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Messages - morticaixavier

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4036
Equipment and Software / Re: Primary without an airlock
« on: April 23, 2013, 10:56:44 AM »
Can't I completely avoid the blow off tube by brewing less beer (forgive me)?
I'll only be using primary (6.5 gallon carboy) and if I brew a smaller batch, maybe 2-4 gallons vs the 5 that the kit came with, wouldn't this eliminate any chance of an explosion or stuff coming out of a blow off tube?
While this may be sacrilegious, there is no way I can reasonably drink 5 gallons of beer is short order. I also like the idea of smaller batches for less bottles to clean out, brewing more often, etc.

If you keep the temp under control (mid 60s) and you put only 5 gallons in a 6.5 gallon bucket you are likely golden on the blow off front. Most out of control blow off situations come from too high fermentation temps. you might get a little krausen (the foam on fermenting beer) out the top of the fermenter or thorugh the blow off tube/airlock but it will easily be contained by the cooler.

smaller batches are great, a lot of folks on here brew 2-4 gallon batches. However, I think you will be surprised at how quickly 5 gallons of beer can disappear when you brewed it yourself. and if you keep it cool it's good for months (depending on style) or years even. I have about 2.5 gallons of a barley wine I brewed in early 2011 still in the closet and it just keeps getting better.

4037
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Look what the stork droped off...
« on: April 23, 2013, 10:52:09 AM »
[...]2- sure you can do a 2.5 gallon boil and then top off with filtered or boiled and cooled water I would not use distilled water though as the mineral content in spring water is beneficial to the flavor and the yeast health. Just a FYI don't ever use reverse osmosis water though as it can kill the yeast as the osmotic pressure of RO water is higher than the cell wall of the yeast.

[...]


Are you sure about this? RO water is simply water that has been purified by being forced through a semi permeable barrier. Distilled water has less minerals than RO as it was evaporated and recondensed.

Regardless in an extract batch all those minerals are already in the extract and there is no need for more.

Yes I'm sure about the RO water we learned that in school as I went to school for brewing..... it is moreso for yeast starters or even in high amounts in fermentation. What will happen to RO water when all and I mean all of the minerals, toxins, VOC, etc are pulled through a thin film cellulose it actually changes the composition of the water and creates what is called osmotic pressure. There have been numerous brewing case studies as well as microbiology studies showing the impact of the Osmotic pressure of H2o on cell walls causing them to implode not explode but implode as the pressure of the water has increased to a level higher than a cell can tolerate. Now distilled water is fine except for the fact that any of the waters character has been removed I love distilled water when I build a profile to a specific region. for extract though you  are correct all the monerals and nutrient are already present in the LME or DME.

Not trying to be nit picky but you have it a little mixed up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_osmosis The solvent (water) is passed through the membrane, the solute (minerals, etc.) stay on the input side and are flushed away.

Perhaps some of the water scientist can clarify this a bit for us but my understanding is that the less 'stuff' in the water the lower the osmotic pressure on the cell would be thus too many minerals would leave the cell wall. I can see how that would be problem in a starter or rehydration solution.

My confusion with your argument is coming from the fact that you are saying that distilled is fine. RO water is far closer in chemical makeup to tap water than distilled is to tap water. Why would moving from a to b on a continuum be worse than moving from a all the way to c?

4038
Equipment and Software / Re: Primary without an airlock
« on: April 23, 2013, 10:07:54 AM »
Some people have replied that you don't want a lid on a swamp cooler, so I'm confused. I would assume an igloo with a lid would stay more constant than an open bin of cold water, t shirt etc.

ahh I mis-understood.

If you are using a big cooler you can despense with the water all together! cover the hole where the airlock would go with foil and put the frozen bottles right in there with it.

4039
Equipment and Software / Re: Primary without an airlock
« on: April 23, 2013, 08:44:56 AM »
You also don't really need to keep the lid on the swamp cooler. I never did.

Just one note of caution (very very minor caution) if you are using those stick on Liquid crystal thermo strips they do not like to be submerged in water. they will freak out and never work again. Given that they cost all of 3 bucks this is not the end of the world but can be annoying. So if you use those and a swamp cooler the water should be far enough below the top level of the beer that you can put a strip on horizontally above the water level but below the beer level.

4040
[...]2- sure you can do a 2.5 gallon boil and then top off with filtered or boiled and cooled water I would not use distilled water though as the mineral content in spring water is beneficial to the flavor and the yeast health. Just a FYI don't ever use reverse osmosis water though as it can kill the yeast as the osmotic pressure of RO water is higher than the cell wall of the yeast.

[...]

Are you sure about this? RO water is simply water that has been purified by being forced through a semi permeable barrier. Distilled water has less minerals than RO as it was evaporated and recondensed.
You're not supposed to use RO/distilled water for dry yeast rehydration. I think that's what he was referring to.

As far as wort production from extract, I would recommend RO/distilled since the extract was already made with plenty of minerals in the water.

Ahh yes. I have heard that you should not use RO or distilled for rehydration. However, I would think the osmotic pressure of RO water is, if anything, slightly lower than that of spring of tap. But only very slightly as there are less dissolved solids in the RO than the spring.

4041
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Look what the stork droped off...
« on: April 23, 2013, 08:09:40 AM »
[...]2- sure you can do a 2.5 gallon boil and then top off with filtered or boiled and cooled water I would not use distilled water though as the mineral content in spring water is beneficial to the flavor and the yeast health. Just a FYI don't ever use reverse osmosis water though as it can kill the yeast as the osmotic pressure of RO water is higher than the cell wall of the yeast.

