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Topics - 69franx

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Equipment and Software / Refrigeration Space
« on: November 03, 2014, 07:45:51 PM »
Not sure if this should be in equipment or not, but it is equipment related. I have a 7.2cf chest freezer with Johnson digital controllers for managing the freezer and a fermwrap. I have my Dunkel in the freezer now at 8 days and have started to slowly raise the temp. When I checked it, it had gone from 1.054 down to 1.02, or 68.5% attenuation thus far roughly. Trying to mimic the modified lager schedule that was discussed on my post "My first lager" I plan on raising it a couple degrees a day (3) till I hit 65, leave for 3 days or until no diacetyl and FG has been reached. My question is this, I also store my finished beers in this chest freezer. What will happen if these go from the 50 they have been sitting at, slowly up to 65, then slowly back down to 35? The beers in question are a little of my Split open and Melt RIS from Big Brew, a couple Double Hazelnut Browns, a Märzen or 2, and assorted store bought beers. Do I need to find another way? My basement has been in the mid fifties the last 5 days or so, so I could just pull them, leave them out in basement and hope temp does not spike up? What are your thoughts?
Edit for typo

Beer Recipes / Next batch
« on: October 28, 2014, 08:59:08 PM »
So I think my next batch will be 11/9/14 and I plan on trying out Denny's BVIP, with the recipe from the wiki here. Any thoughts, tips, or tweaks any of you have made? I know everyone raves about this brew, so I want to make it, just looking for any insight other than what is listed in the wiki

Equipment and Software / My BruGear kettle
« on: October 25, 2014, 03:17:28 PM »
My new kettle has TC connections and came with an adaptor for the included ball valve. When cleaning my kettle, this connection leaked between the adaptor and the valve. It was not the TC connection, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not tighten the valve on the adaptor enough to prevent he leak. This was with warm to hot cleaning water so I am worried about the connection's performance during a boil with the pressure of 8.5 gallons above it. Any ideas on how to seal it up tighter? I have plenty of plumbers tape but not sure how well that works with a boil or if it's a clean enough connection. Unless I hear otherwise, I am going to just do my best and if it leaks heating my strike water, I will be using my old kettle

Beer Recipes / BCS Dunkel
« on: October 20, 2014, 02:55:10 PM »
Looking at making a Dunkel from BCS this weekend. Grist as follows: 12.5# Munich II(11.7srm) and 5oz Carafa II(430srm) for 6 gallon batch.
My LHBS lists both Carafa 1 & 3 but no 2. If I cannot get the 2, what quantity of which of the other 2 should I go with? First time I have made this, so I am not too concerned about the color change on such a small quantity, just want to be in the ball park. Beersmith has me at following specs: OG 1.054, Color 19.7 and ABV of 5.1% so I have some leeway. I already have the Munich II but not milled yet. Once purchased I can set this back up in Beersmith to be where I want to be, if I make the right purchase. Not sure what flavor differences the 3 tyoes of Carafa bring to the table
Next question is pH. I set it up in Bru'NWater as Brown Malty profile, and worked to get the pH to 5.48(the software says 5.4-5.5 for darker beers) is this where I want to be? Nothing measured out yet for water additions, so I can set it just about anywhere with gypsum, epsom, CaCl2, pickling lime, and baking soda. I'm still new to water treatments, again, just want to be in the ball park
Any input is appreciated, thanks in advance

Beer Recipes / Pilsner Help
« on: September 29, 2014, 01:22:32 PM »
Thinking about trying out a Pilsner recipe from NHC Gold Medal Recipes. It was the Barky Pilsner. I have a couple questions about the recipe and making it.
Firstly, has anyone made this recipe, it sounds great?
Second: what should I target for water profile, as I am new to Bru'nWater: Pilsen, Yellow (bitter,malty, balanced) just going from Pilsen to any of the others, makes a huge change in additions to my RO water. As an example, pilsen calls for 7ppm Ca while Yellow balanced calls for 50ppm. Just really dont know what to target.
BJCP guidelines call for " Moderate to moderately-low yet well attenuated maltiness, although some grainy flavors and slight Pils malt sweetness are acceptable. Hop bitterness dominates taste and continues through the finish and lingers into the aftertaste. Hop flavor can range from low to high but should only be derived from German noble hops." So it seems like I could target balanced, bitter, or even malty through different arts of that quoted description. I guess bitter comes through it the most, but...
Any info anyone can offer will be a big help

