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Old 07-09-2013, 02:21 PM   #11
seanppp
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Thanks for the kind words Tinhorn.

Demus, I'm sure a specific question would definitely be more helpful. But I don't have a specific question. Sometimes you learn things from brewing with others --either by seeing how they do it or if they critique while watching you do it-- that you didn't even know to ask. I live in Italy and there are no homebrewers within god knows how far so I can't really learn that way. I figured this would be the next best thing.

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Old 07-09-2013, 07:17 PM   #12
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So you’re kind of doing a BIAB except using a pot with holes in the bottom instead of a bag. BIAP I guess. That’s interesting. How big are the holes in the bottom of your pot? Do you get a lot of grain coming through into the boil?

Do you always do 90 minute boils? I usually only do if I’m using Pilsner malt or if I undershoot my gravity.

Fishing out the hops in step 11 doesn’t really seem necessary to me. I usually do the whirlpool and settle thing too and that seems to work just fine. And even if you bring in some hop debris to the fermenter it won’t affect the final beer.

Step 13: I used to try and be as careful as I could to not get any of the hop debris or break material and to try and make sure I got as much wort as possible, but lately I’ve decided that it’s just not worth the worry. So now I just start the siphon and slowly put it on the bottom edge of the pot and just let it go. It’s a little cloudy at first but it clears up quick. Then when it starts pulling all the dregs in I stop it. All of the kettle trub settles out in the fermenter.

I built a venturi type aeration hose similar to this: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/chea...-gadget-68218/ and it works awesome! I don’t have to shake fermenters anymore. You could go with an O2 system I guess, but I’ve never wanted to deal with the hassle or expense.

I’ve also never heard of pitching yeast halfway through the transfer. I don’t see anything wrong with it though. Might just be a little unnecessary stress having to manage the siphon and pitch yeast at the same time.

I would advise you to ditch the secondary altogether. That would be the best way to “Avoid oxidation!”! Leaving the beer on the yeast for longer is better for the beer anyway. And the beer will settle and clear at the same rate in the primary as it will in the secondary. I’ve even started dry hopping in primary.

Any particular reason you don’t use a bottling bucket? It would be much easier than stirring sugar into the fermenter and having to wait for the trub to settle back out. Plus you spend weeks letting it clear just to stir it up right before bottling. If you don’t have access to a bottling bucket in Italy, I would just leave the beer in the primary for 3 weeks (or however long the fermentation is) then use what you have been using for a primary as a bottling bucket. Or if you really want to do a secondary then you could just use the container you used as the primary as a bottling bucket. I guess really what I’m getting at is that you should transfer to a bottling bucket just before bottling.

I usually just soak my caps in StarSan. I feel like boiling them might mess up the seals on the inside, but if it’s been working for you then it’s probably fine.

Anyway, I hope this helps. I was pretty bored at work so I figured I could use my time constructively by helping out a fellow homebrewer! My wife studied abroad in Florence in college and I went and visited her while she was there. We had a great time. It’s really beautiful there, and the wine is cheap and good!

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Old 07-09-2013, 09:05 PM   #13
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Got ya. Couple things come to mind in ur procedure. Do you know your water profile? Adding gypsum or calcium chloride without knowing your water parameters is shooting in the dark. You may or may not need them, and how much is a mystery without a water report or analysis.
Second, when you heat strike water you need to go OVER your target temperature because the addition of the grains cools off the water. It can be 10 degrees or more depending on the temperature and quantity of the grain. It's the mash temperature that is important, so make sure you check it AFTER the grains go in...

If you find this helpful let me know and I'll read more of your process...

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Old 07-09-2013, 09:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanppp View Post
I posted my process up here a while ago but it has changed quite a bit so I want to see if anyone has any suggestions/criticism/additions to my brewing process. Thanks!

Note: My "lauter tun" is a pot that fits inside my brew pot and has holes drilled on the bottom of it to allow water to drain out the bottom.

