matt76's Brewdays

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St00

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That beer looks good.

What software and template do you use for the cap labels?
 

matt76

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I tip the whole kettle into the FV and haven't had any kind of haze since I started kegging. Get some kegs Matt, you know you want to. ;)
I really don't - it makes no sense for my puny 10L batches and I don't actually drink that much beer to warrant keeping a keg (or for that matter somewhere to keep the keg cool)
 

matt76

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Are those labels cut out and stuck on from something? Sure I've seen people talking about these.

Brings a lump to the throat to see a st piran's flag on a decent looking beer.
I print them from Excel on a sheet of A4 label paper and then use a 25mm cutter - it's essentially a giant size hole punch.

I had to make the St Piran's flag kinda grey or semi transparent, otherwise the text didn't show up properly - downside of having a black & white flag! But I think it looks pretty good.
 

matt76

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Update: AG#23 Bitsa SCA

Weirdly the airlock had gone quiet and then woken up again in the last few days - 2 weeks in the FV so I'd expect it to be done, maybe just CO2 coming out of solution???

Anyhoo, I checked the gravity and it was down to 1.007! Surprising to say the least - when I've used WY1056 in the past I've found it attenuated well but I'm surprised it went past 1.010. I also noticed some whitish-creamy flakes floating on the surface - hopefully just yeast rafts and nothing to get too excited about.

So, I decided it was time to bottle. In the end I got 19 x 500ml bottles, batch primed and should give me 2.4 vols CO2.

This was the first beer I made since switching to 30min full volume mash/no-sparge + 30min boil, and the second where I've syphoned only the clear wort from the kettle to the FV leaving the dregs, hop trub and other crud behind.....

It's looking very clear in the bottles so far and hopefully there won't be too much sediment. I'll take 19 bottles rather than 20 if the beer turns out chill-haze-free and I don't have to leave 2cm of beer and crud in the bottom of every one!

Colour = Amber
Aroma = Citrus
Taste = Orange-ey/citrus-ey notes with a dry finish

ABV = 5.2%
SRM = 8
IBU = 42

I've got a little doubt in my mind considering how I grew the starter from bottle dregs, but I think I'm just being paranoid - nevertheless I'll reserve final judgement until it's ready for drinking.

Otherwise it's looking good - taste seems in line with the APA style, hoppy and citrus-ey but not as full on as AIPA. Let's see how it tastes in a few weeks :beer1:
 

pilgrimhudd

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1007! Impressive, all mine seem to stop at 1012! I thought when you brewed this one it would turn out to be nice tasting beer, I'm sure the white bits are nothing to worry about. athumb..
 

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AG#25 Vienna Lager

Brewed this last night - I've had a hankering for a while to make a Munich helles, dunkels or this one but have no temperature control. Well, exciting news, I've discovered our overflow fridge-freezer in the garage will take an FV if i remove a couple of shelves. No active temperature control, but if i reduce the cooling power it's right in the zone - best get a lager on then.....

Perhaps i should have tried the GH version, but this is a Josh Weikart recipe from beerandbrewing.com, adapted for my 10L batches and 30min mash & boil regime:
https://beerandbrewing.com/make-your-best-vienna-lager/

My recipe here:
https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/886159/ag-25-vienna-lager

1000g Briess Bonlander Munich (10L)
775g Vienna
550g Golden Promise
225g FB
50g chocolate malt

The recipe calls for 9L Munich but the only choice I had was the regular 6L or the 10L I went for.

Full volume mash 30mins @ 66degC in 15L water.

Boil 30 mins with 35g H.M.Fruh at the start plus another 15g for the final 15mins, giving about 25 IBU's in total.

Chill to 20degC with immersion chiller then start cooling in the fridge while the crud settles out, OG = 1.045, should end up about 4.5% ABV.

After a few hours I syphoned 7L clear wort to the FV and collected another 4L in bottles to settle overnight.....

Fun fact, leaf hops don't sink as well as pellets and are prone to blocking up your syphon tube! In the end, once I'd syphoned what I could, I sanitised a grain bag and put it over the hops, then used a glass jug to squish it down and jugged the remaining wort into bottles to settle.

