Last night I transferred my latest beer from the conical fermenter to my 5 gallon homebrew keg. This batch was a modification of MoreBeer’s M-80 IPA which I put a Vermont Style IPA spin on using the London III yeast and dry hopping with some Citra whole hops. I tasted some as it came out of the fermenter and even warm, flat and unconditioned it tasted fantastic! I can not wait for it to finish up in the keg for a few days!
With this batch of Hazy IPA, I am trying something new and adding freshly squeezed orange juice into the fermenter along with two ounces of Citra whole hops to finish off my IPA fermentation. My plan is to let it ferment for another 4-5 days before transferring it to the keg. I am also raising my fermentation temperature to 70 F.
I have experimented with adding fruit like nectarines in the past but was disappointed with how little of the fruit flavor makes it to the finished beer with some stone fruits. I am hoping that things will be different with citrus fruit. I added the juice from 4 ripe medium sized oranges to the fermenter. I am hoping the flavors of the oranges will compliment my hop selection and the esters from the yeast!
#homebrew #homebrewing #beer #orange #fermentation #IPA #juicy #hazy #home #brew #brewer #ssbrewtech
Cleaning home brewing equipment is now my favorite aspect of home brewing, but I know that it is a critical part of creating good beer and keeping my home brewing rig functioning properly. My home brewery has grown to the point where it has gotten complicated to clean. Home brewing equipment such as ball locks, hoses and pumps create pockets of space where bacteria can thrive. After a home brewing session, you have basically created the ideal environment for a bacterial incubator to form. It is a damp, dark environment that has a thin sugary syrup coating everything from the wort passing over it. If you do not clean properly, you are setting yourself up for possible beer contamination and off flavors.
I do not worry about my Hot Liquor Tank and the pump that drives it since it is only passing hot or cold water. I just make sure that the pump, valves and hoses are kept free from moisture. As far as my RIMS, Mash Tun, Boil Kettle, Valves, Hoses and Pump that feeds those system goes, I have a different process. The primary aspect of that process is recirculating a warm / hot (120 F) bath of PBW over everything for 15 minutes. You can actually see the water change in color after it has recirculated for a few minutes. I then allow the equipment to soak over night, then heat the solution again and flush it with clean water. I then break down my RIMS system and scrub out any lose debris, scrub my valves and reassemble. Like I said, it is not fun, but cleaning is an important part of brewing.
If you are looking for a great home brewing cleaner, you should give PBW a shot. You can find it here:
Now a cleaning cycle on the home brewing rig with some PBW #homebrew #homebrewing #homebrewer
Recently I had the pleasure of brewing up a batch of beer on one of my friends home brewing setups. It is always nice to get another home brewers perspective on home brewing. I find that I learn a lot about the home brewing craft from examining other home brewers methods and practices. Even better, both of us use similar home brewing hardware and like similar styles of home brew.
One of the biggest differences in our home brewing systems and our beer brewing practices is when it comes to the mash. Where I have made my mashing process complicated (possibly over complicated) over time, doing my best to make sure my mash is at a specific temperature for the entire 60 minutes, he sets his mash temp, closes the lid and does not attempt to correct for any temperature loss over time. By the time his mash has completed, the temperature in his tun has only dropped by approximately 6 to 8 degrees F.
My concern with a drop in mash temp would be that perhaps the finished beer would come out too dry or thin due to the lower average mash temp, the starches would only be converted to very simple sugars. Yet after sampling several of his beers, that did not turn out to be the case. I sampled 4 of his beers that day, varying from stouts to IPA’s and all of them were fantastic. I would not describe any of his beers as too thin or too dry.
The image above is of my Blichmann BrewMomerter. I hi-lighted the segment that pertains to the mash conversion. As all grain home brewers, for the most part we mash at between 150-152 F to get a well rounded mash conversion. When I asked my friend if he was concerned with the temp dropping, he said that he felt that most of the starch conversion was occurring early in the mash process while his temperature was on target and that he had never noticed a degradation in the quality of his finished beer since he started conducting his mash in this manner. I am inclined to agree with him based on the high quality beer that he produces.
I think that sometimes as home brewers, out of our desire to brew “perfect” beer, sometimes we go too far and over complicate things (or at least I do). I am not saying to ignore your mash temperature or to only mash for 10 minutes. My point is more that modern varieties of beer have been produced for over 600 years, well before yeast was even discovered in 1857. Considering that our ancestors created beer without having the benefit of such instruments as a BrewMometer, perhaps there can be some flexibility when it comes to brewing.
One of the home brewing items that he possesses that I am pretty envious of is a large sized stainless steel hop spider. When I say large sized, I mean large sized, this thing is giant as you can see from the animated image. The photos were taken during the whirlpool process after the boil had completed. I have been trying to get a hop filtering system to work out on my home brew system for the last few batches without a great deal of success. I have been trying to overcome some challenges with clogging issues in my hop filter and he shared some great advice with me. He said that in order for a hop filter to work properly and to get similar hop utilization compared to not using one, you need to have a hop filter that is at least half the diameter of your home brewing kettle. The size of the filter made a dramatic difference. I could see the wort moving around inside of his filter and he had hardly any clogging issues.
The Hazy IPA finally finished carbonating and it is delicious! #homebrew #homebrewing #homebrewer #hazy #ipa #hazyipa #beer #brewing
I am happy with this batch of Homebrew. The IPA came out nice Hoppe and flavorful, not to mention hazy. I will be posting the recipe shortly for anyone who is interested in it.
Earthquake tip, store water in your unused home brewing kegs in case of the big one!
I have lived in Southern California my entire life and have experienced my share of earthquakes. Thankfully there has not been one that has disrupted access to water near me, but the possibility of it happening looms high. Like any good Californian I have set aside an earthquake kit with water and food just in case it happens but I know that I have family members, friends, neighbors and loved ones who probably have not.
Did you know that a human can survive for only about 3 days with out water?
Most home brewing kegs are built from stainless steel which is an ideal material for storing water. Most home brewing kegs are 5 gallons in size, which means it also makes them easy to store and move around if needed. I have about 4 extra kegs and when they are not storing beer, I fill them with water that I run through a carbon filter. Carbon filtering is a good idea because it will remove most of the chlorine from the water which can degrade stainless steel over time. Now, if the big one does occur and I know someone who is in need of water, I can lend a helping hand. It could be the difference between life or death and I highly encourage any home brewers to put their unused kegs to use if they live in an environment when they can benefit from an emergency water supply.
If you are ever looking to pick up an extra stainless steel keg, you can usually find one for a great deal here and get free shipping on it.
If you need a carbon filter, this is the one that I use and also works great for cleaning up your home brewing water and removing off tastes generated from chlorine.
Hopefully this earthquake preparation tip will help someone. Just let me know if you have any questions.
#homebrew #homebrewing #earthquake #tip #prepared #beprepared