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Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



indigi posted:

You're going to be adding an absolute shitload of unfermentable sugars here. It will probably end up underattenuated and cloyingly sweet. I'd suggest replacing some of the DME with cane sugar added after it's been fermenting for a few days. With high gravity extract brews underattenuation is one of the most common problems.

Yeah I was gonna say, that seems like a fuckton of Crystal 120. I've never had that beer so maybe it's appropriate? But I'd consider cutting that, like, in half.

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tesilential
Nov 22, 2004

You're a credit to your community!

indigi posted:

You're going to be adding an absolute shitload of unfermentable sugars here. It will probably end up underattenuated and cloyingly sweet. I'd suggest replacing some of the DME with cane sugar added after it's been fermenting for a few days. With high gravity extract brews underattenuation is one of the most common problems.

Speaking of attenuation, how is your 3787 batch coming along? Mine was at 1.017 a week ago and I'm going to check it tonight.

If the gravity is still high I may put it outside (88-92*) to get it to finish low.

the42ndtourist
Sep 6, 2004

A half-dead thing in the stark, dead world, clean mad for the muck called gold

I recently acquired one of these:
http://www.speidels-braumeister.de/...-20-litres.html

It's a one-kettle self-contained brewing system, with a pump for circulation during the mash and programmable digital temperature control. It's also electric, which makes it ideal for the small condo-apartment I live in. Cost is approximately equivalent to the RIMS-type setups that Morebeer and Blichmann and those types sell. It's also one of the only things I've ever seen that wasn't subject to a huge markup in Canada vs. the US.

One or two of you expressed some interest after I was asking for opinions on it here. I've now been through one brewday with it; this is what I can report.

It's all stainless, and seems very well built and thought out (I shouldn't really be surprised, if the Germans are known for one thing, its this). The steel used in the kettle and "malt pipe" is thinner than I would have thought - but as you're constantly circulating the liquid during the mash, maintaining temperature is not a problem.

First thing that threw me is that you mash with a full batch worth of water. I'll throw up a couple of pictures here to explain why.

There's a "malt pipe" which goes inside the kettle and holds your malt during the mash. There's filters above and below the malt, to keep it contained. The pipe has a rubber rim at the base, which forms a seal within the kettle, separating the inside and outside of the pipe.


The pump draws liquid from outside the pipe, and pumps it into the pipe at the base. This raises the level of liquid inside the pipe, until it overflows back into the kettle. You need all that water at the outset to keep the malt pipe overflowing and the circulation pump fed.


The machine is set up for a 4 or 5 step mash. You can set the rest times and temperatures for all steps. I set a few of them to zero minutes, for a simple English single infusion + mashout. Temperature rises by a couple of degrees (C) per minute - I'm guessing here, wasn't really keeping track.

At the end of the mash, you pull the pipe out, it rests on a frame, fully above the liquor (wort? never paid much attention to the proper terms for everything). You can let it drain. I went for a sparge of a sort, pulling wort from the tap at the base and pouring it back over the grains, then following that with fresh water to rinse the sugars out of the grains.

Following that, just hit a button to start the boil (also programmable for length).

I was brewing a best bitter, with tettnanger hops. I just picked up a couple pounds of hops from an outfit in Southern Ontario, and went with the tettnanger over Fuggles or Goldings (also got a pound of cascade because I like them). Saved me probably close to 75% over local per-oz prices. Recipe follows:
4.4 lbs 2-row pale
1.1 lbs cara pils
2 lbs victory
.5 pounds oats
Mashed at 67C for 65 min. 10 min mash-out at 75C.

1.5 oz tett @ 60min
1 oz @ 10min
1 oz @ "flameout"

Wyeast 1028
Anticipated OG 1.041.


How did it go?
In retrospect, I probably added almost 2 gallons of water during the sparge. Didn't lose a whole lot during the boil, which was not all that strong. I found at the end, when I was transferring to the fermenter, that I had at least a gallon extra, probably more. The OG came out to 1.035, due to that dilution, I assume. Everything looks and smells just great, thought. My best bitter became a regular bitter, but that no great problem. I just have to be careful how much water I use.

Speidel proclaim that this uses a concentrated brewing method - producing 4 gallons of concentrated wort that needs to be diluted to 5. But after this experience, it seems likely to have very little trouble coping with the full 5 for the boil. I think really high gravity (<9%) brews may not be possible without using a fair bit of sugar or extract, as there's definitely a limit to how much malt it can hold for the mash.

I've seen people consider this machine to be a "brew in a bag" style of operation, but with the extraction rates I got, I don't think it wastes much malt, like those brewers do. I think the circulation during the mash probably makes that difference.

