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Messages - svejk

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottle Caps
« on: September 04, 2010, 03:05:22 AM »
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.

Zymurgy / Re: Lost Recipe
« on: September 04, 2010, 02:46:36 AM »
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

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottle Caps
« on: September 04, 2010, 02:38:20 AM »
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?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: carbonating after fermentation has ended
« on: September 03, 2010, 11:37:04 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.

Questions about the forum? / Searcing the Forum
« on: September 02, 2010, 08:17:42 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!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How fast is too fast to move to all grain?
« on: September 02, 2010, 07:36:01 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.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Looking to get into homebrewing
« on: September 01, 2010, 07:37:09 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.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Out Questions / Please Help
« on: September 01, 2010, 04:30:41 PM »
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.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: It begins....
« on: September 01, 2010, 06:58:37 AM »
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.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: carbonating after fermentation has ended
« on: September 01, 2010, 06:45:28 AM »
{I see that there has been another reply as I was typing this.  I don't feel like editing, so please ignore my repetition.}

Hmmm, 10 days in the secondary doesn't seem like a long enough time to kill off the yeast.  If we had a few more details about your beer we might be able to come up with some ideas as to what happened.  Recipe?  Secondary temp? Gravity readings pre and post fermentation?  Temperature that the bottles of beer have been stored at after bottling?

If the beer was kept really cold during the secondary, this may have encouraged flocculation and you could end up with insufficient yeast to carbonate.  If this was a high gravity beer, that can also cause problems for bottle conditioning.  Another problem can be keeping the beer too cold right after bottling it.  I usually leave my bottled beers at room temperature for about a month to make sure that they carbonate.

In cases where I have a really long or cold secondary fermentation, or super high alcohol beers, I will often pitch some fresh yeast at bottling.  My process is to buy a packet of dry yeast (usually Nottingham), rehydrate it, and add some of that rehydrated yeast to the bottling bucket and then make sure it is stirred in really well before adding my priming sugar and bottling the beer.

As long as the beer has completely finished fermenting and you add an appropriate amount of priming sugar, if the yeast are healthy and able to do their job, you should have carbonated beer and there shouldn't be any problems with bottle bombs.

A walk-in cooler has been mentioned a few times, and I noticed this on ebay:

I could probably cobble something together for a lot less, but this sure looks nice.

Beer Travel / Re: One Week in Belgium
« on: August 27, 2010, 06:03:48 AM »
Speaking of De Dolle, they do an English tour of the brewery every Sunday. If that fits in your schedule, I would highly recommend it. It is a great chance to visit a brewery and share experiences with other "beer-centric-Anglo-types".

One other stop worth mentioning is Kulminator in Antwerp. By far the best beer bar I have ever visited.

Have a great time!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Big Mistake?
« on: August 26, 2010, 11:47:03 PM »
I assume this is a plastic bucket fermenter?  If so, then I would go ahead and replace it. If you ever decide to get into sour mashes or brewing lambics, you can use the stinky one.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Fermenting is done!!
« on: August 26, 2010, 06:57:50 PM »
The trick to understanding carbonation is that you need to establish equilibrium in the keg.  At colder temps, the CO2 has an easier time getting into the beer, so you can carbonate with a lower PSI setting on the regulator.  If you charge a keg of 34F beer to 10 PSI and remove the regulator, the CO2 will leave the headspace and work its way into the beer.  If you check it a day later, the pressure in the keg will be really low because the CO2 in the headspace has now worked its way into the beer and established a new equilibrium.  If you attach the CO2 and leave it set at 10 PSI for a week, it will establish an equilibrium where there is 10 PSI in the headspace and the beer contains an appropriate volume of CO2 at that temp and pressure. 

Leaving the regulator attached for 2 days at 30 PSI, can establish a similar equilibrium to holding it at 10 PSI for a week.  The trick is to catch it at the point where the beer is carbonated sufficiently, but not overcarbonated.

Here is a website that I found really helpful:

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Fermenting is done!!
« on: August 26, 2010, 05:26:32 PM »
As Drew mentioned above, the keg will need to be hooked up to the CO2 the whole time.  I find that it takes about a week of holding the keg at a constant pressure and a constant temp to get it to carbonate.  If you put it into a 34F fridge today and attach it to a CO2 tank with the regulator set at 10PSI, then you should have carbonated beer next Thursday.  Unless of course, you have a CO2 leak.  In that case, you'll have an empty CO2 tank and flat beer.  Oh, you can also leave a leaky cobra faucet attached and have a floor full of beer.  For the most part, kegging has been great, but I have learned a lot of lessons the hard way over the years.  That said I'll never go back to bottling.

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