Home Brewing thread, offshoot of the beer thread.

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If you're making lagers, try 34/70 yeast from Fermentis. It does really well at warmer temps (up to 70+). Used it for some Oktoberfest last July. Delicious in September and just got better be longer it was in the keg.
 

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I'll keep that in mind. Right now there's no lager brews in the plan just yet. But, I've found a controller that will go low enough to get the chamber to the temperature ranges needed. The first ones I found only went down to 58F. I want one that can go to just above freezing. Looking at this: Controller

I have the mini fridge in my Homeless Despot cart now, that's in stock there (Londonderry, NH). I'll pull the trigger shortly set to go and pick it up (curbside FTW). This way I'll be able to do all the wiring and such far enough ahead of the chamber build. Not that it's going to be difficult since I'll just be adding a pigtail plug to the controller to plug the fridge into. I plan that so that I can more easily disconnect the fridge from the controller (as needed).

I can see using the lower temperature control ability to cold crash beers once fermentation, and any rest, is done. I'm hoping that my next place will have an area which will stay at a low enough temperature to mean this won't get used all that much.
 

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Beer got transferred from fermenter into carbonating/serving kegs today. It was about half way carbonated already since I started adding CO2 about a week ago.

IMG_20200620_124503.jpg

The two manifolds in the picture are fed by a dual body regulator. So I can set different CO2 pressure levels depending on what it's connected to.

We also filled two pint and one quart bottles from fermenter. So about 9-1/2 gallons out at the end of things.

Next up is the mocha porter followed by the honey ale recipe. Got the grain and hops for both, plus a brown ale, already. Got another 6-1/2 pounds of hops coming next week to make sure we have enough for more brews.

Even ~50% carbonated, the MO SMaSH came out really good. I'm going to change back to the original yeast for the next time (1335). Wanted to try the medium flocculating yeast for this one since it had characteristics I wanted to check out.

Target serving temp is 40-42F. Got the regulator set to 12 psi right now. I'll pull some at the end of the week to check on it. It's a hard task, but someone's got to do it.
 

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Just an FYI for those following along that are curious about brewing...
You can make good beer at home without going to the lengths Golddiggie has.
 

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@NHKevin
True, but is it worth just making "good" beer when you can make great beer without much more effort? One of the best things I did was go all grain. There are plenty of methods you can use there. Just find one that you're happy with. BIAB is the cheapest. Then using cooler mash tuns. I found I like the keggle vessel method. Propane burners are also easier to setup than going electric. Less risk if you're directly heating the mash tub (to mash in) with propane since you don't have a hot electric element inside it.

I went with the HERMS coil for heating to mash out since I already had a HLT so it was fairly easy to add the coil.

In the end, if you have the money, and not time, you can get a similar setup that's pretty much turn key. I've built this setup over several years. Boil keggle and mash tun were done around 2010/11. Had I known at the start where is end up it would have saved me some money and needing to unload prior generation gear.
 

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how about a "Home Drinking Thread"
Home brewing sounds like a lotta work!
 

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If you're making lagers, try 34/70 yeast from Fermentis. It does really well at warmer temps (up to 70+). Used it for some Oktoberfest last July. Delicious in September and just got better be longer it was in the keg.
I have a rice lager (Sapporo clone) lagering right now. Used 34/70. Tastes good after a month, but I'm going to give it more time. I used 4# of cooked jasmine rice. What a PITA that was to deal with. Will just use Minute Rice or flaked next time.
 
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dlarge

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IMO using rice in beer is like having a 4 banger in a full size truck. Sure, it will move, but there's just something WRONG with doing it.
It's cheap to brew. The whole point was to try to produce a low-ABV Japanese-style lager. The 2 oz of Sorachi Ace give it plenty of flavor. Cooking and cooling that much rice is a massive PITA. Stirring the sticky gelatinous output into the mash tun took forever and dropped my mash temperature way too low.

For me, it was something different to try. I've done plenty of lagers, pale ales, IPAs, NHIPAs, double IPAs, stouts, porters, saisons, etc.
 

