Community Members
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by zorak1066

  1. some of us have to work for a living and don't have time to do searches.
  2. you can tape your aquarium probe to the outside of the lbk below the water line, then tape a small piece of reflectix insulation over that and you will get a ballpark idea of wort temp. those thermometers (the yellow one above) are not 100% accurate but close enough. I use them. my lazy man's guide for temp control is if my cooler ambient air temp stays around 62f then my wort temp should be ok for most ales. 62f is good on its own. peak fermentation would mean wort would be around 72 max probably...which is a little high but still ok for most ales. . at least for me. ive only had apple esters on one or two batches. one was because I used us04 in a stout and let temps get way too high. imo stouts and apple esters are a major no no. if I wanted fruit in my beer I would dump a can of it into my glass. here's a thought. if you were confident about sanitation you could probably soak your probe and about a foot of lead wire in starsan for a bit... then run the probe directly into your lbk but how would you screw the lid down I wonder? or you could take a meat thermometer , sanitize the probe end and poke it through your lid into the wort... but then you would have a hole in the lid. I don't worry about it. I just shoot for ambient of 62f.
  3. didn't the really really old lbk's have a standard airlock at one time? I like standard airlocks. watching all the little bubbles and bouncing thingamajig makes me feel like my yeasties are singing my praises for being such a great host.
  4. too much sugar can cause bottle bombs. sugar + live yeast = co2 = pressure build up in bottle . bottle bombs are not cool. plastic bottle bombs are only messy. glass bottle bombs can seriously injure you... and are messy.
  5. generally if you have a high abv beer it will benefit from a longer conditioning time. high abv beers tend to taste like rubbing alcohol early... figuratively speaking. aging them allows them to mellow out and the flavors to blend better.
  6. you can save money by using dry yeast and washing it / harvesting it when done to use in another batch. even if you only do about 4 generations on one sachet of yeast, that's still a big savings over liquid yeast.
  7. re underpitching... sometimes this is actually desirable. when you want to stress the yeast early on and have a prolonged growth cycle to make lots of esters... if I am doing a hefeweizen with liquid yeast, I will skip the starter, under pitch... and let the temps go up a bit more than usual. this way I can get lots of banana esters while the yeast make up their cell count numbers. when doing a Trappist ale I also underpitch a little and let the temps ramp up wherever they want. if you don't want ester development you pitch enough yeast and keep the temps in optimal range... but where's the sense in spending all that money on liquid yeast for a result you can get with a 3 dollar dry yeast?
  8. liquid yeast... a little costly. if you want to customize ester profiles in your beer it's good to use. if the yeast is relatively fresh I wouldn't even bother with a starter since you are overpitching. imo, a waste of money on the small scale like a lbk. much of your esters come from the growth cycle. since youre overpitching there wont be much of this. for the lbk I would just use dry yeast and save your money.
  9. us-05 is a pretty forgiving yeast. wheat yeast (ie hefe or witbier) makes a more interesting beer if you let it ferment warm a little ... but as was mentioned , that far along the odds of esters from temp being high are diminished.
  10. no two batches are identical. ive had one batch with us04 go nutso quick.. high krausen in a day, drop three days later. ive had sluggish with moderate krausen that hung around for over a week before collapsing and leaving behind a flotilla of orange / tan rafts. I used us04 once on a hobo wine. I got a moderately high krausen of red dense foam... that dropped in 5 days... then reformed for a couple days.... then dropped... then made a layer of bubble foam. (beer yeast doesn't work very well on wine)
  11. my one really bad batch had a lacto infection. it tasted like unflavored yogurt. I drank it anyway by adding tang orange drink powder to each glass to hide the sour. it had soured in about 2 months.
  12. at my last place I used the unused walk in shower enclosure as a fermentation room. ambient air averaged 67f. I didn't use ice or a cooler. even though this made my inside the fermenter temps run about 4 degrees higher than optimal I never noticed any off flavors. moving the fermenter to a chiller box with ice to keep ambient at about 62f would be more optimal. it doesn't take much. an igloo cooler and some frozen plastic 1 liter bottles of ice.... fyi.. in my experience if you start using a higher quality yeast like us04, it is more sensitive to temperature. if you brew in ambient 73f with us04... at peak fermentation the temp of the wort will be around 79-83f and us04 will pee out tons of apple-like flavors. if you use a hefe yeast it might pee out tons of banana flavors or worse, bubblegum. know your yeast. keep your yeast happy and safe(sterile environment) to make better beer.
  13. good for you. ive been on hiatus myself.... way too freaking hot out to brew and I need propane. been doing hobo wines instead to get me through summer.
  14. rick said it.
  15. seal crushed grain in a ziplock bag and put that in a Tupperware with a lid... keep it in a relatively stable temp with low humidity. it should last quite a while.
  16. ive used carapils that was in a lunch bag (paper) stored in a bottom drawer with my brewing equipment for over a year, but uncracked. it still worked just as well. youre fine. if you crushed the grain and let it sit in open air for years I would say ... meh... but you didn't. I doubt anyone's taste buds are so highly tuned that they can taste the difference in beer made with freshly crushed malt vs stuff that came out of a Tupperware from several months ago.
