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broseph
Oct 29, 2005


Recommend you troll craigslist for a used kegerator. Typically if you wait you can find one for 50-100 dollars with a 5# tank.

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calandryll
Apr 25, 2003

Ask me where I do my best drinking!



Pillbug

I bought a kit off of Kegconnection that had pretty much everything I wanted. Last year I went to the duoconnections, definitely recommend starting off with those since it's so easy to change out tubing, etc.

Eeyo
Aug 29, 2004



Lol poo poo I wish I read this discussion last week, I went ahead and bought some stuff for kegging including a 2.5 lb CO2 tank (since I'm doing 2.5 gallon batches just divide everything by half right?). There's a beverage supply business near me with a google review saying they did refills of tanks (and not swaps) so maybe I'll see how much they'd charge me for my small tank.

Or maybe I should just bite the bullet and get a bigger one, one of the local homebrew clubs listed several places not too far that can do a 5 lb swap for $15-20

honda whisperer
Mar 29, 2009



Austin homebrew supply often has sales on kegs, and on groups of used kegs. I got four pin locks for $130 there.

If I had to do it again I'd get ball lock kegs even though they're more expensive. Smaller diameter (I think, someone correct me if I'm wrong) and also pin locks are a pain.

Ball locks have a gas and liquid posts but you can attach your lines to either one. The downside is you can attach your gas line to the dip tube and push beer into the gas lines. The upside is you can attach higher pressure gas lines to your dip tube and blow hop chunks that are messing up the works back into the keg.

Also easier to do weird stuff with pressure transfers, fermenting in a keg, and stuff like it. Just mark the kegs and don't drink to much while brewing and it's fine.

For co2 I got 2 5# tanks and the second one has been a huge help. One stays connected to the keezer and the other gets used for transfers, purging etc. Whatever one empties first I've got a backup to keep drinking or finish what I'm doing without going to get more. Also it lets me run them all the way empty. Not required at all though, I ran one tank for a while with minimal issues.

Edit: oh and keg o-rings are dirt cheap, get spares while your already paying shipping. Also buy keg lube. A little sanitary grease on the o-rings makes them much easier to work with and last longer. One tube will probably last a lifetime.

honda whisperer fucked around with this message at 22:42 on Mar 25, 2021

gwrtheyrn
Oct 21, 2010

AYYYE DEEEEE DUBBALYOO DA-NYAAAAAH!


honda whisperer posted:

If I had to do it again I'd get ball lock kegs even though they're more expensive. Smaller diameter (I think, someone correct me if I'm wrong) and also pin locks are a pain.

Ball locks have a gas and liquid posts but you can attach your lines to either one. The downside is you can attach your gas line to the dip tube and push beer into the gas lines. The upside is you can attach higher pressure gas lines to your dip tube and blow hop chunks that are messing up the works back into the keg.

I might be remembering incorrectly, but I'm pretty sure you can't fully connect the gas in line to the liquid out because the posts aren't the same.

Ball locks are generally smaller diameter, but this isn't universally true as there are some some pin locks that were converted from ball locks or something. Either way, they're uncommon.

Jhet
Jun 3, 2013


gwrtheyrn posted:

I might be remembering incorrectly, but I'm pretty sure you can't fully connect the gas in line to the liquid out because the posts aren't the same.

Ball locks are generally smaller diameter, but this isn't universally true as there are some some pin locks that were converted from ball locks or something. Either way, they're uncommon.

This is true. Ball lock gas and liquid posts are different sizes just slightly. I know this because I've definitely had to fight to get one off the wrong post and it was only halfway on. It's a good thing you can't flood your gas lines by putting them on the liquid post of an over carbed keg, or just when your tank is running low.

more falafel please
Feb 26, 2005

forums poster



gwrtheyrn posted:

I might be remembering incorrectly, but I'm pretty sure you can't fully connect the gas in line to the liquid out because the posts aren't the same.

Ball locks are generally smaller diameter, but this isn't universally true as there are some some pin locks that were converted from ball locks or something. Either way, they're uncommon.

Pepsi (and Dr. Pepper) used ball lock legs that were narrower, Coke used pin lock legs that were fatter and shorter. The posts have the same threading, though, so you can buy a pin lock keg and put ball lock posts on it (or buy them converted).

gwrtheyrn
Oct 21, 2010

AYYYE DEEEEE DUBBALYOO DA-NYAAAAAH!


more falafel please posted:

The posts have the same threading, though, so you can buy a pin lock keg and put ball lock posts on it (or buy them converted).