So far, I'm happy. Once I get familiar with the machine, I think it should be be pretty competent.

Jo3sh
Oct 19, 2002

Like all girls I love unicorns!

the42ndtourist posted:

I recently acquired one of these:
http://www.speidels-braumeister.de/...-20-litres.html

I think really high gravity (<9%) brews may not be possible without using a fair bit of sugar or extract, as there's definitely a limit to how much malt it can hold for the mash.

That was a comment I saw a couple of places, too. I think people have said that it's fine for ordinary-strength beers (morebeer says OG 1.057), but you would probably have to add fermentables to make big styles.

Jo3sh fucked around with this message at Sep 28, 2011 around 00:33

tesilential
Nov 22, 2004

You're a credit to your community!

^^^reply to the42ndtourist

That does seem a lot like BIAB, albeit 500x more expensive. Where did you read BIAB is a low efficiency method? I regularly get 80* with a very small sparge.

You probably got good efficiency because you did a full sparge after the full volume mash. Of course you would have to boil got hours to get your gravity where you wanted it.

Quick question, is that thing a kettle, fermenter AND serving vessel? If so how do you plan to simultaneous brews going?

tesilential fucked around with this message at Sep 28, 2011 around 01:29

indigi
Jul 20, 2004



Dinosaur Gum

tesilential posted:

Speaking of attenuation, how is your 3787 batch coming along? Mine was at 1.017 a week ago and I'm going to check it tonight.

If the gravity is still high I may put it outside (88-92*) to get it to finish low.

I actually checked it last night, and it was at 1.012. I think it's pretty well done but I'm gonna let it sit at ~74* til the weekend. The walls and underside of the lid are absolutely coated in gunk.

Prefect Six
Mar 27, 2009



Finally got around to getting a gravity reading on my CDA/BIPA/whatever. It's at 1.020 with an OG of ~1.063. My OG was pretty far off the targeted 1.075. I didn't warm up the bottles of LME so I think I didn't get as much out of them as I should have.

However, the sample I drew was delicious, if not a bit malt forward and not as much hop character as I would have liked. Eitehr way, it's 5.5% abv, which is plenty for me. I'd much rather it be more quaffable than a huge beer.

I'm guessing starting out at 58 degrees probably held back fermentation a bit. First time using this freezer for fermentation control, so hopefully the next batch will be more on target. I did use a starter.

Maybe I won't try to raise the temp any more and go ahead and dry hop.

deebo
Jan 21, 2004



the42ndtourist posted:

I recently acquired one of these:
http://www.speidels-braumeister.de/...-20-litres.html

How did you find the cleaning? Is it an effort to wash clean all the bits/pump etc?
(is there an enclosed element in there?)

digitalhifi
Jun 5, 2004
In life I have encountered much, but nothing as profound as the statement "all we ever do is do stuff."

I'm brewing a Belgian Stout this weekend and I'd like to get some feedback on my recipe before I go and buy ingredients tomorrow. I want this to be my Belgian Christmas Brew:

Belgian Congo:

Single Infusion Mash at 150* for 90 min

6 lb Belgian Pale Malt
4 lb Vienna
8 oz Belgian Cara 45
8 oz Belgian Special B
4 oz Black Malt
1 oz Chocolate Malt
6 oz Roast Barley
10 oz Flaked Oats
1 lb D120 Dark Belgian Candi Syrup

1 oz US Saaz at 60 min
1 oz EKG at 30 min

1 or 2 Ceylon cinnamon sticks and 1 or 2 whole star anise in the end of the boil

Ferment with WLP 550 Belgian Ale Yeast pitching at 68* and letting it ramp up to 75 over a few days*


I'd like the finished product to be a medium bodied beer with Belgian phenols, a smooth, layered malt profile, a touch of roasty bitterness with chocolate and maybe a hint of coffee overtones, and finally a kiss of cinnamon and licorice, because hey, its for Christmas time.

How does my absurdly complicated beer look? Also, how does my mash look? Should it be a step mash instead with the Belgian malt base?

Edit: Would it be better to use Carafa II or some other de-bittered black malt?

digitalhifi fucked around with this message at Sep 28, 2011 around 14:37

indigi
Jul 20, 2004



Dinosaur Gum

I'd say go with either Special B or the D120 (bump up the C45 a bit if you go syrup) and either roast barley or black malt. Also with everything else going on in this style it's very easy for the roastiness to get subsumed. In my first try I used 12oz of roast barley and it's barely detectable to the point that I upped it to a pound in my latest go, and it's got a wonderful roasty/coffee-like smell.

