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 Post subject: Re: Brew day!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:21 pm 
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You can get an Alcohol Fuel Plant (AFP) permit like I mention above, but you're supposed to poison the results so it can't be drunk, and you run the risk of surprise inspection like you guys mention. A lot of people do get those though, and I've never heard anyone being harassed.

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 Post subject: Re: Brew day!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:31 pm 
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Help!
sethile wrote:
Oh, my Belgian IPA is beer! Had one the other night a little ahead of schedule and it was very decent. Hoppier than I thought it would be, but it has a lot of late hops, including one addition right at the termination of the boil, and a dry hopping after transferring to the secondary. It's bordering on too much for me. I think I'd forgo the dry hoping next time if I brew it again. I've got some more chilling now, and if it passes muster over the next few tastings I'll definitely bring some to share in Chicago.
After a few of these now I'm unhappy with a subtle off flavor which I can best describe as medicinal. My son described it as "that home brew flavor". Previous to that I had been thinking it might be something with the hops, but the nose is great, and what I can definitely taste as hops seems spot on and consistent with the good nose.

I'm wondering if my star sans was mixed too strong, or there was just too much of it left in one of the fermentors and/or the bottles. I did not rinse after sanitizing for fear of screwing something up. Any thoughts? If nothing else I'll be a whole lot more careful mixing my star sans for the next batch. Should I also consider rinsing after sanitizing? If so, do I need to use boiled water to insure I'm not re-infecting stuff? Our tap water is chlorinated, so I could end up with the same problem from another angle if I'm not careful. I'm also looking into a filter, which would make me less worried about rinsing and enable me to get away from the expense and hassle of bottled water (for this batch I used Spring Water for the wort).

Any thoughts on this from you experienced brewers would be most appreciated...

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 Post subject: Re: Brew day!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:21 pm 
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I don't know much about brewing beer. I do use Star Sans though and you shouldn't have to rinse. You are supposed to allow it to dry, however. I always wipe out/off whatever I'm sanitizing with dry paper towels then let it air dry the rest of the way. I wouldn't rinse. If you do then use distilled water or boiled water as you mentioned. Otherwise, you lose the benefit of sanitizing altogether.

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 Post subject: Re: Brew day!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:22 pm 
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Oh, and mixing your Star Sans strong shouldn't have an ill effect on taste so long as your surfaces are allowed to dry.

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 Post subject: Re: Brew day!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:46 pm 
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sethile wrote:
Help!


Here's a list of common off-flavors that gives you some ideas as to what might be causing your problem.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/connect/2011/08/common-off-flavors/

The one I think you're mentioning is a phenolic clove-like flavor that's generally caused by poor sanitation, but some belgian and Heffeweisen yeast's make that naturally. What yeast did you use? It's definitely not the Star-San and you don't rinse that like Wayne said, but allowing it to dry isn't recommended. I've never heard of anyone doing that to be honest. Allowing it to dry will just leave your surfaces exposed to air-born bugs. I fill my carboys with about a gallon of star-san, shake it really good and then turn it upside down on the bucket I have the rest of the Star-san in. When the wort is cool I turn it upright and pump right into it. It usually has a flood of foam being pushed out from the wort.

I'd look at your sanitation and fermentation temps, not nailing those are the two biggest things that cause home brewers to have "homebrew" flavors in their beers. Is it fully carbonated? It will change quite a bit after it's carbed up. And if it's too hoppy you can set it aside for 6 months or so and that will fade a good bit.

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 Post subject: Re: Brew day!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:19 pm 
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Thanks, guys! Interesting! Now I'm starting to wonder if it's the yeast, and intentional. It's very drinkable. Yes, the off-flavor, if that's what I'm tasting would be phenolic. It was a Belgian yeast, but I didn't note which one it was. This is the Belgian IPA kit from Brewers Best. It is fully carbonated at this point. I'm very happy with the carbonation level. I'd love to have someone who is familiar with the ideal results of this kit sample it. I'll set some back to see what it's like after a month or so...

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 Post subject: Re: Brew day!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:32 am 
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Re: Star-san, on the homebrewing forum I frequent, there is a mantra (like 'good, go make 10 more' around here): Don't fear the foam! It should not be rinsed or allowed to dry, because by then the surface can be reinfected.

On your BIPA, what were your ferm temps, pitch rate, OG, and oxygenation like? With stronger beers especially, you need good oxygenation and a starter to get a good result from the yeast. Which strain was it? Too little oxygen, too little yeast, and too high a ferm temp can give you off-flavors.

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 Post subject: Re: Brew day!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:23 pm 
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Good to know about the Star San. I always dried it to avoid it contaminating my mash but sounds like it's not necessary. I've never had bacteria problems so maybe I've been lucky.

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 Post subject: Re: Brew day!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:25 pm 
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Thomas Tkach wrote:
On your BIPA, what were your ferm temps, pitch rate, OG, and oxygenation like? With stronger beers especially, you need good oxygenation and a starter to get a good result from the yeast. Which strain was it? Too little oxygen, too little yeast, and too high a ferm temp can give you off-flavors.
The fermentation temp was a very consistent 64 degrees. I'm not really sure of the pitch rate other than it was "1 sachet" for 5 gallons of wort with an OG of 1.056, according to my novice skill at measuring it. In terms of oxygenation, I followed the Brewers Best instructions to the best of my limited abilities. I tried to be careful racking the wort into the fermentor, and adding the water to bring the OG into spec. They were adamant about not re-hydrating the yeast, which was confirmed by my local home brew shop. It called for sprinkling the dry yeast over the entire surface of the wort and stirring well with a sanitized spoon.

