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Messages - dzlater

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Equipment and Software / Re: odd equipment ideas
« on: May 21, 2010, 04:01:43 AM »
saw a few things in a garage sale recently that made say hmmm.

has anybody used one of the old big percolator coffee pots for brewing (beer)? i was thinking for heating mash, possibly boiling, etc for small batches.

thought about using the old fashioned electric roasters as well.

or old stainless steel sinks for open ferment?

i may have to experiment and get back to ya

I have had all of these ideas too.
What's that saying "great minds think alike"

A lot of firsts for me this weekend.
Going to do a brown ale, with home roasted malts, brown sugar, a combination of base malts. 90 minute boil
and use safale S04.

 Pale Malt   2.625 lb   
 Pilsner  2.625 lb   
abbey  3.000 lb   
Cara-Pils/Dextrine   8.000 oz
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L  8.000 oz   
Chocolate Malt (home roasted)  6.000 oz
Biscuit Malt  (home roasted)   6.000 oz   
Brown Sugar16.000 oz

Magnum 13.5% 0.500 oz 1.000 hr
 Cascade  6.0% 0.500 oz 30.000 min
 Cascade  6.0% 0.500 oz 1.000 min

OG: 1.060
FG: 1.015
ABV: 5.8%
Bitterness: 40.2 IBUs
Color: 20 SRM

I hate to go against the grain here but I'd leave it as is and fix your problem on the next batch.  If it's drinkable drink it.  I have a policy of forcing myself to drink my bad beers, every drop, all by myself.  It's made me pay more attention to my next batch. :o
Also every time I've tried to fix a batch it just hasn't worked.
That's the way I am leaning right now.
Like I posted earlier I don't want to make it worse trying to make it better.
This was just an idea I had and was curious what others thought. I had
heard of adding "hop tea" to the keg to bitter up a beer, so I thought why
couldn't the opposite be done? I've brewed the recipe before and it came out fine
so I know it was a procedural problem and not recipe related.
I am going to bring a few bottles to the club meeting tonight and get some other


Will you be fermenting in the keg?  How do you plan to deal with the trub/yeast and the excess CO2?  Do you even have enough headspace to add a couple pints or quarts of beer to the keg?

Steeping grains--since you say your beer is thin/watery, if you go this route, you ought to keep the total amt of steeping water to a minimum (keeps pH from rising, and keeps the wort thick, i.e., high OG).  Adding dextrin malt help enhance the body of your beer, too (and you'd be able to use less water than the steeping grains approach).
I would go no higher than 170 F with your sparge water temps to avoid tannin extraction (controversial--some say pH is more of an issue--brought on by using too much hot sparge water).

The beer is already kegged and carbonated. Going to the homebrew shop one day this week maybe
I'll try adding the malto-dextrin powder. Right now it's drinkable,imagine a beer brewed with light dme and no specialty malts that's what I would say it reminds me of.
I don't want to make it worse trying to make it better.
Thanks for the input.


I brewed a batch of pale ale, the beer is kind of thin
and is lacking in maltiness to counter the hops.
I believe it's because I sparged too fast under shot my
gravity and added DME to adjust.
I know the best idea would to either let it sit a while and hope
time will improve it or too brew another batch and then blend
but I had a thought
could I steep some crystal 80
at around 170f,  boil it,chill, and add the "extract" to the keg
Is this a totally bad idea?
or might it actually work?

Beer Recipes / Re: three differant base malts what can I brew?
« on: May 09, 2010, 07:47:25 AM »
how does this look?

Batch Size: 5.500 gal
Boil Size: 6.394 gal
Boil Time: 0.000 s
Efficiency: 70%
OG: 1.054
FG: 1.016
ABV: 5.0%
Bitterness: 46.9 IBUs (Rager)
Color: 11 SRM (Daniels)

                       Name  Type    Amount Mashed Late Yield Color
       Pale Malt (2 Row) UK Grain  3.000 lb    Yes   No   78%   3 L
        Pilsner (2 Row) Ger Grain  3.000 lb    Yes   No   81%   2 L
                      abbey Grain  3.000 lb    Yes   No   79%   2 L
         Cara-Pils/Dextrine Grain  8.000 oz    Yes   No   72%   2 L
 Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L Grain  8.000 oz    Yes   No   74%  80 L
          Cane (Beet) Sugar Sugar 16.000 oz     No   No  100%   0 L

