MiniYoda

The not-so-famous CAL experiment

67 posts in this topic

Getting everything ready (more mentally) for tomorrow's brew session.  I say more "mentally" because I've never made 4 LBK's in one day.  Lots of washing in between each round (want no transfer of flavor from one batch to another).  What scares me even more than brewing 4 LBKs tomorrow is the bottling on Friday 19th (20 days of fermenting).  I might just take that day off work, because washing/sanitizing/filling 88-92 bottles will be an all-day experience.  I always prep 22-23 bottles per batch.  Perhaps too many, but I'd rather have them and not need them, than need them and not have them.  Yes, I could delay bottling to the following Saturday, and have a full 21 days of fermenting, but hey.........if I do it Friday, I get a day off work!

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2 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

Getting everything ready (more mentally) for tomorrow's brew session.  I say more "mentally" because I've never made 4 LBK's in one day.  Lots of washing in between each round (want no transfer of flavor from one batch to another).  What scares me even more than brewing 4 LBKs tomorrow is the bottling on Friday 19th (20 days of fermenting).  I might just take that day off work, because washing/sanitizing/filling 88-92 bottles will be an all-day experience.  I always prep 22-23 bottles per batch.  Perhaps too many, but I'd rather have them and not need them, than need them and not have them.  Yes, I could delay bottling to the following Saturday, and have a full 21 days of fermenting, but hey.........if I do it Friday, I get a day off work!

 

This may have been brought up as an idea for your bottle washing pain, but if the labels on the bottles have already been taken off, I just throw them in my dishwasher to sanitize them (I don't add any cleaner, just the normal cycle).  I've had NO issues whatsoever doing it that way.  I can fit easily 48 bottles if not more at a time.  Just a thought to save you some time from having to wash EACH....INDIVIDUAL....BOTTLE....

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All bottles are label free.  As soon as I drink a commercial bottle, I rinse it out completely, take the label off, and hang it on a bottling tree.  I'm hesitant right now to use dish washer to either wash or sanitize the bottles. Someone on here suggested a tool to spray sanitizer in the bottle, which I'm considering.

 

Edit

found the link

 

https://www.amazon.com/Sulfiter-Midwest-Homebrewing-Winemaking-Supplies/dp/B013S1RZLY

 

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19 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

All bottles are label free.  As soon as I drink a commercial bottle, I rinse it out completely, take the label off, and hang it on a bottling tree.  I'm hesitant right now to use dish washer to either wash or sanitize the bottles. Someone on here suggested a tool to spray sanitizer in the bottle, which I'm considering.

 

Edit

found the link

 

https://www.amazon.com/Sulfiter-Midwest-Homebrewing-Winemaking-Supplies/dp/B013S1RZLY

 

 

Suit yourself.  I've been doing it for a long time and haven't had any issues doing it that way.  At least on my dishwasher there's a light that says "Sanitize" during the cycle, but most dishwasher's get hot enough to kill any bacteria or residual beer left in the bottle. Just my 2 cents.

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The more I think about your idea of sanitizing in the dishwasher, the more.........I'm thinking about the idea.

 

Wash all the bottles by hand (routine shake, 10 minute wait, routine shake), rinse out completely, then put them all in the dish washer and do another rinse (no soap) and sanitize cycle.  Could save me some time.................

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Yeah, do what you feel you need to do.  I'm just saying I've saved myself LOADS of time by just putting the bottles in the dishwasher.  I do a quick rinse before I put them in there, but that's it. 

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The decision has been made.  Since there are no negative comments, I will proceed to use your suggestion for tonight and all future bottlings.  Obviously, only for sanitizing glass, and not washing or anything involving PET.  I'll use that tonight, as I have two kegs to empty out

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Again, thanks for the suggestion.  48 bottles in the dish washer after wash, wait, wash and rinse.  Sadly, the dish washer that my land lord installed only allows "sanitize" if you run a full cycle.  Tired to do sanitize with 1 hour wash, but no dice.  So, I'm stuck for a couple of hours or so while the dish washer does a full cycle to get the sanitize.  No biggie.  There's movies on my friend's Plex server to watch.

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Brew day.  4 kegs of beer.  No big deal, not like I have a life anyways.

