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Messages - ericksonpa

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Equipment and Software / Re: Best chiller for summer brewing
« on: April 01, 2013, 12:31:15 PM »
I am currently using a 1/2" IC. 
The submersible pump seems like a fairly simply idea.  I will put it together for my brew day this week and see how it goes.  I really like the idea of recirculating the water.  Currently I capture all of the warm water and have been using it for watering, which makes me feel better but flys in the face of my drip irrigation system.  This seems like a much better and more sustainable idea.
Thanks for your help.

Equipment and Software / Re: Best chiller for summer brewing
« on: April 01, 2013, 10:57:02 AM »
Thanks for the reply.
Grew up in South Dakota, so I know how right you are about shoveling.  All we shovel here is sunshine.
Anyway, sounds like an interesting idea using your recirculating method.  Can you recommend a size of sump pump (never bought one)?
Also, if I switch to a plate chiller, can I simply submerge the entire chiller into an ice tub?  Or do I go the route of the sump pump again?

Equipment and Software / Best chiller for summer brewing
« on: April 01, 2013, 10:48:27 AM »
I live in AZ, where my groundwater is very warm in the summer months. 
I use my immersion chiller down to about 80F, but them I am using too much water for the remaining 10F.  So, I then transfer to a bucket and place in an ice bath.  I'm looking for a more efficient solution.
Any ideas or ways you have solved this in the past?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Help in identifying off flavor
« on: March 29, 2013, 03:46:57 PM »
Back from my lhbs who sampled both beers.  They could not find the odors or tastes I have been describing, only saying they thought it had a very "yeasty" or "biscuity" aroma and taste.  Also said both beers were well balanced and thought they were very good.  Suggested they were a bit young and needed to mature a little bit is all.
So, either all four of them are nuts (not likely as they are a good bunch of guys) or I seriously need to take a course in beer judging/analyzing.
I am relieved, of course, to know that my last four batches are probably going to turn out ok, just mystified as to how I am coming up with something that they cannot get at all.
Thanks to all for your help.  I feel like I led everyone on a wild goose chase, but appreciate the help.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Help in identifying off flavor
« on: March 29, 2013, 06:59:45 AM »
Thanks for the advice.
I did speak with my lhbs yesterday.  After explaining my problem his first comment was that it sounds like I had/have a bug in my plastic fermenter(s).  He too, did not blame the brass fitting, only suggested that I use a weak bleach solution in my buckets, overnight, before brewing again. 
I will be in that store today, so I will take him a sample of both that have this odor/flavor.  Thanks for that suggestion.
In the mean time I have taken apart my bayou kettle and boiled the fittings, valves etc. last night.  Placed my only brass fitting in a vinegar/hydrogen peroxide solution.  And, have rearranged my gear so that all equipment (post boil) has it's own sealed container and will now not come into contact with anything by me and the wort.
Klick, if my lhbs thinks there's a chance, I will keep these batches going and report back to the thread.  If not, they will go down the drain.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Help in identifying off flavor
« on: March 28, 2013, 07:25:57 PM »
Tasted the first batch while transferring to the secondary, so about 6 days after putting into the fermenter.
Tasted the 2nd batch at transfer to secondary, as above, and noticed the flavor and then again when transferring into the corny about 10 days later. 
This latest, English Pale Ale, has been fermenting for about 10 days and is still in the glass carboy.
Odor and flavor is apparent but not nearly as much as the first two batches of Blondes.
At this point I can try to blame the brass fitting or face the facts that I must have a bacteria infection in my post boil equipment.  Which is too bad as I have another batch in the primary fermenter, for two days now, and am worried that it will taste the same.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Help in identifying off flavor
« on: March 28, 2013, 05:53:16 PM »
Thanks to everyone for their comments and help.

While checking the gravity on a separate batch, my English Pale Ale, I am detecting this same odor, at a much much lower rate though.  So, I am doing an analysis of my equipment.
I am using a sst bayou kettle and have connected a brass hose barb to the 1/2" ball valve made of 304 sst. 
Do you think the brass barb could be the source of the problem?

