Thursday, October 2, 2008

I didn't write this but it is a good read.

Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning.
Posted by:
I'm just parking this here for ease of finding.

If you have been directed to this post then you probably started a "my beer is undercarbed" or "my tastes funny" thread and you indicated that you opened the beer after a few days or 2 weeks expecting your beer to be ready....

Beermaking has a lot of similitarities to food and cooking.... Ever notice that some foods, like spagetti sauces, soups or chili's taste better as leftovers then they do when you take them first off the stove? The ingredients have to "marry" and co-mingle and some things mellow out with time.

It's the same with beer....That is one of the things that bottle conditioning does...lets the flavors "Marry" because the new co2 that builds up, and lets some of the "green" flavors fade away...

Carbonation isn't istantaneous to begin with, it takes a couple weeks for the Co2 to build up, and once the co2 has saturated the beer, EvilToj says it best...

Originally Posted by EvilTOJ
Volatile chemicals break down into more benign ones, and longer protein chains settle out.
There's no real fixed time that this process occurs, it is dependant on several factor; the style of the beer (bigger, high gravity beers take longer-For example Barleywines make take upwards of a year to condition, carb and mellow out.)

Temperature also plays a role...The recommendation is to store/age your bottles in a dark place @ around 70 degrees F.

For most simple ales, the rule of thumb is 3 weeks @ 70 deg. But I have had Stouts and Porters take 6 to 8 weeks before they are ready.

Before that beers may have all manner of off tastes, including a green apple flavor, strong yeastiness (yeast bite) and they may not show any carbonation, OR they may gush when they open them (or one from the batch may be carbed, while another is flat, while a third may gush, but most of the time, they all will even out with time.

After 3 weeks @ 70 is recommended (though most of us fail at this one-Me included) that you put your beer in the fridge for a full two weeks before drinking....this will help to make you beer crystal clear and tasty.....

At least new brewer, let them chill in the fridge for 48 hours before you knock them back.

Although many books refer to gushers as a sign of infection, DON'T PANIC; a gushing bottle anytime within the first 3-4 weeks of bottle conditioning is not uncommon, and not NECESSARILY an indication of infection....It is AFTER the period of bottle conditioning has occured, and especially when the rest of the bottled beer is carbed and conditioned fine, that a gusher is a cause of concern....and USULLY the infection is limited to only a single, or to very few bottles-(It could be, for example, that a bottle has somehow slipped through your sanitizing process- maybe it wasn't cleaned thoroughly if it was a recycled bottle.)

Believe it or not, it is really hard to ruin/infect your beer, especially if it is your first batch, and you took even the most rudimentary sanitary precautions....It is actually more likely for an experienced brewer to get an infection- Perhaps they let something slide in their cleaning/sanitization process and something from their previous batch got nasty between brewing sessions, and infected their latest batch- It sometimes happens that small matter gets lodged in a hose connection and doesn't get cleaned out or zapped with the sanitizer....Or perhaps over many uses a fermenter or bottling bucket develops a scratch in it, which becomes a breeding ground for contamination.....but with brand new, cleaned and sanitized equipment...highly unlikely.

(That's why it is a good idea NEVER to use any abrasive cleanser or cleaning tools like scrubbies, on your plastic gear. Nor is it a good idead to clean/sanitize your bottles or equipment in your fermenter or bottling bucket....I use a dedicated 5 gallon soysauce bucket for that purpose.)

Just remember, in brewing, we're not making instant lemonade here, we're not mixing a bunch of flavoring with water and consuming it the same day.

Homebrew is alive (even more than the highly processed, patsurized, and filtered, tasteless swill that passes for commercial beer- i.e. Bud, Miller, Coors.) what we're making is the result of the life cycle of living yeasts, that eat, breed, and process (read- Pee ) proteins and sugars into wonderful tasty alchohol....and since it is living, like us, it has it's own timetable and agenda....

so Relax, Don't Worry, (and if this your first batch) Have a Micro Brew Later when you have a few batches in the pipeline we'll switch that to RDWHAHB!

A good experiment, for any brewer to do, is to pull a beer out on the 7th day in the bottle and chill it for 2...then taste it...make notes on the tastes and the level of carb. Do it again on the 14th day, the 21st and the'll really see the difference. Then leave a bottle stashed away for 6 months...chill that and taste it...and go back and read your notes... You'll learn a heck of a lot about beer doing that.

Poindexter shows in this video exactly what happens to your beer over the 3 weeks....He shows carbonation from 5 days in the bottle on....

SO STEP AWAY FROM YOUR BOTTLES, the yeasties know what they're doing, so let them do their jobs!!!

Since your beer's already in the bottles, that means your primary is quit sampling your beer before it's ready (or you wan't have any to drinkwhen they ACTUALLY reach their peak.) AND GET BREWING ANOTHER BATCH!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tettnanger Amber Ale 062708

I have some older Tettnanger Hops that I need to use up. So I created this Tettnanger Amber Ale, and since I can't do much lagering at the moment so I'm going to try an experiment with the aroma hop as a bitter, flavor and aroma and see what happens.

