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Cato

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Everything posted by Cato

  1. Cato

    Propping Up Your LBK - No Trubal

    Yes, as Rickbeer says, you want to prop up during fermentation and cold crashing if possible. I make room in the fridge when I cold crashing an LBK or in my mini fridge if it's the last fermenter left.
  2. Cato

    Propping Up Your LBK - No Trubal

    When I'm using an LBK, I usually figure it for 2.25 gal. In Q brew and at best I'll yield 22 12oz bottles. I have no issues as long as it's say under 6.5% ABV. Course I'll lose approx. .13 or more to trub loss.
  3. You'll really like that controller. Pretty much set it and forget it.
  4. Cato

    Something other than booster

    I have a backlog of booster, and I use it when I can. I haven't noticed any flavor issues with it at all.
  5. Cato

    All grain Irish Red Ale

    Also a great way to keep the fermenter busy in the quest for that ideal taste and proper color. I love a challenge like that and taste testing/judging the results!
  6. Cato

    All grain Irish Red Ale

    Interesting recipe! I'm not familiar with Cara red malt, but I like the addition of some biscuit malt to the mix!
  7. Cato

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    It's a lingering sweet aftertaste that comes from extract, either LME or HME, can produce it. DME apparently tends not too, but I haven't used it before. http://www.love2brew.com/articles.asp?id=487 Check out this link on twang and ways to get around it. BIAB is easy solution but a longer brew day. For me partial mashes with the craft refills and hop additions in IPA styles have worked very well.
  8. Cato

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    That is the great thing isn't it? Having fun no matter whether you prefer small batches and minimal equipment or a larger set up like Creeps or yet a bigger bbl operation like kedogn! I seem to be getting more stuff, but doubt I want to get much bigger than 2.5-3 gal. batches, cause I like the variety. Lol, that said I wouldn't mind a big enough kettle to brew 5 gal. and split it into two fermenters!
  9. Cato

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    Good points @MRB Tim! I enjoy creating different recipes in small batches and view the MB HME's just like a base malt and then build from there. I look at my inventory and I'm pretty happy with what I have to chose from for a brew day. HME's, cans of LME's, and about 40-50 lbs of base and specialty malts. Lol, it's like making spaghetti sauce! Do I want to make it from scratch or do I want to use a big jar of sauce off the rack and add to that? Like you say each has its pros and cons and I'm sure enjoying exploring them all and gradually getting much better as a brewer. This forum, it's resources, and helpful more experienced brewers are the reason. Also, maybe I have old tastebuds, but once I started with partial mashes using at least 8-12oz grains I haven't had off flavors or twang.
  10. Cato

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    Well said, Gutterbunnie! Each of those different brewing methods have their own set of challenges, which makes it fun to try and make your best beer you can and how you'll do it better next time.
  11. Cato

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    No need to be quiet Creeps!
  12. Cato

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    What yeast are you using? It might be coincidence but after my first two batches using MB yeast I switched to US-05, plus temp control and haven't had off flavors since. I did pitch one batch at 55F, using US-05, and got away with it but normally I try to have the wort a little warmer than my room temp yeast. How big an effect, if any, idk. I guess when you find whatever method is working for you, you tend to stay with it. Don't give up on it though. Possible you're tasting extract tang from HME, so maybe make a partial mash with a can of Briess LME, or like Jdub and try a DME partial mash. There's different ways to skin this cat, and you're close.
  13. Cato

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    I usually put at least a gallon of spring water in the fridge 2 days before brewing if I'm going into an LBK. Brew day I'll pour what room temp water I need into the kettle and put whatever's left in the fridge to cool down as well while I'm boiling, steeping, whatever. That'll usually get me close to pitch temp fairly quickly if I'm just using HME or LME and going into an LBK. If not then I'll pop the LBK in the fridge for a couple hours until I get the wort at least under the max temp of the yeast by a few degrees. Ideally I like anywhere from 74-77F and the yeast at room temp, which in my house is 68-72 depending on the season. As far as I can tell, albeit a first year brewer, I'm not stressing my yeast and getting off flavors from that method, and once my LBK is in the cooler I ferment on the cool side 64F for most of my yeasts. My AG batches in my little stainless fermenter are proving to be a little more challenging to chill rapidly since I'm doing a full volume boil for that. Immersion chiller has helped a lot but still leaving me too high to pitch in this hot weather, so either an ice bath for the kettle or a two stage chill with the wort chiller, faucet first, then pumping ice water through it to lower that last 12-15 degrees. Sorry didn't mean to go overboard on that, but I'm thinking that from pitch temp to ferment temp thru first few days of krausen is where your off flavors aka yeast stress has been introduced. Lol, I'll shut up now.
  14. Cato

