Homebrewing

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Boomer.....

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Well that all depends on the style and how clear you want it. If the style calls for brilliant clarity, I would definitely cold crash it for a while, and damn near lager it.

Since you are kegging, I would assume you're not going to be natural carbing, so no need to keep yeast in suspension.

On the other hand, if your style is cloudy, don't cold condition, you need that yeast in there.

If you have more money than sense, get a plate filter and filter the damn thing. ;)
It's a summer ale, so I'm not worried about clarity and will just keep in the mid 60s. Thanks!
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
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It's a summer ale, so I'm not worried about clarity and will just keep in the mid 60s. Thanks!
How did it turn out?

I came to post a pic of my dunkel fermenting, but the photo is to big to upload from my phone. I will resize this evening and post. It looks like a$$. Lots of trub separation and yeast floating around.
 

Boomer.....

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It turned out pretty good. I haven't had one in a week, so hopefully it will be conditioned nicely. I guess it was just the type of yeast I used verses what I've used in the past.
 

Boomer.....

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I have a question for you experienced brewers about conditioning. Most beers require a certain period of conditioning to get the taste right, with many recommending 6+ months. That may be overkill, but how do you condition for multiple months? Do you simply stash a carboy in a closet for that long or transfer to a keg, carbonate and then let set in a fridge? I guess conditioning in a bottle would be an easier solution for such long periods of time.
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
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I have a question for you experienced brewers about conditioning. Most beers require a certain period of conditioning to get the taste right, with many recommending 6+ months. That may be overkill, but how do you condition for multiple months? Do you simply stash a carboy in a closet for that long or transfer to a keg, carbonate and then let set in a fridge? I guess conditioning in a bottle would be an easier solution for such long periods of time.
I condition under temperature control, usually cold temps. Often, I keg and carbonate and condition, but I have conditioned in a secondary carboy once removed from initial yeast cake. But I think the temperature control is the most important.
 

Boomer.....

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I condition under temperature control, usually cold temps. Often, I keg and carbonate and condition, but I have conditioned in a secondary carboy once removed from initial yeast cake. But I think the temperature control is the most important.
After doing a little bit of research, I think I'm going to ferment in the primary for 1-2 weeks then rack into a keg. I'll put some CO2 in it (enough to burp it and have a little on top, but not leave it hooked up) and set it in a temp stable setting until I need to swap out kegs. I read that you get better and faster results by conditioning in warmer, room temps rather than in a fridge.
 

Boomer.....

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I recently brewed an Anchor Steam clone with 1 week primary, 4-6 weeks secondary and 3-4 weeks keg in fridge. It turned out great, but I think I may try to eliminate using a secondary for most beers.
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
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After doing a little bit of research, I think I'm going to ferment in the primary for 1-2 weeks then rack into a keg. I'll put some CO2 in it (enough to burp it and have a little on top, but not leave it hooked up) and set it in a temp stable setting until I need to swap out kegs. I read that you get better and faster results by conditioning in warmer, room temps rather than in a fridge.
"Better" results is subjective. "Faster" may be more accurate. By utilizing some refrigeration you can avoid a lot of by products of warmer fermentation, including minimizing fusel alcohols, esters and the like.

Just as an example, next time you tour a brewery, check the temps at which their bright tanks are running. Most if not all will be conditioning at lower temps. The low temps also floc a lot of yeast out, leaving a clearer final product.


Also beware of leaving beer in a sealed keg at warmer temps. The yeast may not be done, and could generate more CO2, leading to a potential keg bomb.
 

Boomer.....

Territorial Marshal
Feb 15, 2007
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"Better" results is subjective. "Faster" may be more accurate. By utilizing some refrigeration you can avoid a lot of by products of warmer fermentation, including minimizing fusel alcohols, esters and the like.

Just as an example, next time you tour a brewery, check the temps at which their bright tanks are running. Most if not all will be conditioning at lower temps. The low temps also floc a lot of yeast out, leaving a clearer final product.


