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Messages - smthgfshy

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Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First attempt.....
« on: February 14, 2011, 10:51:40 PM »
I popped open a bottle of the big red ipa yesterday and here is what I found....

Poured a deep deep red...mahogany, garnets, rubies, reddish brown.
Head formation was slow and modest, 1 finger, slightly reddish, very dense, thick, rich, sticky, creamy, tiny bubbles
Carbonation was low - too low - only a very few tiny bubbles rising to the surface.
Mouthfeel was creamy, malty, sweet - too sweet (high FG?) to balance bittering hops
Aroma was of rich malts, bready, caramels, hops came in late, never overpowering - even the dry hops
Drinkability was great albeit sweet (a touch cloying), alcohol was unnoticeable, but I could feel it after 25 ounces.

Wish I could've got my FG down a little to dry things up.  I added 2/3 corn sugar instead of 3/4 to help reduce the possibility of bottle bombs.  And of course the temp plummeted after they never got to sit at 70 to prime properly.   I'll open another in 10 days or so and I moved the bottles in front of my heater so maybe after some more time things will improve.

Thanks again everyone for the wonderful help, ideas, recommendations, and criticism.  I'm very happy with the result as is.  I might even enter it into a homebrew competition next door at DBC.  My second batch (Belgo-Am IPA) is well under way and I'm picking ingredients up tomorrow for a Levitation clone.


Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / second attempt....hopgoblin
« on: February 03, 2011, 09:12:48 PM »
45% 5 lbsAlexander's Pale LME
27% 3 lbs Pilsner Malt DME
9% 1 lb American Crystal 10L
7% 12oz Munich Malt - 10L
7% 12oz Candi Sugar, Clear
2% 4oz Pilsner (2 Row) Ger
2% 4oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine

Batch size: 5.0 gallons 
Original Gravity 1.066
Final Gravity 1.012
Mash Efficiency 75% 

use time oz variety form aa
boil 60 mins 1.0 Centennial info  pellet 8.5
boil 45 mins 0.75 Centennial info  pellet 8.5
boil 30 mins 0.5 Saaz info  leaf 5.2
boil 15 mins 0.5 Saaz info  leaf 5.2
post-boil 10 mins 1.0 Saaz info  leaf 5.2
dry hop 7 days 2.0 Chinook info  leaf 12.7

Boil: 4.0 avg gallons for  60 minutes  Bitterness
49.0 IBU / 15 HBU
yeast White Labs Belgian Ale (WLP550)
Alcohol 7.2% ABV
boil 15 min 1 tsp  Irish Moss info 

I constructed this recipe from cali-belgique and hobblen chouffe.  Whaddya think?? 
In my eternal noobness, geekiness, and are my Q's for all you O'Lightened ones.....

I'm wanting to practice a step infusion from 130 (30min) to 150 (30 min) with 4X (2 gal) the amount of needed water. I'm hoping to get a better efficency and develop a deeper flavor profile.  Will I achieve this when only 1 lb of grain actually needs conversion?  I am correct assuming only the munich and pilsner malts need a 60 min conversion right?

I'm planning on adding the sugar and 1/4 of the DME and LME at the end of the boil.  What pro's/con's and flavor differences will there be?

In boiling 4 gal (2 mash + 2 sparge) to extract as much hop flavor as possible.  Is this OK?  I also figure to have 3.5 gal left over and 2 in the fermenter for a total of 5.5.  Is this too much?  Should I expect a lower OG, even though I tried to increase my efficency?

That's it this time.  I'll be more patient with this that I have some homebrew to tide me over. 


Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First attempt.....
« on: February 03, 2011, 08:07:13 PM »
Update #4763...

I checked my gravity and its still 1.028.  The beer is mostly clear.  Hop leaves are still floating on top, soaked through, but haven't sank.  I moved it back to an area that sits right around the 40-55 degree area in preparation for bottling.  I'm hoping the cooler temps will settle the yeast and smooth out the flavor.  After the warnings of bottle bombs, I plan to prime with only 1 cup of DME, instead of 1.25cups.  I'll condition the bottles in a safe, cool area. 

on tasting notes, the beer is fairly bitter, not overly coyingly sweet.  Hops are present for sure, not overly aromatic like a ruination.  Color is a bright med. amber, with overt shades of ruby or scarlet.  Tastes fairly similar to Lagunitas lucky 13, mondo large red or maybe a hop rod's been a while since I tasted that one though....I'll take a bottle over to Denali Brewing Co. and have them do a more involved tasting in a month.

If the bottles don't explode, it'll be the best second batch of homebrew I've ever brewed.