BREW DAY
1. The golden rule of brewing: Don't be lazy with sanitizing! OK
2. Set lauter tun in brew pot, then slowly fill with 4½ gallons carbon filtered water. Place on burner and bring to the strike temperature needed for a 154°F mash. Why slowly - unless that is because of the speed of filtering??
3. When water reaches strike temperature, mix in gypsum salt and calcium chloride, then add full mash grains into lauter tun, cover brew pot with lid and towel, and let rest for 60 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
As already stated only make these additions in relation to the recipe and water chemistry.
4. Mix 20 minute mash grains into the brew pot and continue mashing for 20 minutes, stirring 10 minutes in. Why are you mashing grains at different times? I mash all my grains together for 60 minutes or 90 minutes depending on the style/recipe.
5. Meanwhile, slowly fill 3 gallon pot with 1½ gallons carbon filtered water (this’ll be the sparge water) and bring to 175°F by the end of the mashing in step 4. Mix gypsum salt and calcium chloride once it is warm. Again, why slowly and are you adding more salts? Why?
6. Remove towel from brew pot, then heat mash to 170°F (not exceeding 3°F/minute). Return towel and let rest for 5 minutes.
7. Slowly lift lauter tun above mash, allowing mash to drain out of the grains. When mash stops dripping, scoop grains into sparge water, mix, and let sit for 15 minutes, stirring often. With the lauter tun still above the mash level in the brewpot, pour the sparge water through the lauter tun into the brewpot. When water stops dripping, remove the lauter tun and grains. If you have the grains in a bag, squeeze the wort out!
8. Bring mash to a boil, then add 90 minute hops. Boil aggressively for 90 minutes. Some recipes use 90 minutes others use 60 minutes and often there are other timed addition for hops depending on whether they are for bittering, aroma, flavor or combinations of each.
20 minutes before end of boil, add Worfloc. Whirlfloc
15 minutes before end of boil, place wort chiller in the brew pot.
5 minutes before end of boil, add the 5 minute hops.
9. At the end of the boil, turn off the flame, add the flameout hops, and mix for 20 seconds. Let sit, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
10. Cool wort to 175°F, add sub-isoomeriziation hops, and mix continuously for 3 minutes. Let sit, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
11. Fish out as much of the hops as possible with the stainless steel strainer, then cool wort to ~70°F. Or use paint strainer bags to contain the hops. Alternatively just leave the hops in there.
12. Remove wort chiller. Place brew pot 3 feet off the floor and mix vigorously for 60 seconds to create a whirlpool. Cover the brew pot and let rest for 30 minutes. This should create a cone of trub at the middle of the bottom of the brew pot. I never do this.
13. Transfer wort to the primary fermenter with the racking cane: Or just pour it in.
Start at the top of the wort and slowly work down at the side of the brew pot, avoiding the trub cone. Hold the end of the racking cane at the top of the primary fermenter to allow it to aerate as much as possible. Pitch yeast into the primary fermenter half way through the transferring process. I always aerate the wort by shaking the snot out of the fermenter then add the yeast (at proper pitching temperatures.)
14. Place lid, stopper, and stopper plug tightly on the primary fermenter. Shake the primary fermenter vigorously for 4 minutes.
15. Place airlock in place of the stopper plug.
Place primary fermenter I suggest that you start EVERY fermentation with a blow off tube installed
a) in a small insulated space with a heater set to 60oF (when ambient temperature is below 60oF)
b) in a non-insulated space, in the 8 gallon brew pot filled with water, and a towel half in/half out of the pot (when ambient temp is above 60°F. Swamp cooler - use ice bottles if needed. Low to mid sixties for most ales.
16. After the airlock has stopped bubbling, rack to secondary (6-7 days after brewing). Do not ferment to a time schedule. Take gravity readings for final gravity before transferring or you can leave in primary until final gravity then many will leave it for another week or three then bottle.

