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Everything posted by Cato

  1. Well said, Gutterbunnie! Each of those different brewing methods have their own set of challenges, which makes it fun to try and make your best beer you can and how you'll do it better next time.
  2. What yeast are you using? It might be coincidence but after my first two batches using MB yeast I switched to US-05, plus temp control and haven't had off flavors since. I did pitch one batch at 55F, using US-05, and got away with it but normally I try to have the wort a little warmer than my room temp yeast. How big an effect, if any, idk. I guess when you find whatever method is working for you, you tend to stay with it. Don't give up on it though. Possible you're tasting extract tang from HME, so maybe make a partial mash with a can of Briess LME, or like Jdub and try a DME partial mash. There's different ways to skin this cat, and you're close.
  3. I usually put at least a gallon of spring water in the fridge 2 days before brewing if I'm going into an LBK. Brew day I'll pour what room temp water I need into the kettle and put whatever's left in the fridge to cool down as well while I'm boiling, steeping, whatever. That'll usually get me close to pitch temp fairly quickly if I'm just using HME or LME and going into an LBK. If not then I'll pop the LBK in the fridge for a couple hours until I get the wort at least under the max temp of the yeast by a few degrees. Ideally I like anywhere from 74-77F and the yeast at room temp, which in my house is 68-72 depending on the season. As far as I can tell, albeit a first year brewer, I'm not stressing my yeast and getting off flavors from that method, and once my LBK is in the cooler I ferment on the cool side 64F for most of my yeasts. My AG batches in my little stainless fermenter are proving to be a little more challenging to chill rapidly since I'm doing a full volume boil for that. Immersion chiller has helped a lot but still leaving me too high to pitch in this hot weather, so either an ice bath for the kettle or a two stage chill with the wort chiller, faucet first, then pumping ice water through it to lower that last 12-15 degrees. Sorry didn't mean to go overboard on that, but I'm thinking that from pitch temp to ferment temp thru first few days of krausen is where your off flavors aka yeast stress has been introduced. Lol, I'll shut up now.
  4. I use @Screwy Brewer's EZ BIAB online all the time, as well as some of the other calculators. It's a huge help to me.
  5. I've mostly used dry yeast but the white labs site said theirs needed a starter and i really wanted their WLP530 for this batch, and was half thinking I should be able to make some wort in a sanitized jar, when I ran across the fast pitch starter kit with 4 cans and a flask w/stopper, and I jumped on it.
  6. Just ordered my specialty grains and yeast for my Belgian Dubbel. Had to laugh because I ordered a starter kit flask and Fast Pitch for my yeast. I had never heard of Fast Pitch until @Creeps McLane used some in a vid on wild yeast that I watched the other night. Talk about perfect timing.
  7. You'll like the partial mashes and having more control over your grains and how they'll influence the final product!
  8. I have two brews coming up once I bottle Little Trees Pale Ale and a Witbier clone. Little Trees will bottle end of this week and the Witbier next week. First up will be pretty much an HME Pale ale, so I can reduce some inventory of HME cans. Will use a CAL and American Ale and hop with HBC438. Second up will be a Belgian Dubbel, since we do have fall coming on and I'd like to have at least a few dark beers in the mix. There are a LOT of Belgian Dubbel recipes out there but I put together this one to use some of what I already have on hand and so once again have selected some common parts of several recipes and whittled down to this. Because it will be a BIAB partial mash, I may or may not hit as high an OG, since I am still learning how to hit a better efficiency. My temporary solution is shooting a bit higher in gravity and adding a touch of LME here and there. LOL, this one has way more than a touch but I've got a full can of the Pilsen Light so, might as well make use of a good chunk of it. Belgian Dubbel Recipe : Brewer Bob Batch 2.75 gal Partial Mash Recipe Characteristics Recipe Gravity 1.073 OG Estimated FG 1.018 FG Recipe Bitterness 19 IBU Alcohol by Volume 7.0% Recipe Color 17° SRM Alcohol by Weight 5.5% Ingredients Quantity Grain Type Use 0.06 lb Special "B" (Belgian) Grain Mashed 1.50 lb Pilsener (Belgian) - [Light] Base malt of European Beers and US beers of all types Grain Mashed 0.12 lb Extra Special Malt Grain Mashed 0.75 lb Carabrown Malt Grain Other 0.25 lb CaraPils - [Body, Head] Grain Mashed 0.25 lb Candi Sugar, Dark (Belgian) Sugar Other 2.50 lb Briess LME - Pilsen Light Extract Extract 1.00 lb Aromatic Malt (Belgian) - [Aromatic, Malty] Use 5% - 15% Grain Mashed Quantity Hop Type Time 0.62 oz Kent Goldings (U.K.) - Aroma and dry hop intensely resiny, candy-like, sweet, slightly floral and spicy Pellet 60 minutes Quantity Misc Notes 1.00 unit White Labs WLP530 - Abbey Ale Yeast™ Yeast Temperature Range: 62°-72° F (ABV 11%) Med-High Floculation Recipe Notes BIAB mash at 154-156 for 60 min Sparge and add Pilsen light LME Bring to boil and Add .625 oz of EK Goldings hops for 60 min. Add .25 lb of Candi Sugar D-90 for last 15 min of boil Chill to 75F and add WLP530 yeast and ferment for 18days and cold crash for 3 days and then bottle Batch Notes Mash