Also beware of leaving beer in a sealed keg at warmer temps. The yeast may not be done, and could generate more CO2, leading to a potential keg bomb.
OK, good to know. By lower temps, do you mean somewhere between room and normal fridge temps or at the 38-40 degrees my outside fridge stays at? The problem is that I only have one outdoor fridge and it's tough for me to temp control something for a long time because there's also meat in the freezer and usually beer in the fridge.
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
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OK, good to know. By lower temps, do you mean somewhere between room and normal fridge temps or at the 38-40 degrees my outside fridge stays at? The problem is that I only have one outdoor fridge and it's tough for me to temp control something for a long time because there's also meat in the freezer and usually beer in the fridge.
I, personally, shoot for the lower end (fridge temps). But try to go as low as you can. For me cold conditioning is almost synonymous with lagering. I recognize that mine may be an extreme position, especially with regard to ales, but I think it works well in muting potentially off flavors.
 

Boomer.....

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I'm in the process of getting into all-grain, but don't have all of the equipment just yet. The only new piece of equipment I have bought is a cooler mash tun. I'm planning on getting the Blichmann burner with leg extensions and a good kettle with thermometer and valve. I will also eventually get a hot liquor tank (cooler with valve), but can batch sparge in the mean time. I am planning on doing a gravity set up and don't want to have to buy anything twice.
  • If I want to possibly do 10 gallon batches, will a 15 gallon kettle work?
  • I currently use an immersion wort chiller and ice bath to cool down after boiling. I'm not sure if the wort chiller will fit in a 15 gallon kettle and have worries about it taking too long with full volume liquid. I also am worried about lifting up 10 gallons of water in the kettle and placing it in an ice bath. What do you do to cool down your wort? Counter flow or plate chiller?
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
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I'm in the process of getting into all-grain, but don't have all of the equipment just yet. The only new piece of equipment I have bought is a cooler mash tun. I'm planning on getting the Blichmann burner with leg extensions and a good kettle with thermometer and valve. I will also eventually get a hot liquor tank (cooler with valve), but can batch sparge in the mean time. I am planning on doing a gravity set up and don't want to have to buy anything twice.
  • If I want to possibly do 10 gallon batches, will a 15 gallon kettle work?
  • I currently use an immersion wort chiller and ice bath to cool down after boiling. I'm not sure if the wort chiller will fit in a 15 gallon kettle and have worries about it taking too long with full volume liquid. I also am worried about lifting up 10 gallons of water in the kettle and placing it in an ice bath. What do you do to cool down your wort? Counter flow or plate chiller?
First question: yes. I routinely do 10 gallon (12 gallon spargeoff) in my 15 gallon kettle. Managing the boil is necessary though to avoid boil over, but I would still do that even for 5 gallon batches.

Question two: skip the ice bath. If you are like me and drink while brewing, you will injure yourself lifting that into an ice bath. What you could do, pick up another immersion chiller and use it as an inline prechiller in the ice bath.

I have tried immersion and plate. IMO plate is a pita. Stick with what works. KISS.
 
Oct 30, 2012
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@sc5mu93 @BAMF cowboy
Just recently acquired a home brewing quit! Northern Brewer's deluxe to be exact. I have a brew thats fermenting right now (American Wheat, came with the kit). So I have a couple questions for you guys:

1- Im looking to brew again here pretty soon and I'm wanting to brew a very good summertime beer. Do you guys have any suggestions? I do not have the equipment for an all-grain brew.

2- What are some tips for adding flavor/zest to my brews? I've read of people using lemon zest/orange peel... What are your tips on this topic? When to add them?

3- How do I control the color of my brew? As I stated earlier, I have an American Wheat fermenting right now and the color of it is still pretty dark (8 days in), although it is lightening up some. And the temp. is set at around 70-74. So what are some tips of keeping my brew the correct color? Thanks guys!
 

Boomer.....