Some of them might. I have 3 5 gal ball locks and none of them were the same between threading for the posts and the size of wrench needed to turn the post. Needless to say this annoys me to no end, and I want to get rid 2 of them at this point since I mostly use my smaller kegs now.

Either way the real way you'll get beer into your gas lines is attaching your gas line onto a pressurized keg. I don't recommend doing this

Jhet
Jun 3, 2013


Yeah, I have a Firestone keg that I use for fermentation and transfers only now. It didn’t fit right in my old keezer and the different lid shape made me not want to use it as I was using a carb stone lid at the time.

Now I just keg condition and my carbonation really doesn’t miss anymore.

Eeyo
Aug 29, 2004



Ok cleaning questions on kegs. How do I clean the fittings/quick disconnects? Do people usually take them apart and reassemble, or do I need to push through some cleaner so that it soaks on the inside?

And what cleaning/sanitation is required for the gas fittings? Like do I need to clean the regulator?

Jhet
Jun 3, 2013


Eeyo posted:

Ok cleaning questions on kegs. How do I clean the fittings/quick disconnects? Do people usually take them apart and reassemble, or do I need to push through some cleaner so that it soaks on the inside?

And what cleaning/sanitation is required for the gas fittings? Like do I need to clean the regulator?

You shouldn’t need to clean the gas lines unless you end up with beer inside them.

The liquid fittings can by done by running cleaner and then sanitizer through them, but you’ll want to take them apart periodically just to make sure they’re getting entirely clean. If you have a pump you can run it in through the liquid port even, but as long as you clean and sanitize the areas available for the beer to touch then you should be good.

I find super hoppy or wheat filled beers make the worst mess, so don’t be surprised if it needs a short soak.

El Pipila
Dec 30, 2006
I am invincible; I have a stone on my back!

I've had about six batches already with the same problem ever since I moved to a new place: they're all gushers. My sanitation practices have not changed at all (that I know of), and the taste and smell is always great, so I think (without fully ruling out infections) that it may have to do with storing temps: this apartment's got an average of 24ºC / 75.2 on any given day, easily reaching 30ºC / 80ºC on a hot day.

I'd been using Beersmith's priming calculator for the last batches, recently switching to Northern Brewer's online calculator to have a bit more control. For this last Weizenbock I brewed, I undercarbonated by about 10% (so down to 2.2 volumes I believe), and at 2 weeks it had an amazing fizziness and head retention... but one week later it's gushing. I have no idea what to do next, other than to lower the priming sugar again (it's all bottled, I have no kegs) and hoping for the best...?

Jhet
Jun 3, 2013


El Pipila posted:

I've had about six batches already with the same problem ever since I moved to a new place: they're all gushers. My sanitation practices have not changed at all (that I know of), and the taste and smell is always great, so I think (without fully ruling out infections) that it may have to do with storing temps: this apartment's got an average of 24ºC / 75.2 on any given day, easily reaching 30ºC / 80ºC on a hot day.

I'd been using Beersmith's priming calculator for the last batches, recently switching to Northern Brewer's online calculator to have a bit more control. For this last Weizenbock I brewed, I undercarbonated by about 10% (so down to 2.2 volumes I believe), and at 2 weeks it had an amazing fizziness and head retention... but one week later it's gushing. I have no idea what to do next, other than to lower the priming sugar again (it's all bottled, I have no kegs) and hoping for the best...?

Temperature isn't going to do it unless you drink your beer at room temp. Gushing happens because it's over carbonated or there's a ton of nucleation points inside the bottles. I'm going to float some questions because I don't know your process, and not because I think you're a noob or something. Just need more information to help better. Over carbonated is typically what happens though and that's why the default is infection.

Do you take gravity measurements to make sure the beer is done fermenting before bottling?
Do you transfer for bottling and leave as much particulates/trub behind in the fermenter?
Do you clean everything and then sanitize everything (including rubber washers and inside spouts and valves - take them apart too)?
Do you ever use saison yeasts or other STA1 gene having yeasts?
Did you change malt suppliers or are you using old malt that's gotten wet (prior to brewing with it)?
Did your water source change a lot? (Maybe it's short in calcium, which can cause crystals to form in the process.)

