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About TacTicToe

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  1. So I came across this tidbit from David Heath, not sure if any of you have heard or seen this. Apparently researchers have concluded that aerating your wort prior to pitching your yeast is bad. Check out the video and let me know what you think of this. If you think about it, it makes sense. Starts around 1:50 if you don't want to see the whole video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JInakA5L864
  2. TacTicToe


    I am moving into kegging now as bottling is becoming a bit of a chore. My questions on kegging is how to age the beers. I know some of the higher gravity beers will still need to be aged out, or else you're just drinking a carbonated green beer. My question is, once I have added the beer to the keg from the fermenter, should I add the CO2 and then let it age, or let it age in the keg without the CO2 and then carb it when you're ready to use? My concern is adding the CO2 before aging it out could alter the pH enough that it might affect the flavor in a negative way. I want to keg and age a RIS and a Barleywine, but I don't want to tie up a keg for 6-12 months to have a beer that taste like crap in the end. Thanks.
  3. Odd. I had the exact opposite problem. My LSB and my Novacaine were both aged well over a year. LSB is about 13.5 month and Novacaine is about 16 months. They are just delicious, BUT I have to pour very slowly a 12 oz bottle into a tall 22oz pilsner cup and still have good 2+ inch head on them. And that head does not go away. There are bubbles right down to the last sip. My guess is the problem is with the bottles you used. The plastic Mr Beer bottles are great starter bottles, but don't really seem to be good for long term like oxygen barrier capped glass bottles. I have stopped using them for this reason. I made a Blue Moon clone that was just delicious! All my friends that like Blue Moon / Shock Top type beers loved them. They were about 6 weeks in the (Mr Beer) bottle at this time. I decided to cellar about 15 bottles for later in the year at Christmas (last year). It was a 5 gallon batch that I made at that time. When we went to get the beers in mid December, the first seemed pretty flat and seemed to be skunked. Didn't make any sense. At this point they had been in the bottle about 7 months or so. I started desperately going thru bottle after bottle, but it was all the same. Flat skunked beers. It truly broke my heart to pour all that beer down the sink. While it was not a high gravity beer, I think the long term storage killed them. Lesson learned. Now if I make a beer that I am going to be drinking that does not have to age out, like say an Amber Ale or Classic Light or something session-able, I will use the Mr Beer bottles for that. They are quick and easy drinking every day kind of beer. ANY beer I make that requires any kind of aging, I will put into a glass bottle and use the oxygen barrier cap. You spend a lot of money and time in making these beers, to see them go down the drain. Any good stout, porter, IPA, barleywine etc etc etc that needs time to age out, put it in a glass bottle. IMHO a good rule of thumb is ANY beer over say 1.080+ OG, put it in a glass bottle or you may regret it in the long run. The glass bottles and caps are WELL worth the investment. However for me, with the amount of beer I am now making, it is also a bit tedious. I am now looking at the kegging route. It is bad enough all the yeast starters I am making. Bottling day is becoming to much of a chore. This of course is all just my opinion and based on my own personal experience. I have only been brewing a couple of years and am not at guru status yet. PS: I used the Mr Beer carb drops for these beers as well. One for each 12 oz bottle. I do not like using cane sugar as it seems to alter the flavor slightly. Not sure why, or maybe it is in my head, but it almost seems to make my beers a bit cidery?! The Blue Moon was 5 oz of corn sugar in a batch prime.
  4. Making sure I have enough room that every thing fits. 23.5 lbs of grain is going to swell and take up a lot of room in my pot. I should have about 7.3 gallons but I do not think it would all fit without most of the water spilling out onto the ground. Since the grains are sealed in a plastic bag, I guess I could put 7.3 gallons in the pot and the grain while still in the bag to see what happens...
  5. Ok reading thru this thread and what I have read elsewhere, this is going to be my plan of attack. The grains were crushed and sealed in 2 separate bags at 23.5 lbs each. I have a 10 gallon SS brew pot. BIAB fits in perfectly. Hopefully this works...? Going to heat 4 gallons of water to 168 degrees, Drop in the 23.5 lbs of grain from first bag and mash for 60 mins. Sparge that with 175 degree water till I am back at 4 gallons. Heat that wort to 168 degrees. Drop in the second 23.5 lbs of grain and mash for another 60 mins. Sparge that with 175 degree water till I am back at 5 gallons. Heat that wort to rolling boil and continue with my 60 min boil and hop additions as normal. Yes? No? I think in the future I will just stick to extract with these big ass brews.
