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About ar588

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    Brewmaster in Training

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  1. Yeah I went back on forth on mash temperature quite a bit. Ive done 4 AGs now and all have had completely different mashes. I need to do a handful of single infusions with similar recipes at various temps so I can get a handle on where my equipment shakes out at and can stop guessing. The original alcohol and FG from the recipe were based on 75% efficiency and 65% attenuation. I decided to drop it to 156 after reading a post (can't remember whose) where they mashed at 158 with an OG of 1059 and stalled at 1025 (with my OG that would be closer to 1030). Of course I know that there are a few variables in that particular anecdote and the beer gods having a sense of humor and I'll probably end up with the exact opposite problem. By my best predictions now (based on how much I think I undershot volume and 65-70% attenuation) I should end up in the 1018-23 range and ~7% ABV with the whiskey and a little top off water. Anyway, I don't want it to be too good the first time, otherwise I'll be too hesitant to tweak it (and what fun is that). As always I appreciate the feedback, I wouldn't have made beer nearly this good without this board.
  2. Finally brewed today, OG on kegs were 1070 and 1068 (temp corrected), respectively. I planned on beating the EG (1057 in this case) because of good efficiency, but I think I must have undershot my volume a little, because I can't imagine I broke 85%. Anyway I'm not too worried about it, as I wanted a higher FG to compensate for the addition of the whiskey in the secondary (and depending on where I shake out at I can always top off with some water). I actually did lower the temps a little from the original recipe, as I was a little anxious about the fermentability at 158. I went down to 156 and did a good job of hitting the temp this time (it was a much less complicated single infusion mash, as opposed to the cereal mash for my wit or the decoction for the hefe, so this helped considerably). It smelled awesome, especially after the addition of the cocoa and lactose, so I guess we'll just see how it goes.
  3. I could be wrong, but I think the only difference between quick and instant oats is the degree to which they are rolled. The more you roll them the quicker they cook (because they are thinner), but you also get a thinner texture. As long as there is no sugar added I think you could use the instant (especially since you are only steeping). That being said, brewing straight up your first go around (to get a good baseline) is a good practice.
  4. Hmmm...Im fixing to brew a stout soon and was going to mash higher as well (158F because I'm adding Jameson's to the secondary and I don't want to thin it out too much). My EG is 1057 (will probably beat it by atleast a few point) and was aiming at 65% attenuation to leave me at 1019-1020. Was your OG 1059? If you actually couldn't beat 57% attenuation mashing at 158 I may back off by a degree or two.
  5. +1 on buzzing being a subjective metric. Back in my undergrad days I could have 5 or 6 without having a hint of a buzz (not so much now). Likewise I put my OG readings back in and drink my FG readings. I think I can attest to MB products indeed resulting in alcohol (in varying amounts).
  6. your allowed to have up to 0.5% ABV by law and still be classified non-alcoholic.
  7. I believe that commercial non-alcoholic beers use a vaccuum process to remove the alcohol. Some quick reading of homemethods led me to several possibilities, but these are the only two that I would try (I suggest reading yourself). 1) Do you brew as normal, but only with bittering hops. Normal fermentation and then cold crash (to get rid of as much of the yeast as possible). Transfer back to kettle and boil for half hour, adding your aroma and flavor additions. Then cool and either add yeast and priming sugar for bottle carbing or keg. 2) Do everything as normal through fermentation, but then cold crash and transfer to kettle. Let it sit in the oven for 30 min at approx 180F. The boiling point of ethanol is ~170, so the ethanol should vaporize without you changing your hop profile much (beta acids are pretty volatile, so I don't know that this is true, but its what I read). Then cool and either add yeast and priming sugar for bottle carbing or keg.
  8. I only ever checked my extraction once on steeping (the first time), and I got 12 ppg on crystal 10 (palmer says the most to expect for this grain is 14). Like I said I only cracked it. If you have access to a mill I would say go for it. But if you don't and have to do it by hand, there is no way you are going to get a reasonable crush on it let only a fine one.
  9. They need to be cracked, but not crushed quite as finely as grain for mashing. Just need to give some accessibility of the liquid to the inside of the husk. The first time I did this I did not get it crushed, and had to do it by hand (a 22 oz bottle and a ceramic bowl, kind of like a mortar and pestle). It was a pain in the butt, but it worked.
  10. He could try something with mashing. Doing little mini-mashes on the stove using iodine tests to check conversion times versus temperature. Check degree of fermentability. Play with different grains. Ferment some wort and then boil off the alcohol for sampling purposes (or make some malta goya, which is basically unfermented beer). Lots of different things to do.
  11. Brew in a bag, its a method of mashing where all of your grain goes in a mesh, so that seperating the grain from the liqour afterward is easier.
  12. clearly I was kidding, I use BIAB myself to good results (I'm sure it was invented for the same reason I use it, pure laziness).
  13. First BIAB and now they don't even bother cooling their wort, these aussies just have no respect for convention...
  14. Ive been doing this lately for 2 reasons: 1) Ive been doing AG BIAB and there is a lot more sediment. 2) Ive been trying to bulk condition the beers in the secondary (especially the big guys), as this is preported to speed up the conditioning process. Ive got one batch of barley wine that was bottled straight from the primary after 3 weeks, and another which has been in the secondary for about 8 now, so we shall soon see whether this is the case.
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