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Everything posted by BDawg62

  1. Dunkin Dog, Research it on the forum. Go back to the main forum page and select the "New Brewers and FAQ" forum. Once open go to the upper right hand corner and type "Temperature Control" in the search box and click on the magnifying glass You will have all of the information you could want on Temperature control. Do this for any basic questions you have and then ask if you can't find an answer to your question. Dawg
  2. Welcome Dunkin dog, Many tips and tricks and plenty of advice. First piece of advice, seeing that you are just now joining the forum and your kit arrives today, don't brew it today. Take at least a week and read, read and then when you think you have read enough, read some more. Give yourself a week to research what advice this forum has to offer and make sure you are set up for success before you brew your first batch. You will be thankful you waited a week. Dawg
  3. I have to agree with @RickBeer on this one. The oatmeal will add body and the smooth LME will also add body without adding the dark malt bitterness that Robust LME would do. A good Oatmeal Stout doesn't have much of that dark grain bitterness and I think you will be sorry if you mess with the recipe. Just my 2 cents worth. Dawg
  4. Just saw this thread guys, and I am on the side of @RickBeer. Why on earth would someone take two styles of beer that are so far apart and mix them? I am not opposed to experimentation (remember my Cool Ranch Doritos Cream Ale), but this is just wrong. Put me on the buzzkill bandwagon.
  5. Danstar Belle Saison Yeast loves the heat, don't worry about temperature.
  6. OK, let me try to clear up some of your confusion. There is no way to clear up your confusion, every beer will need a different length of time for conditioning. There are many factors that go into what effects conditioning time for a beer. 1. Your process - if you made any mistakes during brewing, ie... ferment too warm, pitch too warm, not enough oxygen in the wort. All of these can have a different effect on your beer and the time it takes to condition out these flaws. 2. The Original Gravity of the beer - higher gravity beers require more conditioning time (a 1.080 beer will need about 6 months) 3. The yeast you used - some yeast will put out flavor esters that depending on #1 above may or may not condition out. 4. The ingredients of the beer - too much here to even get into (spices and flavorings both add and subtract from conditioning time) To sum it all up do what I do. 1. Carbonate your beers in a warm spot (75 degrees) for 3 weeks. 2. Move your beers to a cool spot in your house (my basement right now is 59 degrees) 3. Put one in the fridge for 3 days and then taste the results. 4. If you are satisfied (rarely happens) then they are properly conditioned. 5. Continue step 3 at regular intervals. When you have a beer that is as good as you hoped and you have the refrigerator space, then put the balance of the batch in there and enjoy. If you don't have that refrigerator space, then know that they may improve more but they may also start to degrade. In any case it is time to drink them in earnest. Dawg
  7. Njaim, Glad to see you are not discouraged by a couple of bad batches.. The fallout rate for new brewers is very high. OK, now for some more advice. You said yourself that your first two batches "went south somewhere". The first batch probably was the lack of temperature control and the second was probably how the hops were added. In order to really improve your brewing, you need to follow some simple guidelines. pick a beer that you won't mind drinking a bunch of and make a batch of it. Follow all of the directions to the letter When it is ready try it and see how it turned out Note the flaws and either through research or forum advice, understand what went wrong. Brew the same beer again Only change what you did wrong (ie... Temperature to high) Note your process in detail. Follow these last 4 steps and after several batches following "your" process you should be making good beer. Now and only now should you experiment with hop boils, dry hoping and other changes. Remember, brewing is all about processes, there are no shortcuts. Dawg
  8. Question - Do you think about brewing beer more than you think about sex? If so you are addicted. If not, you are not quite there yet.
  9. It depends on what you consider a "stink". I personally love the smell of a beer brewing. Between the grains mashing and then the hops boiling in the wort, makes my mouth water. Mr Beer kits don't create much of a smell. So brew on. Welcome Den
  10. A beer stored at 75 degrees will degrade quicker than one stored at 55 and a beer stored under refrigeration will last even longer. That is the reason Coors used to (may still) ship their beer only in refrigerated trucks. Yes, you should carbonate your beers at 70 or above (I carbonate mine at 75), but then I store them in my basement where it is right around 60 in winter and 65 during the summer. I haven't gone the extra step but a dedicated refrigerator for storage has been recommended to me by several judges of my beers as they have tasted them immediately after conditioning and then 6 months later. While the beers have not gone bad they have degraded enough to be noticed.
