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Messages - redzim

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All Grain Brewing / Re: German Pilsner water?
« on: January 21, 2014, 11:55:34 AM »
I have a German pils on tap that I made using the Jever (boiled) profile from Bru'nwater.  I'm loving it!   Not only that, but it was on tap 4 weeks to the day after I brewed it.  That included only a week of lagering.  At 4 weeks, it was crystal clear and delicious.

Where is the Jever profile? I have Brun Water 1.16b and don't see it....

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: how long would you lager a Trad Bock?
« on: January 15, 2014, 06:08:38 AM »
Thanks for all the tips. I am usually in the "wait at least 4 weeks but 6 is better" camp, for my lagers, so I figured a bigger-than-normal (for me) lager like bock would take longer. but all your advice is giving me an excuse to tap the keg tonight and check it out!

General Homebrew Discussion / how long would you lager a Trad Bock?
« on: January 14, 2014, 09:42:02 AM »
It was in primary for a little over 2 weeks, then I kegged it a little over 5 weeks ago, it's been under 11PSI @ 34F since then. So it's fully carbed by now, just want to know when I should tap it.  O.G. of 1.070 and F.G. of  1.016.

Equipment and Software / Re: Plate Chiller and Hops
« on: January 10, 2014, 06:58:05 AM »
First off, it can't be easier to clean and sanitize. You can inspect visually to see if it is clean, or to see if any patina needs removed with an acid (vinegar works) soak.

I use 50' of 1/2" ID copper as an IC; I can get 11 gallons from boiling to 60F in about 7 minutes right now (my groundwater temp is 46F here in the Hudson Valley). [Takes longer in the summer, of course]

Anyway I love the IC for the reasons Major mentioned but I do have trouble with cleaning it. After 6-8 batches the copper does pick up a brownish patina from all the boiling, and so far I have been soaking it in a PBW solution for a few hours, which removes most of that BUT then the PBW leaves a chalky residue which I have found very difficult to remove, I basically have to manually scrub the entire coil with an abrasive green 3M scratchy pad thing. PITA of course.  Very interested if vinegar is going to do a better job. Would you soak in pure 5% vinegar? Or dilute? And hot, or cold? Any info appreciated.


The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: January 04, 2014, 10:40:18 AM »
Finally cracked a bottle of Old Bardstown. And I mean cracked. F'ing wax on a screw-cap. Honestly it was a messy struggle to open the bottle.

Anyway. Nice bourbon and really smooth at 101 proof. To me it is kinda like Scotch. Think this one will be savored.

Just kegged my Bourbon Porter today.  I used Old Bardstown for 5 gal, and Buffalo Trace for the other 5 gal.  I consider these very solid bourbons. I think both will be great.

In line with the rest of the post, for those considering budget, take a look at Rebel Yell.  Around here, same price (or slightly cheaper) than Evan Williams and a whole lot better.   A couple years ago I split my porter with Evan in one keg and local small batch bourbon from Tuthilltown in the other. The Evan was noticeably more raw and rough in the beer.  The Tuthilltown was nice but at $40+ for a 375ml bottle I won't be trying it again (that one was a gift...)


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: low level infection?
« on: January 04, 2014, 05:54:52 AM »
Vegetal doesn't suggest infection to me. I think a low level infection is more likely to strip flavor and produce extra carbonation.

So what does vegetal suggest to you?

Also, I keg and force carbonate, so it would be hard to tell if an infection is producing something that would be a "gusher" in a bottle....

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: low level infection?
« on: January 04, 2014, 05:54:02 AM »
Sure there are low level infections. If you store your beer cool it will slow down most organisms alot. Plastic can harbor bugs and bugs can (maybe) become resistant to star san. try replacing your buckets and tubing. I doubt it's the hops but out could be. How do they smell?

Sent from my SCH-I510 using Tapatalk 2

The hops smell fine, so I'm also skeptical, but like I said, some are old....

All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction yields greater?
« on: January 03, 2014, 11:55:51 AM »
Decoctions have always increased my efficiency as well. My normal range is 70-76% depending on the gravity. The double decoction schedule I usually follow for most of my german beers will put me around 82-86% efficiency.

Me too. Even a single mash out decoction bumps my efficiency about 80%, compared to a single-infusion mash of the same amount of grain that would be in the low 70% area

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: online stores and shipping
« on: January 03, 2014, 11:52:55 AM »
When I'm buying online I try to buy several brews worth of items. I then price everything out at Morebeer, Midwest NB, AHS and Rebel Brewer (including shipping) before I decide where to get my order from.

Now that I have 20+ recipes I like, I usually plan out 4 lagers & 4 ales and buy all my grains and yeast from whichever online store comes in lowest that day. I get 1# bags of hops from Hops Direct; if you can get 6+ pounds at a time the shipping works out quite reasonably.

General Homebrew Discussion / low level infection?
« on: January 03, 2014, 11:48:06 AM »
First of all, Happy New Year to my fellow brewers.