I chilled the FV a few more hours to get it down closer to 10degC as i didn't want to pitch my yeast into warm wort. Finally i pitched a fresh pack of Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager, which I'd smacked earlier, let it inflate and then cooled again in the fridge. This one is good from 7-14degC according to Wyeast.

Today I already topped up with 2.5L clear wort that had settled out overnight, bringing me to 9.5L in the FV, might get a little more yet. I noticed this evening the airlock is beginning to tick over.

Plan is to ferment in the fridge for a week around the 10degC mark before going via the shed around the 16degC mark (if the weather plays ball!) for a few days, and then room temp a few days more before crashing as best i can and then packaging.

Be interesting to see how this works out. Only issue so far is the colour, its supposed to be an amber lager around 14 SRM, but as far as i can tell it's black as stout - and i have an actual stout in another FV at the moment for reference! Still, if it tastes good I shan't complain :beer1:
 

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Update: AG#25 Vienna Lager

Airlock ticking over nicely. Topped up the FV today with another 1L clear wort bringing me up to 10.5L in the FV which will do me nicely. Nice foamy krausen on top of the wort too.

I say clear, but it's definitely pretty dark! If I'm lucky it might come out a very dark amber - mind you, it always looks a lot darker in the FV than in a glass. Like I say, as long as it tastes good... :beer1:

While I was at it I checked the wort temperature, it's settled down to 10degC so bang in the zone despite no fancy temperature control other than sticking it in a fridge athumb..
 

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Update: AG#22 GH Cornish Tin Miner's Ale

20191003_213633.jpg

It's had just over 4 weeks in the bottle now so time for another taste...

Well it's nice and clear, no sign of chill haze - BIG tick!

To be honest the head retention is poor - looks good in the picture but that quickly died away. However, i wonder if it's just down to the glass (which has been through the dishwasher)

It's only carbonated to 2.0 vols CO2 but it seemed quite fizzy, like it's over carbonated. The first half pint or so had quite a sharp bite to it although the hop aromas from the EKG I used were pleasant enough.

However, for the second half pint i have it a good stir to release some of the gas - this was much better. Now i got a nice honey-caramel flavour from the malt, not sweet or cloying as such but just letting the malt flavour come through more.

So maybe the next bottle i need to pour it a bit more haphazardly, and into a more used glass at that acheers.
 

cushyno

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Update: AG#22 GH Cornish Tin Miner's Ale

View attachment 20909
It's had just over 4 weeks in the bottle now so time for another taste...

Well it's nice and clear, no sign of chill haze - BIG tick!

To be honest the head retention is poor - looks good in the picture but that quickly died away. However, i wonder if it's just down to the glass (which has been through the dishwasher)

It's only carbonated to 2.0 vols CO2 but it seemed quite fizzy, like it's over carbonated. The first half pint or so had quite a sharp bite to it although the hop aromas from the EKG I used were pleasant enough.

However, for the second half pint i have it a good stir to release some of the gas - this was much better. Now i got a nice honey-caramel flavour from the malt, not sweet or cloying as such but just letting the malt flavour come through more.

So maybe the next bottle i need to pour it a bit more haphazardly, and into a more used glass at that acheers.
Your head problems sound very much like mine. Most of my brews come out well enough carbed but with large bubbles that soon burst and subside rather than a creamy head. Do you have hard water?
 

matt76

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Your head problems sound very much like mine. Most of my brews come out well enough carbed but with large bubbles that soon burst and subside rather than a creamy head. Do you have hard water?
Yes - varies over time but 250-285ppm CaCO3 is typical. I treat my water with lactic acid to get the mash pH into something like a sensible range.

Why, what do you know?
 

cushyno

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I have a hunch that glass washed in hard water might contribute to poor head retention.

Someday, in the name of science I'll buy some bottled water to test this hunch.

My CaCO3 is currently sitting around 320. Never seen it lower than 295.
 

matt76

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I have a hunch that glass washed in hard water might contribute to poor head retention.

