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Topics - dzlater

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Yeast and Fermentation / Fermanting in fridge w/o temp controller??
« on: August 22, 2011, 03:28:55 PM »
I plan on brewing a beer with WL Cry Havoc yeast.
I usually brew ales, and put the carboy in a cooler with water and do the ice bottle swap routine.
But seeing that I can do a lager with the Cry Havoc yeast. I thought I might give it a try.
I set my keg fridge to the warmest setting and It started out @ 53°f and after 28 hours it's @ 56°f.
If it doesn't get any warmer and stays fairly stable, is there any reason I can't put my carboy in the fridge and ferment a lager?
I realize it won't be super controlled but it would still most likely be more stable then my ice bottle swap method.

All Grain Brewing / Another sour mash question water/grain ratio?
« on: May 27, 2011, 06:41:23 AM »
I decided (at least for the moment ) to just mash all the grains in my 5 gallon cooler for 24 hours for the sour mash.
My grain bill is 7.75 lbs and I need a total of 7 gallons water for the mash and the sparge.
Usually I just split my total water volume half for the mash and half for the sparge.
If I do that in this case I use 3.5 gallons of mash water which is 1.8 quarts per lb. which will leave me with about 1.75 gallons of head space in the mash tun. Everything I have read says to fill to the top when sour mashing to minimize exposure to air.
If I used 4.25 gallons of mash water @ 2.2 quarts per lb it would pretty much leave no headspace in the mash tun but then I would only need 2.75 gallons for the sparge which might hurt my efficiency.
So I guess what I am trying to figure out is which is better a thin mash with less sparge water or risk the exposure to oxygen with a thicker mash and equal volumes of mash and sparge water?
Or am I once again way over complicating things.

All Grain Brewing / Sour mash idea
« on: May 22, 2011, 06:49:08 AM »
 I am planning on sour mashing 2.5 lbs of grain.
I understand that you want to minimize contact with oxygen during the process.
My idea is to put the mash in a ZipLoc bag and get all the air out and seal it up.
Put the bag in a larger pot of 120º f water with a thermometer in the pot, stick the whole thing in the
oven and try my best to keep it between100º and 120º for 24 hours. Or maybe a cooler instead of the pot / oven ?
Anyone see any major flaws in this plan of action?

I have a Porter that's been @ 1.020 for a several weeks. It started @ 1.056.
I plan on finishing it off with some Brett a (small starter from a bottle of Orval) and some American medium toast oak cubes that I Bourbonized for a week.
I was thinking of putting it a keg and adding the oak and brett, and letting the brett carbonate it naturally.
But was also considering just racking it to a glass carboy and letting it finish out in that and then keg and force carb.
Any thoughts , advice ?

All Grain Brewing / 2.5 hour mash ?
« on: April 03, 2011, 09:55:49 AM »
I am planning on brewing this
It calls for a 2.5 hour mash.
I am assuming this was done because of the poor malt quality of that era.
Would it really make a difference if I just mashed for my usual 1 hour?

General Homebrew Discussion / weight/specific gravity/gravity points?
« on: February 10, 2011, 11:20:36 AM »
First can someone tell me if I understand this correctly?
If 100 ml of a sugar syrup weighs 359.58 grams, it has a specific gravity of 3.59?
or do you subtract out the 100 gm of for the weight of the water and come out with 2.59?
Assuming that I have one of those right,
how would I figure how many gravity points it would add to a batch of beer?

Yeast and Fermentation / how long on stir plate
« on: January 26, 2011, 01:44:46 PM »
I know a little better planning and forethought should have went into this but...
For xmas I was given an erlenmeyer flask for doing starters.
I had to play with it even though I wasn't planning to brew anytime soon.
So I took a bit of yeast I had in a jar from another batch and made about 800ml starter
let it ferment out and stuck it in the fridge. In the mean time I built me a stirplate, so of course I had to test it out, so I decanted the wort out of the flask poured in 1000ml of wort and stuck it on the stirplate last night.
I probably won't brew till one day next week, so I am wondering what is my best course of action?
I figured to leave it on the stir plate another day and then stick it in the fridge. Sound good?

