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foxbat

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How do you get it that clear from the kettle? I can't get that clarity from the fermenter! Have to condition for a month to get close! (Jealousy really 🙂)
I do BIAB and I squeeze the bag as hard as I possibly can so my pre-boil wort is very cloudy from flour as you can probably see from the pre-boil sample. During the boil (a very gentle simmer) a lot of this coagulates on the surface and I skim it off.

At 7 mins I add a whirlfloc tablet (sourced from Geterbrewed). I think this is the biggest helper because after rapid chilling (30 mins) I can see all the trub being pulled to the bottom of the kettle and I transfer all of this to the fermenter - perhaps having this Whirlfloc in the fermenter aids clarifying after fermentation? I don't know.

I also pay careful attention to my water minerals and pH. I always brew with Tesco Ashbeck and adjust with minerals and lactic acid to the style I'm trying to brew. I don't know how much this affects clarity but there's definitely some evidence on the US forums that link water treatment to the clarity of the finished beer.
 
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matt76

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How do you get it that clear from the kettle? I can't get that clarity from the fermenter! Have to condition for a month to get close! (Jealousy really 🙂)
If you're jealous of that then for the love of God whatever you do, don't look at his pics of the beer post-fermentation!

Despite his claims to the contrary, I'm pretty sure there's some ritual sacrifice to the brewing gods going on somewhere aheadbutt
 

foxbat

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I pitched the A04 Barbarian yeast starter on Friday evening and by Saturday morning there was rapid bubbling through the blow off tube. Happy that it was sitting at 19C in my cool garage I left only the heating lamp connected to the Inkbird and went off to do "other stuff".

Checking in on it later in the evening I was very surprised to see the Inkbird reading 22C and the rapid bubbling had turned into an almost continuous stream. Quite the most vigorous fermentation I've seen since using the Duvel strain. 22C is up there at the top of the range and if I were looking for little or no contribution to the flavour from the yeast then I'd be worried but this is an IPA brewed with a yeast that likes to take center stage so I'm happy to get some big flavours from it. Anyway I didn't want to go to bed and find it at god knows what it in the morning so I plugged the fridge in and let the Inkbird bring it back down to 19C. We'll see in a few weeks if that little unplanned excursion up to 22C contributed anything to the brew.
 

foxbat

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Today was kegging day for my Flagstaff IPA No.2 after a total of 16 days in the fermenter. A little over the 14 days that I normally leave it due to other things to get done around the house first. The Imperial A04 Barbarian yeast absolutely ripped through this wort and was definitely almost done after four days and probably complete after a week but I like to leave it to sit and settle out to minimise trub in the corny.



FG was 1.009, up on my usual 1.005-1.007 range due to the mash temperature being 67.5C, about a degree or two warmer than I usually mash at. ABV is 4.8% and the sample tasted promising, very English in character.

The corny was fined with Kwik-Clear, purged with 5x15psi and is now sitting at about 10psi to carbonate and condition over the next couple of weeks.
 

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Tonight I remembered to take a photo of my Fruhlingbrau pilnser instead of just drinking it before getting the camera out!



I've decided that Fruhlingbrau and Phoney Peroni are going to be the two pilsner lagers that I'll be brewing going forward. The Hallertau Hersbrucker hops in Fruhlingbrau have a Radler-esque refreshing hint of lemon that I really like.

When planning this brew I wanted to try to make it close to a very quaffable Austrian pilsner by Stiegl that has a lovely lemon flavour. I guessed that they might be using Saphir hops and asked Steven at CML if they could get any. He said no they didn't have Saphir but suggested Hersbrucker as a very close alternative. I thought what the heck, brewed with the Hersbrucker and Steven was right, it's perfect!
 

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Interesting... Will have to give Hersbrucker a whirl sometime athumb..

I note you've used Magnum for bittering in both those brews. Also, I was mildly surprised to see both are only around 25IBUs. Rough figures in my head are 35-40 for a Czech or German pils, or 20ish for a Helles - all of which can be great beers and who says you have to stick to the script anyway acheers.
 

foxbat

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Interesting... Will have to give Hersbrucker a whirl sometime athumb..

