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Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

Hypnolobster posted:

Anybody else playing with squeezed apples this year?

Yes! I have 5 gallons of cider I just racked over this evening. It was 5.75 but I left almost gallon in the bottom with the yeast because I'm making a naturally sweet cider. I'm using British Ale WLP005 and even with nutrient added it smells like a wet dog that rolled in something. I'm planning on making more as my carboys free up because I can get unpasteurized cider from a local orchard for $5 per gallon.

Having a fermentation fridge is so awesome. I'd just like to throw that out there for anyone considering it.

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Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

Hypnolobster posted:


apple juice fermenting is extremely boring, but watching the fast streams of co2 coming from everywhere is pretty cool.

What I found neat about cider is that it makes a very distinct hissing sound while fermenting due to all the very tiny bubbles bursting on the surface. It seems every time I rack my cider a 1" cake just appears out of nowhere within an hour. I'm not sure if that is stuff from the apples falling out or if it is yeast. I just added a malolactic culture to mine and it will soon get moved into long term sitting.

What is the best way to set up the gas supply for a beer gun? Should I bite the bullet and go with a dual regulator setup, or is it perfectly ok to just add in a valve manifold and use that?

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

Um, I made an oopsie. I think my kegerator door didn't get closed all the way and now both kegs are frozen because it kept running trying to cool it down. What is the best way to let them defrost, or is the beer pretty much shot at this point and I should only be concerned with the equipment being damaged?

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

CaptBubba posted:

Um, I made an oopsie. I think my kegerator door didn't get closed all the way and now both kegs are frozen because it kept running trying to cool it down. What is the best way to let them defrost, or is the beer pretty much shot at this point and I should only be concerned with the equipment being damaged?

Oh god I just pulled some beer from the keg, and I forgot the whole "alcohol thaws at lower temps" thing that chemistry does. I just drank some beer concentrate and it was not pleasant in any way.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

That's pretty far out there. There are a ton of practical problems such as sanitizing the coils and getting them into a configuration where they could be immersed in the wort. All that and it really wouldn't be all that quick. Assuming a relatively portable 10k BTU/hr A/C unit it is only about to move heat at the rate of 3kw. With 19L of wort to cool it will take it around 6 minutes to pull the wort down to 80F assuming perfect performance across the entire temperature range (which would never happen).

You can get not too dissimilar results using a standard immersion chiller. If you need quicker cooling a plate chiller and a pre-chiller for the incoming cooling water would work just fine.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

drewhead posted:

Themed Brew Day! Cooking up a Schwarzbier today.

Did that one you tried from me inspire you? I still have 3 of your beers in my fridge which give me the stink eye every time I open the door I'm horrible about keeping the last few bottles of anything around because "when I drink the last bottle then it will all be gone"


Next up for me: YumYum Chocolate Milk Stout



Grain Bill:
7.5 lb Maris Otter pale
1.0 lb Crystal 70L
1.0 lb Munich 10L
1.0 lb Roasted Barley
.75 lb Chocolate Malt
.50 lb Flaked Barley
.50 lb Flaked Oats

Bittering: 1oz Golding
Aroma: 1oz Golding
+ 1 lb lactose @-15mins

Standard 60 minute mash at 152, 15 minute batch sparge at 175 for an OG of 1.060. I just racked at 1.020 onto 10oz Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa in the secondary. It tastes delicious even after only the primary fermentation and before the chocolate has had time to do its magic.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

That makes sense because stainless steel is actually a pretty horrific conductor of heat, as far as metals go. If you do go stainless it really pays to get a pot with some form of heat spreader in the base.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

Looks like I got my first infection, likely due to accidentally leaving the airlock off for nearly an hour while I was doing things around the kitchen and racking other batches. It looks like a small mold island (it is a bit green in the center but it doesn't show well in a photo) along with a film over the top of everything. I threw it into the fridge at 38 degrees and it has stopped growing so I hope I can rack from under it, force carbonate, and then drink.

The film:


The floating island of not-supposed-to-be-there:

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

rage-saq posted:

That doesn't look like an infection, could just be some residue of something.

This is a pellicle, the sign of lots of bugs and wild yeast.

I would agree with you but I just looked at my cider I racked over that same day (which has been finished with fermenting for months now).



gently caress. Me.

Must have been the thief or the auto-siphon. I think I just caught it early on the stout.

