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Jo3sh
Oct 19, 2002

Like all girls I love unicorns!

Yes, torrified wheat is an acceptable substitute for flaked wheat. They are both gelatinized, but I think you might get just slightly more extract per mass from torrified wheat than flaked, just because of its "puffed" texture.

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Rex-Goliath
Nov 12, 2016

HIS ROYAL MAJESTY


Newbie questions: I'm brewing my first saison and am trying to do everything 'correctly' by actually taking gravity measurements and using a secondary fermenter. First question: how much of a difference does it make if you allow the beer to sit for a week or two after fermentation ends when the gravity readings effectively stop changing? I know it's a common recommendation but I want to know what the yeast is actually doing during this time.

Second question: Is it even worthwhile to use a secondary? I've been looking around online and this seems to be a mixed subject. Do you even get any benefit from siphoning over to a secondary vs just letting it sit in primary for another week?

Jo3sh
Oct 19, 2002

Like all girls I love unicorns!

Rex-Goliath posted:

Newbie questions: I want to know what the yeast is actually doing during [after the active ferment stops and gravity stops dropping].

Settling out and doing some cleanup of byproducts, like acetaldehyde and diacetyl, which can cause off-flavors. Letting the beer rest during this period can lead to clearer, better-tasting beer. But there's no magic time period for this, and a large healthy pitch can ferment and finish faster. Especially in lower-gravity beers, for example, it's pretty easy to get from grain to glass (brewday to actually drinking the beer) inside two weeks, sometimes significantly inside.

Rex-Goliath posted:

Second question: Is it even worthwhile to use a secondary? I've been looking around online and this seems to be a mixed subject. Do you even get any benefit from siphoning over to a secondary vs just letting it sit in primary for another week?

Many times, a single-stage ferment is just fine. I very rarely use a secondary fermenter myself, and I know a number of other people in this thread also do single-stage ferments. I honestly think that the use of secondary is a pretty outdated process in a homebrew setting. I think that it was pretty standard advice when my dad was brewing in the '70s because ingredients, yeast, and practices were not nearly as good as they are today. These days, we're making better worts and pitching more and healthier yeast, so the sediment is much less likely to cause off-flavors. And better sanitation isn't hurting anything, either.

internet celebrity
Jun 23, 2006


Rex-Goliath posted:

Newbie questions: I'm brewing my first saison and am trying to do everything 'correctly' by actually taking gravity measurements and using a secondary fermenter. First question: how much of a difference does it make if you allow the beer to sit for a week or two after fermentation ends when the gravity readings effectively stop changing? I know it's a common recommendation but I want to know what the yeast is actually doing during this time.

Second question: Is it even worthwhile to use a secondary? I've been looking around online and this seems to be a mixed subject. Do you even get any benefit from siphoning over to a secondary vs just letting it sit in primary for another week?

It makes a significant difference. Leaving the beer in contact with the yeast for a bit gives it a chance to clean up some undesirable fermentation flavors (ie "green beer" flavors). Also secondary isn't really useful unless you're aging it long term or adding something like fruit, spices, etc. A lot of us don't bother with transferring to a secondary fermentor now.

robotsinmyhead
Nov 29, 2005

Dude, they oughta call you Piledriver!

Rex-Goliath posted:

Newbie questions: I'm brewing my first saison and am trying to do everything 'correctly' by actually taking gravity measurements and using a secondary fermenter. First question: how much of a difference does it make if you allow the beer to sit for a week or two after fermentation ends when the gravity readings effectively stop changing? I know it's a common recommendation but I want to know what the yeast is actually doing during this time.

Second question: Is it even worthwhile to use a secondary? I've been looking around online and this seems to be a mixed subject. Do you even get any benefit from siphoning over to a secondary vs just letting it sit in primary for another week?

Really important if you're unsure on a final gravity and, specifically, you're bottling the beer. Unfinished beer + priming sugar in bottling is a surefire step into gushers and bottle bombs. In my experience though, a diacetyl rest (raising the ambient temperature of your fermentation environment a few degrees) at the end of your primary fermentation cycle can do the same thing. My brewclub is multi-years into all of use brewing and a couple of our members still can't prime a bottle correctly.

The downside to secondary is increased possibility of infection, oxidation, and time. I stopped doing it a long time ago because I wasn't really seeing any benefit.

Toebone
Jul 1, 2002

Start remembering what you hear.

