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Messages - brewsumore

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Beer Recipes / Re: Gluten Free ale experiment (w/pictures)
« on: May 31, 2013, 08:38:43 PM »
Actually, it came out very well.  The addition of 1/2 tsp fresh amylase powder brought the beer down to 1.009 where it stabilized for the FG.  I was in a hurry and stupidly did not cold-crash the beer for a couple days prior to bottling, and so ended up with too much sediment in the bottom of the bottles.  When I bottled I only ended up with about four gallons of beer - there was a full gallon of sediment left behind at the bottom of the fermenter bucket.  Soon after bottling it I gave a 6-pack to a friend for his mother and she said it was the best gluten-free she ever tasted.  There hasn't been a chance for me to get it to the friend I brewed for, or for him to come get it, so it has stayed in the basement and is now well past prime, especially due to autolysis.  A shame.  I think I'll get one cold and try it!

If your BIL can take gluten-reduced beer (nearly gluten-free), I recommend brewing with Clarity Ferm.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Most and Least
« on: May 26, 2013, 06:05:39 PM »
I like my:
1) thermowell/temp controller/fridge ferment chamber (although fridge needs to be upgraded since it's old and hence too slow to cool down temps and energy inefficient))
2) 2" diameter triple-roller Monster Mill and sturdy 1/2" drill to power it
3) Denny cheap n, easy rectangular cooler mashtuns I drilled and modified with straight Bazooka Screen and SS ball valve
4) Palmer-Wahl TM500 thermocouple thermometer and SS rod probe
5) notched culvert wind screen
6) corny kegs and chest freezer kegerator/lagering unit
7) plastic buckets that do NOT use rubber sealing o-ring
8)50' 1/2" copper immersion chiller from MoreBeer
9) 1/2" outflow auto-siphon
10) straight o2 using William's Brewing 22" aeration stone wand
11) two stir plates with 2000 ml flasks
12) fermwrap heater taped to back wall of ferment chamber fridge

Not crazy about my:
1) KAB4 Banjo Burner - it burns too much propane so i went back to my old burner
2) lab thermometers - too slow, although handy for calibrations
3) hop spider - anymore I just throw in pellet hops and strain out enroute to fermenters
4) carboys (have become unnecessary, although I use them for wine)
5) keg washer (I don't use it much for beer-related; although it's great for carboys)

All Grain Brewing / Re: Split batch questions
« on: May 19, 2013, 10:52:54 AM »
Sounds like you'll only have one mash/lauter tun.  If it is not around 15 gallon capacity you'll have to do two separate mashes/sparges.  Or, you could get a paint strainer bag and do a BIAB mash in your 10 gallon kettle same time as the mash/sparge in your mashtun, and combine the runoffs into your friend's keggle.  Hopefully you have a good chiller, I use a 50' long 1/2" copper immersion chiller in my keggle for 10 gallon batches.  I have had to use a 25' for 10 gallons before.  If that's what you have, just keep stirring the wort while chilling to reduce the time to get the wort to pitching temp.

If you don't want to do a concurrent BIAB, just do two separate mash/sparges.  After the first one, I would keep the runoff in the keggle above 160F so nothing can grow in there until you add the second mash/sparge runoff.

I'm no expert on BIAB but I don't see why this wouldn't work.  Or without using a strainer bag, mash 1/2 of your wort volume in the 10-gallon pot, runoff through a strainer into the keggle followed by a sparge and again runoff through the strainer.

After chilling, just transfer from the keggle into two fermenters in equal volumes and pitch as usual with different yeasts.

If you want to brew two separate beers with different grains and hops of course you'll have to mash/sparge, and then boil them separately, each for 5 gallons of wort.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cowboy Brewers
« on: May 18, 2013, 02:13:28 PM »
That just comes with livin' in the USA.  Somebody give me a cheeseburger.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: i'm brewing a beer for a movie
« on: May 17, 2013, 11:28:30 PM »
Congrats!  Good luck with that Black IPA. 

