Author Topic: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me  (Read 6528 times)

Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #60 on: August 15, 2019, 09:40:46 pm »
Ok, I need to know if this is doomed

I'd really like to do a  Schwarzbier

I've got the Immersion chiller so I can keep it at 50~ degrees for the fermentation for two weeks, but I don't have any place to lager' two cases of beer at 34 degrees for 4-6 weeks

I did see that I could use the Wyeast 2112 California Lager yeast or Imperial Organic Imperial L05 Cablecar Lager Yeast to do a psuedo lager

Thoughts...am attempting master's level courses with a high school level background?

Also...priming sugar
All the 'pro' recipes don't even mention this as it's assumed you know
I was told to use a chart, but why wouldn't they list how much is used for an 'optimal' batch
It's like that annoying note in cooking recipies...'salt to taste'
I always hate that...just tell me how much you use and I'll adjust from there

I know I'm supposed to use this chart

but I wish they'd tell you in the recipe what the target Volumes of CO2 for that beer
seems like an important thing

also should I just get priming sugar in bulk an use my 'drug scale' to measure
if so is there one all purpose sugar you recommend?
or should you have a different sugar for different beers


serious question: did you think of that all by yourself?  'cause if so, that's impressive - you've just described a pre-chiller.

Since this post, I've seen these....but I did feel like at the time that it was an original thought out of my brain trying to think of ways to improve the process (and shorten the time and waste water)

some goes into my HTL for cleaning
Ok…what is an HTL?
LAMF

sweetcell

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #61 on: August 16, 2019, 03:59:00 pm »
Ok, I need to know if this is doomed

I'd really like to do a  Schwarzbier

I've got the Immersion chiller so I can keep it at 50~ degrees for the fermentation for two weeks, but I don't have any place to lager' two cases of beer at 34 degrees for 4-6 weeks

I did see that I could use the Wyeast 2112 California Lager yeast or Imperial Organic Imperial L05 Cablecar Lager Yeast to do a psuedo lager

Thoughts...am attempting master's level courses with a high school level background?

if the brew jacket can hold at 50*F, you're good to go on fermenting a lager. 

the standard, traditional way of making a lager is to do primary fermentation at 45-50*F, then ramp up at the very end (diacetyl rest) in the mid-60's for a few days, then crash down to 32*F for 4-6 weeks.

a modern approach that you should consider is to start at 45-50, wait for your fermentation to be about half over, and start slowly ramping then until you hit 68-70, hold there until complete, then crash.  the idea here is that almost all yeast flavor is developed in the early phases of fermentation.  lagers are not supposed to have yeast character.  so by being careful early on, you're getting the main benefit of a lager without all the effort.  this method has the benefit of being less dependent on cold fermentation temps for such a long time, and speed: fermentation time is cut down because warmer temps = faster fermentation.  some reading: link 1 (good explanation, including proposed timeline), and link 2.

another traditional characteristic of lager is that it should be crystal clear.  this is what those 4-6 weeks of cold storage (AKA lagering) are giving you.  also cleans up unwanted flavors caused by stuff in suspension - after weeks of cold temps, that stuff will drop out and settle at the bottom of your carboy or keg.  but this is an ideal.  if you can't get down to 32, get down to whatever you can - set the brew jacket to max cold, wrap that baby up in an extra sleeping bag and let it ride.  after finishing up at 68-70, a few weeks at 45 will help a lot with clearing.  and you don't want to do this in the bottle, because then the crap will just settle to the bottom of the bottle and will get kicked up as soon as you pour.  better to bulk-age in the carboy/bucket/whatever, then bottle after clearing is complete.  and if you can't do 4-6 weeks, do as long as you can.

finally, clarity isn't as important on a schwarzbier depending how dark you make it.  can't see through black ;D

Also...priming sugar
All the 'pro' recipes don't even mention this as it's assumed you know
I was told to use a chart, but why wouldn't they list how much is used for an 'optimal' batch
It's like that annoying note in cooking recipies...'salt to taste'
I always hate that...just tell me how much you use and I'll adjust from there

I know I'm supposed to use this chart
http://howtobrew.com/assets/img/assets/f65.gif
but I wish they'd tell you in the recipe what the target Volumes of CO2 for that beer
seems like an important thing

first off, forget that graph from How To Brew.  that's old school.  we got the internet now, and there are plenty online priming calculators.  i like this one.  note that there is a drop-down to select your beer style, with suggested carbonation levels.  boom.

regarding the "temperature" input on brewing calculators: do not use the current temp of the beer, as the calculator might indicate.  rather, use the temp at which the beer finished fermenting at.  in the above example of starting at 50*F, ramping up to 70*F until fermentation is over, then crashed down to 45 - you would use 70 as the beer temp since that is where fermentation ended.  if you use 45, AKA the current temp of the beer at bottling time, you beer will be over-carb'ed.  lemme know if you want to hear about the science behind it, it boils down to warm liquids holding less gas than cold liquid, so you need to pick when the gas was last replenished by fermentation...