The primary propenents of doing a secondary these days are home brew shops selling carboys

Napoleon Bonaparty
Oct 30, 2012

DISCO
PARTY
KING


I still do a secondary to make bottling day easier. I use a bucket with a tap, and usually the trub is above the tap before I transfer it. Using a tap instead of a siphon makes it easier to bottle by myself, without someone making sure trub doesn't end up in the beer on the siphon end, and another person handling the bottling wand. The transfer from primary to secondary allows me to remove excess trub, and the clearly visible glass carboy makes it easier to see what I'm siphoning out when I siphon. The bucket is then usable again as a bottling device with the included tap. None of this is necessary, and beer with trub doesn't necessarily taste better or worse in double blind tasting, but sometimes people like the look of clear beer, and I don't blame them.

Brulosophy has an interesting article on gelatin fining that confirms this notion that trub doesn't affect flavor in a blind triangle test, but the writer asserts they will continue fining their beers if for no other reason than the sake of aesthetics. I might even try the gelatin method on my next homebrew.

http://brulosophy.com/2015/01/05/th...riment-results/

Rex-Goliath
Nov 12, 2016

HIS ROYAL MAJESTY


Toebone posted:

The primary propenents of doing a secondary these days are home brew shops selling carboys

Yeah this is what i figured.

Thanks for the answers, everyone!

Crack
Apr 10, 2009


I could see a situation where I started conditioning a beer in secondary if I ran out of bottle space, but it's probably suboptimal.

I had a crack at designing a simple recipe and was wondering if there are any potential problems or obvious improvements, especially when using honey. I'm aiming for a light, moderately bitter honey flavoured beer suitable to have as a refreshment on a sunny afternoon.

The recipe:
4kg Golden Promise Pale Malt (81.6%)
0.9kg Honey (18.4%) - added after primary fermentation
20g Target (60min)
10g Goldings (10m)
5g Liberty (KO)
Safale US-05 yeast

Even though it's not too complicated it did highlight some areas I never really considered just following recipes. The hop choices are what I have lying around rather than calculated choices but I thought they'd work well enough.

Beersmith estimates a FG of 1.005. Before I had a 3:1 malt to honey ratio and it was 1.003. How low would be too dry? Also, is there a limit to the alcohol content before it becomes unbalanced? I remember reading something saying a higher abv requires more body, but mead is pretty tasty and has little body.

The other thing is that usually recipes call for a mash and boil time 60-90 mins long. Other than hop utilisation, is there any reason to go for a >60min boil time(same for the mash)? I'm brewing in a bag if that's relevant. Saving an hour on brewday is not insignificant.

Jo3sh
Oct 19, 2002

Like all girls I love unicorns!

Crack posted:

Other than hop utilisation, is there any reason to go for a >60min boil time[...]?

Some malts have the reputation of needing a longer boil to drive off DMS.

Sometimes you want to drive off water - one of the best barleywines I ever made was a 4+ hour boil, as I recall, to get the volume down and gravity up.

Sometimes you want color and flavor change - e.g., Scotch Ales sometimes call for a long boil.


EDIT: Well, that's amusing. I'm cleaning out a closet in preparation for new flooring, and I found a box of beer dating back to 2000. Bigfoot and other strong commercial beers. I think it's all well past its prime (looks like the latest is ~2004) but I'm going to try them over the next few weeks.

Jo3sh fucked around with this message at Apr 19, 2018 around 22:15

Ethics_Gradient
May 5, 2015


Finally bit the bullet and bought a rice cooker for doing rice wine - had too many issues with inconsistency trying to do glutintous rice on the stovetop. I'm sold on the fire-and-forget convenience, although the rice came out kinda soft and gelatinised relative to what you'd get steaming it. I didn't rinse it, but did do a 4 hour presoak before flicking it on. May try a shorter presoak and/or less water as it's totally edible, just not something I'd serve with Southeast Asian food and expect anyone to be impressed. Hopefully it'll be good for wine!

The last one I did with the yeast balls came out smelling... like an amped up yeast ball (ie not good), was undrinkable, so I swiched back to Angel Rice Leaven for this one.

I was getting kinda exasperated as I only had 1 good batch out of maybe 4 attempts, and it's ~3-4 weeks of waiting each time. If nothing else, the ease of the rice cooker should encourage more experimentation with this stuff - I have plenty of glutinous rice and yeast balls/ARL to play around with, just couldn't be bothered cooking it.

robotsinmyhead posted:

Really important if you're unsure on a final gravity and, specifically, you're bottling the beer. Unfinished beer + priming sugar in bottling is a surefire step into gushers and bottle bombs. In my experience though, a diacetyl rest (raising the ambient temperature of your fermentation environment a few degrees) at the end of your primary fermentation cycle can do the same thing. My brewclub is multi-years into all of use brewing and a couple of our members still can't prime a bottle correctly.