 

edit

 

Done.  Yes, 5 hours later, but I just got back from eating out, and I took my time doing the brewing. Still I almost mucked up...twice.  I took a reading on the robust, and it came out WAY too high.  Turns out, I didn't fill it up to the keg's level 2.  Once I did, the number came in correctly.  Also, on the Smooth batch I grabbed a jug to fill it up to level 2, and it was the sanitizer water for the next LBK.  I calmly put it down, and grabbed the correct bottle of spring water, and filled it with the correct fluid.  Again, ALMOST mucked up, but I think all went well.

 

I did take OG readings, and I will take FG readings, but I won't publish the results.  Multiple reasons, First, I'm not going for alcohol, or as I call it, "chasing rainbows".  Also, I'm using Safale 05 instead of regular dry yeast, which might (or might not) make it different than the regular yeast.  Finally, there might be an expected final ABV, and if I publish that a batch didn't make it as expected, then I could worry that something didn't go right.  Did I not clean the can of HME enough?  Did I not read the fractometer correctly?  Honestly, alcohol isn't the goal, flavor is.  I should be very close between the four, and within expected results.

 

The brew house (aka upstairs apartment) is a nice chilly 65 degrees for the weekend.  Doubt I can sustain that...might make this experiment overly priced due to the electric bill.  But for the first 48-72 hours, the air temp will be 65, and the wort temp will be very closely monitored to try to keep it at 65.  After that, I will slowly bring the air and the wort to 68,,,,,,,slowly

 

Now, I'm going to take an afternoon nap.  chat with y'alls later

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7 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

Also, on the Smooth batch I grabbed a jug to fill it up to level 2, and it was the sanitizer water for the next LBK.  I calmly put it down, and grabbed the correct bottle of spring water, and filled it with the correct fluid.  Again, ALMOST mucked up, but I think all went well.

 

To say you would not be the first person to do that would be a big lie.  I haven't, but others have posted that.

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On ‎4‎/‎28‎/‎2017 at 7:14 PM, MiniYoda said:

Again, thanks for the suggestion.  48 bottles in the dish washer after wash, wait, wash and rinse.  Sadly, the dish washer that my land lord installed only allows "sanitize" if you run a full cycle.  Tired to do sanitize with 1 hour wash, but no dice.  So, I'm stuck for a couple of hours or so while the dish washer does a full cycle to get the sanitize.  No biggie.  There's movies on my friend's Plex server to watch.

 

Yeah, that's the only down side, but I usually throw them in the dishwasher when I have to go do something else.  When I first started doing the dishwasher way I threw the bottles in right before I was going to bottle and had to wait until it finished.  I learned from that and thought I could just multi-task or plan ahead by throwing them in right away in the morning.

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Using the dishwasher to clean or sanitize your bottles is a bad idea.  Why?

 

1) It doesn't clean the insides adequately.  Nor does it rinse them adequately.  

 

2) It sprays rinse agent in the bottles (if you have it).  You don't want that.

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the bottles were completely washed on the inside with the standard Oxyclean stuff recommended on this site.  Then thoroughly rinsed out before they were put in the dish washer.  I ran a regular cycle on the dish washer *without* any detergent or rinsing agent, just straight water.

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That should be fine, unless the dish washer automatically dispenses rinsing agent as many do.

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1 hour ago, RickBeer said:

Using the dishwasher to clean or sanitize your bottles is a bad idea.  Why?

 

1) It doesn't clean the insides adequately.  Nor does it rinse them adequately.  

 

2) It sprays rinse agent in the bottles (if you have it).  You don't want that.

 

I disagree.  I've done this method and haven't had an issue yet.  I don't put any agents in there either.

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6 hours ago, Bach's Brews said:

 

I disagree.  I've done this method and haven't had an issue yet.  I don't put any agents in there either.

Sometimes the best thing to do is keep your methods to yourself. Or just post them past 7pm. By then the rick bear should be sleeping and youll get no grief. 

 

I wash bottles in the dishwasher also. However, it is simply a quick fix. If i just dont have time to wash them, i rinse them, dishwasher them then put them in a box marked "dirty" so i know not to use them without cleaning first. I just use the rinse cycle cuz im impatient and usually my wife is too with 20 beer bottles on the counter 

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Four kegs in the fridge, cold crashing;  I'm off work Friday, and plan the whole day bottling.

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11 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

Four kegs in the fridge, cold crashing;  I'm off work Friday, and plan the whole day bottling.

The first thing I'm curious about is did the four batches exhibit different behaviors? Was one more active than the others, something like that?

 

We always hear that all fermentations are different, so was that your experience here? I wouldn't think the different LMEs would cause different fermentations, but who knows?

