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zorak1066

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Everything posted by zorak1066

  1. 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!'
  2. zorak1066

    One Gallon Glass Fermenter?

    i still occasionally use 1 gallon glass jugs and my italian 2.5 gallon glass carboy. if co2 builds up it can shoot the rubber stopper out. the glass is super heavy / high quality. it does make cleaning and moving it a little hard when it is full. glass is super easy to clean, doesnt scratch, easy to sanitize well.... i would personally not use a 5 gallon glass carboy though. way too heavy. 5 gallons of wort at 42 lbs... 10 lbs of glass probably ... = big chance of dropping it... and more aggravation to hernias.
  3. zorak1066

    Saison fermentation seems to have stalled

    thats the spirit. if i could afford a wine chiller i'd probably try doing lagers... for now they are too high maintenance for me. it's fun to experiment. the tang powder was just the fix to make it drinkable.. and in all honesty, the very last bottle aged and mellowed. it was passable on its own. just dont go nuts like i did once. the wife had just boiled cabbage and had not yet dumped the water. waste not want not i said... and grabbed it to do an all grain cream ale. while i was gathering my ingredients i saw a box of apple jack cereal. wonder if i can use that with the grain? why not. so i mashed in cabbage water, with my apple jacks and malt... the finished product was really really weird. not horrible but thank goodness it was a small batch. i finally started experimenting with culinary uses for old hops, no longer suitable for beer. i put some moteuka in salt to use as seasoning. imparts a nice bitter with a hint of lemon. i added a dash of sugar to cut some of the bitter. i steeped some hops in rum. odd flavor but drinkable. wife will use the rest in cooking breads and such. not a lot out there on cooking with hops. she said she would like to try hop tea too but they are mid to high alpha acids so they might be a bit harsh. i use spent grain to make 'flour'. if it had my own brew fridge and money enough to brew often, i would also yeast wash / harvest. that was fun and can save you a little money.
  4. zorak1066

    Newbie needs brew plan confirmation

    you can always drink room temp beer... like me. the only drawback with this is that the co2 never fully enters suspension so you have to undercarb or slowly open the bottles.
  5. zorak1066

    Saison fermentation seems to have stalled

    the lbk is vented by the lid so there is no back pressure.. you will have a layer of co2 resting on top of the beer. stirring gently will disturb the co2 layer a bit but if it wasnt quite done fermenting, more co2 will blanket the top as it picks up fermentation again. be advised that if you never had a saison you will likely be in for a totally new experience. my first was like wow... this is freaky. it had a yeasty funk, pear, apple, perfume, floral and more funk. it was really different from your typical beer. for the lbk i would go with dry yeast belle saison. pitch slightly warm. put the fermenter in an igloo cooler without any additional heat for a day at ambient room temp. let it get started. after a day toss a couple hot water bottles into the cooler and close the lid. watch the temps and try to keep them around 74f-76f ambient. let it ferment at about 74ish for 2 weeks. on week 3 move the cooler to a place where the ambient temp hits about 80f if you want and let it go. at the end of week 3 i would be shocked if your fg was not 1.01 or lower. usually i get about 1.006 by bumping up the temp in the last week you encourage the yeast to finish up and clean house. every time i use it, the fermentation is slow and steady. this yeast is typically a dainty eater... not a lot of krausen. not very violent. . . and it has always consumed practically everything one can throw at it sugar-wise. i use 5 gallon buckets to ferment. for me i can put the bucket in a plastic clothes hamper and fill it with enough water to almost reach the wort level. i then drop in an aquarium heater. after a day at ambient i fire up the heater on a timer... so many hours on... some time off... cycle repeatedly.. and my temps get up to 72-76f. i use a timer to save electricity. dont give up on saisons.. just try another yeast. even if this batch comes out 'weird' you can still drink it .. just add a tablespoon of Tang Orange powder to your glass when you go to drink it. :) that's what i did with my really awful pumpkin weis when i first got started brewing. i refuse to waste alcohol. yeah it sounds bad but...
  6. zorak1066

    Newbie needs brew plan confirmation

    looks like you made beer dude. welcome aboard. remember not to judge a beer by your samples. they mature with time.
  7. zorak1066

