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Author Topic: Just joined April 26, 2023  (Read 1085 times)

Offline nvshooter2276

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Just joined April 26, 2023
« on: April 26, 2023, 12:13:41 pm »
Hello, all. New member from the Reno, NV area. I'm entirely an extract brewer; don't have the time to go the all-grain route. Have joined this site in order to ask questions that would take a lot of time for me to find the answers on the web. My time is so limited because I am a truck driver and my employer keeps me much too busy for me to spend many hours over a bubbling kettle.

I began my homebrewing hobby in October 1990. Did it for about ten years, then set it aside for over twenty years. I don't know why I started again after so many years away-- I just have and have forgotten several things between bringing the water to a boil and capping the bottles.

I'm soon to do a seven-gallon batch of Amber. Will be using just over seven pounds of LME. Thinking about two ounces of Centennial (10.9% AA) for 60 minutes, 1½ ounces of Fuggles (5.1% AA) at 30 minutes and ¾ ounces of Tettnanger (4.5% AA) during the last ten minutes. Yeast will be one 11.5-gram packet of Fermentis US-05.

Would I need to pitch two packets of my chosen yeast because I'm using so much LME? I want to make sure the little buggers eat every last nanogram of sugar on their plates.

I'll be fermenting in a ten-gallon fermenter for wine. The fermenter has never before been used, so no lingering stains or flavors about which to be worried. Stage 1 will be 18 to 20 days.

Will do the secondary in the commonly used, six-gallon HDPE bucket. Stage 2 will be another 18 to 20 days.

Haven't as of yet decided to bulk prime or to use two carbo-drops in my one-liter bottles. That decision is still almost six weeks away. I worry I might get into a hurry and fail to drop the two carbo-drops into several bottles. Bulk priming would negate such a concern.

Will condition at room temperature for twenty-eight to thirty-five days.

The primary question I'm asking now is, Is my hops plan too much or too little? Should I consider different hops and/or different quantities? I'm all ears and am very interested to see what far more experienced brewers have to say.

Offline denny

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Re: Just joined April 26, 2023
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2023, 12:40:22 pm »
7 lb. of LME in a 7 gal batch will yield an OG of around 1.036.  One pack of yeast should be more than sufficient. Over the last 20 years, there has been a lot learned about brewing. One of those things is that secondary is almost and can even end up being detrimental.  I don't see anything in your plan that indicates that a secondary would be a good idea. Another thing is that 30 min hops have been found to not really provide anything but bittering.

You may be overbittering, but you should plug it into software to know for sure.  At your low OG, though, it's a possibility. 

If you want good attenuation, one thing I'd recommend is to replace about 6 oz of LME with 4 oz of table sugar.  I've done it many times and my experience is that it really boosts the fermentability of the extract.  Remember, attenuation is based at least as much on the wort as on the yeast.
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Offline nvshooter2276

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Re: Just joined April 26, 2023
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2023, 12:40:03 pm »
Thank you for your expeditious reply.

If I understand correctly what you wrote, hops added thirty minutes into the boil will add little flavor but will add to the bitterness. OK; I will not be adding the Fuggles at thirty minutes. Will still use the two ounces of Centennial for bittering from the get-go of visible boiling. Will add the ¾-ounces of Tettnanger at ten minutes remaining.

Will not proceed with any secondary fermentation. I did the secondary twenty years ago and saw that the yeast bed on the bottom of my glass carboy was not overly thick. Then I had to siphon the beer out of the carboy and into my bottling bucket. I never found any joy nor satisfaction in siphoning. I do remember one batch having a white ring of infection around the inside of the bottle necks once the conditioning period had elapsed. I figgered the infection got its start when I initiated the siphon because I used my bacteria-laden piehole to do so.

Good to read that I do not need to use two yeast packets. I was concerned that the yeast bed would be so thick that I'd get the yucky stuff into the secondary vessel.

