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Messages - beer_crafter

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It all depends on the temp of the tap water and the amount of wort movement during cooling.
I have a 50' immersion cooler that takes 10+ gallons down to the 70s in about 20 or 25 minutes this time of year. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: First stuck mash: batch sparge
« on: January 18, 2010, 08:10:22 AM »
Opened up the gap on the mill to the same width as a credit card (about .030") and my latest mash was much better.  There was very little teig on top of the grain. Still using regular tubing, next step is to try with the hi-temp stuff.

Equipment and Software / Re: Ice Cube MLT conversion
« on: January 11, 2010, 09:02:46 AM »
There is a lot of dead space in this Ice Cube.  I bought one as a MLT and I since have reverted it back to a cooler. 

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Stone Double Bastard
« on: January 11, 2010, 09:01:00 AM »
I have some 2004 Double Bastard that is drinking quite well now!

All Grain Brewing / Re: First stuck mash: batch sparge
« on: January 08, 2010, 09:51:46 AM »
Doughballs aren't the problem.  The mash itself was quite well mixed and even rather thin. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: First stuck mash: batch sparge
« on: January 07, 2010, 09:22:51 AM »
I don't.  Going to measure it once I get a feeler gauge this weekend.

All Grain Brewing / Re: First stuck mash: batch sparge
« on: January 06, 2010, 08:28:06 PM »
Does anyone use Hi-Temp vinyl tubing?  The ID is 3/8" while the OD is 1/2".  I recently changed to this from regular 1/2" OD vinyl tubing and I noticed my flow during the sparge got significantly slower, which in retrospect, is an obvious result.

When I removed this from my tun, replaced it with the regular 1/2 OD" and that allowed me to drain the mash. 

I am wondering if a tight crush along with the Hi-Temp tubing combined to create the stuck sparge.

Now...  is it OK to use regular vinyl tubing at mash temps?   I originally switched to the Hi-Temp stuff mostly becuase the regular stuff collapses and suctions in on itself when hot.. but it sure doesn't ever result in a stuck mash!  Is there a better tubing to use for this application?


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: dry hop time and taste?
« on: January 06, 2010, 07:01:44 PM »
It's the dry hops.  You'll get an effect after 1-2 days, especially with Fuggles.  My bet is that 10 days from now, it will be MUCH better.  You should try to keep it at cellar temps.

All Grain Brewing / First stuck mash: batch sparge
« on: January 06, 2010, 02:09:34 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. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brett
« on: December 10, 2009, 08:25:56 AM »
I used 3789 in an Orval clone and I found this particular strain worked relatively quickly.  You may need to give it a few extra weeks but I don't think you will need to age it for many many months.

Wood/Casks / Re: Cask Conditioning in a small (5L) oak barrel
« on: December 09, 2009, 08:37:57 AM »
It worked.  The only problem is that my barrel is 10L, not 5L, so I undershot the carbonation level significantly.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Locating English Pale Malt Extract
« on: November 24, 2009, 07:52:03 AM »
For an ESB, it's pretty critical to have a rich tasting base malt. 

Wood/Casks / Re: Cask Conditioning in a small (5L) oak barrel
« on: November 23, 2009, 08:07:49 AM »
Thanks Major.  I am going to give it a try.

Wood/Casks / Cask Conditioning in a small (5L) oak barrel
« on: November 22, 2009, 08:27:31 AM »
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.....

Beer Recipes / Re: Orval Clone
« on: November 17, 2009, 08:11:51 PM »
Listen to me...
If you can get your hands on Wyeast Trappist Blend yeast (WY3789), THIS is what you want to use to ferment your beer.

I've made almost the identical recipe two years in a row.  The first year I used WLP510 in primary, and then in secondary, I used WLP650 Brettanomyces bruxellensis.  I let it sit for months, waiting for the funk to arrive.  The brett fermented out the beer quite low, my FG was like 1.004, but the funk I got was minimal to non-existent.

This year I used WY3789 which is a blend of saccaromyces and brett.... and after a month fermenting, I bottled it and it has all the classic notes of orval.  The FUNK!  It's unreal.  I have heard from others to use Orval dregs, and I have to admit, I've never done it.  If I couldn't find WY3789, I'd probably go with dregs before I pitched a pure brett culture. 

Here's my recipe:  NOTE: It's a 3 gallon batch. 

Y'allVal half batch
Belgian Specialty Ale
Type: All Grain
Date: 9/13/2009
Batch Size: 3.00 gal
Brewer: James A. Shamas
Boil Size: 4.00 gal Asst Brewer: 
Boil Time: 60 min  Equipment: Stove Top with 5 gallon Cooler 
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00

Amount Item Type % or IBU
5.00 lb Pilsner (Weyermann) (1.7 SRM) Grain 80.00 %
0.75 lb Caramunich II (Weyermann) (63.0 SRM) Grain 12.00 %
0.50 lb Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 8.00 %
0.50 oz Tettnang [4.20 %] (60 min) Hops 15.7 IBU
0.50 oz Goldings, US [5.00 %] (60 min) Hops 16.8 IBU
0.50 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] (15 min) Hops 5.4 IBU
0.50 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] (0 min) Hops - 
1.00 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops - 

1 Pkgs Wyeast Trappist Blend (Orval) Yeast-Ale 

Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.058 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.058 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.017 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.011 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.37 %  Actual Alcohol by Vol: 6.13 %
Bitterness: 37.8 IBU Calories: 258 cal/pint
Est Color: 11.1 SRM Color: Color 
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 5.75 lb
Sparge Water: 2.69 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE Mash PH: 5.4 PH
Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 8.00 qt of water at 166.7 F 149.0 F

Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).

8 qt mash. 3 qts top up water. 8 qts sparge.
10.18.09. Perfect 

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