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Messages - morticaixavier

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All Grain Brewing / Re: rookie who needs help with floaters!
« on: March 26, 2013, 07:39:41 AM »
Kolsch is an ale yeast but I wouldn't pitch it at 72. The fermentation temp is alright though, as long as he didn't start fermentation out that warm it probably isn't much of an issue. That said, I start that strain out around 58 and make a 2 liter stirred starter.

As far as "floaters" go. Agree we need more info. Is this in the finished beer? you may sometimes get little colonies of yeast in the fermentor floating on surface of beer. If this is what you are concerned with set your worries aside. It's perfectly natural and won't carry over into glass.

+1 to temp suggestions.

But on topic. I am with RAM and Major. I have seen this particularly with WLP029 and irish moss in the boil. I use ALOT of Irish Moss in my kolsch and the yeast and trub get all mixed up together and can float on top of the fermenter for quite some time. I have a also seem big globs of yeasty/truby stuff circulating through the beer in the starter. (I ferment in buckets so I don't see it in the bucket).

I think you need to take is slower next time. Give it 2 weeks or even 3 weeks in the fermenter in the low 60s then crash it for a couple days near freezing. it will drop super bright if you let the yeast finish up in their own time.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Favorite beer you've ever brewed?
« on: March 25, 2013, 08:48:56 AM »
The best beer I ever brewed was the all grain Patersbier kit from NB. I dont care for belgain beers but this one did not have any of the phenolics that I usually get. I have rebrewed this kit 4 times and it has never been anything close (always belgainy) I wonder if somehow the yeast packaging got messed up. I tried it one time with US05 but that turned out so clean it was like water.

Look to your yeast health proper ferm temp (65 or so) and proper yeast pitching quantities (not too much, not to little) will help you control those phenolics and esters.

Beer Recipes / Accidental clone?
« on: March 25, 2013, 08:07:55 AM »
So a few weeks back I brewed up an ordinary bitter.

10 gallon batch
3.75 kg california select
3 kg munich 10L
.5 kg c40

Mashed at 162 for 45 minutes

5.3 IBU pacific Gem FWH (calculated as a 20 minute addition)
10.9 IBU Pacific Gem at 60 minutes
7.3 IBU challenger at 20
4.4 IBU challenger at 10
4.1 IBU belgian goldings at 10
35 grams Belgian Goldings at 0

Pitched a 2 liter starter (actually 2 1 liter starters) of WLP002.

OG 1.040  FG 1.012

fermented at ambient (55-65 night day swings) in the spare bathroom. for a couple weeks and cold conditioned for about 3 weeks.

Anyway. THe other day I was in the local bottle shop and I noticed they had the Timothy Talyor Landlord in bottles. I am sure that this beer, after a 6000 mile trip in a bottle was not at it's best but I grabbed a bottle because I was curious and I had heard so much good stuff about it here.

Since I had it at home I figured it would be fun to compare to my homebrewed bitter. Poured about 4-5 oz of each into identical pint mason jars (my tasting glass of choice) and was astonished to realize they were EXACTLY the same color and clarity (mine might have been a touch clearer as the Landlord was bottle conditioned)

The Landlord had a creamer smoother and slightly longer lasting head but then mine had only been in the keg for about 5 days.

Tasting them... again, astonished. They tasted so similar. The landlord had a slightly fuller, maltier, sweeter note and mine had a hit of dyacetyl (I think) but the bitterness was spot on and the hop flavour and aroma were spot on.

Anyway. Just thought I would share this story of an accidental clone.

The Pub / Re: Cats are not Hop Heads.
« on: March 24, 2013, 02:09:48 PM »
the Cat In The Hat hops too!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Using maple sap in beer
« on: March 21, 2013, 10:33:12 AM »
I think you would need to have a sample analyzed. I also think you would need to pull your sample from the entire batch of sap you intend to use because I am willing to bet that two trees a few hundred yards from each other will produce different mineral and pH profiles.

it's going to depende on the ground water and I would think lot's of other factors like health of the tree and such.