Yeast and Fermentation / Topping off a yeast starter?
« on: December 28, 2010, 06:55:49 AM »
Three days ago I went to make a 1L starter and I ended up with about 800 ml because I boiled a bit too long.
I pitched the yeast and let it go. I am wondering if it would make sense to add a bit more starter wort (a cup is about all that will fit) to bring up the volume and get a bit more cell growth? I am assuming that by the this point the yeast is done reproducing and is just fermenting the wort, so I don't know if topping it off will give me more yeast or just more fermenting wort?

Beer Recipes / Flanders Red recipe ingredient question.
« on: December 22, 2010, 07:05:25 AM »
I am thinking about brewing up a Flanders Red and was looking around at recipes.
According to this
"Flanders acid ale brewers toss corn grits — up to 20% — into the mash, first boiled to achieve gelatinization. For homebrewers, flaked maize is a convenient alternative. Corn contributes a smoothness to the wort plus a bit of starch for the eventual microorganisms."

The BJCP site says
"Ingredients: A base of Vienna and/or Munich malts, light to medium cara-malts, and a small amount of Special B are used with up to 20% maize. Low alpha acid continental hops are commonly used (avoid high alpha or distinctive American hops). Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus and Brettanomyces (and acetobacter) contribute to the fermentation and eventual flavor."
It would seem to me if a style calls for up to 20% corn it would be a fairly critical ingredient.
Yet none of the recipes I have seen on line include any corn.
Any one have any thoughts on this?

Equipment and Software / stir plate alternative?
« on: December 01, 2010, 09:50:08 AM »
While watching the BrewMaster teevee show I noticed they had the yeast on these rotating table tops to keep the yeast in suspension. Googling around I found a whole lot of really expensive ones. Something like this seems like it would be easy to build.
A platform mounted on springs on top of a rotating arm. Anyone every tried something like this?
Just thought it was neat idea.
Here is picture I found.

All Grain Brewing / batch sparge water, how much will fit
« on: November 24, 2010, 05:50:42 AM »
I have been figuring the water volumes by inputting a random number for quarts per pound into the brewing software.Then adding up the mash water, and sparge water to get a total amount needed. Take that number and divide by two to get equal amounts for mash and sparge. Then I use a someother software to make sure I can fit the mash water in the tun. If not I adjust it tll it will fit.
But I have been running into the problem of not being able to fit all the sparge water into the mash tun.
Is there a way to figure out the volume of sparge water that will fit after the I drain the first runnings? I know I really just need a bigger mash tun but that isn't in the cards right now.

Yeast and Fermentation / repitching high og to lower og
« on: October 26, 2010, 06:57:21 AM »
I know it is preferred to go from a lower gravity to a higher gravity when reusing yeast.
But would going from a 1.060 to a 1.045, really be that bad?

Yeast and Fermentation / Old Newark Ale Yeast
« on: October 04, 2010, 08:24:59 AM »
Thought some one might find this of interest
I went to the home brew shop on Saturday and found this:

East Coast Yeast
ECY10 Old Newark Ale:  Sourced from a now defunct east coast brewery, this pure strain was identified as their ale pitching yeast. Good for all styles of American and English ales.  Suggested fermentation temp: 60-68°F.   Apparent attenuation : 68-72%  

It's supposedly Ballantine yeast
I googled it and didn't find much
I will be brewing with it soon and post some results


I don't really know much about water chemistry,, but from what I understand
some water is better suited to lighter beers and some towards darker beers.
If my water is better suited for pale ales (I don't know if it is) and I brew a stout with no mineral additions
what would the flavor difference be?

Ingredients / toasting flaked corn?
« on: June 20, 2010, 07:18:07 AM »
I've heard of toasting flaked oats to add some flavor, has anyone ever tried toasting flaked corn?
Any reason not to give it a try?

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