I tried to put them in order of most likely to least likely (in a home setting) as to what's causing it, but I can't cover all the possibilities really. If the temp is getting hotter for conditioning, it should also get hotter for brewing unless you have a cooler for the yeast. In which case I'd guess you're under attenuating in the brewing process somehow. Do you brew at room temp too?

more falafel please
Feb 26, 2005

forums poster



El Pipila posted:

I've had about six batches already with the same problem ever since I moved to a new place: they're all gushers. My sanitation practices have not changed at all (that I know of), and the taste and smell is always great, so I think (without fully ruling out infections) that it may have to do with storing temps: this apartment's got an average of 24ºC / 75.2 on any given day, easily reaching 30ºC / 80ºC on a hot day.

I'd been using Beersmith's priming calculator for the last batches, recently switching to Northern Brewer's online calculator to have a bit more control. For this last Weizenbock I brewed, I undercarbonated by about 10% (so down to 2.2 volumes I believe), and at 2 weeks it had an amazing fizziness and head retention... but one week later it's gushing. I have no idea what to do next, other than to lower the priming sugar again (it's all bottled, I have no kegs) and hoping for the best...?

Gusher means more fermentation is happening inside the bottle than you wanted, which means it's one of three things:

1. You're adding too much priming sugar to your bottles (or possibly just some bottles, if it's not mixed in thoroughly)
2. You're bottling before fermentation is complete and the gravity is stable
3. You're getting an infection of some kind (which may or may not result in off-flavors)

After primary fermentation (and really, after the first couple days of it) temperature swings are much less important. Higher temps speed up processes, both things the yeast is doing to finish chewing through sugars and clean up after itself, and oxidation. But if you're saying the smell/taste is good, then temperatures shouldn't be your problem. The gushers are going to develop faster at high temps, but they'll develop anyway.

As a quick sanity check -- are you putting your bottles in the fridge for a few hours (ideally a day or more) before opening them?

El Pipila
Dec 30, 2006
I am invincible; I have a stone on my back!

Jhet posted:

Temperature isn't going to do it unless you drink your beer at room temp. Gushing happens because it's over carbonated or there's a ton of nucleation points inside the bottles. I'm going to float some questions because I don't know your process, and not because I think you're a noob or something. Just need more information to help better. Over carbonated is typically what happens though and that's why the default is infection.

Do you take gravity measurements to make sure the beer is done fermenting before bottling?
Do you transfer for bottling and leave as much particulates/trub behind in the fermenter?
Do you clean everything and then sanitize everything (including rubber washers and inside spouts and valves - take them apart too)?
Do you ever use saison yeasts or other STA1 gene having yeasts?
Did you change malt suppliers or are you using old malt that's gotten wet (prior to brewing with it)?
Did your water source change a lot? (Maybe it's short in calcium, which can cause crystals to form in the process.)

I tried to put them in order of most likely to least likely (in a home setting) as to what's causing it, but I can't cover all the possibilities really. If the temp is getting hotter for conditioning, it should also get hotter for brewing unless you have a cooler for the yeast. In which case I'd guess you're under attenuating in the brewing process somehow. Do you brew at room temp too?

Thanks! I do take gravity measurements, at least a couple before bottling to make sure it stays the same and near the expected FG. I transfer before bottling too, and get my yeast from a local provider--I'll be sure to ask them about STA1. I think the problem might be the plastic bottle filler which I soak in PBR and then sanitize, but haven't been able to take apart yet--I'll get into that! I also just got a water analysis kit, so I'll put the calcium to the test.

I use a swamp cooler for fermenting, trying to keep it below 21 C/ 70 F at all times, depending on the style. The Weizenbock fermented at around 23, but that was par for the course for its yeast strain. I store all yeast and starters in the fridge too, if that's what you mean by brewing temperature.

more falafel please posted:

Gusher means more fermentation is happening inside the bottle than you wanted, which means it's one of three things:

1. You're adding too much priming sugar to your bottles (or possibly just some bottles, if it's not mixed in thoroughly)
2. You're bottling before fermentation is complete and the gravity is stable
3. You're getting an infection of some kind (which may or may not result in off-flavors)

After primary fermentation (and really, after the first couple days of it) temperature swings are much less important. Higher temps speed up processes, both things the yeast is doing to finish chewing through sugars and clean up after itself, and oxidation. But if you're saying the smell/taste is good, then temperatures shouldn't be your problem. The gushers are going to develop faster at high temps, but they'll develop anyway.

