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Messages - morticaixavier

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Dip tube
« on: October 25, 2013, 03:20:43 PM »
Here's my thought process. Seems like the first couple pours are wasted unless you are a yeast lover. Then I saw that new style keg that has a concave bottom to keep yeast away from the center. How about trimming the bottom inch or so off the dip tube?  Has anyone tried that? Thoughts?

sure, folks do that a lot. you still lose the beer but as you say, it's a loss anyway. However, I find if you let it settle for a couple days in the fridge before pulling that first pint you only lose maybe half a pint while trimming the dip tube will likely leave behind at least a full pint. but still, not much to worry about.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bourbon Barrel Stout
« on: October 25, 2013, 09:16:31 AM »
Correction, it took about 80% of the 5 gal carboy.  Yikes.
Topped it up this AM, smelled SOOOO gooood!

I put the rest in a gowler and an airlock.  <=== Does that work?

sure, if you transferred carefully you can use that to top up the barrel as you take 'samples' for 'analysis' over the next couple months.

Beer Recipes / Re: Nov/Dec 2010 Barleywine recipes
« on: October 25, 2013, 08:19:12 AM »
you don't fill it with water right? just count on keeping the air cool? less mess potential that way.
Correct. I think water would cause fast temperature fluctuations when you add new ice. Air slows that down so the temperature is more steady. And you're right - no leaks, drips, etc.
I think I could cold crash too by filling the cooler with ice after fermentation. Haven't tried that yet.

I bet that would work well. If you add some rock salt for sure.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Corny to cask conversion?
« on: October 25, 2013, 07:34:49 AM »
If your using a picnic tap as long as the tap is below the keg it will work like a siphon just use gas to start then open relief valve. Its hokey but works.

I've been trying to put my finger on this since this thread appeared. now I feel stupid. Thanks for beating me to it.

Maybe the AHA can work on legislation to up the home production limit.  200 gals just isnt reasonable when you live in an area with minimal good beer choices.
That works out to 3 6-packs a week for each of the 2 adults living in the house, I can't imagine that would be an easy limit to raise.  On the other hand, how do they know how much you brewed?

on the other hand, that's just over 2 beers a night per adult IF there are only 2 living in the house. if there are three adults and the limit is still 200 gallons then your down to less than 1 beer a night per person, still not the end of the world. but imagine if there were 4 adults in the house, why then your talking about less than 4 beers per week per person. And that's just madness... madness I say  ;D


200 gallons among 4 adults = 17.53 fl oz per day rather than less than 4 beers per week.

Beer Recipes / Re: Nov/Dec 2010 Barleywine recipes
« on: October 25, 2013, 07:26:50 AM »
I've been using this igloo cooler lately, which fits a 6.5gal carboy or bucket perfectly. I place 1-2 frozen ice packs around the sides and wrap a towel around the top, replacing the ice packs every 12 hours. This summer I used more icepacks to keep 10 gallons of cider in the high 50s when my house was about 80. It's a bit labor intensive, but it works and its cheap.

you don't fill it with water right? just count on keeping the air cool? less mess potential that way.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bourbon Barrel Stout
« on: October 24, 2013, 12:25:08 PM »
My homebrew club brewed 11 batches of NB imperial stout with specialty grains.  We let ferment for 2 weeks then put into secondary.  We just racked from secondary to the bourbon barrel and we are still about 2 gallons shy of filling the barrel up.  So we tried as much to fill the barrel up with CO2, but we are still a little worried about the airspace left.

I have just made another batch as I was considering filling the barrel as full as possible.  Now I am second guessing.  I don't want to keep opening up the barrel and expose to O2.  What should I do gize?

Bourbon Barrel is from Wild Turkey.

top it up. syphon the new beer on top of the old carefully.

It's being exposed to o2 in the barrel that's a big part of the point of barrel ageing a big beer like that. A little oxidation changes, melds, and softens the flavours.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentation Temp Measurement
« on: October 24, 2013, 11:28:52 AM »
Based on what I have read, that could reach 10 degrees higher....which would put me at much higher than suggested temps.
I keep hearing that 10 degrees, and sometimes it is 5 degrees, but it always anecdotal.  I suppose at some point I will set up my own experiment, but with all the agitation going on in the fermentor from thermal gradients and CO2 production, during active fermentation I can't see how there is going to be significant differences in temperatures anywhere in the beer.  [...]

I think the 10 degree variance in questions is the one between the beer (as you say, anywhere in the beer) and the ambient temperature of the fermentation chamber.

Other than that +1 to your points.

The Pub / Re: Au pair?
« on: October 24, 2013, 08:04:54 AM »
It's interesting that Au Pair specifically relates to a person from another country (than the one they are working in). I think that part of the definition has been lost here.