I’ve been detecting a low-level vegetal-type taste in my last 6 or so beers.  Not enough to cause me to dump them, but enough to bug me (most of my beer drinking friends haven’t noticed it).  A couple judges at comps I entered this fall noticed it too, but just made notes like “you may have a slight infection in this beer; check your sanitation procedures.”   It has gone thru a fresh start with my favorite lager yeast, so while at one point I thought it was maybe one bad batch of beer that infected my yeast and screwed up subsequent batches, now I’m not so sure.

For sanitation, I mix up Starsan with distilled water every 2-3 brews, so it is a max of about 6 weeks old, and never cloudy when I use it. I have a stainless steel boil kettle with copper IC but a plastic run-off tube (but I chill with a big IC so only chilled wort is going thru the run-off tube into fermenters.) My fermenters are 7-gal plastic tanks about 5 years old.   Is it possible they harbor something? I soak in hot PBW solution overnight after every fermentation though…  or is it time to replace them?

I don’t think this is DMS because for all my pilsner-malt based beers I boil 90 minutes, and for all of them I chill quite rapidly (I can chill 10 gal of down to 60F in 10 min, on average).  So I’m wondering if there a bugs that survive Starsan?  Is there such a thing as a low-level beer infection vs. a "really bad" infection?  Or does anyone have suggestions?

One other thing I was thinking: I buy my hops by the pound, and vacuum pack them in plastic vac seal bags when I open the pound. I keep them in an industrial walk-in freezer at work at -15F. Some varieties are 18 months old when I finally finish the pound. Any chance these old hops are possibly causing my problem?

Any help would be appreciated…

Beer Recipes / Re: Munich Dunkel Recipe?
« on: November 27, 2013, 05:53:11 AM »
So what do you suggest for simply brewing a Dunkel based on distilled water... your Amber Balanced or Amber Malty profile?

And while we're at it, what about Helles: Yellow Malty? 

Beer Recipes / Re: Munich Dunkel Recipe?
« on: November 26, 2013, 02:18:42 PM »

Martin - what is your suggestion for the ppm levels of calcium, magnesium, sulfate, chloride, etc...?

The one thing that is also apparent from the boiled Munich profile is that it still has a lot of bicarbonate and the brewers would have to dose with acid malt to neutralize that component. For some beer styles, it will be a significant dose.  But I don't expect that most people would taste it. But there might be nuances from the lactic acid that do color the beer flavor.  That is why it's imperative that brewers use lactic acid or acid malt when brewing German style beers.

Martin can you expand on your last sentence a little? A few years ago you mentioned in a similar thread that when building water from distilled or RO (which I do for amber and lighter beers, as my tap water is moderately hard) an acidulated malt is not needed...


Beer Recipes / Re: Munich Dunkel Recipe?
« on: November 26, 2013, 01:33:59 PM »
Jumping in late here, but really interesting thread...

I've had a good luck with Kai's recipe from here

Martin, what do you think of the water specs he gives there?


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Flaked Oats
« on: October 04, 2013, 04:50:38 AM »
Just make sure you get the "regular" rolled oats, not the quick-cook or instant ones. I've used regular rolled from the supermarket and flaked from various online brewstores and cannot tell the difference.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: belgian blonde cidery/acetaldehyde aroma
« on: September 30, 2013, 01:36:42 PM »

I did not filter, but I fined with gelatin in the corney keg.  So I should just take the kegs out of the fridge, and let them sit at room temp for a week maybe?  I could agitate them to try to rouse the gelatin/yeast sludge.... 

Also, I don't have CO2 outside of my cold storage: will the kegs be OK off the CO2 lines?  I don't care if they lose a little pressure but I don't want the lids to fall in and have the beer get contaminated...
That should help. If they are carbonated, the kegs should hold the pressure and re-equalize when you put them back in the kegerator. If anything, after warming the headspace will be under more pressure, not less, unless you have a seriously leaking keg.

So I took the kegs out of the cooler and left them at 65F for 8 days, then put back in the cooler and reconnected to CO2. (The kegs were still pressurized, which was excellent).  After4 or 5 days to chill down I sampled it again. The aroma was not so overpowering, but still there, and mildly unpleasant, and a little sulfury as well now. However after 10 minutes in the glass the aroma had largely dissipated and the beer was certainly drinkable, and an added wedge of lemon helped as well... so it's not one to pour down the drain, but also not one I'm planning to send to any comps....!

I took a sample over the weekend to the reputable owner of my LHBS; he's got a New York State Homebrewer of the Year award under his belt from within the last 10 years as well as a raft of medals from NHC and other local comps. He also detected the sulfur, but agreed that after 10 minutes it was largely gone. He suspects an infection, possibly from my yeast storage & transfer (I repitched T-58 from a Belgian Wit, and he also thinks a little bitter orange & coriander flavor got into this Blonde, which may be true but isn't really the cause of the weird aroma).

In any case the guy's big concern was that I'm re-pitching slurry from dry yeast; he emphatically said this is a no-no. I'd never heard that before, but he explained something about dry yeast being not as pure a strain as liquid and so with every re-pitch you get a higher chance of non-pure yeasties propagating weird stuff... I'd never heard this idea that re-pitching dry yeast is bad....  did I miss something or is this guy, whom I otherwise quite respect as a brewer and business owner, off the mark?


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