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  1. Simonh82

    Force carbonating in 5 litre mini keg

    I currently keg my beer but always brew extra which I bottle for my father in law to keep in his good books (and because he lets us live in his house rent free). I've just bought a couple of 5L mini-keg growler type things with a plan to set him up with the kind of set up in this link. I've...
  2. Simonh82

    Bunging the fermentation vessel to avoid oxidation during cold crashing

    Wasn't sure whether to add this to the equipment forum or fermentation/yeast but I guess it's primarily about my equipment so hopefully that's OK. After reading this article I've become concerned about the potential for oxygen pick up during cold crashing and wanted to get people's opinion's on...
  3. Simonh82

    Mash pH consistently out, could precipitated calcium be the cause

    I use London tap water for brewing and have always had good success with this. I had a full water report done a while ago and regularly check the alkalinity and calcium hardness values before brewing. I use Bru'n'Water to adjust my water using 75% phosphoric acid and usually calcium sulphate...
  4. Simonh82

    Acidifying wort used in slants to allow sterilisation at boiling temps

    My understanding is that the reason the wort used in slants should be boiled in a pressure cooker under 15PSI of pressure is to raise the temperature high enough to kill botulinum spores. I've only made a couple of batches of slats so far and as I don't have a pressure cooker I've just boiled...
  5. Simonh82

    Restreaking from older yeast slants

    I have a small collection of yeast cultures that I keep on slants. Some of them are getting on for 6 months old and I'd like to restreak them onto fresh slants to keep the strain going. Is it fine to just transfer and streak directly from the old slant onto a new one? Will the viability of...
  6. Simonh82

    Electric recirculating BIAB system without a basket

    I've been happily making BIAB beer for 2 1/2 years now and made lots of great beer. Being something of a tinkerer I thought that I would upgrade my 30L 230V 2500W tea urn kettle with a pump to recirculate during the mash and a PID temperature controller. I shared my plans on another forum and a...
  7. Simonh82

    Storing Star San in kegs

    I'd like to start using the sanitation/purging method of pushing a full keg of star san out, into a spare keg to purge the keg of oxygen. Is it perfectly fine to store star san in kegs long term? I know it's clearly safe in the short term but would it be OK if it sat there for a couple of months?
  8. Simonh82

    Reducing fusil alcohol (or something else)

    I've found that there is a definite link between drinking my homebrew and getting mild headaches the following day which I don't get when I drink decent commercial beer. I suspect fusil alcohol although I've never tasted anything that might suggest this. Last night for instance I had 2 pints...
  9. Simonh82

    When to dry hop a NE IPA

    I'm brewing my first NE IPA. I know that it is often suggested that you dry hop when primary fermentation is still going but is two days in too early? I'm using the Sussex 1 yeast strain from Brew Lab, a UK brewing supplies organisation. They say it is a fast fermentor but less than 48...
  10. Simonh82

    Assessing individual grains for water adjustments

    Is there a simple way of assessing individual grains for there contribution to mash pH and can the Bru n' water spreadsheet be adjusted on the basis of an findings? I find that the suggested pH is usually too high for pale beers and too low for dark beers. For instance the last two beers I...
  11. Simonh82

    Can I salvage a normal brew that's gone sour?

    I brewed a golden ale a week or so ago and I think it has gone sour. I think it's a lacto infection but don't know enough about this style of brewing to be sure. I want to know if i should just dump it or whether it is worth bottling. The recipe is here and I think an infected starter is...
  12. Simonh82

    Generating oxygen for wort aeration from sodium percarbonate

    This may be a completely idiotic idea (and I'm entirely prepared to believe that it is) but I'd like to explore the idea of generating oxygen to aid wort aeration from sodium percarbonate. My current aeration methods are fairly standard. I let the wort flow from my boiler at a height, into...
  13. Simonh82

    Mash pH and water numbers don't stack up

    I finally picked up a decent pH meter, having used the nearly useless pH test strips so far. I brewed my first beer with its assistance last night and despite careful planning my mash pH was way out and I can't make the numbers add up. I wonder if anyone can help me understand what is going...
  14. Simonh82

    Tips for brewing a Belgian IPA

    I'm about to brew my first Belgian IPA today and wondered if anyone has any tips. I've harvested yeast from Duvel bottles and have a decent sized starter ready to go. I don't want to lose the character of the yeast amongst all the hops. I also want the dry finish of a Belgian beer so I'm mashing...
  15. Simonh82

    Bru n Water not responding to changes in alkalinity

    I have just purchased a Salifert carbonate hardness / alkalinity testing kit. I have a detailed water report but wanted to check my alkalinity before each brew. When I checked my alkalinity for the first time it was quite a lot higher than the report. When I plugged the new numbers in to Bru N...
  16. Simonh82

    Free access to the Journal of the Institute of Brewing

    I recently discovered that the Journal of the Institute of Brewing is freely available with only a one year embargo http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/%28ISSN%292050-0416. The journal goes right back to the late 19th century but is also bang up to date with brewing science. Most...
  17. Simonh82

    Two step mash, will this work?

    I like the dry finish that the highly attenuating US-05/West coast ale yeasts give but I like the fruity esters I get with traditional English ale yeasts, which generally finish sweeter. I've made APAs and IPAs with a good wack of crystal malts which have attenuated well, finished quite dry...
  18. Simonh82

    Fermentability of crystal malts

    I've often heard it said that crystal malts produce largely un-fermentable sugars. This is what gives the beer body and residual sweetness. I understand the process of creating crystal malts. Essentially mashing within the grain husk as part of the malting/kilning process. What I would...
  19. Simonh82

    Building multi step starters

    I'm having some yeast sent to me from the Wibbler Brewery in Essex, England. They send you a 35mm vial of yeast, which I guess will be pretty thick slurry. If I want to build this up to a starter and particularly if I want to overbuild to harvest some yeast again I know I'm going to do a...
  20. Simonh82

    Poor attenuation, what's the likely culprit?

    My first AG BIAB brew has been fermenting for two weeks how and shows signs of much lower attenuation than I was expecting. The brew day went well and I got 80% efficiency in to the fermenter. Due to a mess up with acid additions for my hard water, the mash pH was much lower than planned...