SECONDARY (Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation!) Unless you are careless splashing all over the place oxidation is unlikely.
1. Place primary fermenter 3 feet off the floor, cover with a towel to avoid light exposure, and let sit for >2 hours (to settle out any trub).
2. Attach hose to nozzle and fill secondary fermenter (at the bottom to avoid oxidation). Leave behind trub in primary fermenter.
3. Place stopper and airlock atop secondary fermenter and return to the fermentation space.
4. When haze drops to the bottom of the secondary fermenter, the beer is ready to bottle (~10-16 days)*.

BOTTLING (Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation!) Again unless you splash a lot, oxidation is not likely.
1. Boil 2 cups carbon filtered water in a small saucepan, add corn sugar and mix until dissolved. Fill the larger saucepan with cold water and then place the small saucepan inside to cool for 5 minutes. I never cool the priming sugar solution. there is so little in a 5 gallon batch that I doubt it makes a difference.
2. Place secondary fermenter 3 feet off the ground, then pour in sugar water and gently mix with the racking cane (avoiding aeration but mixing sufficiently). Return airlock, cover with a towel to avoid light exposure, to and let sit for 1 hour (to settle out any trub). Cover with a towel to avoid light damage. Use a bottling bucket - way easier. I don't wait. There is almost no trub left.
Meanwhile, wash bottles in dishwasher (without soap). This is useless - the water will not get inside the bottles.
3. Boil 2 cups water in a small saucepan, place bottle caps inside for 2 minutes, then strain. Just put the caps in a bowl of Starsan
4. Fill racking cane and hose with water. Bend hose at the half-way point, allowing water to drain out the open end. Use Starsan
5. Place racking cane half way into secondary fermenter, then push filler valve down in the bowl until beer reaches the valve. Get an autosiphon and siphon into a bottling bucket. Attach a bottling wand directly to the spigot with an inch of tubing.
6. Fill each bottle to the top, allowing the displacement of the bottle filler to bring the beer down to ¾” below the top.
7. Allow bottles to sit for 10 minutes (to allow CO2 production to displace oxygen in the headspace of the bottle), then cap in the order they were filled.
8. Let bottles sit in a dark, room-temperature space for 14 days to carbonate. Once carbonated, keep refrigerated, and drink.
You will probably need at least 21 days then 24 to 48 hours of chilling.


There are no serious flaws in your methods.

There are a lot of other ways to achieve the same ends.

What I have noted are easier and for me, better ways to arrive at the same place.

One question is your lauter pot. Are you also using a mesh bag? If not what size holes are in the strainer pot. If it is a standard one most of the grain will go right through the holes.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:42 PM   #15
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peterj, thanks so much for your notes!

The holes in the "lauter tun" are 1/8". I've never had a single piece of grain fall through.

I think I will use a bottling bucket. It's an extra transfer, which is what I was trying to avoid, but what the heck. I still like doing secondaries so l'm going to keep with that. I find that leaving it in the primary it picks up some flavors from the trub.

That aeration gadget is super cool! I'm definitely going to have to make one of those! THANKS!!!

The reason I fish the hops out is because I use whole hops and they are pretty obtrusive.

I live in Livorno, the town south of Pisa. Was in Florence last weekend. I hope you were there in the spring or fall because gets HOT there.

Thanks again man. Appreciate the pointers.

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Old 07-09-2013, 09:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demus View Post
Got ya. Couple things come to mind in ur procedure. Do you know your water profile? Adding gypsum or calcium chloride without knowing your water parameters is shooting in the dark. You may or may not need them, and how much is a mystery without a water report or analysis.
Second, when you heat strike water you need to go OVER your target temperature because the addition of the grains cools off the water. It can be 10 degrees or more depending on the temperature and quantity of the grain. It's the mash temperature that is important, so make sure you check it AFTER the grains go in...

