Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
  • Post
  • Reply
Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

So I made the switch from extract to all grain relatively recently. I've brewed with others doing all grain before, and I've done several batches of all grain on my own. With the exception of batches in which I've used Beano to get complete coversion, I've had basically the same problem: My final gravity comes out low. In one case, very low.

Obviously I'm not getting very good conversion during the mash, which I can work on, but how do I measure conversion on brew day? Do I need to get a refractometer or are there other ways to do it?

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

Jo3sh posted:

To me "final gravity comes out low" means that the reading is smaller than you are expecting after the ferment. E.g., the OG was 1.060 and the recipe says the FG should be about 1.012-1.015, but the actual FG was 1.008 or something. This is a dryer beer than expected, but doesn't represent a conversion problem in the mash.

What I am now thinking you actually mean is that your Original Gravity (OG) is lower than expected. This is usually caused by some inefficiency in the mash.

Some things you can do about that:
* Mill your grain more finely. Tighten the gap of the mill you are using, or if it's a shop mill you can't / aren't allowed to adjust, get your own mill and adjust that.

* Watch your temperatures - make sure you are hitting what you are aiming for, and understand what it is you need.

* A big one for me was switching from a fly sparge, where I got channeling, to a batch sparge, which allowed me to stir the mash then rebuild my filter bed by additional recirculation.

* If using Beano helped your OG, then you may have a batch of malt with low diastatic power. Try switching brands for a batch or two and see if that helps. You might also try a longer saccharification rest.


As to measuring your gravity on brewday, yes, a refractometer is a very very easy way to measure this (see my post above).

Yes you are correct. I meant OG not FG. I'm using Maris Otter primarily so I can't imagine it's got low diastatic power. I think I've been missing my target temperatures during the mash, which I can correct. I was just looking for a good way to measure OG so I will know when my mash is done.

I've been using a hydrometer and correcting for temperature. I was just wondering if there was another way to measure it other than a refractometer.

MJP posted:

Just finished a batch of nut brown ale, and after I sealed up the lid of the brew bucket and pushed in the airlock, the little rubber bung around the hole of the airlock lid fell into the bucket and sank to the bottom.

Am I screwed or should I RDWHAHB and wait 48-72 hours to see if fermentation starts successfully, and hope nobody detects a slight rubbery flavor?

I've done that too. I would just leave the O-ring in there. It should not affect the flavor of the beer.

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?

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.

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

Hypnolobster posted:

Anybody else playing with squeezed apples this year?

I've got 5 gallons of hard cider fermenting, 5 gallons of apfelwein fermenting, 2 gallons of fresh cider in the fridge to drink now, and 3 gallons of fresh sparking cider carbonating in a keg.

The intention being that people can mix sweet sparking cider from my beer faucets with hard cider or clear apfelwein, both of which will be hugely dry.

Care to share your apfelwein recipe? I've only had it once, but it seems like a perfect fall drink.

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

From like eight pages ago:

Hypnolobster posted:

It's pretty simple, and basically just the one that keeps floating around the internet (namely HBT).

5 gallons of jug apple juice, only preservative is ascorbic acid
Montrachet Yeast
1 lb Dextrose (or 2 if you're feeling like making it stronger)
Yeast Nutrient

Pour 3 or 4 of the jugs of apple juice into a sanitized carboy (I get all obsessive and after I've just cracked the lids on the juice to the point where it's about to break the safety seal/whatever, I spray a bunch of starsan up into the threads), dump half of another jug into the carboy, pour the dextrose into the jug, shake the gently caress out of it to dissolve, pour it into the carboy.

Usually before I add anything, I pour in my rehydrated yeast and nutrient, although you can just sprinkle it in, but it'll likely clump up.
I oxygenate for about 60 seconds, throw an airlock on it and let it ferment out and condition for at least 4 months, preferably more like 6-8, then just keg it.

It comes out super super dry and clean, with a nice big bright apple flavor. Super tasty all on it's own, even tastier drank in quantity with some fresh sparking cider added to it (or Sprite, 7up, etc if you're feeling trashy).

