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Messages - pyrite

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Equipment and Software / Re: Propane Burners
« on: June 14, 2010, 12:10:42 AM »
I hate the wind when I’m brewing, that’s why I upgraded and bought 2 of these burners.  One burner is for my mash kettle and the other is for my hot liquor tank.  Wind guards work when there’s no wind, but when the wind starts blowing I rely on the multi propane jets that give more direct flame to steel contact, reducing the wait time. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Black IPA?
« on: June 13, 2010, 10:22:01 PM »
Here's some info on cold steeping...

From George Fix on Cold Steeping

Question to Dr. Fix:

On the Brews & Views discussion board a couple months ago, someone mentioned a talk you gave regarding cold steeping of malts like Munich. I would very much appreciate it if you would elaborate on this technique. How do you do it, what does it do for the brew, what malts are good candidates for this technique.

Dr. Fix:

The talk was in the NCHF at Napa in October. Those folks on the left coast really know how to do a beer festival! The cold steeping procedure was designed to maximize the extraction of desirable melanoidins, and at the same time minimize the extraction of undesirable ones. The former are simple compounds which yield a fine malt taste. The undesirable ones come from more complicated structures. Polymers with sulfur compounds tend to have malt/vegetable tones. Others yield cloying tones, which to my palate have an under fermented character. The highest level melanoidins can even have burnt characteristics. The cold steeping procedure was developed by Mary Ann Gruber of Briess. My version goes as follows.

    * (i) One gallon of water per 3-4 lbs. of grains to be steeped is brought to a boil and held there for 5 mins.
    * (ii) The water is cooled down to ambient, and the cracked grains are added.
    * (iii) This mixture is left for 12-16 hrs. at ambient temperatures, and then added to the brew kettle for the last 15-20 mins. of the boil.

Mary Ann has had good results by adding the steeped grains directly to the fermenter without boiling, however I have not tried that variation of the procedure.

The upside of cold steeping is that it works. The downside is that it is very inefficient both with respect to extract and color. In my setup I am using 2-3 times the malt that would normally be used. As a consequence I have been using it for "adjunct malts" such as black and crystal. I also am very happy with the use of Munich malts with this process when they are used as secondary malts. you guys sold me on the cold steeping method...I am just thinking out loud though, how is cold steeping different from a sour mash.  More specifically if I am following the post DENNY posted from Dr. Fix, how is the cold steeping extraction of black colorant from the Carafa Special II malt not supposed to contain lacto when I leave it soaking for 16hrs..  

I've been waiting all week to brew this weekend..Brewing a 15gal Smoked Baltic Porter that be aged in a 10 gal French oak barrel for many months. Also, tomorrow brewing a Berliner Weisse using a no boil.

Thank for that article richardt,

I’m sending a prayer to the beer gods that this is not a case involving Acetobacter.  I don’t think this wax film is from the cocoa nibs, because the final gravity has changed from 1.020 to 1.010. 

The beer taste is still medium bodied, a bit dry and sour but not vinegar yet.  I finished a full glass of this stuff.  It’s smooth with an alcohol taste even though it is sour.

Although I have never tasted a Flanders Red, while I was drinking it, it kinda falls in line with the BJCP guidelines. This was not supposed to be a Flanders Red though.

How should I proceed, I have never been in this situation. Should I keg and bottle this stuff or should I just leave it be. 

I don't know the difference between a horsey taste/smell or a ropy one?


I filled this refurbished 30 gal French Oak Barrel in the first week of January this year with an Old Ale style beer.  I just checked the progress of this beer this morning, and it is full of oak flavor, however, it is so sour.  I also noticed a white wax looking film coating the top of the liquid, with what looked like bubbles that have been hardened and preserved by this wax film.  When I poked my nose in the barrel it smells like oak and Brettanomyces; I remember that horsey, barnyard smell from previous lambic style beers I've made in the past. Yet when I used my sanitized wine thief as I always do to take a sample, it was so sour.  I have never tasted that in a beer before not even my lambics (becasuse they are usually balanced with cherry flavor), and because it taste so sour/smooth, border line almost Vinegary but smooth I was wondering could this be a true infection that I can't shake off?

I always take precaution in my cleanliness, and have never gotten an infection (knock on wood).  Although, I usually always use a combination of citric acid and potassium metabisulfite to sanitize my other oak barrels, I failed to do so this time.  Instead I sanitized this new French oak barrel using circulating boiling water for 10 minutes. I also dumped 2 lbs of Coco nibs in there when I first filled it.  I only began to notice this 3 months ago and only because the air lock was constantly bubbling. The air lock has stopped bubbling and has left me wondering if this is Brett or a different airborne intruder that sneaked in there when I opened the stopper to take a sample? I have mucho dinero and time invested in this barrel aging beer, can you guys suggest anything?

I soaked 2 oz of heavy toasted French oak cubes in a bottle of Jack Daniels Whiskey, and added them to a medium bodied, dark DoppleBock.  The combination of whiskey soaked cubes was too over powering for this style of beer. I would not do this again unless the Dopple Bock was full bodied and had a complex malt bill/character.  I think oak cubes soaked in a spirit would better complement full-bodied complex/roasty winter type lagers or ales of that type. 

