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Messages - brewsumore

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: purging with CO2 bottle
« on: November 16, 2015, 09:12:33 PM »
I purge kegs occasionally such as for a beer I want to preserve the super hoppy character, but I don't bother most of the time.  I do purge the headspace immediately after filling and putting the lid on the keg, after racking the beer from the fermenter to the keg.

I just remove the QD, run a paper towel dipped in Star San up and down the gas hose and fitting, and put it down into the keg.

I've never purged beer bottles, but I do use o2 scouring bottle caps.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Carbing up a 9.5% IBA
« on: November 16, 2015, 09:00:36 PM »
Yeast population and health poops out after eating all the sugars in a big beer, and so oftentimes doesn't have enough of what it needs left over to bottle condition the beer.  Ever since ending up with a flat 10% barleywine I bottled, ever since I always add bottling yeast for beers above about 7.5% ABV.

It's basically the same tired yeast syndrome that also is the reason you shouldn't pitch onto the yeast slurry/cake left over from a big beer.

edit:  If it doesn't carb, you can open the bottles and use an eyedropper to add a couple few drops of rehydrated dry yeast slurry to each bottle and re-cap.

All Grain Brewing / Re: toasted oatmeal stout
« on: November 16, 2015, 08:42:21 PM »
I have toasted oats and malts for various beers and I perceive a silkiness in the mouthfeel as well as a nuttiness that is enhanced, more so than directly translating to oatmeal cookie flavor, but I may be finicky on my oatmeal cookies!

+1. I toast oats for every batch of oatmeal stout, and as a matter of coincidence have been strongly thinking of making my next batch an oatmeal stout (or foreign extra stout).

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: November 14, 2015, 10:39:02 PM »
The hefe brewday went pretty darn well.  I heavy handed the strikewater ml measurement just a tad using some newly purchased 85% phosphoric acid, so after checking mash pH 10 minutes into the mash, I had to add a "smidge" of pickling lime to bring the pH back up above 5.2.  That worked and I ended up with a kettle pH of ~5.2 and got lots of break material during the boil.

I estimated brewhouse efficiency at 68% based on Jamil's BYO recipe and per past experience and it was still about right even though I jacked up the % of wheat malt compared to last time I brewed this.  I hit 1.052 when the target was 1.051.  Normally for a 1.051 beer my efficiency is closer to 78%.

And I had a quart extra sparge runoff (which I tossed) - which I attributed to less absorption by wheat in comparison to a similar weight of 100% barley (hulled) malt grist.

Straight o2 for 1:10 min and two packets of WY 3068 per 5.5 gal of wort, pitched at 61F and holding at 62F.

So I'm happy.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: November 10, 2015, 08:43:12 PM »
I have most of a sack of wheat malt that needs to be used, so tomorrow doing a Veteran's Day brew of German hefeweizen (10 gal), based on Jamil's recipe, using ~65% wheat malt, 35% Best Pils, Hallertau mittelfruh (13 IBUs), Wyeast 3068, and will ferment at 62F.

A friend gave me 5 cases of 22 oz bottles - it will be the first time bottling in a long time since I almost always keg my beers, which just doesn't work well for hefe since I WANT THAT YEAST IN THERE.  I wish I would have done this a week or two ago to ensure bottles are carbed for Thanksgiving.

This my third time doing this beer except a higher % of wheat this time - hopefully I won't get a stuck sparge during runoff.

A huge THANK YOU to the men and women who did serve or are serving in our armed forces, some even at the sacrifice of loss of limb or life.

On deck: an Irish stout.

edit:  Hmmm, snow and 25 mph winds tomorrow so going to wait for the weekend to brew my hefe!

General Homebrew Discussion / AHA Rally at No-Li in Spokane
« on: November 05, 2015, 11:45:28 PM »
Nov 15th, 1-3 pm.  Anyone going?  If so, I hope to meet you there.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: mandarina
« on: October 04, 2015, 11:30:06 AM »
MB has less oils than Mosaic, Simcoe, Citra and so on. IIRC it has about 1% or less, those others have 2 to 3 % oil. If you want an aroma punch like those hops give, you need to double or triple.

That's a great bit of info.  I'm glad I have a pound of pellets to work with!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: mandarina
« on: October 04, 2015, 11:16:27 AM »
I made an all Mandarina pils (90:10 pils munich) 1.053/41 IBUs

Just kegged 2 weeks ago. Took a sample last night and the orange citrus character screams out on this one.  Also get some lime and melon.

Orange is nearly as strong as the zest in a fresh keg of witbier.

Hop flavor is a bit lacking - I think this particular recipe might have been better with tett or mittlefruh for flavor additions and MB for flameout only.

Still a bit of haze in the beer but will post back w pic once it has cleared up and is actually on tap.

Paul, I look forward to hearing back about how this turned out.  I'm thinking my next brew will be a Mandarina IPL with 34/70 (4th generation).

I have four Perlick 425's on my kegerator.  Perlick stopped making them about 5 years ago, but they have the removable spout and still are still working great for me.  I too have a bottle/growler filler screw-in adapter for the 425's exactly like the VM one in your article.

Thanks for sharing the article - if the 425's were to fail I would definitely go with the VM's.