As a quick sanity check -- are you putting your bottles in the fridge for a few hours (ideally a day or more) before opening them?


1. I swirl a sugar-water mix into the fermenter when transferring for bottling, so that can't be it...
2. even though I take gravity readings for a couple days in a row, that kinda feels like it might have something to do with it
3. My biggest fear haha

I tend to cool bottles for around 4-6 hours before drinking, and if I'm in a hurry I'll chuck 'em in the freezer for an hour or so. Yesterday's results came from the former method.

El Pipila fucked around with this message at 16:08 on Mar 31, 2021

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


I also mix a sugar solution into the beer for priming and have occasionally had uneven batches where some bottles are barely carbonated and others are gushers. I've taken to leaving it for an hour or two after stirring in the priming solution to give it more time to diffuse evenly - you aren't going to lose a lot of CO2 in that time - and it seems to have helped. If only some of your bottles are gushing then uneven mixing may be the problem.

Fortaleza
Feb 21, 2008



Last Saturday was forecast as being sunny so it wound up being brew day! Up at the crack of dawn to get things set up as early as possible.



did a ~10 gallon altbier batch (wound up being closer to 8.5)

Using an Imperial sparge arm from northern brewer, it's ok I guess. For sparging I had a hell of a time getting it work ok at lower flow rates, it kept just dribbling the water into the center creating a divot. Wound up sparging way too fast, like all done in around 15 to 12 minutes. not sure what effect it had on things.

For the vorlauf/recirculation part it worked well though:


I think I need to lower it a bit. As you can see the metal rod in the tube is pretty high which means if I use gravity during sparging (as I want to, one of the main reasons to have a tiered system at all!) that the water level in the tube reaches above the bottom of the HLT which would lead to gallons-worth of deadspace in the tank.

Brewery supervisor sleeping on the job:


Color came out perfect, OG at 1.053 which is pretty high for the style. Probably should've added more water to the pre-boil but I got a weird 1.035 gravity reading before boiling that threw me off. I think I measured the tail end of wort coming from the mash tun without realizing it so I thought the gravity was too low but 1.035 for that is actually high. Shoulda added water. Ah well.



A good 8-9 hours after first setting up, in the cellar for fermenting. Temp in the cellar is pretty consistent about staying between 54 and 59 degrees.



For yeast I used Wyeast's German Ale (#1007) with a DME starter and a stir plate, starting the day before. Never had a stir plate setup before, fun watching that little thing go.

Two days after pitching (so Monday) got a healthy krausen going:



Got a good feeling about this one!

Notes:

* first brew day in 7 or 8 years, went well all things considered
* little to no spillage, just what was in hoses when disconnecting which is unavoidable
* was waaay off on the amount of sparge water needed, pre-boil volume wasn't even 10 gallons and I wound up with 8.5 gallons post-boil
* need to revisit how to fly sparge with gravity. Going to do a 5 gallon kellerbier batch soonish which should give me a good opportunity to revisit how to adjust the sparge arm

Eeyo
Aug 29, 2004



Looks good, especially for not having done it in 7 or 8 years, I'm not sure if I'd remember how to do anything after 7 or 8 years.

I brewed up a saison with belle saison last weekend, and according to the tilt I put in it's at about 1.005 (it may be a little less, they're inaccurate because bubbles can bias the reading). Finished active fermentation in about 48 hours when the temp started to drop from 79 F (26 C). I tried a bit yesterday and the yeast hadn't dropped yet, I'm hoping another week will do it.

For keg lube, do I need to lube stuff after I clean it? Like will alkaline brewery wash (or PBW or oxiclean free) remove the lube, or will starsan mess it up as well?

Jhet
Jun 3, 2013


The cleaners will remove the lube, the StarSan won’t do much to it.

If you can cold crash the saison in a day or so it’ll clear up a lot faster and you can go straight into the keg.

Ethics_Gradient
May 5, 2015

Common misconception that; that fun is relaxing. If it is, you're not doing it right.

This article about BIAB using a sous vide circulator and ziplocs was posted in my local brewing group, curious what you all think about it.