I'm not sure of the yeast strain other than it was Belgian. Here is the link to instructions for the kit I used:
http://www.brewersbestkits.com/pdf/1041 ... Recipe.pdf

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http://sethilepipes.com
Sysop: http://pipedia.org
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 Post subject: Re: Brew day!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:51 pm 
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sethile wrote:
Thomas Tkach wrote:
On your BIPA, what were your ferm temps, pitch rate, OG, and oxygenation like? With stronger beers especially, you need good oxygenation and a starter to get a good result from the yeast. Which strain was it? Too little oxygen, too little yeast, and too high a ferm temp can give you off-flavors.
The fermentation temp was a very consistent 64 degrees. I'm not really sure of the pitch rate other than it was "1 sachet" for 5 gallons of wort with an OG of 1.056, according to my novice skill at measuring it. In terms of oxygenation, I followed the Brewers Best instructions to the best of my limited abilities. I tried to be careful racking the wort into the fermentor, and adding the water to bring the OG into spec. They were adamant about not re-hydrating the yeast, which was confirmed by my local home brew shop. It called for sprinkling the dry yeast over the entire surface of the wort and stirring well with a sanitized spoon.

I'm not sure of the yeast strain other than it was Belgian. Here is the link to instructions for the kit I used:
http://www.brewersbestkits.com/pdf/1041 ... Recipe.pdf


I was referring to oxygen you put into the beer before fermentation, not post-ferm oxidation. Did the instructions have you shake the fermenter to get some oxygen into solution? Yeast need some oxygen to properly reproduce, although it may not be a problem with dry yeast. When you use liquid yeast, and especially with bigger beers (1.060+) you have to make a starter, but you're fine with dry yeast (there are more viable cells in a dry packet than a liquid).

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 Post subject: Re: Brew day!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:44 pm 
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Thomas Tkach wrote:
I was referring to oxygen you put into the beer before fermentation, not post-ferm oxidation. Did the instructions have you shake the fermenter to get some oxygen into solution? Yeast need some oxygen to properly reproduce, although it may not be a problem with dry yeast. When you use liquid yeast, and especially with bigger beers (1.060+) you have to make a starter, but you're fine with dry yeast (there are more viable cells in a dry packet than a liquid).
Well, that could be an issue, actually. I'd read contradictory ideas about that, or perhaps just misunderstood what I was reading. It's possible the wort was under oxygenated before pitching the yeast. I just racked the wort into the fermenter, added the water until I got the OG in spec, and stirred somewhat carefully before pitching the yeast.

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Sysop: http://pipedia.org
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 Post subject: Re: Brew day!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:35 pm 
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Location: Conyers, GA
There are some fancy ways to add O2 to your wort but our method is to use a small exercise ball that is filled with sand. Less than 15 bucks at your local big box store. Set the carboy on top of that and shake/rock it vigorously. We will usually shake for two minutes or more. The exercise ball has some give in it and will allow the carboy some mobility without touching the floor. Too many scratches from direct cement contact can cause weak spots and will allow your carboy to bust eventually. I had one filled with fermented wort bust as I picked it up to begin the process of racking to the keg.

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 Post subject: Re: Brew day!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:30 pm 
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Shaking is great to get up to 8ppm dissolved oxygen, and I've made a lot of good beer that way. When you want to make a really big beer, though, you need more oxygen than you can get with that method, so I have recently acquired a .5 micron stone and a regulator to inject pure oxygen from disposable tanks sold at Lowes, HD, etc. I noticed a marked improvement in the taste of my tripel before and after. But if you're going for average gravity (about 1.060 or below), shaking is where it's at.

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 Post subject: Re: Brew day!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:04 am 
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I know I'm about 2 years late to the brew session, but I started brewing in '99 when I lived in Las Vegas. I brewed with extracts for 13 years. been all grain for 4 years. some of my favorites I have done are a Horehound Belgian Strong Ale, Wil Wheaton's Vandal Eyes PA, Black Hell Bourbon Imperial Stout, Loud Mouth Braggot. the Horehound Belgian was a PITA. I used Horehound candy in the boil since I didn't have any real Horehound. it was a thick and sticky mess until it all dissolved. I plan on growing some this year and make another one in the fall. I've also been toying with meads and wines a little. I made a great Merlot Pyment that's almost gone now and a Port that I aged in a Hungarian Oak barrel. I have everything for the Merlot Pyment and need to get it going. I was thinking of adding Hibiscus to it this time. maybe I'll save the Hibiscus for a Saison with Rose Hips.

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 Post subject: Re: Brew day!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:20 pm 
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brewing a Rye Pale Ale right now. using Zythos, Centennial, and Mosaic hops and gonna ferment with US-05. if I hit my target numbers, it should come in at 4.8% ABV and 39.5 IBUs. majority of hop additions are at flame out.

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