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J A last won the day on March 1 2017

J A had the most liked content!

About J A

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    Brewmaster in Training
  • Birthday 12/01/1957

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    Austin, TX

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  1. I've brewed a good number of batches with that yeast at ale temp. In particular light adjunct lagers work extremely well. There's virtually no yeast contribution once it settles a little. They ferment quick and clean, clear very well . I've gone from grain to glass in as little as 3 weeks pretty routinely with kegging, but there's no doubt that the beer gets better with a little time. Yes, sulfur is often present during fermentation of any lager, even at lower temperatures, but it dissipates completely by the time it's ready to bottle or keg. And, yes, it can smell pretty nasty, so if you do start using lager yeasts, keep your fermenters out in the garage, not in a closet in the house. You can only blame it on the dog for just so long before your wife catches on and puts the kibosh on your brewing activities. You can get very similar results with a really clean ale yeast. I've used S-04 on a lager grain bill and the result is a clean malty Kolsch with just a little flavor from the yeast. That dies down when it's stored cold for a while and you get something that barely resembles an ale at all. Most every yeast will ferment quite well considerably outside it's preferred temperature range. It just acts a little differently and produces different flavors...some desirable and some not so much.
  2. Don't do it...If you bottle a beer that hasn't fermented out completely and still retains fermentable sugar, you'll have no way of calculating your priming sugar level. You'll end up over-carbing. Bottling beer before it's time and priming as usual is the formula for bottle bombs. Let it ferment all the way. If you want a sweet flavor in beer get lactose (milk sugar). It add sweetness but the yeast won't consume it and produce alcohol and CO2.
  3. What you'd have is serious hooch. Skip the fancy fruit and go right to the boiled raisins. Actually if you had a small still set up, you could make some decent moonshine brandy.
  4. Fermentation and good FG shouldn't be a problem. Aging out the (inevitable?) acetaldehyde is a different issue though...a few days longer aging after full fermentation definitely will help that situation.
  5. Not critical either way. If you're eager to drink it, bottle a day early. If you have patience, give it the extra few days.
  6. I put an Oktoberfest-style ale recipe together and brewed a 5-gallon batch last Sunday. I kegged up an Oktoberfest lager a few weeks back and that's tasting so good, I decided to do a very similar recipe using ale yeast. Just joined up with a new local brewing club and we're doing a club brew to be ready by the end of October. We'll do a Cascade SMASH APA so I'll be brewing that this coming weekend. The week after that, I'll probably try to go right on top of the cake with a bigger IPA while I've got the chance.
  7. ^^^What @RickBeer said...Cold crashing will lead to more of the suspended yeast dropping out and result in clearer beer with less yeast trub in the bottles. There are some yeasts that are not very flocculent and never really clear during secondary or even cold crash. Hefeweizen yeast is one. It will eventually clear in the bottle, but it leaves quite a bit of sediment. Most will clear nicely during cold-crash - definitely better than just secondary.
  8. Still brewing, but not "seasonal" beer. Around here lawnmower beers are appropriate nearly year round. I just figure I'm done with hefeweizen and saison-style beers, though. Now it's on to Oktoberfest!! On to stouts and porters!! On to dunkels and dopplebocks!! Actually I might just be getting just one more brew in before about November. We're headed out of town to take our son to college and have a week of vacation while we're in the Northwest. When we get back, if all goes well we expect to be able to finish up selling our house and closing on our new place. If that happens, we start packing almost immediately and we'll be moving in September and still getting settled in October. I've put 2 fives and 2 smaller batches into fermentation over the last couple of weeks to be working while I'm gone and kegged up 4 more fivers from the month of July. I won't be hurting for beer in the pipeline, but if I can manage one more brew day on the 28th, I'll do up an Marzen-style ale for an Oktoberfest beer and might try to sneak in an extract porter or stout. My new neighbors are going to like me a lot!
  9. For my last summer seasonal brew, I put together a little "Saison" using S-33 instead of Belgian yeast. Mostly Pilsner grain with a dose of wheat and a little Crystal for color. I wanted to spice it up and give it some character that the yeast would lack so I brewed in some Grains of Paradise, lemon zest and ground ginger as well as adding a touch of orange/coriander extract I've had infusing for a while into the secondary. Initial taste test was very promising!