Sorry I got nothing. My younger sister is the right age but she just scored a sweet scholarship and is off to college next year.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Well carbed but no head
« on: October 24, 2013, 08:01:08 AM »

How long has the beer been in the keg?  Do you carbonate at serving temp?

I've found that with higher serving pressures the beer will initially seem carbonated but has poor head forming and retention.  Given time (maybe a week or so) the head seems to stabilize.

What I think might be happening is that the higher pressure is forcing the gas into suspension, which is why the beer seems carbonated, but that it's not fully dissolved into the liquid when I initially tap the keg.  The pour is good, the carbonation seems to be there, but I get a thin fizzy head that dissipates quickly.  A week or so later, it's a different story.

So, maybe you just need to be patient?

The beer has been in the keg now about a week at 30psi at 40F.

The root beer is clear as well so there is is nothing suspended and yes, it is a full 10% ABV.

Like I mentioned, the co2 appears to be fully absorbed as there are a ton of bubbles rising from the bottom of the pour from start to finish and it tastes well carbonated.

 The tiny thin head that is forming is not dissipating quickly and there is nice lacing as you drink it.

I guess I'll see how it develops over another week or so but I'm thinking it has something to do with the root beer extract oils and ingredients that might be limiting the head production.

I've never used in but I think commercial soft root beers often use a heading powder of some sort (maltodextrin maybe?) to get that long lasting big thick foam.

I suspect, and this is totally a suspicion based in my own hippie dippy view of the world in which 'old' and 'natural' food techniques are ALWAYS better than 'new' and 'engineered' food techniques (I jest, but just a bit). that if you used the traditional herbs and spices to make your brew you would get a robust and long lasting head of foam which is what the heading powder is supposed to emulate.

You know, I just had a thought, what about a little flaked wheat? triticale, which is a hybrid between wheat and rye, is extremely neutral in beer (I found out to my sadness when I had 10 gallons of triticale saison that was just meh) and should boost your proteins some.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Storing beer in a corny
« on: October 24, 2013, 07:53:40 AM »
My first kegging (corny keg) of 5 gals of an extract kit pale ale from NB:

1.) Corny was a tertiary racking (Primary, Secondary, then kegged)
2.) Added 5 o of priming sugar
3.) Stored room tempy for 3 weeks

Then I finally got the CO2 system (5lb tank, dual regulator)
Hooked it up to the corny, added about 10lb pressure
Went to pull my first glass, immediately and KABOOOSH!

So.  What'd I miss?   Lots of beer wasted as I didn't know about the pressure releif valve (actually, my keg doesn't have one, but the pin lock I could have released it -be careful here too - I just depressed the pin with a screwdriver and again - KABOOOSH!)

did you give it time to chill?

5 oz for 5 gallons is a lot to start with. I am guessing that you didn't hear any gas going in when you hooked up 10 psi.

on the pin lock pressure release, are you sure you depressed the gas in poppet and not the beer out? if you are sure I suspect that you had a keg full of foam from pulling that first glass (and reducing the pressure inside)

How long is your serving line? if you calculate the pressure inside that keg after 5 oz of priming sugar and at room temp I am guess it was around 20-30 psi which would want a very long serving hose indeed.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Storing an empty keg
« on: October 24, 2013, 07:21:48 AM »
I usually clean, sanitize, charge with co2 and leave them like that. although one often just stays full of sanitizer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sparge temp
« on: October 24, 2013, 07:18:10 AM »
Still trying to think this out, going to experiment with some wort from my next beer, Just to clarify morticaixavier how much yeast do you mean my a ton? two packets of dry yeast is what i was thinking.

probably 1 packet in a quart would be more than enough

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentation Temp Measurement
« on: October 23, 2013, 03:24:19 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion.  I know that wyeast suggests 68 degrees at the lowest for this strain and thought I was doing alright with keeping it at middle range (68-75), but then became concerned about the active fermentation temp inside.  Hopefully I haven't pushed this too high (80) active fermentation temp. I think i may just have to tape my probe to the side and see what it says. 


take those suggestions from the lab with a grain of salt. especially the low end. but even if you want to keep it in the suggested range, aim for the low end.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentation Temp Measurement
« on: October 23, 2013, 03:10:07 PM »
thermowells are great but I have always been happy with the stick on fermentometer. I will say that 72 ambient is a bit too high already. I like to keep my ferm chamber around 64 for the beginning of most, if not all ale ferments. Some, like kolsch I will actually go lower.

With Belgians, big beers, and saisons I will bump the temp up to 74 after the first 3-4 days and turn off the temp control (or turn on heat) at the very end aiming for 78ish. some saison strains obviously like it a lot warmer but I often get a fusel headache when I drink homebrewed saison and I suspect the 'wisdom' of the high ferment temp.

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