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Topics - fyouberg

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Equipment and Software / Chest freezer concern
« on: January 14, 2014, 03:29:27 PM »
I am ready to take control of my fermentation temps. I am leaning toward a 5 or 7 cf chest freezer, but am concerned about lifting 40+ pounds of wort in and out over the top edge. How have others rigged it up so as to save their lower back?

General Homebrew Discussion / Correct volume for boil
« on: October 21, 2013, 12:52:56 PM »
I am going to brew a partial extract this morning. The recipe that I am following asks me to steep my grains and boil the extract and hops in 1 1/2 gallons of water and then add 2 gallons of chilled water to the glass carboy and then top up to 5 gallons. Is there anything magic about the 1 1/2 gallons for the steeping and the boil or could I just use 5 gallons since I have a wort chiller?

General Homebrew Discussion / Calculating ABV
« on: October 07, 2013, 05:56:42 PM »
Apologies up front if there is already a thread addressing this, but I can't find it if there is.  What formula can I use to calculate ABV in my home brews?  The Joy of Home Brewing provides the following formula:
For purposes of comparison, lets let OSG = 1.080 and FSG = 1.020
This formula yields a ABV of 6.3%
Another formula I've run across is:
This formula yields an ABV of 7.8%
That seems like a pretty large difference between two formulas that are supposed to be calculating the same thing.  Is there any consensus out there about a good formula to use (that does not require an advanced degree in mathematics)? ;)

General Homebrew Discussion / Cooling my all grain wort
« on: August 15, 2013, 04:47:30 PM »
After 8 batches of partial grain brews, I am anxious to try my hand at all grain brewing.  I have a big enough pot for a full boil.  My question has to do with cooling my wort.  In the past, with partial grain recipes, I have chilled by adding 1-2 gallons of chilled H2O to my carboy before adding the boiling wort and then using an ice bath to bring it down to the proper pitching temp.  I have been advised that with a full grain boil, however, a wort chiller will be necessary to bring the temp. down quickly.  Not that I'm a cheapskate or anything, but is that $50 - $100 really necessary?  What if during the last ten minutes of my boil, I kept a lid on the brew pot, turned off the heat and just let it sit until it cooled to the ambient temp. i.e. 70-80 degrees F?  Is there something else going on in a quick cool down that is important and that I would be missing?

General Homebrew Discussion / Is a blowoff tube worth the loss?
« on: July 28, 2013, 12:17:02 PM »
Since beginning to brew a year or so ago, I have religiously followed Charlie's advice and used a blowoff tube on the top of my five gallon glass carboy.  As a result, I routinely lose 5-6 bottles of finished product.  (1.5 of those bottles is lost to 3 checks of SG).  Should I just chill out and enjoy superior beer or am I needlessly losing good beer? 

General Homebrew Discussion / Cold crash or not?
« on: July 23, 2013, 02:29:34 PM »
My partial extract oatmeal stout has been in the primary fermenter for ten days now and I'm begining to think about next steps.  From what I can discern from reading, cold crashing is done primarily to help clarify the beer.  Although I've never done it with any of my other ales, I'm thinking about experimenting with it with this batch.  OSG was 1.073.  SG today is 1.022.  I'm thinking about leaving it in the primary for another week and then racking into my 6 gallon secondary and then sticking it in the fridge (38 deg. F) for another two or three days prior to adding my priming sugar and bottling.  Will the be any benefit to doing this or am I just wasting time with the time in the fridge?  Will there still be enough viable yeast in solution to ensure carbonization?

Yeast and Fermentation / Does fermentation ever totally cease?
« on: March 06, 2013, 02:45:46 AM »
That's my question.  Let's say you start with a relatively high OSG of .070.  If you ferment in a 5 gal. Glass carboy with a basic fermentation lock and steady temperature, will the bubbles of CO2 ever totally stop or do the just keep getting slower and slower.  My stouts been going for 10 days now and fermentation has slowed significantly (1 bubble/90 sec.).  I really don't want to open is up until I'm pretty sure that the SG has reached it's low point.  Is it basically done or should I wait longer?

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