I note you've used Magnum for bittering in both those brews. Also, I was mildly surprised to see both are only around 25IBUs. Rough figures in my head are 35-40 for a Czech or German pils, or 20ish for a Helles - all of which can be great beers and who says you have to stick to the script anyway acheers.
Magnum is my go-to "top up the IBU" hop. If I don't get what I'm looking for from the late additions then enough Magnum goes in at 60 to top up to where I want it to be. It's Hallertau Magnum as well so I'm accidentally stylistically correct :)

You're right about the lower IBU than the style calls for and next time I may up it a little bit though to be honest my taste buds don't really detect much difference between 25 and 35 IBU; maybe that's the reputed soft bittering properties of Magnum at work? I'll drop the melanoidin malt next time because the Weyermann Bohemian Pils malt is plenty malty enough and doesn't need any help from speciality grains.
 

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Tonight I remembered to take a photo of my Fruhlingbrau pilnser instead of just drinking it before getting the camera out!



I've decided that Fruhlingbrau and Phoney Peroni are going to be the two pilsner lagers that I'll be brewing going forward. The Hallertau Hersbrucker hops in Fruhlingbrau have a Radler-esque refreshing hint of lemon that I really like.

When planning this brew I wanted to try to make it close to a very quaffable Austrian pilsner by Stiegl that has a lovely lemon flavour. I guessed that they might be using Saphir hops and asked Steven at CML if they could get any. He said no they didn't have Saphir but suggested Hersbrucker as a very close alternative. I thought what the heck, brewed with the Hersbrucker and Steven was right, it's perfect!
I got a very similar flavour to Hersbrucker using Voss Kveik to ferment a Pilsner. I used Mittelfruh and fermented at 21 deg. It was quite tart to begin with but mellowed out to give a nice lemon character.
 

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I'm brewing this weekend which means Tuesday evening is when I get my yeast starter on. This weekend's brew will be an APA with Simcoe, Cashmere and Galaxy hops and for the yeast I'm going for a re-use of Imperial A04 Barbarian that I've got in a jar in the fridge.

I made up a 1.5 litre starter with the intention of keeping behind 500ml for the next re-use and pitching a litre into the brew. It went in the brew-fridge on my stir plate last night at 20C. 12 hours later we appear to have passed high krausen during the night if the trub marks are anything to go by.



All being well this'll be done in 24 to 36 hours at which point I'll separate off the 500ml for next time and keep the main starter chilled until the weekend.
 

foxbat

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It's the season for light and quaffable summer ales so today I decided to hit the American and Australian fruity hops and brew up a light APA.

Code:
Recipe: Cash & Coe
Batch Size (fermenter): 24.00 L   
Estimated OG: 1.043 SG
Estimated Color: 7.9 EBC
Estimated IBU: 40.5 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 75.6 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Finished water profile: Ca:52, Mg:8, Na:9, SO4:72, Cl:57

Ingredients:
------------
Amt              Name                                  Type         %/IBU    
29.53 L          Tesco Ashbeck                         Water        -        
2.10 ml          Lactic Acid (Mash)                    Water Agent  -        
1.70 g           Calcium Chloride (Mash)               Water Agent  -        
1.70 g           Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash)       Water Agent  -        
1.50 g           Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash)             Water Agent  -        

0.40 g           Calcium Chloride (Sparge)             Water Agent  -        
0.40 g           Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Sparge)     Water Agent  -        
0.30 g           Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Sparge)           Water Agent  -        
0.20 ml          Lactic Acid (Sparge)                  Water Agent  -        

3.69 kg          Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner (4.0 EBC)  Grain        85.0 %   
0.43 kg          IREKS Munich Malt (20.0 EBC)          Grain        10.0 %   
0.22 kg          IREKS Crystal Maple (3.5 EBC)         Grain        5.0 %    

10.00 g          Simcoe [11.70 %] - Boil 15.0 min      Hop          6.8 IBUs 
18.00 g          Cashmere [7.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min     Hop          5.4 IBUs 
18.00 g          Galaxy [15.60 %] - Boil 10.0 min      Hop          11.9 IBUs
18.00 g          Simcoe [11.70 %] - Boil 10.0 min      Hop          8.9 IBUs 
1.00 Items       Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 7.0 mins)      Fining       -        
22.00 g          Cashmere [7.00 %] - Boil 2.0 min      Hop          1.5 IBUs 
22.00 g          Galaxy [15.60 %] - Boil 2.0 min       Hop          3.4 IBUs 
22.00 g          Simcoe [11.70 %] - Boil 2.0 min       Hop          2.5 IBUs 

1.0 pkg          Barbarian (Imperial Yeast #A04)       Yeast        -        

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 4.34 kg
----------------------------
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 24.53 L of water at 70.2 C          67.0 C        60 min        

Sparge: Dunk sparge with 5 L of water at 75 C
Brew day went as smoothly as usual. My pre-boil gravity came in a little higher than expected so I liquored back with 700ml of Ashbeck for the boil as I want this one to finish at 4.0% - 4.2% ABV to keep it on the easy drinking side. The wort smelled amazing during the last few minutes of the boil with all those hops in there.



