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Jul
18
comment Why does gravity increase between pre-boil and pitching?
The recipe is making some assumptions about the rate of boil-off, which may or may not be accurate for your setup. My system boils off around 1 gallon of water each hour. If I'm boiling 6 gallons for one hour this equates to a 1/6 = 17% increase in gravity. If I boil 2 gallons for one hour, it's a 1/2 = 50% increase in gravity.
Jul
17
comment How far to insert stopper in carboy?
I also find that Star San makes it hard to get stoppers to stay in place.
Jul
16
comment Murky beer, no bubbles in airlock?
I've edited the answer to emphasize that airlock activity cannot be used as an indicator for fermentation.
Jul
16
comment Murky beer, no bubbles in airlock?
@Denny Did I mention bubbles in the airlock in my answer? I suggested he look for a ring of krausen as evidence that the fermentation had finished. I also suggested he take a sample for gravity, but with the proviso that it introduces a small risk of contamination.
Jul
16
comment Pitched Yeast at 80-85 deg. Problem?
Those temperatures (72 for ale, 65 for lager) are higher than recommended. Although most ale yeasts specify a temperature range up to 70 F., you'll make much better beer if you keep the temperature near the bottom of the range -- closer to 60 F. Lager yeasts vary in their recommended temperatures, but 55 F. is about the highest you could get away with. 65 F. is much too high for any lager yeast except for California common.
Jul
4
comment What's the amount of psi a 5 gallon water bottle can hold?
What do you mean by "compressor"? Normally, a CO2 tank is used to carbonate the beer and provide pressure for dispensing. Is this what you're using, or is it something different?
Jun
29
comment What is the effect of conversion efficiency on your brew?
Great answer, but I wanted to stress that while absolute efficiency is not important, knowing the efficiency of your setup is. If you know your efficiency, recipe formulation becomes a lot simpler as you know how much grain to mash to achieve the desired original gravity.
Jun
27
comment Hop extract substitution
@mdma no wisdom. I just plugged the numbers into the linked calculator.
Jun
25
comment High OG content for yeast
I've under-pitched more times than I care to mention, and every time I ended up with drinkable beer. Pitching the correct number of cells is desirable for complete attenuation, lowered quantities of esters and phenols, shorter lag, etc. But, as @mdma points out, the beer will still ferment.
Jun
16
comment Why does my beer have a separate water aftertaste?
I'm not sure about lack of water salts contributing to a watery flavor. There are plenty of beers traditionally brewed with very soft water. My water is very soft and I add nothing but calcium chloride to lower the mash pH. No ones ever complained that my beers lack flavor or mouthfeel.
Jun
16
comment Why does my beer have a separate water aftertaste?
You bottled too soon. I'm oversimplifying here, but a beer starting at 1.045 should finish around 1.010. The kit should have told you the expected final gravity. The beer should also be stable, i.e. the gravity remaining unchanged over three days, before bottling. This is almost certainly the reason for the over carbonation.
Jun
15
comment Why does my beer have a separate water aftertaste?
Do you know the original and final gravities for the batches? Unless you bottled too soon, it sounds like the second batch was infected, which would account for the over-carbonation and foul taste.
Jun
10
comment Why my homebrewed lager beer bottles explode?
Some bottles exploded. The others gushed. I don't think the fault lies in the bottles. Some sort of fermentation took place in the bottles -- either bacterial, due to an infection, or there was an excess of fermentable sugars due to over-priming or incomplete primary fermentation.
Jun
10
comment How do you add Red Pepper to beer?
Yes, I was assuming a 5 gallon batch. Regardless, you'll need to do some experiments to determine how much to use. It depends on the strength of the peppers, the length of infusion and your taste. Add a bit, taste, add some more and repeats until it tastes right.
Jun
10
comment How do you add Red Pepper to beer?
Infuse a pint or so of vodka with peppers. Add to beer when bottling. You might consider mixing up some small batches to determine how much of the infusion you want to add. It won't affect the ABV much.
Jun
9
comment Total Volume of Yeast Starter in Regards to Evaporation from Boiling Wort
Whoops. Misread a source. @mdma is right. 1 cup DME in 800ml is 1.080. This is why I also use weight, not volume.
Jun
9
comment Yeast Starter Vortex Size
Commenting on the EDIT. The yeast consume oxygen to reproduce. That's the reason for the constant aeration provided by the vortex. You can saturate the wort with oxygen at the beginning, but unless you continually add oxygen throughout fermentation, you'll get fewer cells because that initial does of oxygen has been consumed.
Jun
9
comment How do you add Red Pepper to beer?
Vodka is very good at extracting the heat and flavour from peppers. A while back I made a bird's eye pepper infused vodka for Bloody Marys. I only used two or three peppers in 26 oz of vodka, but ended up having to dilute it 3 to 1 with plain vodka to make it usable.
Jun
9
comment Total Volume of Yeast Starter in Regards to Evaporation from Boiling Wort
Good answer, but the actual gravity is probably lower than 1.080. There's 4oz = (1/4 lb) of DME in a cup. 800ml is around 0.21 gallons. At 45 pppg for DME, we get an SG of (0.25 * 45) / 0.21 = 1.054.
Jun
9
comment Yeast Starter Vortex Size
Not an answer, just a guess: wort has a oxygen saturation point, after which no more oxygen can go into solution. It could be that the saturation point is reached quickly with even a small vortex, so a large one is unnecessary.