Going full-circle when I brewed today

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Well, I feel like an absolute beginner again ;-)   With the price of gas
like it is, I don't make long trips to Little Rock on a whim (nearest
brewshop is nearly 100 miles round trip).  Well, I had a little time on
my hands today and wanted to brew.  I'm not fully prepared to do all
grain like I've been planning, so I've done a couple of kits in the past
couple of months.  Well, I had one more kit left on my shelf -- another
"Cooper's IPA" -- but I didn't have any spare extract.  What to do??  
The Cooper's kit has a can of just 3.75 pounds/1.7 kilos of extract,
which is not nearly enough for a decent 5 gallon batch.

I remembered recent discussions in which several reliable and
experienced brewers said that it's just a myth that sucrose causes a
cidery flavor ... and I take them at their word.  Hmmm.  Should I dump
about three pounds of table sugar in with the kit??  Then I also
remembered that the cidery flavor was attributed to stale extract, and
there was no telling how old that can was, and I also remembered that
just recently folks said something like 65F/18C is the ideal temp for
ales, and without my cooler working, I'd be real hard pressed to get
down below 70F.  I therefore decided not to gamble with the sugar, but
one of the first things I'm going to do when I get my cooler working, is
to see how a brew comes out with a good dose of sugar.  As for this
brew, I used it to make a little tiny 2.5gallon batch and put it in my
old Mr. Beer kit, so I've managed to come full-circle, so to speak --
doing simple extract kits with dry yeast packs in my original
fermentor.  :-/    I knew that it would come in handy again some day.

Now I've got a question, if you folks don't mind.  Someone said (in a
private email to me) that:  "I never lagered at less than about 6-7C.  I
did a lot of reading before I started brewing lagers and I didn't see
the need to go any lower.  I did try dropping the temp down to 3C once
and the yeast (wyeast 2308) just stopped fermenting.  Once I raised the
temp back up to 7C, the airlock started to bubble again.  I believe I
got similar results when I tried the same experiment with Wyeast 2278."  
Okay, 6C is 42.8F -- which suggests that I could do lagers by
controlling temp with a house-thermostat that goes down to only 40F.  I
had been under the impression that it is a virtual necessity to drop
down at least to the mid-thirties to condition a lager.  Any comments.

By the way, I have found some temperature controllers that might, with a
little work, be very adaptable for my conical cooler (and they _DO_
monitor down as low as 32F/0C).  They might even be something that the
rest of you could possibly use in converted freezers or whatever, so
I'll give more details in another post.

Cheers and good brewing.

Bill Velek



Re: Going full-circle when I brewed today
Bill Velek wrote:

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If you want to give the sugar thing a true test, do it with an AG
beer...that way, without extract as a variable, you can see that up to
20% sugar works fine.

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There seems to be a confusion here between fermwntation temp and
conditioning temp.  Fermentation is generally between 45-55F.
Conditioning (lagering) is between 35ish-45ish F.
 
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Same to you, Bill!

    ----------->Denny

--
Life begins at 60 - 1.060, that is.

Reply to denny_at_projectoneaudio_dot_com

Re: Going full-circle when I brewed today


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I have to chuckle at how precise we are in modern times.  Beer has been
around for thousands of years and suddenly we are concerned with
fermentation temps.

I have done the complete opposite of your premise stated above.  I added the
sugar, and brown sugar, let the primary fermentation run in a stainless keg
outside.  I live due east from you in Memphis so you know what a low temp
summer we have had this year.

This has been the stage for all the brewing for the summer.  Wheats,
Belgiums, APA, Cal Common, IPA's.  You know that the extra esters are from
the higher temps.  The Wheats really had that umph that is at times less
pronounced!

Anyway.  All these rules on temp and ideals, well toss them for a one time
experiment.  Let your primary go in your garage or in a shed out back.  You
will find that the wort/beer temp is not as volatile as the mercury in the
thermometer.   This is how the beer was made for your grandparents.  (60/80
years ago)




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