matt76's Brewdays

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matt76

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AAARRRGGGHHH!!! Chuffing gas bottle is empty! 😭😭😭🀬🀬🀬

I noticed last night the gauge had dropped suspiciously and thought must keep an eye on that, and this morning it's on zero ☹

I strongly suspect a leak from one of the many new connections I made at the weekend πŸ€”

Not a huge disaster though as only one keg has beer in it and only a couple of pints at that. Plus I was planning a trip to the LHBS soon which is on the way to the gas place πŸ‘
 

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I might see if I can find inspiration at some point to fine tune some of the pipe lengths to make it a bit neater - 3/16” is easy but 3/8" is surprisingly inflexible!
Everywhere that you've got a few cm of 3/8" going into a 3/16" inline reducer can be replaced with a stem reducer. The stem plays the role of the short piece of 3/8" and is perfectly sized to push all the way in leaving no gap at all. It's a very neat solution.
 

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AAARRRGGGHHH!!! Chuffing gas bottle is empty! 😭😭😭🀬🀬🀬

I noticed last night the gauge had dropped suspiciously and thought must keep an eye on that, and this morning it's on zero ☹

I strongly suspect a leak from one of the many new connections I made at the weekend πŸ€”

Not a huge disaster though as only one keg has beer in it and only a couple of pints at that. Plus I was planning a trip to the LHBS soon which is on the way to the gas place πŸ‘
Oh no ashock1 If you've got a branch of Screwfix nearby then their leak detection spray is better at finding leaks than the Starsan/soapy water trick. Hopefully it's as simple as a trapped fibre across an o-ring inside a JG connector. Also, pipes are best wetted when pushed into those connections to make it less likely you'll tear a chunk out of the o-ring as it pushes through.
 

matt76

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Oh no ashock1 If you've got a branch of Screwfix nearby then their leak detection spray is better at finding leaks than the Starsan/soapy water trick. Hopefully it's as simple as a trapped fibre across an o-ring inside a JG connector. Also, pipes are best wetted when pushed into those connections to make it less likely you'll tear a chunk out of the o-ring as it pushes through.
Thanks @foxbat , that's some useful tips there πŸ‘

But I think I've found the issue already -

I checked all the external fittings were definitely pushed fully home and then had a rummage inside the fridge - in doing so I heard a "psst" from somewhere...

After we finished connecting everything on Saturday, on Sunday morning my daughter and I used one of the new empty kegs to make some fizzy water. Unfortunately we were rushing a bit and I must have forgotten to nip up the in & out posts on the keg - they were only finger tight! aheadbutt And to make matters worse I connected it to the high pressure line at 30psi!

To be fair, I'm pleased it's categorically my own mistake not my daughter's, not something she did that I didn't double check. All told it's not a major disaster and some lessons you just have to learn the hard way!
 

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Kegging: AG#75 Hoppy Amber Ale v4

This went from 1.037 down to 1.010 in just a few days, giving about 72% apparent attenuation and 3.6% ABV. My mash-in temperature was a little high which I think contributed to it finishing a point or two higher than planned. I think the mash might have been a little shorter than normal which I think might have robbed me of 1 point OG too.

Once fermentation was complete I soft crashed with a CO2 bladder (a.k.a. catheter bag) down to 14degC and added my drop hop of 10g each Amarillo, Cascade and Centennial and left it for a couple of days before cold crashing for a couple more days at 0degC.

While that was happening I found time to go get a new CO2 bottle - it's stubbier than the previous one but they assured me it's still 6.35kg (I think the diameter is a bit bigger).

I added 2.5ml NBS BrauSol finings to the keg. Having purged the keg, all the lines and the inline filter I did a closed transfer again - next time I'm gonna fit a bulkhead connector for the gas-in post in the FV lid as the rubber grommet was leaking a bit. I fitted some o-rings to the filter which seemed to cure the leak there.

It's hooked up now at 15psi so I'll try and be good and leave it for the next week and a bit before getting stuck in πŸ‘πŸ»
 

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While that was happening I found time to go get a new CO2 bottle - it's stubbier than the previous one but they assured me it's still 6.35kg (I think the diameter is a bit bigger).
Hi @matt76 Where did you get the stubby cylinder from? my bar top is just slightly too low to fit a normal 6kg cylinder under so have to use a 3kg one. Ta!
 

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Hi Matt could you share the recipe for your tropical stout. I might give it a go πŸ‘
 

matt76

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Hi @matt76 Where did you get the stubby cylinder from? my bar top is just slightly too low to fit a normal 6kg cylinder under so have to use a 3kg one. Ta!
Pyramid Steel in Aldershot - they're an Adam's Gas distributor but honestly I think it's just a matter of what size & shape bottle they have in stock.
 

