Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [seattle_homebrewers] Re: New member seeks improved taste

Expand Messages
  • Russell Everett
    That s a pretty good intro to your Basic Beer Flaws there Bob! Apart from the basic Cleanliness is next to godliness and Relax, have a homebrew I guess I
    Message 1 of 17 , Dec 1, 2010
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      That's a pretty good intro to your Basic Beer Flaws there Bob!

      Apart from the basic "Cleanliness is next to godliness" and "Relax, have a homebrew" I guess I can add a few more pointers.

      It seems to me that the "homebrew twang" often occurs in the beers of people who are just starting out, and who are using extract.  And it really is a recognizable flavor.  If you can rule out infections, poor heat control, "this beer is spiced with Flintstone's Chewable Vitamins", "Cousin Cletus gobbed his chaw in it", and other such flaws, that twang you're experiencing is probably the result of unfermented sugars, caramels and whatnot, which are around due to poor attenuation, excessive crystal malts, and kettle caramelization. 

      So here are some things you could try:
      • Use Dry Malt Extract (DME) not Liquid Malt Extract (LME). 
        • LME is wort that has been boiled down in a partial vacuum and concentrated into a syrup.  It doesn't get hot enough to really caramelize the liquid during the boil, thanks to the vacuum.
        • DME is wort that has been sprayed through an atomizer into a hot chamber.  They then use air currents to keep the little drops suspended until they have dried and clumped together enough to fall to the floor and be collected. (Yummy!)
        • LME tends to oxidize much faster.  This can affect the taste, and result in a variety of stale, cardboardy or even cidery flavors.  It also makes the LME darken.  If using LME, always make sure it's as fresh as possible.
        • There is some evidence that something in the LME process causes the syrup to have a higher glucose level than a typical all-grain batch of wort.  Glucose is a precursor to isoamyl acetate, which comes out as 'banana' in a good hefeweizen.  A couple months back I brewed a Hefe where I added a half-pound of dextrose (corn sugar, glucose) at the end of the boil and it was lovely and banana-y.   Too much glucose can result in unspecified fruity flavors.  There is also some evidence that the higher glucose may come (or used to come) from non-malt sugars added to the process, (read: corn sugar), to save money and make the extract more fermentable.  So make sure you use good stuff, and try the different brands out to see if you notice a difference.
        • I'm sure you've noticed that LME pours out like a depth-charge, right to the bottom of the pan.  Stir stir stir or it will caramelize or burn on the bottom, altering the flavor and color significantly.  And boiling less than the full volume means the wort is thicker and more prone to caramelizing.  For this reason it's really hard to brew a good clean Pilsner using extract. 
          • You can try to do a full volume boil to fix this.  For a 60 minute rolling boil on a propane burner you'll need about 6.75 to 7 gallons to start, if you want to end up with around 5.25 gallons.
          • Or you can try the Late Addition method of extract brewing, where you basically add about 1/4 of your extract at the beginning, then add all the rest in the last 5-10 minutes.  The argument is that it's already cooked, it's already mostly sterile.  No need to boil the hell out of it, some people merely warm it up and dissolve it in during the last minute or two.  Remember to lessen your bittering hops, you'll get much, much better alpha acid extraction efficiency this way.
        • There is also some evidence that the Free-Amino Nitrogen (FAN) levels are much lower in extract than in all-grain batches.  FAN is a necessary yeast nutrient.  You can add a teaspoon or so of Yeast Nutrient in the last 10 minutes to help solve this and give your yeasties a little boost.
        • I also just plain hate scooping out the LME from its container.
      • Back off on Crystal malts. 
        • Anything marked Crystal or Caramel, and many of the "Cara"s.  A lot of homebrewers seriously overuse them, and in high concentration they add unnecessary extra dextrins and complex sugars, making a thicker, sweeter, more cloying beer. The caramels you get from them can be nice, and are important in most styles of beer, but too much can taste fruity, or tart.
        • I make it a point to not use more than 10% of it in the grain bill, or say 1lb, for a 5 gallon batch.  Sometimes I'll go as high as 15%, but only in little British beers, like a Toddy Porter or a Southern Brown.  There you need the body to keep the low alcohol beer from being too thin, and the caramels are important to the style.  But next time you try a Pale Ale that you usually just automatically put a pound of C-60 in, try it with just 4-6oz instead and see the difference in drier, cleaner beer.  Better to have too little than too much.
        • Same goes for Dextrine Malt / Carapils.  Use it sparingly, if at all.  And only in light light beers.  And only if you do, in fact, experience body or head retention problems.  Not as an automatic cure-all band-aid like some recipe writers seem to do. :)
        • If you are using Amber or Dark extract, be even more wary of too much crystal malt.  Many people only ever use Light Malt Extract for this reason, steeping specialty grains for color and flavor.
      • The Perception of Bitterness and Water Treatment
        • Many of you know that I mess with my water fairly heavily.  Our water here in Seattle is fantastic for brewing.  Because there is nothing in it.  So you could walk right out and brew a Czech Pilsner with little to no adjustment.  But our water is also seriously lacking in both Sulfate and Chloride, and to a lesser extent Calcium.  One of the things I see is extract Pale Ales and IPAs where the hops are heavily muted by the residual sweetness of the beer.  I'm not getting into a complex discussion here, made more complex because who knows what water was used, and concentrated, to make your malt extract, but here is an easy way to start.  This is the quick and dirty; your mileage may vary, feel free to add more or less depending on your results:
          • For hoppy beers, try adding 1 tsp of Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) to the boil.  This will help bring out the bitterness in the beer and help cut any excessive residual sweetness.
          • For malty beers, try adding on 1 tsp Calcium Chloride to the boil.  This will help bring the maltiness forward, making it rounder and more complex. Think 'nice German lager'.
          • For dark beers like porters and stouts, add a tsp or two of Calcium Carbonate (chalk) to the boil.  This will help buffer the pH of the beer so it doesn't get too acidic, which combined with burnt malts can be really harsh and unpleasant.  
          • All three minerals add calcium, which yeast need to thrive.  They like around 100ppm.  Seattle has only 26ppm.
      • The next big thing to remember is Shoot For Full Attenuation
        • Most yeast can generally drop a beer to about 75% of its original gravity.  So your 1.056 pale ale should ideally be done around 1.012 to 1.014.  General Rule: most everyday 5-ish% beers should finish 1.012-1.014ish.  If you take a reading after two weeks and it's 1.020: it's not done.  (Unless it started out at 1.080, that is.) So don't bottle it.  Geysers and bottle bombs aren't fun.  Take a sip.  The beer is probably sweet, slightly tart, kinda thick on the tongue, hops are probably there but muted somewhat.  Swirl the carboy and try to rouse the yeast, even pitch more if you have to.  Move it to a warmer place.  Get an electric blanket or something.  Get it to finish.  Patience, Grasshopper.
        • Don't forget to check whether your hydrometer is accurate.  They're usually calibrated to 60 degrees, so get some 60 degree tap water (distilled would be better but our water is close enough).  If it floats at 1.000 it's calibrated.  Sometimes they're off a couple points.  Never hurts to check.
        • But remember, it's easier to do it right the first time round and treat it well than it is to fix things later.
      So:
      • Be nice to your yeast
        • Pitch the correct amount.  One packet of Wyeast (Fresh, fresh, fresh!  Check the date printed on it.) is basically the minimum for 5 gallons of a beer up to about 1.060, and you will never go wrong pitching two.  Above that you need more yeast.  Either make a starter, or pitch more packets.  Check out http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html if you're making a bigger beer.  Remember that you'll usually need 2-4 times the usual amount of yeast if you're doing a lager.
        • Keep an extra packet or twelve of Saf-04 (English) and Saf-05 (US ale) around in your fridge, in case your gravity is higher than you'd expected on brewday or you get a dud pouch of something.  It is really, really hard to overpitch your yeast on the homebrewing scale. 
        • FAN - Again, a little yeast nutrient in an extract batch, and certainly in any bigger brew.
        • Oxygen.  Frankly, once cooled, a rough pour into your carboy and a good couple shakes is all you really need for your normal 5%ish beer.  Above that you need to shake the bajeezus out of it, use a stone, or an O2 tank.  You could try sanitizing two carboys and a big funnel and pouring the wort back and forth a few times till it's good and frothy.  Remember: yeast need oxygen for bigger beers.  For normal beers, meh, relax, have a homebrew.
        • Pick the right yeast.  Read about them and try to match what your going for.  Some are known high-alcohol workhorses, some wimp out early even on 4% session beers but taste delicious.  The factsheet for each yeast strain gives an normal attenuation range, alcohol tolerance, and loads of other useful info.
      • Watch your temperature
        • Ok, so say you've got a nice room at 65-75, or a fridge with a thermostat.  Great! That's an important start.
        • How well can you chill your wort?  Water has a huge specific heat capacity, and it can take many hours for it to cool down from 80 to ambient temp, say 65 here.  During those hours the yeast are busy dividing away and a lot of damage can be done flavor-wise.  Try your darndest to cool it to at least 75 and preferably 70 before pitching.  My own experience using a Stopper Thermowell to control the thermostat on my fermenting fridge has shown that on those Summer days when I can only cool my lagers down to the low 60's, it took hours to get down to a pitchable 52 degrees, and this was with the fridge on full blast.  It took more to get it to 48, where I prefer to start my lagers out.  And it was 36 in there, because the fridge was running full blast.  If I'd just set the thermostat on the fridge to 50 and popped the carboy in, think how much longer would it have taken!  There's a reason people use drums of water to help keep greenhouses warm in Winter.
        • Remember that fermentation generates heat.  Carboys aren't super-great insulators but it can still be a couple degrees warmer inside a rolling carboy than on the surface of the glass.  You can wrap a blanket around to keep light off and help keep it a little warmer if you're having cold problems.
        • Remember that many yeast don't like the cold.  Belgian strains in particular can wimp out of a previously cheery big ferment if it dips below 65!  This just happened to me.  D'oh!
        • Of course, remember that most yeasts don't like it too hot either. 
      Ok.  And that, boys and girls, is why I shouldn't drink caffeine after 5:00.  See you at the meeting next week!