Hope all your winter brewing projects are going well.  Thanks to all for the advice!!

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First attempt.....
« on: January 24, 2011, 12:01:01 AM »

I've experienced bottle bombs before.......very scary.... :o

I'm not gonna worry about though....I'll let it sit for a good three weeks or longer in the secondary.  I'll take gravity readings every week. 

Any possibility of pitching some more yeast in there??
How 'bout reducing the amount of priming sugar used at bottling time??

There's only thing to do.....conduct a detailed comparison of Celebrator VS. goes.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First attempt.....
« on: January 23, 2011, 08:51:07 PM »
Update:  for all those who care...... ;)

After reading more and more I realized that I probably should have filtered my wort while transfering to the primary and thoughts of off-flavors started percolating through my I transferred to my secondary and added 2oz of cascade for some dry hopping.  I took a gravity reading and it read 1.028.  I was hoping for it to be a little lower to increase the alcohol level... ;D...maybe it will drop a little more in the secondary??  I plan to let it sit for another 2 weeks before bottling.  The temp is back up to about 65.  I did taste my sample and it tasted a lot like a Lagunitus lucky 13.  Granted my taste buds are about as refined as a sledge hammer in a china shop.  It did exhibit a good balance of bitterness and sweet maltiness.  I am hoping that the dry hop will add a moderate amount of hop nose. 

If anyone swings by TKA in March or April hit me up and you can tell me what you think of this crazy concoction I call Big Red Ryding Hood. 

Thanks again for all the advise!! on tap...belgian IPA.

go packers!!!!

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First attempt.....
« on: January 21, 2011, 07:52:12 AM »
" BTW, get a fan to stir that air around."

No need, my cabin is drafty enough as is!!!

Ok, I won't worry about it......just not sure if I should give it a swirl to wake 'em up!!

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First attempt.....
« on: January 21, 2011, 05:17:01 AM »
Another question..... :o

What concerns (and actions) should I have (take) if the primary ferm. temp. dropped to below normal fermentation temps?? 

Here's the dealo.......we just got out of a cold snap here in AK.  Temps surrounding my fermenter went from about 60-65 to 35 degrees ( :o)after the power went.  After power came back on, the temp has slowly risen to 60-65.  There is also a HUGE temp gradient top to bottom in my place (the floor is about 40, head level is about 70).  I've got the fermenter in the most consistent place in the cabin. 

So, back to my original Q....what concerns should I have?  Should I just leave it alone for another week before starting to check for a consistent FG? 

The beer is not clearing at all and is still bubbling at at about 2/3x per min at it's 65F temp. There is still a little krausen on top, but it's mostly gone, and what's there looks nasty as hell. 

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First attempt.....
« on: January 15, 2011, 12:45:10 AM »
ok, here's an update....

beer has been fermenting for last 2.5 days.  the krausen started forming within 12 hours and at 36 hours was at it's peak.  since then, it's been dropping a bit, but there is still 2 inches of head on top.  the air temp surrounding my fermenter has been 50 degrees or so.  I just moved it today to an area that I think is about 60 degrees.  the airlock is still bubbling away at about 1 bubble per 8 seconds or so.  the wort is very cloudy and murky. 

Should I be concerned with the original low fermentation temp?  What effect will this have on the end result?  Should I keep it at 50 or 60 degrees while it's in the primary?  I'm still not sure how to know my FG.  I know that you are not supposed to muck about in your wort too much or disturb it while in the carboys, but I have to pour a little out to take readings to know when it stabilizes...right?  Am I missing something here.  I plan to let it sit in the primary for another couple days before racking to the secondary and throwing in some hops. 

comments, suggestions, concerns...???  In the mean time...I won't worry about it!!


Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First attempt.....
« on: January 12, 2011, 09:06:20 PM »

i heard that adding a tiny amount of hops will help to inhibit bacteria growth in the starter.  I had no idea how much to add, so 1 pellet seemed a good starting point!!

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First attempt.....
« on: January 12, 2011, 09:25:51 AM »
Ok, so I brewed it tonight. 

Started a yeast starter yesterday by boiling 2/3 cups LME with 1 quart water for 10 min and 1 hop pellet, added yeast packet and let sit for 28 hours in a brown growler.

I think everything went OK, up till the end.....nothing major, but I pitched my yeast before taking my OG reading.  I took it anyways.....1.080.