Lrrr
Jan 17, 2010


clutchpuck posted:

Not sure about adding the extract post-boil. In my short partial boil experience, I've gone with pre-boiling and cooling the top-up water while all the extract subsequently gets boiled into a super-concentrated wort, then the two are combined. The cool top-up water helps bring the temp down quickly.

Super-concentrated worths give really bad hop utilization so thats why I wanted to add the rest of the DME as late as possible. On second thought I may just boil two batches. First boil the "extra" DME alone for a few minutes, then do the special grain and hop batch and combine the two of them.

indigi posted:

You're going to be adding an absolute shitload of unfermentable sugars here. It will probably end up underattenuated and cloyingly sweet. I'd suggest replacing some of the DME with cane sugar added after it's been fermenting for a few days. With high gravity extract brews underattenuation is one of the most common problems.


Care to elaborate on this? The DME says 97& attenuation, so replacing parts of that with sugars wouldn't matter that much would it? Wouldn't pretty much all the unfermentable sugars come from the special grains?

Also, how big would the difference in fermentable vs unfermentable sugars be for mashed vs steeped with these grains? I thought the reason why these grains where listed as suitable to use as special grains because there wasn't much enzyme action in them anyway so it didn't matter much if you mashed them or not. (Not trying to be a smart rear end here, just writing down what I'm lead to believe so the experts can point out any flaws.)

Docjowles posted:

Yeah I was gonna say, that seems like a fuckton of Crystal 120. I've never had that beer so maybe it's appropriate? But I'd consider cutting that, like, in half.

Amount of different malts is based on various all grain recipes I found looking more or less like this one:

2.5 lbs Crystal Malt 120L
1 lbs American Black Patent
1 oz Warrior (16.0%) - added during boil, boiled 90 min
1 oz Northern Brewer (8.0%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min
1 oz Northern Brewer (8.0%) - added during boil, boiled 30 min
3 oz Cascade (5.5%) - steeped after boil
4 oz Cascade (5.5%) - added dry to secondary fermenter
1 ea White Labs WLP001 California Ale
15 lbs Pale Ale Malt
.5 lbs Dark Chocolate Malt

Ratios are the same as mine (6:1 pale:crystal) except I use light DME for the pale ale malt. (Not adjusted for the higher attenuation of the DME.)

Keep chipping away at my ignorance please


Edit:

Concerning much nonfermentable sugars, maybe a different strain of yest could negate this issue by at least going through every last bit of the fermentables?

Lrrr fucked around with this message at Sep 28, 2011 around 16:39

Prefect Six
Mar 27, 2009



Actually, at 1.020 should I worry about exploding bottles when I prime? Should I add less sugar?

wafflesnsegways
Jan 12, 2008
And that's why I was forced to surgically attach your hands to your face.

Has anyone used a food processor to crush grain? I have 1.5 lbs of uncrushed grains out of a 20 lbs grainbill. (I roasted my own brown malt, so I bought that 1.5 lbs uncrushed.) The rolling pin method has failed me in the past, so I'm thinking I'll try the food processor, and since most of the grain was milled correctly, I'm hoping that an uneven crush won't matter too much for one specialty malt.

plester1
Jul 9, 2004

I am NOT a merry man!

wafflesnsegways posted:

Has anyone used a food processor to crush grain? I have 1.5 lbs of uncrushed grains out of a 20 lbs grainbill. (I roasted my own brown malt, so I bought that 1.5 lbs uncrushed.) The rolling pin method has failed me in the past, so I'm thinking I'll try the food processor, and since most of the grain was milled correctly, I'm hoping that an uneven crush won't matter too much for one specialty malt.

I've never tried it, but a food processor isn't recommended according to this: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/in...ating_the_Crush

I'm surprised the rolling pin method doesn't work for you, it's worked fine for me before. What exactly doesn't work?

wafflesnsegways
Jan 12, 2008
And that's why I was forced to surgically attach your hands to your face.

Because of the difference in grain size, only the biggest grains were being crushed, while smaller grains were passing underneath the roller untouched. I eventually started smacking grains individually with the end of the rolling pin, and the whole thing was a pain in the rear end. If anyone has tips for the rolling pin or other ways of crushing without a mill, I'd like to hear it. My other option is spending an hour or more driving to the homebrew store and back to crush a small bag of grain.

Globochem
Jul 19, 2003
We own everything so you don't have to.

My batch has been fermenting for about five days now and I'm very concerned about keeping the temperature down. I'm in Texas where we're still getting regular 100+ days and for the most part all I've been able to do is keep a fan on the fermenter.

I just realized I had a container that the bucket could fit into, would it be a bad idea to put the fermenter in the container with a little bit of water and an ice pack? Is it too late? Would a drastic temperature swing do more harm than good?

I can't wait until this is all over and I can learn from my experiences.

