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zorak1066 last won the day on August 17

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    good job Mr Beer! thanks for making this place feel like 'home' again.

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  1. xjar.. never toss a beer until you have given it a chance. always ask around if you are concerned. i have myself consumed a lacto bacter infected batch without issue. first time i saw yeast rafts though it freaked me out too.
  2. zorak1066

    Starting to think about HME and LME

    as for the unwritten law Bdawg i think it is written somewhere but it's in sumerian text and i dont read cuneiform. one of the lines in the Song of Ninkasi surely goes: Ninkasi, blessed are we for we have beer and blessed be those to it we treat but cursed be the fool who on receiving it uses your beer to soak his meat!
  3. zorak1066

    Starting to think about HME and LME

    theres nothing wrong too with liking commercially available swill. i myself drink rolling rock or pbr when i cant afford to make beer.. but to use home brew for a marinade??! what a jerk. even crap beer that was home made and offered as a sample would get consumed. if i hated it , i would tactfully tell you 'hey man, i appreciate the beer but hmm.. ya know it's just not my thing. ' and then i would tell you if asked why i didnt care for it. i wont lie... or use it to wash the floor or soak my feet or as a marinade. 😕 so much work goes into making beer and to your typical true brewer making beer is a labor of love.
  4. zorak1066

    Starting to think about HME and LME

    there is nothing wrong with doing things just for you.. or friends who respect your bottle return policy. now if the neighbor were trading you something like vegs from the garden or some meat from a hunt i wouldnt have a problem. i'd trade some homebrew they liked for some boar or deer meat easy.
  5. zorak1066

    splitting a 5 gallon all grain recipe?

    cool.. thanks. good to know.
  6. so i dont have the means to do a 5 gallon all grain recipe. could i split the grain into two 2.5 gallon batch weights and do 2 smaller mashes.. then add the resulting worts? i know there would be no way of evenly distributing the grain varieties between the batches, so i assume i would have different PH levels in each batch probably. other than that would it work? example: recipe 1 has 12 lbs of grain made of 8 lbs base, and 4 lbs specialty grains. could i stir the grains up to mix them real good then split them into 2 x 6 lb bags of grain... then mash each separately... add the volumes of wort? in theory if i am careful about the PH levels in both i should be extracting sugars are a similar efficiency, and mixing them should produce the same flavor in the end.
  7. zorak1066

    Yeast addition

    never dump wort just because you think it is broken or sick. even if it has an infection.. as long as it isnt ecoli you can probably still drink it. acetobacter you can turn into malt vinegar if you want. god.. ppl who toss beer have no business drinking or making it. if it sat for 4 days in a sealed lbk... and it doesnt stink like poo.... and it isnt overgrown with weird gunk... but it has no krausen on top and no trub on bottom of lbk, buy fresh yeast and pitch it. if you pitch healthy yeast and nothing was growing in the wort, they will take off and there ya go. expired, badly treated yeast means you have had cell die off. it doesnt necessarily mean all the cells are dead. what might have happened is that you had such small cell counts that the yeasts have been busy procreating / budding to raise their numbers for the last 4 days. if you pitch fresh yeast the dead yeast will serve as food. your final product might have some goofy ester development.. or maybe a little yeast funk.. but you might be surprised. i have pitched 1 yr past expired yeast that went through 2 power outages lasting several days. when it came time to use them i coddled them. i rehydrated in water about body temp 90-98f. no more. (see pack for instructions if any). stirred... pitched. i added my trusty mix of super secret yeast nutrients and boom. within a day it was going nuts. yeast are very forgiving critters, and are really tough to kill completely. (short of boiling for 15 minutes)...
  8. zorak1066

    A lesson in patience...

    some beers like ipa and wheat beers (hefeweizen) are better consumed young. heavy beers like stouts and high alcohol beers due better with a little age to mellow out flavors. i also like saisons when they are young.
  9. what makes it frustrating the most is even under the most perfect conditions, the yeast will still do what they want to do. all you can do is give them a safe home full of good food, at the right temps, and try to keep them happy. the yeast do all the hard work beyond that. what helps is that most of the problems people have are fixable once the cause is known. had a coworker who brewed with his dad. they gave it up because every batch tasted like rubber. they hated it. . .got frustrated and quit. i asked what water they were using? city water from the garden hose. ack. so hot baked rubber leeched into water.. with added chlorine from muni water... easily fixed but they gave up.
  10. zorak1066