Yeah, be especially careful of this with saison yeast. My only bottle bomb was from a saison, I asked about it here and apparently that strain is known for sometimes 'waking up' later.

I've only used a secondary when I was fermenting a wheat ale on some cherries (which was delicious). Otherwise, never bothered.

Jhet posted:

There are things you could do, like washing the yeast or separating it from the sediment in suspension, but none that you absolutely need to do. Just be good with sanitation and you should be fine. This is common practice for a lot of people.

Thanks for that!

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010

Niles Hokkanen's Pocket Guide to Mandolin Chords is hands-down the best mandolin chordbook you can buy, and a damn steal at less than the cost of a decent pint. It doesn't just show you the chords, it actually explains the concepts behind them.

Bentonite is magic. I got sick of my cider not clarifying (I started it October 3), so I racked onto a bentonite slurry and now a week later it's beautifully clear.

Not entirely magic, though, because I put some in my 3 gallon mead batch 2 months ago and it's still cloudy. It worked on a different batch of mead, though, so maybe I just need to use more.

rockcity
Jan 16, 2004


Bentonite, like clay? Interesting, I have never heard of it being used for that.

Jhet
Jun 3, 2013


RE: Boil times. You can go for as short as 10 minutes if you really want as that'll be long enough to kill any microbes that will cause you souring. You can even make wonderful beer without boiling at all. 30 minutes just might be the new 90 minutes though as it's long enough to drive off DMS sufficiently and not too short where you can still have a higher hop utilization. That being said, I have done over 2 hours on a Scotch Ale and it was well worth the time. I've been moving to 30 minutes for pale ales and most of the lower ABV beers I've been making. I just don't need the 60 minutes for the hops.

I just use Pectic enzyme prior to adding the yeast and my ciders have always come out crystal clear. Bentonite is similar to gelatin in that it's negatively charged ions will attract the yeast and other positively charge ions hazing up your wines. Fairly common in wine making. Granted, I also leave my cider sit in carboys for a long time. I still have 15 gallons from the fall that I haven't gotten around to drinking yet.

Biomute
Jun 7, 2005

Love thy neighbor, turn him in... It's called patriotism.

Crack posted:

Also, is there a limit to the alcohol content before it becomes unbalanced? I remember reading something saying a higher abv requires more body, but mead is pretty tasty and has little body.

The other thing is that usually recipes call for a mash and boil time 60-90 mins long. Other than hop utilisation, is there any reason to go for a >60min boil time(same for the mash)? I'm brewing in a bag if that's relevant. Saving an hour on brewday is not insignificant.

I am also brewing a honey beer (saison) this weekend. I am aiming for 6 - 6,5% ABV. You can get "body" from other sources than just gravity. Examples include using protein, dextrin or beta-glucose rich malts, using large amounts of hops or adding oak for tannins, as well as carbonating either very low or very high.

I'll be going for:

2.5 Kg Floor Malted Bohemian Pilsner (70,3%)
200 g Dark Munich (5,4%)
200 g Rye Malt (5,4 %)
700 g Wildflower Honey (18,9%)

25g East Kent Goldings (90 min)
25g East Kent Goldings (2 min)

House Saison Culture (WLP565, 3726, 3711, Belle Saison, Lactobacillus Plantarum + Side Project, Jolly Pumpkin, BFM, Crooked Stave, Prairie, Cascade, Boulevard dregs)

I'm guessing it will ferment down to 1.000, and I'll be carbonating to above 3 volumes. As for your other question, some people believe longer boils prevent DMS, but that's debatable at this point. I'm not in a hurry so I like the utilization.

Rozzbot
Nov 4, 2009

Pork, lamb, chicken and ham

Can anyone recommend an amount of toasted coconut per gallon for a noticeable but not overpowering coconut flavor?

I'm planning on transfering my berliner wiese base onto some pineapple and coconut this weekend to have a go at the "pina colada" beer someone sent into the Sour Hour guys a while back.

I'm using canned pineapple which I'll grill to caramelise a little and I'll be toasting the coconut on baking parchment to remove some of the fat.

Biomute
Jun 7, 2005

Love thy neighbor, turn him in... It's called patriotism.

From what I hear even ludicrous amounts will do little more than ruin your head retention, and one should go with extract/flavoring.

Crack
Apr 10, 2009


Jhet posted:

RE: Boil times. You can go for as short as 10 minutes if you really want as that'll be long enough to kill any microbes that will cause you souring. You can even make wonderful beer without boiling at all. 30 minutes just might be the new 90 minutes though as it's long enough to drive off DMS sufficiently and not too short where you can still have a higher hop utilization. That being said, I have done over 2 hours on a Scotch Ale and it was well worth the time. I've been moving to 30 minutes for pale ales and most of the lower ABV beers I've been making. I just don't need the 60 minutes for the hops.