I also think I prefer Bourbon soaked cubes over Whiskey soaked cubes, but that is a personal preference. 

Just a side note from my experience:  using a strainer, strain the oak cubes from the spirit you soak them in.  Too much spirit carried over into the beer is often overpowering.   

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Shipping?
« on: June 10, 2010, 12:44:33 AM »
I ship through UPS with no problem.  I tell the UPS people that the package contains "Live Yeast Samples" that requires a "Fragile" sticker on it.  If you don't tell them the package is "Fragile" they will toss the package around and try to make it bounce.   

I enjoy entering homebrew competitions.  I especially favor local homebrew competitions that only require 2-bottles per sub-category.  I do not understand why some homebrew competitions require 3-bottles per sub-category while some require only 2-bottles per sub-category.  Is this a situation of not being efficient with the beer at judging?  Are the organizers over pouring more beer into the glass than they should?   I have never judged a brew comp, nor do I know any specifics on how much beer is needed to be able to properly judge a homebrew comp.  But I am certain I am not alone in feeling this, that there are a lot of home brewers out there that would rather only enter competitions where 2-bottles rather that 3-bottles per sub-category are required of them.  I know what is 1 more bottle, right, but I enjoy having that 1 bottle for myself.   

Below are two BJCP sanctioned local Homebrew competitions rules page.  Hanger24 Brewery requires 2-bottles and the I.E.Brewery requires 3-bottles.

Ingredients / Defining Hop Additions
« on: June 09, 2010, 03:01:38 PM »
I've been brewing for close to a decade now, yet there are a lot of brewing terms I am not familiar with and I seem to lack some of the terminology regarding some brewing processes, specifically the naming of hop additions.  For example, I stumbled across this Hopburts recipe with hop additions at different times.

Hopburst = ?
Brew water hops = ?
Mash hops = ?
First wort hops = ?
Boiling hops = ?
Hopback hops = ?

I know what the last two are, and can take a guess at what the first three are but I am not 100% certain.  Can you guys help me out?

EDIT:  Randall Hops = ?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Black IPA?
« on: June 03, 2010, 08:12:49 PM »
Prefect, okay cool thanks denny and dbeechum. I'm going to see if MoreBeer carries this product, if I can't find it i'll use the cold steeping method, either way both methods look very effective.  I'll be on my way off this thread now

All Grain Brewing / Re: Black IPA?
« on: June 03, 2010, 07:20:54 PM »
Sorry in advance for intruding on this thread and asking a side question....I recently made a hoppy beer and the color is murky brown (ugh), the taste is fantastic. I usually don't worry about esthetics but I undershot my color malts... I would like to turn this beer black; it is aging in a tank on oak cubes.  Is it possible to steep Carafa Special II on the stove in a pot, extract the jet black color, boil it and add it to the fermenter in hopes of turning this beer jet black?

You guys have all great ideas about Black IPAs, I love reading through this stuff...

Equipment and Software / Re: Has anyone tried the Wonder Pump ?
« on: May 31, 2010, 07:18:29 PM »
that's exactly why i don't use the march pump to transfer beer, because i don't want to risk oxidation and or sanitation.  On my SS conical fermenters and glass carboys, i use a stainless steel racking crane attached to a clear plastic hose to transfer the beer to a keg or what ever other vessel i need the beer in.  I use a cork with two holes drilled, one hole for the racking crane, and the other hole for the CO2 inlet hose that exerts pressure and pushes the beer to the keg; it works even if one vessel is not lower than the other. Yet i am sometimes cautious to use CO2 pressure when applying it when racking out of my glass carboys.  I just sometimes get freaked out about glass exploding. 

Equipment and Software / Re: I want to re-motorize my mill
« on: May 31, 2010, 02:57:05 PM »
1650 rpm
115 Volts
1.1 amps
60 Hz
Robbins & Meyers INC.
I bought this motor from a used part place for about10 dollars. 

Tell you the truth i didn't even try using a belt.  It just seemed easier using the coupling adapter, so i really don't know the difference between using a belt system and a direct connect coupling adapter. I haven't had a problem with this set up, it runs like a champ.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Starter Glitch with Corn Sugar?
« on: May 31, 2010, 02:25:15 AM »
I was thinking the same thing but just wanted to make sure.  Darn...this is going to push my brewing schedule back one week.  I had to bottle the 3 different brews that are in the freezer chest, then i was going to rack the other 3 brews that are in the fermenters and cold condition them so i could brew some more beers.  I really dropped the ball on this one, now everything gets pushed back.  I need to start taking closer look at my inventory...
Thanks for the suggestion, i really appreciate it.

Equipment and Software / Re: I want to re-motorize my mill
« on: May 31, 2010, 01:25:10 AM »
I have a similar motor powering my MM3 and it works good.  The only difference between your motor and my motor is the shaft, I might have a smaller shaft diameter.  I also found it easier to use a coupling adapter to connect the motor's shaft directly to the mill's shaft instead of using a belt system. I used this coupling adapter you can also buy it at Grainger supply. Once I figure out how to post a picture, I'll post a picture of what I'm talking about.


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