Ingredients / Reading a Malt Analysis sheet
« on: September 27, 2014, 02:45:46 PM »

From the above sheet, as I try to input into Beersmith, I am wondering about my Diastatic power. Is it a default of Munich of 70 Lintner, or can I find a more batch specific number on this sheet?
Is my yield the 78.1% or the 81.5%?
I googled EBC to SRM and came up with brewtoad converter telling me that I was at 7.6SRM, does this sound correct? I also bought a sack of Munich type 2 that came out to 11.6 from same converter.
Moisture and protein were easy to find, the others stumped me. Anything anyone can tell me would be appreciated

Equipment and Software / Tri-Clamps
« on: September 25, 2014, 08:24:04 AM »
Now that I have my new Bru-Gear 15 gallon kettle with tri-clamp fittings for valve and thermometer, i have some questions:
1) When closing the clamps, besides tight enough, how tight should they be tightened? Is finger tight good enough, or tighter
2) How long should I expect the gaskets to last, and where to source replacements
3) I am assuming a big advantage is being able to take apart to fully clean, so I should take apart after each use for cleaning?
4) Looking for suggestions for pick up tube for the valve
5) Any other thoughts on these fittings you can share

Other Fermentables / First Cider
« on: September 03, 2014, 05:59:01 PM »
Here's a pic of my cider after 17 days in primary. There was no evidence of this separation effect when I left for LA last Wednesday, so I'm just curious. Is this how cider fermentation behaves? The carboy has been in that cooler of ice water the whole time, between 67-70 degrees, it has not been crashed. Is there usually such distinct stratification when undisturbed? This is in primary and has been the whole time. Never seen any of my beers look this way, so it made me wonder. The whole thing looks like the egg drop soup everyone refers to when talking about the hot break. Recipe was 5 gallons of fresh local pasteurized cider, 2# corn sugar, with S-04. Take a look and tell me what you think...

Sent from The Alpine Brewery using Tapatalk

Equipment and Software / Follow up on "The Vessel"
« on: August 17, 2014, 06:43:29 PM »
I contributed to this campaign on Indie gogo. The fermenter now has roughly 7.9 gallon capacity. My question is about ideal volume to put into this fermenter. I have been using 6.5 gallon buckets with 5-5.5 gallons of wort in them. Can I safely just increase my batch size to leave roughly the same head space? Basically, what would be the maximum volume you would try to ferment with 7.9gallon max capacity? Assuming that my BruGear boil kettle shows up soon, once I have both, I can have a batch size up to and beyond the capacity of this fermenter, and with some of the recipes I have been making, I would like to get a little more out of a brew day. Any thoughts you all might have would be most appreciated.

Ingredients / Water for Märzen
« on: August 05, 2014, 07:58:20 PM »
I have been building my water from 100% RO, and using Bru'NWater to treat to hit profiles. I am in the planning stages for a Märzen this weekend. I am using BCS recipe, with German Pils, Munich, Belgian Caramunich, and Briess Vienna(all the LHBS had) so I was looking to try to hit profile of Munich through RO and any working combo of Gypsum, Epsom, Canning Salt, Baking Soda, Calcium Chloride, Pickling Lime, and lactic acid. I am having a hard time trying to get enough calcium into the mix without throwing almost everything else off in the profile. What numbers are the most important to hit for a Märzen? This is my first lager, so just want to try hit what I should hit, without knowing what to hit when I cant hit everything: I can get plenty of calcium, but then Sulfate is too high, if I add the pickling lime to make up the Calcium, then my pH is 5.88 and I should not add the Lactic if I use the lime. Please show me the way. I know I could also target Vienna water, as style may actually originate there and that does give me more room with the sulfate, so maybe that is the way to go?

Edit: I guess a follow up is what pH do I want to target? From Bru'NWater, I am thinking it is a lighter colored beer, so 5.2-5.3? I'm just kind of lost on this one. My IPA was a lot easier to build a profile for.

Second Edit: I can hit an Amber Malty profile pretty easily without the lime or acid, at a pH of 5.4, I guess this may be the way to go?