    Saison fermentation seems to have stalled

    ive opened fermenter buckets multiple times to correct clogged airlocks, volcano krausen, etc. each time i was sure it would get infected but each time it was fine. take the slightest care and you are already doing more than the early brewers ever did. once yeast get going they really are quite territorial. ive even reached in with a sanitized hand to fish out a mesh bag without problem. not something i would recommend under normal conditions but... no harm. as for 90f temp... are they talking ambient or internal? most optimal temps are stated in terms of internal temps. if your yeast are chugging away at an ambient temp of 87f the internal temp can be 97f... way too hot. anyway.. experiment. ive only used danstar bella saison yeast and never once had any issues with stalling or such. the highest i ever cranked the heat was an ambient of 76f during primary fermenetation. good luck. brewing is cool because you can experiment as you wish, and still drink most of your mistakes.
  8. zorak1066

    SMASH & BIAB

    my first pm the break material made for a really thick but not compacted/dense trub layer. it was loose and i lost a larger volume of beer because of it. i suppose cold crashing would have helped.
  9. zorak1066

    Saison fermentation seems to have stalled

    90+ degrees will likely harm your yeast. saison like it warmer than most ale yeast but 90? really upper 70s would be fine for a saison. it may be that as you mentioned the yeast went to sleep. you can if you want to risk it... spray the fermenter lid down with starsan. sanitize a metal spoon . open lid. gently agitate the yeast out of the bed. cap the fermenter. put it where temps are between 75-80f.. give it another 3 days or so and check the final gravity. if you are heavy handed with honey malt it can come out icky sweet. 2oz though doesnt sound like a lot to me. what was your recipe? what size batch?
  10. zorak1066

    Plastic bottles bulging

    domino dots are convenient because of the 2g sucrose. for your average beer in a pint or 16oz btl 1 dot is sufficient. generic cubes work too.. just read the label. really.. super easy. . . and the 3 weeks is a great guide to follow. dont freak out if life happens and it sits an additional week. in good conditions yeast can go 4 but any more and youre pushing the risk of autolysis. i vaguely remember my first exposure to mr beer was this chinese looking guy on the box all happy with a beer glass ... telling ppl YOU CAN MAKE BEER IN JUST 10 DAYS!!!!! yeah. it will be beer but it will be crap because you didnt give the yeast a chance to clean up, finish, and for the beer to condition. the early instructions caused more ppl to go 'Meh... ' and walk away from the hobby. the old guard here pointed this out to mr beer and they listened. if your temps are too cold the yeast will slowly go to bed... you think 'oh! it must be done!' and bottle. the yeast wake up and BOOM! you can make do without a hydrometer. . .
  11. zorak1066

    SMASH & BIAB

    i do almost the same process .. a sort of biab, with a sparge... and like you end up with lots of break. i up my efficiency by splitting the sparge volume in half. i add chemicals to the first sparge.. dont bother with the second half. i bring the temp of the first sparge water to almost 185f-195f. toss it into the drained cooler. stir well and put the lid on. it should raise the temp of the grain to about 170f. after 15 mins i stir well, cover and let sit for another 15 minutes. then drain into pot. this is my mash out... of sorts. then take whatever i need from the last of the sparge water for one quick final rinse. or sometimes i just do one sparge / mash out and let it go 45 mins and stir it every 15 minutes. i get way better efficiency than just doing a normal biab, and when doing a higher grav beer i get about 70-75 % efficiency. my first foray into all grain was a russian imperial and i got horrible efficiency with just a biab. ended up at about 50%...horrible!
  12. zorak1066