  6. So I am starting to get more into the all grain brews now. Have had tremendous successes with the extracts and partial mashes. Some of my friends and co-workers swear there is no way I am making these beers. I take that as a compliment. All the videos I watch comparing all grain to extract, seems all grain wins every time. So if the extracts are this good, I can not wait to try all grain. I have decided to go the BIAB method as it only requires cleaning one vessel versus three. I am looking to do 5 gallon batches for the most part. Bought a great 10 gallon SS pot with a built-in thermometer and drain port. Ordered what I needed to make a Fat Tire clone and another Arctic Devil clone. I am currently enjoying the second half of the Fat Tire clone I made. It was done from extract and IMO is spot on, just slightly higher ABV. Beer is delicious. My Arctic Devil's are only a couple months old, and still need 10 more months of aging. Also extract. I tried one a couple night ago, and WOW was it good. DEFINITELY a sipping beer. Not a lot of head, but the vids I have seen the original does not have it either. This is a English style barleywine that's around 15.5% ABV. And yeah, after a 12oz bottle you're done. Like seriously... At any rate, I am thinking I may have messed up. The problem is this. The product arrived today and I didn't realize the grain bill for the Arctic Devil. It is 47 lbs of grain! From what I am reading you need 1.25 qts of water per pound of grain. If that is the case, I am looking at 14.75 gal of strike water to mash in? Is there any way of pulling this off with a 10 gallon pot or do I need to get a 20 gallon pot just to make this 5 gallon brew?!! If so, this is kind of going to suck! Help!
  7. TacTicToe


    When I used coffee I did it by cold steeping it. You will want to start with a coffee that is finely ground. Most grocery stores these days, you can buy the beans and grind them there. Any coffee will do, even the cheaper stuff. Grind it finely, add it to some water, maybe a couple of cups and leave it in the fridge for 24 hours. Strain out the coffee grounds and you have a nice strong coffee concentrate. There is less caffeine using this method and it is less acidic. Works great for making beer and wont affect the head or lacing. Great for porters or stouts, hell anything actually.
  8. After I am finished with an LBK or conical with fermenting, I rinse them as best I can then fill them with water and add PBW. The PBW soak removes ALL caked on everything from every nook and cranny. It will be nice and clean for storage and the next use. So if your bag is caked you could add it to that PBW soak and youll see it is nice and clean. PBW is well worth the money for cleaning and maintaining your equipment. Also makes it REAL easy to soak and remove labels from commercial brews whose bottles you wish to re-use.
  9. Ummm that's cold crashing. I used to spend money on hops sacks BUT that's wasted money and just one more item to sanitize. I generally do my hops commando and then cold crash. Set my temp to 35° and crash for minimum 3 days. If I used more hops then I might go as high as 5 days. Cold crashing is key to clearing up your beer. Gelatins and Irish Moss help immensely as well. Patience is truly a virtue in this craft. My friends always go on and on about how they could not do what I do because they do not have the patience and self restraint. I schedule everything on the calendar in my phone. Things usually come out right on schedule. I am fortunate enough to be able to have the tools and room to do things. My fermenting is done in a 5cu deep freeze with a SS conical that has a thermos well. So the probe from my Johnson controller is in that thermos well monitoring my temps. When time to cold crash I set the controller to 35° and come back several days later to a 5 or 6 gallon batch that is crashed and clear. When I batch prime into a secondary is stays clear right to the very bottom. Its all about making time for each and every step. Do not rush things. If you have a step scheduled and then cant do it for whatever reason, wait till you can do it and do it properly. For example, one evening I had scheduled to bottle my crashed brew. Daughter had to have us watch our granddaughter over night. I know hove my granddaughter is and wants my attention that I do not mind providing. No way I could have bottled without rushing and possibly messing things up. SO just waited till the next night and did it then. Create a schedule and stick to it. Don't rush things. Allow enough time for a proper cold crashing ahead of bottling and you will be MUCH happier with your end product. I have only been doing this a little over a year. I have done a GREAT deal of Googling and watching YouTube videos and asked a lot of dumb questions here. I have already learned a lot and some of my friends are just blown away from the beers I have created so far. My first LBK I got as a Christmas gift was a perfect stepping stone. Still have much to learn and am heading into the all grain and kegging next. The greatest thing I have learned is it is ALL about the time and having the patience.
