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Everything posted by drgnfli00

  1. Don’t know if you found the answer or not, however Midwest uses the powdered PB in a kit they sell. They use it in the secondary. It’s called Chocolate Covered Beavr Nuts. Some creative searching will find the recipe. It uses 2x 6.5oz jars or powdered PB in the secondary for one week for a stout based recipe. Good luck...
  2. Nash 1444 wrote: Hello, Thanks. With frozen fruit, doesen't it have to be sanitized first, or not? Or just buy a bag of frozen fruit and add it to the fermentor? Thanks for your help. There are varying schools of thought regarding what needs to be done to the fruit prior to use. I can tell you from my blueberry beer batch that I survived and more importantly my beer survived when I racked it directly onto frozen blueberries. When you have a healthy batch of beer going, the alcohol that is present will act to inhibit any nasties from taking over from the fruit. I chose this method because I wanted the freshest tasting flavor from the berries. Others feel more comfortable cooking the berries a bit to sanitize them then adding that to the secondary. Cooking however will create more pectin to be released which will create more haze, and it will also change the flavor of the berries to a cooked flavor. Just think of what a fresh blueberry tastes like compared to one that has been cooked. Granted cooked fruit still tastes great, it just tastes different than its fresh uncooked counterpart. There are about as many different ways of brewing beer as there are religions. Pick the one that you feel comfortable with and don’t be afraid to try new methods as that is the only way to learn what works best for you.
  3. Yes Do It...just do it differently 1.) Rack onto fruit that has been frozen. Keeping the fruit whole, but freezing it breaks down the walls without having to mash it into a pulp. 2.) When using fruits you may want to use a fining. Super Kleer works great for getting all of the fruit pulp to settle. I would think if you puree that it would be almost mandatory to use a fining. One thing of note. Blueberries will give a very subtle flavor to the beer. It is a very delicate flavor to begin with so it doesn’t translate directly into the finished product. This can be the case for many fruits used in beers. With the blueberry beer I made it actually added a bit of a tannic bite to the beer in addition to adding a very light berry flavor. The tannin was more than likely coming from the skins similar to how red wine gets its tannic bite from the skins. I liked it as it gave the beer a nice dry finish, however it may not be for everyone. Be careful with fruit extracts. They are powerful, easy to over do, and many people think they make the beer taste like cough syrup. Do your homework as it appears there are varying quality levels when it comes to fruit extracts.
  4. Do a search on smack pack not swelling or my fermentation hasn’t started and you will find pages and pages of people asking the same question. Ultimately, most of the time the worry was for nothing. Packs that don’t swell up all the way still ferment fine, and people perving fermentation often find that sometimes it takes longer than a few hours to get an active fermentation going. Some times 48+ hours. Bottom line is many brewers worry way too much. As a new brewer I still share in that experience. Just check MrMalty to ensure you are pitching the correct amount of yeast. I don’t know if you said what your target OG was, but if it is going to be high as might be interpreted from your choice of yeast, you may want to pitch your other yeast pack in addition to your starter. http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html
  5. You really can’t shake that thing enough. If you are letting the starter sit for 10 hours you are not keeping the yeast in suspension and they won’t do much sitting on the bottom of the mason jar plus they are going to get starved for O2 which causes more stress on the yeast. You are going to get better results and better cell health with a stir plate as I am sure you are already aware. Also as far as the swelling, I have had a smack pack not swell all the way, I pitched directly, and the only problem I had was massive blow off from the yeast party in my bucket. I believe it says right on the package that it may not inflate fully.
  6. A good portion of the hop mater should have been left behind in the coldbreak. So I don’t see the little that remains contributing to settling sugar. But Ill be honest I don’t claim to know the how much sugar is absorbed by hops or its ability to cling to sugar. Honestly relax...I am sure your beer will be fine.
  7. I also need to clarify a bit to my prior post. The Whirlfloc tablet is not causing the sugar to somehow not mix correctly. As was stated before, the Whirlfloc works on proteins, not sugars. Some of my first batches of extract partial boil recipes had way higher OG's than what I was supposed to get. Do a google search on high OG after top off and you will see I am not the only one. I expect this is complicated by the fact that I use O2 to aerate my wort rather than shaking it which caused the sugar to settle. I hindsight I noticed that I took samples with my beer thief fairly low in the fermenter bucket which is where the sugar would settle. And presto you get a higher OG than specified. I could mix the wort better after top off, but as I posted above I just measure my wort after getting rid of the coldbreak and figure how much water I need to add to get to OG and I don’t worry about post top off OG. The yeast once it wakes up does a fine job of mixing up all of that sugar.