Territorial Marshal
Feb 15, 2007
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@sc5mu93 @BAMF cowboy
Just recently acquired a home brewing quit! Northern Brewer's deluxe to be exact. I have a brew thats fermenting right now (American Wheat, came with the kit). So I have a couple questions for you guys:

1- Im looking to brew again here pretty soon and I'm wanting to brew a very good summertime beer. Do you guys have any suggestions? I do not have the equipment for an all-grain brew.

2- What are some tips for adding flavor/zest to my brews? I've read of people using lemon zest/orange peel... What are your tips on this topic? When to add them?

3- How do I control the color of my brew? As I stated earlier, I have an American Wheat fermenting right now and the color of it is still pretty dark (8 days in), although it is lightening up some. And the temp. is set at around 70-74. So what are some tips of keeping my brew the correct color? Thanks guys!
I've always liked the Brewer's Best Summer Ale, but it's seasonal and not available yet. You may be able to find lighter, summer beers online.

I've always stuck with the additives provided in the kit, but you can find many flavor packets at homebrew stores or online. If you're in the metro area, Learn to Brew is a great spot.

You can only get beer so light with extract brewing. The liquid extract tends to make the beer darker than it normally is. You can add more water to the boil to help lighten it some.
 

BAMF cowboy

The Village BAMF
Aug 10, 2007
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@sc5mu93 @BAMF cowboy
Just recently acquired a home brewing quit! Northern Brewer's deluxe to be exact. I have a brew thats fermenting right now (American Wheat, came with the kit). So I have a couple questions for you guys:

1- Im looking to brew again here pretty soon and I'm wanting to brew a very good summertime beer. Do you guys have any suggestions? I do not have the equipment for an all-grain brew.

2- What are some tips for adding flavor/zest to my brews? I've read of people using lemon zest/orange peel... What are your tips on this topic? When to add them?

3- How do I control the color of my brew? As I stated earlier, I have an American Wheat fermenting right now and the color of it is still pretty dark (8 days in), although it is lightening up some. And the temp. is set at around 70-74. So what are some tips of keeping my brew the correct color? Thanks guys!
@OrangeFanatic2 Welcome to wonderful world of homebrewing!

1- I've always only ever brewed All-Grain, so I can't speak specifically to extract or partial mash recipes but from what I understand you should be able to brew just about any style using the right amounts and ratios of Dry Malt Extract (DME) or Liquid Malt Extract (LME). As for a good, beginners Summer brew, I'd recommend a Belgian White (Wit), a German Hefeweizen or perhaps some sort of Saison. Those yeast strains are a little more forgiving and give off fruity flavors that can be pleasant for those styles, and in my opinion drink well during a hot summer day. I would stay away from lagers or blondes ales as those require more precise fermentation temperatures which would be challenging for a new brewer.

2- For zests I usually just zest 1-2oz of the fruit (lemon/orange/grapefruit/etc.) the day of brewing and then add to the boil with about 10 minutes left. I would guess that this is what the vast majority of brewers do.

3- The color is mostly a result of the grains you use. Grains that have been malted longer (i.e. crystal malts, roasted malts, etc.) will give you a darker color. There isn't really much you can control in regards to color at this point. The difference you are noticing is likely yeast and sediment falling out of suspension and the beer starting to clarify. I wouldn't stress about the color if you're looking at it in your carboy - It will look a lot different once it's in a pint glass.

Let me know if you have additional questions. I now have 5 years of brewing under my belt, and while I probably still don't hold a candle to SC I've seen and done most things brewing related!
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
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Oct 18, 2006
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@OrangeFanatic2 Welcome to wonderful world of homebrewing!

1- I've always only ever brewed All-Grain, so I can't speak specifically to extract or partial mash recipes but from what I understand you should be able to brew just about any style using the right amounts and ratios of Dry Malt Extract (DME) or Liquid Malt Extract (LME). As for a good, beginners Summer brew, I'd recommend a Belgian White (Wit), a German Hefeweizen or perhaps some sort of Saison. Those yeast strains are a little more forgiving and give off fruity flavors that can be pleasant for those styles, and in my opinion drink well during a hot summer day. I would stay away from lagers or blondes ales as those require more precise fermentation temperatures which would be challenging for a new brewer.