    New guy

    i like the 3 weeks time guideline because it gives the yeast a chance to clean house. on the last week i move the fermenter to someplace around 70f to encourage the yeast to stay busy. it also gives any crud that washed into the beer from the side walls a chance to settle out...usually.
  11. usually you can tell theres an infection that would cause either sour or vinegar tastes. at bottling you will likely see a film of grey/white on top. really... google beer infections. the pictures speak volumes. when one of my batches developed a lactobacter infection, it had huge snotty looking grey bubbles and looked really weird. https://www.homebrewsupply.com/learn/is-my-batch-infected.html the first pic kind of looks like what i had in my pumpkin weis. as the article mentions not ever infection is necessarily bad. i would add not every weird thing floating on the surface of your wort is an infection. some times you get yeast rafts. some times hop oils and other junk floats on top. if you are getting sour beer or mouth puckering vinegar, odds are really high that your beer looked like one of the pics before you bottled. if it looked fine... it's most like just too high temps. another thing you can try: for many styles of beers fermentis US05 is a clean fermenting yeast that can take higher temps. if your ambient temp hits 67-68f it shouldnt care one bit. it doesnt produce too many esters in my opinion. i like it way more than the mr beer yeast that comes with the kits. fermentation range: (64-82°F) rehydration instructions: sanitize a mason jar. add sterile water. warm water to about 80f. sprinkle in yeast. cover with a sanitized piece of saran wrap or something. let it sit for about 20 mins. you should see the yeast diving to the bottom as they fill with water. after 20 mins take a sanitized spoon and gently stir to mix it in. let it sit for about another 10 mins then pitch into your wort. your wort temp should be around 68-70f. if you still get vinegar... especially if your wort looks weird at bottling... then youre getting infections from somewhere.
  12. if you can get the yeast off and running faster it might help keep things from forming in your wort too. use a yeast pitching calculator to figure out how much is needed. use fresh yeast if possible ie not past best by date. if instruction packet suggest rehydrating, give it a try. i think what is going on is your temps are too high and what you detect as vinegar might likely be acetaldehyde. also your sanitation process could be weak.. or... you might have an abundance of naturally occuring renegade yeast in your air ducts. there used to be a brewer here named Mashani whose house was full of brett c. any beer he made had a good chance of coming out a sour. try using star san. wash everything your wort will come in contact with and then liberally cover with starsan solution. give it a couple minutes of full contact time. watch your ambient temps.
  13. vinegar usually comes from a sanitation issue. there is a nasty little bacteria everywhere. it's on your hands. in the air. .. everywhere to some degree. it is acetobacter. this nasty little bugger can sometimes get into your wort or inside scratches in your fermenter. they sit there quietly waiting for your yeast to produce alcohol, then they spring into action. the bacteria feasts on the alcohol and pees out co2 and vinegar. two things start to happen. your bottled beer starts to over-carbonate. the beer inside starts to turn into acetic acid. (vinegar) if left to consume all available alcohol you can get bottle bombs... and when you go to drink it, the acid concentration can be strong enough to hurt your mouth. --- if it is very very slight 'sour' instead of in your face vinegar, it might be a lacto-bacillus infection. they too are everywhere. these guys are more polite. they dont consume the alcohol but produce lactic acid. the same thing in unflavored yogurt that makes you pucker, ends up in your beer. another 'sour' source is a yeast called Brett C. this yeast is common in nature too... and it produces the beers known as gueuze, lambics to name a couple. --- take a sip of your 'off' beer and hold it in your mouth. does it burn in any cuts or scratches in your mouth lining? or is it just sour? if youre hitting the sour notes more than the acid notes you can still drink your beer. i had a lactobacter in a pumpkin weis batch.. god awful on its own. when i wanted to drink it i stirred in a spoon of tang which cut the sour. --- fermenting at 67-70f means at peak fermentation (usually within the first 5 days) the temp inside your fermenter can hit 77-80f. your typical ale yeast gets stressed out at high heat and pees out acetaldehyde. this can give your beer a strong apple cider taste.. .which some ppl might find 'sour' or tasting like apple cider vinegar. work on getting your fermentation temperatures down closer to 60-64 f ambient during the first week. also what sanitizer are you using? ---- when you opened the fermenter to bottle did you notice a white/grey film floating on top? (google beer infections for pics) hope this helps
  14. zorak1066

    New guy

    welcome aboard! they make an 8 gallon keg??? oh! the 7.9g fast ferment conical thing! try to keep the temperature around your keg as close to 64f as you can for most ales. if your house gets hot, the fermenter temps will go up and the yeast might make apple cider flavors. lots of good info on these forums.. a good place to start is with the sticky posts in rickbeer's signature block.
  15. zorak1066

    One Gallon Glass Fermenter?

    the only wine i make now is hobo juice. no muss.. no fuss... about 18% abv.. and sometimes if i'm lucky it doesnt taste half bad on its own. my problem is i refuse to kill the yeast at a desired sweetness with chemicals and let them ferment it down to uber dry. i wait for welches juice to go on sale bogo and load up. if i can score 5# bags of sugar on sale bogo too it's a good day. 3 gallons of juice (no preservatives).. about 4 lbs sugar dissolved in juice over a low heat... add wine yeast. .. .a couple fist fulls of raisins and some sacrificial bread yeast. tada. i go an extra step and rack off lees after week two onto frozen fruit and give it another week or two. bottle... rinse the fruit and reuse in a compote or something. no waste. (except the yeast). i like to mix the hobo juice with 1/3 part cola or lime soda to add a little sweet back into it, and fizz. i found adding pepsi gives it an almost cabernet quality... a capricious little ****** of a wine with oak undertones and hints of currant, leather, and black raspberry.... with an elderberry nose and ... lol. i can picture hobos sitting around a 55 gallon metal drum fire sipping this , pinkies in air and commenting on hobo juice like wine snobs. 'a most excellent vintage!... tuesday!'