I am very tempted to try this as a big reason I haven't done a BIAB brew in ages is dealing with my recirculating setup's drainage issues (requires constant stirring during the mash) and all the cleanup. Seems like also a good way to do souring, or possibly higher gravity beers if you're happy to switch them out.

I can only find the 1 gal bags here in Australia but if I can get a 1kg in each like the author says, I am guessing I can probably fit 5 into my kettle for a standard brew.

I was also wondering if anyone has suggestions for a style that keeps well, especially in bottles - I have cut way back on my drinking and it will probably take me quite a long time to get through a batch.

Jhet
Jun 3, 2013


Ethics_Gradient posted:

This article about BIAB using a sous vide circulator and ziplocs was posted in my local brewing group, curious what you all think about it.

I am very tempted to try this as a big reason I haven't done a BIAB brew in ages is dealing with my recirculating setup's drainage issues (requires constant stirring during the mash) and all the cleanup. Seems like also a good way to do souring, or possibly higher gravity beers if you're happy to switch them out.

I can only find the 1 gal bags here in Australia but if I can get a 1kg in each like the author says, I am guessing I can probably fit 5 into my kettle for a standard brew.

I was also wondering if anyone has suggestions for a style that keeps well, especially in bottles - I have cut way back on my drinking and it will probably take me quite a long time to get through a batch.

The biggest problem with it is going to be that the circulators are only rated for a certain volume of liquid. So it may struggle to get a full 19L/5 gallon batch done in one session. It wouldn't struggle with the small size batches at all. The biggest problem will be efficiency from that sparge method of just dumping water on a pile of grain in a sieve. You could adjust for that by using a little more grain in the mash for a "full volume" mash and then adding water to hit your target starting gravity. Only a little math to get there. You would sour after your mash regardless, so there's nothing here that would change that part of the process. You wouldn't be able to keep the souring wort in the bags either, they'd open from any pressure created. Vacuum bags would be able to cope with it, but would be more difficult to seal without making a mess.

Good keeping beers are the not modern IPAs. Most Belgian, English Ales, Lagers, and even historical IPAs will keep well. Anything that relies on big hop aroma and flavor will suffer when you're keeping them for a longer time. A little bit stronger also tend to keep really well, but a 4% saison will keep plenty well too for a year.

BaseballPCHiker
Jan 16, 2006



Im about to brew for the first time in 3 years and am all sorts of nervous. Been watching YouTube videos to try and refresh my memory and going over my equipment (which I'm glad I didnt sell). The last time I brewed it turned out my capper had broke and I basically ruined 5 gallons of beer at bottling.

A couple of questions in advance of my next session:
1. For whatever reason I decided I'd like to use a yeast starter this time. But I've realized I dont have a stir plate like I thought I did. Am I OK making a starter and just shaking the flask by hand off and on 12-18 hours in advance of my brew session?

2. I have a larger 8 gallon kettle, from what I recall I got better results out of doing full size 5 gallon brews in that kettle than I did using 2-3 gallons in my wort and then topping off with cold water. Is full volume wort the way to go?

3. Does StarSan go bad? Mines several years old, I can pick some up locally ahead of time if I need too.

Man I'm excited but nervous. Hope things go well this weekend. Got to make sure my wort chiller fits on my new faucet too now that I think of it.

thotsky
Jun 7, 2005

hot to trot


Jhet posted:

Good keeping beers are the not modern IPAs. Most Belgian, English Ales, Lagers, and even historical IPAs will keep well.

I would agree with this, although I have come to the conclusion that pale English ales and low to medium-abv English ales that exclusively rely on crystal malts for color, do not age particularly well. Better than IPAs for sure, but freshness should be and is becoming a big concern for English beer. If you want pale drinkable beers that age well lagers and especially Saisons are the way to go, otherwise go for dark and strong.

thotsky fucked around with this message at 13:23 on Apr 8, 2021

more falafel please
Feb 26, 2005

forums poster



BaseballPCHiker posted:

Im about to brew for the first time in 3 years and am all sorts of nervous. Been watching YouTube videos to try and refresh my memory and going over my equipment (which I'm glad I didnt sell). The last time I brewed it turned out my capper had broke and I basically ruined 5 gallons of beer at bottling.

