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    Wyeast 3724 (Saison)-How hot too hot??

    So I started a Saison on Sunday. I'd really like to get the fruity funky flavors out of this and have heard (and seen from my buddy) how this strain is notorious for sputtering out early. It has been going fine so far in my basement (~70F) It has been an absolute heatwave here (90's..heat...
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    Durability of beer vs. wort

    I know that sanitation is a big part of brewing, and I still try to adhere to fairly compulsive cleaning habits. But isn't it true that once the fermentation is over-the alcohol in the beer will fortify it against contamination? If priming sugar is added-I can see where this food source would...
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    Stratification in the grain bed

    I fly sparge so my mash is usually pretty much liquid. I keep an equal flow in and out. I always notice when I dump my grains how the different grains layer themselves according to relative size. Is this OK? It all goes to the same place right? Never had a problem with efficiency, just wondering...
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    Suggestions for 70 degree ferm temp

    I'm looking to brew on Saturday and am trying to decide what to do. We had a pretty cold winter and brewed right around 50-60 degrees. I was able to do a few lager-ish batches and some clean ales. I'm thinking it may not be quite warm enough to get into the Belgians...but was wondering if there...
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    Crushed too fine-stuck sparge-no break(?)

    I did an oatmeal stout on Saturday and I had a suspicion that the grain was too fine, but I proceeded as usual (mashed at 155). When I vorlaufed, I knew I had some problems, as it was having some major troubles flowing out (I use a 5 gal cooler and a false bottom). When i began sparging, it was...
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    'Chilling' epiphany

    For the nearly 2 years I'd been brewing, my chilling method was the same: Cover the BK with foil, and let sit in my basement utility tub with 'ice bombs' until cool enough for pitching. Once I started AG, I did the same thing, but used the immersion chiller as well. That area of my basement...
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    Raising ferm temp with hot water heater?

    My basement has been about 60, and on Saturday I started a stout using Belgian yeast (wlp500). I don't have warmers or anything like that, so I just set it touching the hot water heater. It got a good start and is at 68-about what I want. The ambient temp in that spot is closer to 63. I really...
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    Belgian Imperial Stout (?)

    I ran across a recipe for one of these and am going to have a go at it. They're 2 of my favorite styles, and I want to get something going that will age. Anyone ever try/brew one of these? Am using wlp500...It should be interesting.
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    In praise of kegging...

    I've been brewing for about 2 years and had stuck to bottling. I was reluctant to realize how simple a keg setup could be, and I suppose I wanted to be a purist. After a few bad bacthes (which may or may not be due to my bottling procedure), I borrowed my buddy's keg/tank to give it a try. The...
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    Chilling with ice bombs

    I've had a few bad batches recently and I'm beginning to think that it's due to my long cooling period. I use an immersion chiller let my brewpot swim in a bath of water in a utility tub. I add ice bombs (frozen bottles of water) to the water to help as well. This still takes about an hour...
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    Stone Ruination IPA-a bit of a let down

    Don't get me wrong-this is a quality beer. But I was honestly expecting much more from these guys-given their (self-bestowed) reputation. I'll spare you the blow by blow-but overall it seemed a bit imbalanced. It reminded me of a regular gravity pale I brewed where I added several ounces of...
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    force carb vs. natural carb

    So I'm just about convinced that I'm going to want to start kegging soon. They say that the avergae homebrewer quits after 3 years, and heading into year #3, I don't want to be a casualty of attrition. But if I have to keep dealing with the process and chaos of bottling every beer-that may be...
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    sour, flat, and goofy looking stout

    A recent batch of oatmeal stout has a whole mess of problems. 1st off, I used Coopers yeast, and was very careful to not rack any of the yeast cake into the bottling bucket. Usually there still ends up being enough in there, but this had been a long time (over a month) in the primary-so I'm...
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    Commercial non-Cascade APA/IPAs?

    I have nothing against Cascades as a matter of course, but have kind of grown tired of them. I like to try new brews of all styles, but lately it seems that every new IPA or APA I try is a bit of a let down because it's that familiar Cascade taste. I like the fruity/citrusy/bitter taste-but...
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    Taste curve for big beers

    Patience is definitely a virtue with homebrewing-even for normal gravity beers. For big beers, it's essential (and it's been difficult!). I was wondering if anyone has experienced a relatively rapid improvement in flavor after a certain time period for big beers, and if that curve keeps its...
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    Blowoff source: oats or yeast?

    The last 2 batches have provided my only 2 blowoffs to date. I'm curious to know if this is due to the yeast itself, or to my grain bill. Both brews (Jamil's Oatmeal Stout; L'il Sparky's Nut Brown) included 1 lb. of oats, and I'd imagine they add a lot of proteins that could lead to...
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    Drawbacks to over-pitching?

    The last 2 brews I've done I've used dry yeast. In order to really get things going, I pitched 2 sachets both times (bee cave pale-notty; oatmeal stout-coopers). Both resulted in very quick, violent fermentations that were complete in no more than two days (really closer to one). Is there any...
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    Slam it down-or let it sit?

    I bottled an ESB 2.5 weeks ago, and after about 4 days in the bottle, I noticed particulate in the beer-and the dreaded ring around the neck. I figured the batch was totally shot. After 2 weeks in the bottle, I decided to give it a try, just to see...It had a little funky smell, and tasted a...
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    Aurora hops?

    I'm brewing EdWort's Haus Pale tomorrow-but I'm a little tired of Cascades so I thought I'd change it up. Upon the suggestion of the LHBS-I'm going to use Cluster as my bittering hop, then Auroras for the flavor and finishing hops...the AAs are comparable to Cascades, but I've never used...
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    4 AG baches pitched today before 6:30 !

    :rockin: We knew it would be a big undertaking...but my buddy and I figured we need to take advantage of our free weekend days. Figured we could do it since we had 2 of everything equipment-wise except for the chiller. Had a minor mishap-and had to run out to get another propane tank...but...
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