Whatever method you use I would recomend purgeing the keg BEFORE putting beer in it. If you have an extremely o2 poor atmosphere inside the keg, when you rack the beer in there is very little opportunity to introducing o2. If you fill the keg and then purge just the head space you must be very careful to rack gently as splashing can introduce o2 to the finished beer.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Carbonation taking "hold"
« on: March 19, 2013, 10:16:03 AM »
Go here:

If you are in a rush then kick, shake, rattle and roll however I'm personally not a fan.

Set it to the correct pressure and let it sit 3-4 days.  If I'm in a rush then I'll set to 30psi for a day, then bring it to serving pressure and sample.  Repeat as needed..... ;)


I am particularly fond of the sampling part. and the repeat part... repeat sampling that is  ;D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Whirlfloc and Fluffy Trub
« on: March 19, 2013, 10:14:21 AM »
Whirlflock is really just powdered Irish Moss and a binder isn't it. you could pulverize some IM and have essentially the same thing.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Anybody familiar with PBW?
« on: March 18, 2013, 10:36:27 AM »
If I am working in a tub of the stuff for 30 minutes or so de-laberling bottles it starts to really dry out my hands. I would suggest using gloves for prolonged exposure but I have not had problems sticking my hands in it to scrub a fermenter (gently)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Carbonation
« on: March 18, 2013, 08:56:29 AM »
On high gravity and especially high gravity heavy hopped beers you are always better off adding half a packet of dried yeast just to be sure. The yeast will not always respond as well on a natural conditioned beer after a high gravity ferment.

If you still don't get any carb in the next few days you can rehydrate a pack, take an eye dropper and crack open each one, add a little yeast and reseal. You should get carbonation then assuming you mixed the priming sugar up well.

Does the beer taste kind of sweetl? if so +1 to Majors advice. if it doesn't I would lean towards the lack of mixing argument. check some more bottles and see if they have more pfft

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentation profile
« on: March 18, 2013, 08:48:01 AM »
I will generally try to chill my wort to ~65* before pitching ales. This allows for the initial temp rise when the yeast start working without jumping over 70* I just let it ride out there unless it is a yeast strain that has difficulting finishing or I am in a hurry to finish the beer for some reason. If I raise the temp it is after the first 3 days or so of fermentation and then I just adjust to 70-74* all at once. I figure it takes a while for the mass of the beer to adjust anyway inside the fridge.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Raisins in a Dubbel
« on: March 18, 2013, 08:42:02 AM »
Just keep stirring!  I like to use raisins later in the process.  After the beer is fermented, toss some raisins in a red hot wok and caramelize them.  Deglaze with some of the beer, then toss it all in a secondary and rack the beer on top.
Damn Denny, you have me sold. Think this might be my next brew.

I did this with a stout. it's intense for sure. I think I left it sit a little too long in secondary and picked up some tannis from the raisin skins, that and I used about 3.5 lbs of raisins in 5 gallons.

wracking to the keg a raisin lodged in the end of my racking cane so it took around 1 hours to get 5 gallons in the keg but it was crystal clear the whole time with that raisin filtering out all the gunk  :)

All Things Food / Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« on: March 18, 2013, 08:18:34 AM »
This is only my second year on this garden. and we are rotating some but mostly we just plant a big ol' hodgepodge anyway with lots of stuff growing every which where.

Ingredients / Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« on: March 18, 2013, 08:17:22 AM »
One that jumps out at me is sumac

My wife is doing some test batches for a local one-man brewery (Blank Slate, Cincinnati, OH,, and sumac is one of the things they're about to test. They're going to start by making some teas and blending them into a Belgian Blond to see what they get.

sumac is also sometimes called lemonade berry, or at least some varieties are. If you get a big bunch of the fresh berries that havn't been rained on and soak them in cold water then strain the water off and drink. tastes like lemonade... sorta. maybe dryberrying?

Ingredients / Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« on: March 15, 2013, 07:36:23 PM »
So bugs from Berkley automatically are awesome? Hmmm

Oh yes! every sourdough I have tasted made with berkeley starters have been amazing. It's weird because when I lived in Oakland, the next town over I made some sourdough starter and it was good the first batch but then turned to nail polish remover fairly quickly. I live in the north bay now and the same thing happens here.

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