So I've got 5 gal of preservative free apple cider and most everything I need for this, but I don't think I have a pound of dextrose. I was thinking I might use a pound of brown sugar or a mix of brown sugar and honey or something and just boil it a little to make sure it's sanitized.

Opinions on what that might do to the flavor? I'd prefer it to finish pretty clean, and I definitely don't want any maple syrup type flavor.

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

Yeah despite how I worded that, I wasn't planning on boiling the honey, I was just thinking about what ingredients to use flavor-wise.

I used a bunch of cane sugar in a beer long ago when I was young and dumb, and it came out tasting a bit like maple syrup, but not in a good way.

Anyway, I def don't want that kind of flavor in my apfelwein. So aside from dextrose, what would be the best thing to use?

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

Do any of you have experience with culturing lactobacillus? I'm using the Mad Fermentationist method here.

I'm starting with about 3/4 of a pack of Wyeast 5335 lactobacillus (the other 1/4 is going into a small batch of lambic I'm putting onto fruit) added to about 2qt apple juice + yeast nutrient. How long will it take the lacto to wake up and start multiplying significantly if stored at room temperature?

I realize elevated temperature would be better for lacto, but I don't have a heating belt or anything. The best I can do is leave it sitting on a heat register.

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

Docjowles posted:

That guy is a dumbass. You'd want to buy a new set of anything plastic or rubber that comes in contact with wild yeast/bacteria, but it's not going to jump out of the bucket and infect your house Many breweries and thousands of homebrewers ferment regular beers and sours side by side without issue.

Agreed. Using a separate fermenter and airlock and maybe even racking wand for sour beers is a good idea, but anything glass or metal should be perfectly cleanable and usable for regular beers.

I ferment sours and regular beers right next to each other in a closet. Never had an issue with one contaminating another.

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

So I've just ordered a 40 qt pot from Amazon so that I can do larger boils. My mash tun is a converted sanky keg, so it can easily handle the grain for a 10 or even 15 gallon batch. Since I don't want 10 gallons of exactly the same beer, I'm trying to come up with ways of making two 5 or 6 gallon batches from a single boil of up to 10 gallons. It opens up a lot of options for testing the effects of different yeasts or other additions during primary and/or secondary.

The plan for my next brew day is to mash a 9 gallon batch using a turbid mash w/ a target OG of 1.049, do one boil, and then split the batch into two fermenters. One will be a 5 gallon batch at full strength and the other will be diluted down to the 1.03 range. The stronger portion will become a lambic and weaker portion will become a berliner weisse. This works out because the grain bill for both recipes has the same ratio and the berliner weisse wants lower gravity and lower IBUs.

I'm trying to think of what other combinations of styles I could use this setup for in order to brew two somewhat different beers from one 10-gallon boil. Maybe a dopplebock/dunkelweisse or something along those lines?

I could also do two IPAs and dry hop them differently. I guess I could also boil half of it for longer to make a more bitter version as well. Maybe even add some extract to the longer-boiled portion to turn it into a double IPA.

What else am I not thinking of?

EDIT: Just to make things even more complicated, I guess I could do some parti-gyle style brewing and make another 5 gallons from the second runnings of my 10-gallon mash. I would have to do another boil, but then I could get 3 batches out of the same grain bill....

Acceptableloss fucked around with this message at Dec 5, 2011 around 21:36

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

TenjouUtena posted:

I have crushed the glass off the tops of several screw-top bottles with my wing capper. Even not-quite-so-cheap beers.

Yeah I don't think it's a good idea to try to use a capper with twist-off bottles.

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

Smeef posted:

Does anyone have experience or recommendations for importing hops/barley/yeast/wort in a cost-effective way without damaging the end product?

Dry yeast and canned or dry malt extract is probably your best bet. Vacuum sealed hops should be ok as well. They might degrade a bit during shipping in hot weather, but should still be perfectly usable. You can just add a little extra if need be.

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

Got my goonbrew secret santa package into the mail yesterday (godspeed) and then proceeded to have the most painful brewing session I think I've ever had.

My first mistake was starting at 2:30pm, but this was the only chance I was going to have to brew until after the new year, and I'd been culturing my lactobacillus for two weeks, so I went for it.