A couple of questions in advance of my next session:
1. For whatever reason I decided I'd like to use a yeast starter this time. But I've realized I dont have a stir plate like I thought I did. Am I OK making a starter and just shaking the flask by hand off and on 12-18 hours in advance of my brew session?

2. I have a larger 8 gallon kettle, from what I recall I got better results out of doing full size 5 gallon brews in that kettle than I did using 2-3 gallons in my wort and then topping off with cold water. Is full volume wort the way to go?

3. Does StarSan go bad? Mines several years old, I can pick some up locally ahead of time if I need too.

Man I'm excited but nervous. Hope things go well this weekend. Got to make sure my wort chiller fits on my new faucet too now that I think of it.

1. Yeah, that's fine. Constant aeration will get more propagation, but just shaking it up every time you pass by it will do a lot. One of the main reasons for doing a starter is vitality, rather than cell count - those cells are going to be rip roaring, awake and ready to chew some maltose.

2. Yes, full volume is better, all things considered. Keep in mind you're going to boil off quite a bit of liquid (what boils off will just be water, no sugars) so you want to start your boil with more wort than you'll want for your final volume. Boiloff is usually somewhere in the range of 1 gal/hour, but it depends on your heat source, kettle geometry, ambient humidity, etc.

3. Undiluted starsan doesn't go bad. Once it's diluted it will start to break down and be less effective over time -- how much time depends on your water. pH strips that work in the low range are useful to see if it's still effective, 3 or below is fine.

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010




Speaking of beer that keeps well, I've been wondering about farmhouse ales lately. What size of barrels were they kept in, and did they care about oxidization or just accept it as part of life? Even if you're going full medieval and drinking a gallon a day per person, it would take a while to get through a 130 gallon butt of beer, or even a 60 gallon hogshead. If you're a refined farmer of the late 1800s, drinking well-water or switchel through the day and only having some beer at night, it seems like you'd need very small casks or your beer would go off long before you could finish it.

thotsky
Jun 7, 2005

hot to trot


Current day farmhouse brewers don't really use standardized equipment, so why would you expect historical ones to do so? I'm guessing they used whatever vessel they had available.

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010




thotsky posted:

Current day farmhouse brewers don't really use standardized equipment, so why would you expect historical ones to do so? I'm guessing they used whatever vessel they had available.

Sure, but the question was more: if you've got your beer in a cask of some sort (I assume nobody was bottling their homebrew beer hundreds of years ago), and you're not drinking it very fast, doesn't the beer go bad as you lower the level and let oxygen in? Did they just shrug their shoulders and drink the skunky beer?

thotsky
Jun 7, 2005

hot to trot


Pham Nuwen posted:

Sure, but the question was more: if you've got your beer in a cask of some sort (I assume nobody was bottling their homebrew beer hundreds of years ago), and you're not drinking it very fast, doesn't the beer go bad as you lower the level and let oxygen in? Did they just shrug their shoulders and drink the skunky beer?

People have been bottling beer for 450 years, so I would not disregard that as a possibility. I'll check my book and see if it says something about historical storage vessels, but it's definitely the case that people would drink beer with features we would consider faults today.

As an aside, "skunky" beer usually refers to beers that have been light-struck, not oxidated beer.

Jhet
Jun 3, 2013


I believe the bottling depended on where the farmhouse was. There’s plenty of arguing about the De Baets Markowski book, but it’s mostly about the ‘brewed for people working in the fields’ which is a bit of a boring and moot argument, but people are still having it even though there’s enough to say that some did, some didn’t.

So it’s the same idea with farmhouse brewing. Some did, some didn’t. If you’re in France and there’s glass bottles available, you’d use what’s available. If you’re in Northern Norway and you don’t have a bunch of easily available bottles then you brew and drink it differently.

That said, you weren’t brewing for just one or two people usually. So that cask wouldn’t last long enough for it to really be a problem. It would just go a little stale like beer in England did and you’d maybe wiggle your nose at it and drink it anyway.