  17. EPETE! welcome back! partial mash are easy. you can mash in a grain bag in a pot with a lid because it will be a small scale. you can mash in a large mason jar and strain out the grain. you can do all kinds of things. if kept to a small scale you probably wont need to be too worried about water chemistry too much... I could be wrong. temperature of mashing and sparging will be important. mashing is different from steeping because you are converting more starch to sugar... your efficiency will be higher than steeping. steeps are typically done for body or color. mashing for everything...flavor...body... color...aroma... there's all kinds of good sources out there to learn partial and full mashing. https://byo.com/partial-mashing http://www.onebeer.net/grainchart.html http://beersmith.com/grain-list/ you can easily do a mix of LME or HME and grain. you just have to know what you are adding to it and what to expect. when you decide you want to take the plunge and go all grain, expect some cost and lots of extra work... some math... some chemistry... but the perk is: because you do all the work and not some kit maker, you can brew 5 gallons batches for peanuts. don't rush things. go at your own pace... and do your homework before you try a new way of doing things. welcome back!
  18. soy has more phytoestrogens than hops ever will. American men are becoming sissified because they eat too much soy products... directly or indirectly. the government puts gobs of it in processed foods to keep us fat and passive. the ONLY cure is to consume MORE alcohol!
  19. not a fan of pumpkin beer. if you do get a kit from here and add the puree , two things to keep in mind. 1) use the amount called for in the recipe. adding a whole can when a half is called for you will end up with a mess come bottling time. 2) bake your puree in the oven to bring the temp up to about 160f for maybe 10 mins, on a cookie sheet , then let it cool. put in hop sack before adding. I used the puree right from the can. I did not pasteurize it and trusted libby's to have done it for me. wrong. it was canned in mexico according to the label (noticed long after the addition). the wort got a lacto infection that made it sour like yogurt... and the sludge was a horrible mess come bottling time because I added a whole can when 1/2 was called for. ive used mulling spice once in a beer. the clove in it was overly strong.. go easy til you find the right measure. extracts are good for adding flavor but again don't over add.
  20. when you have made a few batches you can start adding steeps of carapils grain to add to the wort. this will improve head retention and body. or you can add a LME pack of mr beer unhopped malt. I never judge a beer based on head retention though. ive had awesome beers that lost their head quickly.
  21. I'm on the fence on refractometer use. I never hit my target OG using it. I only discovered much later that the wort settles and gravity will vary at different locations in the pot... to give it a stir before testing. I do like that you only need a drop of wort.
  22. back in the 80s I had the 'pleasure' of drinking garage kept beer. lol.... a friends father owned a bar in the 70s. when it went belly up he moved about 30 bins of jumbo bottles of Altes Beer home to his garage in Michigan. for over 10 years I think they sat in Michigan heat...cold... all year round. my chum and I thought it would be cool to break into it and get drunk. it was bad. couldn't get past the first glug from a bottle. I don't remember too much from the 80s. I did a lot of silly things to myself and killed quite a few brain cells.
  23. take brewing to whatever level you are happy doing. when it becomes too much work or a bother, you end up walking away from the hobby. if you like mr beer kits and are pleased with your results then brava! your opinion is all that counts. me? I love overcomplicating things. if I had the money I would be chin deep in grains and hops and stacks of chemical addition recipes for water etc. i'd be brewing every day. homemade soup IS better than canned... but ... if you are fine with canned, bon appetite! oh and cans properly stored in a climate controlled environment , can keep for years. finished beer can keep indefinitely if properly stored. if I made up 1000 bottles of beer then stored them in my garage in summer.... ack. cellar them though and they can keep forever. they just undergo some flavor changed over time. grain gets more prominent. hops get muted. flavors meld and mellow.... etc.
  24. hydrometers are great but there is the tendency to test and test and test... and lose volumes of beer before its done. unless you sanitize the hydrometer and dump the sample back, you diminish the final volume. you could drink your sample but again... yeast gut isn't fun. I would give it 3 weeks... take a single hydrometer sample. . . unless it is way off expected final grav. remember adding things like lactose will impact your final gravity. lactose bumps it up due to un-fermentable sugars. .. if youre using a saison yeast, it is not uncommon for the buggers to drop your final grav below 1.01 . bottle too soon and you can get bottle bombs. I always ferment my saisons warm and about 2 days before bottling bump up the heat a little more. bella saison is a monster.
  25. if you do a bottling sample never judge your beer at bottling time. your sample will have lots of yeast and be unconditioned so it will taste a little funky. also be prepared if you drink a larger sample for excessive tummy gas at the least , and the squirts with cramps at the most if you aren't used to ingesting yeast. the little buggers get into your stomach and intestines and have a field day eating anything left floating around in your gut. on the plus side yeast are high in vitamin b's... I recall my first trub bottle that I sampled. lol... they should market it for weight loss. crap yourself to the new and exciting you!