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  1. philm63

    When to Add LME and Dextrose to Boost Gravity in an Imperial Stout

    I'm limited to what'll fit in my 10-gallon vessels in my eHERMS setup and I'm looking to brew an Imperial Stout. I can comfortably mash grain for most of the gravity points I need (want) and will use LME and some dextrose for the remaining gravity points. I've worked it all out and am happy with...
  2. philm63

    Soft Boil vs. Hard Boil

    I use an E-HERMS setup and normally set the kettle element to 80% for the boil which gives me a nice rolling boil. Not “jumping out of the pot” vigorous, and certainly not a gentle roll. I’ll call this a hard boil. For me, a soft boil would be a low rolling boil just above a simmer – gently...
  3. philm63

    Kolsch Final Runnings SG Too Low – What am I Missing?

    I know I’m missing something – likely something obvious – in my setup. I do 5-gallon batches using Beersmith2, build my water from RO, use a 3-vessel electric HERMS with 10-gallon Boilermaker G2’s, and ferment in a 7-gallon SSB unitank. I’ve created equipment profiles for each style I brew –...
  4. philm63

    Yeast Prices - What happened?!!

    Just looked at one of the larger on-line brewing supply sites and the prices for liquid yeast are up quite a bit. What gives? I know it's been maybe 4 or 5 months since I purchased liquid yeast but from a LHBS - my last on-line liquid yeast purchase was probably a year ago but I remember the...
  5. philm63

    Post-Fermentation Off-Gassing

    Something I’d never thought about – I suppose it was happening every time and I just didn’t notice it. For my last brew – an IPA – I used Conan (Omega 052) for the first time and it took what I thought was a long time to finish up (8 days for the bubbles to slow down to where I figured it was...
  6. philm63

    Mixing Two Different Yeasts in a Starter?

    Looking to do my first Saison, and I've read using a blend of two different yeasts can give a broader spectrum of classic Saison characters. I'm looking at WLP565 and WY3724. Can I just mix the two yeasts in a starter and call it good, or should I make a starter for each, crash, decant, blend...
  7. philm63

    Hop Dropper for SSB Unitank

    Ok, so here’s my hair-brained idea for a hop dropper, and I’m sure I’m not the first to think of this design. Placement will be at the 3” TC port on the top of my 7-gallon SSB unitank. I normally just pull the 3” PRV plate off the top and drop my hops in late in the fermentation cycle to take...
  8. philm63

    Hop Creep or Stunted Fermentation?

    Looking at the heavily dry-hopped NEIPA sample in my graduated cylinder that I pulled a few days ago for gravity checks, I can clearly see in the sediment at the bottom what appears to be yeast activity. I’ve seen this before and was always fascinated by watching the yeast shoot up from the...
  9. philm63

    Slow Finish with Imperial A38?

    Brewed my first NEIPA last Saturday - 6.5 gallons of 1.064 OG into the fermenter - pitched a pouch of Imperial A38 at 66 F and set the controller to 69 F and walked away. 7-hour lag and it was off to the races. 2 days in I noticed the bubbling had slowed down so I added the first dry-hop charge...
  10. philm63

    Chocolate Stout Ideas

    Looking to do a Chocolate Stout soon and I am developing the recipe now. I really want folks to think they are drinking a good quality chocolate bar with a solid stout playing the supporting role. I've already got a pretty solid basic American Stout recipe for a base, it's the chocolate part...
  11. philm63

    To Lager, or Not to Lager...

    My first lager, a Helles, is ready to transfer to a keg today, and I am grappling with the urge to put it on line within, say, a week or so as opposed to the typically prescribed lagering period. This is not about me being impatient - I have plenty of tasty brew on tap currently - it's just...
  12. philm63

    Accidentally Carbonated in my Unitank

    Ok, I know; that’s one of the things a unitank is for, but I didn’t actually set out to carbonate yet – need to learn about it and get a spunding valve first, haven’t done that yet. Problem is, I swapped out the ball valve and blow-off hose on my 7-Gallon SSB unitank for a CO2 hookup to put a...
  13. philm63

    Fly-Sparge – How Slow is “Too Slow”?

    I’ve been slowly figuring out my 3-vessel eHERMS setup and have been creeping up on finally getting a 60-minute sparge. Tricky getting those valves set just right – have to mess with them a bit, but it’s doable. Question is; is 60 minutes too long? I ask, because the last couple of times I...
  14. philm63

    Dry Yeast Pitch Rate and Bulk Dry Yeast

    I started recently using dry yeast, and I know there is a ton of info on dry yeast in this and other forums, and I have been poking around what I could find readily in an effort to simplify my use of dry yeast, and pin down some expectations regarding pitch rates, attenuation, temperatures...
  15. philm63

    Toasted Oats and the Water-to-Grain Ratio

    Does toasting flaked oats have an appreciable effect on how much water gets sucked up by the oats? Seems to me toasting them would reduce their water content thus when added to the mash, they’d suck up more water than untoasted flaked oats. When used as 15% of a grain bill, is there enough of an...
  16. philm63

    Sparge Time vs. Amount of Grain

    Does the size of the grain bill determine the recommended sparge time? Over the last two batches, Kolsch and IPA, I noticed a difference in the amount of sugars left in the MLT after reaching my BK volume. The Kolsch had final runnings out of the MLT of 1.009 SG and the IPA was 1.016 SG. Each...
  17. philm63

    Hop Varieties vs. Water Profiles for IPA

    Has there been any research on the relationship of certain hop varieties and the water profile chosen for a standard American IPA? I ask because I’ve been looking for a while and have seen so many ideas for a water profile for IPA, and many comments on certain varieties of hops for IPA regarding...
  18. philm63

    Does Batch Size Affect Strike Temps?

    Let’s run two experiments. Assumptions are; 10-gallon stainless MLT, RO water, grain is a basic US 2-row crushed with a 2-roller mill at 180 rpm and 0.040”. Strike water is in the MLT and is holding at 160°F. Crushed grain is 70°F. Room ambient is 70°F. Grain is added at the same rate for both...
  19. philm63

    Draining CO2 bottles way too fast

    I used to keep the CO2 bottle outside the kegerator but now I keep it inside. I use a dual-regulator so each of the two kegs can have their own pressure; particularly handy when I am force-carbing one at 25 psi while maintaining another at 12 psi. I thought I had drained a 5 Lb bottle a bit too...
  20. philm63

    Adding Acid to Mash Water?

    Brewing a Kolsch next weekend and Bru'n Water has my estimated mash pH at 5.53. Using RO water with 9 Lbs Pilsner and 10 oz Vienna. 6.25 Gallon batch size. What might be a good way to get this down to the 5.2-5.3 pH range? Or is 5.5 ok as is?
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