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Another yeast starter in the books.

Slurry after decanting the spent starter wort from the previous starter:
IMG_20200625_112734.jpg

Starter on the stir plate (1 quart of starter added):
IMG_20200625_113801.jpg
This was started about 11:30 am yesterday.

After letting the starter rest. I turned the stir plate off around noon. Picture is around 2pm:
IMG_20200626_141212.jpg

It's now sitting in the fridge (placed sanitized aluminum foil over the top to add protection). I plan to make another step either Sunday or Monday in my 3L flask. I'll add two quarts of starter wort to it for the final step (before brew day). I expect it to be done in no more than 24 hours. Which will give me enough time to get it to fully settle to make decanting easier.

I did look up the stir plate before I started brewing again. I couldn't find the spec's on this exact model. But the Hanna 190 was listed as rated for 1L flasks/volumes. I've done 2L easily already. IIRC, I was able to use it with 3L (or maybe 4L) in my 5L flask before. It might have to do with the size, and shape, or the stir bars I use.
 

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Had a glass of the MO SMaSH during our team "happy hour" today. Damn good brew. Smooth with good flavors. A little more cloudy than it was last time. Next batch I'll use the yeast I normally do. I might have some more with dinner tonight. If so, I'll post a pic.
 

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Brewed a Galaxy/Viking 2-row SMaSH today. The 2.5L Omega Voss Kveik starter I made popped the foam stopper out of the flask overnight. Went well otherwise. Going to try to get it in the keg and carbonated by the 4th.
 

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Never mind. Saw that there's a grain called Viking two row. Never used it since it's not for my brew styles.

I really like it.

Give kveik a try sometime too if you haven't already. I have bubbles in the blow off 2 hours after pitching!
 

Golddiggie

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I really like it.

Give kveik a try sometime too if you haven't already. I have bubbles in the blow off 2 hours after pitching!
With how I'm brewing, I have full active fermentation within just a few hours of pitching the yeast pretty much every time. Well, unless the wort gets chilled too far below the listed temperature range for the yeast. Damned easy to do it I don't watch the thermometer when running the plate chiller. I learned that I have to throttle the chill water side towards the end or I'll chill too far. We got just over 10 gallons of wort from boiling hot to around 60F in about 8 minutes last brew day. 12" long, 40 plate, plate chiller does this up right proper.

I'm brewing styles from the British Isles (traditional styles I should say, or not something brand new in the past 5-10 years). Which means all ingredients (except the water) are from there. I use UK hops, malts, and yeast strains.

One time, when living in Natick, I went to John Harvards (Framingham IIRC), after I started brewing. They had an English IPA on tap. Except the ingredients were ALL from the states. So it wasn't an actual English IPA. Don't call a brew something it's not. It could be an English STYLE IPA, but it wasn't even close to an English IPA. Especially when you use cascade hops. I never went back to that place after that visit.
 

dlarge

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With how I'm brewing, I have full active fermentation within just a few hours of pitching the yeast pretty much every time. Well, unless the wort gets chilled too far below the listed temperature range for the yeast. Damned easy to do it I don't watch the thermometer when running the plate chiller. I learned that I have to throttle the chill water side towards the end or I'll chill too far. We got just over 10 gallons of wort from boiling hot to around 60F in about 8 minutes last brew day. 12" long, 40 plate, plate chiller does this up right proper.

I'm brewing styles from the British Isles (traditional styles I should say, or not something brand new in the past 5-10 years). Which means all ingredients (except the water) are from there. I use UK hops, malts, and yeast strains.

One time, when living in Natick, I went to John Harvards (Framingham IIRC), after I started brewing. They had an English IPA on tap. Except the ingredients were ALL from the states. So it wasn't an actual English IPA. Don't call a brew something it's not. It could be an English STYLE IPA, but it wasn't even close to an English IPA. Especially when you use cascade hops. I never went back to that place after that visit.
Shit. Your equipment is better than mine. I just picked up an immersion chiller from Cuss (ex Jaded) and I'm able to get my 5 gallon batches down to 68 or so in 5 minutes. And that's a huge win over my cheapo NB kit chiller.

