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RickBeer

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RickBeer last won the day on January 29

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About RickBeer

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    Brewing Guru

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    Male
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    Ann Arbor, Michigan (GO BLUE!)
  • Interests
    Brewing 5 gallon extract recipes, skiing, my family, U of Michigan.

    I enjoy answering questions on forums and paying it forward. Please ask on the forum - not in PMs.

    Also, I don't accept Friend requests, they really serve no purpose on the forum. If you participate on the forum, consider yourself a friend :).

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  1. As we approach retirement this summer, and I think about my future home brewing setup, there are a lot of options. We plan on relocating to a warmer climate, and therefore there are big unknowns as to what type of setup I can fit. Currently I do BIAB on our stovetop natural gas stove, and can only do 2.75 gallon batches due to the ability to reach a boil. In retirement, I'll probably want to do 5 gallon batches. Where we're looking at retiring to it's very likely that we'll have propane - for heating, possibly for cooking. Natural gas is rare there. And of course I can go electric. We're very focused on our impact on the environment, as well as ensuring that I understand the cost of any option, including energy (I don't today, no idea how much natural gas I use in the brewing process). Where we're moving to the electricity is created by water power (dam) and nuclear, so it's very "clean energy". Also happens to be cheaper than here in Michigan where it's natural gas-created electricity. Wondering if anyone that has used an electric system has hooked up a Kilowatt or other measuring device to know how many kWh they are using during brewing? Or, anyone with a propane burner that has somewhat accurately determined the amount of propane they are using? I'll likely have a large propane tank for the house that I can utilize. Thanks for any input. I'll also be moving from well water to city water, so I'll a) need to get it analyzed and b) no longer have "free" water. I plan on utilizing lake water for cooling via my wort chiller if possible. All sprinkler systems are powered by lake water, figure it will be easy to setup a spigot for this.
  2. Great advice. The proper way to pour a beer is 1/2 down the side, then the remaining 1/2 down the center, to create the head. Of course for some beers they are too carbed to accomplish the 2nd half of that. Hefeweizen is intended to be more highly carbonated than other beers. But you used the same carb drops, so... Be careful on the opening and letting the bottle sit. I've had brews where if I let it sit more than 10 - 20 seconds, the bottle contents start rising up and the bottle overflows.
  3. What do you mean by "1 carbonation tablet"? Specific brand, and amount of grams in a tablet? What temperature did you ferment at? What temperature did you store the bottles at before putting in the frig for a week?
  4. I never looked into this, beyond looking at the hops and saying "wow". I dump my spent grain in the woods instead of the trash, and since I started using a hop spider I have been dumping the hops in the same bucket. My wife has been salvaging spent grain and making cookies for her and I, so when I brewed this week I emptied the hop spider into a cereal bowl. For fun, I then weighed it. Question - how much does 1.5 oz of hops grow to after brewing?
  5. If you read the cold crashing thread, that question is answered right at #1. 1) When your beer is ready to bottle (determined by waiting 3 weeks and or testing with a hydrometer and getting matching readings 48 hours apart), pick up the LBK.
  6. No. If you use an EXCESSIVE amount of yeast in a batch (that's not excessive), you run the risk that the yeast get lazy and don't do their job. Use it all, don't worry about it.
  7. Yes. The whole packet is designed for a 5 gallon batch. The amount of yeast in that packet is roughly 4x the amount in a Mr. Beer yeast packet. Therefore, you could easily use 1/2 of it and save the rest for another batch. PROBLEM - how to keep the yeast from being contaminated and ruining the next batch. So use the entire packet. 😀
  8. Welcome Darren. You'll want to leave the hop sack in the fermenter the entire time. One option, when you bottle, is to use a pair of sanitized tongs to quickly remove the hop sack, and then put the lid back on. A better option is to cold crash, after ensuring the hop sack is at the back of the LBK. See my post regarding cold crashing. Also, for best results, follow the 3-4 rule. 3 weeks in the fermenter, 4 weeks in bottles. When fermenting, ideally you don't want the beer to get warmer than the high 60s, mid 60s is better. After bottling, keep the bottles at 70 or low to mid 70s for 4 weeks, then refrigerate for at least 3 days before drinking. Again, read some of the posts listed in my signature.
  9. That is clearly more than Buckeyeitis. Yes, it's likely from using unpasteurized fruit. You can bottole it, and not pull any of that in, and take the steps you suggested. The worst you can is a bad tasting beer, which you won't drink. Or, you can toss it. In cleaning the LBK, I would follow these guidelines AFTER washing it. http://howtobrew.com/book/section-1/brewing-preperations/sanitation/sanitizing-your-equipment First, when you're done dumping or bottling, dump the rest out. Rinse with water repeatedly (not real hot water, water your hands can take). Then, use a wash cloth and some unscented dish soap and cover every surface. Rinse well repeatedly. Then, follow the sanitizing guidelines. For the spigot, make sure to put some of the cleaning water, and rinse water, through it. Then, after sanitizing the LBK and running some of the solution through the spigot, rinse everything and disassemble the spigot (not just into spigot, washer, and nut, but separate the two pieces of the spigot). Gently use a skinny bottle brush and gentle scrub inside with unscented dish soap, then rinse. I would have no problem using a bottling wand. After use, flush it, then disassemble and wash every piece. For your next batch, maybe a local Wolverine can supervise... BOOM!
  10. You should keep the bottles in 70 or higher temps for 4 weeks, not 2, to properly carbonate. If it tastes good, you may not have an infection. Opening the LBK doesn't introduce anything, CO2 pushes OUT, not in. Why would you throw out an LBK? Or why soak in bleach? Why not use the bottling wand? Why soak glass bottles in bleach? So many questions. Of course, it could be that it has Buckeye-itis, which is when a pizza delivery driver attempts to brew beer... HA!
  11. RickBeer

    Older grain

    It's fine. In fact, milled grain would also be fine if it was kept airtight and in a cool environment (most say 3 months at least). Unmilled grain will store for a year in sealed containers.
  12. http://brulosophy.com/2015/06/01/safale-us-05-vs-danstar-bry-97-exbeeriment-results/
  13. Sugar is sugar. Honey, brown sugar, white sugar. The more sugar you added, the drier the beer.
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