If you find this helpful let me know and I'll read more of your process...
Demus, thanks for the reply. I used the Bru'n Water Treatment program to determine the salts. As for the strike temp, I set up a little Excel sheet that uses John Palmer's formula to determine strike water temp. That is why I put "the temperature necessary to reach 154F" rather than "heat water to 171F" or something like that.

I'd love to hear any more opinions.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:21 PM   #17
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BREW DAY
1. The golden rule of brewing: Don't be lazy with sanitizing! OK
2. Set lauter tun in brew pot, then slowly fill with 4½ gallons carbon filtered water. Place on burner and bring to the strike temperature needed for a 154°F mash. Why slowly - unless that is because of the speed of filtering??
Yes, because if it runs through the carbon filter too quickly it won't do much good.
3. When water reaches strike temperature, mix in gypsum salt and calcium chloride, then add full mash grains into lauter tun, cover brew pot with lid and towel, and let rest for 60 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
As already stated only make these additions in relation to the recipe and water chemistry.
Got it covered.
4. Mix 20 minute mash grains into the brew pot and continue mashing for 20 minutes, stirring 10 minutes in. Why are you mashing grains at different times? I mash all my grains together for 60 minutes or 90 minutes depending on the style/recipe.
This is a little trick I picked up recently. Since specialty grains don't need to be converted (they are only there to steep and add flavor/texture/color) they don't *need* to be in with the entire mash. It is thought by some (me included) that they have a more fresh and crisp presence when they aren't sitting in there for the entire mash.
5. Meanwhile, slowly fill 3 gallon pot with 1½ gallons carbon filtered water (this’ll be the sparge water) and bring to 175°F by the end of the mashing in step 4. Mix gypsum salt and calcium chloride once it is warm. Again, why slowly and are you adding more salts? Why?
This wasn't clear from what I posted. Since I do an English sparge technique, I treat both the mash water and the sparge water. Those amounts are determined in my recipe. Sorry that was unclear here.
6. Remove towel from brew pot, then heat mash to 170°F (not exceeding 3°F/minute). Return towel and let rest for 5 minutes.
7. Slowly lift lauter tun above mash, allowing mash to drain out of the grains. When mash stops dripping, scoop grains into sparge water, mix, and let sit for 15 minutes, stirring often. With the lauter tun still above the mash level in the brewpot, pour the sparge water through the lauter tun into the brewpot. When water stops dripping, remove the lauter tun and grains. If you have the grains in a bag, squeeze the wort out!
No, I don't have grain bags. If you look at the beginning of my original post, I have a "pot in a pot" setup. Actually what it is is a copper sheet metal cylinder that I made which fits inside my brewpot and has 1/8" holes drilled in the bottom. Kind of the same principal as those those spaghetti strainers they use in restaurants that just lift right out of the pot.
8. Bring mash to a boil, then add 90 minute hops. Boil aggressively for 90 minutes. Some recipes use 90 minutes others use 60 minutes and often there are other timed addition for hops depending on whether they are for bittering, aroma, flavor or combinations of each.
20 minutes before end of boil, add Worfloc. Whirlfloc
LMAO!!!!! Oh man! This is hilarious! I've been brewing for 5 years and had this word wrong the entire time! Incredible!
15 minutes before end of boil, place wort chiller in the brew pot.
5 minutes before end of boil, add the 5 minute hops.
9. At the end of the boil, turn off the flame, add the flameout hops, and mix for 20 seconds. Let sit, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
10. Cool wort to 175°F, add sub-isoomeriziation hops, and mix continuously for 3 minutes. Let sit, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
11. Fish out as much of the hops as possible with the stainless steel strainer, then cool wort to ~70°F. Or use paint strainer bags to contain the hops. Alternatively just leave the hops in there.
Excellent idea! The large paint strainer bag! I am going to do this. Thank you!
12. Remove wort chiller. Place brew pot 3 feet off the floor and mix vigorously for 60 seconds to create a whirlpool. Cover the brew pot and let rest for 30 minutes. This should create a cone of trub at the middle of the bottom of the brew pot. I never do this.
13. Transfer wort to the primary fermenter with the racking cane: Or just pour it in.
Start at the top of the wort and slowly work down at the side of the brew pot, avoiding the trub cone. Hold the end of the racking cane at the top of the primary fermenter to allow it to aerate as much as possible. Pitch yeast into the primary fermenter half way through the transferring process. I always aerate the wort by shaking the snot out of the fermenter then add the yeast (at proper pitching temperatures.)
Why don't you add the yeast first? It probably doesn't make much of a difference either way, but it seems like if you add it before shaking you get a nice even distribution of the yeast in the wort.
14. Place lid, stopper, and stopper plug tightly on the primary fermenter. Shake the primary fermenter vigorously for 4 minutes.
15. Place airlock in place of the stopper plug.
Place primary fermenter I suggest that you start EVERY fermentation with a blow off tube installed
Why is that?
a) in a small insulated space with a heater set to 60oF (when ambient temperature is below 60oF)
b) in a non-insulated space, in the 8 gallon brew pot filled with water, and a towel half in/half out of the pot (when ambient temp is above 60°F. Swamp cooler - use ice bottles if needed. Low to mid sixties for most ales.
Can you elaborate?
16. After the airlock has stopped bubbling, rack to secondary (6-7 days after brewing). Do not ferment to a time schedule. Take gravity readings for final gravity before transferring or you can leave in primary until final gravity then many will leave it for another week or three then bottle.
You're right. I need to start taking gravity readings.
SECONDARY (Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation!) Unless you are careless splashing all over the place oxidation is unlikely.
1. Place primary fermenter 3 feet off the floor, cover with a towel to avoid light exposure, and let sit for >2 hours (to settle out any trub).
2. Attach hose to nozzle and fill secondary fermenter (at the bottom to avoid oxidation). Leave behind trub in primary fermenter.
3. Place stopper and airlock atop secondary fermenter and return to the fermentation space.
4. When haze drops to the bottom of the secondary fermenter, the beer is ready to bottle (~10-16 days)*.