SoftNum
Mar 31, 2011



Prefect Six posted:

Finally got around to getting a gravity reading on my CDA/BIPA/whatever. It's at 1.020 with an OG of ~1.063. My OG was pretty far off the targeted 1.075. I didn't warm up the bottles of LME so I think I didn't get as much out of them as I should have.

However, the sample I drew was delicious, if not a bit malt forward and not as much hop character as I would have liked. Eitehr way, it's 5.5% abv, which is plenty for me. I'd much rather it be more quaffable than a huge beer.

I'm guessing starting out at 58 degrees probably held back fermentation a bit. First time using this freezer for fermentation control, so hopefully the next batch will be more on target. I did use a starter.

Maybe I won't try to raise the temp any more and go ahead and dry hop.

What is predicted FG? What kind of yeast did you use? Even if you pull it off the yeast cake, the yeasties will keep eating sugar and making alcohol even if you rack it to secondary, they'll just slow down. 1.020 seems like a high finish, and if you let it drop some more the yeasties will eat up the maltiness.

Are you dry hopping in secondary?

Prefect Six
Mar 27, 2009



TenjouUtena posted:

What is predicted FG? What kind of yeast did you use? Even if you pull it off the yeast cake, the yeasties will keep eating sugar and making alcohol even if you rack it to secondary, they'll just slow down. 1.020 seems like a high finish, and if you let it drop some more the yeasties will eat up the maltiness.

Are you dry hopping in secondary?

Oh, actually the estimated finish gravity was 1.021 (from BeerSmith, NB doesn't give a FG), so I guess I'm ok. Won't be racking or dry hopping in a secondary.

Yeast was American Ale II. That's still 68% attenuation, so not bad. I did use a starter, but like I said I pitched at 58 deg F.

RiggenBlaque
Jan 13, 2006

I think he's ready for a chair

Globochem posted:

My batch has been fermenting for about five days now and I'm very concerned about keeping the temperature down. I'm in Texas where we're still getting regular 100+ days and for the most part all I've been able to do is keep a fan on the fermenter.

I just realized I had a container that the bucket could fit into, would it be a bad idea to put the fermenter in the container with a little bit of water and an ice pack? Is it too late? Would a drastic temperature swing do more harm than good?

I can't wait until this is all over and I can learn from my experiences.

Whenever my fridge is full up with kegs, I just fill a large 15 gallon tuberware container with water and drop in my ferementer so that the water line is where the 5 gallon mark is on the fermenter. Then I cycle out ice parks / frozen coke bottles of water every so often to keep the temperature where I want it.

As for if you should do it now, I'd say it depends on how far along your fermentation is. 5 days at ~90 heat, I highly doubt it's even worth bothering with at this point.

Tedronai66
Aug 24, 2006
Better to Reign in Hell...

I'm planning an APA that I might dry hop just to add a little more flavor, looking for suggestions on hop schedule.

Here's what I have so far:

1lb 20L
7.5lb Pale LME
WLP051 CA V (it's all my lhbs had)

For hops I have:

2 oz cascade pellets (6.5%)
~5 oz nugget whole hops, dried (~8 % i think, was given to me/pick from guys plant)

I was thinking 1-2 oz nugget for 60, another ounce at 10-15, and an ounce of cascade at 5-10, and an ounce of both for dry hop after 10-14 days in fermenter.

the42ndtourist
Sep 6, 2004

A half-dead thing in the stark, dead world, clean mad for the muck called gold

tesilential posted:

Quick question, is that thing a kettle, fermenter AND serving vessel? If so how do you plan to simultaneous brews going?

It's not a fermenter, or a serving vessel. I'm fermenting in buckets and carboys and serving from kegs. This is (but I get the impression it's extract only):
https://www.williamswarn.com

Cleaning wasn't too bad. I didn't pull the pump apart, just ran a star-san solution through it for a few minutes, then warm water. It should be pulled off and rinsed fairly regularly, though. Otherwise everything is stainless without any tiny crannies for gunk to hide in. The heating coil is enclosed in stainless tubing, which just needs to be wiped down.

indigi
Jul 20, 2004



Dinosaur Gum

Tedronai66 posted:

I was thinking 1-2 oz nugget for 60, another ounce at 10-15, and an ounce of cascade at 5-10, and an ounce of both for dry hop after 10-14 days in fermenter.
I'd suggest something like

.5-.75oz Nugget @60
1oz Nugget @10
1oz Nugget .5oz Cascade @5
1oz Nugget .5oz Cascade @0

Then let it sit for ~20-30 minutes before chilling. Nugget is typically a high AA hop, I think usually over 10, so assuming that this would put you at around 50-60 IBUs. I might cut back the crystal to .5-.75lbs, but I'm always afraid of over-crystaling an extract batch after a few 1.020 FGs in a row.

indigi
Jul 20, 2004



Dinosaur Gum

Lrrr posted:

Care to elaborate on this? The DME says 97& attenuation, so replacing parts of that with sugars wouldn't matter that much would it? Wouldn't pretty much all the unfermentable sugars come from the special grains?