      On 11/30/2010 3:48 PM, bobyeaw@... wrote:
       



      Hi Bob!

      "sharp, fruity tang..."

      Could it be described as 'green apple-y/Acetaldehyde'? or 'cidery'? or sounds like you might be thinking 'fruity/estery'?

      This link has pretty good descriptions and suggests fixes for common off flavors:
      http://www.bblodge.info/Homebrew-Resources/off-flavors-in-home-brew.html

      It's hard to know without tasting or knowing your brew process - what Malt Extract are you using? how much yeast to you pitch? are you controlling fermentation temperature? what temperature? Are you doing the whole 'rack to a secondary fermenter' thing? are you letting the beer condition a few weeks before drinking away?

      In my own beer I've noticed a slight Acetaldehyde/green apple flavor, but it always goes away as the beer conditions.

      Also, if your buying those dusty cans of LME from Cellar, you might switch to the briess DME they sell. or, I really like Northern Brewer for LME - great quality stuff.

      Anyways, Welcome! - I'm new here too. There's some smart people in this group, so I bet you'll get some good advice!

      cheers,

      -bob

      --- In seattle_homebrewers@yahoogroups.com, "Retro158" <robertmay1@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello,
      > I'm a new member to the forum and unfortunately won't be able to attend the December meet up - Tuesday evenings don't work.
      >
      > I've been brewing with extracts since the mid 90's, and just got back into it after a few years off - and I'm discouraged. My brews have always been alright, some better than others (red ale, belgian white, porter and a few others.) Friends like them and they are drinkable, but I'm tired of the extra taste in the final product that let's me know it's a home brew.
      >
      > Specifically, there is a sharp, fruity sort of tang that comes in all of the beers, no matter the style. Right now I notice it in a Scotch Ale that otherwise seems pretty good. After a bit of research, I'm wondering if the problem could be in the initial aeration when I pitch the yeast. A brewing biochem book I have suggests that oxygen is crucial with the pitch and since I use a 6 gallon carboy for the initial fermentation, perhaps I'm not getting enough oxygen in and esters result. ??
      >
      > I wish I could bring a sample to the meeting - so much easier for you to taste than get through words, but since I can't be there, I thought I'd try describing it and get people's opinions.
      >
      > Thanks very much. Hopefully, I can make the next meeting.
      >
      > cheers,
      >
      > Bob
      >

    • Joe Germani
      Thanks Russell for that treatise!  I learned a few things and I ve been brewing for over 20 years. One other thing to consider, and this is kind of silly, but
      Message 2 of 17 , Dec 1, 2010
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment

        Thanks Russell for that treatise!  I learned a few things and I've been brewing for over 20 years.

        One other thing to consider, and this is kind of silly, but it happened with one of our club members who was having off flavors.  Consider what you are using for sanitizing.  In the case I just referred to, he was using a cleaner as a sanitizer--there is a big difference.  My preference is for a no rinse sanitizer, namely Star San.  I've been using it for several years now (still working of the original bottle of concentrate) and it's great.

        While on the topic of sanitation, if you are fermenting in a plastic bucket, you might consider getting a new one, or switching to carboys.  Nasties can hide in small scratches in the plastic.

        On oxygenation, after hearing a talk by someone from Wyeast, I use the rocking method and it seems to work fine.  I rack into a carboy, put on a solid stopper, tilt it on edge and shak e it back and forth vigorously for one minute.

