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CarRamrod
USA Fan
Spurbury, VT
Member since Dec 2006
46793 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
quote:

$75-$125 for older top freezer fridges
well thats the price im looking to, so i might make it a weekly visit on my way home from work.


BugAC
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2007
33121 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
So last week, I posted my impressions of Sabro hops based off my latest NEIPA. I thought it was good, but not overwhelmingly good. Well, now that the beer has been in the keg for 2 weeks and is at its peak, I change my mind. This beer is incredible and I believe that is mostly due to the Sabro. Get loads of incredible peach/stone fruit flavors. I’m glad I got it while it was available. Ended up having quite a few during my brew day yesterday and forgot it was a 7% beer. Needless to say, this morning was a struggle.


USEyourCURDS
Southeastern LA Fan
Southeastern Louisiana
Member since Apr 2016
6519 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
Yeeee


puffulufogous
USA Fan
New Orleans
Member since Feb 2008
5881 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
Juicy Bits or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Homebrewing
So I brewed for the first time today using the Juicy Bits recipe I posted earlier. The person I brewed with had decent equipment, a friendly disposition, and lots of beers in the fridge. We started at around noon in 39 degree temps.


Started by bringing 4 gal of tap to 156 degrees in our brew kettle. The plan was to add our grains and mash at 149 for 1 hour, but when we added the grains the temp dropped into the low 140s. I was not prepared for this big of a drop. The best solution I could come up with was to put another gallon on to boil and titrate as little boiling water as it would take to bring the mash to 149. This took almost the whole gallon. LESSON LEARNED, give yourself a wider margin of error for the temp drop from grain.

We mashed for an hour, vorlaufed until clean, and drained to the boil kettle. Unfortunately we had a stuck sparge about halfway through. Unable to clear the obstruction, I ended up scooping the grain into a large grain bag and vorlaufing into this grain bag until almost all of the grain was in the bag. We ended up with some grain in the boil as a result. LESSON LEARNED, use a grain bag from the beginning if using a low qt per lb ratio.

Regarding sparging, I had planned to sparge with 3.5 gallons until we had to add the extra gallon at the beginning of the mash. As a result I adjusted my plan to batch sparge 2.5 gallons. About two gallons in my brew partner mentions that we probably don't need that extra half gallon because he is concerned about boil over. I acquiesce. End up with 7 gallons in the boil kettle. Added our first wort hops, which at this point are more like boil hops as well as just under 3 tsp of CaCl2 to bring Ca to 125, Sulfate to 60, and Cl to 190. Boil for one hour without even a hint of boilover on the hot break. After whirlpool with hop additions, immersion chilling to 65 degrees, and draining to the fermentation bucket we end up with 4.7 gallons. LESSON LEARNED, trust your calculations.


hydrometer pre pitch ~1.070. I tinkered with the recipe calculator, and the equivalent OG of 1.071 would be obtained with a batch size of 4.7 gal. Pitched a smack pack of wyeast london ale iii. We sanitized everything post boil with thorough spraydowns of iodophor. I am hoping we don't run in to infection issues as I found out after the fact that iodophor requires 60 seconds of contact time for sanitization, although of course more is better. Cannot guarantee we had a full 60 seconds of contact time before contact with post boil wort, although the ferm vessel and all major equipment had ample time. Hoping for the best. LESSON LEARNED keep a large pot of sanitizer around for constant soaking of items when not in use.

Going to add biotrans hops in a couple days. Calculator says we are looking for around 90 IBUs and 7%. Also had to sub simcoe for mosaic as the LHBS was out of mosaic. Despite the shortcomings I had a great time and found it to be an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. Looking forward to some insights from you guys.


BugAC
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2007
33121 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
quote:

The plan was to add our grains and mash at 149 for 1 hour, but when we added the grains the temp dropped into the low 140s


A few things to consider when determining your mash water pitch temp, grain temperature and mash tun temperature.

quote:

he best solution I could come up with was to put another gallon on to boil and titrate as little boiling water as it would take to bring the mash to 149. This took almost the whole gallon. LESSON LEARNED, give yourself a wider margin of error for the temp drop from grain.