Also, how big would the difference in fermentable vs unfermentable sugars be for mashed vs steeped with these grains? I thought the reason why these grains where listed as suitable to use as special grains because there wasn't much enzyme action in them anyway so it didn't matter much if you mashed them or not.

Edit:

Concerning much nonfermentable sugars, maybe a different strain of yest could negate this issue by at least going through every last bit of the fermentables?

I really don't know how DME could get 97% attenuation unless it's a blend of DME and sugar. Malt extract has to contain some unfermentable sugars to replicate the taste and mouthfeel you'd get from barley, and the highest I've ever seen DME rated was 80%. If it is, somehow, 97% attenuable, then you're right that all the unfermentables would comes from the special grains, but I don't know that that's possible. Are you sure it isn't listing 97% extract?

I'm not sure exactly how big the difference would be, but I know that if they were mashed the specialty grains would provide more fermentable sugars. You're right that getting color and flavor from them doesn't require mashing. And if you're using WLP550 you're already going to be getting getting about the highest apparent attenuation beer yeast can give (outside a couple saison strains which might not fit in in a stout).

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

Numerous, effective and tenacious: We must remember to hire them next time....oh, nevermind.

clutchpuck posted:

I recently inherited a 15.5gal keg, so I am going to get a false bottom and a valve for it and use it to get a better yield, but for now the cooler seems to work pretty ok.

I inherited what I *think* is a 15.5gal sankey keg as well. I want to get a false bottom for it in order to use it as a mash tun. It already has the top cut out and a 1/2" swagelok valve installed in the side about 4" from the bottom weld seam.

Is this thing what I want?

http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewi...less-elbow.html

How does a 12" diameter false bottom fit a 15" diameter vessel? And how does it maintain a seal with the bottom of the keg?

clutchpuck
Apr 30, 2004
ro-tard

Its supposed to sit on the bottom of the keg and the weight of itself, the grain on top of it, and the connection to the valve should keep it well seated on the bottom. If any grist does get through, it has to cup UP through the elbow. This is all theory though, I don't have mine set up yet.

Prefect Six
Mar 27, 2009



How's this for a recipe:
code:
Wheat Porter (based on tonedef131's all grain recipe)

Briess Golden LME - 3.5 pounds
Briess Bavarian Wheat LME - 3.5 pounds
Biscuit - .5 pounds
Weyermann Caramel Wheat - .5 pounds
Weyermann Chocolate Wheat - .5 pounds

Nugget - 1 oz @ 15
Nugget - 1 oz @ 5

Brit Ale II

Est 1.064 SG, 30.7 IBU, 29.8 SRM.
Any suggestions?

Kraven Moorhed
Jan 5, 2006

So wrong, yet so right.

Soiled Meat

Apologies for the repost, but I think my problem got buried under the new page.

Kraven Moorhed posted:

Uh oh.

So I'm pretty sure my extract-brew Russian Imperial Stout has stalled out at a gravity of 1.030 for the past 4 days. From an OG of 1.072, that's not exactly what I was looking for. The directions list the FG as between 1.020-1.017. I was hoping to get around 8-9% alcohol out of this, but it looks like it's stuck at a measly 6% give or take. The beer has been at a steady 70 degrees since I transferred it to the fermenting area.

Any idea what could be causing this? Is there anything I could do to correct this, or am I stuck with a weak-rear end stout?

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



Kraven Moorhed posted:

Apologies for the repost, but I think my problem got buried under the new page.

Could you please post the full recipe and process (times, temperatures, anything you feel went wrong), both hot and cold side? It's one of those things that could have like 10 different explanations.

indigi
Jul 20, 2004



Dinosaur Gum

I tasted my ESB today when taking a gravity reading. Pitched late Saturday night, it's down from 1.055 to 1.011. Tastes loving delicious, WLP023 is a phenominal strain. I'd drink a pint of this tonight if it was cold and carbed. Definitely gonna have to harvest a few jars of this stuff and make a ton of English styles this winter with it.

