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Messages - dmtaylor

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I might suggest that since you are having this happen on all brews no matter the grist or yeast used, that there may be some sort of infection/bug that is within your equipment and continually showing up in your finished product.

That could also be a possibility, unfortunately.

But if it was still fermenting and then priming sugar was added, I would expect (based on experience!) that the bottles would be well carbonated in just 2-4 days.  The OP's bottles were not carbonated after 2 weeks, but then suddenly at 3 weeks they turned to gushers.  This seems odd but makes a bit more sense if the bottles are full of trub.

Must be from too much carryover of solids in the bottoms of the bottles. The solids create nucleation sites for the CO2, so that when carbonation does finally happen, the bottles suddenly become gushers.  You may find it beneficial to incorporate a brief secondary prior to bottling.  I was not a proponent of secondary in the past, but am returning to it now as it does improve clarity and carbonation FOR BOTTLERS.  Keggers need not reply.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dry yeast cell count..
« on: February 17, 2018, 05:39:38 PM »
If we're making good beer, we don't need to count yeast cells with microscopes.

You know the rule - when the remainder of the division of an episode number and the number of months in the Gregorian calendar is zero, the sleeper awakens and sounds forth with pronouncements induced by the querying missives of the seekers of truth.

Did you write that!?!  It sounds more like a Drew thing.  Or a dmtaylor thing.   ;D ;D ;D

All Grain Brewing / Re: Switching to all grain: krausen and head issues
« on: February 15, 2018, 09:14:52 PM »
The pitching temperature is pretty high (25-30C or 77-86F).  It makes me think that you may be creating fusels which are killing your head. 

When you were doing malt extract, were you diluting your wort with cold water and therefore having a lower pitching temperature?

^^^^^^ This stuff, in my opinion.

In addition I will also share my own anecdotal experience:  I believe I do seem to get somewhat enhanced head retention when I supplement an all-grain batch with a little malt extract.  I do this often enough to notice a difference, maybe out of every half-dozen batches I'll miss my intended OG or something like that, and add just a little extract (typically <5% of the total OG).  In these batches I do seem to notice a more creamy head with better retention, versus the average all-grain batch.  It might just be my imagination...... or it might not.  Experiments would be needed to confirm.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dry yeast cell count..
« on: February 15, 2018, 03:43:30 PM »
Based on my learnings from the second half of the following thread, I think one pack is enough for your batch, especially if you rehydrate in plain tap water or spring water.  You could go as much as 1 1/2 packs if you do not wish to rehydrate.  More packs than that is severe overkill.

Equipment and Software / Re: Improved Refractometer Correction calculator
« on: February 15, 2018, 03:36:34 PM »

Just took a sample of a fully fermented beer. Hydrometer: 1.012. Terill: 1.010. Novotný: 1.008.  Maybe I'll use refractometer on brew day, but maybe neither correction is really accurate on fermenting/fermented beer.  Look forward to more data.

Are you very confident in your correction factor?  Did you check calibration of both the hydro and refract in plain cool water before measuring?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bottling question
« on: February 14, 2018, 04:06:29 PM »
I've bottled about 4000 bottles with my old bottle wand from 1999.  If yours fell apart on the second batch, just get a new one of a different brand.  But, maybe they just don't make 'em like they used to...

I'll bet you will have normal carbonation in about another 2 weeks or so.  Maybe 3.  Hope I'm right!!

The maximum amount of steeping grains is 100%.  It's called all-grain BIAB.

Seriously.... if you can control your temperature at about 150 F for at least 30 minutes, that's BIAB mashing right there.  It's just a glorifed steep, that's all it is.

Robert is right -- you need to mash those oats.

You might find this helpful:

Yeasts have a tolerance limit for ABV.  It is likely that your yeast is very tired at the 8% ABV level, and just needs extra time to carbonate.  The limit is probably higher than that, but being very close to the limit can slow it down considerably.

Ingredients / Re: Using Farro in beer
« on: February 12, 2018, 12:46:00 PM »
I used it once, in a very small amount.  Treat it about the same as flaked wheat or something like that.  It should indeed lead to better body and head retention, same as wheat.  If using in a larger amount, it might contribute a little haze to the finished beer.


Well, it seems my fears were a bit premature.  I'm consuming my first pint right now, bottled 5 days ago and already carbonated well enough.  This stout is indeed extremely bold, slightly too burnt/acrid and a touch too bitter for perfection, but with very deep notes of coffee and peanuttiness.... it's quite delicious I think.  I do believe age will be very kind to this brew.  It's great now but can only get better as it mellows.  Ultimately, I am declaring success.  Also I do believe it was a very good thing to have diluted this down more, I'm sure it makes the pint even more quaffable than it would have been otherwise.  There is definitely NO shortage of flavor or body in this brew.  Pretty full body actually.  Very creamy dark head.  Yay.  I'm happy.

Now..... what would I change?  I'd tone down the IBUs a notch or two.  And maybe use a more attenuative yeast, although the fruity flavors from the Muntons I think are pleasant, so a change here is actually optional.  Perhaps mash lower and longer to help the yeast ferment things out better, that might help.  But it's good either way.  To anyone interested... Munton's ale yeast only attenuated to like 57% on this batch.  Yeah.  Similar to Windsor or 1099.  But still good.

Probably not, unless EXTREMELY murky.

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