Shifty Pony fucked around with this message at Dec 2, 2011 around 19:40

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

I had a similar problem with my old bottled batches. At first the bottles would open with a good burst of gas but eventually they would instantly turn to foam when poured even though the bottles didn't seem to be highly pressurized when I opened them.

Turned out I was overcarbonating. The excess CO2 was eventually going into a super saturated solution and coming out instantly given any shock (cool beer + warm glass). Chilling the beer for a while and serving with the glass chilled to the same temperature solved the problem completely.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

mindphlux posted:

Airlock stuff

I really wish that the manufacturers would just put a "fill to this level" mark on all airlocks. I have multiple styles of the little cap type and they all take different water levels to work right without splashing water out the top.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

I got a pretty great gift from my sister. Pretty much every type of beer glass I could want with my last initial etched into them. I'm sure it was a royal pain for her to do but the results are awesome:

Only registered members can see post attachments!

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

I'm considering pickup up a CO2 cylinder for my father so he can purge the headspace in his wine carboys after he pulls samples. I know that the gas can dissolve into the wine but I'm thinking that the much reduced chance of aerobic infection or oxidation from him regularly opening the carboys would offset that. He isn't exactly thorough about his sanitation when sampling.

Any thoughts?

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

Angry Grimace posted:

I've personally had a lot of luck just keeping the chamber itself at 65, but the impression I get is that most people try to monitor the liquid itself by taping the probe to the Carboy.

I tried having the probe strapped to the carboy. It turned out that there is way too much thermal mass in the liquid and you'll overshoot temperature pretty hard. If you were running a chest freezer it would likely be enough of an overshoot to frost up the inside. Now I hang it down into the middle of the fridge and just let it read the air temperature with it about 4 degrees cooler for primary fermentation to counteract the heat released by the fermentation.

I've been having trouble with my taps for a while now. I simply cannot stop them from giving me about 1/2-3/4 pint of foam on the first dispense. I've rerun the hoses, tried different lengths, changed pressure, and everything I can think of. I don't drink much at all (a pint or two every other night at most), is this something I'm just going to have to endure if I don't want to go back to bottling?

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

Josh Wow posted:

It could be that the beer left in the lines is getting warm. If you have a tower a lot of times the air in it is warmer than the rest of the kegerator, so your beer in that part of the lines will pour foamy. You can fix this by riggin up something like a computer fan to blow cool air into the tower.

Oooh, this could be it. The tower is very poorly insulated because it was kinda macgyvered by my friends to replace the old single tap tower. A small quiet fan should be very easy to rig up.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

Cointelprofessional posted:

I have the same problem and I think the problem is temperature like was mentioned earlier. The first pour is always foamy. I'm not positive how to fix it since I have a collar.

I have a collar too and I'm thinking of using a small blower fan. Unlike a standard computer case fan they can produce enough pressure to force air through a tube up into the tower. My plan is to take the blower fan out of an old laptop and rig up some ducting using as large of a thin wall tube as I can jam through the collar. It shouldn't take too awful much airflow to keep the beer from foaming.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

An abrupt end to my homebrewing hobby (until I can move) or "Wait a second that doesn't smell like hops".





The stove just can't take the prolonged heat with 3 gallons on it. This happened 5 minutes into the boil on the second batch I made with this stove (first was months ago), and I checked all the connections before hand and that is a new OEM burner element and a thoroughly inspected socket that I installed when I moved into my apartment. Short of ripping the stove apart to install a canning element and associated controls and hoping that would be able to handle it (no guarantees) I'm SOL. Good news is I have the old parts so I can swap it back without the apartment company knowing anything was up

I would just say "gently caress it" and pitch but there is honey in this recipe and I know it would be infected with wild beasties.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

Jo3sh posted:

Honey is pretty sanitary, actually. If the options are "try it and see what happens" and "throw it away," I think it's pretty clear you should at least give it a shot. It may not be the best thing in the world, but at least you will know.

For the record, I made mead with 15 pounds of honey, no hops, and no boil or chemical sterilant at all. it's loving excellent.

Yeah, I went ahead and cooled it, transferred it to the primary and pitched. We'll see! If anything bad is in there it will have to compete with the very vigorous starter I made.

Also it wsa originally going to be a tweaked kolsch, so now I need to think up an angry German name. This week has just been poo poo: I got hit by a car while biking and now I can't make beer.

