Author Topic: What are you brewing?  (Read 158486 times)

Offline LvsChant

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #60 on: November 21, 2010, 11:38:10 AM »
Thanks, JB. I'll order some!

Offline javabrewer

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #61 on: November 28, 2010, 04:03:15 PM »
Bottled the American brown ale and racked a double chocolate stout to a secondary over the weekend.  Got the supplies to do a partial mash dunkelweisen (deathbrewer's recipe from the home brew talk forums).  Can't wait to taste this stuff.

Offline Storm

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #62 on: November 29, 2010, 06:33:38 AM »
Getting ready to brew a clover honey mead and a melomel and order some larger carboys for bigger batches.

Offline Saint

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #63 on: November 29, 2010, 07:09:04 AM »
hey everyone - I was going to wait until this brew was finished to report back on how it came out - it's my first "totally home made" recipe - if you're interested here it is - if you're cautious, I'll report back after Christmas to let you know how it turned out!
Sinjin's Spiced Stout
Fermentables:
3.5 lbs Muntons Irish Stout Style Malt Extract
1 lb. Muntons Dark Dried malt extract
.5 lb. chocolate malt
3 lbs dextrose
Other Ingredients in the recipe:
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1.5 oz. fresh grated ginger
2 tsp. ground nutmeg
Yeast
Using two separate three boiling pots, bring 1 gal H2O to boil in two and enough water to steep the chocolate malt in the third. In the first two, once at boil add Irish Stout Style Malt Extract and Dark Dried malt extract to one and Dextrose to the other (keeping darks with darks) – maintain rolling boil without overflow. Boil for 30 minutes.
Add 1 oz. fresh grated ginger, 2 tsp. ground cinnamon, and 2 tsp. ground nutmeg in last
15 minutes of boil.
Fill 5 gal bucket (primary fermenter) with 2 gal of cold water. Place bucket in “ice bath” and add the “dark” then “clear” pots of wort. Finally, add steeped chocolate malt.
Meantime, pitch your yeast (1/4 cup sugar in warm water with yeast for 10-15 min).
After cooling to 80 degrees, add pitched yeast, close cover and set in cool, dark corner for 2 weeks.
Before bottling simmer 1 oz cranberry extract, .5 tsp cinnamon, (simmer for 5 minutes) add to the bottling bucket.

Offline megajoel

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #64 on: December 09, 2010, 04:27:11 PM »
I have a 3 Lagers and a Blonde and a Ginger beer brewing. 25 Gallons in all.
I'm testing using honey instead of dextrose; I got it from a organic neighbour.

I've ordered some Hop seeds to start growing this spring; as well as barley and wheat. Then, when I've figured out yeast cultivation, I'll be one step closer to being "beer sufficient". :D

Does anyone here brew it all themselves without any store bought items?

-Joel

Offline javabrewer

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #65 on: December 22, 2010, 10:56:50 PM »
Bottled the chocolate stout about 10 days ago, tried one today and very little carbonation so far.  More time is needed for that.  Today I racked the dunkelweizen to a secondary.  I've named it El Hefe.  I also got ingredients to make a Sierra Nevada pale ale clone partial mash. 

While at the depot for some plumbing stuff I decided to get a 50 foot 3/8" copper tubing, fittings, and some hose and fasioned a wort chiller.  Tested it in 5 gallons of boiling water and it chilled to 80 degrees in 10 minutes so it was a success.  Saved about $35 versus buying a comparable model at the home brew supply store.


Offline LvsChant

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #66 on: December 24, 2010, 08:24:04 AM »
Bottled the chocolate stout about 10 days ago, tried one today and very little carbonation so far.  More time is needed for that.  Today I racked the dunkelweizen to a secondary.  I've named it El Hefe.  I also got ingredients to make a Sierra Nevada pale ale clone partial mash. 

