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Messages - svejk

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151
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How Common Are Infected Batches?
« on: September 04, 2010, 11:40:10 PM »
Interesting.  I guess if I do try a batch without sanitizer, I should go for a beer with an average ABV and drink it quick.

152
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How Common Are Infected Batches?
« on: September 04, 2010, 11:09:13 PM »
Wow - 2.8%?  Do you remember the OG and FG for that beer?  I've been getting into low ABV brewing lately, but I tend to get better efficiency than I plan for. I know that I can dilute to my target, but I never end up doing it.

So far the infection rate is really low. I'm almost tempted to throw caution to the wind and brew a "keep things clean, but no sanitizer" beer.  Might be a fun experiment.

153
General Homebrew Discussion / How Common Are Infected Batches?
« on: September 04, 2010, 07:56:44 PM »
Another thread got me thinking about how many batches of beer actually get infected. I've been brewing over 10 years and never had one.  Over the years I have heard horror stories of huge lapses in sanitation that didn't result in infections. Early on somebody pointed out to me that we sanitize our equipment, rather than sterilize it. 

Another piece of advice that I really like is that the farther along in the process you are, the less important sanitation becomes (highest priority to making starters or yeast slants and lowest priority to bottling or kegging).  I have even heard that some homebrewers don't even sanitize their bottles as long as they are clean.  I'm not that brave and don't mind going through the extra effort to give myself some peace of mind, but it is reassuring to know that my efforts may be above and beyond what is necessary.

How about you?  How long have you been brewing and how many infected batches have you had?  Any batches that you thought should have been infected, but weren't?

154
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Blow out tubing?
« on: September 04, 2010, 07:27:57 PM »
The only thing I'll add is that infections, while often talked about, are fairly rare. A carboy full of actively fermenting beer is an inhospitable place for the nasty bugs that would do your beer harm. I have been brewing for over ten years and I'm reasonably careful with sanitation (but not overly so) and I have never had an infected batch.  I am also knocking on wood as I type this.

155
Questions about the forum? / Re: 1st Kit and Other Rankings
« on: September 04, 2010, 12:37:06 PM »
Start an argument with someone in any topic you wish - volley back and forth like crazy and before you know it you'll be a great brewer!  ::)

Frankly, that is the stupidest idea I have ever heard in my life... I think we need to argue about that!  :o

I don't even know what "1st Kit" even means. For that matter, I'm also confused by references to "no pants" (I think I understand what not having pants means, but I don't understand why that term would be used in the way it is).  If these are common terms I somehow missed hearing them over the last four decades. I was glad when my rating went to Cellarman last night because at least I knew what that meant!

156
Zymurgy / Re: Lost Recipe
« on: September 04, 2010, 11:19:53 AM »
No problem!  I should have given credit to the brewer. It is Steve Fletty's "Scotch Bingerson's Rehydration Fluid" Strong Scotch Ale from page 51 of the Sept/Oct 2010 Zymurgy.

157
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottle Caps
« on: September 03, 2010, 08:05:22 PM »
My recollection from the podcast is that the O2 absorption happens 24 to 48 hours after they get wet, so there is plenty of time to cap the bottles.

158
Zymurgy / Re: Lost Recipe
« on: September 03, 2010, 07:46:36 PM »
This one?

14lb pale
(1 lb each) malted wheat, aromatic, Munich
.33 lb roasted barley

0.5 oz magnum 14% 60 min
.25 oz fuggles 4.2% 10 min

Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale

Mash at 156
OG 1.101
FG 1.024
2 hour boil
Ferment @ 68F

159
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottle Caps
« on: September 03, 2010, 07:38:20 PM »
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember a podcast (Basic Brewing?) where the producer of these caps said that they needed to get wet in order to be effective. Does anybody else remember that?

160
Kegging and Bottling / Re: carbonating after fermentation has ended
« on: September 03, 2010, 04:37:04 PM »
Yep, as long as your beer has reached final gravity, you can just use the cheap dry ale yeast and not worry about bottle bombs.  The yeast that are added will only consume the priming sugar that you used, and the remaining sugars are unfermentable because if they weren't, the other yeast would have eaten them.  When in doubt about the health of your yeast, pitching dry yeast at bottling is cheap insurance against flat beer.