        I'd say your biggest bang for the buck for improvement is: pitch lots of yeast, aerate well, let it ferment out, and switch to the lightest extract you can find and use grains to make up the color and flavor.   And, of course, try to bring some beer to a meeting and use the collective knowledge to diagnose the problems.

        That's my 2 cents.

        Joe

        On Wed, Dec 01, 2010 at 12:42am Russell Everett wrote:

        That's a pretty good intro to your Basic Beer Flaws there Bob!

        Apart from the basic "Cleanliness is next to godliness" and "Relax, have a homebrew" I guess I can add a few more pointers.

        It seems to me that the "homebrew twang" often occurs in the beers of people who are just starting out, and who are using extract.  And it really is a recognizable flavor.  If you can rule out infections, poor heat control, "this beer is spiced with Flintstone's Chewable Vitamins", "Cousin Cletus gobbed his chaw in it", and other such flaws, that twang you're experiencing is probably the result of unfermented sugars, caramels and whatnot, which are around due to poor attenuation, excessive crystal malts, and kettle caramelization. 

        So here are some things you could try:
        • Use Dry Malt Extract (DME) not Liquid Malt Extract (LME). 
          • LME is wort that has been boiled down in a partial vacuum and concentrated into a syrup.  It doesn't get hot enough to really caramelize the liquid during the boil, thanks to the vacuum.
          • DME is wort that has been sprayed through an atomizer into a hot chamber.  They then use air currents to keep the little drops s uspended until they have dried and clumped together enough to fall to the floor and be collected. (Yummy!)
          • LME tends to oxidize much faster.  This can affect the taste, and result in a variety of stale, cardboardy or even cidery flavors.  It also makes the LME darken.  If using LME, always make sure it's as fresh as possible.
          • There is some evidence that something in the LME process causes the syrup to have a higher glucose level than a typical all-grain batch of wort.  Glucose is a precursor to isoamyl acetate, which comes out as 'banana' in a good hefeweizen.  A couple months back I brewed a Hefe where I added a half-pound of dextrose (corn sugar, glucose) at the end of the boil and it was lovely and banana-y.   Too much glucose can result in unspecified fruity flavors.  There is also some evidenc e that the higher glucose may come (or used to come) from non-malt sugars added to the process, (read: corn sugar), to save money and make the extract more fermentable.  So make sure you use good stuff, and try the different brands out to see if you notice a difference.
          • I'm sure you've noticed that LME pours out like a depth-charge, right to the bottom of the pan.  Stir stir stir or it will caramelize or burn on the bottom, altering the flavor and color significantly.  And boiling less than the full volume means the wort is thicker and more prone to caramelizing.  For this reason it's really hard to brew a good clean Pilsner using extract. 
            • You can try to do a full volume boil to fix this.  For a 60 minute rolling boil on a propane burner you'll need about 6.75 to 7 gallons to start, if you want to end up with around 5.25 gallons.
            • Or you can try the Late Addition method of extract br ewing, where you basically add about 1/4 of your extract at the beginning, then add all the rest in the last 5-10 minutes.  The argument is that it's already cooked, it's already mostly sterile.  No need to boil the hell out of it, some people merely warm it up and dissolve it in during the last minute or two.  Remember to lessen your bittering hops, you'll get much, much better alpha acid extraction efficiency this way.
          • There is also some evidence that the Free-Amino Nitrogen (FAN) levels are much lower in extract than in all-grain batches.  FAN is a necessary yeast nutrient.  You can add a teaspoon or so of Yeast Nutrient in the last 10 minutes to help solve this and give your yeasties a little boost.
          • I also just plain hate scooping out the LME from its container.
        • Back off on Crystal malts. 
          • Anything marked Crystal or Caramel, and many of the "Cara" s.  A lot of homebrewers seriously overuse them, and in high concentration they add unnecessary extra dextrins and complex sugars, making a thicker, sweeter, more cloying beer. The caramels you get from them can be nice, and are important in most styles of beer, but too much can taste fruity, or tart.
          • I make it a point to not use more than 10% of it in the grain bill, or say 1lb, for a 5 gallon batch.  Sometimes I'll go as high as 15%, but only in little British beers, like a Toddy Porter or a Southern Brown.  There you need the body to keep the low alcohol beer from being too thin, and the caramels are important to the style.  But next time you try a Pale Ale that you usually just automatically put a pound of C-60 in, try it with just 4-6oz instead and see the difference in drier, cleaner beer.  Better to have too little than too much.
          • Same goes for Dextrine Malt / Carapils.  Use it sparingly, if at all.  And only in light light beers.  And only if you do, in fact, experience body or head retention problems.  Not as an automatic cure-all band-aid like some recipe writers seem to do. :)
          • If you are using Amber or Dark extract, be even more wary of too much crystal malt.  Many people only ever use Light Malt Extract for this reason, steeping specialty grains for color and flavor.
        • The Perception of Bitterness and Water Treatment
          • Many of you know that I mess with my water fairly heavily.  Our water here in Seattle is fantastic for brewing.  Because there is nothing in it.  So you could walk right out and brew a Czech Pilsner with little to no adjustment.  But our water is also seriously lacking in both Sulfate and Chloride, and to a lesser extent Calcium.  One of the things I see is extract Pale Ales and IPAs where the hops are heavily muted by the residual sweetness of the beer.  I 9;m not getting into a complex discussion here, made more complex because who knows what water was used, and concentrated, to make your malt extract, but here is an easy way to start.  This is the quick and dirty; your mileage may vary, feel free to add more or less depending on your results:
            • For hoppy beers, try adding 1 tsp of Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) to the boil.  This will help bring out the bitterness in the beer and help cut any excessive residual sweetness.
            • For malty beers, try adding on 1 tsp Calcium Chloride to the boil.  This will help bring the maltiness forward, making it rounder and more complex. Think 'nice German lager'.
            • For dark beers like porters and stouts, add a tsp or two of Calcium Carbonate (chalk) to the boil.  This will help buffer the pH of the beer so it doesn't get too acidic, which combined with burnt malts can be really harsh and unpleasant.  
            • All three minerals add calcium, which yeast need to thrive.  They like around 100ppm.  Seattle has only 26ppm.
        • The next big thing to remember is Shoot For Full Attenuation
          • Most yeast can generally drop a beer to about 75% of its original gravity.  So your 1.056 pale ale should ideally be done around 1.012 to 1.014.  General Rule: most everyday 5-ish% beers should finish 1.012-1.014ish.  If you take a reading after two weeks and it's 1.020: it's not done.  (Unless it started out at 1.080, that is.) So don't bottle it.  Geysers and bottle bombs aren't fun.  Take a sip.  The beer is probably sweet, slightly tart, kinda thick on the tongue, hops are probably there but muted somewhat.  Swirl the carboy and try to rouse the yeast, even pitch more if you have to.  Move it to a warmer place.  Get an electric blanket or something.  Get it to finish.  Patience, Grasshopper.
          • Don't forget to check whether your hydrometer is accurate.  They're usually calibrated to 60 degrees, so get some 60 degree tap water (distilled would be better but our water is close enough).  If it floats at 1.000 it's calibrated.  Sometimes they're off a couple points.  Never hurts to check.
          • But remember, it's easier to do it right the first time round and treat it well than it is to fix things later.
        So:
        • Be nice to your yeast
          • Pitch the correct amount.  One packet of Wyeast (Fresh, fresh, fresh!  Check the date printed on it.) is basically the minimum for 5 gallons of a beer up to about 1.060, and you will never go wrong pitching two.  Above that you need more yeast.  Either make a starter, or pitch more packets.  Check out http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc .html if you're making a bigger beer.  Remember that you'll usually need 2-4 times the usual amount of yeast if you're doing a lager.
          • Keep an extra packet or twelve of Saf-04 (English) and Saf-05 (US ale) around in your fridge, in case your gravity is higher than you'd expected on brewday or you get a dud pouch of something.  It is really, really hard to overpitch your yeast on the homebrewing scale. 
          • FAN - Again, a little yeast nutrient in an extract batch, and certainly in any bigger brew.
          • Oxygen.  Frankly, once cooled, a rough pour into your carboy and a good couple shakes is all you really need for your normal 5%ish beer.  Above that you need to shake the bajeezus out of it, use a stone, or an O2 tank.  You could try sanitizing two carboys and a big funnel and pouring the wort back and forth a few times till it's good and frothy.  Remember: yeast need oxygen for bigger beers.& nbsp; For normal beers, meh, relax, have a homebrew.
          • Pick the right yeast.  Read about them and try to match what your going for.  Some are known high-alcohol workhorses, some wimp out early even on 4% session beers but taste delicious.  The factsheet for each yeast strain gives an normal attenuation range, alcohol tolerance, and loads of other useful info.
        • Watch your temperature
          • Ok, so say you've got a nice room at 65-75, or a fridge with a thermostat.  Great! That's an important start.
          • How well can you chill your wort?  Water has a huge specific heat capacity, and it can take many hours for it to cool down from 80 to ambient temp, say 65 here.  During those hours the yeast are busy dividing away and a lot of damage can be done flavor-wise.  Try your darndest to cool it to at least 75 and preferably 70 before pitching.  My own experience using a Stopper Thermowell to con trol the thermostat on my fermenting fridge has shown that on those Summer days when I can only cool my lagers down to the low 60's, it took hours to get down to a pitchable 52 degrees, and this was with the fridge on full blast.  It took more to get it to 48, where I prefer to start my lagers out.  And it was 36 in there, because the fridge was running full blast.  If I'd just set the thermostat on the fridge to 50 and popped the carboy in, think how much longer would it have taken!  There's a reason people use drums of water to help keep greenhouses warm in Winter.
          • Remember that fermentation generates heat.  Carboys aren't super-great insulators but it can still be a couple degrees warmer inside a rolling carboy than on the surface of the glass.  You can wrap a blanket around to keep light off and help keep it a little warmer if you're having cold problems.
          • Remember that many yeast don&# 39;t like the cold.  Belgian strains in particular can wimp out of a previously cheery big ferment if it dips below 65!  This just happened to me.  D'oh!
          • Of course, remember that most yeasts don't like it too hot either. 
        Ok.  And that, boys and girls, is why I shouldn't drink caffeine after 5:00.  See you at the meeting next week!