I definitely don't usually see fermentation within hours with non-kveik yeast. Next morning, sure. I always use a starter for liquid, but never harvest. Shrug.
 

Golddiggie

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@dlarge Get an O2 bottle and oxygenation wand (you can get them from most suppliers these days). OR, connect up with me and I can sell you my spare wand. ;)
I've been doing pure O2 infusions since early on. The yeast NEEDS pure O2 (or at least O2) in order to build healthy cell walls during it's replication stage. Without enough O2, they struggle through the stage.

I can get an 7[ish] gallon volume of boiling hot wort to sub 60F in short order too. Last time I was slowing down the chill water too, since otherwise it would get to low 50's and I'd have to warm up the fermenter.

I also run the boiling wort through the immersion chiller for about 15-20 seconds before turning on the chill water. This sanitizes the chiller inside. I clean it out during the previous brew day, so there's nothing inside. It's just safer to run the wort through it.

I plan to run some clean water through the wort side of the chiller before next brew day. Mostly because it's been in my garage and I want to be sure no dust has gotten inside it between last brew day and the next one. It's still mounted to the brew stand at this point.

I also need to fabricate the 'feet' for the brew stand, for when it's up on one end. I'm going to cut off some of the 1" brass hex rod I have to make those. Once cut, I'll machine them to the same length, then place counter bored holes into them for mounting. Then it's just a matter of drilling and tapping the stand in the right spots and Bob's your auntie. ;) Being made from brass, they won't care about getting warm (from the burner). Eventually, they'll get a patina on them, but that don't matter none. If nothing else, it will add character.

I also have a couple of electronic igniters that I'm going to setup to get the burners going. That way we can put the keggle that needs to get heated into position and simply get the burner going. Right now, we move it out of the way enough so that I can use a propane torch to get it going. I have a couple of the push button style (no batteries) as well as one that uses a battery. I'll see how both work and decide if I'm going to change one to be like the other. I like the idea of the battery powered one more since that has a better chance (from my thoughts) to get things going. But if they both work just as well, who knows.

I also have a different HVLP spray gun coming (should be here sometime around next weekend. I'm going to get oil/enamel based paint, thin it, and spray what I need to protect. The top part of the stand, around the burners, will get high temp (or grill) paint applied. The rest will get the regular temperature range paint. Means I'll need to remove the burners, pumps, and plate chiller, but that's ok.

Now, I'm waiting for my sister to let me know what the plan is for July 4th. If we're going to have a cookout or not. Need to know since if we are, I'm going to smoke a brisket and probably some short ribs on my BGE. One of the 3 gallon kegs will also be going over for drinking. They have buckets large enough to hold it along with a good amount of ice. If any is left in the keg, it will come back to the fridge here. It will get bottled up when my nephew gets some bottles. ;) I still have some bottles, so I can pull some off if I want to give others. Provided they return those bottles to me.
 

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@dlarge Get an O2 bottle and oxygenation wand (you can get them from most suppliers these days). OR, connect up with me and I can sell you my spare wand. ;)
I've been doing pure O2 infusions since early on. The yeast NEEDS pure O2 (or at least O2) in order to build healthy cell walls during it's replication stage. Without enough O2, they struggle through the stage.

I can get an 7[ish] gallon volume of boiling hot wort to sub 60F in short order too. Last time I was slowing down the chill water too, since otherwise it would get to low 50's and I'd have to warm up the fermenter.

I also run the boiling wort through the immersion chiller for about 15-20 seconds before turning on the chill water. This sanitizes the chiller inside. I clean it out during the previous brew day, so there's nothing inside. It's just safer to run the wort through it.

I plan to run some clean water through the wort side of the chiller before next brew day. Mostly because it's been in my garage and I want to be sure no dust has gotten inside it between last brew day and the next one. It's still mounted to the brew stand at this point.