  10. I've got a steam lager that's holding small bits of yeast in suspension. They just seem to be immobile, but they're really tiny. I think if you cold-crashed, the big hunks would drop. I think there's a little CO2 bound up within the little wad of stuff and the temp drop will force the CO2 to move around and leave the solids less buoyant. I doubt that much CO2 will move unless the temp drops. Even then, it takes pressure to ensure that it goes into suspension. Regarding all-grain break, I did a few LBK batches doing all-grain and it was a real mess. Those fermenters weren't designed for an inch or more of crud at the bottom. Only way I had any luck doing small batches was to get 3 gallons into a bucket for primary and then fill up an LBK as a secondary. That works out well. When I do a 5-gallon batch, I try to get at least 5 1/2 gallons into the primary and can consistently close to 5 gallons into bottles or keg.
  11. If you're getting a 5 gallon pot for partial-boil extract, you might as well look at this 30 quart stainless turkey fryer. Some of the stuff that comes with it may be superfluous, but it's hard to find a better boil pot for the money. It'll boil smaller amounts just fine and if you step up to full-boil extracts or even occasional BIAB all-grain, this will handle them perfectly. http://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/outdoor-gourmet-30-qt-stainless-steel-pot-kit#repChildCatid=27722 I bought a lot of stuff trying to step up a little at a time and have ended up spending much more than I would have just going to bigger equipment as soon as I knew I wanted to do more than just 2 1/2 gallons at a time. I did a number of batches where I did partial mash, split boils, etc and realized it was just way more work and created as many problems as it solved. You do have to be aware of the slippery slope, though. I've been looking for a 13 gallon fermenter so I can do 10-gallon double-mash batches and I can keg 5 gallons and bottle the other 5.
  12. You simply have to download a brewing calculator and learn to use it if you intend to adapt or change recipes. It's really easy and there are any number of calculators available for free. Q-Brew is best if you intend to use Mr. Beer products. Five gallon batches yielding 2 cases of beer is great! You end up drinking one when it's ready and leaving one to age for a few more months. Every beer style benefits from that. And for late-addition extract batches, you don't even have to have a big boil pot (full boil, whether it's all-grain or extract requires at least a 30 quart pot and more heat than the average kitchen stove produces easily).
  13. If Mr. Beer doesn't intend to market LME in larger quantities, it's really easy to order from any number of sources on the internet. Ideally you'd buy bulk from a LHBS with decent product turnover and have relatively fresh stuff to work with that's cheaper than internet, but short of that ordering 3 lb cans to suppliment your Mr.Beer HME habit shouldn't be problem.
  14. If you've fermenting in a carboy, you won't be oxidizing by shaking the carboy. The headspace will be full of CO2. Even taking out the airlock to add the hops shouldn't displace much and any rousing you did would release more CO2 to push the oxygen out. If it's got krausen, it's totally blanketed anyway. I don't know if you'd run into much of a problem with an LBK, but it should be about the same thing. Only difference is that in lowering the temp, you'll suck air back into the LBK when the temp lowers rather than sucking airlock fluid. I don't know if you're SMASH-ing with extract (perfectly legit) but assuming you're doing all-grain, you can have a ton of break material that makes the krausen really heavy and sticky. I've seen that with K-97, but 05 is usually pretty quick to break krausen in my experience.
  15. I have a current batch of all-grain Pale Ale that's an "improved" version of a partial mash I made back in April. When I first started drinking that beer it was really good, but had a little flavor that was obviously extract. Not a "twang" by any means, but definitely different from the all-grains that I'd been doing. I immediately vowed to update the recipe and finally brewed it last month. I kegged that beer so it's ready to drink and pretty incredible, though it's still a little fresh and hoppy (really fits an IPA style profile). Anyway, last night I compared one of the original beers to the all grain and it was really interesting. You absolutely couldn't tell the difference in the looks of the beers. The flavor of the older beer had improved so that the only difference in flavor was that the PM had just a little more residual sweetness (Amber extract) and the hops had faded a little. Otherwise there's no way you'd have guessed that they were different beers. I never got an HME batch to age out to anywhere near that level of flavor, but this one really turned out perfect after an extra month conditioning and a few weeks in the fridge. I'd say there's definitely hope for late-addition extracts/partial mash brews turning into great beers. I'll never bother with seeing if I can get decent results with aging HME batches - just no reason for me to pursue it.