        Russell H. Everett
        http://russelleverett.blogspot.com

        <!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]-->
        <!--[endif]-->

        On 11/30/2010 3:48 PM, bobyeaw@... wrote:
         



        Hi Bob!

        "sharp, fruity tang..."

        Could it be described as 'green apple-y/Acetaldehyde '? or 'cidery'? or sounds like you might be thinking 'fruity/estery'?

        This link has pretty good descriptions and suggests fixes for common off flavors:
        http://www.bblodge.info/Homebrew-Resources/off-flavors-in-home-brew.html

        It's hard to know without tasting or knowing your brew process - what Malt Extract are you using? how much yeast to you pitch? are you controlling fermentation temperature? what temperature? Are you doing the whole 'rack to a secondary fermenter' thing? are you letting the beer condition a few weeks before drinking away?

        In my own beer I've noticed a slight Acetaldehyde/green apple flavor, but it always goes away as the beer conditions.

        Also, if your buying those dusty cans of LME from Cellar, you might switch to the briess DME they sell. or, I really like Northern Brewer for LME - gre at quality stuff.

        Anyways, Welcome! - I'm new here too. There's some smart people in this group, so I bet you'll get some good advice!

        cheers,

        -bob

        --- In seattle_homebrewers@yahoogroups.com, "Retro158" wrote:
        >
        > Hello,
        > I'm a new member to the forum and unfortunately won't be able to attend the December meet up - Tuesday evenings don't work.
        >
        > I've been brewing with extracts since the mid 90's, and just got back into it after a few years off - and I'm discouraged. My brews have always been alright, some better than others (red ale, belgian white, porter and a few others.) Friends like them and they are drinkable, but I'm tired of the extra taste in the final product that let's me know it's a home brew.
        >
        > Specifically , there is a sharp, fruity sort of tang that comes in all of the beers, no matter the style. Right now I notice it in a Scotch Ale that otherwise seems pretty good. After a bit of research, I'm wondering if the problem could be in the initial aeration when I pitch the yeast. A brewing biochem book I have suggests that oxygen is crucial with the pitch and since I use a 6 gallon carboy for the initial fermentation, perhaps I'm not getting enough oxygen in and esters result. ??
        >
        > I wish I could bring a sample to the meeting - so much easier for you to taste than get through words, but since I can't be there, I thought I'd try describing it and get people's opinions.
        >
        > Thanks very much. Hopefully, I can make the next meeting.
        >
        > cheers,
        >
        > Bob
        >

      • Robert May
        Thanks to all for the comments on improving the taste of my brew. I have been using primarily liquid malt extract, either the British imports or the Cellar
        Message 3 of 17 , Dec 2, 2010
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          Re: New member seeks improved taste Thanks to all for the comments on improving the taste of my brew.  I have been using primarily liquid malt extract, either the British imports or the Cellar bulk extract.  Hygiene has been quite good and I use the iodine sterilizing solution, and always follow that up with a water rinse.  I’ve primarily used Wyeast and also one or two of the British dry yeasts. My fermenters are glass carboys and over the years I’ve let brews go longer and shorter amounts of time without noticing much change in the fruity under taste.  

          Hopefully, I can get to a meeting soon and get some direct feedback, but again, thanks for all the suggestions.  I’ll review and make a plan for the next batch.

