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Messages - morticaixavier

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Ingredients / Re: When to add sugar for Biere de Garde
« on: July 12, 2013, 01:21:03 PM »
I certainly didn't mean to imply that he had to, just doesn't seem like that much more work to me. given that there are situations where it WILL potentially make a difference why not get in the habit?

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Water
« on: July 12, 2013, 01:19:54 PM »
Any reason to adjust my water for an extract brew?  Normally an all-grain brewer.  My water tastes fine but I do have high bicarbonates-275 ppm per Ward Labs.

I'm learning this whole forum, and I'm not sure if I posted in the right place, but my question somewhat pertains to water, but the volume amount of the boil.

I'm brewing an American IPA, extract. In the past, I've boiled either 2 or 3 gallons, added all my grains, syrup, and hops to that volume amount (2 or 3 gallons). I'm thinking this time around of boiling all 5 gallons, and adding my respective ingredients to 5 gallons, rather than the 2 or 3.

Will this affect my flavor? I've noticed a lot of extract recipes calls to boil 2, 3, or even less water, rather than 5. Thanks.

always feel free to start a new post if you have a question. It will be more likely to get seen and fully answered but I will try.

The main reason to boil 2 or 3 gallons for extract is that you don't really NEED to boil it all so why waste energy? however there are some benefits to boiling the full volume. You should have no problem with straight extract and specialty grains so long as you pay attention to the pH OR pull the grains before the water temp exceeds 170*f. Hop utilization, the amount of bitterness you get from a given amount of hops, will be different depending on the gravity of the wort you are boiling them in. The level of darkening due to maillard reactions is also dependent on the amount of sugar and protein in the wort so a more concentrated boil will darken more.

Ingredients / Re: When to add sugar for Biere de Garde
« on: July 12, 2013, 07:32:34 AM »
I think you should add the sugar to the fermenter after the first few days. It is supposed to be healthier for the yeast as it keeps the osmotic pressure on the fermenting beer down and I find that it helps with keeping the temp rise down on a big or a really digestible beer.

Beer Recipes / Re: The Gargoyle
« on: July 11, 2013, 01:05:01 PM »
Shouldn't a beer with that name be dark? That's what I'm thinkin'...

Gargoyles are protectors from evil spirits... So, gargoyles scare off darkness. They are ugly but good.

Actually I didn't look that deep into when naming it. We have gargoyles around our koi pond, so as I sat on the porch putting together the recipe, I looked at one of the gargoyles and thought that should be the name. But I see your point, but it's my beer so your point doesn't matter  ;) :P

who says darkness is inherently associated with evil spirits?  ;D

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Flake looking material in bottles?
« on: July 11, 2013, 09:26:47 AM »
if the yeast were all gone you wouldn't get any carbonation. yes it looks like totally normal yeast sedimentation from bottle conditioning. What yeast did you use? I suspect it was a fairly clumpy one like 1968 or similar.

568 Saison blend from white labs

hmm not known for it flocculence but I still stick with yeast.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Soo..
« on: July 11, 2013, 08:37:17 AM »
I do all of my starter wort in quart canning jars. 2.5 oz per jar. 15 min at 15 psi. I do about 14 quarts at a time. Always room temp when I need it.

even better, next time you are making beer calculate for an extra 2 gallons of wort. run off into a separate container and dilute to 1.030ish and pressure can. I find I can often just run the extra water through my grain after I get my boil volume and get what I need. free, sterile, room temp starter wort!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Flake looking material in bottles?
« on: July 11, 2013, 08:33:19 AM »
Pics. But, try a commercial bottle conditiond like Sierra Nevada, there's floaties. I wouldn't sweat it

Oh, not sweating it, just trying to figure out why it's there because there was little to no yeast in suspension when I bottled, so I'm curious what caused these flakes to form in 3 days

I wouldn't worry either.  I used to have hop floaties in my beer.  Then I started racking into the fermenting bucket instead of pouring the whole thing and that took care of most of it. 

Now I whirlpool the wort at the end of the boil to make a pile of trub in the center of the kettle and rack into the carboy from the edge of the kettle.  No more trub in the finished product other than yeast. 

I'd expect plenty of yeast to still be in suspension though.  What is your method of filtration?

Maybe filter isn't correct. I do the same thing whirlpool wise, then rack from the edge.  I rack into secondary and finally rack into the bottling bucket, so 3 total racks. I had assumed that most of the yeast was gone. When I saw all this I was wow, where did that come from?

So bottom line is the yeast in suspension, when hit with the priming sugar, flocs out again?

if the yeast were all gone you wouldn't get any carbonation. yes it looks like totally normal yeast sedimentation from bottle conditioning. What yeast did you use? I suspect it was a fairly clumpy one like 1968 or similar.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Refractometer Sale
« on: July 11, 2013, 07:48:53 AM »
Well, I just got mine in today and everything looks as advertised. Nice case, and the refractometer seems very sturdy. I'm looking forward to testing it out tomorrow.

