it is easy to overshoot on the way up, so I'd cut the heat a bit early.

For the record, I recently ran a constant 160 degree mash in an attempt to get a more full-bodied (dextrinous) session IPA.  It seems to have worked quite well - with a 1.046 OG finishing at 1.015 (3.9% ABV).  Both beta and alpha amylase are active at this temp - for a while.  The beta can't hold out long, but while it's working, it is working hard.  I clearly had plenty of fermentable sugars in the final mix.   (The "scary high" mash was inspired by the Lagunitas IPA recipe - of course I could have just used dextrine malt or maltodextrine, but I wanted to try to achieve this through the mash process itself).  In short, if you do overshoot 158 by a bit, it probably won't be the end of the world - and in your case, the beta amylase has already done its work, anyway.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Yesteray's (mis)adventure
« on: August 05, 2013, 05:14:49 PM »
I've had this happen as well, and as everyone else has stated things were fine.  It maybe not ideal, but stuff happens.  In fact, one of the clubs in Philly had an "oops" beer - same problem, but at a larger scale (much more water accidentally introduced).  It turned into a sessionable version of the original - but it was fine, too. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Home Beer and Wine survey
« on: August 05, 2013, 05:07:59 PM »
I'm guessing about $1,500 in hardware in the last year, and avg est $100 per month in gredients
I may have significantly underestimated my actual expenses.  I tried to be honest, but I don't really want to know...

All Grain Brewing / Re: This week's brew
« on: July 22, 2013, 05:41:56 PM »
I cheated this weekend and went DME - too hot to mash and I was brewing solo.  This should be on another thread I suppose, but what the heck -

6 lbs wheat DME
1/4 lb melanoiden
1 oz Hallertau 60min
1 pack dry WB-06 pitched at 65F
1 hour brew day - hefeweizen done!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermenting during a heat wave
« on: July 22, 2013, 05:28:57 PM »
Some great ideas.  I'd love to install a window AC in the basement tool room where my summer fermenation is happening, but it probably won't happen soon.  For now, the mead is in a tub with 4 ice packs, the session IPA is in a secondary at ambient (ca. 70F), and the new hefeweizen is in another tub with an ice pack.  Sounds like I should set up a fan and drape a t-shirt over the IPA at least.  Southern New England gets moldy in the summer, though, so I'm a bit anxious about what could start growing on a wet t-shirt.  I suppose I have enough shirts on hand to swap them out daily.  Vacation starts in a week - just hope fermentation is quiet enough on all fronts by then and that ambient stays below about 70...

Yeast and Fermentation / Fermenting during a heat wave
« on: July 18, 2013, 05:19:23 PM »
Without a chest cooler, I'm dependent on old-school methods of temp control.  My mead is (relatively) safe in a big bucket of water receiving four swapped out freezer packs twice a day and staying at about 65F (though I'd prefer it a bit lower).  The session ipa (1.046, US-05) from last Sunday is probably about done with the bulk of its fermentation, and I managed to keep it at 70F in the cellar next to the mead bucket. Ideally, it, too, would be 5 degrees cooler.  How are you guys managing the heat - wet towels, other ideas?  (Short of buying a freezer!)     

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