          If someone can share what the equipment needs are to go to whole grain brewing, that would be interesting as well.

          Cheers,

          Bob
        • Rich Drury
          Bob, There are some really great forums for information about all grain equipment, such as Home Brew Talk. Here is one thread:
          Message 4 of 17 , Dec 2, 2010
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            Bob,
            There are some really great forums for information about all grain equipment, such as Home Brew Talk.  Here is one thread: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/experts-all-grain-equipment-needed-209196/ .  I only posted this link as a place for you to start at, not because I actually went through it.  If you do a search on HBT for All Grain Equipment, this thread is just one that comes up, and you could probably spend the next week reading everyone's opinions about what is necessary and what is the "best" equipment to have.
            For me, creating my home brewery is part of the fun of home brewing.
             
            I'm currently waiting for my new March Pump, EDT of Dec. 8th by UPS, to arrive.  It feels like Christmas is arriving early!
             
            Cheers!
            Rich
             

            To: seattle_homebrewers@yahoogroups.com
            From: robertmay1@...
            Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2010 22:51:28 -0800
            Subject: [seattle_homebrewers] Re: New member seeks improved taste

             
            Thanks to all for the comments on improving the taste of my brew.  I have been using primarily liquid malt extract, either the British imports or the Cellar bulk extract.  Hygiene has been quite good and I use the iodine sterilizing solution, and always follow that up with a water rinse.  I’ve primarily used Wyeast and also one or two of the British dry yeasts. My fermenters are glass carboys and over the years I’ve let brews go longer and shorter amounts of time without noticing much change in the fruity under taste.  

            Hopefully, I can get to a meeting soon and get some direct feedback, but again, thanks for all the suggestions.  I’ll review and make a plan for the next batch.

            If someone can share what the equipment needs are to go to whole grain brewing, that would be interesting as well.

            Cheers,

            Bob

          • hieu_le_2000@yahoo.com
            Honestly, you can make great homebrew from extract. 3 most important things to achieve this goal are (in no particular order): 1. Sanitation 2. Proper pitch
            Message 5 of 17 , Dec 3, 2010
            View Source
            • 0 Attachment
              Honestly, you can make great homebrew from extract.
              3 most important things to achieve this goal are (in no particular order):
              1. Sanitation
              2. Proper pitch rates
              3. Fermentation temperature control

              I personally think #3 is the most important factor. You really do want to keep ales at or below 65F(most styles) and lagers I am unsure of since I often mess these up.

              H

              Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile


              From: Rich Drury <richloanman@...>
              Sender: seattle_homebrewers@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2010 23:24:58 -0800
              To: <seattle_homebrewers@yahoogroups.com>
              ReplyTo: seattle_homebrewers@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [seattle_homebrewers] Re: New member seeks improved taste

               

              Bob,
              There are some really great forums for information about all grain equipment, such as Home Brew Talk.  Here is one thread: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/experts-all-grain-equipment-needed-209196/ .  I only posted this link as a place for you to start at, not because I actually went through it.  If you do a search on HBT for All Grain Equipment, this thread is just one that comes up, and you could probably spend the next week reading everyone's opinions about what is necessary and what is the "best" equipment to have.
              For me, creating my home brewery is part of the fun of home brewing.
               
              I'm currently waiting for my new March Pump, EDT of Dec. 8th by UPS, to arrive.  It feels like Christmas is arriving early!
               
              Cheers!
              Rich
               


              To: seattle_homebrewers@yahoogroups.com
              From: robertmay1@...
              Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2010 22:51:28 -0800
              Subject: [seattle_homebrewers] Re: New member seeks improved taste

               
              Thanks to all for the comments on improving the taste of my brew.  I have been using primarily liquid malt extract, either the British imports or the Cellar bulk extract.  Hygiene has been quite good and I use the iodine sterilizing solution, and always follow that up with a water rinse.  I’ve primarily used Wyeast and also one or two of the British dry yeasts. My fermenters are glass carboys and over the years I’ve let brews go longer and shorter amounts of time without noticing much change in the fruity under taste.  

              Hopefully, I can get to a meeting soon and get some direct feedback, but again, thanks for all the suggestions.  I’ll review and make a plan for the next batch.

              If someone can share what the equipment needs are to go to whole grain brewing, that would be interesting as well.

              Cheers,

              Bob

            • alibabagrl@aol.com
              Mark Tanner, in the Beer Renegades of Everett Washington brew club is an extract brewer using adjunct grains now and then. He s won tons of awards for his
              Message 6 of 17 , Dec 3, 2010
              View Source
              • 0 Attachment
                Mark Tanner, in the Beer Renegades of Everett Washington brew club is an extract brewer using adjunct grains now and then.  He's won tons of awards for his beer, you'll see his name in almost every Washington competition on the awards board, and in national comps, too.

                The key is getting away from kits and working on your own recipes.  I've found the book "Brewing Classic Styles" to be a good quality reference point for taking a tried and true recipe and tweeking it in a particular (or peculiar) direction.

                Ali

                In a message dated 12/3/10 8:17:34 AM, hieu_le_2000@... writes:

                Honestly, you can make great homebrew from extract.
                3 most important things to achieve this goal are (in no particular order):
                1. Sanitation
                2. Proper pitch rates
                3. Fermentation temperature control

                I personally think #3 is the most important factor. You really do want to keep ales at or below 65F(most styles) and lagers I am unsure of since I often mess these up.

                H



              • Bradley Bantel
                Well Robert, i ll agree with the others in that there are a variety of ways in which you could do an all grain setup, but in my experience a gravity feed is
                Message 7 of 17 , Dec 4, 2010
                View Source
                • 0 Attachment
                  Well Robert, i'll agree with the others in that there are a variety of ways in which you could do an all grain setup, but in my experience a gravity feed is the simplest.  I have a hot water tank that drains down to and through the mash/ lauter tun and from there on down to my cooker.   You will need to sparge or run water through your mashed grains.  Some people use an improvised cooler and you will see a lot of that if you do a search.  We got one originally from Cellar for about 40 bucks.  It worked ok for about 200 gallons or so of homebrew but after a while it got too deformed.  We have since gone away from plastic all together, because i worry about the release of who knows what when petroleum derived materials are exposed to heat!!  I digress.  Hot water, through a mash tun and into something else which could be your cooker, or if you don't mind heavy lifting, a temporary vessel.  You could use the same kettle for hot water and cooking that way.  You'll need a hot water tank with a valve on the bottom to plumb the hot water sparge into your mash tun.  And your mash tun will have a manifold/ false bottom to drain into your cooker.  That's it.  It's easiest if you have a different vessel for each step of the process, hot liquor (water) tank, mash tun, and cooker, but you could get by with a valved cooker into a cooler and drain it into a bucket!  An all gravity system is going to get tall this way and that's probably why some people like to use a pump to move their water/ wort from stage to stage of the process.  But for me for now i use a ladder and a little bit of lifting!  :) 

                  I'll be doing a brew tomarrow, (sunday) if anyone wants to check it out send me a pm.

