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BlackSands last won the day on December 27 2019

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  1. Yes, but no more so than with the large grain bag I was using. And actually in either situation it's not actually floating around... it's just sits statically for an hour. It makes no sense to me... according to the maths efficiency this time was around 90%. Last brew was 67% and the one before that was actually below 60% ! There was another fairly recently that was around 85%. The numbers are all over the place.
  2. No... it's not a sieve holding the grain... but rather it's a large one I pour the wort through after the mash.
  3. Once again, and by some strange coincidence the brew currently in my fermenter is the exact same brew that I just posted in the Brew Day thread! Spooky! Over shot my target OG this time by... 12 points! Old Peculier-ish (20 Litre 75/25 (grain / extract & molasses ) partial mash batch inspired by Theakstons "Old Peculier") 2.4kg GF Ale Malt 200g GF Wheat Malt 200g GF Med. Crystal 100g GF Shepherds Delight 600g LME 500g Molasses 10g Green Bullet @50min 25g Southern Cross @10min 25g Southern Cross @FO M42 Yeast | ABV=6.5%!! | IBU=38 | EBC=38 |
  4. I pretty much use GF exclusively. One other difference this time is I didn't actually use a grain bag because it tore last time and I forgot to replace it! I had to mess about usinga large seive instead. Can't imagine that would account for much either though....
  5. Grain crush is the only variable that I can think of... one that I'm not in control of. Two different stores... two different crushes. But I really wouldn't have thought it would make THAT much difference??
  6. Old Peculier-ish Finally got round to brewing this 20L batch today. Inspired by Theakston's "Old Peculier" A 75/25 (grain/extract/molasses) brew. My original recipe included torrified wheat but I wasn't able to get any so ended up using pale wheat instead. It's only 5% of the grist so I doubt it will make any noticeable difference against the heavier malts and molasses used in the recipe. Once again I've experienced an inexplicably high efficiency - 25% more than the more usual 65%, which meant I overshot my target of 1.048 buy 12 points! Not sure what's going in there, the mash process is the same every time I brew. 2.4kg GF Ale Malt 200g GF Wheat Malt 200g GF Med. Crystal 100g GF Shepherds Delight 600g LME 500g Molasses 10g Green Bullet @50min 25g Southern Cross @10min 25g Southern Cross @FO M42 Yeast | ABV=6.5%!! | IBU=38 | EBC=38 |
  7. Next on my list is a brew based on Theakston's Old Peculier - "the legend" (and yes, that is how it's spelt!) It's another commercial English beer that doesn't really fall exactly into any BJCP category - a strong bitter/brown ale hybrid I guess. I rather suspect a lot of the commercial guys don't give a **** about BJCP! Anyway, from a bit of research one key aspect of this well-loved beer is the use of molasses. I'll be using 12% in the bill along side Gladfield malts. Fuggles is the main hop featured but I'm going to put another NZ twist on my version by using Southern Cross - a readily available (and cheap) NZ hop that has Fuggles in its pedigree.
  8. There's a lot said about a "peachy" off-taste/esters from US05 when fermented cool. Search "US05" and "peach" - you'll find a lot of discussions.
  9. Of course there's always the poor man's alternative, injecting air (80% nitrogen) straight into the glass with a syringe! I've never actually tried it myself but I've heard it can produce an instant thick creamy head to a beer that lasts. Guiness actually used to manufacture a purpose-built syringe for home use:
  10. I'm currently drinking a golden ale that has a lot of granular particulates in it which unfortunately get tossed up into suspension with the sudden rise of CO2 bubbles on opening the bottle. They're the colour of yeast but don't actually 'behave' like yeast so not sure what it is They do eventually settle to the bottom of the glass if left undisturbed. Though the brew was CC'd as per usual I think this is one where I forgot to use whirlfloc and am now wondering if that has something to do with it? A wee bit of a spoiler for what is otherwise a very nice beer. Anyway, generally it's not a problem - as others have said things settle out in the FV, under the weight of dying yeast! - and CC'ing and time usually finish the job off nicely.
  11. The other tell-tale sign I usually see is a 'micro-krausen' or ring of bubbles round the neck at the surface level of the beer.
  12. It's certainly not unusual for M44 to exhibit an extended lag time - it's the biggest complaint with the strain which otherwise is generally highly regarded from what I read elsewhere and was certainly a big seller back in my time managing my LHBS - as was that MJ Grapefruit kit actually. I suspect given it's inherently long lag time and the fact that it was a couple of months over may have been an issue - depends on storage conditions to some extent. An informal blind study comparing four popular ale yeasts actually ranked M44 #1 which is consistent with numerous anecdotal accounts I've read elsewhere: https://www.rebelbrewer.com/blog/yeast-experiment-american-session You were talking of possible bottle contaminations elsewhere... is this one of the brews you were referring to?
  13. Yeah... as discussed in another thread, most likely diastaticus. I had thought they m36 yeast slurry I'd been using was perhaps contaminated - a slurry I'd used in several batches, but it's only some bottles thankfully. Phew! Anyway, I'm giving the current round of bottles a capful of bleach and an overnight soak!
  14. 3rd time lucky! First two bottles I opened were gushers, one of which was particularly impressive! Which I'd captured it on video! This is my single hop Golden Ale (again) using the new/experimental NZ hop - Hort4337. Great tasting beer and one of my better ones (apart from the odd gusher!) ...and a particularly bad case of 'floaties'. Not sure what that's all about... looks like yeast based on the colour, unless it's 'bleached' hop bits? Annoying though. The particles bounce around for a while in the rising CO2 bubbles but eventually settle out in the bottom of the glass.
  15. Exercising patience is not easy for many, and therefore suggesting lagers are as easy as ales is clearly not true for many!
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