Bob's Tettnang Amber Ale 062708

A ProMash Recipe Report

BJCP Style and Style Guidelines

10-B American Ale, American Amber Ale

Min OG: 1.045 Max OG: 1.060
Min IBU: 25 Max IBU: 48
Min Clr: 10 Max Clr:17 Color in SRM, Lovibond

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.00 Wort Size (Gal): 5.00
Total Grain (Lbs): 9.50
Anticipated OG: 1.053 Plato: 13.02
Anticipated SRM: 13.3
Anticipated IBU: 37.4
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75 %
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Pre-Boil Amounts

Evaporation Rate: 15.00 Percent Per Hour
Pre-Boil Wort Size: 5.88 Gal
Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.045 SG 11.14 Plato


% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
73.7 7.00 lbs. Maris Otter Great Britain 1.038 3
26.3 2.50 lbs. Crystal 40L America 1.034 40

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.


Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
1.00 oz. Tettnanger Tettnang Pellet 4.50 4.4 10 min.
1.00 oz. Tettnanger Tettnang Pellet 4.50 11.2 30 min.
1.00 oz. Tettnanger Tettnang Pellet 4.50 21.9 60 min.


Mash Schedule

150 degrees for 60 min


170 for 30 min

Friday, June 6, 2008

Bob's Special Bitter Brew Day #5 June 7th, 2008

Bob's Special Bitter #1 Recipe

7lbs of Maris Otter (UK)
.50 oz of Caramel 40
1lb of Flaked Maize

.50 oz of Columbus (60 min)
.75 oz of Columbus (30 min)
.75 oz of Tettanger (15 min)

Activator Wyeast 1099

Mash Schedule

3 gallons
152 degrees 60 min.

5 gallons
170 Sparge 30-45 min.

1.040 - 1.048

1.008 - 1.012

Bob's Wit Beer Brew Day #4 May 24th, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Iris Red Ale #3 Brew Day May 9th, 2008

Man oh man what fun we had, this had to be the best looking brew so far. We heated up 3.5 gallons of water to 172 degrees and poured it into our mash tun, then added the grains little by little stirring around and mashing out the dry pockets. We did have a little clumping but got it out with no problem. Letting that set at 162 degrees for 60 minutes we prepared our sparge water.

This is when things got interesting, We got sparge water ready and I opened the valve on the mash tun but nothing. I tied down the grain bag over the manifold, so what could have possibly went wrong. then I remembered we didn't blow out the manifold after the last all grain batch, so we were stuck. Well from there we had to act quick, we hooked up the pump and forced it through, there was a healthy mouthful of old cold wort, once we got that through we unplugged the pump and drew out and sparged our wort.

Now to the hops, we bought some stainless steel hop balls and used 1oz of Cascade Whole Leaf and 1oz of Tettnang pellet. I couldn't find any Fuggles so I'm using dad's leftover tettnang for aroma on the rest of my experimental Irish Reds.

The boil went well, as we ran the hot wort through the thermenator I took a OG reading and it came out to be 1.060 which was at the top of the scale, added the yeast and away we go. A lot of fun this time, learned a few more things like blowing out the manifold every time we are done mashing.

Irish Red Ale #3 Brew Day 3

Irish Red #3

A ProMash Recipe Report

BJCP Style and Style Guidelines

09-D Scottish And Irish Ale, Irish Red Ale

Min OG: 1.044 Max OG: 1.060
Min IBU: 17 Max IBU: 28
Min Clr: 9 Max Clr: 18 Color in SRM, Lovibond

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.00 Wort Size (Gal): 5.00
Total Grain (Lbs): 10.25
Anticipated OG: 1.060 Plato: 14.65
Anticipated SRM: 18.7
Anticipated IBU: 28.1
Brewhouse Efficiency: 78 %
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Pre-Boil Amounts

Evaporation Rate: 15.00 Percent Per Hour
Pre-Boil Wort Size: 5.88 Gal
Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.051 SG 12.54 Plato

Formulas Used

Brewhouse Efficiency and Predicted Gravity based on Method #1, Potential Used.
Final Gravity Calculation Based on Points.
Hard Value of Sucrose applied. Value for recipe: 46.2100 ppppg
Yield Type used in Gravity Prediction: Fine Grind Dry Basis.

Color Formula Used: Morey
Hop IBU Formula Used: Rager

Additional Utilization Used For Plug Hops: 2 %
Additional Utilization Used For Pellet Hops: 10 %


% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
87.8 9.00 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row) Great Britain 1.038 3
2.4 0.25 lbs. Roasted Barley America 1.028 450
2.4 0.25 lbs. Special B Malt Belgian 1.030 120
7.3 0.75 lbs. Crystal 40L America 1.034 40

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.


Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
1.00 oz. Cascade Whole 5.75 24.6 60 min.
1.00 oz. Tettnanger Tettnang Pellet 4.50 3.5 5 min.