Wanted to add a photograph, but the long and winding road to do so proved too difficult for my low expertise with making computers do for me what I desire.

The Amber LME I intend to use has been in my icebox since January 13, 2021. It's had the screwtop lid taped-up with transparent packaging tape since the day I bought it. I read something the other day that stated LME over two years old is best thrown down the toilet versus used to make beer. Is my seven pounds still viable? Hope so; would be irritating for me to trash what I believe is still good enough to use.

Offline denny

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Re: Just joined April 26, 2023
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2023, 01:29:34 pm »
Thank you for your expeditious reply.

If I understand correctly what you wrote, hops added thirty minutes into the boil will add little flavor but will add to the bitterness. OK; I will not be adding the Fuggles at thirty minutes. Will still use the two ounces of Centennial for bittering from the get-go of visible boiling. Will add the ¾-ounces of Tettnanger at ten minutes remaining.

Will not proceed with any secondary fermentation. I did the secondary twenty years ago and saw that the yeast bed on the bottom of my glass carboy was not overly thick. Then I had to siphon the beer out of the carboy and into my bottling bucket. I never found any joy nor satisfaction in siphoning. I do remember one batch having a white ring of infection around the inside of the bottle necks once the conditioning period had elapsed. I figgered the infection got its start when I initiated the siphon because I used my bacteria-laden piehole to do so.

Good to read that I do not need to use two yeast packets. I was concerned that the yeast bed would be so thick that I'd get the yucky stuff into the secondary vessel.

Wanted to add a photograph, but the long and winding road to do so proved too difficult for my low expertise with making computers do for me what I desire.

The Amber LME I intend to use has been in my icebox since January 13, 2021. It's had the screwtop lid taped-up with transparent packaging tape since the day I bought it. I read something the other day that stated LME over two years old is best thrown down the toilet versus used to make beer. Is my seven pounds still viable? Hope so; would be irritating for me to trash what I believe is still good enough to use.

Sealed and refrigerated I think there's a good chance it will be OK.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline neuse

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Re: Just joined April 26, 2023
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2023, 02:32:23 pm »
My first thought is that the 1.036 OG is pretty low for an Amber. Since it's your beer, that's fine - just wondering if that is the OG you want, or if the recipe is patched together from sources that might not work well together.

28 - 35 days for conditioning seems like a lot. You could try one at 3 weeks and see how it is.

The LME being over two years old would be something of a gamble. I agree with Denny that there's a good chance it will be ok. Darker than it would have been if fresh. Flavor? You will just have to see.

Denny's point about a lot learned in the last 20 years couldn't be more true. If your job hours allow, spend some time reading the forum and other sources. You'll be amazed at all the new information available. Good luck.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Just joined April 26, 2023
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2023, 02:58:54 pm »
The rabbit holes are a lot deeper these days, but you will quickly get up to speed - don't sweat it.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline jherzjherz

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Re: Just joined April 26, 2023
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2023, 03:58:53 pm »
Welcome to the AHA Forum! I hope you find very helpful answers here. Happy Brewing.

Julia
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American Homebrewers Association | Boulder, CO 80302

Offline BrewnWKopperKat

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Re: Just joined April 26, 2023
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2023, 05:50:01 am »
The Amber LME I intend to use has been in my icebox since January 13, 2021. It's had the screwtop lid taped-up with transparent packaging tape since the day I bought it. I read something the other day that stated LME over two years old is best thrown down the toilet versus used to make beer. Is my seven pounds still viable? Hope so; would be irritating for me to trash what I believe is still good enough to use.

The anecdotal stories on LME that I have read seem to store the LME warm (kitchen) or hot (in the garage).  Storing it cold makes a difference. 

There is a technique for evaluating lighter colored LME (Home Brew Recipe Bible, p10): basically make a small wort and observe the color in the glass.  For an OG 50-ish wort: if it is straw/gold, it's good; if it's red, "it's not so good".     I've used this technique a couple of times and found it to be accurate.  I'll take the sample (2.5 gal batch) just after adding the LME to the wort when the wort is around 140F.