BOTTLING (Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation!) Again unless you splash a lot, oxidation is not likely.
1. Boil 2 cups carbon filtered water in a small saucepan, add corn sugar and mix until dissolved. Fill the larger saucepan with cold water and then place the small saucepan inside to cool for 5 minutes. I never cool the priming sugar solution. there is so little in a 5 gallon batch that I doubt it makes a difference.
2. Place secondary fermenter 3 feet off the ground, then pour in sugar water and gently mix with the racking cane (avoiding aeration but mixing sufficiently). Return airlock, cover with a towel to avoid light exposure, to and let sit for 1 hour (to settle out any trub). Cover with a towel to avoid light damage. Use a bottling bucket - way easier. I don't wait. There is almost no trub left.
Yeah, I will use a bottling bucket.

Meanwhile, wash bottles in dishwasher (without soap). This is useless - the water will not get inside the bottles.
I disagree. You're correct that no liquid water will get far into the bottles, but the temperature of the steam bath that is created is above pasteurization temperature and will thus kill anything in the bottles. It is effective.
3. Boil 2 cups water in a small saucepan, place bottle caps inside for 2 minutes, then strain. Just put the caps in a bowl of Starsan
4. Fill racking cane and hose with water. Bend hose at the half-way point, allowing water to drain out the open end. Use Starsan
5. Place racking cane half way into secondary fermenter, then push filler valve down in the bowl until beer reaches the valve. Get an autosiphon and siphon into a bottling bucket. Attach a bottling wand directly to the spigot with an inch of tubing.
Again, good idea. I will do this.
6. Fill each bottle to the top, allowing the displacement of the bottle filler to bring the beer down to ¾” below the top.
7. Allow bottles to sit for 10 minutes (to allow CO2 production to displace oxygen in the headspace of the bottle), then cap in the order they were filled.
8. Let bottles sit in a dark, room-temperature space for 14 days to carbonate. Once carbonated, keep refrigerated, and drink.
You will probably need at least 21 days then 24 to 48 hours of chilling.
It's weird, I always read that carbonation takes 21 days or so, but my brews are always nice and carbonated at 14 days.