I also need to fabricate the 'feet' for the brew stand, for when it's up on one end. I'm going to cut off some of the 1" brass hex rod I have to make those. Once cut, I'll machine them to the same length, then place counter bored holes into them for mounting. Then it's just a matter of drilling and tapping the stand in the right spots and Bob's your auntie. ;) Being made from brass, they won't care about getting warm (from the burner). Eventually, they'll get a patina on them, but that don't matter none. If nothing else, it will add character.

I also have a couple of electronic igniters that I'm going to setup to get the burners going. That way we can put the keggle that needs to get heated into position and simply get the burner going. Right now, we move it out of the way enough so that I can use a propane torch to get it going. I have a couple of the push button style (no batteries) as well as one that uses a battery. I'll see how both work and decide if I'm going to change one to be like the other. I like the idea of the battery powered one more since that has a better chance (from my thoughts) to get things going. But if they both work just as well, who knows.

I also have a different HVLP spray gun coming (should be here sometime around next weekend. I'm going to get oil/enamel based paint, thin it, and spray what I need to protect. The top part of the stand, around the burners, will get high temp (or grill) paint applied. The rest will get the regular temperature range paint. Means I'll need to remove the burners, pumps, and plate chiller, but that's ok.

Now, I'm waiting for my sister to let me know what the plan is for July 4th. If we're going to have a cookout or not. Need to know since if we are, I'm going to smoke a brisket and probably some short ribs on my BGE. One of the 3 gallon kegs will also be going over for drinking. They have buckets large enough to hold it along with a good amount of ice. If any is left in the keg, it will come back to the fridge here. It will get bottled up when my nephew gets some bottles. ;) I still have some bottles, so I can pull some off if I want to give others. Provided they return those bottles to me.
I've considered doing the oxygenation wand. Do you use those small bottles of O2 from the hardware store? I've been using a whirlpool/aeration paddle from NorCal on my drill to help aerate the wort. Also makes a fairly decent trub cone. Though not as "perfect" as they advertise.
 

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Hop Spider MK 2
IMG_20200614_181931.jpg

Ring is 6" diameter. Mesh part (with the narrow ring under the main ring) is just under 14" long. It still sits above the bottom of the boil keggle. Should easily hold more than a pound of hops (after they sop up the wort).

Got it welded by a friend that is a professional welder.

BTW, the 'legs' coming off of the top ring (there's three of them) have nuts jammed together to keep it in the center of the boil keggle opening. This means that once I put it into position, it won't shift on me. I was using a nylon mesh bag, but decided that this would be better after the 18oz of hops went in the previous batch. Even though I'll only be using a few ounces of hops in the coming batch, it will make things easier for cleanup.
 
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Golddiggie

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I've considered doing the oxygenation wand. Do you use those small bottles of O2 from the hardware store? I've been using a whirlpool/aeration paddle from NorCal on my drill to help aerate the wort. Also makes a fairly decent trub cone. Though not as "perfect" as they advertise.
I use a proper O2 bottle with a real regulator. The regulator shows L per minute flow rates. Doing without a regulator like that means you're just guessing.

With your current method, you max out (IF you do everything perfect) at 8ppm of O2 into the wort. It also takes a lot more effort to get there. I can get enough O2 into the wort in 1-3 minutes for even my biggest recipe (OG). I have the results to prove that the yeast were able to do their very best in the batch too. 😁

Hell, my 16% English barley wine needed a major blowoff hose/bucket in less than 12 hours from pitching the yeast due to this. Plus having a bit more beer in the fermenter than I had planned. That's been aging on oak for a while. Need to get a sample of that pulled and then transfer it into carbonating vessel soon. With the fermentation chamber we're building this weekend, I'll be able to carbonate in that too.
 

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I use a proper O2 bottle with a real regulator. The regulator shows L per minute flow rates. Doing without a regulator like that means you're just guessing.