 

Jim

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I didn't notice difference in behavior, but I didn't watch the kegs like a hawk.  I didn't expect any major difference in behavior based on just the difference of the LME.  If I had put more LME/DME/Grain in one vs another, then the behavior would have been different.

 

I monitored the temps from time to time, and there was some foaming, but none overflowed.  Temp was kept at 68 degrees plus/minus one degree.  I'll check the final gravity tomorrow when I bottle, but I don't foresee any major differences.  The OG on all four were within expected numbers and very close to each other (I don't have the exact numbers with me right now).

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Unlikely, and more unlikely that he knows because he'd have to be staring at them (not saying he wasn't...).

 

All he varied here was the LME pack that he added as you noted.  Therefore, every one had the same starting gravity, and they were all fermented together at the same temp with the same yeast.  So likely would be identical.

 

I also suspect that if he truly does a blind taste test (has to be truly blind because there will be color differences), he probably won't notice any difference due to the small amount of LME in each, although his brain knows the differences.  Having someone else taste them, again BLIND, might yield more insight into differences.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

Unlikely, and more unlikely that he knows because he'd have to be staring at them (not saying he wasn't...).

 

All he varied here was the LME pack that he added as you noted.  Therefore, every one had the same starting gravity, and they were all fermented together at the same temp with the same yeast.  So likely would be identical.

 

I also suspect that if he truly does a blind taste test (has to be truly blind because there will be color differences), he probably won't notice any difference due to the small amount of LME in each, although his brain knows the differences.  Having someone else taste them, again BLIND, might yield more insight into differences.

 

 

 

Nope...wasn't staring at them, and didn't have a camera monitoring them all the time either.  I do have a life  :D

The key to the experiment was that just the LME changed.  All had the same HME and yeast, and were in the same room temp.  They started out with OG's that were within .003 high to low, and the temp of the wart was within .5 degrees each time I checked, so that's about as close as I could get things.

 

Yes, I will know which is which.  I will use gold caps on each bottle, and use a sharpie to write the letter G, P, R, S.  No one (other than us) will know what the letter means.  Yes, there will be color differences, and the only way to keep this from being a factor in judging taste would be to drink from the bottle or put a blind fold on the taster.  Even using an opaque Solo cup won't help since you can see the color from the top. 

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Blindfold the tasters.  I am thinking there won't be much of a difference in the pale and smooth but the robust and golden should be noticable.

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BREAK TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!

 - This (early) morning I washed and rinsed 44 bottles
 - While they were sanitizing in the dish washer, I ran some errands and ate lunch, and drank some rather interesting beers.
 - Came home, and bottled Pale and Golden.  Each took 20 bottles plus one at the end.  I consider this the "trub bottle", even though there was almost no trub in the bottle.  Cold crashing helped.  Had 2 extra empty bottles.
 - Washed/rinsed another 40 bottles (the extra 2 were still in the dish washer not touched, and going through another sanitize cycle).
 - 42 total bottles are in the dish washer.  It'll take about 2 to 2.5 hours to run the wash/sanitize cycle on the dish washer.  BTW, no, there is NO detergent in the dish washer.  Strictly water then a hot sanitize cycle.
 - Probably around 2000hrs EDT tonight, I'll bottle Robust and Smooth.

 

     While I'm waiting, I took samples of Robust and Smooth and compared them to the Golden and Pale that are bottled. Three of them came in right on the money.  From Mr. Beer's site, I expected about 3.1% for the HME, about 1.0 for the LME and about another percent for the booster.  I'm not going to release the exact numbers, because honestly, this isn't about chasing rainbows.  It's about the flavor and how I can use the LMEs for future recipes.

     Based on the final numbers 3 out of 4 were very close to what was expected for ABV.  Not sure why, but Pale came out a few decimal points lower, and a bit cidery.  I'm not worried about Pale, because it was the first one that I bottled.  I had problems reading the refractometer, and the taste could have been hampered due to what I ate for lunch (don't ask).  After I bottled Pale, I thought.....should I recalibrate the refractometer?  Sure enough, using a few drops of plain water, the blue line was a hair off.  I made the adjustment, but by then the whole batch of Pale was bottled.

     These 80 bottles (20 per recipe) will be carbonating/conditioning at about 70 degrees until July 15.  I decided to give them 8 weeks just to make sure that all is as best as it can be.  Plus I'm hoping to get rid of any off-flavors of Pale, which I really don't think are there.  I might crack open one each on July 8, just to see how things are.

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