I was brewing a double batch to make 6gal each of lambic and berliner weisse, but I botched up the mash and decided to just punt by tossing in some crushed up Beano tabs to get the conversion. That almost worked, but somewhere in the mix there I managed to break my 6gal glass carboy , the pot I was using to vorlauf, a brewing thermometer and my grill lighter.

I had to put the berliner weisse in my plastic brew bucket since it was the only fermenter I had left open at that point, so I guess it's going to be permanently used for sours now. I really hope these two come out drinkable, because I'm going to have to spend a decent pile of money at NorthernBrewer to replace all this crap.

At least I will have basically all better bottle fermenters now. Also, I didn't end up in the hospital when I broke my carboy, so there's that.

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

Josh Wow posted:

How do you break a pot?

You drop/throw it onto the cement when your glass carboy explodes next to your foot. Apparently calphalon is not as tough as it looks.

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

Daedalus Esquire posted:

Ooooh, whats this?







I got a Key Lime Mead, aged ~3 years and a Black IPA from Acceptableloss.

I can't wait to give them a taste! Thanks!


As for mine, it's going out today...sorry it probably won't be there by Christmas!

:edit:
Also, since mine are going out late, I made some custom bottle labels for each of them.

Awesome. Glad they got there in one piece. I've been waiting for an opportunity to use that bottle shipping foam thing.

I tasted the black IPA the other day and it was pretty young. You might give it a few weeks to smooth out.

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

Cpt.Wacky posted:

Would you mind sharing the recipe for the Key Lime mead?

It's just a typical mead recipe with about a pound of sliced key limes and actually a small amount of crab apples as well. It was terrible at first but it aged well I think.

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

Jo3sh posted:

If you're on volume but low on gravity, you really have an efficiency problem. There are many possible factors here, though, including crush quality, water chemistry, blah, blah, blah.

I have a bit of an efficiency problem as well. I'm pretty sure I'm getting a good crush, but I pretty consistently get about 60% efficiency with my rig, which seems pretty low. I'm using a sanky keg with a false bottom. I've tried continuous sparging and (english style) batch sparging. I got better results out of the batch sparging, but neither was great.

Any hints/things to check?

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

Paladine_PSoT posted:

Secret Saudit!

I have not heard from the following people as to whether they have received their gifts:

Acceptableloss
Nesbit37
Crazyfish
PaladinePSoT
Magua
Imasalmon

If I missed a post saying you got it, let me know! If you received it, post some pictures (or reviews) and let us know! If you have yet to receive something, let us know too, I'm not too worried because there's been a great turnout sofar with some late "it's been shipped"s that are unaccounted for.

Received mine as well. Nesbit37 sent me a well-aged anise methyglin.

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

Ugh. I apparently suck at all grain brewing. I always seem to have trouble getting anywhere near my target gravity. Just finished sparging my wheat beer after a 3hr mash and got something like 47% efficiency. I had 16lbs of grain; my target OG was 1.059 and I only got 1.040. I guess I'll just add like 3lbs of light DME to make it up. I just wish I knew WTF I was doing wrong.

My mash tun has a false bottom with space for about 1-2 gal underneath it so I can heat with direct fire. Could that have something to do with my problem?

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

Darth Goku Jr posted:

Do you mash out? That helped my efficiency by a good 10 points.

You mean step up to higher temperature like 170-180 and hold it before sparging?

In this case I didn't hold it for very long before I started sparging, but usually I do do that.

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

Docjowles posted:

This is almost certainly a factor, you are leaving a loooot of sugars behind in 2 gallons of mash liquor. It sounds like you currently fly sparge? Maybe try doing a batch with batch sparging and compare the gravities just to make sure you aren't getting problems with channeling*. Also check the crush on your malt, every grain should be getting crushed open with the husk mostly intact. If a lot of it looks totally uncrushed, run it through the mill again or get your LHBS to adjust it to a finer setting. Bad crush is probably the single biggest factor in efficiency problems. Edit: Also, is your pre-boil and post-boil volume coming out correctly? Obviously if you are like 2 gallons over that will dilute your gravity down.