I still have to adjust every now and then. Especially with the new mash tun. But after Saturday, i think i have it dialed in pretty well. I may have mentioned it before, but personally, i found beersmith was a sigh of relief for my brewing. Not sure what if any, brewing software you are using, but beersmith has tools for your brewday that calculates the mash in temperature based on other factors like grain temps, etc...

quote:

We mashed for an hour, vorlaufed until clean, and drained to the boil kettle. Unfortunately we had a stuck sparge about halfway through. Unable to clear the obstruction, I ended up scooping the grain into a large grain bag and vorlaufing into this grain bag until almost all of the grain was in the bag. We ended up with some grain in the boil as a result. LESSON LEARNED, use a grain bag from the beginning if using a low qt per lb ratio.


What was your qt/lb ratio? I think i use 1.25 qts/lb.

quote:

Boil for one hour without even a hint of boilover on the hot break.


A tip, FermcapS is a handy tool for a full boil pot. It's a foam inhibitor specifically for brewing.

quote:

After whirlpool with hop additions,


Not sure if you are aware, but the temp at which you conduct the whirlpool hops matters, in terms of alpha acid production (bitterness). It is suggested, to whirlpool between 160-170. This minimizes alpha acid pickup, but still allows hop oils to be released in the beer without picking up bitterness. FWIW, i find this to be the more "pain in the ass" portion of brewday. I essentially cool down the wort to 165, but always overshoot so i have to fire up the burner again and keep it low to stay within range. It's a minor "issue", more of a pain in the ass. I typically conduct a 30 minute whirlpool.

quote:

I am hoping we don't run in to infection issues as I found out after the fact that iodophor requires 60 seconds of contact time for sanitization, although of course more is better.


I typically sanitizing everything in a starsan bath the day before brew day. But, it's actually harder to infect your beer than you realize. The brew books drum "sanitize, sanitize, sanitize" into you, which is good. But typically, the ph in beer is low enough to stave off most unwanted bacteria. I'm not saying this to discourage you from sanitizing at all, i'm still habitual in my cleaning/sanitizing of my equipment. Just informing you that more than likely, you don't have anything to worry about.

quote:

Despite the shortcomings I had a great time and found it to be an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.


I enjoy it. Gets me doing something outside all day. I brewed Saturday and had everything planned out. Then my brother came over and we got to drinking, and my plans to clean as i go went out the window, and i ended up drinking too much of my 7% NEIPA, so some "mistakes" were made. Almost forgot to add my sparge salts, forgot to fill up my airlock with starsan, etc... However, i believe a few hours without an O2 barrier pre-fermentation isn't going to hurt the beer any. Yeast likes oxygen.

FWIW, i got my new mash tun (2nd time using it was saturday) dialed in pretty much perfectly. Ended up with 86 to 87% mash efficiency, and overall brewhouse efficiency of 73%. Using my old mash tun, my mash efficiency was typically around 80-82%. 2 brews with the new mash tun and i've been anywhere from 84-87%.


puffulufogous
USA Fan
New Orleans
Member since Feb 2008
5881 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
quote:


A few things to consider when determining your mash water pitch temp, grain temperature and mash tun temperature.


I just didn't realize how much of an effect it would have on the temp. Will calculate better next time.

quote:

Not sure what if any, brewing software you are using, but beersmith has tools for your brewday that calculates the mash in temperature based on other factors like grain temps, etc...


Using Brewers friend, but didn't utilize the calculator for that as I didn't know it would be such a drop.

quote:

What was your qt/lb ratio? I think i use 1.25 qts/lb.