Yeast and Fermentation / More starter questions
« on: August 05, 2014, 03:19:13 PM »
So I am working on stepping up my WLP820 for My Märzen this weekend. I started with 1 vial (BB Date 10/23/14) and 1.8L wort in a 2L flask. Once chilled, I decanted most of the spent wort. The next step is 2.5L and was supposed to go into a 1Gallon wine bottle. Therein lies the problem. Once the 2.5L of fresh wort was in there and the slurry from original was added, It was just too much to be contained in the gallon bottle. I did use fermcap in both of the steps. The step sizes came from, supposed to yield 421B cell of my needed 423B cells. (this is all being done without a stir plate, only intermittent shaking) So here come the questions:

1. Upon realizing that I did not have enough room, I swirled the gallon container and then poured off 1.2L back into the erhlenmeyer flask. There were no visible solids upon this transfer so I feel that the yeast was well suspended. Will this arbitrary splitting yield 2 viable starters that can both be added to my wort on Saturday?

2. I have more DME if the consensus is that I need more volume, and will likely delay pitching till Sunday, so time is not a deterrant for any suggestions out there

So what say you all? Your thoughts and insights are greatly appreciated on this my first lager attempt. And a stir plate is in the works for future batches. Thank you in advance


Beer Recipes / First Lager
« on: July 23, 2014, 11:26:19 AM »
As summer winds down, I would like to start planning on brewing my first lager. I have a Johnson controlled chest freezer for ferm temp control and lagering. I guess I would like to know if there is a more forgiving style to start with? I know I should brew what I like, but I have definitely been an ale person since getting away from college days of cheap BMC lagers. What is a good style and recipe to start out with?

Beer Travel / LA and San Diego
« on: July 15, 2014, 09:44:07 PM »
Going to be in California in late August. Most of our time will be in LA with family that lives there. I am sure they will have places they want to take us. Main question here is that we will be driving down to San Diego County specifically for beer adventures. I for sure want to see Stone. I know Lost Abbey is there, as well as Mission, Ballast Point. Alesmith, Pizza Port, and many more great breweries. How do I get the most out of less than 24 hours in San Diego County? What do I need to see that i have not mentioned if I only have a Thursday afternoon and evening, and Friday till early afternoon at the latest. For anyone that wants to say "Skip Stone." thats not going to happen, Stone started my craft beer enthusiasm and I have to spend some time there.

General Homebrew Discussion / Clone recipe objectives
« on: May 16, 2014, 10:15:29 AM »
In cloning recipes, what is the most important thing to follow based on your own system? As an example, the recipe for Switchback Ale in the March/April issue of BYO. The brewer's specs call for OG 1.046, and est ABV of 5&. When I plug the ingredients into Beersmith(I know its only a tool, but I am trying to learn how to utilize this tool) setting eff at 72%, and following the all grain instructions, Beersmith can get me to the OG no problem for my system, but at called for mash of 154 for 60 minutes, the software yields ABV of only 4.5%. If I drop mash temp to 147, the est ABV shoots up to the called for 5%. So my question is (and I have never tasted the original brew) should I lower my mash temp to get that ABV, or should I follow the brewer's steps and mash at 154? I know its a huge jump from 154 down to 147, so I am looking essentially to make the best beer from this recipe. Grist follows:
7# 2 row
1# 1.5 oz crystal 40
11 oz crystal 20
2.5 oz Black patent
Follow up question is this: does the difference come from BYO's default setting of 65% eff compared to my estimated 72%?
Anything anyone can tell me would be great. Have wanted to make this beer since reading the issue as I think it sounds like a great jumping off point for my not so hoppy friends accustomed to BMC beers.

Yeast and Fermentation / US 05?
« on: May 15, 2014, 11:17:06 AM »
I am planning on a clone of a local brew this weekend(or at least my first attempt at it.) The brewery calls for American Ale yeast so I would normally choose WLP001, but I dont have time for a starter (due to late start/poor planning) so I want to go with a re-hydrated dry yeast. The OG is expected to be 1.100 for 3.5 gallons of a double hazelnut brown. What are your suggestions for yeast choice in dry and how many packs? Any ideas are welcome and helpful.
Edit: Mr Malty calls for 1.1 dry packs and Beersmith says 2. Both sites say I need about 234B cells, and Beersmith shows 178B with 2 packs of dry US05 just a couple weeks old, which is significantly less than the necessary 234B. A follow up question in regards to dry yeast viability: what is the expected viability, and are the packs actually dated?

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