Shifty Pony fucked around with this message at Jan 13, 2013 around 18:34

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

Hypnolobster posted:

You could always give heatsticks a shot for boiling instead of your stove.

I considered that, or even going ahead and making an electric kettle using a spare keggle. However I am going to move this summer and will get back use of my propane burner and all grain setup. I will just try a bunch of new local brews instead.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

lifts cats over head posted:

Anyone here make any of the White House beers? I've been curious about them ever since the recipes were published a few months back and I was thinking about getting a clone kit to use as my second homebrew.

I had the honey ale at an election results party hosted by the Alamo Drafthouse and it was delicious. I was planning on making it for my next batch, before my little incident. It would be great for a refreshing summer beer.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

Midorka posted:

I couldn't imagine having a 200k BTU burner. My 42k one gets 6 gallon volumes to boil in less than 20 minutes from sparge, though I do have to worry about boil overs. With a 10 gallon pot are boil overs really something you don't have to worry about? Because that may be my next investment. After chilling, waiting/watching the boil over is the most annoying thing about brewing.

I picked up what turned out to be a 170k btu burner and regulator off craigslist for $30 and it completely spoiled me. Sure I don't turn it all the way up for the boil but being able to pull the mash and sparge water up to temperature in only a few minutes is great. The best part is that if it gets windy the burner can still consistently put more than enough heat to the kettle just by being

You always have to worry about boil overs; even when using a keggle I had to watch for them if I did not add a defoaming agent. A larger pot just gives you more time to react before the mess happens. Defoaming additives such as fermcap really help prevent boil over, I highly recommend giving them a try before switching to a bigger pot.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

I think we should all switch over to what my friend has: a four ring beast of a burner that he calls the Global Warming Device.



Really it is by far the most amazing burner I've ever had the pleasure to help brew with. Four independently adjustable rings lets you get a good even heat and if you need to you can just use the inner ring(s) to give you a very low heat. The only downside is the frame is very short but it is sturdy as anything.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

Jo3sh posted:

Those are the exact castings I use, and they run fine at 20PSI with the needle valve at any setting between full closed and full open.

Very similar to what I have on mine as well. I think that the burner on mine may have slightly bored out vents to give the higher btu number (or they could be exaggerating)

Wlp029 really smells awful when fermenting. Does anyone have suggestions for clearing out the sulfur and bread smell from my apartment?

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

Super Rad posted:

What temperature are you fermenting at? WLP029 does put out some sulfur, during the ferment, but never so much that I've objected to it or really noticed beyond poking my head in my fermentation closet during high krausen. I always keep it around 64*F while fermenting and there's 0 trace of sulfur by the time it's racked into the keg.

Anyhow as far as the smell you could always crack a window, or if it's too cold out for that you can just boil some cinnamon sticks or spray some febreeze around or what have you.

The fermentation fridge is set at 68, so the primary was fermenting at around 69-70. It wouldn't be much of a deal except I'm in a fialy small place and the fridge is centrally located. Now that fermentation has dropped off the smell is starting to dissipate but I'm planning on doing a cider this spring and those normally reek. Cinnamon sticks would probably cover it up nicely (and make my house smell like pie )

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

I went to keg my latest "oops no-hops" batch and I found out that when I moved I apparently didn't properly prep my kegs. I cleaned them and washed them before moving but all but one smelled musty and had some spots of mold at the bottom or sides. I sanitized and kegged in the one "good" one and have a double-strength iodophor soaking in the others. One also has a noticeable brown staining in it from a chocolate infused stout.

What is the best way to bring them back into top condition? PBW soak and dis-assembly to really clean diptubes and the like? Also what is the best way to store empty kegs? What about disused tap lines in a kegerator?

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

PBW is absolutely magic. I wish I had taken before and after photos of my kegs.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

Can't you just use the hose? Fill it with water, cover both ends, then jam it into the carboy at the same time you stick it down into the lower bottling bucket. The slug of water should be plenty to get the siphon started.

Or is the siphon hose canoodling somewhere with the auto-siphon?

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

I have been considering just clearing out my entire kegging and kegerator setup. I just don't drink that much to justify it, it takes up a ton of space, is fiddly about proper carbonation, and going back to bottles would let me have a good mix on hand instead of the 5 gallon kegs.

Am I just getting too rosy eyed about how much of a pain in the rear end bottling is?

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

drewhead posted:

Personally I think bottling is an enormous pain and sucks more than anything else in brewing.