    Name Alpha   Amount     Use       Time  IBU
  Magnum 13.5% 0.500 oz    Boil   1.000 hr 28.3
 Cascade  6.0% 1.000 oz    Boil 30.000 min 14.0
 Cascade  6.0% 1.000 oz    Boil  5.000 min  4.6
 Cascade  6.0% 1.000 oz Dry Hop    0.000 s  0.0

                   Name Type   Form    Amount   Stage
 Wyeast - Whitbread Ale  Ale Liquid 0.528 cup Primary

Beer Recipes / three differant base malts what can I brew?
« on: May 04, 2010, 07:24:02 AM »
I went to the Big Brew @ Iron Hill in Maple Shade NJ. (had a great time by the way)
Thanks to the Barley Legal Home Brewers
who sponsored the event I came home with:

3 lbs 2 row
3 lbs abbey malt
3 lbs pilsner malt
1 lb cara-pils
1 lb crystal 80L
also some cascade and magnum hops.

I am wondering what kind of beer I could make using these ingredients?
I am not to concerned about brewing "to style" just want something tasty.
I was thinking maybe some sort of amber?
I am not sure if mixing the three different base malts is a good idea.
Any ideas would be appreciated.

Yeast and Fermentation / first time using brett.
« on: May 02, 2010, 05:38:20 AM »
 I brewed a saison on March 2nd. The OG was 1.067 and it fermented down to 1.014 by the 30th. On a whim I pitched the dregs from an Orval when I racked to the secondary. Didn't see much happening so I pitched some more dregs on April 15.
   It developed a oily sheen and now it's starting to develop some white foam around the edges of the carboy.
The SG is down to 1.012.
   Just wondering what now? How long should I or can I leave it in the carboy? I only have 2 kegs so I don't want to dedicate one for long term conditioning.   

Thanks for all the help
I wrote three little programs for my TI85 calculator

the first program
you input, preboil gravity, preboil volume, and final volume
and gives the OG

the second program
you input, target gravity, target volume, preboil volume, and preboil gravity
and gives me lbs of DME to add, or the final volume needed to hit the OG

the third program
you input, final volume, target gravity, preboil volume
and gives the preboil gravity need to hit the OG

No calculator required IMHO.

G1*V1 = G2*V2

When adding extract, solve for G1. To dilute, solve for V2.

My problem was figuring out how much extract and how much to dilute.

I got it all figured out.
Made a couple little programs for my calculator.

I've been  reading Designing Great Beers, and it gives some formulas for hitting
your target OG by either adjusting your final volume or adding extract, or top off water.
I can follow the math in the book but was wondering if there was an on line
calculator type thing or maybe a spreadsheet to make this easier.
Or maybe a website that lays the math out in a way that's easier to use.
Anyone ever use this Beer Recipe Calculator
If it does what I want it to, I might buy it if I can find at one of my local shops.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Badly stuck Mash - why this time?
« on: March 27, 2010, 04:12:21 AM »
The last batch I brewed took almost two hours to sparge,
Anything more then a really slow trickle and the run off would stop.
After much futzing around I did manage to get a good flow going.
 20% flaked barley in the mash.
I had brewed the same recipe three or four times,
and never had any trouble before.
What effect will such a long sparge have on the beer?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: harvested yeast question (brewing today)
« on: March 22, 2010, 05:16:33 AM »

I was under the impression that when repitching
a slurry that is relatively fresh one didn't need
to make a starter? The Mr Malty calculator says I
need 90 mil of slurry. I was just doing the starter
to wake it up a bit. Got to heat some sparge water
and pitch that yeast into the starter.


Just to make sure, you are putting 90 mL of slurry into the starter, not just a couple of teaspoons, right?  You can do it either way, but if you are only taking a fraction of the 90 mL do not expect the small starter to grow enough yeast for the batch, you would need a larger starter or a step up to get enough.

I put at least 90ml in the starter. The starter had a bit of foam on top when I pitched it.

Thanks to everyone who responded.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: harvested yeast question (brewing today)
« on: March 21, 2010, 09:15:53 AM »
Yeah, I'd definitely use it.  But why such a small starter?

I was under the impression that when repitching
a slurry that is relatively fresh one didn't need
to make a starter? The Mr Malty calculator says I
need 90 mil of slurry. I was just doing the starter
to wake it up a bit. Got to heat some sparge water
and pitch that yeast into the starter.

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