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Topics - cheba420

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General Homebrew Discussion / Timing Diacytal Rests
« on: June 18, 2011, 04:54:37 PM »
So, Ive been brewing a lot of IPA's recently which require dry hopping. I'm not sure about my process here so I'd like to get some feedback. Typically, what I do is ride out primary fermentation, ramp up to do a diacytal rest for a day or so just above 70. Then I cold crash so I can drop out all of the yeast and then I dry hop the next day and let the hops ride for 5-7 days in the fermenter. Sound right?

General Homebrew Discussion / Came up short!!!!!!
« on: June 13, 2011, 04:30:09 AM »
Looking for some insight here. I'm pretty sure I understand what happened, just not sure HOW it happened. I brewed an IPA today. My pre boil target gravity was 1062 and PB volume was supposed to be 7.5 Gallons. I was shooting for a 6 gallon batch into the fermenter. I wound up with a PB gravity of 1059 but had put 2 extra quarts of sparge water in the mash tun and wound up leaving it in the tun when I reached 7.5 gallons in the kettle. I assume that had I not used that extra 2 qts, I would have nailed my PB gravity. Oh well.

Heres the issue. I wound up with 4.75 gallons of wort into the fermenter. I left about a quarter gallon of cold break behind in the kettle. Since I started at 7.5 gallons and lost .25 gallons to the cold break in the kettle, this means that I boiled off 2.5 gallons in the 90 minute boil or 30% of the total volume. My boil was slow and steady. This was not an agressive boil by any means. Doesnt this seem excessive? My OG after cooling was 1072 which was my target which further confuses me. Seems like it would be a little higher than that since I concentrated my wort down to 4.75 G.

Any ideas here to get my evaporation under control? Or should I just be starting with more volume. Any pointers would be helpful.

I know we're all supposed to be the most patient people in the world. After all, we are all in a hobby that has no immediate gratification. The end result is always delayed. I've read some of the recent posts about turning a beer around within a week or two and it got me thinking about when some of my beers have been a little young. I've noticed that I can usually drink my house pale in 2-3 weeks after kegging, my ipa's are best after 3 weeks (although, I can never wait that long to tap them), Ambers seem to be in the 3-4 week range and wheats....I cant seem to figure them out. Some have been good after 2-3 weeks in the keg and some take a month and a half to two months to get right.

Is there a per style rule of thumb when it comes to serving time? Maybe a rule of thumb to style and ABV?? Just want to get my process dialed in even further and patience is not my strong point! I realize that I can drink it whenever I want but I'm looking for feedback on optimal time per style. Any help would be appreciated!


Yeast and Fermentation / Washed me up some yeast.
« on: May 09, 2011, 03:20:32 AM »
Wow! I dont know why I didnt do this sooner. I've been wanting to reuse my yeast on the last few batches but there was a little intimidation factor. Just wanted to make sure I kept everything clean! Last week I watched some youtube vids and got a handle on the process.  Anyway, I took the plunge yesterday when I brewed and my fermenter is going crazy today. As long as I kept everything clean, and I think I did, I'm super stoked to see how this turns out. Anyone out there that is interested in reusing/washing your yeast, just do a little research and do it. Its easier than you think!

Kegging and Bottling / From keg to bottle
« on: May 03, 2011, 12:43:52 AM »
My buddy was over the other night and we were drinking some home brew. He liked it and wanted to take home a couple bombers. I havent bottled since I moved over to kegging a few years ago so I dint have bottles set up and ready to go.

Anyway, I just sanitized a couple of clean bottles, held them up to the faucet and filled them. When they were full, we capped them. They should hold their carbonation in the bottle for a while, right? I made sure we didnt leave a lot of head space and we capped on top of foam.

Yeast and Fermentation / Adding hot wort to a starter!!!!
« on: May 02, 2011, 06:28:58 PM »
A couple months ago, I was reading up on starters and someone had a great idea. On brew day, crash your starter early in the day and then as you're pulling wort into the kettle, decant your starter and fill it with your new, fresh wort. Great idea! The first time I did it, we cooled the wort down and then added it to the starter yeast. Yesterday, in a bone head move, I just pulled it right out of the kettle (before I put the flame on) and added it to the yeast. The wort had to be between 155 and 160. So, we cooled it very quickly in an ice bath and everything seems to be fine. Fermentation has taken off and we're bubbling away. Does anyone think there will be any long term damage here? Will the yeast react differently due to the high temp at start? What about the temp fluctuations, from 160 to 70 in a few minutes??? Like I said, fermentation has taken off, so I'm not too worried but thought I'd ask you guys for your thoughts.

Ingredients / Agave Nectar
« on: January 30, 2011, 06:48:07 AM »
I was given a couple bottles of agave nectar. I want to use it in an upcoming batch of wheat. Is there a way to calculate how many gravity points I'll be contributing by adding the nectar to my brew?