There are no serious flaws in your methods.

There are a lot of other ways to achieve the same ends.

What I have noted are easier and for me, better ways to arrive at the same place.

One question is your lauter pot. Are you also using a mesh bag? If not what size holes are in the strainer pot. If it is a standard one most of the grain will go right through the holes.

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Old 07-09-2013, 10:27 PM   #18
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seanppp View Post
BREW DAY
1. The golden rule of brewing: Don't be lazy with sanitizing! OK
2. Set lauter tun in brew pot, then slowly fill with 4½ gallons carbon filtered water. Place on burner and bring to the strike temperature needed for a 154°F mash. Why slowly - unless that is because of the speed of filtering??
Yes, because if it runs through the carbon filter too quickly it won't do much good.
3. When water reaches strike temperature, mix in gypsum salt and calcium chloride, then add full mash grains into lauter tun, cover brew pot with lid and towel, and let rest for 60 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
As already stated only make these additions in relation to the recipe and water chemistry.
Got it covered.
4. Mix 20 minute mash grains into the brew pot and continue mashing for 20 minutes, stirring 10 minutes in. Why are you mashing grains at different times? I mash all my grains together for 60 minutes or 90 minutes depending on the style/recipe.
This is a little trick I picked up recently. Since specialty grains don't need to be converted (they are only there to steep and add flavor/texture/color) they don't *need* to be in with the entire mash. It is thought by some (me included) that they have a more fresh and crisp presence when they aren't sitting in there for the entire mash.
5. Meanwhile, slowly fill 3 gallon pot with 1½ gallons carbon filtered water (this’ll be the sparge water) and bring to 175°F by the end of the mashing in step 4. Mix gypsum salt and calcium chloride once it is warm. Again, why slowly and are you adding more salts? Why?
This wasn't clear from what I posted. Since I do an English sparge technique, I treat both the mash water and the sparge water. Those amounts are determined in my recipe. Sorry that was unclear here.
6. Remove towel from brew pot, then heat mash to 170°F (not exceeding 3°F/minute). Return towel and let rest for 5 minutes.
7. Slowly lift lauter tun above mash, allowing mash to drain out of the grains. When mash stops dripping, scoop grains into sparge water, mix, and let sit for 15 minutes, stirring often. With the lauter tun still above the mash level in the brewpot, pour the sparge water through the lauter tun into the brewpot. When water stops dripping, remove the lauter tun and grains. If you have the grains in a bag, squeeze the wort out!
No, I don't have grain bags. If you look at the beginning of my original post, I have a "pot in a pot" setup. Actually what it is is a copper sheet metal cylinder that I made which fits inside my brewpot and has 1/8" holes drilled in the bottom. Kind of the same principal as those those spaghetti strainers they use in restaurants that just lift right out of the pot.
8. Bring mash to a boil, then add 90 minute hops. Boil aggressively for 90 minutes. Some recipes use 90 minutes others use 60 minutes and often there are other timed addition for hops depending on whether they are for bittering, aroma, flavor or combinations of each.
20 minutes before end of boil, add Worfloc. Whirlfloc