  8. Well...I believe he is wondering why he is 30pts higher than what beersmith tells him it should be. For the record I still stand by my original assertion...that the wort was not mixed well with the top off water which could have caused a higher reading if he grabbed a pocket of wort that wasn’t properly diluted. As far as steeping grains. Yes it adds both fermentable and unfermentable sugars and in reality they do add quite a bit. The problem is that most people use small amounts of steeping grains in proportion to the extract/mashed grain bill which is why I said steeping grains will not add much to the OG. So again I feel that a typical steeping grain quantity regardless of how much water was used to steep in them will not make much of a difference to the OG and I don’t see how it could add 30pts.
  9. How much steeping grain did you use? If you have beersmith/qbrew it will tell you how much it will add to OG. As I said before it will add some, however unless you are using a few lbs of steeping grains for an LBK batch I don’t see how you could get 30pts extra from just the steeping grains. A good link that describes what is going on with steeping grains... http://beersmith.com/blog/2009/03/22/steeping-grains-for-extract-beer-brewing/
  10. Steeping grains don’t add much fermentable sugars so regardless of water amount your steeping grains are not going to change your OG much, and certainly not 30pts.
  11. In reply to lylecox.... True...just as it is true that some bacteria are smaller. Mycoplasma = .1 microns. Although it looks like mycoplasmas like to live in us more than wort or beer. It seems they are also responsible for many infected lab experiments due in part to their small size and difficulty keeping them out of the lab. I’m sure the stone permeability was not designed around filtering out bacteria although it is certainly a nifty bonus. If someone asks me which stone is better I will say the .5 micron simply because it does the best job of getting the O2 into your wort not because it will prevent bacteria from getting into your wort more so than the 2 micron.
  12. I’ll be honest I usually don’t do gravity reading after top off if I am doing partial boils anymore. I just measure my boil gravity prior to flame out to make sure I am at least at or above what I need for my OG in case I need to add more DME if I get crappy efficiency. After the wort has cooled and in the fermenter prior to topping off I will take one more reading. This way I can accurately gauge the wort volume without the coldbreak. I then calculate with beersmiths dilution tool how much water to add to get my recipe OG and call it a day.
  13. Are you topping off with water after your boil? I have noticed that it takes a long time to get the sugars integrated with the added water and will get wacky gravity readings until it integrates together.
  14. Don’t try it!!! Why not??? Come on...where is the adventurous spirit? For a test run get your favorite IPA and add some Midori to it. Find out if the combination is to your liking. If you like it by all means go for it! I will say a wheat/wit might be a better option only because the melon flavor is so slight it might get buried with whatever hops you use. Plus it’s going to be tougher to clear with fruit (unless you use a finning like super kleer) and a wheat by default will be cloudy anyway. Personally I don’t give a rip about clarity and I don’t chase clarity rather I just want my beer to taste good. The only question is how to get the cantaloupe into your beer? Add it to the mash like the pumpkin recipes do or add it to the secondary after primary fermentation is done? I’ve done blueberry wheat and added frozen blueberries right to the secondary and racked on top of them. As with many fruits beers the flavor was very subtle which I would imagine would be the same issue with the melon. Worst case scenario you make a fruit beer that doesn’t have much fruit flavor and comes out closer to your base style. I have a sneaking suspicion that the pro breweries use an extract. As I am sure some will attest to, extracts can be very hit or miss as far as how authentic they taste. Good luck!!!
  15. Once you go commando you won’t go back. It’s very liberating.
  16. "mashani" post=280748 said:I've been eyeing these things, but I think I'd get a .5 micron stone. 3 micron filter, 2 micron stone, those things just make my biologist brain think "buggers in my beer!". It would also likely make my O2 last longer since it wouldn't be able to just blow a ton of O2 through it in a second. Even .5 isn't really small enough, but I think anything smaller would be difficult to deal with. Yup bacteria can be smaller than .5 microns. However I will still sleep soundly knowing that my 2 micron stone will not kill me and the .5 micron stone is not doing much more to protect from bacterial infection. Besides the whole world is full of bugs, some of them are mighty nice to us as well. None of us brews in a 100% sterile environment. With common sense and standard procedures to minimize contamination anyone can brew beer. Honestly every time I try a new bottle of something I made I am amazed that yes...even I can make beer.
