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Old 08-15-2012, 12:33 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by thasnazzle View Post
OP, I live in Austin and started out using LME from them since their kits come that way. I've since switched and can definitely tell the difference. Maybe it is just me, but I can't recall having a beer I made with AHB's LME that didn't have a twang to it. I still brew partial mash, but switching to DME has notably improved my output.
Interesting.... I just ordered ingredients for my next two beers, wish I had known. Guess I will use the DME next time around to see how that turns out.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:05 PM   #32
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Something that just hit me that I should clear up. Austin says to get the wort down to 80, move to primary fermenter, and then top off water and pitch the yeast. So I bet I am actually pitching at a temp much lower than 80 when you actually top off with cold water. I've never measured the exact temp but will this next time around to see how far the temp drops when the cold water is added.

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Old 08-15-2012, 01:46 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Mikey_Dawg View Post
Something that just hit me that I should clear up. Austin says to get the wort down to 80, move to primary fermenter, and then top off water and pitch the yeast. So I bet I am actually pitching at a temp much lower than 80 when you actually top off with cold water. I've never measured the exact temp but will this next time around to see how far the temp drops when the cold water is added.
That's a good point. Also, try an ice/water bath in a cooler or bin and put your fermenter in there. Monitor the actual fermentation temperature of the beer with a stick-on thermometer (like for aquariums) and keep it under 68 degrees.

Some yeast strains, particularly So4 and nottingham, have a distinctive taste if they get over 72 degrees. S05 does "ok" up to about 74 degrees, but gets fruity over about that temperature.

I noticed that if I use nottingham and S04, 62 degrees is the best temperature for them, while 68 degrees seems to be perfect for S05.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:55 PM   #34
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I think I just got rid of my "homebrew" taste. I think the fermentation temps were the culprit. You said you didn't notice it as much with your cascade beer. If it's a high fermentation temp flavor it may be harder to pick up in such a fruity beer. Mine would get worse two weeks after bottling but took longer to develop in the keg.
I don't think pitching at 80 would be horrible as long as within a couple hours you could get it in the low 60's. I usually pitch at 75 the put the fermenter in my swamp cooler with plenty of ice. The swamp cooler water is leftover from using a pump to recirculate ice water through my IC. It's usually around 50 degrees so the temps of the wort are quickly brought down.

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Old 08-15-2012, 02:53 PM   #35
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That's a good point. Also, try an ice/water bath in a cooler or bin and put your fermenter in there. Monitor the actual fermentation temperature of the beer with a stick-on thermometer (like for aquariums) and keep it under 68 degrees.

Some yeast strains, particularly So4 and nottingham, have a distinctive taste if they get over 72 degrees. S05 does "ok" up to about 74 degrees, but gets fruity over about that temperature.

I noticed that if I use nottingham and S04, 62 degrees is the best temperature for them, while 68 degrees seems to be perfect for S05.
Does one ice bath usually keep the batch cool enough through fermentation (with room temps around 70-72)...or will I need to refresh the ice?
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:08 PM   #36
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Thanks a lot for adding that, I'll have to read up on it - I think you're right about chlorine evaporating, I had assumed (oops) that it was the same for chloramine! Thankfully my city doesn't add chlorine or chloramine so I get to just use my tap water.
Boiling tap water will remove chloramines as well as chlorine, though the camden tablets are simpler to use. I think 15 minutes is sufficient. Water must be boiled before adding to mash (i.e., the chloramines won't be removed by boiling the wort).

I see it isn't an issue for you, but I'm dropping this here for others that were wondering.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:38 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Mikey_Dawg View Post
Something that just hit me that I should clear up. Austin says to get the wort down to 80, move to primary fermenter, and then top off water and pitch the yeast. So I bet I am actually pitching at a temp much lower than 80 when you actually top off with cold water. I've never measured the exact temp but will this next time around to see how far the temp drops when the cold water is added.
Where are you getting your top-off water? Tap water in Austin is 85F right now, and room temp is maybe 75F if you like your AC on all day. Are you chilling your top-off water? If not, your wort is still too warm when you pitch.

Edit: just realized you aren't in Austin. Never mind.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:42 PM   #38
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Boiling tap water will remove chloramines
Everything I've seen contradicts this. In fact, the source does as well: http://www.chloramine.org/chloraminefacts.htm

Use Campden. Boiling will not do anything.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:44 PM   #39
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Does one ice bath usually keep the batch cool enough through fermentation (with room temps around 70-72)...or will I need to refresh the ice?
Google swamp cooler. Basically, evaporative cooling will keep your fermenter 1-15F lower than the surrounding air.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:46 PM   #40
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Boiling tap water will remove chloramines as well as chlorine, though the camden tablets are simpler to use. I think 15 minutes is sufficient. Water must be boiled before adding to mash (i.e., the chloramines won't be removed by boiling the wort).

I see it isn't an issue for you, but I'm dropping this here for others that were wondering.
Chloramines will boil off, eventually, but you'd run out of water first! I think it's something like hours, not minutes, to boil off chloramine. I have read some sources that say it can be boiled off more readily, but sources I trust say not.
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