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Messages - cfleisher

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General Homebrew Discussion / Star Anise in Winter Warmer
« on: November 02, 2012, 03:19:21 PM »
I'm brewing a winter warmer next week and am considering using star anise. Does anyone have any advice on how much to use, and when to add it? I'm brewing a 10 gallon batch and plan to use .25 oz., added with 10 min. left on the boil. The other spices I'm using will be cinnamon (3 sticks), ginger (1 oz.) and orange peel (.25 oz.), all added at the 10 minute mark.

I'm aiming for modest, but noticeable spice. Any suggestions?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Aroma Trouble
« on: August 13, 2012, 11:08:17 PM »
+1 on more process info. But a yeasty smell says to me that you are not waiting long enough. The beer shoudl stay in primary until 2 gravity readings a few days apart are the same + a week or 2 longer. Even after the vast majority of sugars have been fermented the yeast is still active and working on cleaning up your beer.

try this on your next brew

after 2 weeks take a gravity reading, then wait another week, take another reading. If it has changed wait another week and take another reading. When they stop changing wait 1 more week, add some dry hops to the primary (either in a sanitized hop bag, or just chuck them in there). wait 1 more week, bottle or keg as usual, let it carbonate up (a couple more weeks if priming with sugar) then let it sit in the fridge for a few days and taste it.

Totally agree with everything said here. If you've got a yeasty aroma, then you may not be giving the yeast enough time to "do its thing."

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brewing with Bourbons
« on: August 05, 2012, 12:17:18 PM »
Agreed on avoiding rotgut, and also on overusing. This is beer first, with bourbon in a supporting role.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brett and phenols?
« on: August 05, 2012, 11:19:30 AM »
The yeast I used was White Labs WLP650, and it was the only yeast I used. Based on what you guys have said, I'm guessing this is a contamination problem. I don't have chlorinated water (I'm on a well) and I'd say the oversparging could be the issue, if not for the fact that I split the batch in half and the carboy with a Saison yeast was Band Aid at all.

Thanks for the input, everyone.

General Homebrew Discussion / Any way to save a Band-Aid beer?
« on: August 03, 2012, 08:37:30 AM »
My first attempt at an all-Brett beer has produced a pretty phenolic mess. It's slightly tart, but there's a lot of plastic Band-Aid and I'm not sure what to do. I've heard the arguments about "never give up on a beer," but I don't know about this one. Any thoughts out there? It's been 2 months and the beer is in the secondary now. Is there any chance it will clean up? Any way to turn this into a drinkable beer?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brett and phenols?
« on: July 29, 2012, 10:50:24 PM »
oops...yeah, it was 70 degrees, not "170." I'm letting it do its thing in a secondary for now and will see how it comes out. Crossing my fingers for a miracle.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Two-toned beer?
« on: July 17, 2012, 02:51:00 PM »
Whew. That's a relief. My other beers tend to clarify quicker than this, but I've been told that Brett is a slower acting yeast. Thanks.

General Homebrew Discussion / Two-toned beer?
« on: July 16, 2012, 02:57:28 PM »
I've got a Brett beer that has a dark-rum colored rim round the top with a cloudy, amber body. The ring is about 3/4 inch thick and fairly distinct. Has anyone seen this before? What is it? Here's a picture:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brett and phenols?
« on: July 14, 2012, 09:18:35 AM »
Some spicy clove, but more toward bandaid or bicycle tire....not appealing. Fermentation temp was around 170, though it probably fluctuated 2-3 degrees because of a heat wave. There's a slight sour note but I wish it were more. I'm thinking of adding raspberries to the secondary. Suggestions on ways to hide this if the phenols don't mellow?

General Homebrew Discussion / Brett and phenols?
« on: July 13, 2012, 08:47:20 AM »
I just transferred a brett beer to the secondary and it was waaayyy phenolic. Much more than I'd hoped. My temperature control was pretty good and I have no reason to think this is a sanitation problem. (It was a split batch, and the other carboy with saison yeast was awesome.) Has anyone had this issue with Brett? Any chance the phenols will dissipate over time? It was in the primary for almost a month.

General Homebrew Discussion / 100% Brett
« on: June 13, 2012, 02:39:29 PM »
The latest Zymurgy convinced me to try making an all Brett beer. I was wondering, however, how this would affect equipment? At the end of the article, it said that Brett posed "less of a threat to equipment than the bacteria involved in sour brewing." How much less of a threat? Should I just set aside the carboy and make it a "Brett-only" bucket?

General Homebrew Discussion / Utilization from spruce tips
« on: May 13, 2012, 05:01:19 PM »
I've heard that spruce tips should be added for at least 60 minutes in the boil, because extracting the spruce aromas and flavors takes more time than with hops. Does anyone know about how to use spruce? My question is whether adding the spruce at the end of the boil, or even dry-hopping with it, would yield anything at all.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How to Add Vanilla
« on: March 23, 2012, 05:15:16 PM »
Soaking the beans in vodka (or bourbon, for a little more interesting flavor) does the trick. I don't like to add too much liquid, as the flavor can get overpowering. The last batch, I added one bean, split and soaked in vodka, for about a week and the vanilla flavor was just right.

General Homebrew Discussion / Sanitizer question
« on: March 08, 2012, 05:58:14 PM »
How long can sanitizer stay 'potent' after it is mixed with water? Is there an expiration date on this stuff? I'm going to be a lot of beer stuff over a series of days and don't want to have to mix up a fresh bucket every time.

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