    Plastic bottles bulging

    it's a simple enough error and easily correctable. one we are have been guilty of probably at one time or another. 1. buy a hydrometer. take your gravity reading at Start of fermentation. (for those who like math, (SG - FG) * 135 = alcohol by volume. 2. allow fermentation to go for about 2.5 to 3 weeks. as you near the 3rd week's completion take a Final gravity reading. if it's anywhere close to 1.01 odds are really good it's done. if you added lactose it will be slightly higher. if your reading comes back like 1.03 or higher? odds are good it aint done... or your yeast pooped out. when i first started i didnt have a hydrometer. the guide that was told to me is in MOST cases, letting it sit for 3 weeks in optimal conditions will almost guarantee your fermentation is finished. 3. use a priming sugar calculator. or.. a 16oz bottle is .125 gallons. i plugged in current beer temp of 68f, and a desired co2 volume of 2 units. (whatever they measure it by). it said that 2 oz of table sugar per bottle would be sufficient. if you get a box of Domino Dots sugar cubes, and read the label.. it says they have 2.0 grams of sucrose per cube. drop a single cube in each 16oz bottle and voila! easy peezy. 1 liter is just slight more beer than 16 oz so if you use the bigger bottle just add 2 cubes. your beer will have a modest but close enough volume of co2 to match most styles. some yeast are over achievers. saison yeast is known to chew through nearly every bit of sugar in the wort. it does so usually in a calm fashion so if doing a saison, you would let the temperature rise in your fermenter in the last week to encourage it to finish. your final gravity reading might be 1.005 ! bottle too soon and BOOM! know your yeast. i usually move my fermenter at the start of week 3 to the kitchen table where i bottle. letting it sit in a warmer area also helps encourage the yeast to clean up any byproducts they made during the ferment. giving it that extra week also allows any crud that falls into the beer form the dried krausen to settle out. so there ya go. see? easy fix. not a fault of mr beer bottles usually. good luck.
  13. zorak1066

    Plastic bottles bulging

    they are probably type 1 PET food grade plastic which would be recyclable. i just looked at what they sell..that is correct. bulging bottles = too much carb for the bottle. watch how much sugar you prime with. alternatively, check your bottles as they carb. if you see them starting to distort, bleed off some co2 by slowly opening the cap just a pinch.
  14. zorak1066

    First partial mash attempt & newbie mistakes

    why the heck did it double post this??? weird
  15. zorak1066

    First partial mash attempt & newbie mistakes

    notty is a beast.. .but... i found out at higher temps can produce banana esters. keep it cooler. treat it like us04's cousin. remember every mistake you make has been done by just about everyone at one time or another. partial mashing is a great way to gauge if you want to go all grain. if you can handle pm, you can handle all grain. same thing just on a larger scale and with chemistry for water additions.
  16. a lot of us have moved on from mr beer but still hang around to 'pay it forward' for having this place when we started out. my first batch i was fine because i was following someone elses tried and true recipe and did my research. when crazy stuff started happening to me on my 2nd and 3rd batch that is when i was a mess. lol. 1st- yeast took off in under 2 hours.. super quick start. behaved exactly as expected beyond that so i got spoiled. 2nd batch yeast decided to take its time. by hour 3 after pitching i was here posting OMG my yeast must be dead! it's been 3 hours and theres no krausen! lol. 3rd batch everything went wrong... all kinds of mistakes so i was a mess. 4th batch was the first time i used whirlfloc. OMG SOMEONE PUT SEA WEED IN MY WORT!!!! scrambled to run it through a filter into another carboy.. positive that i messed something up and ruined it. i gradually got better. most important thing i learned early: dont panic. everything that you think is wrong is likely just fine... ask someone here. having ppl to lean on in the early stages of brewing tends to keep ppl in the hobby.
  17. zorak1066

    Flavor??

    never judge a beer by the bottling sample. at bottling you still have tons of yeast in suspension. flavors have not melded fully. aging beer causes the flavors to round out.. mellow. it allows the beer to carb, and then for the tired yeast to settle down to the bottom in the bottle trub layer. if after you condition you just dont like aggressively hopped beer, pop them all back in cold storage for a few more months. as beers age, hops start to soften in flavor presence. malts start to come forward a bit more. at least in my experience....
  18. zorak1066

    No evidence of fermentation?

    in case nobody mentioned ... airlock activity is not a reliable sign of fermentation. since krausen can come and go so fast you might miss it, always check the bottom for trub. no trub? no fermentation. trub? it's all good. i'm not into fancy shmancy fermenter contraptions but sorry for your loss. i use buckets that i rig the lid for a plastic pipe elbow and a hose for blowoff. the only problem i occasionally get with a bucket is when krausen clogs the airlock hole and tries to blow the lid off.
  19. zorak1066

    Bottles Overflowing

    in my case i overtorque the lids. sometimes i have to use channel locks to get the darn lid off! this contributes to the lid cracks.
  20. zorak1066