                  Cheers,
                  -Brad
                  <funwithplants@...>

                   

                  --- On Thu, 12/2/10, Robert May <robertmay1@...> wrote:

                  From: Robert May <robertmay1@...>
                  Subject: [seattle_homebrewers] Re: New member seeks improved taste
                  To: seattle_homebrewers@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Thursday, December 2, 2010, 11:51 PM

                   

                  Thanks to all for the comments on improving the taste of my brew.  I have been using primarily liquid malt extract, either the British imports or the Cellar bulk extract.  Hygiene has been quite good and I use the iodine sterilizing solution, and always follow that up with a water rinse.  I’ve primarily used Wyeast and also one or two of the British dry yeasts. My fermenters are glass carboys and over the years I’ve let brews go longer and shorter amounts of time without noticing much change in the fruity under taste.  

                  Hopefully, I can get to a meeting soon and get some direct feedback, but again, thanks for all the suggestions.  I’ll review and make a plan for the next batch.

                  If someone can share what the equipment needs are to go to whole grain brewing, that would be interesting as well.

                  Cheers,

                  Bob


                • Robert May
                  Thanks! One of the challenges I feel with the brewing I¹ve done so far, and I¹ve actually made quite a lot from extract, is that I have been very careful
                  Message 8 of 17 , Dec 4, 2010
                  View Source
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Re: New member seeks improved taste Thanks!

                    One of the challenges I feel with the brewing I’ve done so far, and I’ve actually made quite a lot from extract, is that I have been very careful about both sanitation – no bleach, sterilizing beforehand; I made a copper tube wort chiller so I get the temp down rapidly and my basement stays at about 65 – 68 degrees; I’ve used good yeast and achieved very good initial fermentation, but I can still tell the same flavor or off taste element is there no matter what I make.  And, don’t get me wrong, friends have enjoyed the brews, so I may be just a level where I want it to be better than it is.  

                    Right now, I’m thinking that I need to try lighter extracts, oxygenate effectively at the beginning and make sure that I get full fermentation completed before bottling.  Again, I appreciate all the suggestions and look forward to being able to get together and share some tastes in the future.

                    Cheers,
                    Bob
                  • Russell Everett
                    Sounds like you ve also got a little bit of the ol homebrewer s perfectionist streak going on... :) Don t worry, I ve got it too. None of my beers are ever
                    Message 9 of 17 , Dec 4, 2010
                    View Source
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Sounds like you've also got a little bit of the ol' homebrewer's perfectionist streak going on... :) 

                      Don't worry, I've got it too.  None of my beers are ever good enough to satisfy my ridiculous standards.  "Arrrgh too hoppy!" "Not hoppy enough!" "There's a weird thing there..." "#$%^!!! @$#&@#!!!"  "Next time I'll try..."

                      Meanwhile my wife rolls her eyes and goes to pour herself another pint.

                      Hopefully you can make it out to a meeting and we'll all see if we can help pinpoint the taste you don't like, or you could enter it in some competitions and hope for helpful feedback.

                      Cheers
                      Russell


                      On 12/4/2010 12:33 PM, Robert May wrote:
                       

                      Thanks!

                      One of the challenges I feel with the brewing I’ve done so far, and I’ve actually made quite a lot from extract, is that I have been very careful about both sanitation – no bleach, sterilizing beforehand; I made a copper tube wort chiller so I get the temp down rapidly and my basement stays at about 65 – 68 degrees; I’ve used good yeast and achieved very good initial fermentation, but I can still tell the same flavor or off taste element is there no matter what I make.  And, don’t get me wrong, friends have enjoyed the brews, so I may be just a level where I want it to be better than it is.  

                      Right now, I’m thinking that I need to try lighter extracts, oxygenate effectively at the beginning and make sure that I get full fermentation completed before bottling.  Again, I appreciate all the suggestions and look forward to being able to get together and share some tastes in the future.

                      Cheers,
                      Bob

                    • Joe Germani
                      I have two suggestions that have worked out well for me: 1. Batch Sparging: http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/ 2. Brew Ladder:
                      Message 10 of 17 , Dec 5, 2010
                      View Source
                      • 0 Attachment

                        I have two suggestions that have worked out well for me:

                        1. Batch Sparging: http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/

                        2. Brew Ladder: http://home.comcast.net/~midnighthomebrewers/brewladder.htm

                        Joe

                        On Sat, Dec 04, 2010 at 11:38am Bradley Bantel wrote:

                        Well Robert, i'll agree with the others in that there are a variety of ways in which you could do an all grain setup, but in my experience a gravity feed is the simplest.  I have a hot water tank that drains down to and through the mash/ lauter tun and from there on down to my cooker.   You will need to sparge or run water through your mashed grains.  Some people use an improvised cooler and you will see a lot of that if you do a search.  We got one originally from Cellar for about 40 bucks.  It worked ok for about 200 gallons or so of homebrew but after a while it got too deformed.  We have since gone away from plastic all together, because i worry about the release of who knows what when petroleum derived materials are exposed to heat!!  I digress.  Hot water, through a mash tun and into something else which could be your cooker, or if you don't mind heavy lifting, a temporary vessel.  You could use the same kettle for hot water and cooking that way.  You'll need a hot water tank with a valve on the bottom to plumb the hot water sparge into your mash tun.  And your mash tun will have a manifold/ false bottom to drain into your cooker.  That's it.  It's easiest if you have a different vessel for each step of the process, hot liquor (water) tank, mash tun, and cooker, but you could get by with a valved cooker into a cooler and drain it into a bucket!  An all gravity system is going to get tall this way and that's probably why some people like to use a pump to move their water/ wort from stage to stage of the process.  But for me for now i use a ladder and a little bit of lifting!  :) 

                        I'll be doing a brew tomarrow, (sunday) if anyone wants to check it out send me a pm.

                        Cheers,
                        -Brad


                         

                        --- On Thu, 12/2/10, Robert May wrote:

                        From: Robert May
                        Subject: [seattle_homebrewers] Re: New member seeks improved taste
                        To: seattle_homebrewers@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Thursday, December 2, 2010, 11:51 PM

                          < div id="yiv1302573376ygrp-text">

                        Thanks to all for the comments on improving the taste of my brew.  I have been using primarily liquid malt extract, either the British imports or the Cellar bulk extract.  Hygiene has been quite good and I use the iodine sterilizing solution, and always follow that up with a water rinse.  I’ve primarily used Wyeast and also one or two of the British dry yeasts. My fermenters are glass carboys and over the years I’ve let brews go longer and shorter amounts of time without noticing much change in the fruity under taste.  