While at the depot for some plumbing stuff I decided to get a 50 foot 3/8" copper tubing, fittings, and some hose and fasioned a wort chiller.  Tested it in 5 gallons of boiling water and it chilled to 80 degrees in 10 minutes so it was a success.  Saved about $35 versus buying a comparable model at the home brew supply store.



would love to see pictures of that wort chiller...

Offline Saint

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #67 on: December 24, 2010, 10:07:56 AM »
snuck a taste of the spiced stout last night (about 2 days earlier than ideal) - if anyone was thinking about my recipe - cut the ginger by about a third - strong taste and aroma - otherwise, a most excellent brew!
Best of everything to you my fellow brewers!

Offline cmxterra

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #68 on: December 24, 2010, 07:33:11 PM »
I've got 6 gallons of mead that I just racked.. Should be ready to bottle in April

Offline javabrewer

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #69 on: December 25, 2010, 01:29:50 AM »
would love to see pictures of that wort chiller...

Your wish is my command:



I used a #10 can to help wind the coil.  Put it in the middle of the large coil I got from the store then started forming the shape.  It is about one and a half cans high and slightly taller than my boil kettle so I may end up cutting a few of the top coils off and rework it with better fittings, courtesy of a gift card to the depot I just got for Christmas :)

Offline LvsChant

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #70 on: December 25, 2010, 12:53:36 PM »
+1, JB. My husband wants to make one of his own to try out beer brewing. Thanks a bunch!

Offline Storm

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #71 on: December 25, 2010, 06:13:52 PM »
I've not done any beer brewing and thought I might, but what is the wort chiller for exactly?

Offline LvsChant

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #72 on: December 25, 2010, 08:23:37 PM »
I believe experienced beer brewers like to use it to cool down the wort quickly. We don't have one yet and are planning to use ice and water (as needed to cool to the appropriate temp) for the additional liquid needed instead of a wort chiller on our first batch.

Please correct me you experienced brewmasters if I have described its use incorrectly (or not completely). I was looking at the Midwest site at their offerings. For a stainless steel chiller, it runs about $50 plus S&H; for the copper models, they run from $65 - $75 plus S&H. Making one seems like a great alternative. The $65 model described it as having 25 ft. of copper tubing.

Offline hd45hunt

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #73 on: December 25, 2010, 09:40:58 PM »
Brewing newb here, but from what I gather, your wort is most vulnerable to contamination from the time it finishes boiling until the time you get it down to temp for pitching yeast (80-100 degrees) and get the fermenter sealed.  The faster you can bring the 5 gallon batch down, the less chance of contamination.  I have the stainless steel model and it works beautifully.  I just bottled a European Pilsner tonight, which I lagered, and my first 1 gallon batch of mead.  Still have 10 gallons (5-maple boch and 5-lonestar clone) in carboys in fridge and also have 5 gallons of cider in primary fermenter.  Lonestar is going into a keg, so that should be done soon too.  Just gotta wait and see what time our Noreaster arrives tomorrow afternoon. ;D 7-14 inches with winds up to 45mph.  Hang on everybody

Offline javabrewer

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #74 on: December 25, 2010, 09:59:43 PM »
I've not done any beer brewing and thought I might, but what is the wort chiller for exactly?

As LvsChant said and to also help with the cold break.  Chilling your wort faster causes particulates (proteins, small bits from the mash, hops and clearing agents) to precipitate faster and clear the resulting brew.  It's not necessary to chill fast to make a good beer, but it does decrease the chance of contamination and make it look better.

Offline Storm

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #75 on: December 26, 2010, 06:19:15 PM »
I see. Thanks for the clarification. I may try a beer some time, but I don't drink much beer in any case, so don't know much about it. Maybe if I brewed my own, I'd have more use for it. I still need the rest of my stuff for my mead. >.< Christmas took my money.

Offline fratermus

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #76 on: December 27, 2010, 08:19:41 AM »
As LvsChant said and to also help with the cold break. 