My only complaint is that the SG scale is way too small for my crappy eyes to read.
Me to. all looks well.

+1 on the sg scale being too small to read.

Equipment and Software / Re: What type fittings are these?
« on: July 10, 2013, 01:41:40 PM »
For the tubing you could use polycarbonate or borosilicate glass (McMaster-Carr) and use a couple of silicone O-rings in place of the metal compression ring.
That's how my sight glass is constructed. I bought it from

Thanks. If you get around to it, can you post a pic?

You mean like this?

Ingredients / Re: Candi sugar
« on: July 10, 2013, 12:49:37 PM »
I did not really want to add it to the boil, but rather let the yeast get
to high Krausen (no need for a giant starter)on a lower gravity
then supplement the sugar, once maybe twice as the fermentation progresses.

I guess recalling some fermentations I watched in a carboy, the turbulence
was enough to keep all the ingredients in flux.  I think I am just going to
carefully maintain sanitation, and add the syrup to the bucket.  The contents
of the food grade syrup was probably packaged Hot and must be sanitary else
you would have moldy syrup upon opening of the commerical packaging.

this is what I have been doing lately to good effect. the yeast get a solid go at it in a nice 1.038 wort and then I hit it with a lb of oney 3 days in.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Refractometer Sale
« on: July 08, 2013, 02:21:14 PM »
That refractometer sure didn't get very positive reviews. Kind of apprehensive after reading some of those. Usually there's one or two bad reviews, but that one has quite a few.

I don't know, there are like 7 bad reviews and 23 really good ones. let's assume the guy selling it has added half the good reviews there are still almost twice as many 5 star reviews as 1 star. Time will tell.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: US-05 at low temp
« on: July 08, 2013, 01:25:59 PM »
I made a mistake of under pitching (I think) this weekend into an Altbier. Chilled the wort in the fridge over night down to 55F. Rehyrdrated one packet of US-05, aerated for a minute with pure O2. 36 hours, no activity, raised temp to 60, nothing. Ended up pitching another packet last night and have a krausen forming this morning. I probably should've pitched 2 packs. Gravity was 1.050 for 4 gallons (that's the batch size I brew these days). Plus I rehydrated at 95F for 15 minutes, then pitched right into the wort, that probably wasn't the best idea either...

Thoughts, anyone?
An 11 gram packet should be plenty for 4G of a 1.050 beer. They are twice the size of Red Star packets.

+1 it sounds like you maybe got a dead packet of yeast. properly rehydrated 1 packet of us=05 should have been more than enough for that batch. 95 for 15 minutes sounds good. did it get kind of creamy and goopy?

Do you mean you aerated the yeast that was rehydrating for 1 minutes of pure o2? cause it's possible you killed the yeast with that.

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: July 08, 2013, 01:18:58 PM »
Found past winners on line.

2012 Seattle, CA = 36
2011 SD, CA = 48
2010 Minneapolis.  CA  = 62
2009 Oakland. CA = 39
2008 Cincinnati. CA = 35
2007 Denver. CA = 48

I want to look at Michigan next.

The right way to do this would be by percentage since it's pretty obvious that CA skews the results due to high numbers. But I don't think we have those numbers.

At least for the later comps you could start by simply dividing CA numbers by 2 as we are the only state (I think) that has two first round sites thus allowing us to potentially advance twice as many beers. (Assuming that the entry site correlates with the home state of the entrant)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison Dry Yeast
« on: July 08, 2013, 10:04:27 AM »
Well I made the wort yesterday. going to pitch 5 gallons with a rehydrated packet of the belle saison that was terribly mistreated and spent a week in unrefrigerated heck in my suitcase. The other 5 gallons will get my house yeast blend. 

Equipment and Software / Re: Options other than racking cane?
« on: July 08, 2013, 08:16:06 AM »
"Stop when full" - are you talking about filling bottles? If so, add a bottling wand which will only fill when you push down on the bottom of the bottle.

Yes, sorry for not clarifying.  I'm talking about filling bottles.

Perhaps racking cane wasn't correct. The little bottle filler that has the spring loaded tip. It works fine, but I'd prefer something I can set on the bottle and it will automatically stop once full. Is something like this made?

I don't know but I bet you could bodge one together. If you can figure out a way to hold the tubing part of the filler assembly so that there is not to much weight on the bottle filling wand then you should be able to add a float to the bottling wand placed so that it floats up off the bottom when the bottle is full. It would take some experimenting but it would really only have to lift a quarter inch or so.

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