  11. I would say after 4 weeks move them to the 55 degree area. Heat is one of the biggest enemies to beer. 55 is much better to store than 72 IMHO.
  12. Overpitching will not affect the flavor of the beer. In addition to keeping it on the cool side during high krausen you want to make sure that as fermentation starts to die you let the temperature increase. English yeast are notorious for dropping out early if the beer begins to cool as fermentation starts to wind down. By letting go of some of your temperature control, not needed by then, you can prevent this from happening and the beer will get to its proper FG.
  13. Just admitting that you drink Budweiser can get you banned. Be careful.
  14. Jim, I have never made cider so I will have to pass this on to one of the cider makers here so that I don't give you bad information. Dawg
  15. If you have trub then you have fermentation. Yeast will ferment above and below their recommended temperature range. Recommended ranges for yeast are their optimal range, above this range will result in off flavors and below may result in a sluggish fermentation. RDWHAHB Relax Don't Worry Have A Home Brew
  16. Jim, You can use the old yeast packs for many things. First of all, keep them stored in the refrigerator to preserve them and they should remain viable for about 2 years. 1. You can use them to ferment cider, mead, other beers 2. You can add them to your water that you boil to be used as yeast nutrient, boiling them will kill them and then the yeast you pitch will feed on them. 3. Just hang onto them as a backup in the event you find that you have a bad pack of yeast and of course the LHBS is closed. Use these in this type of emergency. Dawg
  17. Josh, Sorry to question you but the Mead world has a very different opinion of pasteurizing honey. In the Mead world it is a sin to heat honey because it drives off the aromatic compounds that create a great mead. It wasn't always this way but has become the new standard for Mead. Everything that I have read and heard (listened to hours of mead podcast) say if you have raw honey you can do the following. Either just mix it up in your must and pitch plenty of yeast and nutrients and don't worry about it because the yeast that you pitch will outcompete any undesireable wild yeast and bacteria both through fermentation and the drop in PH. The other option is to mix your must and then add Potassium Metabisulfate to kill the undesirables and then pitch your yeast 24 hours later (this method is commonly used when fruit is involved). I personally have not heated any honey that I have used and have had no problems. Dawg
  18. Cutting an extract batch in half will work very well. Just take the 5 gallon recipe and half everything.
  19. Raising the temperature should work, no need to shake your LBK. Was the mid 50's ambient temp or wort temp? You say no fermentation activity, do you have a layer of trub on the bottom of your LBK? If you do, then there is fermentation. All fermentations look different. I have had them without any visible krausen on top of the wort one day but yet I can see bubbling from below and then have 4 inches of krausen the next day. Yeast are living creatures that have their own agenda.
  20. @Jdub, Please do not stroke the ego of @RickBeer. Everytime that a new forum member does this, it takes at least a month to get his head back down to normal size. You should have seen when he won brewer of the month. That took forever to get him back to normal. Dawg
  21. Brewing takes time and patience. It is difficult but rewarding in the end. Wait until it is time to bottle and then taste what you have done.
  22. A proud papa
  23. No, you probably had it just right. If you have Krausen on top of the wort then you have fermentation. If you have an active fermentation then you can not possibly have it too cold. Yeast won't ferment your wort if they are too cold. @RickBeer is saying you are probably getting near the end of when you need to worry so much about temperature. He is suggesting that you need to worry about the temperature of the wort and not the ambient. I actually measure both, it is how my chamber is set up (see I give my beers 96 hours of fermentation and then I start to gradually raise the temperature in my chamber by a degree or 2 per day until I get to 68. In my case in the winter, I need to use seed mat heating pads to accomplish this feat. This raise in temperature lets the yeast finish their cleanup before they fall out of suspension.
  24. Jdub, I wouldn't worry too much about not quite getting to 60. Fermentation has probably started. I start my fermentation chamber at an ambient of 58 to 60 and that allows a wort temperature of 62 to 64 in most cases, 66 with a very vigorous fermentation. You should be fine. Dawg
  25. JDub, You don't need to maintain the low 60's for the entire 3 weeks. In fact it is better to let the temperature slowly ramp up to about 68 to 70 after about a week. This allows the yeast to clean up their mess without falling asleep. All of your esters and off flavors will be produced during the height of fermentation. Dawg