If you do all that and still get crap efficiency, I'd say it's probably all the mash tun deadspace. Either find a way to reduce it, or just accept that you need to add like 3lbs of base malt to every recipe and deal with it.

It could also be a mash pH/water chemistry problem but I'm not qualified to get into that. There's a super in-depth article on Troubleshooting Mash Efficiency you should check out.

* Channeling is when the mash drains unevenly, leaving big sections completely unrinsed so all the sugar stays behind.

I think that's probably a good I idea. I'll try doing a nice hot mashout followed by batch sparging next time to see if that rinses the sugars out of the grain better.

I'm pretty sure my crush is good, because when I'm feeling lazy and want to go for the nuclear option, I just mix in a few Beano tabs into my hot water before adding to the grain. Whenever I do that, my efficiency is great, I just don't have any flavor control that way because the enzymes in the Beano just convert everything.

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

I know it's a bit late in the season to buy fresh, but does anyone have a good suggestion for where to buy sour cherries for use in a Belgian sour?

I think I'd prefer whole fruit rather than puree.

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

So I realize this is not normally done, but I'm thinking of souring a few gallons of some IPA I have in primary right now with some Brett L and maybe adding some pineapple. Anyone ever tried something like this and/or think it's a horrible idea?

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

Super Rad posted:

IPA and Brett specifically seem to be at odds though since Brett beers take some time to develop and IPAs are best enjoyed on the fresh side.

The IPA IBUs might also get in the way of the more subtle funky Brett flavors.

That's a good point. I think I'm going to give it a shot just because I have the Brett L leftover and 5 gallons of 10 gal IPA batch still sitting in primary. I'll sour 2-3 gal and add some fresh pineapple just for fun. I don't expect a huge amount of Brett flavor to develop but I guess we'll see. I could always dry hop before bottling if its not terrible.

I'll report back in six months when this batch is ready to bottle.

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

Anyone know of any rules of thumb when blending beers? I've got ~2gal of a super chocolatey belgian quad style beer that I was thinking of blending off with a nice light saison to produce a chocolate saison. I'm not sure how much saison to use though. I could just mix them half and half I guess, but I'm curious if there's any info available on blending other than just "try samples at different blends and see what tastes good".

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

internet celebrity posted:

It's mostly commercial strains that have trouble with hops, the wyeast and white labs strains are all pretty reserved in my experience. Dregs from breweries like Jolly Pumpkin and Wicked Weed will tear through drat near anything in 6-8 months though. My last sour was 25 IBU, 9.3% and soured up very nicely with the dregs I used.

What Wicked Weed beers did you get dregs from? I live an hour from the brewery, but I've never seen dregs in the bottles I have purchased from them.


Also, does anyone here have experience with Lactobacillus Brevis? Does it really drop the gravity as fast as Wyeast advertised in their De Bom blend? I'm looking to (as quickly as feasible) add some tartness to a beer I've been aging for 9 months already. I'm thinking adding some maltodextrin and L Brevis may be the way to go.

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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


Acceptableloss posted:

Also, does anyone here have experience with Lactobacillus Brevis? Does it really drop the gravity as fast as Wyeast advertised in their De Bom blend? I'm looking to (as quickly as feasible) add some tartness to a beer I've been aging for 9 months already. I'm thinking adding some maltodextrin and L Brevis may be the way to go.

Re-posting this because I'm thinking it may have been missed with my other question in the same post.

Acceptableloss fucked around with this message at Sep 25, 2015 around 21:04

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Acceptableloss
May 2, 2011

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

wildfire1 posted:

I've used brevis, but I doubt it's the only LAB in De Bom, since while Brevis is hop and alcohol tolerant is still going to peter or fairly quickly once your sach fermentation starts going. Great for Berliners though.

L Brevis is definitely not the only lacto stain in the De Bom blend, but it's supposed to be the most aggressive, hop tolerant, and fastest fermenting. That's why it's effective for all lacto fermentations like Berliner weisse. The De Bom blend advertises tart flavor production in 1-2 months. The guys on the sour hour podcast also talked about Brevis tearing through a wort very quickly on its own. I was just curious if anyone here had experience with it and what conditions they used.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply