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Topics - beer_crafter

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Yeast and Fermentation / Best yeast for "American" Tripel
« on: March 01, 2010, 05:00:45 PM »
Planning on making a Tripel in the next few months, but using American hops.  Similar to Captain Lawrence Xtra Gold.  Not a Belgian IPA-- but a properly balanced Tripel using Amarillo hops instead of noble. 

Can anyone suggest a good belgian yeast strain that would play nicely with the peach and tangerine flavors from the Amarillo?

All Grain Brewing / First stuck mash: batch sparge
« on: January 06, 2010, 09:09:34 PM »
I've done dozens of partial mash and all grain brews using Denny's cheap'n'easy mash tun design, and it's always worked well for me.

This past week I brewed a Munich Dunkel with 94% Weyermann Munich I malt, 3% Carafa Special, and 3% CaraMunich.  I belive my crush was finer than I normally crush, since there was a lot of flour.  I did something different with this batch by adding water slowly to the grain in the tun, rather than vice-versa.  Ultimately, I mashed at 152.  When I went to vorlauf, as soon as the runoff cleared, it slowed to a trickle.  I tried to stir up the bed, and the same thing happened.  I attemped to move some of the mash to a different (smaller) tun with the same design, and it got stuck there too.

I ended up changing out the hose that passes through the wall of the cooler to one that had a large ID with the same OD... unfortunately, this is a regular, non hi-temp tube, so I prefer to use the original tube I had been using.  Nevertheless, it, along with a lot of patience, helped me to get through the brew day.

I noticed that there was a rather thick (.5 - 1.25") layer of trub/mud/protiens that sat atop the grains once my sparge was complete.  I have seen a thin layer of this substance before, but never has it been so thick.  I assume it was this substance that was causing the stuck sparge. 

It is likely that this was caused by my crush?   Or is it possible that at some point I unintentionally throughout this pricess did some sort of temperature rest that caused a thick, muddy like protien to form in the mash? 

Next batch, I will be using a coarser crush, but I thought I would ask the group here for opinions as well. 

Wood/Casks / Cask Conditioning in a small (5L) oak barrel
« on: November 22, 2009, 03:27:31 PM »
I have a 5L Oak Barrel.  I have used this for a couple batches to oak age Imperial Stouts.  Basically what I have done involves splitting up a 5 gallon batch, post fermentation, half into a glass secondary and half into the oak.  I then blend the oaked and non-oaked versions back together at kegging time.  This has all worked out very well.

However, now that a lot of the oak flavor has been extracted from the keg, I want to use the barrel as a serving vessel.  I am well aware that modern casks/pins/firkins, even if made out of oak, are lined with pitch so that the oak does not react with the beer.  This is not the case with my barrel.  So be it.

The challenge I am not sure how to address is what to use as a spile for the barrel.  Assuming I add priming sugar, I am not sure how to seal up the keg.  Using an airlock will obviously let the carbonation out.  A cork or something similar may get ejected as pressure builds. 

Ok, lets say I have a bung that can seal the barrel, and it is succesfully conditioned/carbonated.  The day I want to serve the beer, I imagine I will have to use a spile of some sort to make sure I don't have a vacuum in the barrel as the level of ale falls, right?   Or since I will be serving the whole cask within a matter of hours, does that not matter, and I should just crack open the bung/cork I use? 

Open to any ideas.....

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