One Hop Brew Experiment

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Krimbos, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have been experimenting with using a C02 tire inflater to purge head space in my 6.5 gallon carboy when I use them as a secondary. 12 gram cartridges seems to be just the right size for one purge and are fairly cheap.
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,799
    Likes Received:
    7,397
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Question from the peanut gallery: How did monks purge their vessels? "Purging" the air from a carboy seems a logical thing to do but really, how much effect will it have? I've never purged a carboy and never had anything I can identify as oxidation in my beers. Yes, there is surface area exposed to oxygen but what is the uptake rate? The fermenting (or fermented) beer has CO2 dissolved in it, CO2 is heavier than air so no matter what you do, there will be a protective layer of gas over the beer. This business of purging seems to be an excess of caution to me. I'll grant my next beer may come out tasting of stale cardboard but I'm betting if I don't shake up the carboy after fermentation, I'll be just fine. I may sacrifice a few weeks of shelf life but guess what, I'll never know! No way to do the experiment to determine the effect of the treatment unless I split several batches into 3-gal carboys, purged one of the two and taste-tested several months later. If you think or can prove that purging extends shelf life or prevents cold-side oxidation, great; otherwise, always ask why, and what is the effect.
     
  3. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This is one thing I have always asked about, and I agree if undisturbed the CO2 should be creating a nice protective layer. But for 8 bucks I have 15 C02 cartridges that should last me years since I very seldom ever use a secondary, so why not.

    The real question is were did the belief that your secondary should have the minimum amount of head space as possible, and the wouldn't the yeast use the oxygen up fairly quickly since they have been starved of it for so long?

    I am also thinking monks were not to concerned about oxidized beer. Would they say it taste like cardboard? :D
     
  4. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,728
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    I've personally noticed that having zero head space in the secondary leads to better beer, but I admit it was not a rigorous scientific study.

    Wine making has also influenced my thinking on this. Every wine maker / mentor I met swears to top off completely. Wine is aged for months, even years. The empty head space can start growing bacteria and other nasty stuff. A full carboy/barrel is more protected because of the alcohol levels in the wine. I suspect the same rules apply to beer.

    Back to beer - it does depend on how long you leave it in the secondary and just how much head space is there. It would also depend if the yeast are still active or not.

    Sounds like a brewing experiment waiting to be conducted!

    If you are happy with your results, I wouldn't worry about it too much.
     
  5. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Agreed, +1
     
  6. Krimbos

    Krimbos Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    So LB, are you suggesting to scale batch size to max out the secondary, ie, 5.5 or 6.0 gal batch size?

    Interesting......more beer!
     
  7. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,728
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    If you are planning to rack, yes plan ahead in terms of volume if you want to be extra careful to avoid oxidation. I'm not aware of any containers that are 5.5 gallons, but I am aware of the 6 gallon Better Bottles. Most glass carboys are 5, 6.5 or 7 gallons.

    For the record, I rarely rack anymore. I dry hop in the primary after the fermentation is complete, but I would not let the primary go past 3 weeks or so. My last lager I even kegged directly from the primary - turned out awesome, crystal clear too.
     
  8. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    In my experience, racking is not necessary. Of course, my experience only involves 5 beers and my non-racking philosophy was developed both by reading others' opinions and an early lack of secondary vessel, not to mention general laziness and lack of desire to rack. But, that said, most of what I've read from more experience brewers is that racking is unnecessary, and can open up another avenue for infection. Either way, I'm going to be brewing my one-hop beer tomorrow: One-Hopper Wheat, which is a self-styled take on Gumballhead. I'm going to be breaking in my new turkey fryer setup as well, so I'm really stoked for the overall experience. March Madness and home-brewed beer: it's gonna be a great weekend!
     
  9. Krimbos

    Krimbos Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Evan

    WE are living parallel brewing lives!

    4 brews under my belt (figurativelky and literally) and I christened my burner on a one hopper (its a blast!)

    My fermentation is just about done. The smell is wonderful (Cascade)

    I plan to rack 3x 1 gal and dry hop with 3 different hops and bottle the rest.