LMAO!!!!! Oh man! This is hilarious! I've been brewing for 5 years and had this word wrong the entire time! Incredible!
15 minutes before end of boil, place wort chiller in the brew pot.
5 minutes before end of boil, add the 5 minute hops.
9. At the end of the boil, turn off the flame, add the flameout hops, and mix for 20 seconds. Let sit, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
10. Cool wort to 175°F, add sub-isoomeriziation hops, and mix continuously for 3 minutes. Let sit, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
11. Fish out as much of the hops as possible with the stainless steel strainer, then cool wort to ~70°F. Or use paint strainer bags to contain the hops. Alternatively just leave the hops in there.
Excellent idea! The large paint strainer bag! I am going to do this. One question though, how do I keep it from just floating around in there? How do I get it to more or less take the shape of the brewpot so I can pour all the hops in there?
12. Remove wort chiller. Place brew pot 3 feet off the floor and mix vigorously for 60 seconds to create a whirlpool. Cover the brew pot and let rest for 30 minutes. This should create a cone of trub at the middle of the bottom of the brew pot. I never do this.
13. Transfer wort to the primary fermenter with the racking cane: Or just pour it in.
Start at the top of the wort and slowly work down at the side of the brew pot, avoiding the trub cone. Hold the end of the racking cane at the top of the primary fermenter to allow it to aerate as much as possible. Pitch yeast into the primary fermenter half way through the transferring process. I always aerate the wort by shaking the snot out of the fermenter then add the yeast (at proper pitching temperatures.)
Why don't you add the yeast first? It probably doesn't make much of a difference either way, but it seems like if you add it before shaking you get a nice even distribution of the yeast in the wort.
14. Place lid, stopper, and stopper plug tightly on the primary fermenter. Shake the primary fermenter vigorously for 4 minutes.
15. Place airlock in place of the stopper plug.
Place primary fermenter I suggest that you start EVERY fermentation with a blow off tube installed
Why is that?
a) in a small insulated space with a heater set to 60oF (when ambient temperature is below 60oF)
b) in a non-insulated space, in the 8 gallon brew pot filled with water, and a towel half in/half out of the pot (when ambient temp is above 60°F. Swamp cooler - use ice bottles if needed. Low to mid sixties for most ales.
Can you elaborate?
16. After the airlock has stopped bubbling, rack to secondary (6-7 days after brewing). Do not ferment to a time schedule. Take gravity readings for final gravity before transferring or you can leave in primary until final gravity then many will leave it for another week or three then bottle.
You're right. I need to start taking gravity readings.
SECONDARY (Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation!) Unless you are careless splashing all over the place oxidation is unlikely.
1. Place primary fermenter 3 feet off the floor, cover with a towel to avoid light exposure, and let sit for >2 hours (to settle out any trub).
2. Attach hose to nozzle and fill secondary fermenter (at the bottom to avoid oxidation). Leave behind trub in primary fermenter.
3. Place stopper and airlock atop secondary fermenter and return to the fermentation space.
4. When haze drops to the bottom of the secondary fermenter, the beer is ready to bottle (~10-16 days)*.