Jhet fucked around with this message at 17:22 on Apr 8, 2021

thotsky
Jun 7, 2005

hot to trot


Right so, apparently casks were indeed most often used, but the amount of time a beer was stored varied widely. Places where they brewed often the beer was not kept long, however beer would often go sour when kept for guests where brewing was more rare. This was especially true if the casks had been tapped. It's speculated that rotating the cask kept it from drying out and letting air in after tapping, at least until it was about halfway empty. Garshol's book unfortunately says nothing about cask sizes. I'm going to guess it was not standardized, but in general beer spoilage was just a fact of life.

thotsky fucked around with this message at 17:30 on Apr 8, 2021

Ethics_Gradient
May 5, 2015

Common misconception that; that fun is relaxing. If it is, you're not doing it right.

Jhet posted:

The biggest problem with it is going to be that the circulators are only rated for a certain volume of liquid. So it may struggle to get a full 19L/5 gallon batch done in one session. It wouldn't struggle with the small size batches at all. The biggest problem will be efficiency from that sparge method of just dumping water on a pile of grain in a sieve. You could adjust for that by using a little more grain in the mash for a "full volume" mash and then adding water to hit your target starting gravity. Only a little math to get there. You would sour after your mash regardless, so there's nothing here that would change that part of the process. You wouldn't be able to keep the souring wort in the bags either, they'd open from any pressure created. Vacuum bags would be able to cope with it, but would be more difficult to seal without making a mess.

Good keeping beers are the not modern IPAs. Most Belgian, English Ales, Lagers, and even historical IPAs will keep well. Anything that relies on big hop aroma and flavor will suffer when you're keeping them for a longer time. A little bit stronger also tend to keep really well, but a 4% saison will keep plenty well too for a year.

Should have been more clear - my recirculating eBIAB system is essentially a ~30L sous vide rig, so should be able to handle that volume. My issue has been a stuck mash causing it to stop recirculating (outlet is at the bottom), which has cost me at least one element. If I babysit it and stir constantly it's OK, but I was finding it both tedious and stressful, which led to me abandoning BIAB and going back to extract/cider/mead because it just wasn't enjoyable in the least.

If I'm using recirculated wort to sparge (I can just take the inlet hose off the top of the kettle and use that + a big colander over the wort), would that address most of the sparge issue? Maybe add a hit of water at the end of each colander load to rinse the last of the sugary stuff out.

My one and only bottle bomb was a saison - I know they can be brewed and bottled safely but it was enough for me to swear off them forever.

thotsky posted:

I would agree with this, although I have come to the conclusion that pale English ales and low to medium-abv English ales that exclusively rely on crystal malts for color, do not age particularly well. Better than IPAs for sure, but freshness should be and is becoming a big concern for English beer. If you want pale drinkable beers that age well lagers and especially Saisons are the way to go, otherwise go for dark and strong.

Dark and strong reminds me I've always wanted to brew an eisbock! Won't be ready in time for winter (we're just going into autumn down here) but maybe next year. Maybe an English bitter in the meantime.

Jhet
Jun 3, 2013


Ethics_Gradient posted:

Should have been more clear - my recirculating eBIAB system is essentially a ~30L sous vide rig, so should be able to handle that volume. My issue has been a stuck mash causing it to stop recirculating (outlet is at the bottom), which has cost me at least one element. If I babysit it and stir constantly it's OK, but I was finding it both tedious and stressful, which led to me abandoning BIAB and going back to extract/cider/mead because it just wasn't enjoyable in the least.

If I'm using recirculated wort to sparge (I can just take the inlet hose off the top of the kettle and use that + a big colander over the wort), would that address most of the sparge issue? Maybe add a hit of water at the end of each colander load to rinse the last of the sugary stuff out.

My one and only bottle bomb was a saison - I know they can be brewed and bottled safely but it was enough for me to swear off them forever.


Dark and strong reminds me I've always wanted to brew an eisbock! Won't be ready in time for winter (we're just going into autumn down here) but maybe next year. Maybe an English bitter in the meantime.

Sparging is done with water to rinse the grains and pick up the sugars left behind. This isn't a completely necessary step, but the key to consistency is a consistent application of water through the grain bed. For a BIAB sort of thing, I'd almost just dunk the whole load of grain into the sparge water and lift out to drain. It still wouldn't be the same as a full sparge system, but it would be more consistent than sprinkling without a grain bed to give you equal coverage.