Someday, in the name of science I'll buy some bottled water to test this hunch.
I have a water softener - I use the un- softened water for brewing but any washing up or dishwasher would use softened water.
 

foxbat

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I say clear, but it's definitely pretty dark! If I'm lucky it might come out a very dark amber - mind you, it always looks a lot darker in the FV than in a glass.
Chocolate malt has quite the dramatic effect on colour: much more than Beersmith estimates. There's just 70g of 1000 EBC chocolate wheat in my bitter and it's a very, very deep red-brown. I would expect yours to be a mid-brown with 50g. Call it a Dunkel and nobody will be the wiser...
 

MyQul

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Update: AG#22 GH Cornish Tin Miner's Ale

View attachment 20909
It's had just over 4 weeks in the bottle now so time for another taste...

Well it's nice and clear, no sign of chill haze - BIG tick!

To be honest the head retention is poor - looks good in the picture but that quickly died away. However, i wonder if it's just down to the glass (which has been through the dishwasher)

It's only carbonated to 2.0 vols CO2 but it seemed quite fizzy, like it's over carbonated. The first half pint or so had quite a sharp bite to it although the hop aromas from the EKG I used were pleasant enough.

However, for the second half pint i have it a good stir to release some of the gas - this was much better. Now i got a nice honey-caramel flavour from the malt, not sweet or cloying as such but just letting the malt flavour come through more.

So maybe the next bottle i need to pour it a bit more haphazardly, and into a more used glass at that acheers.
5% flaked barley will give you good head retention.

2.0 vols of C02 is loads for an English ale.

A 'trick' that I learned to give you a beer that from the bottle that's almost like it's from a hand pull is;

5% flaked barley as mentioned. Carb to 5g/L or 2.1vol C02 (iirc). Then take a 2L jug and pour the beer from a little bit of height in the the jug to create a huge head on the beer in the jug. Wait for the head to almost completely subside in the jug (this of course knock most of the carbonation out of the beer), then pour in to a pint glass. I've found doing this for English ales,leaves you with the correct amount of carbonation and a nice head on the pint that lasts along with lacing down the glass
 

matt76

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Chocolate malt has quite the dramatic effect on colour: much more than Beersmith estimates. There's just 70g of 1000 EBC chocolate wheat in my bitter and it's a very, very deep red-brown. I would expect yours to be a mid-brown with 50g. Call it a Dunkel and nobody will be the wiser...
I like your thinking athumb..

I was looking earlier at my AG#23 Bitsa which I bottled a few days ago (I normally do 1 or 2 clear bottles per batch for this reason) - in the FV I'd have sworn it was a mid-deep amber colour but it actually looks quite pale, like a generic lager you'd find in any British pub. So I reckon the VL might actually turn out roughly as intended/expected.

I agree with you about the darkening effect of chocolate malts and similar - I used a tiny bit in one of my early beers (AG#3 I think - Edit: No it wasn't, AG#3 was a BIPA, it was AG#4 I was thinking of) just for colour and it certainly did the trick!
 
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matt76

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5% flaked barley will give you good head retention.

2.0 vols of C02 is loads for an English ale.

A 'trick' that I learned to give you a beer that from the bottle that's almost like it's from a hand pull is;

5% flaked barley as mentioned. Carb to 5g/L or 2.1vol C02 (iirc). Then take a 2L jug and pour the beer from a little bit of height in the the jug to create a huge head on the beer in the jug. Wait for the head to almost completely subside in the jug (this of course knock most of the carbonation out of the beer), then pour in to a pint glass. I've found doing this for English ales,leaves you with the correct amount of carbonation and a nice head on the pint that lasts along with lacing down the glass
Thanks MyQul athumb..

Yeah, I use FB in almost all my beers as standard now for this reason, one of the first tips I picked up on this forum from you and gunge - in general it does the trick and this brew is 8.4% FB so I am surprised about the lack of head. I have a feeling it might be down to the glass, pragmatic solution then is to have one or two beers to wash out any residue ;) then try another bottle of this one :beer1: Actually, after I'd given it a stir to knock the gas out I noticed the lacing was a little better, so we'll see.....


Re. carbonation, checking my notes my recent ESB was only 1.75 vols CO2 which is really good so yeah, maybe it's a bit much. I had a similar thought to what you suggested about using a jug, basically pour it with a bit more gusto - the glass pictured is about 750ml so plenty of room for a big head.
 
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