  9. My extract brews have been 75-78%, my AG has been as high as 90%.
  10. Haven't really had a brew schedule recently, so with it being windy and rain bands coming in from Florence far south of me today is computer stuff and working of something of a brew schedule. I've got a lot of HME cans, so my next up will be a Pale Ale based on MB Santa Catalina recipe, and I'll use the cans of CAL and American Ale but will ferment with US-05 or 04 and hop with HBC438. That'll be a quick and easy recipe to get into the fermenter. It turned out well with Mosaic last time, but the hops faded quickly. Hmm, maybe add an ounce dry hop of the HBC 438 as well to see if that will endure better than the Mosaic did. For my other LBK might have to try a BIAB on a different style, maybe an Alt or a Marzen, since I've never brewed either one of those. Time to do some recipe research!
  11. Stressing yeast can cause them to produce off flavors. I always try to pitch under the max temp range of the yeast. Ideally the yeast should be slightly cooler than the wort temp. Since I use US-05 a lot I'll typically have my yeast at room temp 72-73 in summer and pitch my yeast typically in 74-77 temp range before putting it in the mini fridge. That Oatmeal Stout should be fine. I've had a couple occasions where I had to chill the wort overnight and pitch the next morning and the beer turned out fine.
  12. Yeah, the unit thing in Qbrew came out a little weird but yes the amounts were in my notes. Lol, maybe I put them in the wrong section as yeast is usually referred to as a unit.
  13. I have a Magic Chef 4.4 cu.ft. that will hold two LBKs but it's about $150 from HD.
  14. My somewhat cobbled together attempted clone recipe of New Belgium Brewing's Mothership Witbier. I used some info from their website, Briess Malts site, and Austin HomeBrew for the spices and scaled the 5 gal down to what I was intending on 2.63 gal. so I could net 2.5 gal after kettle and fermenter trub loss. I should have used about 1/2 a gallon more strike water for this and I would have been much closer to my target wort volume and if it had come up short on OG I could have added some Pilsner LME to make up the difference which is what I usually do if my efficiency comes out a little shy. However, I wanted to see how it would turn out AG with no help from boosters or LME. So I'll be a bit short on packaged volume on this one from trub loss in the fermenter, but was close enough on my OG 1.050 that I went with it and a wort volume of 2 gal. If I can hit anywhere between 4.7-5% ABV I'll find that acceptable for this style and then it'll all be up to my spice additions to see if I'm in the ballpark. I didn't realize at the time that @Nickfixit had done some considerable Witbier recipe experiments and could have been a big help in this but it's got another week and a half before cold crashing so we will see how I did before too long. Lol, then I can get some input and tweaks to do better next time on efficiency with my BIAB and gravity targets. Most recipes favor WLP400 Belgian yeast but its been a bit hot for shipping liquid yeast and I felt safer using a packet of Safale T-58 dry yeast and I had it on hand. Belgian Witbier-Mothership clone Recipe Belgian Witbier-Mothership Style Witbier [Belgian] Brewer Bob Batch 2.63 gal All Grain BIAB Recipe Characteristics Recipe Gravity 1.054 OG Estimated FG 1.014 FG Recipe Bitterness 11 IBU Alcohol by Volume 5.3% Recipe Color 4° SRM Alcohol by Weight 4.1% Ingredients Quantity Grain Type Use 0.12 lb Flaked Oats [Briess] - (Unmalted) Body, mouthfeel and head retention Adjunct Mashed 0.50 lb Flaked Wheat [Briess] - (Unmalted) Adds body to Witbier Adjunct Mashed 2.50 lb Pilsener (Belgian) - [Light] Base malt of European Beers and US beers of all types Grain Mashed 2.00 lb Wheat (US) (Malted) Grain Mashed Quantity Hop Type Time 0.50 oz Hallertauer (Germany) - Noble aroma and flavor very floral, earthy with a little spice Pellet 35 minutes Quantity Misc Notes 0.01 unit Corriander Seed