e: also some tasting notes on my Bretted witbier: it's ~3 months old, and if you told me this was fermented with a saison yeast, I'd believe you. Somehow the wit and the Brett combine to produce a spicy phenolic character reminiscent of a saison, and it's dry and crisp on the palate like one as well. Definitely a bit heavier on the fruity esters than a typical saison, which will probably increase with age. It's got a strong Brett aroma but not very much uniquely discernible Brett flavor character. It's pretty drat good. Next time I might let the wit yeast ferment most of the way out then pitch a starter Brett with some extra DME to get the witbier character more pronounced - this time I pitched a 2L starter about 48 hours after active fermentation begun.

indigi fucked around with this message at Sep 29, 2011 around 05:38

Lrrr
Jan 17, 2010


indigi posted:

I really don't know how DME could get 97% attenuation unless it's a blend of DME and sugar. Malt extract has to contain some unfermentable sugars to replicate the taste and mouthfeel you'd get from barley, and the highest I've ever seen DME rated was 80%. If it is, somehow, 97% attenuable, then you're right that all the unfermentables would comes from the special grains, but I don't know that that's possible. Are you sure it isn't listing 97% extract?

I'm not sure exactly how big the difference would be, but I know that if they were mashed the specialty grains would provide more fermentable sugars. You're right that getting color and flavor from them doesn't require mashing. And if you're using WLP550 you're already going to be getting getting about the highest apparent attenuation beer yeast can give (outside a couple saison strains which might not fit in in a stout).

You are probably right about the 97% being the extract percentage, not the attenuation, and that does change it quite a bit. I think I spotted the error in my understanding in the special grains as well. I read somewhere that it had no enzymes, so I assumed it wouldn't matter if I mashed it at all, but now I've realized that the enzymes from the other grains can work on those special grains as well in a full mash, which also changes up the picture.

Dropping some of the DME and some of the Crystal seems like the way to go then. Now the question is how much do I drop? I don't want to cut back too much and end up with a poring bland beer, but I don't want to ruin in by ending up with a FG in the regular OG range either. How do I find the balance?

As for the sugars, do they add anything to the taste and feel of the beer or is it just boosting the ABV? If its the latter then I may skip it and let the ABV drop down a bit. Its taste I'm after, and Ill get pretty drunk from 6-7% if thats what I want anyway

indigi
Jul 20, 2004



Dinosaur Gum

I try to use 1 pound or less of crystal malts in extract beers. 300g should be enough, Special B is a very strong flavor malt.

Sugar will ferment out 100% and increase the abv without directly adding any flavors, but an increase in abv can have unique and profound effects on flavor and mouthfeel. Alcohol itself is fairly sweet, and in a higher OG wort yeast will produce more fermentation byproducts. When you add the sugar can effect final flavor, too - if you add it to the boil, the higher percentage of simple sugars at the start will lead to more fusel alcohol formation; later, when the environment is more hostile to yeast, you'll get more esters and other stress-induced fermentation byproducts (which isn't always a bad thing with Belgian yeast).

The most important thing is pitching enough yeast and maintaining temperature control, cause there's less margin for error on high gravity brews before your yeast get fed up and ruin the beer.

indigi fucked around with this message at Sep 29, 2011 around 05:47

Kraven Moorhed
Jan 5, 2006

So wrong, yet so right.

Soiled Meat

Docjowles posted:

Could you please post the full recipe and process (times, temperatures, anything you feel went wrong), both hot and cold side? It's one of those things that could have like 10 different explanations.

Gotcha. I used an extract kit (Brewers Best) so it's imprecise about the varieties of ingredients. Next time I'll write them down.

Fermentables:
6.6 lb. Dark LME
2 lb. Dark DME
8 oz. Maltodextrin
Specialty Grains:
8 oz. Caramel 60L
8 oz Roasted Barley
8 oz Black Patent
Hops:
1 oz Bittering
.5 oz Aroma
Yeast
1 Sachet

1.072 OG
1.030 Current Gravity
1.017-20 projected FG

Process:
Sanitized everything first, of course.

I started off boiling 2.5 gallons of jugged drinking water. Steeped the specialty grains at 160 F for 20 minutes. Brought the wort to a boil and added extracts + Maltodextrin. Stirred the wort intermittently (I didn't do it constantly, though. Mostly stirred towards the beginning and a bit towards the end. Just enough to scrape the bottom and make sure nothing burned.) Once it returned to a boil, I added bittering hops, waited 40 minutes, then added aroma hops. Waited 20 minutes after that.

Now, the boil may not have been strong enough. There was surface activity, but not a whole lot of bubbles. It was more of a simmer than a boil for about half the time.

After this was done, I cooled the wort in an ice bath (kept it covered) before transferring to the fermenter, where I added in chilled water until it reached 5 gallons and was 70 F. I then sprinkled the yeast packet in and gave it a good stir before capping the fermenter, putting in the airlock, and moving it to the fermentation area. The fermentation area is my basement bathroom, which stays at 70-72 degrees without added cooling. I could add cooling, but it's a portable AC unit/dehumidifier, so it shuts off regularly when the water basin fills up.

