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  1. jerrylotto

    Gravity too low

    Back to fermentation temperature for a second. You said "70" but that was probably the ROOM temperature. While that influences fermentation you are really interested in your WORT temperature. Figure out a way to get a thermormeter to measure your wort temp. The stick on strips work well with...
  2. jerrylotto

    1.144: is this just a bad idea?

    I keep some Chardonnay yeast around to finish off big beers that stall too early. I pitch it after fermentation slows or stops with my primary ale yeast.
  3. jerrylotto

    How to use a refractometer for final gravity reading?

    If you haven't measured the wort correction factor for your refrractometer, you can still take measurements over time. When then don't change over a few days, the fermentation is done. You may not know the FG precisely until you take a reading with a hydrometer but the yeast won't get you any...
  4. jerrylotto

    Canner or glycol chiller

    It depends a lot on what gear you own and how you control temperature now. If a glycol chiller would improve your accuracy, stability or cooling time, that would be the choice I would make.. I built keezers in which I ferment and lager - glycol has no place in my process.
  5. jerrylotto

    What is your cutoff time of day to start brewing?

    When I make my bourbon stout, I iterate on the mash (24# total grain bill for a 5 gal batch!). I usually assemble and measure everything the night before and start around 5:00 am and try to finish up by around 8:00 pm. I start with about an hour of water preheating and chemistry/pH adjustment...
  6. jerrylotto

    A Brewing Water Chemistry Primer

    Still useful as a back of the envelope kind of calculation IMHO. YMMV
  7. jerrylotto

    A Brewing Water Chemistry Primer

    Magnesium ion is essential for yeast physiology, but in trace amounts along with Barium, Iron Cobalt, Nickel and Copper.
  8. jerrylotto

    A Brewing Water Chemistry Primer

    Mash pH should be in the 5.2 - 5.6 range pH shift = 0.00168 * RA (as CaCO3) or pH shift = 0.084 * RA (as mEq/L) So nothing wrong with a negative RA to lower the pH.
  9. jerrylotto

    I'm dying ...

    Mishpucha
  10. jerrylotto

    Recipes based on ingredients

    There are too many different styles to do this effectively. You could eliminate styles based on missing ingredients but typically you can brew a lot of different things with a random assortment. Of course, this is assuming flexible scale as well. And for any recipe, you can substitute similar...
  11. jerrylotto

    Glass or PET Carboy

    I use carboys for RO water storage mostly but I keep them each in it's own milk crate. These plastic crates have handles that make carrying the carboy a lot easier and safer. My fermentation "tank" is a FastFerment - HDPE food grade conical. The surface is not smooth and I use a nylon pad...
  12. jerrylotto

    Non food grade bucket use

    Number 1: Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a lightweight plastic, is used to make a slew of beverage bottles, from soft drinks to water. PET bottles are intended for a single use as PET breaks down with use and cannot be properly cleaned. The concern with PET products is not toxins but the...
  13. jerrylotto

    Non food grade bucket use

    ... for longer term storage. Using them for washup is not a problem.
  14. jerrylotto

    BJCP , is it worth it?

    You can start as a non BJCP judge. The reasons for getting your BJCP certification should become obvious after you've judged a few competitions.
  15. jerrylotto

    Boil off rates

    Quoting "Off-Flavor of the Week: DMS" Get a nice rolling boil, and don’t cover the pot until it’s cool. Chill wort rapidly. The longer it stays hot, the more SMM (S-methylmethionine - a component of malted barley produced during germination) is converted to DMS.
  16. jerrylotto

    Boil off rates

    Rolling - and unless you want to trap DMS, leave it uncovered.
  17. jerrylotto

    Fermentation stopped, tips?

    If you have sugars that the cider house yeast can't process, then a different yeast could get you better attenuation. I keep a few packs of the Lalvin QA23 Chardonnay yeast on hand for just that purpose. It chews up lots of things missed by other yeasts and does a great job cleaning up with...
  18. jerrylotto

    Cyber Monday Week Giveaway—Enter to Win WiFi ITC-308 Temperature Controller!

    Second giveaway that I missed by 1. Congrats to the winner!
  19. jerrylotto

    Measuring gravity...twice from same sample?

    Something I recently realized is that you want to measure FG on flat beer. If there are carbon dioxide bubbles nucleating on your hydrometer, you are not going to get an accurate reading - not to mention having to visualize the meniscus through foam. Shaking or passing through a coffee filter...
  20. jerrylotto

    What does a secondary fermenter do?

    I think that the whole "secondary" thing is primarily a function of your equipment. In a conical, you can drop trub, yeast, hops and other detritus that will settle out of the fermenter without transferring your beer to anything else. In a flat bottom world, especially one that consists of...
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