Spice Lemony citrus, spicy, orange flavor - Crush then add 10 minutes before flameout 0.01 unit Lemon Zest add 10 minutes before flameout 0.01 unit Orange Peel, Sweet Spice Sweey orange citrus - Add 10 minutes before flameout 1.00 unit Safbrew T-58 Dry Ale Yeast Yeast Temperature Range: 59°-75° F 11.5 GRAMS Recipe Notes Batch Notes Mash at 152-155 for 75 minutes. Boil for 40 minutes and add .5 oz of Hallertauer hops at 30 min add 1/8 oz of lemon zest, .25 oz orange zest, and 1/4 oz of cracked coriander at 10 min. Cool wort to 74F before pitching yeast T-58 ferment for 18 days and cold crash for 3 days then bottle
  15. The HME's, hopped malt extract, which are the cans generally turn out much darker than the pics you see on Mr. Beer. You're not doing anything wrong in that aspect.
  16. Dude take a camping cooler and put your LBK in it with a frozen pint water bottle and have a backup one in the freezer. One bottle should keep the keg at 63-64 F for at least 12 hrs. Taping a temp probe below the wort line will give you a pretty accurate wort temp reading. Tape a sponge or folded cloth below the wort line and then slip the temp probe in between the sponge and the LBK so that it'll be insulated from reading the ambient temp in the cooler. It's really critical to do this and ferment on the cool side during the first 5 days of krausen when the yeast is super active. So active that they raise the wort temp in the LBK by several degrees. I read once, "control your yeast and you control your beer." Your yeast can get stressed and produce some off flavors without some temp control. Rickbeer has very good info links that you can click on and good info for new brewers. I and many others fermented too warm before we learned about temp control!
  17. Mine sure do have sediment even with cold crashing. I'll be interested to see if my new little fermenter with the rotating racking arm will make a difference. The fermenter has a conical bottom to catch the trub, so maybe it will help cut down some sediment at bottling.
  18. Very cool experiment! I'm totally surprised that you had trub in your Guiness Wheat beer. I've never seen that in a commercial brew. Also learning a bit in this thread about dryness and sweetness, and yeast influence on it.
  19. Once you've got a couple 3 batches under your belt to help groove your process, here's a recipe you could try. I've only used CAL once in a recipe that's now archived called, Santa Catalina. You can find it by typing it in the MB search feature. One can of CAL, one can of American Ale, and I subbed Mosaic hops in place of Cascade, US-05 yeast, plus added 1 booster packet. It was very tasty and brewed on the cool side 63-64F, as that's a bit of HME in one batch. ABV 7.1% and your hoppy brews are best as soon as they've carbed, usually about 3 weeks after bottling.
  20. Hmm, Tangerously Hoppy IPA Santa Catalina with Mosaic hops Witch's Flight
  21. I did look back through this thread but not sure which strain of hops you are harvesting here? Looks like you started out with two strains at one point.
  22. That inkbird is a nifty little unit. While keeping up with changing ice bottles wasn't a huge chore, it is really nice to be able to dial in a temp and come back in 3 weeks.
  23. Likewise, welcome to the forum. Seems like the darker brews take longer to condition and particularly the higher gravity ones. It does take some patience, which is hard until you build a bit of a pipeline. The pale ales and hoppy IPA's take quite a bit less conditioning time, so I'll often alternate batches. Once you get a couple LBK's going at the same time your pipeline starts to take shape. Since you've got that going now it'll be a big help in that direction. Fermenting on the cool side of your yeasts temp range will really help to prevent yeast stress and thus off flavors. I'd recommend getting a hydrometer and a bottling wand if you don't already have them. They're a big help and easy to use.
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