And decreases the amount of retained DMS during the still-hot-but-not-boiling timeframe , and can shave non-trivial amounts of time devoted to brewing.

I use the water hose to get the temps down to about 100F, then start an icewater recirc powered by a cheap fountain pump to pull down to pitching temps.  The cast-off water (about 25gals total) is to refill the birdbath, water the garden, fill the washing machine, etc.

Offline fratermus

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #77 on: December 27, 2010, 08:25:11 AM »
I may try a beer some time, but I don't drink much beer in any case, so don't know much about it. Maybe if I brewed my own, I'd have more use for it. I still need the rest of my stuff for my mead. >.< Christmas took my money.

One excuse to try a few test batches is they won't tie up your gear for long.  Beer (especially moderate-alcohol beers like milds, bitters, weizens) can be table-ready in a few weeks (5 or so - two weeks primary, three weeks carbing in bottle).  That's an eyeblink in mead timelines.  :-)

I have a few mead test batches I did and I open a bottle from each every year.  One of them (that I racked onto blackberries during secondary) is doing pretty good after about 3 yrs.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #78 on: December 27, 2010, 11:41:05 AM »
I agree... I have one 5-gallon carboy full of wine that will needs to stay there for another 6 weeks before bottling. I am thinking we can brew up a batch of beer that is ready to drink leaving all the equipment ready to start another batch of wine before that. We have an empty carboy right now (seems crazy to have one sitting idle, right?).

Offline javabrewer

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #79 on: December 27, 2010, 01:36:38 PM »
Tell me about it...I have made 3 batches of beer with one brewing now since I started my mead and it needs another month or two before going to bottle.  Friends keep trying to plan a mead party...they are confused as to why it takes so long, and assume that I'll be willing to share all that mead in one sitting.  It needs to be enjoyed over time! 

Offline LvsChant

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #80 on: December 28, 2010, 07:33:27 AM »
We started a batch of beer yesterday... Noble Trappist Ale (from Midwest Supplies). I did not open the box and immediately put the yeast in the refrigerator when it arrived and am wondering if we perhaps could have yeast that is not viable... any guesses from the more experienced? We cooled the boil down very well using about 10 lbs of ice (quite effective, btw) and then poured the yeast in. (This was a Wyeast, which we short-cutted the recommended method on -- we mixed the inner packet with the main packet only about 3 hours before tossing it in to the cooled boil). No bubbling activity yet as of this morning. The folks at Midwest said it would likely take longer to get going without the recommended yeast prep.

Offline javabrewer

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #81 on: December 28, 2010, 09:22:42 AM »
We started a batch of beer yesterday... Noble Trappist Ale (from Midwest Supplies). I did not open the box and immediately put the yeast in the refrigerator when it arrived and am wondering if we perhaps could have yeast that is not viable... any guesses from the more experienced? We cooled the boil down very well using about 10 lbs of ice (quite effective, btw) and then poured the yeast in. (This was a Wyeast, which we short-cutted the recommended method on -- we mixed the inner packet with the main packet only about 3 hours before tossing it in to the cooled boil). No bubbling activity yet as of this morning. The folks at Midwest said it would likely take longer to get going without the recommended yeast prep.

Did the yeast packet swell up?  I used one for my stout, crunched it two hours before pitching and it was already swollen.  The fermenter took a full 24 hours to start bubbling. 

Offline LvsChant

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #82 on: December 28, 2010, 01:16:30 PM »
It did not noticeably swell up... thus the concern :(

However, we don't keep our house terribly warm in winter, so that may have been a factor. We are seeing some signs of activity in the fermenter 16 hours later... although the bubbler is not yet bubbling, the lid is raised up a bit (domed slightly), so we are hopeful.

Offline hd45hunt

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #83 on: December 29, 2010, 06:16:51 PM »
The lid domed is a good sign, I've had it take 2-3 days for some to really get rockin'.  I've found the cooler winter temps really do tend to slow things down.  Is there a place where you can move it to where it will see a warmer room temp?  Whatever you do, don't give up, as there are always remedies to try if it doesn't take off.