I chilled with the immersion chiller to 24.5C before giving up and transferring the 24 litres of 1.042 wort to the fermenter. The brew fridge can take it down to 20C when I'll pitch the Imperial A04 Barbarian yeast starter.
 

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I'm always a bit jealous of your lovely trial jar photographs; your wort airways looks sparkling and clear, like a photograph in a professional brewery manual or something. Mine always looks a bit home brewey! :laugh8:
 

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I'm always a bit jealous of your lovely trial jar photographs; your wort airways looks sparkling and clear, like a photograph in a professional brewery manual or something. Mine always looks a bit home brewey! :laugh8:
Agreed, the photos are brilliant!
 

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I've made another improvement to my process in the name of further reducing post-fermentation oxygen exposure. I already transfer directly from the valve on my fermenter to a corny keg and then purge the head space with CO2 before leaving under pressure to carbonate.

Now I've decided to use the CO2 generated during fermentation to purge a corny keg so that I can transfer directly into a CO2-rich atmosphere before sealing up the keg. What made me decide that it was worth it was this post by HBT's resident mad scientist doug293cz. Here's what I did.

Previously I would use a blowoff tube inside the brew fridge. That is, a barb on the top of the fermenter has a short length of 3/8" beer line leading to a jam jar containing star-san to use as the bubbler air lock.

Now I'm running a longer length of 3/8" line from the fermenter barb, down through the fridge drain plug at the back and out to the gas-in line of a sanitised keg. The beer-out line now goes to the jam jar bubbler to complete the system.



In the above picture you can see the tube going down the drain plug. My fridge is a cheap Curry's brand undercounter model. The drain plug was lined with the tube that you can see on the left. To get it out I jammed a circular file into it which gripped it from within. It was easy then to yank upwards to remove it. Luckily the drain plug hole is exactly 3/8" diameter and the tube pushes firmly through.



This image shows the complete picture. You can see the 3/8" tube snaking out from the back of the fridge to the keg disconnect on the left and then the other keg disconnect is directed upwards into the sanitiser-filled jam jar that's been lashed into place with a few elastic bands that our litter-lout postman kindly drops all over the pavement on our street.

So that's it then, a simple process improvement using bits and pieces that I already had that hopefully will preserve those hop flavours a bit better.
 

foxbat

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I had a quick check this morning and the jam jar is bubbling away quite rapidly so the purging system is working as expected.

I tried a few pints of my Flagstaff IPA No.2 last night and it's coming along very nicely although it has a slight haze to it. I thought this might happen when I noticed that the overbuilt starter jar was also slightly hazy - normally they drop clear in the fridge and their appearance is a canary for how the beer will look. The only other yeast I've ever used that did that was Wyeast 1318 which, like Imperial A04 is also a favourite of the hazy NEIPA brewers. I wonder if there's a connection there?

I've now brewed with all of the liquid Vermont strains: The Yeast Bay Vermont, Omega OYL-052 and Imperial A04 and I'm finding it hard to believe that they're all from the same source. TYB and Omega are very similar so possibly they're the same but this Imperial yeast just seems different - much more like Wyeast 1318 than the other two Vermonts. My IPA actually has a similar character to it that I get from Shepherd Neame cask ale (our local is SN). If someone handed me a pint of it and told me it was SN I'd have no problem believing it.

Strange stuff, yeast.
 

foxbat

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Today was kegging day for my Cash & Co ale. The plan was to keg this after 2 weeks but it still seemed to be bubbling about once every 30 seconds through the blow-off tube so I gave it an extra week. This Barbarian A04 yeast does seem to take ages to fully flocculate so maybe that's why it needs a little longer.



FG was 1.009 which gives a nice and easy drinking 4.3%. This was the first of mine to be kegged in a CO2 purged keg. To transfer I just cracked the keg lid, inserted the hose attached to the fermenter valve and opened up. The steadily rising beer level pushed out the CO2 and I sealed up as soon as it came within a few millimetres of the gas-in pipe. Kwik Clear finings were added to the keg and I had enough left over for 3 bottles.