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Hi Matt could you share the recipe for your tropical stout. I might give it a go πŸ‘
Here it is, earlier in this very same brew day thread:

As I recall I added an Amarillo dry hop in an unsuccessful attempt to try to make it attenuate more (my notes say 15g each Amarillo & Citra)

It ended up tasting like Terry's Chocolate Orange, in a milkshake, in a stout (in a good way).

I still have a few bottles left, the hoppiness has faded now but it's still s very full and satisfying beer πŸ‘ :beer1:
 

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Kegging: AG#70 Brett Aged Hurricane Porter

I brewed this back at the end of April. After a couple of weeks in primary with MJ M36 I racked it to secondary and added some White Labs WLP645 Bettanomyces Claussenii - so it's been aging for 3 months or so on that with varying levels of activity.

It seems this yeast species likes it pretty warm, at least 25degC and maybe even 30degC. Once I sussed that out following the assistance of a heat wave it seemed to get going more.

My original plan was to leave it more like 6 months but I'm convinced it's done, done, done & done (like I know what I'm talking about when it comes to brett fermentations!)

Anyway, the FV lid wasn't set up for closed transfer so I just syphoned it to a purged keg - I'm really not so concerned about oxygen exposure in this style though I'd do a closed transfer next time just because.

I'm not sure if the stuff floating on top is a pellicle, but didn't look like what I normally see with saccharomyces strains:
20210829_144401.jpg


I got exactly 12L in the keg - this was easy to know by the beer flowing out through the PRV of my 12L keg!

20210829_145735.jpg


20210829_145739.jpg


It went from about 1.048 down to about 1.020 with the M36 and then sign to 1.008 with the Brett, giving about 5.3% ABV.

It's hooked up now at 15psi - an initial Google suggests there's no major issue with the keg being so full but it might take longer to carbonate. But any advice/confirmation on this would be welcome.
 

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With the keg so full are you concerned about beer flowing back up the gas line or have got a one-way valve installed?
 

matt76

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With the keg so full are you concerned about beer flowing back up the gas line or have got a one-way valve installed?
I've got one-way valves on all the kegs so all should be good, but it did cross my mind, yes πŸ‘

The temptation is to pull off a pint or two, just to bring the level down πŸ˜‰, but I'm lazy and would end up swapping lines/taps around and I don't feel like have to deep clean both to eliminate any traces of brett.
 

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AG#76 Hefeweizen

Brewed this last night, something a bit different, originally decided on it just because I had a bunch of wheat malt left over from a kettle sour, and it's not an ingredient I generally use much otherwise. I've had loads of Hefeweizen over the years in Germany but never actually made one so it was kind of a notable omission from my repertoire. It's one of the main styles that really opened my eyes to beers other than Lager or Bitter that I was used to in British pubs at the time.

I've taken loads of info from this German magazine article translated into English - while I often refer to the GH book and Josh Weikert's "Make Your Best..." series, in this case if anyone knows how to make a Hefeweizen it's the Germans:
Brewing Bavarian Weissbier - all you ever wanted to know |

I'm not mad about clove in beer so I'm taking a few steps to keep it balanced or even push it more to the banana:
- 60% Wheat Malt
- Mash in at 55degC for a protein rest (I believe this helps stop the mash getting all gluey with all that wheat in there; mashing in lower accentuates the clove more)
- Do an open ferment starting at 18degC and let it free rise
- The yeast will make or break this beer so I'm taking no chances - with more choice from liquid (and more certainty about exactly which strain it is) it's a fresh pack of Wyeast 3068 (actually about half a pack in my smaller 10-11L-ish batch).

One quirk is I decided to sub some of the Lager malt with Weyermann Carapils as I've found it helps with head retention. But in hindsight, with so much wheat malt in there that probably wasn't necessary!

15L tap water, 5.0ml Lactic Acid 80%, 2g CaCl half a Campden tablet, giving:
Calcium 171
Chloride 106
Sulfate 40
Alkalinity 133

1500g Wheat Malt
750g Lager Malt
250g Carapils
2.50kg TOTAL

Full-volume no-sparge mash:
10mins @ 55degC
45mins @ 63degC
30mins @ 72degC
(with the Klarstein set to 1.5kW it took about 10mins to raise the temp between each rest)

Boil 30mins:
5g of Styrian Wolf 12.4% AAU for 30mins
2g Magnum 11.0% AAU for 30mins
1/2 Britewort tablet 5mins

No major issues but efficiency took quite a hit compared to normal, which I kinda suspected with so much wheat. Brewer's Friend predicted OG 1.047 but I only got 1.041, so I think the finished beer will be closer to 4% ABV rather than 5%.

Since I finished late I left the wort to settle out overnight in the kettle. But before doing so I drew off 0.5L to make a shaken not stirred starter - basically shake it like mad in a 5L bottle to aerate it then pitched my half-pack of Wyeast 3068 and put in the fridge at 18degC. I'd already smacked the pack and it had inflated as expected but I figured I'd give the yeast more chance to get started since it would be 12h or so before I'd be able to transfer the wort to the FV.