I think homebrewed beer is currently a pretty hot commodity in the movie industry, at least in some circles.  My twin brothers co-directed an independent feature, "Winter in the Blood", their second feature movie that is based on the first novel of a close family friend, and it will premiere at the L.A. Film Festival next month.  The Montana Film Commission is hosting a party for them after the first showing, and I heard they had someone brew some kind of a wheat beer for the party.

Saturday May 4th I brewed 10 gallons of Columbus, Cascade, Centennial IPA: 1.061, 65 IBUs mostly late addition hops.  Actually the bittering addition was 1 oz each of Columbus and Simcoe, and the 15, 5 and 0 minute additions split between equal IBUs of Centennial and Cascade.  I will be dry-hopping, but since my Columbus are gone I'll stick to the Cascade and Centennial, and gonna research if Citra would go well with these as a dry hop since I have a bunch.  Care to share your opinion on using the Citra for dryhop, maybe in place of Centennial and/or Cascade?

Oh, I also included a pound of Golden Naked Oats in the mash (3.8% of the grist).  I made a similar beer before and guests loved it.

Yeah, been brewing 13.5 years, all-grain for +8 years and am pretty good about coming close to hitting my numbers - used to be around 66% efficiency for big beers and ~73% for 1.050 - 1.058 beers.  That is until my efficiency jumped to around 79-81% for ~1.055 beers, especially dark beers, after the previously mentioned water treatment changes.  After quite a few years I still use ProMash, including to calculate my brewhouse efficiency, for the volume measured in the fermenters minus system losses.  I'm pretty well dialed into using it, although i must admit I've had some issues lately in getting a different SRM calculation in ProMash than I'm getting in Bru'nWater.  Something I need to study and tweak some more.

My previous beer was a Czech Pilsner and although it was only 1.048 I hit 81% efficiency.  Of course I should expect a loss of efficiency for a 1.061 beer (my IPA) as compared to a 1.048 beer.

ok, but Narvin, I never approached 80% efficiency until the release of Bru'n Water that provided water treatment measurements for sparge in addition to mash.  So in my case I truly believe that adding water treatment for the sparge, with my water, DID improve efficiency for me, since all other batch sparging BMPs have remained the same.  So you know, most of my beers get a 60 minute mash, or 90 minutes for Belgians, etc.  I'm going to change my process for adding phosphoric and see if I can obtain similar efficiency for every batch, of course dependent partly on the predicted OG.  I'm actually glad that this beer will come in with a lower than expected ABV, it nearly being summer and all.  More proof of my inconsistent thinking.   :o   One of those moments where crunching the numbers based on predicted results, although wrong, resulted in a better outcome.

I didn't see a hugely noticeable hot break on this beer but it was a little flour-y anyway and obscured by + 12 oz. of hops (10 gal batch) through the entire boil - mostly late addition as usual!

It has to end up a good beer since a bunch is for a pal taking us ocean fishing for three days in early August.  Based on the taste of the wort and the happy sounds of temp-controlled fermentation I think I'm on track.

cheers bros'!!!

I'm trying to guess why my brewhouse efficiency dropped for this weekend's batch of IPA.  I got an OG of 1.061 and expected 1.067 to 1.069.  One screw-up was adding sparge water too hot and after stirred for a minute it was at 170F.  I normally come in around 165 - 167F sparge temp.  Although I stirred it to a lower temp quickly I was thinking that maybe the remaining saccharification/conversion had already been halted by the denaturing temperature.

I also need to start adding my phosphoric acid addition prior to heating the hot liquor and sparge water.  I've been getting away with adding a less-than-calculated (in Bru'n Water) amount of the acid to the hot liquor immediately prior to doughing in, and directly to the sparge prior to stirring.  No more of that.  What I'm saying is that my fairly average 73% brewhouse efficiency on this brew is probably due to missing the desired pH range for the sparge and not so much due to the too hot sparge.  I checked pH for the mash and it was ok at 5.5, but I neglected to check pH on either the sparge, or the pre-boil full volume that I believe Martin has said should be around pH 5.2 - 5.4 for lighter beers.  Since I started adjusting my water for the sparge as well as the mash with Bru'n Water I've been averaging 80% brewhouse efficiency for ~1.065 beers.