I did have a hard time keeping my steeping temp. constant. I brought my 6 quarts to 1600 and dropped in my 3 grain bags.  the temp dropped to 157.....uh......yeah....  so I cooled it down and was able to hold it between 148 and 154 for 30 min.  I then sparged with 6 quarts of water that was somewhere between 160-170.  I was unsure whether to squeeze the bags to extract every last bit of wort (I told her that was unnecessary).  I added a little water to bring my total volume to 3 gal, brought to a boil and added my extract and hops.  hops were added at the indicated intervals and I was able to cool the wort relatively quickly to 120 in the 4 ft snow bank and 15 degree temps outside.  I added 2 gallons of cold water to my fermenter and poured in the wort.  I then grabbed my yeast starter and dumped that in.....only to realize I forgot to check my OG and temp.  Based on my previous batch, adding 3 gal of 120 degree wort to 2 gal of cold water got the wort down to 70.  I didn't double check this this time......hmmmm.  I vigorously swirled the wort to aerate and poured a little off into the gravity flask only to discover the temp was at 78 degrees!!!!  I let it get to 60 and took the OG reading.  Now the wort is sitting in a cool dark place in my tiny cabin in AK.  It'll sit for at least 10 days before I start to take FG? readings.  I hope all goes well!!

Thank you all so much for your input.....I think out of the 500+ views of this post I read all your comments 500 different times.  I'll let you know how it progresses and be sure to ask more q's if something doesn't appear right.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First attempt.....
« on: December 25, 2010, 05:26:42 PM »
JD~ ok, that gives me confidence...I'll look into doing that a couple days before I start....thanks!

ipag~ um....LME = light malt extract or liquid malt extract??  DME = Dark malt extract or dry malt extract??

its definitely a liquid (syrup), came from muntons, and as far as light or dark...i dunno?? maybe you know more?

Happy Festivus!!!

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First attempt.....
« on: December 24, 2010, 03:34:13 AM »

yes, that is what I have.  Did you calculate that using promash or similar software?

thanks for the number crunching.....listening to the podcast now.....


Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First attempt.....
« on: December 23, 2010, 11:47:38 PM »
ipaguy: I added in the rye, subtracted a little chocolate, swapped some extract and hops around based on availability, but everything else has remained the same.  the original recipe is for an imperial red ale that steeps I wanted to lighten, freshen, crisp up the body a little, hence the wheat extract, rye, and chocolate malt reduction.  I'd ask that you make a recommendation of something to eliminate as I don't have the skills or knowledge to construct a starter culture.  I've experienced bottle bombs in the past...not very fun...and I don't want a repeat especially considering I'm using 1l fliptops.  My first thought would be to eliminate the rye, but all the grains are currently in one bag....maybe I could refrain from adding the wheat extract...??  I'll check out the link too.  Thanks for all the tips, info, ideas, and good karma....  This buds for you!!!

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First attempt.....
« on: December 23, 2010, 02:25:53 AM »
to all:  sweet advise.  I hope it becomes more digestible after I get my hands dirty, cuz I had no idea that some grains were already converted.  I think I remember seeing that somewhere in the book, but the original recipe didn't say anything about mashing the munich.....and it wasn't like the grain bin at the store was labeled or color coded differentiating converted grains vs. non-converted grains. 

I think I'll still use the term sparge.  it sounds cooler. 


Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First attempt.....
« on: December 22, 2010, 06:22:04 PM »
Holy hops batman!!  the responses have been great!!  Ok, so, I won't worry about it and try to follow all the suggestions that have been illuminated.  These have, of course lead to a further set of questions such as:

What is the difference between a partial-mash, mini-mash, full mash, and steep? 
What are the advantages of steeping/mashing at certain temps other than others?
Where should my specific gravity stabilize at?  How do I figure out what it should be now that I've added other grains/hops?  What do high/low gravity readings mean for my beer (other than alcohol content)?
What's the difference between sparging and rinsing?
How do I know whether or not I need to boil for 30 or 60 min?  (my last batch (canned) I boiled for 30.  this recipe calls for boiling for 60 to let the hops do their thing) 

and, yes, I was scoffed at for attempting this beer as my second ever batch.  this was a homebrew store in northern VT.  I'd still go there, as they were helpful piecing together the recipe.  Although the real info I was after was more along the lines of "should I add the rye or wheat extract?", "what hops do you recommend?", "is going to be heavy/light or too complex/simple?". 

the steeping method seems best for me at this in a tiny (500 sq ft) cabin in AK with my girlfriend and dog that has mediocre and constantly fluctuating temps.  Maybe a german swartzbier next.......??

once again....thanks a ton for all your input!!  everyone is invited to AK for some killer homebrew....and if it sucks we can get a beer a block away at denali brewing co.

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