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About Duff

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    Brewmaster in Training
  1. I did a batch of the old Velvet Velociraptor using fresh raspberries a couple of years ago. At a younger age it had a bit of a tang to it. After a few months it seemed to get sweeter and the tang went away. Aging might help.
  2. From my understanding the fusel alcohols are mostly a concern from the early part of the fermenting process with the first 48 hours being the biggest key. If the temperature climbs too high in the last little bit of fermentation or the time frame when the yeasts are cleaning up it isn't a big deal. Some people will even bring their temperatures up pretty high at the end to try and help get more sugars converted.
  3. "8teen" post=384873 said: "FedoraDave" post=384872 said:If you can't control the temperature during fermentation, it's best to stick with ales. So temp is not as much as an issue with Ales? Mostly Pils. Pils seem more complicated altogether to brew.....but are not to complex when it comes to flavor to me. Cool, I think I will switch to an ale for the next batch. Not much of an IPA person lately, but will look at some others for next up. Ales Suggestions? Some ales are best brewed in the mid 60s others at 90+. If it's the hops you want to stay away from you can always try a porter or stout. There are a lot of different types of ales so it's hard to really make a suggestion. Maybe post some beers you like to drink and then people could give you ideas for similar styles to that.
  4. Basically as everybody else said use the whole thing. If you want ot be really accurate about how much yeast you need for your batch you can use Mr. Malty's Pitching Calculator. Put in the batch size and the expected OG and select lager or ale and it will let you know how much yeast you should pitch.
  5. I would guess B is more likely the cause but sometimes heat from the rapid fermentation of simple sugars can stress out the yeast. Also some yeasts do have a sulfur smell. If you are degassing the wine the sulfur smell shouldn't be a huge issue. I have had plenty of mead and cider batches that had a strong sulfur smell to them that tasted fine. I think it was the people on gotmead that would refer to the smell as rhino farts. But if you want to add nutrients pretty much all the homebrew stores do carry yeast nutrients.
  6. "russki" post=379524 said:I've made a few meads, and as others have said - get ready to wait! Sweet meads are generally drinkable much sooner than dry meads, as sweetness covers up some of the "jet fuel" taste. Using a lower alcohol tolerant yeast will help too, but still count on at least a year until it tastes good. I personally would not spend the money on mead "kits" - instead, get some good quality local honey (or even the 5-pound jugs of clover honey from Costco or Sam's Club if short on funds), some yeast nutrient from the LHBS, and wine/mead yeast. For sweet mead, aim for around 3-3.5 pounds of honey per gallon of water. I've had pretty good results with Cote Des Blancs, D-47, and WY Sweet Mead yeasts. I don't like to add sulfates to my meads to stabilize, so I ferment to the yeast's alcohol tolerance (13-14%/abv). That's some good advice right there. I was able to find some locally sourced honey at the farmers market and the guy would sell in massive quantities if I wanted. If you don't want to make 5 gallon batches the 1 gallon equipment kit looks like a decent price. And as to the time frame I have had varied results. I have had stuff ready in about 6 months and I had one batch that got really good around 3 years and the bottle I had at 3.5 years was still really good.
  7. Hopefully this isn't too late. 1/2 gallon of water should be fine. A lot of people try not to go over 1 gallon per lb of grain steeped. The recipe looks like it calls for .5 oz of Fuggles at flameout and .5 oz of Fuggles at one week. I may be misreading that and it is just .5 oz at one week though.
  8. All I can say is the infected batches I have had the pleasure of sampling that were not purposefully soured made my want to hurl :sick: .
  9. "russki" post=377950 said:You really don't want to boil juice. Doing so will set the pectins and create a permanent haze in your cider. Irish Moss will not do anything to it. What you want is pectic enzyme - it breaks down haze-causing pectins and helps to get a clear cider. I personally never boil (or even heat) juice for ciders or honey for meads, nor do I use any finings, and get crystal clear cider; you just gotta give it time. Despite my really iffy luck with ciders the ones I did not heat turned out way better than the ones I did heat. And it certainly creates a huge improvement in mead if you don't boil. Although I do warm the honey and the water a bit to make it pour and mix easier.
  10. Duff


    First like the others have said chasing ABV is a good way to have less than ideal beers. Basically to increase the ABV you need to increase the sugars. LME/DME is your best option for doing so. But you have to be careful as you increase the malt in the beer you will have more residual sugars so the beer will seem sweeter. Which may then need to be countered with the addition of hops. If you want to start getting into bigger beers I would recommend starting with recipes that other people have created. Take a look at them and see what they have done and try to figure out why they did it. You can then start messing with your own recipes. If you want sour beers I am not the best to answer the question but the people I know that make sour beers only use glass. The bacteria and wild yeasts that are used in sour beers can hang around in plastic containers and affect later batches. Some people say it's OK if you mark the equipment as your sour equipment and only use it for sours. Others like to have a lot more control of the blend of souring compounds so they use glass and add their own infectious agents.
  11. As others have said the scratches are fine and if you are really worried about it you can polish them out. But instead of scratching at your pot did you try soaking it? One time I used a pan that was different than the normal one I use and it turned out to be a major PITA. The aluminum was just way too thin. Some LME burned on and stuck. In the pattern of the burner element. An overnight soak in warm water with OxyClean worked wonders to get it out. If you did try soaking I don't really have anything else to add.
  12. How many times have you used the bottles? I only did a few batches in PET bottles but the non-Mr. Beer PET bottles I purchased warped on the 3rd time I used them. It is part of what drove me to go with glass.
  13. I haven't been able to see it in action but somebody I know purchased one of those big awnings you would use for a party from a garage sale. Instead of using the tarp to cover it he bought a couple of rolls of window screen material and just drapes them over the area he cooks in. He says a couple of bugs still find their way in but it stops most of the stuff like the leaves and twigs.
  14. When it comes to yeast Mr. Malty is your friend. That is a link to his pitching calculator. Put in the type of yeast, volume of the batch, and estimated OG and it will spit out the amount of yeast suggested for the batch.
  15. Well the current trend really is that secondaries are unnecessary. I almost never do them unless their is something specific calling for them such as adding fruit to the secondary or dry hopping in secondary. Even then I am likely to just add it to the primary after vigorous fermentation stops. One of the big benefits of using a secondary is getting more yeast and other sediment to drop out. If you were to secondary in the bottle it would still be in the beer. As others have said I prefer to just batch prime and not do a secondary.
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