I racked my cider to secondary today.  OG was 1.080 and today was 1.000.  I think they Wyeast cider yeast really like the brown sugar!! ;D  Still pretty cloudy, but I'm thinkin another month or two with a few more rackings.  Anyone else done cider?  This is my first try and a 5 gallon batch to boot.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #84 on: December 29, 2010, 07:58:06 PM »
Thanks for the encouragement... I got a little discouraged by the lack of activity today and went ahead and ordered an extra packet of dry yeast from Midwest. I figured it would be better to have it here by the time we need it than wait...

Then, this evening, we can see definite signs of activity. The domed lid and the occasional bubble look very good. Anyway, we'll have the spare yeast in case of a future need.

Offline javabrewer

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #85 on: December 29, 2010, 09:40:33 PM »
Did you aerate the wort after you chilled it?  The cool temps will definitely make things slow, but that really shouldn't be a problem if they're reasonable, say above 60 degrees.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #86 on: December 30, 2010, 09:44:45 AM »
We did aerate the wort... pouring produced a lot of bubbles, then we used a sanitized whisk... The temp where the bucket sits is about 65-70 degrees, so we are hoping for good things. It's much cooler than that in the basement, so it sits in prime counterspace in the kitchen (thank goodness beer brewing is pretty quick!).

Btw, we were surprised at how well the ice worked to cool the wort after the boil. It only took about 10 lbs to cool down the 2 1/2 gallons (and it happened much more quickly than a wort chiller would have -- within a very few minutes). Then we added water to the appropriate volume at room temp.

Question about the wort chiller. The only real advantage I can see in using one is if you increase the volume of water added for the boil. Do most experienced beer brewers (who also are in possession of a wort chiller) boil the entire volume of water with a better result?

Offline javabrewer

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #87 on: December 30, 2010, 10:52:04 AM »
Regarding boil volume, most experienced brewers typically do a full boil.  This is because when going all grain you naturally end up with 6+ gallons of wort after the sparge.  Also, full volume boils allow all the hops alpha acids to be utilized fully.  And...this is something I just heard yesterday...doing high gravity (low volume) boils can reduce the amount of proteins available for head retention and lacing (the head's equivalent of legs found in wine).

You could technically ice bath a 5 gallon full boil.  But it's more complicated logistically than simply turning a hose on low for 10 minutes.  Plus it requires a lot of ice.

So how is that batch doing now?  Surely if it was going to take off it would have already.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #88 on: December 30, 2010, 01:18:45 PM »
Oh yeah... it's bubbling nicely and giving off a nice aroma. We'll probably make a few batches this way before deciding to invest in a wort chiller... (at least if the results are good, that is).

Offline Travis

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Re: What are you brewing?
« Reply #89 on: January 01, 2011, 08:15:22 AM »
The lid domed is a good sign, I've had it take 2-3 days for some to really get rockin'.  I've found the cooler winter temps really do tend to slow things down.  Is there a place where you can move it to where it will see a warmer room temp?  Whatever you do, don't give up, as there are always remedies to try if it doesn't take off.

I racked my cider to secondary today.  OG was 1.080 and today was 1.000.  I think they Wyeast cider yeast really like the brown sugar!! ;D  Still pretty cloudy, but I'm thinkin another month or two with a few more rackings.  Anyone else done cider?  This is my first try and a 5 gallon batch to boot.

Brown sugar sounds interesting in there.  I've just started making cider this summer and have, since then, finished 25 gallons (drank probably 19 of them).  I have nine gallons fermenting now.

My first batch turned out way too sweet for me, and I think I killed the yeast when bottling by not letting the priming sugar/water solution cool down enough, so it's mostly flat.  My later batches have turned out very drinkable.  Crisp, dry and super gassy like sparkling wine.

What kind of apple cider did you start with?