regular beer bottles can typically tolerate up to 3.0 vols CO2.  if you want to go higher than that (belgian styles, hefewiezen, sours, etc) you need to use thick glass bottles, like what duvel and la chouffe comes in, founder's 750ml bottles, champagne bottles (need to use larger caps), etc. 

also should I just get priming sugar in bulk an use my 'drug scale' to measure
if so is there one all purpose sugar you recommend?
or should you have a different sugar for different beers

unless i'm trying to add a flavor with my bottling sugar (ex: using brown sugar in a stout to add some caramel notes), i use regular ol' white table sugar from the grocery store.  in priming calculators, table sugar is often called sucrose.  that fancy corn sugar you might have bought from the homebrew shop is called dextrose.

always, always measure your priming sugar  by weight.  drug scales are perfect for this. don't go by cups or other volume measurements.  tip: boil your priming sugar in a little water to make a syrup, and prime with that.  boiling it sanitizes it and gets it into solution.  no more worries about having sugar not dissolving and just sitting at the bottom of your bottling bucket.

Ok…what is an HTL?

HLT: hot liquor tank.  it's where you hold and heat your pre-mash water, and your sparging water.
MLT: mash liquor tun (or just MT, mash tun).  where you mix grain and water, and the starches are converted into sugars.
BK: boil kettle.
FV: fermentation vessel.

so the liquid moves from HLT --> MLT --> BK --> FV.
in the case of traditional BIAB, your HLT, MLT and BK are the same vessel.
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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #62 on: October 14, 2019, 10:37:38 am »
Wimped out on the  Schwarzbier, really didn't want to have my chiller out of commission for 6 weeks
Sticking with Black IPA for now

Question...The spigot on the my fermentor

What situations would you use this

 get a sample to check the Final Gravity?

Is this just easier to get it to your bottling bucket?

It seems to pull a lot of trub and making me want to pull the liquid out with my racking cane
I was hoping to avoid the bottling bucket, but that doesn't seem to be an option unless I'm kegging
I guess I could use those carbonation drops, but that seems more expensive and much less accurate

just seems like a big liability (eventually leaking or breaking) for very little benefit
LAMF

sweetcell

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #63 on: October 14, 2019, 02:02:17 pm »
Question...The spigot on the my fermentor

What situations would you use this

get a sample to check the Final Gravity?

Is this just easier to get it to your bottling bucket?

It seems to pull a lot of trub and making me want to pull the liquid out with my racking cane
I was hoping to avoid the bottling bucket, but that doesn't seem to be an option unless I'm kegging

just seems like a big liability (eventually leaking or breaking) for very little benefit

i've never used a fermenter with a spigot so no experience there.  checking final gravity would be a valid use, but personally i don't do that until i'm packaging - i've already decided the beer is done so it's more of a post-facto "where did we end" type of inquiry, not a "what is the current state" decision-making point.  give the beer 14+ days to ferment, raise the temps a few degrees as active fermentation tappers off, wait for the air lock to stop and for no visible signs of fermentation, give it a few last days to clean up, and you can assume you're done.  and really, if you're at 1.015 instead of your desired 1.012 - what are you going to do?  nothing much to be done!  commercial brewers need to track gravity they need consistency and they're under time pressure (move the beer out as soon as it's done, time is money).  i'd rather take my time and skip constant gravity sample.  also, when you remove beer for gravity samples you're sucking in air to replace the volume you've pulled.  you want to avoid exposure to air as much as possible, for as long as possible.

bottling directly from the fermentor could be another good use - if it works well.  the fact that you're pulling in trub tells me that it doesn't work that great.  a racking arm would be great benefit, but i'm just dreaming here...

i've never been a fan of plastic spigots on fermentors.  my concern is cleaning them - there are a lot of nooks and crannies for nasties to hid in, most spigots can't be disassembled to clean inside them, etc.  my bottling bucket has a spigot on it, but you're a little safer there because you're bottling fermented beer = lower pH + alcohol.  i still clean the hell outta it, and have one for clean beer and another for sour beer.

I guess I could use those carbonation drops, but that seems more expensive and much less accurate

the one-per-bottle drops are indeed inaccurate.  i use these drops that you use 3-5 tabs per 12 oz bottle, and 7-9 per 22oz.  gives you a lot more control over carbonation.  after i fill my keg, i typically have a little beer left over in the fermentor - so i'll dump that into a bottling bucket and fill a few bottles (which i typically bring to the office so workmates can have a taste).  given how variable that amount of beer is, it would be very hard to get the amount of sugar right (needs to be boiled and cooled in advance).  these carb drops have worked great for me.  3 tabs for a stout, 4 or 5 for an average beer, maybe 6 for a fizzy belgian (in a thick glass bottle).
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