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Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

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  1. S

    Apartment ferm temps

    I've had great success with a swamp cooler in my basement. Not sure why a swamp cooler would need such frequent attention. I leave a fan going and check on it every day. Much less work than frequent bottle changes, IMO.
  2. S

    Dry hopping a lager

    I like your fermentation profile (I do the same after pitching around 45). After fermentation has wrapped up around 60-65, I rack to secondary and lager for 6 weeks in the mid-30s. Lagering in the keg should be fine, too. I would add the dry hops in the last week or two of lagering. As I...
  3. S

    Is Aging Necessary for a Belgian Golden Strong Ale?

    Oh, and BLaM indicates that many Belgian ales are "lagered" (cold conditioned) for a couple weeks in the mid-50s after primary fermentation is complete.
  4. S

    Is Aging Necessary for a Belgian Golden Strong Ale?

    I think this is absolutely right. The classic examples of Belgian beers that we get here in the States are relatively old. They're still great beers, but when we emulate the styles, I think we tend to shoot for these aged flavors (low hop flavor/aroma, slightly oxidized caramel malts and...
  5. S

    Temp Controller question

    If you're desperate, I think you could leave the fridge on as normal and use a temp controller and brew belt (or heat pad) to keep the fermentor exactly where you want it. For lagers this might mean you turn the fridge temp down a little. Either way, it'll be a waste of energy.
  6. S

    CO2 volumes for cider

    The British vs US beer carbonation is all about the style. As in, most British ales should have relatively low carbonation than the ~2.5 volumes of CO2 appropriate for US ales and lagers or 3-4 vols for Belgians. The question really is, how much carbonation do you want in your cider? Do you...
  7. S

    Temperature question

    The STC-1000 two-stage temperature controller is only $25 (including shipping) on Ebay. SO much cheaper than the Johnson and Ranco, so long as you print out a Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion table.
  8. S

    Over fermentation

    This is called Krausening, and was a traditional technique for carbonating german lagers according to Reinheitsgebot.
  9. S

    WOW beers! What are yours?

    Yeah... IPAs and stouts are the last beers I would recommend to ease BMC drinkers into craft beer. Don't get me wrong, they're fantastic styles that most of us will have an obsessive phase about after acquiring the taste, but a good Kolsch or Oktoberfest is probably a better place to start.
  10. S

    Over fermentation

    It sounds like your problem can be more-aptly described as over-carbonation. There are several root causes here, but the basic gist is that there is too much simple sugar in your beer when you bottle. Are you weighing the priming sugar, adjusting for beer volume and temperature? Are you...
  11. S

    WLP 530 vs 3787 Temp

    Well, they aren't exactly identical, although they came from the same source. I've noticed that White Labs is a bit more conservative with its recommended temperature ranges than Wyeast for yeasts from the same source.
  12. S

    Fermentation temp question

    At this point, I recommend taking the fermentor out of the bath and allowing it warm up. This will keep the yeast active a little bit longer, helping fully-attenuate your beer. Since primary fermentation is nearly complete, there will be virtually no flavor contributed by yeast activity at this...
  13. S

    Building up a Starter?

    SpeedYellow means
  14. S

    reusing ale yeast from cider in beer

    I was listening to the Jamil show episode on cider today. He advises against this for the same reason you shouldn't make a starter with table sugar: once the yeast has adjusted to fermenting simple sugar it mutates, gets lazy and will not ferment maltose as well.
  15. S

    What is Pacman supposed to taste like?

    I'm guessing your yeast culture got infected somewhere along the way, especially if you harvested it from a bottle.
  16. S

    Yeast for a stout

    And by British vs. American I mean slightly estery with a touch of diacetyl vs. clean and dry.
  17. S

    Yeast for a stout

    Got any idea if you're going British vs. US flavors in your stout? US style: Pacman, Denny's Favorite (Wyeast 1450), or 1272 British: Fuller's (1968), Boddington's (1318), or Scottish (1728, although pretty clean for British beer)
  18. S

    Pacman progress my first bottle harvest

    You put the blowoff container into a bucket? Genius! Why didn't I think of this before? *facepalm* Would've saved me the mess 1056 just made with my IPA...
  19. S

    Need advice on final gravity to avoid geyser bottles

    Your attenuation depends on your yeast strain, mash temp, %of unfermentables (crystal malts), and ferm temp. If you used the Scottish ale yeast for your Wee Heavy, 75% is probably done. I agree that you should use a carbonation calculator and weigh out your priming sugar. A cheap $5 scale...
  20. S

    Alcohol Content Always Seems Low

    It's important to make sure that you're pitching enough yeast. This ensures that the beer is attenuating fully without off-flavors, and will carbonate properly. Awesome! Glad to hear you're paying attention to the details. As mentioned, your hydrometer is calibrated to read pure water as...