Other issues:
The packet specifically said not to do a starter, as did the directions. Not sure if I should ignore that.
The cap to my airlock got thrown away, as it looks just like the cap to one of the jugs of water I was using. We used saran wrap in its place, with holes punched in the top. It may have been secured a bit too tightly, though, and may have impeded airflow for about a day. After we loosened it up, the beer bubbled merrily away for some time.

But for the past 5 days, my beer has been stuck at about 6% ABV. From what I've said above, is there anything you folks could think of that might restart fermentation?

indigi
Jul 20, 2004



Dinosaur Gum

Kraven Moorhed posted:

Fermentables:
6.6 lb. Dark LME
2 lb. Dark DME
8 oz. Maltodextrin
Specialty Grains:
8 oz. Caramel 60L
8 oz Roasted Barley
8 oz Black Patent

I think your problem is likely the unfermentables you added via 1.5 lbs of steeping grains, the use of dark malt extract (which already contains medium-dark crystal and some roasted malt), then another half pound in the maltodextrin (which is completely unfermentable). Seems like a pretty crazy kit. Dark malt extract is always going to be less fermentable than light extract and is supposed to make up for some roasted/specialty malt in the grain bill; why it'd have you toss all the extra steeping grains in on top of that in those quantities is a bit perplexing. I've learned to always use pilsner/extra light malt extract and make up color/flavor with steeping grains.

You might be stuck, but if you don't mind spending some money you could make a little starter (one quart/liter) with a packet of US-05 or a vial of WLP007, then as soon as you see krausen, immediately dump it into your stout. If you get actively fermenting, healthy yeast in there, they'll likely knock it down a few points, but I kinda doubt it'll get to the recipe's target FG. (Typically an 11 gram packet of yeast will be enough to take on a 1.072 beer, but if it's old or suffered big temperature swings, things could get ugly)

More importantly, taste it! If it tastes good, don't futz around with it. High FGs aren't the worst thing in the world if it's good to drink (if a little thicker/sweeter than intended). Just keep this stuff in mind for next time.

indigi fucked around with this message at Sep 29, 2011 around 08:07

Lrrr
Jan 17, 2010


indigi posted:

I try to use 1 pound or less of crystal malts in extract beers. 300g should be enough, Special B is a very strong flavor malt.

Sugar will ferment out 100% and increase the abv without directly adding any flavors, but an increase in abv can have unique and profound effects on flavor and mouthfeel. Alcohol itself is fairly sweet, and in a higher OG wort yeast will produce more fermentation byproducts. When you add the sugar can effect final flavor, too - if you add it to the boil, the higher percentage of simple sugars at the start will lead to more fusel alcohol formation; later, when the environment is more hostile to yeast, you'll get more esters and other stress-induced fermentation byproducts (which isn't always a bad thing with Belgian yeast).

The most important thing is pitching enough yeast and maintaining temperature control, cause there's less margin for error on high gravity brews before your yeast get fed up and ruin the beer.

You do make a lot of sense. I guess I'll drop the crystal to 300g then. How much of the DME should I exchange for sugar? 1-2kg? And I assume I should only add 80% sugars by weight for the DME I take out to get same abv? Is one vial enough yeast or should I make a starter/ get two vials?

As for temperature excessive heat isn't that big of a problem in Norway.

tesilential
Nov 22, 2004

You're a credit to your community!

Lrrr posted:

You do make a lot of sense. I guess I'll drop the crystal to 300g then. How much of the DME should I exchange for sugar? 1-2kg? And I assume I should only add 80% sugars by weight for the DME I take out to get same abv? Is one vial enough yeast or should I make a starter/ get two vials?

As for temperature excessive heat isn't that big of a problem in Norway.

You probably don't want to go over 20% sugar.

Look 2 posts above you. Too much dark malt is bad. You can brew a stout with 12 oz of roast barely and the rest pale malt. Start with simple recipes or you will never understand what each ingredient contributes to the beer.

Lrrr
Jan 17, 2010


tesilential posted:

You probably don't want to go over 20% sugar.

Look 2 posts above you. Too much dark malt is bad. You can brew a stout with 12 oz of roast barely and the rest pale malt. Start with simple recipes or you will never understand what each ingredient contributes to the beer.

Chuck out 1kg of DME and add 800g sugar then? Would you say 12 oz would be enough for a baltic porter or russian imperial stout too?

Hypnolobster
Apr 12, 2007

What this sausage party needs is a big dollop of ketchup! Too bad I didn't make any.