2- For zests I usually just zest 1-2oz of the fruit (lemon/orange/grapefruit/etc.) the day of brewing and then add to the boil with about 10 minutes left. I would guess that this is what the vast majority of brewers do.

3- The color is mostly a result of the grains you use. Grains that have been malted longer (i.e. crystal malts, roasted malts, etc.) will give you a darker color. There isn't really much you can control in regards to color at this point. The difference you are noticing is likely yeast and sediment falling out of suspension and the beer starting to clarify. I wouldn't stress about the color if you're looking at it in your carboy - It will look a lot different once it's in a pint glass.

Let me know if you have additional questions. I now have 5 years of brewing under my belt, and while I probably still don't hold a candle to SC I've seen and done most things brewing related!
This is a very timely bump, after a long hiatus I fired up the brewstand this weekend.

I concur with all BAMF posted, but I will give some extra food/beer for thought.

1 - Lagers and blonde ales should be avoided until you have better fermentation temp control. Also some of the darker beers like porters and stouts may be options, as the flavors involved will mask a lot of imperfections.

2 - while I agree with BAMF, I would suggest getting a few laps around the track first prior to experimentation. For flavored beers, I recommend getting the base beer recipe to a point that you like it. Then add the additive as indicated by BAMF. Utilizing this method, you have a good baseline to make meaningful changes to subsequent batches as well. If that makes any sense.

3 - mentioned above. Color is determined by grain. In extract brewing, often times the canned stuff, or the bulk LME is darker than expected. If you wish to lighten up your next batch, look for extra light DME or something like that. You should be able to find some pretty pale varieties.

@OrangeFanatic2 good luck. and post some pics of your creations.

Some unsolicited advice: Second only to fermentation temperature control, I recommend yeast starters. It is always good practice to grow a good yeast culture prior to pitching it. IMO, the more the better. It leads to faster onset, faster fermentation, and higher attenuation. All of which decreases the risk of microbial infection, which is the worst enemy of your beer (unless you intend it).
 
Oct 30, 2012
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This is a very timely bump, after a long hiatus I fired up the brewstand this weekend.

I concur with all BAMF posted, but I will give some extra food/beer for thought.

1 - Lagers and blonde ales should be avoided until you have better fermentation temp control. Also some of the darker beers like porters and stouts may be options, as the flavors involved will mask a lot of imperfections.

2 - while I agree with BAMF, I would suggest getting a few laps around the track first prior to experimentation. For flavored beers, I recommend getting the base beer recipe to a point that you like it. Then add the additive as indicated by BAMF. Utilizing this method, you have a good baseline to make meaningful changes to subsequent batches as well. If that makes any sense.

3 - mentioned above. Color is determined by grain. In extract brewing, often times the canned stuff, or the bulk LME is darker than expected. If you wish to lighten up your next batch, look for extra light DME or something like that. You should be able to find some pretty pale varieties.

@OrangeFanatic2 good luck. and post some pics of your creations.

Some unsolicited advice: Second only to fermentation temperature control, I recommend yeast starters. It is always good practice to grow a good yeast culture prior to pitching it. IMO, the more the better. It leads to faster onset, faster fermentation, and higher attenuation. All of which decreases the risk of microbial infection, which is the worst enemy of your beer (unless you intend it).
Thank you! I've heard from several people to use the yeast starters. How does that work exactly?
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
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Thank you! I've heard from several people to use the yeast starters. How does that work exactly?
Essentially you are making a small unhopped fermenting beer to add to your wort. You mix some DME with water, boil, cool and add yeast a day or two before brewing. This allows the yeast to multiply and be in the correct life stage for fermenting beer upon pitching.