[...]

Are you sure about this? RO water is simply water that has been purified by being forced through a semi permeable barrier. Distilled water has less minerals than RO as it was evaporated and recondensed.

Regardless in an extract batch all those minerals are already in the extract and there is no need for more.

4042
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout
« on: April 22, 2013, 03:44:25 PM »
I would not worry about bottle bombs with the champagne yeast. particularly with champagne bottles. those bottles can hold like 5 volumes can't they?

The "bombs" I was referring to were the bombs of messiness when you open a bottle and it foams all over the counter, not the actual glass-breaking kind of bottle bomb, which I have never encountered and consider to be a "homebrew myth." I think I may just go with the Champagne yeast due to its known consistency and the fact that it is 50¢. IME, if I use no additional yeast, it may take months to carbonate (this if from 4+ years ago when I tried to bottle-condition a ~1.070 chocolate stout that I had put considerable effort and expense into). I would rather use something that costs 50¢ and works than something that costs $4 and works.

Gotcha,

But gotta say. it is no myth. I have had several bottles explode and while I was not there it witness the violence of the explosion I have heard it happen (a soft pop from a closed cooler on the porch while I was on the other side of the house wall.) and seen the bottle that failed and the three bottles near it that were also broken by the shrapnel.

4043
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout
« on: April 22, 2013, 03:13:27 PM »
I also agree you should be fine bottling with fresh ale yeast but using a wine/champagne yeast would not be a wrong idea since they are good into the double digits. It may be worth the added insurance to use wine yeast.

I've used EC-1118 champagne yeast to bottle several sours. It works well although it sometimes leaves behind a biscuit flavor the first few weeks. It does go away eventually. Once I run out of my EC-1118 supply I plan on switching to the rockpile strain. It is more neutral, hence why it is used at Russian River and other breweries for bottling. I'd suggest using that strain if you decide to use a wine strain.

Also keep in mind that while that stout has aged it will lose some dissolved CO2, especially if it was kept at warmer temperatures. If you have only aged it for a couple of months I would add just a touch extra priming sugar to make up for the lost dissolved CO2. I don't know of a priming calculator that calculates lost CO2 from aging and I don't know exactly how much is lost over what time at what temperature. For a couple of months of aging I would calculate priming sugar based on an extra 1-2 tenths of volume depending on how warm it aged. (So if you're carbing to 2.5 plug 2.6 or 2.7 into the calculator to find how much priming sugar to use.)

most of the priming calculators I know of take beer temp into consideration if you enter it accurately.

4044
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Look what the stork droped off...
« on: April 22, 2013, 03:11:53 PM »
Yeah, 2.5 gallon boil is fine. You can even use store bought ice to 'top off' although that is easier with a bucket then a carboy.

Secondary is not needed, not only because it's your first batch but because, with exception of a few specialized situations) it's just not needed. search around on here and you will see lot's of discussion on that topic.

+1 million on starting your second batch sooner rather than later. you will run out of your first batch faster than you can imagine.

4045
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wlp029 got hot on me
« on: April 22, 2013, 12:15:54 PM »
I use this yeast in my Kolsch and porter it's great and works fine in the upper 50s.

Funny thing though. I just sent my kolsch to a comp last weekend and the notes from the judges were that it was too clean.

one quote: "This should be a fruit ale"

and that from a national ranked judge. sad. anywho. I find that at 58-64 it's very clean. haven't had it hit 70 except at the end when I was trying to get it to finish up. Hadn't thought of it as a d-rest but I didn't have any diacetyl in the finished beer.

4046
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Fixing underprimed/undercarbed bottles
« on: April 22, 2013, 12:12:25 PM »
I would think that if you dissolved the known quantity of sugar in a known quantity of water and used a syringe you could avoid the mentos  effect. and probably get a lot closer to exactly the right amount of sugar in each bottle.

4047
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout
« on: April 22, 2013, 12:10:08 PM »
I agree that the primary yeast is fine. However I recently went with champagne yeast on a barley wine and it worked really well. first time in a while I got really consistent carbonation on a strong beer. but that one was ~13% so slightly different.

I have heard and read in several places that champagne yeast has less ability to ferment maltose and other malt sugars than most ale yeast so on that front I think that you are right. I would not worry about bottle bombs with the champagne yeast. particularly with champagne bottles. those bottles can hold like 5 volumes can't they?

4048
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Making sure it carbonates?
« on: April 22, 2013, 12:04:39 PM »
Assuming it's not a high gravity beer (1.080+) it should be just fine. It doesn't hurt to add a little extra yeast at bottling though. I usually use a neutral yeast like us-05. Dry yeast is great for this because it's easier to dose out just half a package or so (and that's all you need).

4049
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Topping off a fermenter
« on: April 18, 2013, 02:29:40 PM »
i often have a few quarts of wort left over from mash, as my efficiency seems to be a touch higher than my program calculates. i top off with that when needing extra volume, and i do boil it just to be sure.

with wort that is a very good idea. there are a lot of microbes on that grain and not all of them are going to die at mash temps.

4050
Ingredients / Re: Cloudy Maris Otter - how to clear my EIPA
« on: April 18, 2013, 01:19:03 PM »
An opaque serving vessel?

just a thought. seems like I remember this discussion and it finally came down to wait it out or drink it cloudy.

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