With your current method, you max out (IF you do everything perfect) at 8ppm of O2 into the wort. It also takes a lot more effort to get there. I can get enough O2 into the wort in 1-3 minutes for even my biggest recipe (OG). I have the results to prove that the yeast were able to do their very best in the batch too. 😁

Hell, my 16% English barley wine needed a major blowoff hose/bucket in less than 12 hours from pitching the yeast due to this. Plus having a bit more beer in the fermenter than I had planned. That's been aging on oak for a while. Need to get a sample of that pulled and then transfer it into carbonating vessel soon. With the fermentation chamber we're building this weekend, I'll be able to carbonate in that too.
Where are you getting the O2?
 

Golddiggie

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Airgass or Maine Oxy. You can get the smallest one with a proper regulator port on it (forget the size) that's NOT the same as a propane torch bottle, and get ages out of it. Go with the small Homeless Despot bottles and you'll be lucky to get more than a few batches before it craps out on you. NOT something you want to happen when you need to infuse O2 into your wort.

Like I said, if you want to see what I'm talking about (in persoanlizationals), send me a PM. I have a spare regulator and O2 wand here. I think I even have the tubing on the regulator to connect the wand up (3/16" ID Bevlex). Only thing else you'll need to get is the bottle.
 

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I'll ping you before I do my first barleywine.

Kegged the rice lager today. Has a slight vinegary taste. Not happy. Hoping it mellows out. Very clear, very light.
 

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Fermentation chamber is going together. We built it up on Sunday but then realized we made it too wide to fit through the door it needs to go through. DOH!! So, I took it apart Sunday evening and started getting it back togther after making some cuts. More cutting yesterday and then today (2x4's yesterday, OSB today for the floor).

IMG_20200630_212722.jpgIMG_20200630_212728.jpg

The item painted black is a metal plate that I put holes in, then screwed to the wood in order to provide enough support to keep things correctly positioned. Mostly due to what I have (right now) for screws to use. Plus how the pieces needed to mate up. Since this was a piece of steel, I didn't want to risk condensation causing it to rust out on me (over the years). Paint is cheap after all.

OSB floor installed after I cut it to the correct (new) width and notched for the mid 2x4's.
IMG_20200701_133209.jpg

Fridge in position with the floor back on.
IMG_20200701_143112.jpg

First layer of R6.5 rigid foam insulation installed on the floor. I have the second piece cut to size, but not yet notched. I didn't need to glue the first piece down since it's a tight fit. I'll probably glue the second piece down (maybe at least). The side pieces will get glued into position. This will have 2" of foam insulation all the way around where the fermenters (or kegs) will go. I'll also be putting in some against the side of the fridge about 1/4-1/3 of the way back to keep the cold air where it's needed.
IMG_20200701_144731.jpg

I still need to modify the top hatch and end door pieces to work with the new dimensions. I'll see what I can get done today. I'm off tomorrow (plus Friday, but that's brew day) so I should be able to get it finished in time.

I still need to wire up the controller for the fridge and do a test there. Shouldn't be an issue to get that done tonight. I also need to decide what I'll be doing for the enclosure/mounting of the controller. I picked one that can go from -4F to 212F for heating/cooling control. Right now, I only plan to use it for cooling. Since the basement (where I ferment) is a good temperature in the winter. This year, it's about 20F warmer than years past. Which just doesn't work for the yeast I use. I don't want the ambient to be mid 70's when the yeast 'good' range is 60-70 fermenting temperature. Since the yeast will kick the beer temperature at least a few degrees above that when they're active.

I'll post more pics when it's completed and when we put the first fermenter into it.

update
Added the second layer for the bottom and checked the level the fridge is compared to the top. Getting another two 2x4's (probably tomorrow) to remake the top hatch/lid to be full length. Current is about 3' long. With how things are now, that just won't work well. It could also be why we had issues on Sunday getting it to close true.
Also put our largest (50L) fermenter into it for testing. More than enough room for that, plus at least a couple more. Good since the mocha porter will be in there for at least a month (maybe three) before going to serving/carbonating kegs. We'll want to be able to ferment at least one or two more batches at the same time. I'm also thinking of setting the temperature controller so that I can cold crash batches once it's time to get things clearer into the kegs. ;)

IMG_20200701_153632.jpgIMG_20200701_153655.jpg
 
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