Your eBIAB system sounds well suited to doing it this way too, especially if you can set the bags on a screen to keep them off the elements. The other thing you could consider is doing the bag method, but then measuring your sparge water and using the screen and just mixing everything together in the 30L tun without the elements on and go with a batch sparge method. That would mean your full volume is in with the grain, you don't have to worry about sparging or the elements burning out, and you'd get consistent results. And you could recirculate to set the grain bed and lauter really nicely. Rice hulls would be great for setting the bed nicely if you grind your grain finely.

Saisons can bomb, but that usually means they weren't quite to terminal and you used a STA1 gene strain and it kept going to terminal in the bottles. Those last few points won't always look like they're moving, but that can be the difference between normal carb and double carb. Thotsky is right about pale English bitters too. I'd go with ESBs and browns for keeping there. I never considered it though as when I do brew a 3-4% bitter they seem to evaporate very quickly and I have no idea where they go. That's my story and I'll stick with it.

broseph
Oct 29, 2005


Ethics_Gradient posted:

Should have been more clear - my recirculating eBIAB system is essentially a ~30L sous vide rig, so should be able to handle that volume. My issue has been a stuck mash causing it to stop recirculating (outlet is at the bottom), which has cost me at least one element.

If you’ve got dead space under your bag/false bottom it sounds like you are pulling it too hard. Rice hulls, a slightly coarser crush can be beneficial. I would recommend that you start the mash with the pump off or discharge valve closed and slowly open it over the course of the first 10-15 minutes. You could snag a cheap flow meter and open the valve at regular intervals like 0.5L/min/min and that should deal with this pretty well.

calandryll
Apr 25, 2003

Ask me where I do my best drinking!



Pillbug

How much of a difference in attenuation will there be between a 148 and 151 mash? I'm working on getting my Kolsch more attuned to the style guideline and I don't think I'm getting as dry as the style suggests.

Pillow Armadillo
Nov 14, 2005

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!"


calandryll posted:

How much of a difference in attenuation will there be between a 148 and 151 mash? I'm working on getting my Kolsch more attuned to the style guideline and I don't think I'm getting as dry as the style suggests.

Best way to find out is to test the two temp ranges and find out. My hunch is that the 151F/66C mash will produce a more fermentable wort for your yeast to work on, but I'd be interested in finding out how your Kolsch turns out. It's a fickle beer style that doesn't hide many flaws... Good luck on the brew!

calandryll
Apr 25, 2003

Ask me where I do my best drinking!



Pillbug

I looked at my brew log the other day, I've done this beer in some form over the last few years at least 12 times. Only one beer did I have to dump do to chloramines in the water. I've been using a 151 mash and it's not as attenuated as the style suggests, there is still some sweetness to it. Figure next time I brew it I'll try it at 148 to see if it'll dry out more.

thotsky
Jun 7, 2005

hot to trot


I find the importance of mash temps to be exaggerated. I'm sure it has an impact, but much less than grain bill composition and yeast choice. Seems to me like a lot of pro brewers mash for efficiency and don't end up with insipid beers.

Rectovagitron
Mar 13, 2007




Grimey Drawer

I have no professional experience. I've recently played around with mash temps. I've noticed a measurable difference in attenuation for the same recipe. I doubt that I could notice the difference in the final beer though.

I agree that mouth feel and dryness are more noticable with a different grain bill than with different mash temps, but I'll still probably keep mashing at different temps for different styles.

calandryll
Apr 25, 2003

Ask me where I do my best drinking!



Pillbug

It's a pretty simple grain bill, pilsner, munich 10 and some acidulated to help get the pH down. I did read, I think it was on Beer and Brewing, that said no more than 5% on the munich, which I think I'm at about 10%. Maybe I'll try dropping that down first, might up the pilsner a bit to compensate.

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Jhet
Jun 3, 2013


calandryll posted:

It's a pretty simple grain bill, pilsner, munich 10 and some acidulated to help get the pH down. I did read, I think it was on Beer and Brewing, that said no more than 5% on the munich, which I think I'm at about 10%. Maybe I'll try dropping that down first, might up the pilsner a bit to compensate.

Personally, I do vary my mash temps. Under 150 when I want to dry something out, and 156+ for something chewy*. But this isn't the only thing that impacts dryness. So when you drop the munich, you'll see a difference, and probably more than mashing lower. Mashing lower only impacts the grains you're converting and not the long unfermentable sugars that make up crystal and some munich options.

*Except mixed ferm, then I'm just as likely to do something at this temp when I want it to finish near 1.000 sg.

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