4 gal for 12.75 lbs was planned. That would've been 1.25. actual was 5 gal for 12.75 lbs which is close to 1.5. still had a stuck sparge, so I plan to use the grain bag going forward to avoid this issue.

quote:


A tip, FermcapS is a handy tool for a full boil pot. It's a foam inhibitor specifically for brewing

Thanks i will try that, however we had almost no issues. We were basically brewing in a 15gal keg so there would have to be a ton of foaming for it to be a problem.

quote:

the temp at which you conduct the whirlpool hops matters, in terms of alpha acid production (bitterness). It is suggested, to whirlpool between 160-170. This minimizes alpha acid pickup,

I wort chilled to 163 before adding all of the whirlpool hops at once and whirlpooled for 40 minutes. The chiller was removed before whirlpooling. I allowed the wort to passively cool during whirlpool. That's why I was so surprised that my calculated ibu was so high. It was 3.75 oz hops in the whirlpool, but I guess that's in a reduced volume which kicked up the ibu.

quote:

i have to fire up the burner again and keep it low to stay within range

So should I have kept the temp at around 165 for the entirety of the whirlpool?

quote:

But, it's actually harder to infect your beer than you realize. The brew books drum "sanitize, sanitize, sanitize" into you, which is good. But typically, the ph in beer is low enough to stave off most unwanted bacteria.

Fingers crossed. I'm optimistic that it will be fine.

What do you think of my OG and the look in the hydrometer flask? I've got to admit I was a little concerned at the green tint and turbidity. Like I said never done it before.


BugAC
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2007
33121 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
quote:

So should I have kept the temp at around 165 for the entirety of the whirlpool?



I do. If i'm not mistaken, too low a temperature, and you won't extract as much of the hop oils. But, if brulosophy has taught me anything, it probably doesn't matter. I start to wonder if anything we do while brewing is impactful, if i listen to brulosophy experiments.

quote:

What do you think of my OG and the look in the hydrometer flask? I've got to admit I was a little concerned at the green tint and turbidity. Like I said never done it before.




Hard to tell from looks, as it appears to be dark in the picture. What was your grain bill again? Looks doesn't really mean anything, but i know you want your beer to look how you have it pictured i your head.

As far as the OG, looks good. Did you make a starter or just pitch the smack pack? Also, if your mash was at 149, you'll probably finish up around 1.015ish, depending on if you pitched enough yeast, which would bring you to around 7.2% ABV


puffulufogous
USA Fan
New Orleans
Member since Feb 2008
5881 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
quote:

I do. If i'm not mistaken, too low a temperature, and you won't extract as much of the hop oils.

Well another lesson learned. If we miss out on some it might tame a little of the calculated ibus.

quote:

What was your grain bill again?

10 of pale, 1 of flaked oats, 1 of flaked wheat, and 3/4 of carapils. I was picturing orange and it's definitely more green.

quote:

Did you make a starter or just pitch the smack pack? Also, if your mash was at 149, you'll probably finish up around 1.015ish, depending on if you pitched enough yeast, which would bring you to around 7.2% ABV



Just pitched the smack pack which my recipe said was enough yeast for the brew. It was a solid 3 hrs between smacking and pitching and the pack was quite inflated.

We've got active fermentation. Any advice on when to biostrans hop? Tomorrow or the next day? Online resources vary


BugAC
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2007
33121 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
I typically add biotrans 3 days after fermentation.

On a side note, i highly recommend making yeast starters if you start having issues with not reaching terminal gravity, or delayed start in fermentation. I started doing starters after batch #5 or 6. Ever since then, i've always made starters. I'm on batch 60 now, i believe. I know, for a fact, i have healthy viable yeast if i make a yeast starter. You dont need much.

a few ounces of dried malt extract
1.5 to 2 liters of water
a mason jar or erlinmeyer flask
Stir plate (optional)

I do my starters a day before brew day. Longer if im using Brett yeast or bacteria.


CarRamrod
USA Fan
Spurbury, VT
Member since Dec 2006
46793 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
quote:

I do my starters a day before brew day.
? are you getting good enough growth? I takes a good 2-4 days for my starters to get full growth.

with only a day im assuming you are activating the yeast but it isnt growing to its potential. But my beers also ferment in like 5 days.