    Fermentation temp control

    I use @Screwy Brewer's EZ BIAB online all the time, as well as some of the other calculators. It's a huge help to me.
  15. Cato

    Upcoming Brewing Schedule

    I've mostly used dry yeast but the white labs site said theirs needed a starter and i really wanted their WLP530 for this batch, and was half thinking I should be able to make some wort in a sanitized jar, when I ran across the fast pitch starter kit with 4 cans and a flask w/stopper, and I jumped on it.
  16. Cato

    Upcoming Brewing Schedule

    Just ordered my specialty grains and yeast for my Belgian Dubbel. Had to laugh because I ordered a starter kit flask and Fast Pitch for my yeast. I had never heard of Fast Pitch until @Creeps McLane used some in a vid on wild yeast that I watched the other night. Talk about perfect timing.
  17. Cato

    Upcoming Brewing Schedule

    You'll like the partial mashes and having more control over your grains and how they'll influence the final product!
  18. Cato

    Upcoming Brewing Schedule

    I have two brews coming up once I bottle Little Trees Pale Ale and a Witbier clone. Little Trees will bottle end of this week and the Witbier next week. First up will be pretty much an HME Pale ale, so I can reduce some inventory of HME cans. Will use a CAL and American Ale and hop with HBC438. Second up will be a Belgian Dubbel, since we do have fall coming on and I'd like to have at least a few dark beers in the mix. There are a LOT of Belgian Dubbel recipes out there but I put together this one to use some of what I already have on hand and so once again have selected some common parts of several recipes and whittled down to this. Because it will be a BIAB partial mash, I may or may not hit as high an OG, since I am still learning how to hit a better efficiency. My temporary solution is shooting a bit higher in gravity and adding a touch of LME here and there. LOL, this one has way more than a touch but I've got a full can of the Pilsen Light so, might as well make use of a good chunk of it. Belgian Dubbel Recipe : Brewer Bob Batch 2.75 gal Partial Mash Recipe Characteristics Recipe Gravity 1.073 OG Estimated FG 1.018 FG Recipe Bitterness 19 IBU Alcohol by Volume 7.0% Recipe Color 17° SRM Alcohol by Weight 5.5% Ingredients Quantity Grain Type Use 0.06 lb Special "B" (Belgian) Grain Mashed 1.50 lb Pilsener (Belgian) - [Light] Base malt of European Beers and US beers of all types Grain Mashed 0.12 lb Extra Special Malt Grain Mashed 0.75 lb Carabrown Malt Grain Other 0.25 lb CaraPils - [Body, Head] Grain Mashed 0.25 lb Candi Sugar, Dark (Belgian) Sugar Other 2.50 lb Briess LME - Pilsen Light Extract Extract 1.00 lb Aromatic Malt (Belgian) - [Aromatic, Malty] Use 5% - 15% Grain Mashed Quantity Hop Type Time 0.62 oz Kent Goldings (U.K.) - Aroma and dry hop intensely resiny, candy-like, sweet, slightly floral and spicy Pellet 60 minutes Quantity Misc Notes 1.00 unit White Labs WLP530 - Abbey Ale Yeast™ Yeast Temperature Range: 62°-72° F (ABV 11%) Med-High Floculation Recipe Notes BIAB mash at 154-156 for 60 min Sparge and add Pilsen light LME Bring to boil and Add .625 oz of EK Goldings hops for 60 min. Add .25 lb of Candi Sugar D-90 for last 15 min of boil Chill to 75F and add WLP530 yeast and ferment for 18days and cold crash for 3 days and then bottle Batch Notes Mash
  19. Cato

    Highest Attenuation?