Drained the clear wort from the kettle to the FV and added my shaken not stirred starter, which was already showing some signs of getting going. 11L in the FV + 1.75L crud in a bottle which will settle out for topping up the FV a little bit. In the brew fridge, set initially to bring it down to 18degC (it was already about 19degC) and from there I'll let it free rise up to about 24degC.

As noted above I'm doing an open fermentation so the FV lid is just resting on top of the bucket with no airlock - this could get messy as this yeast is said to be a rather lively "true top cropper" and I'm not totally sure I've got enough headspace in the FV.

3.21 SRM - Pale
11.5 IBUs Rager
OG 1.041 - Expect it to end up about 1.010 and 4.1% ABV.
 

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First Tasting: AG#75 Hoppy Amber Ale v4

After a week and a bit in the keg I treated myself to a couple of these last night and I'm very pleased with it.

20210903_213202.jpg


OG = 1.037
FG = 1.010

ABV = 3.6%
SRM = 5.7 (Pale Amber)
IBU = 48 (Rager)

Hoppy - Yep, it's hoppy, but not over the top. I get a bit of orange marmalade.

Amber - Could be a little clearer (mostly condensation on the glass in the pic though!) but I like the touch of colour. Oddly, previous bottled incarnations have been a little darker which I suspect in hindsight might be a touch of oxidation (I also thought the same of my recent, and much paler, Podium IPA).

Ale - It's only 3.6% but certainly doesn't drink like it. I think the Vienna and Amber malts give it enough body that is not watery but it's still very sessionable. Reminds me quite a bit of Beavertown Neck Oil. I'm not sure it's as bitter as the IBU number suggests on paper (48 Rager) but that could just be my tastes. I think it's coming out of the keg a little too cold but the flavours develop more as it warms up. Carbonation could be a tad higher but I don't think it's under-carbed - it's a tiny tweak on the regulator at most but for now I think I'll leave it alone.

So all in all very happy with this one. I suspect the flavours might develop a little more over the next couple of weeks. Aside from that I'm not sure where else I might go with this recipe...

One obvious idea is to try some different yeast strains if I'm happy now with the malt & hop bill. And another idea I had is to drop the Amarillo and see what it's like with just Cascade and/or Centennial.
 

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The yeast will make or break this beer so I'm taking no chances - with more choice from liquid (and more certainty about exactly which strain it is) it's a fresh pack of Wyeast 3068 (actually about half a pack in my smaller 10-11L-ish batch).
Good to see you're back to using proper yeast again! athumb..

Are you going to keg or bottle this? I really want to do a Hefe but I'm pretty sure it'll drop clear in the keg and the thought of bottling again doesn't appeal much. I may have to just get over that.
 

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Good to see you're back to using proper yeast again! athumb..

Are you going to keg or bottle this? I really want to do a Hefe but I'm pretty sure it'll drop clear in the keg and the thought of bottling again doesn't appeal much. I may have to just get over that.
I'm going to keg but I think I won't cold crash or fine it.

I know what you mean - perversely I think this might be one of those styles that really wants to be bottled rather then kegged.

But having topped up the FV with the spare wort that had settled out there now just over 12L in there. I'm not keen to repeat my recent keg-overflowing-through-the-PRV experience so I think I'm gonna bottle 2-4 x 500ml first before transferring the remainder to the keg.
 

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Update: AG#76 Hefeweizen

A bit of a nervous moment with fermentation seeming to have stuck at 1.025. A prod of the Tilt and a double check with a hydrometer suggests it's more a case of a build up of lovely thick creamy yeasty krausen on the Tilt.

There's a big mashed banana aroma from the FV and also the hydrometer sample, though after de-gassing the sample the banana dissipated and made way for clove.

A little earlier then planned, I've now fitted a lid and airlock to the FV - it's had a couple of days of open fermentation, but the airlock (bubbling away within 10-20mins) gives that little bit extra reassurance that all is well.
 

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Update: AG#76 Hefeweizen

A bit of a nervous moment with fermentation seeming to have stuck at 1.025. A prod of the Tilt and a double check with a hydrometer suggests it's more a case of a build up of lovely thick creamy yeasty krausen on the Tilt.

There's a big mashed banana aroma from the FV and also the hydrometer sample, though after de-gassing the sample the banana dissipated and made way for clove.

A little earlier then planned, I've now fitted a lid and airlock to the FV - it's had a couple of days of open fermentation, but the airlock (bubbling away within 10-20mins) gives that little bit extra reassurance that all is well.
If you are less a fan of clove than banana, maybe run the tmep up a degree or two. Someone told me to do that as fermentation progressed rather than start hot with this yeast, as high temps favour banana but a full ferment at 22 or 23 can overdo it... It is a glorious yeast tbf and I recommend it to anyone.
 
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