BugAC
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2007
33121 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
quote:

? are you getting good enough growth? I takes a good 2-4 days for my starters to get full growth.


It is. Sometimes i do it 2 days if it's an old pack, but I'm hitting my FG marks in time and i'm getting noticeable signs for fermentation 3 or 4 hours after pitch, and vigorous fermentation within a day.

quote:

with only a day im assuming you are activating the yeast but it isnt growing to its potential. But my beers also ferment in like 5 days


I don't check my beers until at least 7 days. I try not to brew nor do transfers to a keg during the week, only on weekends, so i'm ok with letting it sit in the fermenter.

I will say though, my last NEIPA, I used bootleg biology's NEEPAH blend and made a starter a day or 2 before. It took a good 2 weeks to get down to my desired FG. But i also assume longer ferment times for NEIPA due to the biotrans hops causing slowed fermentation. But that batch did finish at 1.015, so i got the attenuation i was looking for.


BugAC
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2007
33121 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
Fellow homebrewer's, are you to the point now in your hobby, where you legitimately like your beer over anything commercial? Has your brewing elevated to a point that you no longer seek out a certain style, if you've nailed that style yourself?

I think i'm starting to get there for NEIPA's for sure. The last 2 i've made have been so much better than anything made here, IMO. But then again, i'm making the beer to my tastes. I find, especially with this style, that there is so much shitty NEIPA's on the shelves. Yes, Ghost in the machine is still good, but i am really loving what i'm brewing. Whenever i brew a style, i typically don't buy anymore of that style in stores until the keg is tapped.

As far as sours are concerned, i'm getting getting there. The cool thing about sours is the vary so wildly. I find each breweries sour has a certain taste to it that only that brewery has (for the most part). Wicked Weed, Jester King, Jolly Pumpkin, Grimm, Crooked Stave. They all have a unique character. I'm starting to find that character in some of my sours. Though in my sour pipeline, i'm using 4 or 5 combinations of Sach/Brett/Lab's, so each of those beers, as i keep building on those inoculates for multiple generations, are attaining their own character. But i find, as i'm learning to restrain some of the acidity, that my sours are getting pretty damn good, and i do place them over some of the more "bargain" sours, such as Urban Family.

Now in terms of kettle sours, i like mine over anything i get in stores. An example, would be Grimm Super Spruce. It is a spruce gose. I've brewed this beer 3 times now, and this latest batch is the winner. I even did a comparison with a can of super spruce next to my beer and i just like the acidity and spruce levels better.

I can't really speak to other styles because overwhelming majority of what i brew now is either a kettle sour or mixed fermentation sour, along with an NEIPA sprinkled in as a keg starts to empty.

What styles have you "perfected" in your mind, compared to what's out there? Have you reached a point yet, on some styles, that you are dialed in on your ingredients, brew process, etc... and don't feel the need to make changes outside of a few variables (like hop varieties)?
This post was edited on 2/12 at 7:53 am


mchias1
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2009
291 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
I'm only 1 beer in and I prefer mine over commercial already. But I also prefer anything homemade over commercial, generally, when it comes to food.

Like you said, I prefer being able to dial something into my own tastes and have other people say it tastes good as well. I had plenty of positive comments on my amber, even though I could find things that I needed to improve on it. But I thought I did well with the grain bill. It just needs some mash and hops tweaking to perfect it.

I'm not a fan or IPA's or other overly hopped beers, most just taste like flowers or too citrusy. Seems like so much of the new beers coming out are just that. So for me doing new homebrews I can try new flavors of beers that focus more on the grains/malts than the hops.


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GeauxPack81
California Fan
Member since Dec 2009
9090 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
quote:

Fellow homebrewer's, are you to the point now in your hobby, where you legitimately like your beer over anything commercial? Has your brewing elevated to a point that you no longer seek out a certain style, if you've nailed that style yourself?