I also brewed on the spur of the moment and had a bit of hurried ambiguity estimating some of the malt colors, so might have gotten the SRM wrong.  As usual, for my high bicarbonate tap water I used a combination of gypsum, calcium chloride and phosphoric acid to try to get in range for pH, based on Martin's Bitter Yellow profile, which I came very close to except with higher calcium (93 ppm).

Still, I'm curious if anyone has estimated an approximate brewhouse efficiency loss for too hot of a sparge.

Sorry if this post is wandering a bit all over the map.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Time Crunch - What Would You Do?
« on: April 22, 2013, 05:58:25 PM »
"Green" hop character is something I think sometimes has no remedy except the passage of time, depending on the hop varieties and amounts (hence the term "green" or "young"?).  I am drinking an IPA or probably actually an imperial IPA I made, that used an admittedly harsh-at-first hop - calypso, and the hop harshness is dissipating, and fruity flavor/aroma components associated with that hop (apple, pear) are only starting to show up after 2 months in the keg.  So maybe if time is an issue and you want a hoppy beer, compromise and make a pale ale.  I know someone is likely to disagree, and certainly I have made IPAs that drank well a week or two after kegging.  Another suggestion is for a soon-to-drink IPA or APA, minimize or omit a gypsum addition since it can add to the dry and harsh perception of hop bitterness in the beer.

Also, ditto - congrats on your medals!

Ingredients / Re: Tart cherry juice concentrate
« on: April 14, 2013, 02:52:01 PM »
next time you have seeded cherrys, crack the pit and eat the seed.  it is very almond like.  that being said, they do contain cyanogenic compounds and can be poisonous in large amounts.

My understanding is that it is the drying process, which I assume is used for Maheb, is what deactivates the cyanide in cherry pits, similar to deactivation of prussic acid in crushed choke cherry seeds when making pemmican.  Can anyone confirm that?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brewing Attire
« on: April 10, 2013, 10:02:36 PM »
Like Denny I always go with long pants and closed shoes, at least until the boil is done.  I need to be careful to wear enough clothes for the outside temp.  This spring I came down with a good cold a day after brewing, i think because it was pretty chilly outside and I was running around too much in a t-shirt and later in the day with damp shoes.

When I brew (normally a weekend) I love to wear old clothes I have no fear about tearing, staining or wearing out. 

Sorry if I'm going off-topic but -- I'm not brewing this weekend, but with the party season starting up, I took advantage of being in south central Washington yesterday and bought 7 pounds of asparagus from a roadside stand picked that morning, and so today canned 9 pints of pickled asparagus and 5 pints of pickled green beans.  I do love those pickles!

Tomorrow it's carboy deep cleaning and sanitizing (10 of them), and maybe design a carboy storage rack, or just research buying some metal shelving to save time and labor.  I recently finished some wine blending and bottling that left a bunch of empty carboys.

I also am looking forward to re-working a citra ipa or apa recipe, since I'm anxious to try some 2012 crop citra hops.

Ingredients / Re: Quality Vanilla
« on: April 05, 2013, 08:29:09 PM »
One more idea if it still exists - I have bought online and from stores, but some of the moistest, and very flavorful vanilla beans I have found were in test tubes from Costco.  They were big, long Rodelle beans.  Two tubes, each holding five beans.  I don't remember how much they cost but I recall it was very reasonable.  I still have one sealed tube's worth.  It would be worth a call to your local Costco if you have one and are a member.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Why do YOU keg?
« on: April 05, 2013, 07:40:43 PM »
I just like to see the disappointed look on a friend's face when the keg holding their favorite beer kicks, and the same face lights up a minute or two later when they realize that they actually enjoy one of the other remaining beers, possibly a style which they didn't think they liked!

Kinda like weaning them off of BMC!

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