                        Hopefully, I can get to a meeting soon and get some direct feedback, but again, thanks for all the suggestions.  I’ll review and make a plan for the next batch.

                        If someone can share what the equipment needs are to go to whole grain brewing, that would be interesting as well.

                        Cheers,

                        Bob


                      • Bradley Bantel
                        I ve seen the brew ladder, but it sure looks like an accident waiting to happen to me!  Check these out:
                        Message 11 of 17 , Dec 5, 2010
                        View Source
                        • 0 Attachment
                          I've seen the brew ladder, but it sure looks like an accident waiting to happen to me!  Check these out:

                          http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/3-tier-tree-sculpture-plans-27324/

                          --- On Sun, 12/5/10, Joe Germani <joe@...> wrote:

                          From: Joe Germani <joe@...>
                          Subject: Re: [seattle_homebrewers] Re: New member seeks improved taste
                          To: seattle_homebrewers@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Sunday, December 5, 2010, 1:54 PM

                           

                          I have two suggestions that have worked out well for me:

                          1. Batch Sparging: http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/

                          2. Brew Ladder: http://home.comcast.net/~midnighthomebrewers/brewladder.htm

                          Joe

                          On Sat, Dec 04, 2010 at 11:38am Bradley Bantel wrote:

                          Well Robert, i'll agree with the others in that there are a variety of ways in which you could do an all grain setup, but in my experience a gravity feed is the simplest.  I have a hot water tank that drains down to and through the mash/ lauter tun and from there on down to my cooker.   You will need to sparge or run water through your mashed grains.  Some people use an improvised cooler and you will see a lot of that if you do a search.  We got one originally from Cellar for about 40 bucks.  It worked ok for about 200 gallons or so of homebrew but after a while it got too deformed.  We have since gone away from plastic all together, because i worry about the release of who knows what when petroleum derived materials are exposed to heat!!  I digress.  Hot water, through a mash tun and into something else which could be your cooker, or if you don't mind heavy lifting, a temporary vessel.  You could use the same kettle for hot water and cooking that way.  You'll need a hot water tank with a valve on the bottom to plumb the hot water sparge into your mash tun.  And your mash tun will have a manifold/ false bottom to drain into your cooker.  That's it.  It's easiest if you have a different vessel for each step of the process, hot liquor (water) tank, mash tun, and cooker, but you could get by with a valved cooker into a cooler and drain it into a bucket!  An all gravity system is going to get tall this way and that's probably why some people like to use a pump to move their water/ wort from stage to stage of the process.  But for me for now i use a ladder and a little bit of lifting!  :) 

                          I'll be doing a brew tomarrow, (sunday) if anyone wants to check it out send me a pm.

                          Cheers,
                          -Brad


                           

                          --- On Thu, 12/2/10, Robert May wrote:

                          From: Robert May
                          Subject: [seattle_homebrewers] Re: New member seeks improved taste
                          To: seattle_homebrewers@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Thursday, December 2, 2010, 11:51 PM

                            div id="yiv1302573376ygrp-text">

                          Thanks to all for the comments on improving the taste of my brew.  I have been using primarily liquid malt extract, either the British imports or the Cellar bulk extract.  Hygiene has been quite good and I use the iodine sterilizing solution, and always follow that up with a water rinse.  I’ve primarily used Wyeast and also one or two of the British dry yeasts. My fermenters are glass carboys and over the years I’ve let brews go longer and shorter amounts of time without noticing much change in the fruity under taste.  

                          Hopefully, I can get to a meeting soon and get some direct feedback, but again, thanks for all the suggestions.  I’ll review and make a plan for the next batch.

                          If someone can share what the equipment needs are to go to whole grain brewing, that would be interesting as well.

                          Cheers,

                          Bob



                        • Russell Everett
                          You can always keep it simple too. I just use my back stairs. Hot liquor tank sits on top of the landing. Mash tun sits below it halfway down the stairs.
                          Message 12 of 17 , Dec 5, 2010
                          View Source
                          • 0 Attachment
                            You can always keep it simple too.  I just use my back stairs. 

                            Hot liquor tank sits on top of the landing.  Mash tun sits below it halfway down the stairs.  Then I collect the runnings in a bucket (bonus: easy volume measurements on the side!) and transfer to my kettle, the burner of which is up on some cinderblocks so I can then drain from it through the chiller and into carboys.  Pros: Free!  Cons: Rain.  And a bit of heavy lifting.

                            All you need is about 5'-6' of height difference, and remember that you can drain into a bucket rather than the kettle.  Back in the day I used to put the HLT on a milk-crate on top of a defunct hot tub, with the mash tun below on the steps leading up into it.  I know guys who put the HLT up on the washing machine in their garage.  You could also use the counters in your kitchen, a work bench, sawhorses and a stout board... The possibilities are endless.





                            On 12/5/2010 2:33 PM, Bradley Bantel wrote:
                             

                            I've seen the brew ladder, but it sure looks like an accident waiting to happen to me!  Check these out:

                            http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/3-tier-tree-sculpture-plans-27324/

                            --- On Sun, 12/5/10, Joe Germani <joe@...> wrote:

                            From: Joe Germani <joe@...>
                            Subject: Re: [seattle_homebrewers] Re: New member seeks improved taste
                            To: seattle_homebrewers@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Sunday, December 5, 2010, 1:54 PM

                             

                            I have two suggestions that have worked out well for me:

                            1. Batch Sparging: http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/

                            2. Brew Ladder: http://home.comcast.net/~midnighthomebrewers/brewladder.htm

                            Joe

                            On Sat, Dec 04, 2010 at 11:38am Bradley Bantel wrote:

                            Well Robert, i'll agree with the others in that there are a variety of ways in which you could do an all grain setup, but in my experience a gravity feed is the simplest.  I have a hot water tank that drains down to and through the mash/ lauter tun and from there on down to my cooker.   You will need to sparge or run water through your mashed grains.  Some people use an improvised cooler and you will see a lot of that if you do a search.  We got one originally from Cellar for about 40 bucks.  It worked ok for about 200 gallons or so of homebrew but after a while it got too deformed.  We have since gone away from plastic all together, because i worry about the release of who knows what when petroleum derived materials are exposed to heat!!  I digress.  Hot water, through a mash tun and into something else which could be your cooker, or if you don't mind heavy lifting, a temporary vessel.  You could use the same kettle for hot water and cooking that way.  You'll need a hot water tank with a valve on the bottom to plumb the hot water sparge into your mash tun.  And your mash tun will have a manifold/ false bottom to drain into your cooker.  That's it.  It's easiest if you have a different vessel for each step of the process, hot liquor (water) tank, mash tun, and cooker, but you could get by with a valved cooker into a cooler and drain it into a bucket!  An all gravity system is going to get tall this way and that's probably why some people like to use a pump to move their water/ wort from stage to stage of the process.  But for me for now i use a ladder and a little bit of lifting!  :) 

                            I'll be doing a brew tomarrow, (sunday) if anyone wants to check it out send me a pm.