After doing some research on the purpose of boiling and coming across some interesting brulosophy exbeerments I've come to essentially the same conclusion: there are specific reasons to do a longer boil, like concentrating wort or darker styles being enhanced by maillard reactions and caramelization, but there is no reason to default to doing one. That said I'm probably going to stick with 60 minutes until I have more experience under my belt.


Biomute posted:

I am also brewing a honey beer (saison) this weekend. I am aiming for 6 - 6,5% ABV. You can get "body" from other sources than just gravity. Examples include using protein, dextrin or beta-glucose rich malts, using large amounts of hops or adding oak for tannins, as well as carbonating either very low or very high.

Yeah, I was thinking of body purely in terms of gravity and carbonating high seems like a good idea. Surely the other examples are just raising the amount of non-fermentables in solution though, and consequently would raise the gravity as well? Presumably even the level of carbonation would change the gravity, though probably lower it if effervescing.

robotsinmyhead
Nov 29, 2005

Dude, they oughta call you Piledriver!

I used toasted coconut exactly once - split and shredded a whole coconut by hand (would not recommend - get it processed in a bag, sans sugar and preservatives if possible). The flavor was nice, but really subtle and I'd probably use flavorings now.

The fat content of coconut is extremely difficult to deal with and all my equipment had a fatty scum on it. The brightside was that my hands were never softer than after I got done cleaning it all up.

Der Penguingott
Dec 27, 2002

i'm a k1ck3n r4d d00d

Rozzbot posted:

Can anyone recommend an amount of toasted coconut per gallon for a noticeable but not overpowering coconut flavor?

I'm planning on transfering my berliner wiese base onto some pineapple and coconut this weekend to have a go at the "pina colada" beer someone sent into the Sour Hour guys a while back.

I'm using canned pineapple which I'll grill to caramelise a little and I'll be toasting the coconut on baking parchment to remove some of the fat.

I did 4lbs of desscated coconut to 5g of beer and it was not overpowering. I think that's a reasonable amount for a light flavored beer. Mine was a bit overpowered by the cacao nibs I put in, but that was a separate problem. Head rentention was not good, but not as bad as some people say.

https://foodtolive.com/shop/coconut/

Is there I got it. 4lbs bag is the size of a pillow. They also have lots of other interesting bulk dried ingredients for cheap.

Rozzbot
Nov 4, 2009

Pork, lamb, chicken and ham

Thanks for the tips!

My sours have almost no head retention anyway so that's not a huge concern but I might go with the extract/route purely for the sake of convenience

Marshmallow Blue
Apr 25, 2010


rockcity posted:

Bentonite, like clay? Interesting, I have never heard of it being used for that.

Yup, I use it in my meads a lot. I'm very lazy though and I just add the stuff in plain and shake it a bunch once or twice a day for a couple days. Seems to do the trick.

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Biomute
Jun 7, 2005

Love thy neighbor, turn him in... It's called patriotism.

Crack posted:

Yeah, I was thinking of body purely in terms of gravity and carbonating high seems like a good idea. Surely the other examples are just raising the amount of non-fermentables in solution though, and consequently would raise the gravity as well? Presumably even the level of carbonation would change the gravity, though probably lower it if effervescing.

There's a little more to it than that. The gravity is the amount of sugars, fermentable or no. You won't see much of a noticeable impact on your OG from using say wheat malt in place of some of your malted barley (if anything wheat malt has better extraction), and depending on your yeast the FG might not change all that much either (mine will ferment pretty much anything down to about 1.000). Yet, there's a distinct difference in the perceived mouthfeel or body when using these malts or adjuncts.

Yeasts can also impact the body in a manner that does not correspond to gravity. Take 3711, it's a Saison yeast that will ferment beers extremely dry, and you'd expect the beers to turn out watery as a result, but since it's also a prodigious glycerol producer the beers made with it have a surprisingly silky mouthfeel.

I don't see how the level of carbonation would affect the gravity to any meaningful degree. I mean, it would certainly affect your gravity reading if you tried using your hydrometer on a carbonated beer, but the tiny amount of sugar you would add if you were to bottle condition is not going to shift the final product much. However, highly carbonating a low gravity beer will help you stave off the perceived sensation of the beer being watery, as your mouth is busy with the fun bubbles and stuff.

Biomute fucked around with this message at Apr 20, 2018 around 16:37

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