Not there yet. I still haven't tried any style more than once though. With a little more experience I definitely think I will like some of my own stuff more than the commercial stuff. I had a Crying Eagle porter the other day and I liked my first homebrew porter more. That being said, I will probably still prefer top notch IPAs and stouts/porters over my own, but mine won't cost $20 a 4 pack or $30 a bottle. If I can compete with them, then I will be happy.

I have a couple friends that don't really like beer that wanted to try some of my vanilla/coffee stout. The overwhelming response was "I don't typically like beer, but I love this." To which my response was always "I don't know if thats a good thing or not" ... It tasted like cold brew coffee, which is great if you like cold brew coffee. I do, and most of my friends do. But it also wasn't what I wanted. I wanted more body and less coffee bitterness. It appealed to the masses and was very crushable, and that kind of beer has its place. But I wanted a better product, and I have learned what to do now to make it more like what I want.


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MountainTiger
LSU Fan
The Duchy of Grand Fenwick
Member since Dec 2008
10886 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
quote:

Fellow homebrewers, are you to the point now in your hobby, where you legitimately like your beer over anything commercial?

What styles have you "perfected" in your mind, compared to what's out there?

Anything? No. But most of my beers would stack up against a good commercial example of the style. I really feel like my German pilsner recipe is nailed down nice and tight. When I brew that it's easy to resist the compulsion to tweak the recipe other than some hops substitutions depending on what I have on hand. The only other lager I brew regularly is a malty lager in the Vienna/O'fest/Marzen spectrum. I rarely modify that recipe either.

I have a solid altbier recipe that I think would hold up in Dusseldorf but it's hard to know because good examples are hard to find in the States. In any case, I like it.

My saisons usually turn out good but they're a series of one offs built around a standard grain bill. No two are ever alike. My ambers are good and my trappist beers are solid. One thing I haven't quite wrapped my head around is an IPA. Sometimes I like them; sometimes not. The problem is that I'm just not consistently getting enough hop character so I'm going to start doing more hop-bursting.


CarRamrod
USA Fan
Spurbury, VT
Member since Dec 2006
46793 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
I thought my NEIPA was better than anything commercial since version 3 2 years ago. And i actually think i have regress a bit do to changing up too much stuff.

I have a pale ale that is fantastic that a few BL ML drinkers really like and would drink over that.

I have a really good Hefe that is better that any i have bought.

I havent brewed too many sours so im no where near where i want to be. Im gonna do a few kettle sours this spring.



Random question. I have a keg that has has a long age sour in it for a while and it is about to kick. Whats the best way to kill the bugs in it?


CarRamrod
USA Fan
Spurbury, VT
Member since Dec 2006
46793 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
quote:

I have a solid altbier recipe that I think would hold up in Dusseldorf
been working on one but havent gotten it there yet.


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MountainTiger
LSU Fan
The Duchy of Grand Fenwick
Member since Dec 2008
10886 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
quote:

Random question. I have a keg that has has a long age sour in it for a while and it is about to kick. Whats the best way to kill the bugs in it?

Starsan soak and then push the Starsan out with CO2. Make sure you shake it up good to coat the entire insides with sanitizer. Then take the keg apart and soak all the posts, poppets, o-rings, etc. in Starsan. If you're paranoid, replace the o-rings.


BugAC
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2007
33121 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
quote:

I really feel like my German pilsner recipe is nailed down nice and tight.


Care to share the recipe? A good clean crisp pilsner is something i want to brew one day, probably for a family get together or something. Do you do the quick lagering method or more traditional?

quote:

The problem is that I'm just not consistently getting enough hop character so I'm going to start doing more hop-bursting.



Are you doing O2 free transfers? This helped out a lot, my last brew.


CarRamrod
USA Fan
Spurbury, VT
Member since Dec 2006
46793 posts

re: Homebrewing Thread: Volume II
i didnt think starsan will kill it all? I was thinking something more potent.


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