Acceptableloss posted:

I inherited what I *think* is a 15.5gal sankey keg as well. I want to get a false bottom for it in order to use it as a mash tun. It already has the top cut out and a 1/2" swagelok valve installed in the side about 4" from the bottom weld seam.

Is this thing what I want?

http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewi...less-elbow.html

How does a 12" diameter false bottom fit a 15" diameter vessel? And how does it maintain a seal with the bottom of the keg?

If you intend on direct firing the mash tun to bring the temps up for mashout, maintaining temps, etc than you would do better to pick up a 15" folding false bottom. The 12" ABT false bottom is great, don't get me wrong, but the amount of liquid that it holds underneath it isn't very large, and flame underneath a sanke keg will hit the areas of the false bottom that don't contain any water, just grain. Might not be a problem, but it does mean you have to be extremely careful adding fire to bring up the temp.

Something like this pretty much solves the problem by making the entire domed bottom of the sanke full of nothing but liquid.
http://www.norcalbrewingsolutions.c...se_Bottoms.html
You'd be looking for the 15" folding false bottom, handles and fun stuff are optional.
If you've already got a bulkhead fitting in the keg, you can take some measurements and pictures and just email the guy and he'll set you up with whatever else you need (like the diptube).

(I'm seriously not affiliated with that guy at all, he just makes extremely nice, ridiculously heavy false bottoms).



e: This is my old ABT false bottom.

You can see it doesn't enclose the domed bottom completely. It was still an awesome false bottom and I keep it in my HLT for double batches, you really just have to be really gentle with the flame and stir and recirculate constantly while firing it.

Hypnolobster fucked around with this message at Sep 29, 2011 around 14:33

Tedronai66
Aug 24, 2006
Better to Reign in Hell...

indigi posted:

I'd suggest something like

.5-.75oz Nugget @60
1oz Nugget @10
1oz Nugget .5oz Cascade @5
1oz Nugget .5oz Cascade @0

Then let it sit for ~20-30 minutes before chilling. Nugget is typically a high AA hop, I think usually over 10, so assuming that this would put you at around 50-60 IBUs. I might cut back the crystal to .5-.75lbs, but I'm always afraid of over-crystaling an extract batch after a few 1.020 FGs in a row.

Hop schedule looks pretty good. I have no idea on the alpha and not sure if I dried them enough/too much, so I'm just estimating a little low for them. Might make the first nugget addition a FWH and use the other 1oz of cascade as a dry/keg carbing hop, actually. I also might cut back a little on the crystal, since WLP051 has less attenuation than WLP001.

My kegerator is almost complete! I'll have pictures soon. Kegged Saison should be ready to chill/serve this weekend.

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

Numerous, effective and tenacious: We must remember to hire them next time....oh, nevermind.

Hypnolobster posted:

If you intend on direct firing the mash tun to bring the temps up for mashout, maintaining temps, etc than you would do better to pick up a 15" folding false bottom. The 12" ABT false bottom is great, don't get me wrong, but the amount of liquid that it holds underneath it isn't very large, and flame underneath a sanke keg will hit the areas of the false bottom that don't contain any water, just grain. Might not be a problem, but it does mean you have to be extremely careful adding fire to bring up the temp.

Something like this pretty much solves the problem by making the entire domed bottom of the sanke full of nothing but liquid.
http://www.norcalbrewingsolutions.c...se_Bottoms.html
You'd be looking for the 15" folding false bottom, handles and fun stuff are optional.
If you've already got a bulkhead fitting in the keg, you can take some measurements and pictures and just email the guy and he'll set you up with whatever else you need (like the diptube).

(I'm seriously not affiliated with that guy at all, he just makes extremely nice, ridiculously heavy false bottoms).

Thanks man. That was all very helpful. Those 15" false bottoms are expensive, but I think it might be worth it. I'll email that guy and see if I can get a 15" hinged false bottom with a dip tube to match the ball valve that's already installed in my keg.

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hbf
Jul 26, 2003
No Dice.

Just did a brew with Safale US-05. Normally, I never worry about things getting too cold because my old apartment was always quite warm. However my new place gets really chilly, I haven't started using the heat yet. Ambient temp is prob around 60F. Is this too cold for proper fermentation?


And I was trying to clone Avery's Ellie's Brown, here's the recipe I went with based on their website and some guesswork:
8# Maris Otter
1# Munich 10L
.5# Crystal 10L
.5# Crystal 120L
.5# Chocolate 450L
.5oz Norther Brewer (60min) - subbed for Bullion which I couldn't find.
.5oz Cascade (30min)
.5oz Fuggles (0min)
OG 1.058
IBU 22

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