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Messages - ajk

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dry Yeast Question
« on: March 24, 2011, 05:56:52 AM »
I find Safale S-04 to be more like the Whitbread strain -- more bready and attenuative than Wyeast 1968.  I haven't tried Nottingham or Windsor, though, so I can't say from personal experience if they'd get you closer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Troulble Shoot - oxidation
« on: March 11, 2011, 06:56:17 AM »
I am getting some oxidized notes in my last brew and am trying to figure where in the process that happened.

Oxidation comes in many aromas/flavors.  What are you getting?

Equipment and Software / Re: Poppit no pop, o-ring no seal?
« on: March 08, 2011, 06:00:33 PM »
I have some of those type.  A medium sized flat blade screw driver can be used to pry/release them from the bottom.  I've never driven the poppets out. 

Two of my kegs are manufactured by Firestone, and they have poppets/posts that behave this way.  From the underside of the post, I insert the flat end of the screwdriver between two legs of the poppet, then twist while curing Firestone aloud (though I'm not sure that last bit helps).  It takes a couple of tries.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: My first yeast starter - questions!
« on: March 07, 2011, 07:05:10 AM »
  Storing it in the fridge will cause a longer lag time when you pitch it into the wort. 

Could you expand on this? Myself and lots of excellent homebrewers have followed numerous commercial breweries lead of pitching cold.

I don't know about lag time, but I alway try to keep starters around the same temperature as the wort because of the following from Jamil's site:

According to Dr. Clayton Cone, one of the foremost experts on yeast, the yeast should be within 15F of the wort they're being pitched into. Neva Parker, the Laboratory Manger at White Labs, suggests a maximum swing of 10F and ideally 5F. I agree with Neva 100%. Besides shocking and stressing the yeast, pitching warm yeast into a cool wort can cause many of the yeast to produce petite mutants, which will never grow or ferment properly and they can produce excessive H2S.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg secondary fermentation
« on: March 07, 2011, 06:49:31 AM »
I understand to sanitize/purge keg with co2 to avoid oxidation, but should I also purge the head space just as in a serving vessel?  Does putting the beer under pressure affect the secondary fermentation process?  And if so do I need to vent the pressure building up?

If the beer is completely fermented by the time you transfer it to the keg, pressurizing the keg shouldn't adversely affect anything.  It will just give you a head start on carbonating the beer.

I use Corny kegs for primary fermentation, and once that's finished (after 1-4 weeks), I transfer to another Corny.  But I just carbonate and serve it right out of that second Corny (after dry-hopping, if it's that kind of beer).  I don't think there's much fermentation going on in that second Corny unless I add fruit or some other fermentable.

I am amazed that there does seem to be sweetnes still in the brew since the hydrometer indicated 1.000 FG.

As others have pointed out, there's still plenty of sugar in this beer.  Belgians are dry not just due to high attenuation but also due to bittering hops.  Up them a bit next time, not enough to be noticed as bittering hops but enough to dry out the beer.

Also, alcohol can give an impression of sweetness, so the bittering hops have to balance that as well.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Going extinct?
« on: February 23, 2011, 05:47:17 AM »
I guess the question is ... have we hit Peak Corny?

Belgian Pale.  Smoked Dunkelweizen should be finished fermenting.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First Time Judging Beer
« on: February 15, 2011, 11:12:26 AM »
Don't drink coffee the day of the judging.  According to Carr's Sensory Evaluation Techniques, it can impact your palate for up to an hour.  Smoking is bad, too, but according to the book, its effects don't last quite as long.

I haven't had issues with undercarbonated beer, but I pre-chill my bottles and set my dispensing pressure low, as low as I can tolerate, so beer doesn't rush into the bottle and cause CO2 to come out of solution.  It takes me a good 8 or 10 seconds (that's longer than it seems) to fill a bottle, not counting the time it takes to cap it.

Ingredients / Re: Identifying hops by smell?
« on: February 06, 2011, 06:21:59 PM »
Any brewer worth their salt knows that a recipe is only a start.  Good beer is a combination of skills that extend far beyond the recipe.

Hear, hear!  Not to mention that 90% of the resulting beer didn't come from the kit, anyway.  I'm surprised you didn't mention that, Martin. :-)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
« on: January 06, 2011, 07:21:37 AM »
Can we see some photos of these creations?

Equipment and Software / Brewery lighting
« on: January 05, 2011, 07:09:19 PM »
What's the best kind of lighting to install in a brewery?  I'm considering a number of factors, including

  • - low UV emission to avoid skunking finished beer
  • - appropriate color temperature for observing beer when tasting
  • - low heat emission since I'll be working under them

I've found it hard to get the data above on various products, especially the spectral data.

Equipment and Software / Re: Electric Alternatives to turkey fryer.
« on: January 05, 2011, 06:59:06 AM »
A friend and I use single-unit induction stoves for the boil.  Well, he has used his; I'll be using mine as soon as I finish my basement brewery (I had been using propane outside).  I have tested mine, and I've seen his in action on brew day.  The model I have is the Thermador 15" CIT151DS, which requires a 20-A, 240-V circuit.  It's now discontinued, but you may be able to find one (or a newer model) on eBay for cheap.

Only ferromagnetic pots work with induction stoves.  Not all stainless steel is ferromagnetic; a good test is whether a refrigerator magnet sticks to it firmly.

The stove I have will boil at least 7.5 gallons at its maximum setting, so it's not for big batches.

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