    Bottles Overflowing

    since my last plastic epic bottle failure (read Apollo rocket launch) i inspect the bottles and caps multiple times during the carb process. this time i noticed on day 2, bubbles forming on top of the beer. (clear bottles make this easy). this told me co2 was escaping. i rechecked the top of the cap where it is fused to the riser of plastic and there it was... a very thin seam forming a hairline break. there has been on multiple forums, people having problems with bottle bombs. the only common thread was that they all involved a dark english grain...cant remember which. uk chocolate? it was thought that multiple batches of grain may have been harvested wet? or exposed to a contaminant or bug? if you arent over carbing, and you are sure fermentation is done at bottling, all that is left is bottle failure or a bug... if i could i would get a mess of corny kegs and just use a co2 tank to pressurize the beer. too costly and too much work for me atm.
  21. zorak1066

    Temperature Question??

    unless you are using a yeast that pees out flavors at a higher temp that you want. example: when making a hefeweizen... high temps = banana / bubble gum esters. or a saison ... high temp = yeasty funky fruitiness. ale yeast usually makes green apple cider flavor if your ambient gets too high (like over 68f).
  22. esters are usually created during active fermentation ie the first week. kristof is spot on. by week three they will eat whatever is around like waste compounds created during active fermentation. if you dont mind leaving a fan plugged in and running , you can use a fermentation bucket in a laundry basket with water up to the wort line. have the fan circulate air over it. (swamp cooler). i personally wouldnt worry by the mid to end of week 2. in fact i usually let the temp climb by the end of week 2 to encourage fat bloated yeast to get busy cleaning up shop.
  23. zorak1066

    First Experiment

    i call it a yeast hurricane. i could watch that for hours... and i have. yeast volcanoes though scare me.
  24. zorak1066

    bread yeast experiment?

    or you could be really adventurous. take a small mason jar. add a couple fist fulls of raisins. cover with water. cover jar with a paper towel. sit it out on the counter for a week or so. in time you will see bubbles forming on the raisins due to wild yeast. feed it sugar for awhile. then pitch that into your wort. no telling what the heck yeast you end up with or what results. if you really really want to live la vita loca, do an open fermentation without any temperature control and wild yeast. you'll likely end up with a sour. lactobacter is everywhere and so is brett.
  25. zorak1066

    bread yeast experiment?

    bread yeast... not very hearty. it was engineered to eat sugar and pee out tons of co2, not alcohol. thats what makes bread dough rise. it is yeasty in flavor and will effect your beer in several ways. you will likely get a beer that quits at about 3% alcohol... maybe 4. (guessing) it will have an annoying bread crust flavor or doughy taste. if you use activated yeast and/or really pamper it.. you might hit 10% abv. rehydrate in sugar water. let it form foam to show it's alive. pitch. you could do step feedings with honey. after a day in the fermenter you take some honey and warm it in some water to about 145f for 5-10 mins. cool it. pop your fermenter top and add the honey water. then in a couple days repeat. you start with a low og and gradually bump it up this way. i used it in a quick mead. it produced gobs of fusel alcohols. the mead stopped at about 7% (guessing... no hydrometer back then) , was extremely carbonated, and with the fusels gave me a massive headache. the co2 shot the little alcohol straight to the brain along with the fusels and when the buzz quit, the throbbing pounding head was most unpleasant. i did nothing to take care of the yeast except add a bunch of fruit to the must. technically then i guess it was a melomel? why waste a good beer kit with crap yeast? garbage in? garbage out. if you want to do the experiment anyway, spend as little money as possible. buy a pound dme. buy a qtr oz of some simple hop like cascade. use a gallon of water. do a hop boil for about 30 mins. cool. no idea how much yeast i would pitch in a batch like this if it were bread yeast. if your og is too high, you'll end up with a icky sweet, dough flavored 'beer'. if you keep your og low, you end up with maybe a 4% or better doughy beer. a 1 gal batch of 1 #dme will yield about a 4% abv 'beer'. no expert here... i would just use beer yeast in my batches. .. but go for it if you want. oh if my memory serves, the bread yeast i used formed a silty trub layer. if i even looked at it , it seemed to agitate back into the liquid. it didnt stay compacted much at all.
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