Got home from my LHBS the other day and noticed they gave me the WL04 instead of the WL02 that I had ordered.  Shame on me for not checking before leaving the store.
I am brewing an English Pale Ale and called the store (45 minutes away) to let them know about the mistake but didn't have the time to go back and get the right one.  So, I brewed that day anyway and used the 04.  I checked the profiles and both can be used in the English Pale Ale, but I am wondering if I am going to get any major flavor changes due to their mistake and my desire to brew right then and there.
Any thoughts as to what I am going to get?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Help in identifying off flavor
« on: March 27, 2013, 02:59:20 PM »
I too thought of infection, but two identical batches in a row?  It just seems improbable (although not impossible). 
The sour odor is probably closer to sour milk than vinegar.  Although I will try it again when I get home today.  Writing this from my desk I do not have the advantage of being able to take another whiff.
I just brewed an English Pale Ale this past week and a Scottish Ale yesterday, using the same tun, kettle hoses and buckets.  I have not detected any off odors or flavors in either of those two batches although it may be too soon to tell.

For the record, here is the recipe I used.
Beer Style: Blonde Ale
Batch Size: 5.5 gallons
Original Gravity: 1.040
Final Gravity: 1.008
Bitterness: 21.5 IBU
Boiling Time: 60 Minutes
Color: 3.9 SRM
Alcohol: 4.2% ABV

7.00 lbs. Pale Malt (2 Row) US
0.75 lb. Cara-Pils/Dextrine
0.50 lb. Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L
0.50 lb. Vienna Malt
0.25 oz. Centennial (9.50%) boil for 55 min
0.25 oz. Centennial (9.50%) boil for 35 min
0.25 oz. Cascade (7.80%) boil for 20 min
0.25 oz. Cascade (7.80%) boil for 5 min
Danstar Nottingham Ale Yeast

Mash at 150 degrees for 60 minutes. Sparge with 175F water to create enough wort to reach 5.5 gallons after the boil. Boil and add hops according to the schedule above. Chill to 68 degrees and pitch the yeast.

Ferment at 68 Degrees for 10 days before bottling.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Help in identifying off flavor
« on: March 27, 2013, 02:30:57 PM »
So then I'm guessing this is another bad batch with no fix, correct.  I've already transferred to the corny which is now sitting at 34 F. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Help in identifying off flavor
« on: March 27, 2013, 11:11:44 AM »
Boil time was 1 hour

All Grain Brewing / Re: Help in identifying off flavor
« on: March 27, 2013, 11:09:13 AM »
Hops were Centennial and Cascade.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Help in identifying off flavor
« on: March 27, 2013, 11:05:36 AM »
I believe that my sanitation methods are good. I consistently wash first and sanitize with star san. Method is to use two plastic buckets (only 3 months old). Also am using a bayou combo mash tun and kettle.
Yeast was Danstar Nottingham.
Fermentation is in a freezer wit a Johnson control unit set at 68F.

All Grain Brewing / Help in identifying off flavor
« on: March 27, 2013, 09:31:26 AM »
Just finished with an American style Blonde Ale which has a very noticeable sour smell at first whiff.  The taste is lacking in any malt or hops or, anything for that matter.  Instead it just tastes sour and flat (not carbonation).
Just before I pitched the yeast, I oxygenated the beer by transferring from one fermenter to another until there was an inch or so of foam on top.  This was done at 75 F.  This is the first time I had done this and am wondering if this method is causing this foul/sour odor and taste.
I have looked through various "off flavor" charts looking for the appropriate description but have not really found what would describe this smell and taste. 
I will also mention this is the 2nd attempt at this beer as the first attempt went down the drain due to an even stronger odor.
By the way, my wife thinks it smells like sewage.  So, I've got that going for me.
Any thoughts?

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