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Messages - calpyro

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Events / Re: NHC 2016 Location
« on: July 10, 2015, 04:17:01 AM »
With the recent riots, soaring crime/murder rate, Baltimore has zero appeal for me to come visit. I'll sit this one out.

Events / Re: How is the hotel for NHC San Diego?
« on: March 08, 2015, 10:55:39 PM »
I guess it really doesn't matter. Good or bad, we are going to the Town and Country. My wife is just a little freaked out by the bed bug photos...... I'll keep her glass full.

Events / How is the hotel for NHC San Diego?
« on: March 08, 2015, 03:22:33 PM »
Looking at Yelp and Trip Advisor, the Town an Country Resort looks like a dive. The place consistently has very poor reviews. Dirty, bugs and poor service. Is it this bad?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Clarity-Ferm
« on: April 16, 2012, 01:22:15 PM »
After brewing a Helles and a Pilsner I noticed both are missing the flavor and good taste I usually get from those recipes. The two things I did different was I used RO water and added minerals and I used White Labs Clarity-Ferm. Thats an enzyme that prevent haze.
I know the water adjustment can change flavor but has anyone used the Clarity-Ferm and had this result?

Another factor related to your change might be the PH of your mash due to RO water. You made no mention of an acid addition. Light beers with RO water will likely need some acid for a proper PH in the mash.
I made some light beers without properly adjusting the PH and they tasted kind of flat.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Natural Carbonating in a Keg
« on: February 18, 2012, 03:27:33 AM »
So I have a few full kegs that I thought I would natural carbonating while they are waiting their rotation into my kegerator. Figure that way they are ready to roll when I put them in (after cooling down of course).

Two questions:

1) Any significant issues with this?

2) I am getting all sorts of conflicting info on how much sugar to use. I know it is less then what you would use to bottle. I have read 1/3 to 1/2 of the amount. Beersmith's carbonation tool suggests about 42g (at 65 degrees for 5 gallons) which is about half. What do you think would be a good amount?


I use 1/3 cup of sugar per keg. I use it to reduce the oxidation of the finished beer

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Bohemian Lager Yeast at Ale Temps?
« on: February 01, 2012, 02:13:14 PM »
So, I was watching Brewing TV last night, and they split a kit into two carboys, each with a different yeast. One used US-05, and the other used the 2124 Bohemian Lager yeast. Both were fermented at the same temp: 66-68 degrees. When they tasted them, they said that the 2124 retained its lager characteristics and had less esters than the US-05 even at that elevated temp. Has anyone else used this yeast at ale temps? What were your results? I would love to be able to make some lagers at ale temps (even though I do have lager capabilities), but I am very nervous about going that high with a lager yeast.

I routinely use lager yeast at +/- 65 degrees. I will make a 10 gallon of 1.040 Cream ale with a variety of lager yeast as a starter for my German Pilsner or Bohemian Lager.
I have had very good results with the Cream Ale in competitions and have never had any negative comments from judges. It make a tasty beer and a really good stater for the German Pils.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Blind Pig
« on: January 10, 2012, 04:35:07 AM »
I'm sitting here drinking a bottle of Blind Pig, only the second I've ever had, and I'm asking myself, "Self, where the heck is the bitterness"?  It comes across like a big APA.  Good hop flavor, fair aroma, and zero bitterness.  Lately it seems I've been running into IPAs that have little to no bitterness.  Maybe my taster is off, but it seems to me that an IPA should be easily distinguished from an APA by its bitterness, not to mention increased gravity.  Give me SNCA or SSOS anyday.

I go to the RR pub in SR at least once a week. Pig is my go-to session beer. It is not the most bitter beer out there, but it is THE most balanced IPA that I have ever had. Maybe it was a poorly handled bottle? Go to the pub and get it on tap. It is a close to heaven that I will ever be.....


"What is this M.E.A.D. Mead? I drink Chivas Regel, I's got a Gavermant stamp that says it' hethy"
Love Alabama!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop Specs Website?
« on: November 25, 2011, 04:59:51 AM »
Is there a website that gives specs for domestic hops, and at least attempts to keep up on the newest varieties?

Here is another:

Between these two, you will find most hops.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Switching to Whole Hops!
« on: October 31, 2011, 03:02:56 AM »
Nope, just a U shaped pick up that pulls from the wall.  I didn't get a good trub pile I guess.  It was still fun and by the end of the year hopefully I'll have a good system down. 

A false bottom works really well with whole hops.
I use a immersion chiller and the whole hops drop pretty quick to form a nice filter bed on the false bottom. The protein settles last on top of the hops. It takes me around fifteen minutes to get the wort to pitching temp and another ten to fifteen to get the wort to become bright. As soon as it clears, I runoff the wort into the fermenter.
Whole hops and a false bottom make a good combination for clear wort.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Switching to Whole Hops!
« on: October 28, 2011, 03:10:24 AM »
I coarsely chop all my whole hops to improve the utilization and reduce the wort absorption. I use a cheap food processor from Walmart just for hops.

