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BlackSands last won the day on September 23

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  1. BlackSands

    Dry hop suggestion or nar??

    I often like to put a modest dry hop dose in my English bitters... usually an English hop like fuggles or EKG.
  2. BlackSands

    Looking at Kegging

    You do need to be a little careful when buying 2nd-hand cylinders. A physical inspection is important and a check of the codes stamped on the bottle to be sure its an approved design (which it probably is but you never know for sure when it's coming from a private seller) and, ideally it should also be within its current test cycle. If it's due for both re-testing and a refill that will cost but will still likely be cheaper than a new one, but if it fails an inspection then.... ?
  3. BlackSands

    Pitched Wrong Yeast

    I too think you'll be fine with M29 if you keep the temp down. I brewed a saison last Summer at the mercy of ambient temps which I was expecting to result in a fermentation at 28ºC -ish. As it happens there was cold snap and temperatures actually dropped quite a bit. As a result my M29 saison fermented in the low 20's and the resultant beer didn't taste very saisony! It was a nice beer but was really devoid of the qualifying yeast character.
  4. BlackSands

    Adjusting for Alpha Acid and age of hops.

    Yeah... this is a big issue, particularly when the zip lock bags aren't dated! Even if they're stored in a fridge the reduction in AA can still be quite significant. I've used this calculator: http://brewerslog.appspot.com/HopAlphaCalc ...and been quite alarmed at how much the AA has dropped on some of the hops I handle. I recently checked some Pacific Jade (11.5%) and estimated they'd been in a zip-lock and fridge for at least 6 months resulting in the AA's being at mere 4.5%. Even vacuum sealed in a freezer they would be down to 9.5%. Anyone buying these would be calculating on the the original AA that's written on the label. That leaves me to wonder if many brewers are in fact routinely producing beer with IBU's that could potentially be a lot less than what they intended. I've also wondered about this 'old hop' issue too when I see the likes of Brulosophy and others send of beer samples to a lab have the IBUs measured. All the accounts I recall reading the lab results were always lower than expected and I have a hunch that old hops is quite possibly the reason.
  5. BlackSands

    out of date

    There was a recent thread about this same issue. There I posted my experience with a can that was 2 years past BB. It turned out fine, but as you found the colour was way darker. It's generally considered a bit of a gamble using expired ingredients but it seems there are accounts like ours of old expired cans not really being an issue taste-wise. Of course we will never know what it might have tasted like if the can was fresh, though having said that, I have brewed enough of them over the years that I feel confident in being able to detect anything if it was off. It was also pointed out in the other thread that cooler storage temperatures may be a contributing factor to the of the extended life of extract.
  6. I've blended two mediocre brews in the past and ended up with a blended mediocre brew ? I'm in the same situation now where I have a golden ale which is sub-par - tastes slightly astringent for some reason, and a best bitter which would have been perfectly fine if I hadn't used a rather nasty hop called Pacific Gem. I'm gonna try a blend of those two tonight and see what kind of mess I end up with! ?
  7. BlackSands

    Removing Hot Break ?

    Yeah... sounds right to me from what I recall reading.
  8. BlackSands

    Removing Hot Break ?

    I think Prof Charlie Bamforth and John Palmer had once suggested you lose foam producing proteins. ? I also recall a Brulosophy exbeeriment(s) where they found an unskimmed, trub-containing beer ended up clearer.
  9. BlackSands

    Brew #6, still going...

    You could try throwing in some gelatin finings and giving it a couple more days. Even at room temperature I generally find gelatin helps a bit with clarity and certainly seems to drop the yeast out fairly quickly. After bottling the beer is crystal clear in a day or so.
  10. BlackSands

    Wheat Beer Failure

    I agree it is not an off-flavour. Quotation marks as I have used them on the phrase "off-flavour" can also highlight that a word or phrase is being used somehow peculiarly – often indicating irony, inaccuracy, or scepticism.
  11. BlackSands

    Head Retention on Beer Glasses in Home Bar

    But that in itself varies significantly in colour depending on how much beer you consume! Not a particularly reliable colour reference IMO ! ?
  12. BlackSands

    Brew #6, still going...

    1.013 doesn't really qualify as a stall. Most of my past Kit + Can brews finished at FG = 1.012 - 1.014 and were pretty much done after a week. US-05 has a bit of a reputation for producing a long lingering krausen. I'd say it's done. Check SG tomorrow... if it's stable start planning your bottling day!
  13. BlackSands

    Wheat Beer Failure

    The yeast you used has a specified range of 18 - 30ºC so it seems you're fermentation was within this. "Banana" is a characteristic of this yeast and a desired "off-flavour" of the style. I'd give it time... you may be surprised how much it changes, mellows and matures.
  14. BlackSands

    Yeast starter vs yeast cake

    There's a few pitch rate calculators around and they don't all agree with each other, in fact the recommended the volumes of slurry seemed to vary quite significantly between them last time I referred to them. I don't use them anymore as it's all very imprecise and probably not much better than guessing really but I've settled on around 200-ish ml for my brews which are usually in the OG range of 1.040 - 1.050. Given the difference in taste in the exbeeriment was on the threshold of perception it's perhaps not such a big deal for those that enjoy the convenience of pouring fresh wort straight onto the cake from a previous batch. However, having said that it really wouldn't take much effort to simply to scoop out a good portion of the cake and thus avoid that massive overpitch in the first place.
  15. BlackSands

    Yeast starter vs yeast cake

    Yeah, I agree. And I have a hunch if a more reasonable quantity of slurry was used the difference may then become imperceptible. That's what I'm hoping anyway because I reuse around 200ml of slurry often! ?