  17. What is more expensive the HEPA filter or the stone? The stone will actually filter out at 2 microns while most home use HEPA's are set to filter out 3 microns and larger. While the O2 in the canisters is not food grade, your stone will filter out exactly what the HEPA filter will filter out which will only be particulates that are 3 microns or larger. If there are any other gases (which is what might actually make it non food grade) you are not filtering that out. Plus a pure O2 environment is pretty harsh for just about any living organism so you don’t have to worry about filtering out any live organisms. The only use for the HEPA would be to keep the stone alive longer, at least that I can see, and that is only if the canisters have a bunch of dust in them which I don’t believe they do. I could be wrong. You do see the HEPA filters used when you use the aquarium pumps for more obvious reasons. I have used mine (a 2 micron) for three batches without a HEPA filter and haven’t had any problems. +1 for the Star-San soak with a few surges of O2 while in the star-san to keep to stone cleared. Also keep the O2 flowing before, during, and after removing and placing the stone back in the star san when oxygenating your wort. Seems to me at least, that if you don’t let the wort sit on the stone, it has less chance to get itself too far into the stone to clog it. I have heard however diligent that you may be keeping the stone clean, you sometimes do have to boil them to clear them if they clog. You may want to find a better way to allow yourself that option if it should come up.
  18. I applaud your fortitude. I unfortunately subscribe to the life is too short to drink bad beer philosophy. I’ve been lucky to only have one bad batch so far (a Mr Beer Cider Mix - I am a cider snob and it was horrific). A bad batch just means that it’s time to make a new one and in the meantime run to the liquor store for some tasty emergency beers.
  19. What wont they add hops to and call it an IPA? We have black, red and white variants to the original style so far. When they turn the beer green next year during St. Pats day im going to dry hop right in the glass and call it a Green IPA.
  20. Thanks for the info. I do use whirfloc or irish moss, and I do whirlpool with an immersion chiller. Our water is pretty cold even in the summer and I can get a 5 gal batch to pitching temp in under 30 min. Although I usually only swirl once so I will try to swirl a few more times. I also usually just dump (minus the trub) the cooled wort rather than siphoning it, and I can definitely see how dumping vs syphoning would make a diff. My theory is that I am using a Corona mill and I am getting a lot more flour with my crush than with a barley crusher. With BIAB a fine crush isn’t really a problem, although I think it complicates getting a good cold break. It does eventually clear though, although at times I have to transfer to a secondary to get everything to settle out. Thanks for the tips, I will try to swirl more and siphon with my next BIAB.
  21. I know you didn’t say what your OG is going to be or even your batch size, however if this is truly a big beer even at the LBK batch size I would worry that you are underpitching. I would consider continuing to step up your starter to get the cell count up (although without a stir plate that is a bit tougher to do) or consider adding additional yeast. http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html - Will help to determine what you need depending on your OG and batch size.
  22. "ulster" post=279362 said: "Gymrat" post=279131 said:KZ $17.95 is over price for 22 3.5% (at best) beers. Especially when you can buy extract kits that make 50 beers at 5% to 6% for only $7 more at any home brew site. This really puts it into perspective. For some reason paying $35 to $45 for a kit from NB would make me second guess the purchase. When I look at $45 kits from Mr. Beer for things that I could get double the amount of for the same price its a no brainer. My biggest lure of Mr. Beer is that I wouldn't have 50 bottles of the same recipe. I do like variety and it would take a long time to go through 50 bottles compared to 16 (1.5 liter) or 25 (12 ounce) bottles. I would rather give 25 bottles away to friends for the same cost though. Its value based purchasing I guess. The quality may be great but the value isn't so hot. The best thing about NB is they post the entire recipe and instructions online. You can scale any of their recipes down to an LBK size. And NB has 5gal kits that start at around $20 that are damn good (ive brewed the Irish Red and Cream Ale and both were great beers). Cost wise...its a no brainer.
  23. Been using bottling buckets to ferment in since I graduated to the ale pails. Although some of my BIAB's don’t settle all that well during the wort chill so I end up getting a pretty healthy dose of trub in the bucket. If that happens I transfer to glass carboy secondary to clear and then I have to use my auto syphon. But for all of my extract brew bottling buckets to ferment in are the way to go.
  24. When dry yeast only costs $3-$4 you just pitch an extra pack. It’s not that it is a bad thing to do a starter with dry, it’s just that it isn’t necessary. You do starters with liquid yeast because the cell counts are much lower than dry yeast and most people don’t want to pay $12-13 bucks to double pitch a Wyeast slap pack or White Lab vial. When you add the DME needed to feed the yeast it’s not much of a savings over just pitching two packs. Hydrate two packs per manufactures instructions and ditch the starter route with dry yeast.
  25. I made a blueberry beer by racking onto frozen blueberries in a secondary for about a week. I noticed a ton of pulp floating and as I didn’t have room in the fridge for a 3 gal glass carboy I bought some finings (super kleer KC finings). Added it a few days before bottling and it worked great. Beer came out nice and clear, tastes great, and I had no problems with the beer carbing.
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