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

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    Ever have a refractometer read differently after sitting for a few minutes?

    I use refractometers and hydrometers for brewing and professionally for measuring jet fuel specs and additives. I highly doubt that there is any hydrometer in the homebrew world that is close to the accuracy of a calibrated ATC refractometer. Make sure the screen and lense are clean and dry...
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    Sanitize with hot wort from DME? (With Pics)

    I would be surprised if you run into infection. Toasting the pecans was probably plenty good to sanitize them. I personally would have saved the whiskey and DME! (Mixing nuts with a solvent or boiling hot liquid could bring out some pretty nasty bitterness, although I think your small amount of...
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    What is your strangest brew day mishap?

    Worst brew day in 11 years, had 5 gallons of barley wine boiling in the backyard. After hours of intensive work to get all the goodness from 22 lbs of marris otter, the entire burner and kettle disappeared into a sink hole... I invented some new word combinations that day!
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    Another batch lost to infection

    I got into baking sourdough bread a few years ago, and got some interesting beers before realizing I was exponentially multiplying and spreading the microbes that I don't want in my beer all over the kitchen! The first thing I tried was a switch from starsan to iodophor, not one infection since...
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    mixing yeast

    There are commercial yeast blends that contain multiple strains of yeast. Generally, these are strains with a generous overlap in temperature range between strains. That brings me to the large fermentation temperature difference between the strains you are planning to use (you'll have to be at...
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    Baking Soda Effect on Flavor

    Depending on your starting water profile, you may have driven your sodium to high with the baking soda. I typically leave post fermentation ph alone, letting the yeast drop it to where it wants. I do make sure my post-boil ph is within the 5.0-5.2 range for most of my beers. Just make sure...
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    Enclosed Grain Mill

    Not sure on this one, but I would tend to avoid chlorine or chloramine for grain conditioning.
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    Dry/Flat taste after kegging and force carbing

    Dang it, you made me look. Looks like I might have to stimulate Anvil with my next stimulus check! I like my Anvil SS brew buckets, but boy would a conical be nice...
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    Dry/Flat taste after kegging and force carbing

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that was probably not spoiled grain. What are you using as a fermenter? I only ask because anything cold-side will need a thorough cleaning and sanitizing and plastic gear may need to be replaced... You also seem to keep a close eye on gravity during...
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    Dry/Flat taste after kegging and force carbing

    I would give it another 10-15 days conditioning before jumping to any conclusions. If the taste persists, I'd start looking at water chemistry. The Anvil is a nice system, but with the way it works, you're doing a fly sparge of sorts which is not as forgiving when it comes to tannin...
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    Dry/Flat taste after kegging and force carbing

    How long has it been in the keg? Give it at least a couple weeks before making any final judgements on the beer. Aside from that, recipe specifics (grain bill, hop bill, OG, water profile) would allow folks to maybe identify something that could potentially cause a problem. Also, you mention...
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    Ginger Beer Using Store Bought Ginger Beer

    I'd give this one a no. Bundaberg contains potassium sorbate. This additive is in there for the purpose of preventing fermentation if yeast was to make its way into the packaged product. I couldn't find an ingredient list for the Woolworth's ginger beer, but it may contain sorbate as well.
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    Mesh Shinwa Filtration

    I can easily clog a regular coarse kitchen strainer with any amount of beer residue. Unfortunately, the only filter that has ever really worked well for me is kettle fining+gravity+time.
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    Reinheitsgebot or not ?

    IMO, there are much bigger concerns than the purity law from before they even knew yeast existed. I say put your time, energy and money into eliminating oxygen exposure first, then into the fermentation temperature control and plastic gear elimination. The efforts I've made to achieve the...
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    Mineral-y bite

    One thought... it sounds like you've made some good beers in-between. Are these trouble children perhaps a higher OG then the others, requiring more extract/gallon which equals higher concentrations of salts, maybe pushing magnesium or something else over the flavor threshold? Magnesium has a...
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    Mineral-y bite

    I would really look at getting RO water for your extract brewing. When mixed with 0 alkalinity water, malt extract wort will drop to a proper ph for boiling. When mixed with your tap water, the alkalinity buffers the water against the drop in ph, causing a higher boil ph. A high ph during the...
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    Filtering Home brewing?

    Been there, done that, it's a pita... There are options like using a regular canister water filter with a 5 micron element (I do have the set-up for this), but the hands-on time it takes to alleviate the increased risk of contamination and oxidation is not worth it in my experience. I package...
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    Best growler filling methods?

    Make sure the growler is very clean and stick the growler in the freezer to get it cold, keg pressure needs to be low as you did and keg temp should be as cold as possible. Also, start with the growler at a 45 degree angle and the filler tube at the very bottom corner. If you start with the...
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    Another mediocre beer...getting frustrated

    The two things that I find can cause the most problems for newer brewers are water and fermentation temperature. What is your water source? Does it contain chlorine/chloramine? Alkalinity/mineral profile known? How are you monitoring fermentation temp? Just to be clear, does it taste flat...
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    Too Much Spice? (Nutmeg)

    Have you tried a sample? You will be able to tell pretty quick if the spice is too much. The sweetness of the recipe may help to balance the spice load. It may be a decent sipper.