  10. I make a lot of lighter beers to drink over time while my stronger beers age. Bavarian Weissbeer - Conditioned for 3 weeks Canadian Blonde - 2 weeks American Ale - 2 weeks And they were great! Voodoo that you Do - Conditioned 4 months (those that are 6 months are even better) Novacaine - Conditioning 12 months, recommended 6-9 months. It is currently 7 months old and I tried one last week. It was incredible. Looked like black lacquer and the head was even dark brown, Had a buzz by my third sip and I don't consider myself a light weight. Lock Stock and Barrel Imperial Aged Stout - Aging for 12 months Fermenting a clone of Midnight Sun Arctic Devil - Fermenting for 3 weeks, secondary with dry hop for 5 more days, going to bottle and age for a year. This barleywine will be north of 15% ABV So like others have said, the heavier the beer, the higher the ABV, the hoppier the beer, the longer you should let it age. Put a few away and try to forget about them, then try them 6 months later. THAT is when youll realize the IMPORTANCE of patience.
  11. Well that kind of answers my question, it still has to spend X amount of time in the keg aging. Guess I was hoping it would be more of a short cut to enjoying some brews like Voodoo, Novacaine or the LSB sooner. Oh well, something to think about. I still like to keep my basic brews around and this would definitely get me drinking sooner rather than later.
  12. Hmmm interesting. My brew of choice currently is Voodoo. Actually my friends love it too. However it takes a few months to age which is why I bottle condition. I am usually hitting 8.5-9% ABV, so time in a bottle is not my enemy. From what I have read, you can cellar a beer like that for 5 years or more. Is there any advantage to kegging something like Voodoo? I mean it is great not having to bottle, but if I have to wait 2-3 months to drink anyhow, is it really worth the price tag to start kegging? Also, this means it is impossible to just share some bottles of brew with your friends. They would have to come over and hang out, which would probably end up making my wife very unhappy. As much as I would like to take this next step, I am having a difficult time seeing the upside here. Draft beer is great, but now there is all the additional cleaning of a keg and lines involved. Buying/refilling an empty CO2 canister. Is it really worth it?
  13. Not a good idea. Soaps, even the unscented ones, are made of fats and lye. There will be a residue of the fats that can interfere with things like head, head retention and lacing. When I am just cleaning the bottles, I just have large buckets of PBW mixed up. Let them sit for about an hour completely submerged, then give them a good rinse and into the sanitizer. I also use the PBW for cleaning all the glasses I use for beer as well. They are always crystal clear and the beer laces really nice on them. If I am looking to remove labels, then I soak over night in a solution of OxyClean. Even the crazy glued labels come right off. Only labels to be a bit tough are the vinyl labels on the Becks Sapphire. They take a bit more scrubbing but also come clean. Those black bottles are worth it though.
  14. Did you also add a 4th Smooth LME or just a 3rd HME?
  15. So not sure if this is an issue or not. Bottled a batch of Bavarian Weissbeir tonight. Fermented for 2 weeks. Cold crashed for 3 days. Did it in the clear LBK I got for cider. Was very clear sitting on my counter. When I do my bottling, I bottle straight from the LBK, let it trickle down the side to fill the bottle. This beer seemed to be fully carbonated right from the LBK. By the time my first bottle was 2/3 full, there was a full head of foam spewing from the top. Next bottle I filled the same way, only slower, got it filled more but still a full head of foam spewing from the top. I was forced to sanitize and use my bottling wand. This worked better, I was able to get my bottles filled, but they still had a head of foam on them. Now I always sanitize with Star-san, which yeah it is foamy. I have always used it and never had this issue. There wasnt enough to fill a 23rd bottle, so I just put the last in a glass and back in the fridge for a bit. Will drink it later. Now here is my concern. Did I do something wrong to cause this? Followed the recipe posted here as always. Should I be concerned I just created a case of beer bombs?
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