I had though about doing this before but was worried about leaving too much of the sticky resin behind in the food processor. Is this not a problem?

And how much does it increase utilization, anyway?  It may be one of those things that seems like a good idea, but in reality doesn't make enough difference to be worth the effort.  Has anyone ever seen a study about how much increase you get?  And if you don't know, how do you accurately calculate your hop additions?

How much does it improve the utilization is difficult to quantify. In late additions, the chopped-whole hops perform similar to pellets. The hop resins are almost instantly available to the boil. I find that late in the boil this technique dramatically improves whole-hop performance.

The only person that has done a study about using a food processor to chop whole hops is me as far as I know. However, it is simple logic that by breaking the hop cone structure exposes the luplin that would otherwise be somewhat hidden inside the hop cone.

By coarsely chopping the hops, and leaving the majority of the hop petals intact retains one of the qualities that I prefer in whole hops, which is the filtering effect on the false bottom of my kettle and result is much less wort absorption in regular whole hops.
I accurately calculate my hop utilization like any other brewer. I carefully weigh them and use brewing experience to do the rest.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Switching to Whole Hops!
« on: October 28, 2011, 02:49:01 AM »
I coarsely chop all my whole hops to improve the utilization and reduce the wort absorption. I use a cheap food processor from Walmart just for hops.

I had though about doing this before but was worried about leaving too much of the sticky resin behind in the food processor. Is this not a problem?

Some of the resin does stick to the food processor. I just swirl some hot wort in it at the end of the boil to clean it up and return it to the kettle.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Switching to Whole Hops!
« on: October 22, 2011, 02:30:01 AM »
Every year I sit down and look back at my last year in brewing and think of ways to modify my process or to try new things out.  Last year for instance was the year of the filter.  Just about every beer I made was filtered.  It was a huge pain in the but; however, I liked the results.  This year I've decided that I am going to use whole hops in every beer!  I realized the other day that I've been brewing for 10 years now but in ten years and well over 100 batches I've never used anything but pellets.  This year that changes.  I just bought a ton of whole leaf hops from Hops Direct and Fresh Hops and I can't wait to start!  One exception that I may allow is dry hopping.  I will dry hop in the 10 gallon conical with whole hops but I am thinking that when I do 5 gallon brews in a carboy that logistically I still may need to use pellets.

This should be fun - anyone selling a hopback?  Might as well go all in at this point!

Here are a few tips:

I coarsely chop all my whole hops to improve the utilization and reduce the wort absorption. I use a cheap food processor from Walmart just for hops.

Use a Surescreen: It allow you to dry hop in a Corney Keg. It allows you to use insane amounts of hops. I chop all the hops I use in dry hopping.

I Cask Condition (add Sugar) while dry hopping in the Corney. Whole hops contain a bunch of Oxygen and the action of the yeast does a good job of scrubbing all of the O2 out of the beer.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: CO2 "oxygen barrier"
« on: March 28, 2011, 02:45:46 AM »
Will be racking and kegging this afternoon and have heard talk about adding a CO2 "cover" to carboys and cornies prior to transfer in effort to isolate the beer from oxygen.  I have a 5# tank and regulator with a flare disconnect available to provide the CO2.  Do I simply remove the disconnect at the flare and dispense some CO2 into the corny/carboy prior to stating the siphon?  If anyone could offer more precise instruction I would feel much more confident in my process. ie; what is the appropriate PSI to dispense from the tank and for how long should i do this for an effective oxygen barrier.  Thanks and happy saturday to all.

CO2 has a vapor denisity of 1.53 (air is 1.0) meaning that CO2 is heavier than air. As long as the vessel that the beer is transfered into has CO2 in it, the CO2 will have a blanket over the beer. The air which is lighter will be displaced upwards.
If you use a two hole carboy cap, one will fit a racking tube and the other can be used for CO2 in. One PSI will push the beer.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How do YOU keg hop?
« on: March 16, 2011, 03:54:58 AM »
The ability to drink beer that is actively soaking in hops
is probably the real reason why I finally got some kegs.

So, if you do this sort of thing at your house, could you share your technique for keg hopping?
Materials and methods would be great.

Thanks in advance.
I have tried all of the previously mentioned ideas: bags, balls etc. However, the Surescreen:
Is by far the best tool for dry hopping in the keg. It is a stainless steel mesh tube that slides over the pickup tube of the Corney Keg and allows you to put the whole hops in the keg loose. This allows for 100% immediate contact between the hops and the beer.
I have an additional technique for using whole hops. I coarsely chop whole hops in a food processor to break up the cone structure of the hops. By doing so, I further improve the hop utilization, reduce the absorption of beer and the oxygen exposure to the beer.
Give it a try. It works great.
BTW, its is only $8

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