    My extract brews have been 75-78%, my AG has been as high as 90%.
  20. Cato

    Upcoming Brewing Schedule

    Haven't really had a brew schedule recently, so with it being windy and rain bands coming in from Florence far south of me today is computer stuff and working of something of a brew schedule. I've got a lot of HME cans, so my next up will be a Pale Ale based on MB Santa Catalina recipe, and I'll use the cans of CAL and American Ale but will ferment with US-05 or 04 and hop with HBC438. That'll be a quick and easy recipe to get into the fermenter. It turned out well with Mosaic last time, but the hops faded quickly. Hmm, maybe add an ounce dry hop of the HBC 438 as well to see if that will endure better than the Mosaic did. For my other LBK might have to try a BIAB on a different style, maybe an Alt or a Marzen, since I've never brewed either one of those. Time to do some recipe research!
  21. Stressing yeast can cause them to produce off flavors. I always try to pitch under the max temp range of the yeast. Ideally the yeast should be slightly cooler than the wort temp. Since I use US-05 a lot I'll typically have my yeast at room temp 72-73 in summer and pitch my yeast typically in 74-77 temp range before putting it in the mini fridge. That Oatmeal Stout should be fine. I've had a couple occasions where I had to chill the wort overnight and pitch the next morning and the beer turned out fine.
  22. My somewhat cobbled together attempted clone recipe of New Belgium Brewing's Mothership Witbier. I used some info from their website, Briess Malts site, and Austin HomeBrew for the spices and scaled the 5 gal down to what I was intending on 2.63 gal. so I could net 2.5 gal after kettle and fermenter trub loss. I should have used about 1/2 a gallon more strike water for this and I would have been much closer to my target wort volume and if it had come up short on OG I could have added some Pilsner LME to make up the difference which is what I usually do if my efficiency comes out a little shy. However, I wanted to see how it would turn out AG with no help from boosters or LME. So I'll be a bit short on packaged volume on this one from trub loss in the fermenter, but was close enough on my OG 1.050 that I went with it and a wort volume of 2 gal. If I can hit anywhere between 4.7-5% ABV I'll find that acceptable for this style and then it'll all be up to my spice additions to see if I'm in the ballpark. I didn't realize at the time that @Nickfixit had done some considerable Witbier recipe experiments and could have been a big help in this but it's got another week and a half before cold crashing so we will see how I did before too long. Lol, then I can get some input and tweaks to do better next time on efficiency with my BIAB and gravity targets. Most recipes favor WLP400 Belgian yeast but its been a bit hot for shipping liquid yeast and I felt safer using a packet of Safale T-58 dry yeast and I had it on hand. Belgian Witbier-Mothership clone Recipe Belgian Witbier-Mothership Style Witbier [Belgian] Brewer Bob Batch 2.63 gal All Grain BIAB Recipe Characteristics Recipe Gravity 1.054 OG Estimated FG 1.014 FG Recipe Bitterness 11 IBU Alcohol by Volume 5.3% Recipe Color 4° SRM Alcohol by Weight 4.1% Ingredients Quantity Grain Type Use 0.12 lb Flaked Oats [Briess] - (Unmalted) Body, mouthfeel and head retention Adjunct Mashed 0.50 lb Flaked Wheat [Briess] - (Unmalted) Adds body to Witbier Adjunct Mashed 2.50 lb Pilsener (Belgian) - [Light] Base malt of European Beers and US beers of all types Grain Mashed 2.00 lb Wheat (US) (Malted) Grain Mashed Quantity Hop Type Time 0.50 oz Hallertauer (Germany) - Noble aroma and flavor very floral, earthy with a little spice Pellet 35 minutes Quantity Misc Notes 0.01 unit Corriander Seed Spice Lemony citrus, spicy, orange flavor - Crush then add 10 minutes before flameout 0.01 unit Lemon Zest add 10 minutes before flameout 0.01 unit Orange Peel, Sweet Spice Sweey orange citrus - Add 10 minutes before flameout 1.00 unit Safbrew T-58 Dry Ale Yeast Yeast Temperature Range: 59°-75° F 11.5 GRAMS Recipe Notes Batch Notes Mash at 152-155 for 75 minutes. Boil for 40 minutes and add .5 oz of Hallertauer hops at 30 min add 1/8 oz of lemon zest, .25 oz orange zest, and 1/4 oz of cracked coriander at 10 min. Cool wort to 74F before pitching yeast T-58 ferment for 18 days and cold crash for 3 days then bottle
  23. Cato

    Mothership Witbier clone recipe

    Yeah, the unit thing in Qbrew came out a little weird but yes the amounts were in my notes. Lol, maybe I put them in the wrong section as yeast is usually referred to as a unit.
  24. Cato

    lagering is soooooo long

    I have a Magic Chef 4.4 cu.ft. that will hold two LBKs but it's about $150 from HD.
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