                            Cheers,
                            -Brad


                             

                            --- On Thu, 12/2/10, Robert May wrote:

                            From: Robert May
                            Subject: [seattle_homebrewers] Re: New member seeks improved taste
                            To: seattle_homebrewers@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Thursday, December 2, 2010, 11:51 PM

                              div id="yiv1302573376ygrp-text">

                            Thanks to all for the comments on improving the taste of my brew.  I have been using primarily liquid malt extract, either the British imports or the Cellar bulk extract.  Hygiene has been quite good and I use the iodine sterilizing solution, and always follow that up with a water rinse.  I’ve primarily used Wyeast and also one or two of the British dry yeasts. My fermenters are glass carboys and over the years I’ve let brews go longer and shorter amounts of time without noticing much change in the fruity under taste.  

                            Hopefully, I can get to a meeting soon and get some direct feedback, but again, thanks for all the suggestions.  I’ll review and make a plan for the next batch.

                            If someone can share what the equipment needs are to go to whole grain brewing, that would be interesting as well.

                            Cheers,

                            Bob



                          • Joe Germani
                            My brew ladder works like a champ--it s nice and sturdy.  Athough I rarely put the hot liquor tank on the top because I don t need to with batch sparging. The
                            Message 13 of 17 , Dec 5, 2010
                            View Source
                            • 0 Attachment

                              My brew ladder works like a champ--it's nice and sturdy.  Athough I rarely put the hot liquor tank on the top because I don't need to with batch sparging.

                              The main reason I built a brew ladder is that I don't have any space for a more perminent sculpture, like the ones in the link you sent.  I just fold up the ladder when I'm done brewing and carry it down to the basement.

                              Joe

                              On Sun, Dec 05, 2010 at 2:34pm Bradley Bantel wrote:

                              I've seen the brew ladder, but it sure looks like an accident waiting to happen to me!  Check these out:

                              http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/3-tier-tree-sculpture-plans-27324/

                              --- On Sun, 12/5/10, Joe Germani wrote:

                              From: Joe Germani
                              Subject: Re: [seattle_homebrewers] Re: New member seeks improved taste
                              To: seattle_homebrewers@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Sunday, December 5, 2010, 1:54 PM

                               

                               

                              I have two suggestions that have worked out well for me:

                              1. Batch Sparging: http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/

                              2. Brew Ladder: http://home.comcast.net/~midnighthomebrewers/brewladder.htm

                              Joe

                              On Sat, Dec 04, 2010 at 11:38am Bradley Bantel wrote:

                              Well Robert, i'll agree with the others in that there are a variety of ways in which you could do an all grain setup, but in my experience a gravity feed is the simplest.  I have a hot water tank that drains down to and through the mash/ lauter tun and from there on down to my cooker.   You will need to sparge or run water through your mashed grains.  Some people use an improvised cooler and you will see a lot of that if you do a search.  We got one originally from Cellar for about 40 bucks.  It worked ok for about 200 gallons or so of homebrew but after a while it got too deformed.  We have since gone away from plastic all together, because i worry about the release of who knows what when petroleum derived materials are exposed to heat!!  I digress.  Hot water, through a mash tun and into something else which could be your cooker, or if you don't mind heavy lifting, a temporary vessel.  You could use the same kettle for hot wa ter and cooking that way.  You'll need a hot water tank with a valve on the bottom to plumb the hot water sparge into your mash tun.  And your mash tun will have a manifold/ false bottom to drain into your cooker.  That's it.  It's easiest if you have a different vessel for each step of the process, hot liquor (water) tank, mash tun, and cooker, but you could get by with a valved cooker into a cooler and drain it into a bucket!  An all gravity system is going to get tall this way and that's probably why some people like to use a pump to move their water/ wort from stage to stage of the process.  But for me for now i use a ladder and a little bit of lifting!  :) 

                              I'll be doing a brew tomarrow, (sunday) if anyone wants to check it out send me a pm.

                              Cheers,
                              -Brad


                               

                              --- On Thu, 12/2/10, Robert May wrote:

                              From: Robert May
                              Subject: [seattle_homebrewers] Re: New member seeks improved taste
                              To: seattle_homebrewers@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Thursday, December 2, 2010, 11:51 PM

                                div id="yiv1302573376ygrp-text">

                              Thanks to all for the comments on improving the taste of my brew.  I have been using primarily liquid malt extract, either the British imports or the Cellar bulk extract.  Hygiene has been quite good and I use the iodine sterilizing solution, and always follow that up with a water rinse.  I’ve primarily used Wyeast and also one or two of the British dry yeasts. My fermenters are glass carboys and over the years I’ve let brews go longer and shorter amounts of time without noticing much change in the fruity under taste.  

                              Hopefully, I can g et to a meeting soon and get some direct feedback, but again, thanks for all the suggestions.  I’ll review and make a plan for the next batch.

                              If someone can share what the equipment needs are to go to whole grain brewing, that would be interesting as well.

                              Cheers,

                              Bob



                            • klaus_shuler
                              Hi guys- I have been lurking here for a few months but this is my first post. I started out with extract in february of this year and pretty rapidly went on to
                              Message 14 of 17 , Dec 6, 2010
                              View Source
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Hi guys-

                                I have been lurking here for a few months but this is my first post.

                                I started out with extract in february of this year and pretty rapidly went on to all grain. I had been doing 6 gallon batches in a 15 gallon mash tun with a false bottom and noticed a big improvement from extract. I was always looking for other options as I only had 1 large mash tun that was also my kettle and had to heat all the sparge water in every pot in the house and split the first runnings and sparge water into buckets, then wash out the mash tun, take out the false bottom, add the hopstopper, etc. Was a major effort and involved huge cleanup.

                                I finally tried, after resisting for a few months, the "brew in a bag (BIAB)" method, and I don't think I will go back unless I start to make batches large than about 7 gallons. For the new brewer just trying to get into all grain it is the cheap and easy way to go, I think. Only need to clean one large vessel and one large bag, no wait between mash and boil for a sparge, don't need a separate mash tun and boil kettle, and is very space efficient (more important for the wife then me!). In addition, the grain can be crushed a bit finer if you want higher efficiency because you don't have to worry about the sparge getting stuck. I usually get about 81-83 percent efficiency so far in my BIAB brews (only 5 of them so far) which is about what I got with my batch sparging setup.

                                Just saying- if you want to start out in all grain but aren't looking to spend the cash and aren't planning on going to anything larger than 7 gallons or so (after which the bag becomes pretty heavy to lift), you might give BIAB a try. I have tried it both squeezing and not squeezing the bag after mashing and can't say I noticed any flavor differences.

                                Klaus
                              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.