The keg was purged (again) with 5x15psi bursts and it's now sitting at 12psi to slowly carbonate and condition for a couple of weeks. The sample jar tasted really good and hoppy and I'm hoping the extra effort to keep oxygen away during transfer will pay off in the form of longer-lasting hop flavours.
 

foxbat

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It's brew day again at the weekend and I'm planning a simple summer ale featuring 100% pilsner malt and loads of late floral hops inspired by a certain famous Hop Back ale but definitely not a clone.

Anyway, I need yeast and I've decided not to reuse the Barbarian A04 again because it's not flocculent enough for my liking. It's got the flavour I want but I like my beers to clear up fast and so I'll be returning to one that I last used in November 2018. I hope it's still as good.



My favourite yeast in my least favourite packaging. Cue 20 minutes of standing around shaking the thing until all the yeast has dislodged from the bottom where it's stuck hard. Then another couple of minutes of gingerly cracking the lid to ease out the pressure until it's safe to open without causing a volcano of lost yeast.



I used the brew united calculator and came up with a starter size of 1.7 litres that would include 500ml to save behind for next time.

Another weakness of those White Labs unblown PET blanks that they call 'vials' is that they only guarantee 80bn cells in each one as opposed to 100bn for Wyeast, 150bn for Omega and 200bn for Imperial.

So, starter made and on the stir-plate, recipe being finalised and it looks like the rain will stop for the weekend. I think I'm all set.
 

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Two questions:

Do you ever use dry yeast? Previously I had only used Wyeast but having switched now to dry (it's convenient and I'm lazy!) I can't say I've noticed a huge difference.

We were talking the other day about using a large hop bag in the boil so you can strain out the hop debris after the boil - do I take it you just shove your chiller straight in there, say 5 mins before the end of the boil to sanitise it? (I'm assuming you use an immersion chiller like me, but maybe you don't???)
 

foxbat

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Do you ever use dry yeast? Previously I had only used Wyeast but having switched now to dry (it's convenient and I'm lazy!) I can't say I've noticed a huge difference.
The last time I used dry yeast was, I think, in 2016 and I don't see myself ever using it again by choice. I enjoy the whole yeast management thing: preparing the starter, watching it grow and keeping a supply in the fridge. That there is so much more choice in liquid form is a side benefit.

I suppose lager yeasts would be the one where I'm most likely to 'try a dry' because in most cases I don't want any contribution at all to the flavour from the yeast and I need a boat-load of cells so my wet pack has to be very fresh if I'm to avoid multi-stage starters. I could buy one pack of W 34/70 or S-189, call it 200bn cells and make up a starter from that and keep some back in the fridge. Ah you see, I'd still build a starter with dry yeast so for me there'd be no convenience factor.

We were talking the other day about using a large hop bag in the boil so you can strain out the hop debris after the boil - do I take it you just shove your chiller straight in there, say 5 mins before the end of the boil to sanitise it? (I'm assuming you use an immersion chiller like me, but maybe you don't???)
Yes I do use an immersion chiller, it's a stainless one. This looks like it. I spray it with Starsan in a spare moment during the boil and it sits to the side until I switch off. Then it goes in with the hop bag still there. That stuff about putting the chiller in 5 or 10 minutes before 'to sterilize it' is more of that hombrew hand-wavey woo-woo that gets bandied around. Pasteurisation at 100C takes 0.01 seconds, 0.05 seconds at 95C and 0.1 seconds at 94C. You get the idea :)

When chilling is complete I'll take the chiller out then put Starsan'd nitrile gloves on, lift the hop bag and give it a really good squeeze before taking it out. I got my hop bag (and BIAB bag) from bj-filters on ebay. They're very good. If you do buy a new nylon bag give it a 5 minute boil in a pan on your hob before you use it to get rid of any production chemicals. When I did that the boil water went a pale white colour.
 

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A question on starter size. I have just received my order yesterday and plan to make my starter tonight. I will be using WLP London fog yeast. Best before date is December 3rd 2020. If I put my details in a calculator it's asking for a 2 litre starter at 1.036, which is roughly 200g of spray malt. This is for 21litres at 1.050.
Is this correct as your starter is 1.75 litre which contains 0.5 litre over build. Also how can I calculate a 0.5 litre over build if my calculations are correct. Is it just a case of adding an extra 50g and 0.5 litres of water.
Thanks in advance for any help you can offer me 👍
 

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