Thanks in advance!


Ingredients / Shelf life of crushed grain??
« on: January 23, 2011, 06:48:04 PM »
I bought some grain on Thursday to brew with today. Something came up and I'm not able to brew today. My LHBS crushes the grain for me when I buy it so I'm sure the clock is ticking on that grain. Anyone know how long it will hold before it starts to diminish in quality? Can I wait til next weekend or should I try to squeeze it in during the week?

Ingredients / Lemons
« on: January 17, 2011, 04:12:02 AM »
Just got done picking this year's crop of Lemons. We usually have some many and dont know what to do with them all.  I've read a little about making Hard Lemonade. I plan on just making a standard batch of our house lemonade and ramp it up to 5 gallons. Lemons, sugar, water. Looking for advice from there.

I'm sure I need some yeast nutrient in there.
For the starter, should I just use lemonade? What type of yeast?
Metabisulfite to kill what was on the fruit?
I assume that this will ferment out pretty dry. Sorbate and back sweeten? To what gravity?

Thanks in advance!

General Homebrew Discussion / Looking for some Temp tips
« on: January 02, 2011, 03:38:04 AM »
So, this is a weird one for Phoenix, AZ. We've been experiencing freezing temps here in the Valley recently. I use a fermentation refrigerator that I keep in my garage. I keep my johnson control between 66 and 68 for most of my beers. With the cold snap recently, I cant keep the temp that high. Its been holding inside the fridge around 58. I have a cider in there now that needs to be in the high 60's and I'm brewing an ipa tomorrow that needs to be in the same zone. Does anyone have suggestions on how to increase the temp a little inside the refrigerator. Should I wrap my carboy in some towels or a blanket? Any advice would be appreciated.

General Homebrew Discussion / Late Dry Hopping
« on: November 26, 2010, 05:35:21 PM »
Hey everybody-

I brewed up a batch of Amber and want it to have a little more hop aroma. Its in the keg and ready to go. Can I throw some hops in the keg this late without contaminating the whole batch? If so, should I just throw the hops in or put them in a hop bag? I dont want to clog the dip tube but I also dont think I want that bag in there for the next couple weeks.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.


Other Fermentables / Raspberry Cider
« on: November 06, 2010, 06:32:17 PM »
My wife likes Wyder's Raspberry Cider. I'd like to make a batch of cider with that flavor profile in mind. Sweet, berry flavor, clear...tart.
I'm starting with 5 Gallons of apple cider from the store. Its 100% pressed apple cider. No preservatives. I'll be using White Labs cider yeast that I have going in a starter.

I plan in racking to secondary after two weeks and then letting it go til its done. Heres where my question comes in. How do I get the best raspberry flavor in? I plan to add some sorbate to kill off the ferm and then racking the cider on top of the puree. How long should it sit? Is this the best process? I was told that If I add the fruit in during fermentation, the yeast would convert all of the fruit sugars and the fruit flavor would be lost. Obviously, at the end, I'll also have to back sweeten a bit. Frozen concentrate?

Any tips on this one are greatly appreciated.

General Homebrew Discussion / First Yeast Starter
« on: October 10, 2010, 04:34:29 PM »
Good morning everyone! I'm brewing today and using a yeast starter for the first time. I started it on Friday afternoon with 1/2 C of golden light DME, 2 cups of water and a packet of Wyeast 1056. The pale ale I'm brewing today should come in at 1060. I realize now that I should have started this up on Thursday so I may be a day behind but the yeast seems to have grown a lot and most of it has flocculated and sitting on the bottom.

I've checked the boards, I've checked into youtube a couple of times to get a handle on this and it's still not clear. How do I pitch from here? Do I swirl the whole starter up and pitch? Do drain off the wort and just pitch the slurry? Should I try stepping it up now so it builds a little more through out the rest of the day?

Any advice is appreciated.


General Homebrew Discussion / Evaporation and finished volume
« on: October 06, 2010, 01:14:16 AM »
Hoping to get some help out on something thats been frustrating me for a while. Heres the set up. I always pull 6.5-7 G out of my mash tun. I use a 7.5 G converted keg to boil in and a propane burner for heat. I keep my gas on just enough to keep the top of the wort rolling yet I'm losing a ton of volume in my brew day.

By the time I cool my wort and get it into the fermenter end up with 4.25 to 4.5 G of wort in the carboy. I know I'm losing some of that to the cold break that I leave behind when I chill, but 2.5 gallons lost in a one hour boil and chill?

Should I just relax and be happy with 4.5 gallons of beer or should I strive for the 5 gallon batch? I feel I'm being wasteful by not getting the yield I should get. It definitely changes the economics of the whole deal as well.

Any advice on how to get more beer from your beer?

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