Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Gelatin for fining

I used to do this, way back when, but haven't done it in a long time. It turns out it's easy and really helps with clarity. Here's the process for 10 gallons of beer:

  1. Transfer beer from fermenter to kegs.
  2. Pour 1/2 cup water into a measuring cup. 
  3. Pour 1 packet of powered, unflavored gelatin into the cup and let sit for a minute or so.
  4. In the mean time, heat 1 cup water in the microwave for 1:30 minutes (that's a minute and a half).
  5. Pour the hot water into the measuring cup on top of the gelatin.
  6. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved.
  7. Pour 3/4 cup into each 5 gallon keg, purge and carbonate. 
Beer should be super clear in a day or two.

Just some brewery chores today

I did a bunch of stuff in the brewery today, and yesterday --

  • Cleaned the mats. They were filthy with dirt, wort, hops, grain, etc. I soaked them in a big trash can with PBW, then hosed them off, they look like new! 
  • Cleaned the keggles and the SS Braids, I should take a new picture of the braids, they look just like they did when I first made them, just as shiny. A couple of days soaking in PBW cleaned off all the discoloration. Ditto with the kegs. Super easy cleaning routine, just fill with water, add PBW, toss in anything else that needs cleaned, let soak for a few days. nothing left to scrub, just rinse and done.
  • Transferred a Panama Red to a new keg to help with clarity. However, I'd already added gelatin to this keg, so really, nothing came out except for really clear beer. Put this one on tap in the garage, a berry cider went empty the other day when I filled a growler for a tennis match (lost horribly, double bagel).
  • Skimmed the hops off the top of the Mosaic IPA I made a couple of weeks ago. I wasn't thinking when I dry hopped -- I'd transferred the beer off of the yeast to my second fermenter, then just tossed in 2 ounces of Mosaic hops flowers. I really should have put them in a nylon, which hit me about 10 seconds after I'd dumped them in the beer. Oh well. I was able to skim quite a lot of them off of the top with a strainer. I put a nylon over the outlet hose on my pump when transferring to kegs, thinking that would catch any hop debris, but it really didn't get much in it.
  • Kegged that Mosaic IPA. It's all Mosaic in this recipe, and the peach aroma is almost overwhelming. I'd named this recipe "Peaches" in the past, and it's definitely true to its name. Added gelatin to the keg, I've been really impressed with the clarity of my beer since I resumed doing this a few weeks ago.
  • Connected the second keg of Panama Red to the Panama Red tap. Had a taste. It was good. Had 3 more cups. Damn, that's a good beer. Should have eaten first. It's 1 pm, I haven't eaten all day and I'm 3 cups in, thinking of a 4th. Better go eat something.
  • Kegged a pale ale I made a week or so ago. Added gelatin to the kegs.
  • Harvested the yeast off of the pale ale. I should go take pictures, that yeast looks just awesome! London Ale III, in case you were wondering.
Went back and took a couple of pictures:

SS Braids after soaking in PBW for a couple of days. The one on the left is still slighly discolored, it's the one that usually goes in the boil kettle.



Really creamy looking London Ale III. I've done two batches with this yeast in the past two weeks. I've always liked this yeast because it harvests easily, and drops out for very clear beer.





Saturday, July 27, 2019

New to me keg issue

So I was filling kegs the other day, and as usual, hooked up the CO2 and sprayed soapy water over the lid and around the posts. All looked normal, no discernible leaks. I left the CO2 on for a while while I did other things in the brewery. Then I noticed the keg was leaking from the pressure relief valve. It took a while before I noticed, just little bubbles around the valve. Usually, I just spray, check the lid and the posts, then wipe off the soapy water. Fortunately, I didn't do that as quickly this time. It turns out to be a pretty easy fix.


The leak is from the small holes next to the lid.


A 1/4" socket extension fits the square hole in the relief valve well enough. There is some slop, but not enough to cause a problem.


Lubed the o-ring and all is well.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Batch 227, Pale Ale

Just a pale ale, nothing special, but it'll be beer!

10 gallon batch

22 lb 2-row
1.5 lb white wheat
1.0 lb biscuit

Mashed at 148F, pH at 5.2.

2 oz Chinook, 60 min
2 oz Cascade, 30 min
2 tsp Irish Moss, 15 min
2 oz Cascade, flameout
2 oz Centennial, flameout

60 minute boil

London Ale III, pitch on the yeast cake from Batch 226.

Uneventful brew day, although it was hot! Nothing but a swim suit and flipflops.

OG: 1.055, 1.060 actual
FG: 1.014
SRM: 5.2
IBU: 60
ABV: 5.5%

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Batch 226, Mosaic IPA

I still have a lot of Mosaic hops that were given to me 2 years ago. They've been in the freezer the whole time, and still look and smell good, so I thought I'd make a real hoppy beer to use most of them up. As it turns out, I still have over a pound left.

10 gallon batch

25 lb 2-row
2 lb biscuit
1.5 lb white wheat
2 oz chocolate malt

Mashed at 152F

2.5 oz Mosaic, FWH
3 oz Mosaic, 60 min
3 oz Mosaic, 30 min
5 oz Mosaic, flameout

Wyeast 1318, London Ale III

OG: 1.066 target and actual
FG: 1.017
SRM: 7.9
IBU: 134
ABV: 6.7

22 July 2019: transferred off of the yeast cake to secondary fermenter, added 2 oz Mosaic for dry hopping.

31 July 2019, kegged, added gelatin to the keg. See this post for some more details.

Batch 225, Panama Red

The last batch of Panama Red was a huge disappointment, somehow it came out sour. I tried to drink it, I really did, but I ended up dumping it. My notes say that I made a starter from yeast from last August, my guess is that yeast had an infection that soured the beer, even though the starter looked good. I am woefully behind on brewing and have 2 empty taps and 3 more that are close to empty, so I brewed 2 batches today.

10 gallon batch

The usual grain bill:
22.25 lb 2-row
1.5 lb crystal 60
1.5 lb white wheat
4 oz chocolate malt

Mashed at 154F, adjusted pH to 5.27.

The usual hops bill and 90 minute boil:
2 oz Mt Hood, FWH
2 oz Centennial, 60 min
2 oz Cascade, 30 min
2 oz Cascade, 5 min
2 oz Mt Hood, 5 min

Brand new, right out of 2 smack packs, Wyeast 1272, American Ale II.

OG: 1.066 actual (target was 1.063)
FG: 1.016
SRM: 11.8
IBU: 66
ABV: 6.4

Easy brew day, but damn, it was hot today. I probably lost 10 lb in sweat.

22 July 2019: kegged, added gelatin to the keg for clarity. Seem to be a little short, only got about 9 gallons in the kegs.

Monday, July 8, 2019

SS Braid update

Just over 8 years ago I updated my stainless steel braids. The old ones looked really ragged. I'm still using my updated braids, they still work perfectly to screen out hops and trub.

Here is a shot of the old and new:





And a shot of the new ones back then:



And a shot of them now:

Not as shiny, but still working perfectly and they still look good!