Water Profile

Profile known for:

Calcium(Ca): 0.0 ppm
Magnesium(Mg): 0.0 ppm
Sodium(Na): 0.0 ppm
Sulfate(SO4): 0.0 ppm
Chloride(Cl): 0.0 ppm
biCarbonate(HCO3): 0.0 ppm

pH: 0.00

Mash Schedule

Mash Type: Single Step

Grain Lbs: 10.25
Water Qts: 12.71 - Before Additional Infusions
Water Gal: 3.18 - Before Additional Infusions

Qts Water Per Lbs Grain: 1.24 - Before Additional Infusions

Saccharification Rest Temp : 0 Time: 0
Mash-out Rest Temp : 160 Time: 60
Sparge Temp : 170 Time: 40

Total Mash Volume Gal: 4.00 - Dough-In Infusion Only

All temperature measurements are degrees Fahrenheit.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Irish Red Ale #3

9lbs of Maris Otter (UK)
12oz of Caramel 40 L Briess
4oz of Special B 140-155 L Castle
4oz of Roasted Barley 500-600 Simpson's (UK)

1oz of Cascade Pellet Hops
1oz of Tettnang


Purchased all products expect the base grains at Midwest Brewing Supply

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Irish Red Ale Specific Gravity Readings

Original Gravity Range: 1.044-1.060 SG

Final Gravity Range: 1.010-1.014 SG

Alcohol by Volume Range: 4.0-6.0 %

Taking a Hydrometer Reading

Need to take 3 hydrometer readings during brew process. One during the sparge process, One after boil, previous to fermentation and the last one after fermentation is complete. Need to add .015 during sparge do the water being 15o degrees.

Original Gravity = beer before fermentation.
Final Gravity = beer after fermentation.

measuring alcohol by volume
ABV = (Orig_gravity - Final_gravity) * 131

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What is an Irish Red Ale?

Irish red ale, red ale, or Irish ale gains its slightly reddish colour from the use of a small amount of roasted barley. The term red ale or red beer is used by brewers in countries other than Ireland; however, the name Irish Red is typically used when roasted material is used.

Monday, April 28, 2008

What is Krausen?

The foamy, rocky head of yeast that forms at the peak of fermentation.

So all in all no need to worry, The only thing I don't like is the film that developed but its starting to come together as one.

Maybe if I would have never checked it i would think that it was all normal.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Irish Red Ale #1 Somethng may be wrong

I went downstairs yesterday to take a look at my first batch, I transfered it last weekend.

April 28th, 2008:
I was told by a few different folks that this maybe regular old krausen, so need to worry I will hopefully have it Kegged by the weekend.

Brew Day #2 April 26th, 2007

Pretty good day all around, learned a few things and refined a few things.

This is the first time we used the brewing stand that my dad has, I thought it worked out pretty well.

I started the morning cleaning every thing and warming up the coolers, Wolfe again was there to help out and about 9:24 am we got started with the Mash.

Added my grains first to the tun, and add four gallons of 170 degree water, still was only able to reach 140 during the mash.

Question that still need to be asked.

1. Do I add my grains before or after the water?
From Wade at
Add your grains after the water is what Ive read or you will get lumpy grains. Try keeping your grains in a warm spot for an hour or 2 before adding them to the water.

2. How hot should I prepare my strike water?

Next we mashed and steeped grains for 60mins

then heated up 5 gallons of 190 degrees water and added it to the sparge cooler, and began to drain I collected about 2 gallons of the wort and added it back to the sparge.

then drained out as much water as I could, I still need to mark up the brew kettle to have some sort of an idea of how much wort I collect.

We started boiling about 10:30 am, added all the hops on schedule and set up the the wort chiller ran two hoses for water in and water out.

Collected wort in fermenting bucket at 63 degrees, added yeast and waited for the bubbling to start.

total time to brew #2 3hrs and 15mins

Things learned during this brew session

1. Need to secure the grain bag over the manifold in the mash tun with a zip tie (thanks to dad)
2. Use pump to transfer sparge water to cooler.

not to bad of a day expect for dad's batch as that was a little entertaining.

My second batch of the the Irish Red Ale project

Irish Red Ale #1 Ingredients

This is the kit from Midwest Brewing Supplies

Kiss me I'm Irish.

9lbs of domestic 2-row
12oz of Caramel 40
4oz of Special B
4 oz of Roasted Barley

1oz of Cascade
1oz of Fuggle

Muton's Ale Yeast

Irish Red Ale #2 Indgredients

9lbs of American 2-row
12oz of Caramel 40 L Briess (USA)
4oz of Special B 140-155 L Castle
4oz of Roasted Barley 500-600 Simpson's (UK)

1oz of Cascade Pellet Hops
1oz of Fuggle UK Pellet Hops

Coopers Ale (7grams) Yeast

Purchased all products expect the base grains at Midwest Brewing Supply