I haven't tried this with Amber LME (yet, but will on an up-coming brew day).   My guess is that color below SRM 18 (Amber Brown) is good; and black is "not so good".  It may also be that haze in the pre-boiled wort will make it hard to get a good color measurement.

Offline nvshooter2276

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Re: Just joined April 26, 2023
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2023, 12:40:37 pm »
Thank you, gentlemen, for your considered replies. I shall throw caution to the wind and use the 27-month-old LME in my Amber. It may still be good, or not. I believe the sugar that was in the malt in January 2021 is still there, and that the little yeasties will still eat it. The final color of the final product is of minimal interest to me. The final alcohol concentration of the bottled product is of minimal interest to me. I drink beer for the bitterness; i.e. the flavor of the hops coming through. I like hoppy IPAs with IBU ratings up in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

If the LME is a bust, at least where it has been taking-up space in my icebox will be open for a fresher seven pounds of LME. I have no idea at this moment what will be the designation of that LME. I don't care for beer so translucent that it's bordering on transparent. In short, I don't drink Bud Light nor Corona Extra.

Something that troubled me those twenty years ago when I hung-up homebrewing was how to separate the hop sludge from the boiled wort. I never used a muslin hop sack; don't even know if they existed around 2002 and 2001. I have a 300-micron hop spider that seems to work pretty well but still, I want my wort even more free of hop trash. I came-up with the idea of straining the wort through a piece of 110-micron nylon cloth, suitably sanitized before the wort gets poured through it. At its size of just one-third the hop spider, I believe I'll get a really clean volume in the fermentation bucket. I have a piece of the cloth one meter wide by two meters long. My plan is to use an elastic cord around the top of the bucket and to slowly pour the cooled wort as we pour a beer we're going to shortly drink, so as to avoid the hop sludge from coming-on too fast and having it clog the tiny weave of the cloth. With such a tight weave, we also have to be aware that the surface tension of the wort might disallow a free and fast pouring. I think I'll do the transfer from kettle to bucket in my bathtub so as to contain anything that fails to pass through the nylon cloth.

An idea that came to me several days ago concerns the yeast bed on the bottom of the fermentation bucket. We all know the genius behind the conical fermenter--collects the yeast sludge at the bottom and below the spigot. I thought if I was to raise my bucket maybe three-quarters of an inch directly under the spigot, the yeast would settle to be thin at that point, and thicker at 180-degrees across the bucket. The top surface of the dead yeast is going to be perfectly flat because that's how gravity works. I'm sure someone, somewhere over the past 5000 years of beermaking has thought of this. I just put this here to tacitly say "I'm green, but not entirely a newbie at this."

I'm a truck driver at FedEx Ground not too far from Reno. My work schedule keeps me away from doing the things I'd like to do if I had more off-duty time. I have no wife nor kids, so "family and homelife problems" are not a concern. I'd just like to have a solid schedule for when I work and when I'm off. This info doesn't much apply to this discussion; I just include it if I'm given advice by the membership to do X, Y or Z at a certain number of days along the way and can't because I won't be home that day to take that next step. It's been that way since I started driving in January 1994. Fourteen more months and I can retire.

Things to do, today. Back at it tomorrow...

Offline neuse

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Re: Just joined April 26, 2023
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2023, 01:08:13 pm »
I feel sure your idea about tilting the fermenter to have less trub at the spigot
If I understand your tilting the fermenter idea correctly, I feel sure it would help. I do something similar by having the fermenter level during fermentation, then tilting it when I rack - beer is deeper on the side where the auto siphon draws from. I slowly lower the auto siphon until it gets some trub, and then raise it just above the trub level.

As far as separating the sludge when transferring to the fermenter, I don't sweat it - just transfer pretty much everything to the fermenter. I've never noticed off flavors that would be attributed to this. It's simpler, and less chance of contamination.