161
Questions about the forum? / Searcing the Forum
« on: September 02, 2010, 01:17:42 PM »
Is it possible to add the "Whole Words Only" or "Parts of Words" option to the search?  That is what the search for the HBD Brews & Views uses, and it allows you to exclude words you don't want.  For example, when I search for the word "sour", the results include any word that has those letters in it - like "source", "resource", "outsource", etc.  If I put "sour" in quotes, I get the same result, and if I put " sour " (with spaces before and after the word), I still get the same results.

If there is an easy way to do this that I am missing, please let me know.  Thanks!

162
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How fast is too fast to move to all grain?
« on: September 02, 2010, 12:36:01 PM »
I went to all grain after only a few extract batches.  In addition to doing lots of reading, I also suggest searching youtube for videos of homebrewing.  If there is something that doesn't make sense to you, sometimes it helps to see it done.

163
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Looking to get into homebrewing
« on: September 01, 2010, 12:37:09 PM »
First of all, welcome to this obsession.  Unfortunately in my case, I'm pretty sure my homebrewing hasn't saved me any money.  I suppose there are times when I reuse yeast and brew a low gravity, lightly hopped beer that it can be cheap, but there is an awful lot of equipment to be amortized to get the cost below what I can buy beer for.  That said, for the most part, I prefer my own beer to a good percentage of the commercial stuff.

For a beginning homebrewer, I think you are okay skipping a carboy and skipping using a secondary vessel at all.  There are a whole lot of homebrewers who only use secondaries in specialized circumstances.  That said, keep an eye on craigslist to see if you can track down some inexpensive equipment in your area.  I got my first kegging system for a hundred bucks at a garage sale.

I don't have very much experience with kits, but I think you should be fine choosing a reasonably simple sounding recipe that you find elsewhere.  My first time brewing was at a U-Brew place and the beer was an IPA.  It was great and I was hooked.  If you have a particular IPA that is your favorite, I would encourage you to find a clone recipe for it.  For me, IPAs are all about adding lots of hops very late in the boil.  Hmmm, now that I think about it, you might consider getting a second fermenting bucket so you can do a secondary with dry hops.  I suppose you could dry hop in the primary fermenter after it is finished, but I've never tried that myself.

I don't have very much experience with fruit beers, so I'll have to leave that part of your question to other homebrewers.

One other last piece of advice is that I would encourage you to see if there is a homebrew club in your area.  I brewed for about 8 years before I joined a club and I'm sure I learned more from the first couple years in that group than I did in all the previous years combined.

164
All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Out Questions / Please Help
« on: September 01, 2010, 09:30:41 AM »
In addition to stopping enzymatic activity, a mash out supposedly makes the sugars thinner and allows them to flow more easily.

In addition to the other things mentioned, one option worth trying is to dough-in with less water.  That makes for a thicker mash, and then when you add the water to bring the mash up to the mash out temp it isn't quite so thin.  There are trade-offs with each option, so it is good to try a few different variations and see which one produces the beer you like.

165
Kegging and Bottling / Re: It begins....
« on: August 31, 2010, 11:58:37 PM »
Can I/should I force carbonate, or let it age in the keg for awhile?  How does each process work?

I would go ahead and force carbonate it.  The easiest way I have found is to attach the tank to the "gas in" fitting and set the regulator to 15psi at about 40F.  It will take several days to carbonate, but it is fairly consistent.  You really need to be sure to check for gas leaks in your system, or you will end up with an empty CO2 tank.

Another option is to prime the keg like you would when you bottle condition.  There is a recent thread about this option that goes into it quite a bit, so that is probably worth reading.  The process for this option is to rack the beer into the keg, add the priming sugar, seat the lid by pressurizing the tank to about 15 psi (if you don't do this there is a chance that the lid won't hold the CO2 produced by the yeast, and it will leak out), and hold the keg at room temperature for a week or two so the yeast can do their job of carbonating the beer.  Once the beer is carbonated, you can throw it in the fridge and serve it.  The first couple of pints may be a little cloudy.

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