But that doesn't seem relevant to you situation. If the kegging system isn't being utilized while also being a limiting factor when it comes to variety then sure, get rid of it and go bottle. Certainly bottles scale better in many many ways, the notable exception being effort. Doesn't sound like that is threshold you have to worry about.

Yeah, I honestly like having something different nearly every time I have a drink. I just feel a bit silly getting rid of 5 five gallon kegs + 1 three gallon keg, kegerator, CO2 system, beer gun, and associated stuff when everyone talks about how great kegging is. I mean don't get me wrong: being able to keg in 5 minutes vs bottle 50 bottles is nice, but... I dunno I prefer bottles and honestly find them less effort overall.

I suppose I should just put up a flier at Austin Homebrew and see if anyone is interested. I don't even know where to start on pricing though.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

So... filtering.

I want to start doing it but as with many things homebrewing the amount of information out there is just overwhelming. It seems that the one thing everyone worries about is oxidation. A number of people say that if using a double-pad filter loaded with 5-micron pads, you have to have it assembled underwater in a sanitizing solution and flushed with a small amount of either distilled water or sacrificial beer and using low CO2 pressure to move the beer into a keg which also had been filed with CO2 first.

Then I think about what my father does with his wine... clean filter of obvious gunk, push wine through using a sealed vessel provided with pressure from a hand pump. He switched to using CO2 to pressurize not because of any issues with oxidation but instead because his arms were getting tired from the hand pump.

Is this a case of beer homebrewers just completely over-doing/thinking it because that's just what we do? I don't see anything wrong with the first procedure I wrote above but it would be nice to know that if I accidently let a small bubble into the hose that everything isn't going to go to poo poo after force carbing.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

Dead Inside Darwin posted:

Do you make things that really need that much filtering though? How well is cold crashing + irish moss + gelatin working for you (or not working)?

My favorite beer style by far is kolsch and no matter what I do I can't get WYeast 2565 to drop bright. I also would like to have an alternative to using gelatin or Super-Klear as I have a number of friends who are vegan so if that stuff touches the beer they can't have any.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

Discomancer posted:

I brew a lot of Kolsch as well, and haven't found better way than whirfloc, fermenting in the upper 50's and racking to a secondary, and leaving that in the upper 50's for 3+ weeks. 2565 is my favorite Kolsch yeast, but it's pretty difficult to totally clear up. I was going to try gelatin in the next batch and see how that works in addition to this.

Yeah, it really is one of the worst case scenario beers for wanting clarity. It is too drat tasty though to stop brewing and stunning to look at when bright.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

Mr. Wiggles posted:

I make wines, but never used a book. Really the process is much simpler than beer since there is no cooking involved. The hardest things are sourcing your fruit and waiting a really long time before it's ready to drink.

If my father can make wine without a book I think anyone can. He likes to pretend he pays great attention to detail but beyond recording brix measurements that is just a joke really. His biggest issue is storage space and a lack of carboys, because of the long times involved. He's lucky as hell on fruit sourcing: the garden had an off year on blueberries this season and he still got 52 lbs.

I ended up not filtering the kolsch because and it was actually fairly clear after cold crashing.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

I finally got around to getting my kegerator fixed up to avoid using picnic taps.





I have to say the Perlick taps are worth every single penny. What a worlds better design than the old faucets. I had a shank hanging around and it is not quite the same length as the new one so the faucets are offset slightly... but .

Edit spelling

Shifty Pony fucked around with this message at Sep 3, 2013 around 00:49

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

Jo3sh posted:

Nice! What's that handle on the left? Looks like mahogany or something?

Burled walnut in desperate need of oiling. My father is going to make a matching one out of wormy American Chestnut and possibly heart pine recovered from my great great grandfather's farmstead. The latter is at the mercy of other projects because I have forbade him from doing so unless he happens to have just the right size scrap piece around.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

My father is going to need more carboys.



Also a larger basement.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

Marshmallow Blue posted:

What varieties of grapes you got there mr. Grapey? Funny to see a grapeshot in a mostly beer thread the same day I visit a winery. Rock on.

I also fixed that sentence for you.

Scuppernong and Black Beauty. They are both varietals of muscadine grapes native to the Southeast. My dad likes sticking to esoteric things that you cannot find in the store.

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Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

My father is finding himself in the enviable position of having too much fruit.



kiwifruit wine

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