I run just a teensy tiny smudge of keg lube between thumb and finger run around the threads where the spout goes on to make removing and putting on the spout easier, and less likely to lead to cross threading.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« on: September 27, 2015, 01:30:41 PM »
My individual preference is to brew 10-gal batches, winter, spring, summer, fall.  However I'm lucky enough that there are enough +32F days in winter to wait for one to do what I prefer which is to brew on my covered patio outside.  This way my hoses don't freeze solid, and when I chill with an IC the runoff doesn't turn to ice before it evaporates (usually).

To each his own, but I recognize that it is much more challenging in a more northern/frigid climate, and in that event I would try to adapt by brewing in a garage, even if I needed a space heater and a fan.  Water runoff would seem to pose the biggest problem, so as not to create a skating rink on the lawn and/or driveway.


Maybe you should cut a keg sized hole in the lid of an 10G Igloo water cooler and place the keg down in that hole. That should cover 90% of a keg at least and insulate your cooling water for less frozen bottle additions.

I did this for a portable kegerator, except with a 70-quart igloo ice chest.  You can see what it looks like with a ball lock keg via my posts with photos on page 4 and 5 of the old thread on another board at:

FWIW, it insulates really well.  I can keep the beer ice cold serving at least 2 - 3 days in hot summer weather, without adding more ice.  With a keg inside it holds 40 lbs of ice, so plenty of room for frozen bottles to maintain a ferment temp with fewer bottles as suggested above.

In case you want to reconsider another alternative to the ferment cooling bag...

And it could do double duty as a portable kegerator / jockey box.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: New Yeast Company
« on: September 09, 2015, 10:57:43 PM »
If I could go back to organic vs "normal".

Question is:

if I take normal yeast and keep making  organic wort and I am on let say 5-th generation. Is my yeast organic at that time? As we know all original cells are dead by then.

The same goes if I get organic yeast and feed it with normal wort and I am on 5-th generation. Is this yeast still organic or not?

Thank you.
Good questions. I have similar thoughts about non-organic seeds that turn into plants raised organically. I don't really think the yeast cells matter so much its probably the wort they grow them in and hence the barley. Don't forget that organic farming is not just about the food we ingest but also the effect on our ecosystem. The more people buy organic the less pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers are used and less toxic materials are getting into our water supply and food and soil. Also less unintended consequences like beehive collapse disorder. Also the more people who buy organic the more farmers see it as profitable and produce a critical mass to get advantages of scale and lower prices.

Pete - I just want to say how grateful I am for all of your posts in this thread.  I agree on all fronts.  I appreciate the efforts of many in this time in our history to attempt to return at least a healthy segment of our overall food production to sustainable, natural farming methods that enrich the soil through traditional methods such as crop rotation and livestock "fertilizer" that in balance create "systems" that provides the platform to manage a typically diverse array of more nutritional, and much better tasting vegetables, fruits and meats, which "systems" big business has attempted to convince us as a nation are not in our best interest. 

I just read that 1/2 of the U.S. population has, or is in danger of getting diabetes.  Something like 65% of our food production is starches, mostly wheat, and the majority of companies have stripped out so many of the nutritional and tasty parts of bread for the sake of making products shelf-stable (and therefore more commercially viable for long term transport and storage), that it's no wonder that many people have become gluten intolerant and suffer other toxic effects from what for ages has been hailed as "the staff of life".  If only we could convince people to just say "no" to the fast food, giant production company mentality.  It is indeed interesting that organic farmers are now sometimes sought out as experts to improve the bottom line for until now non-organic enterprises.

I must admit that I buy only a limited amount of organic foods due to cost but I do try to enjoy satisfying food and stay healthy, and desire to support good stewards of our lands and our people's right to healthy food, even if only by buying from a farmer's market or roadside stand.

Do you care to share what product and water to product ratio?  I'm curious if you use a hardware store product or order pure lye, or other approach.  Thanks!

Since I'm only using the lye as an equipment rinse, I'm not concerned with it being food grade. On top of that, the potential for hazardous impurities in this type of chemical is not high. I use the typical hardware store product. Red Devil is the brand currently on my shelf.

I do not mix the solution to any set strength. I just dip my finger tip in the solution and rub my fingers together. If the solution feels slippery, its strong enough. It's slippery since the solution is turning the fats and oils in my skin into soap. Needless to say, I wash it off my fingers IMMEDIATELY.

Thanks for the usage tip - and I do mean just the tip of my finger!  I'll grab some lye at the hardware store to add to my arsenal!

Here's another tip for general consumption - if you want to GOOGLE the product Penetrate mentioned by Amanda, use the string "Penetrate beer line cleaner" and NOT "red devil penetrate".   

I like BLC, but sometimes my lines develop a biofilm that BLC can't defeat. That is when a strong lye solution works wonders. I hang the line in a U configuration and fill it with the solution. An hour or two soaking leaves the tubing interior film free. After rinsing the line, it goes into starsan.

PS: lye solution is dangerous and you need to protect your skin and eyes from any contact. Use something like goggles and gloves to prevent contact.

Do you care to share what product and water to product ratio?  I'm curious if you use a hardware store product or order pure lye, or other approach.  Thanks!

I had to wrap a lot of Teflon tape on mine to maintain pressure. Connecting to the flare isn't too bad, better than connecting to the faucet shank.

True that!  But I had leak problems, had to go with barbed hose adapter connections to different size hoses, hose clamps, etc.  A mess.

I first tried the Watts A-176 (part #) flare fitting and it would not fit into my liquid post, so that's why I went back to the store with FloMaster bottle and liquid post in hand, and tried parts until I got one that worked.  YMMV.

Martin - thanks for the lye suggestion.  Much better than replacing lines!

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