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Messages - dmtaylor

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Batch Sparge holding time
« on: February 12, 2015, 11:05:01 AM »
If you add hot 190 F sparge water to a hot mash at ~150 F, the temperature will quickly average out to about 168 F (within about 5 minutes).  Perfecto.

Ingredients / Re: English Crystal Malts Mistaken for Diacetyl?
« on: February 12, 2015, 11:03:23 AM »
Sure.  Warm temperatures help.  Keep it above 55 or even 60 F to speed things along.

Ingredients / Re: English Crystal Malts Mistaken for Diacetyl?
« on: February 12, 2015, 10:34:04 AM »
If there is any diacetyl, it is likely to age out over time, maybe another couple of weeks.

Ingredients / Re: English Crystal Malts Mistaken for Diacetyl?
« on: February 12, 2015, 10:22:08 AM »
Some judges are idiots.  The style guidelines allow diacetyl in this style.  Enter a different competition and you'll get different results.  I guarantee it.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Crazy amount of head.
« on: February 10, 2015, 02:56:29 PM »
The amount of yeast in each bottle doesn't really matter.  However if the priming sugar was not well dissolved, it is possible you got more sugar in some bottles than others, and that would make a huge difference.  Changing over to sugar cubes is helpful in ensuring a consistent amount of sugar per bottle.  However the best way to add priming sugar is to measure how much you need for an entire batch, then boil 2 cups water and dissolve all the sugar in the hot boiled water, let that cool for a few minutes, and then add the fully dissolved sugar solution into your bottling bucket (or perhaps Mr. Beer in the earlier cases).  It needs to be completely dissolved in order for this to work -- if any sugar sinks to the bottom of the bottling bucket then you will have big problems.  But if you use enough boiled water to ensure that it's not too thick and syrupy and fully dissolves, and you mix it into the bottling bucket pretty well, then you will not have any problems with consistent carbonation.  It will never settle out over time as long as it's not still crystalized and not syrupy.  The couple of hours it takes to bottle will not make any difference.  If you left the beer sitting for a whole day then you might have issues, but for just a few hours, no big deal.

I use about 5/8 cup cane sugar for 5 gallons, which is equal to 2 tablespoons per gallon.  If you use corn sugar (which is NOT necessary) then you need to use a little more, 3/4 cup for 5 gallons.  Add the sugar to boiled water in bulk, and then you won't have to mess around with sugar cubes.  Sugar cubes will work just fine as you have seen, but they can be a little more of a pain and less consistent.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Starch in Wort
« on: February 10, 2015, 07:55:14 AM »
Yep, a few little grains is no problem.  If you see a lot of it (like 1/4 cup worth or more), then you can get astringency.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Starch in Wort
« on: February 09, 2015, 06:09:27 PM »
Open the valve just slightly, about 1/8 to 1/4 open, for the first few quarts.  When you no longer see chunks coming out then it's safe to slowly open your valve and runoff faster.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Starch in Wort
« on: February 09, 2015, 04:45:53 PM »
Are you talking about little chunks of grain getting into your beer?  I mean like, it looks like corn grits or cream of wheat or steel cut oats?  Little pieces of grains?  That would be a bad thing, could lead to tannins and astringency in the finished beer.  See if you notice an odd puckering in the finished beer.  If so, you need to vorlauf a little longer to get those chunks out.

Or perhaps that's not what you are talking about at all.  Could you be concerned about the cloudy egg-white looking material that settles to the lower half of the fermenter?  That's cold break, and is very normal, and will compact down over time.  It is not harmful in the slightest, and some experiments seem to prove that it might even be beneficial to yeast health and to final beer flavor.  So if that's what you are witnessing, then don't worry at all.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Batch Sparge holding time
« on: February 09, 2015, 04:37:14 PM »
I open mine about 1/4 the way for the first quart or two until there's no more chunks coming out, and then slowly open the valve all the way.  By slowly, I mean over the course of about 60 seconds.  Works for me.  The only time I might have an issue is with a lot of rye, oats, or corn, which are all pretty dang sticky.  I don't recall a stuck runoff with wheat although it's been a while.  Gravity or efficiency will not be impacted in the slightest.  The main reason to start opening the valve slow is to prevent immediate compaction of the grain bed and stuck runoff.  By opening it slowly, the grain bed will not compact quite so much (at least in theory) and prevent stuck runoff which is kind of a PITA but not the end of the universe either.  Like DarkSide said, you can always stir and start over, and add rice hulls if you have them and need them, which in my experience is a very rare need.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Not Pitching
« on: February 09, 2015, 10:25:56 AM »
I do the same thing when I brew at night.  Wake up in the morning and it's ready to pitch.

I agree that IPAs need some gypsum.  I disagree that you can easily spot a newbie brew.

All Grain Brewing / Re: High gravity efficiency troubles
« on: February 06, 2015, 03:28:14 PM »
Dead space?  There doesn't really need to be any, if you use a Bazooka or stainless hose, Dennybrew style.  I always pick up one end of the mash tun to drain every last drop from both the first and second runnings.  This matters more if you batch sparge.  If fly sparging it won't matter as much.  If BIAB, then this entire paragraph is irrelevant.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Safbrew Abbaye Ale
« on: February 06, 2015, 07:12:15 AM »
Sulfur is very normal.  Give it a month, and the sulfur will probably be gone.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Priming corn sugar, weight vs volume
« on: February 06, 2015, 07:10:57 AM »
Use table sugar (from cane or beets) and use 5/8 cup for 5 gallons, or 2 tablespoons per gallon.  Never have a problem again.

All Grain Brewing / Re: High gravity efficiency troubles
« on: February 06, 2015, 07:08:47 AM »
Brewtoad wasn't much help there, eh.  The most I would have expected out of that grain bill for 2.2 gallons would have been 1.069.  Since you only hit 1.059, this points to problems with your crush or pH or waste of good wort due to dead space in your mash tun.  You used the right volumes of water so my first guess (as always) would be that you need to crush harder.

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