Drinkers with a Running Problem

Home Brewers... (Read 1578 times)


A Dance with Monkeys

    Good questions: Chilling - Following the hop boil, the wort is antiseptic (by nature of the heat, of the high sugar and acid concentration and of the hops' antibacterial properties). I usually finish the boil in the evening, pour the wort into my clean, sterilized bucket and put on the top. By the next morning the wort has cooled to a temperature which is safe for yeast. I then pitch in yeast that I had started several days before, and usually the stuff is bubbling within 1-2 days. I would also add that beer happens naturally in the wild when grain gets wet, and it is almost always free of pathogens. Sparging - Way back when I started, I used to pour the mash into a grain bag and squeeze out the wort, then pour hot water over it and squeeze that out. It worked well. Lately, I have been using the two nested bucket solution, with a spigot from the bottom button and drains in the inner bucket. This works well too, and I don't burn my hands. I have never broken a carboy, they tend to be made of very tough glass. I have dropped them onto hard surfaces. I must be lucky Wink


    ...---...

      All - This is awesome info!

      San Francisco - 7/29/12

      Warrior Dash Ohio II - 8/26/12

      Chicago - 10/7/12


        Good questions: Sparging...Lately, I have been using the two nested bucket solution, with a spigot from the bottom button and drains in the inner bucket.
        Good deal. This is also known as a zapap lauter tun. Regarding chilling, I still recommend an immersion chiller-- especially if time contstraints don't allow waiting overnight. I personally would worry about infection by waiting overnight, but it seems Trent has a good process and that doesn't happen for him. BTW, cleaning and sanitation arethe most important aspects of homebrewing. I use PBW to clean and starsan which is a no rinse sanitizer.

        Lou, (aka Mr. predawnrunner), MD, USA | Lou's Brews | lking@pobox.com


        A Dance with Monkeys

          Agreed. Cleaning and Sanitation are important. I use liquid detergent and water on everything and also bleach on my plastic. That said, yeast has fairly powerful antibiotic properties (as too do alcohol and the resins in the hops). The first antibiotics and many modern ones are derived from fungi and yeast (which are a type of fungi). Throughout history and well before our modern sanitization understanding and practices, and long before Pasteur, people drank beer and wine rather than water because they got sick with the water but not with the beer or wine. Again, this was back when the wort was not rapidly cooled (and probably not even hopped) and yeast was not added, but rather came in naturally from the air. With this method, it may be several days before there is an adequate inoculation with the yeast and over a week before fermentation begins, and yet still no spoilage. This method is still used today for many of the popular Belgian beers, such as lambics. I suspect that US commercial brewing laws require rapid cooling, but the homebrewer is free do do as they please (more or less). In 16 years of brewing, I have not had a spoilage problem using clean equipment and slow cooling. But then again, I'm just too cheap to buy cooling equipment and I got nowhere to store it Wink And zapap, exactly! MTA: while at work I am a scientist, using strict formulae, at home I prefer the more organic traditional methods where I tend to avoid strict recipes, temperature guides and modern equipment except when necessary. I'm weird that way, and many many homebrewers brew because they like the control and the scientific aspects. I love the scientific theory of it (including the microbiological and enzymatic aspects), but prefer to let the beer control itself to some degree.


          ...---...

            Terminology question: what exactly is wort and at what stage does wort become wort?

            San Francisco - 7/29/12

            Warrior Dash Ohio II - 8/26/12

            Chicago - 10/7/12


              Wort is the sweet liquid produced either by adding malt extract to water, or by mashing crushed malted barley (or other grains, I guess). It is called wort before the yeast has acted on it to turn it into beer. I'm not sure exactly when the wort becomes beer -- as soon as you pour the yeast in? After fermentation is complete?, but it is wort prior to fermentation, to be sure. Oh and it is pronounced to rhyme with "shirt"

              Lou, (aka Mr. predawnrunner), MD, USA | Lou's Brews | lking@pobox.com


              Queen of 3rd Place

                Just to add two comments: 1) Charlie Papazian's books really helped me when I started out. 2) Good water is critical! The best beer I've made was when I lived someplace with super-tasty municipal water. Barring that, you can use bottled water, or even distilled water to which you add minerals (f'rinstance you can add minerals to mimic UK water for your British-style ales). Lately I've been trying wine-making, which is a cinch compared to homebrewing, IMO. Good fun! Arla

                Ex runner


                ...---...

                  Okay peeps - I've order a basic start up kit (equipment). I had a nice talk with a local brewer/bar place who will sell me grain and has sold me a couple glass carboys for cheap. Looking for a grain mill now. Bottles on order, getting both 12 and 22's. I'd like to try a pale ale. I'm staying away from the extracts. Hops and yeast - which one's do you guys like or would recommend I try. ALso Trent - I can make something like 700 gallons of my own beer without special permits or what not. thanks for leading that tip my way.

                  San Francisco - 7/29/12

                  Warrior Dash Ohio II - 8/26/12

                  Chicago - 10/7/12


                    Poke around on http://www.lousbrews.info/BrewingSessions/sessions.htm . Click on the links and you'll see recipes there. Maybe there will be something you will like. Good luck.

                    Lou, (aka Mr. predawnrunner), MD, USA | Lou's Brews | lking@pobox.com


                    ...---...

                      Cool, Lou. Do you use a refractometer to measure your specific gravity? I could probably borrow one the lab at work...not sure what's been on it though...maybe I'll just use the anti-freeze type thing that is coming with my kit.

                      San Francisco - 7/29/12

                      Warrior Dash Ohio II - 8/26/12

                      Chicago - 10/7/12


                        Yeah, I have a refractometer. I think it was about $50 when I bought it. Hmm, looks like about $60 now. Check your LHBS first. http://morebeer.com/view_product/18739/ The hydrometer you have is probably just fine, though. I think you have to make a temp adjustment. There should be a reference sheet with it, I'd guess. Also, you might consider getting promash to help keep your records. I use promash ($25) and paper. Hmm, I think I have a record sheet on my web site if your interested. See http://www.lousbrews.info/Processes.htm

                        Lou, (aka Mr. predawnrunner), MD, USA | Lou's Brews | lking@pobox.com


                        ...---...

                          Yep...this'll make a great lab, er I mean, log form for brewing. Thanks!!

                          San Francisco - 7/29/12

                          Warrior Dash Ohio II - 8/26/12

                          Chicago - 10/7/12



                          A Dance with Monkeys

                            I do NOT use a refractometer. But you guessed that already Wink Thanks for the feedback. 700 gallons is right plenty.


                            ...---...

                              Hell, if I make 700 gallons of decent brew...you guys may never hear from me again.

                              San Francisco - 7/29/12

                              Warrior Dash Ohio II - 8/26/12

                              Chicago - 10/7/12


                                Who is keeping track? We need a pace bunny for beer production.

                                Lou, (aka Mr. predawnrunner), MD, USA | Lou's Brews | lking@pobox.com