    (Personnally, I like racking cuz its fun!)
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,799
    Likes Received:
    7,397
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    In my case, racking is a habit, one I'm putting to the test with the Big Lubelski. I have no objective evidence either way concerning its effect on beer. I can see the need for beers with long lagering times but an ale that might live a month on the yeast cake? Likely no effect. Therefore, I'm happy to test and being the skeptic (and lazy brewer) I am, give up the practice if the results indicate it's of no use.
     
  11. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Too bad you're not closer (I assume you're not anyway; I'm in Indy) or we could compare our results.

    I tell you what, after doing small boils on an electric range, firing up that turkey fryer and having that big blue flame, and ensuing mini-jet-engine sound, made me feel a bit more manly. Did have a boil-over, even with only 5 gallons in a 30qt pot, but that's where the real glory of the burner setup came in: nothing to clean up in the house! I used Cascade too (Gumballhead uses Amarillo, but where's the fun in a straight clone, right?) and the smell was great. It's going like crazy in the fermenter right now and smells phenomenal! I recently purchased an immersion chiller too, so I got to test that for the first time too. Overally, very pleased. As an aside, my boil-over occurred when I added in wheat DME and I had a buddy say that he experienced something similar. Is that a result of the wheat, or what's the deal there?
     
  12. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,728
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Whenever you add any DME it will tend to get a head on it when boil starts. I don't think it is specific to wheat.
     
  13. Krimbos

    Krimbos Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Evan

    I am in northern Chicagoland. Will be in Indy this week!

    Yeah, firing up the propane burner is very manly.
     
  14. skorch11

    skorch11 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    I'm not a huge fan of working with DME but I recently found this on the Briess site and it was news to me. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet though. Does anyone use this method?

    From: http://www.brewingwithbriess.com/Homebrewing/FAQs.htm#b
    Q: What is the best way to dissolve Briess DME?
    A: The trick is not to dissolve in boiling water. Our product is a natural humectant meaning it is a very hygroscopic substance, as the steam from the boil rises it is actually caking the extract before it hits the water and creates clumping that makes dissolving difficult. The best thing to do is dissolve your DME in water 100°F - 120°F, make a slurry and add to your boil. Alternatively, Briess DME will dissolve in tap water. So you could choose to dissolve it in tap water then add the slurry to your water and bring it to a boil.
     
  15. Krimbos

    Krimbos Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18

    AS a former chemist, (but inexperienced brewer), that seemed obvious to me. I am making a slurry next time!
     
  16. MrBIP

    MrBIP Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    496
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    Well, that turned out very well. Could be hoppier for sure, drinks more like a PA than an IPA. Mosaic hops .. plenty of citrus/tropical .... "earthy", but not piney, woody? if that makes sense. Think I like mosaic hops and should try it again, but try to get the hops out in front more. It's a tasty brew, no doubt, but I don't think I really accomplished showcasing the hop here. ... as it turned out this might be a brew that could help the "ewww, that's too hoppy" crowd to transition into IPAs. (It's also a brew I need to be careful with, cuz it's going down really easy).

    Not really the topic of the thread, but I'm quite proud of myself that I made something that looks this good in the glass. Light orangish/golden color, good head/lacing, clear, clean - really looks like a quality beer ... smell is good too .. just need to "crisp" it up bit.
     
  17. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,799
    Likes Received:
    7,397
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Our local homebrew shop had a competition among staff using Mosaic hops. I have to say my first impression was cat piss. I'm not impressed, although I thought I'd be when I smelled them fresh last fall. Every one of the beers had a distinct "catty" aroma and flavor, not one I want in my beer! I avoid Cluster for the same reason.
     
  18. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    I don't know what your problem is, I love my beer to taste like an old lady's living room. Seriously though, it's funny how things that smell good raw can come out smelling and tasting much worse after the brewing process has completed. I just dry-hopped my Cascade-flavored One-Hopper Wheat and it smells amazing, so I'm hoping I won't be drinking cat piss next month.
     
  19. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,799
    Likes Received:
    7,397
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    I hope so, too. I believe the actual phrase I used at the time was "tastes like it's been strained through a litter box." One of the brewers told me she went to great lengths to cover up the distinctly feline flavor. There were fifteen beers there and of them, to my tastebuds, fourteen would have been drain pours. Based on this limited set of data points, there are enough good hops out there without me risking using Mosaic on anything other than give-away brews.
     

Share This Page

arrow_white