Offline denny

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Re: Just joined April 26, 2023
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2023, 01:40:28 pm »
I can guarantee you that muslin hop bags were in use back then. An effective, inexpensive solution
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Just joined April 26, 2023
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2023, 03:55:17 pm »

I'm a truck driver at FedEx Ground not too far from Reno. My work schedule keeps me away from doing the things I'd like to do if I had more off-duty time. I have no wife nor kids, so "family and homelife problems" are not a concern. I'd just like to have a solid schedule for when I work and when I'm off. This info doesn't much apply to this discussion; I just include it if I'm given advice by the membership to do X, Y or Z at a certain number of days along the way and can't because I won't be home that day to take that next step. It's been that way since I started driving in January 1994. Fourteen more months and I can retire.

Things to do, today. Back at it tomorrow...

Counting days is just a rough guide when brewing.  More of a "you'll probably be close to needing to do ... by day 5" type of thing.  Each beer will pick it's own timeline.  Take measurements and monitor the fermentor so you get a feel what different stages look like.  Don't get hung up on counting days or watching air lock bubbles.   ;)

Congrats on the countdown for retirement!!!   ;D
I'm 6.5 years out or whenever the bank decides I'm not needed anymore.

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline BrewnWKopperKat

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Re: Just joined April 26, 2023
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2023, 04:58:56 pm »
Thank you, gentlemen, for your considered replies. I shall throw caution to the wind and use the 27-month-old LME in my Amber. It may still be good, or not. I believe the sugar that was in the malt in January 2021 is still there, and that the little yeasties will still eat it. The final color of the final product is of minimal interest to me. The final alcohol concentration of the bottled product is of minimal interest to me. I drink beer for the bitterness; i.e. the flavor of the hops coming through. I like hoppy IPAs with IBU ratings up in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Please "report back" as to the outcome.  As I mentioned earlier, storing the LME cold is unique to the typical anecdotal story on older LME. Note that there are 'off flavors' associated with stale extract (Basic Brewing Radio podcasts: Aug 25 2005 / Nov 17 2005).  It may be that higher IBUs will 'cover up' those off flavors.


Offline neuse

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Re: Just joined April 26, 2023
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2023, 08:44:34 am »
In my earlier post about storing LME (Reply #4), I should have shared some correspondence with Muntons. I asked about off flavors with LME and got this response: "You can usually expect LME to darken a little over time, which DME won’t.  If the LME is fresh and has been stored correctly (cool conditions) then this shouldn’t be an issue, and it shouldn’t adversely affect the flavour." I'm sure this didn't mean 27 month old LME, but it did give me a better feeling about using LME.

Offline BrewnWKopperKat

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Re: Just joined April 26, 2023
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2023, 08:28:59 am »
follow-up on Amber LME wort color just before start of boil

[...]

There is a technique for evaluating lighter colored LME (Home Brew Recipe Bible, p10): basically make a small wort and observe the color in the glass.  For an OG 50-ish wort: if it is straw/gold, it's good; if it's red, "it's not so good".     I've used this technique a couple of times and found it to be accurate.  I'll take the sample (2.5 gal batch) just after adding the LME to the wort when the wort is around 140F.

I haven't tried this with Amber LME (yet, but will on an up-coming brew day).   My guess is that color below SRM 18 (Amber Brown) is good; and black is "not so good".  It may also be that haze in the pre-boiled wort will make it hard to get a good color measurement.
Yesterday, I tried it (observe wort color of LME before start of boil) with a batch.  With this batch, the color was approaching amber brown which should be OK (and I'm guessing that muddy brown / black is 'not as good').  Batch is in the fermenter (Verdant at 67-ish). 

----------

Also, since LME sinks rapidly to the bottom of the kettle, removing the kettle from the heat source (or turning the heat off) will help prevent scorching.