BOTTLING (Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation! Avoid oxidation!) Again unless you splash a lot, oxidation is not likely.
1. Boil 2 cups carbon filtered water in a small saucepan, add corn sugar and mix until dissolved. Fill the larger saucepan with cold water and then place the small saucepan inside to cool for 5 minutes. I never cool the priming sugar solution. there is so little in a 5 gallon batch that I doubt it makes a difference.
2. Place secondary fermenter 3 feet off the ground, then pour in sugar water and gently mix with the racking cane (avoiding aeration but mixing sufficiently). Return airlock, cover with a towel to avoid light exposure, to and let sit for 1 hour (to settle out any trub). Cover with a towel to avoid light damage. Use a bottling bucket - way easier. I don't wait. There is almost no trub left.
Yeah, I will use a bottling bucket.

Meanwhile, wash bottles in dishwasher (without soap). This is useless - the water will not get inside the bottles.
I disagree. You're correct that no liquid water will get far into the bottles, but the temperature of the steam bath that is created is above pasteurization temperature and will thus kill anything in the bottles. It is effective.
3. Boil 2 cups water in a small saucepan, place bottle caps inside for 2 minutes, then strain. Just put the caps in a bowl of Starsan
4. Fill racking cane and hose with water. Bend hose at the half-way point, allowing water to drain out the open end. Use Starsan
5. Place racking cane half way into secondary fermenter, then push filler valve down in the bowl until beer reaches the valve. Get an autosiphon and siphon into a bottling bucket. Attach a bottling wand directly to the spigot with an inch of tubing.
Again, good idea. I will do this.
6. Fill each bottle to the top, allowing the displacement of the bottle filler to bring the beer down to ¾” below the top.
7. Allow bottles to sit for 10 minutes (to allow CO2 production to displace oxygen in the headspace of the bottle), then cap in the order they were filled.
8. Let bottles sit in a dark, room-temperature space for 14 days to carbonate. Once carbonated, keep refrigerated, and drink.
You will probably need at least 21 days then 24 to 48 hours of chilling.
It's weird, I always read that carbonation takes 21 days or so, but my brews are always nice and carbonated at 14 days.


There are no serious flaws in your methods.

There are a lot of other ways to achieve the same ends.

What I have noted are easier and for me, better ways to arrive at the same place.

One question is your lauter pot. Are you also using a mesh bag? If not what size holes are in the strainer pot. If it is a standard one most of the grain will go right through the holes.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:47 PM   #19
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Some elaboration:

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Originally Posted by seanppp View Post
4. Mix 20 minute mash grains into the brew pot and continue mashing for 20 minutes, stirring 10 minutes in. Why are you mashing grains at different times? I mash all my grains together for 60 minutes or 90 minutes depending on the style/recipe.
This is a little trick I picked up recently. Since specialty grains don't need to be converted (they are only there to steep and add flavor/texture/color) they don't *need* to be in with the entire mash. It is thought by some (me included) that they have a more fresh and crisp presence when they aren't sitting in there for the entire mash.

I have never done this and it seems like an unneeded step, but I may have to look into this.

15. Place airlock in place of the stopper plug.
Place primary fermenter I suggest that you start EVERY fermentation with a blow off tube installed
Why is that?

Keep brewing and you will find out! Just kidding!
If you have a really vigorous fermentation you could have krausen rise into the airlock. It might clog it until pressure blows the lid off or stopper out, then you will be washing krausen off the ceiling. A blow off tube is larger in diameter, will release pressure and is less likely to get clogged.


a) in a small insulated space with a heater set to 60oF (when ambient temperature is below 60oF)
b) in a non-insulated space, in the 8 gallon brew pot filled with water, and a towel half in/half out of the pot (when ambient temp is above 60°F. Swamp cooler - use ice bottles if needed. Low to mid sixties for most ales.
Can you elaborate?

A swamp cooler is a container large enough to put your fermenter in it with enough water to go at least 1/3 the way up the side. You can rotate plastic bottles of frozen water as often as needed to control the wort temperature. I like to ferment most ales at about 64 degrees F.

Meanwhile, wash bottles in dishwasher (without soap). This is useless - the water will not get inside the bottles.
I disagree. You're correct that no liquid water will get far into the bottles, but the temperature of the steam bath that is created is above pasteurization temperature and will thus kill anything in the bottles. It is effective.

Washing no - sanitizing with high temperatures - Yes.

8. Let bottles sit in a dark, room-temperature space for 14 days to carbonate. Once carbonated, keep refrigerated, and drink.
You will probably need at least 21 days then 24 to 48 hours of chilling.
It's weird, I always read that carbonation takes 21 days or so, but my brews are always nice and carbonated at 14 days.

I find that some are carbonated at 2 weeks but all of my brews have tasted better after 3 weeks or longer.


Again,There are a lot of other ways to achieve the same ends.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:09 PM   #20
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Demus, thanks for the reply. I used the Bru'n Water Treatment program to determine the salts. As for the strike temp, I set up a little Excel sheet that uses John Palmer's formula to determine strike water temp. That is why I put "the temperature necessary to reach 154F" rather than "heat water to 171F" or something like that.

I'd love to hear any more opinions.
Even using bru'n water you still have to know your starting point. Do you know your source water profile?
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