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Messages - ynotbrusum

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Adding fruit to beers
« on: June 24, 2016, 03:04:22 AM »
It really varies by the fruit.  I use almost 12 pounds of fresh black berries (if I can get them) in 5 gallons of saison, then add Brett Vrie to the mix to get a nice funky flavor that's dry, but fruity.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lost and Found Beer Stories?
« on: June 23, 2016, 04:04:05 AM »
I brewed a Pliny from Vinnie's old recipe with a neighbor and put a couple small bottles in my kegerator.  Totally forgot about them for five years...surprisingly good when I opened them after cleaning out the kegerator one summer.  Muted hops, but very drinkable.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: RO water
« on: June 23, 2016, 03:55:52 AM »
I can't tell if the filters are uniform and easy to obtain - if it has special sized filters, you may have to order them from only the manufacturer.  Other than that observation, it looks to be a reasonable system at a good price.  Read the reviews on it to help decide.  It may take an extended time period to collect enough RO water for brewing.  I collect about 9 gallons a day, so over the course of a couple days I have enough to brew 10 gallon batches. YMMV, of course.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: RO water
« on: June 22, 2016, 10:55:37 AM »
I try to be green in most things, but brewing is my biggest indulgence, because I use RO from my I house system for brewing.  Even so, my water is well water from an aquifer beneath my rural lot and the spent waste water of all types generated in my house returns to the aquifer by running off directly through the ground or via a septic leach field, so I don't see it as truly wasted in the course of generating the RO water for my brewing.

If I were on City water that was treated, I would feel differently, I suspect.

All Grain Brewing / Re: WLP084 question
« on: June 20, 2016, 05:15:39 PM »
I didn't recognize the 084 designation, but assume it was WLP 840 American Lager yeast.  At that gravity, I bet you will have no problems with the yeast doing a pretty quick job of it.  Realize that lager yeast doesn't necessarily give you the airlock rate that ale yeast at warm temps will show - that doesn't mean it's not working well!  Best of luck with your lager, I'm sure it will be fine.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Tropical Stout
« on: June 18, 2016, 08:00:31 AM »
I see it as more of a foreign export stout style with perhaps a lager yeast to keep the fermentation profile fairly clean.

Good call - it's pretty much a foreign export.

Actually per BJCP:

Characteristic Ingredients: Similar to a sweet stout, but with more gravity. Pale and dark roasted malts and grains. Hops mostly for bitterness. May use adjuncts and sugar to boost gravity. Typically made with warm-fermented lager yeast.

Style Comparison: Tastes like a scaled-up sweet stout with higher fruitiness. Similar to some Imperial Stouts without the high bitterness, strong/burnt roastiness, and late hops, and with lower alcohol. Much more sweet and less hoppy than American Stouts. Much sweeter and less bitter than the similar-gravity Export Stouts.

I just haven't seen much written on this style....

All Grain Brewing / Re: Tropical Stout
« on: June 18, 2016, 05:06:09 AM »
Good thoughts all.  I still see this as essentially an Imperial Sweet Stout.  Lactose is not required, but it should fit in well.  A touch of Munich would work, but the Simosons double roast is quite sweet as a new crystal malt in the 110-120L range. 

Ingredients / Re: Brewtan B
« on: June 17, 2016, 02:52:13 PM »
I spoke briefly with a chemist and of course he recommended nitrogen flushing throughout the process to be certain O2 is minimized, but I think I am just going to try a batch using: for cold side a Star San purge of kegs on filling, but on the hot side, underletting the mash with strike water after boiling (same with sparge), light stirring of the mash, with a CO2 cap added, no-splash transfer to boil kettle and lighter boil rate.  If these show improvement, I may seek the SMBS and/or Brewtan B additive in the pre-mash to further tweak the hot side process.  If the oxidation occurs on the hot side as fast as it is claimed to occur, then I don't see how the chemical additives will prevent the issue from arising, unless added to the process at the very start - is that what is being done?

How will the RIMS folks keep O2 from entering the mash?  Won't the amount of typical surface activity during recirc cause some O2 uptake?  With the Z - shouldn't it be purged of O2 in each of its containers? (I admit I haven't studied the Z and its process at all).

I look forward to tapping Joe Formanek for some of this stuff, if he can get me a "sample" to try.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Cooling down fermentation
« on: June 17, 2016, 02:03:13 PM »
Cooler temperatures suppress yeast activity, so in turn it suppresses by-products of yeast activity.  Two such suppressed by-products are esters and fusel alcohols (for some yeast, anyway).  I have found that cooler temperatures encourage phenols - so a Hefeweizen started at low 60's will be more phenolic (clovey) and less estery (fruity - banana) than one fermented at higher temperatures.  You just have to inquire (see the yeast manufacturer's recommendations and try different things and develop your process from that).

Saisons are somewhat an exception, because they are usually phenolic regardless of temperatures and many guys start low and allow them to free rise and even heat assist them to coax full fermentation to a very dry level.

I would be very surprised if you encounter any problems at all.  That stuff looks primed for action.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Going all grain
« on: June 17, 2016, 01:42:08 PM »
I would suggest using all RO and Brunwater to add back, depending on the style selected to brew.  Otherwise, you are kind of shooting in the dark.  Adding some gypsum for the IPA is probably a no-brainer, but my well water is so bad that all I can reliably make from a pH perspective are dark stouts and porters and even they have too much iron to be palatable.

RO will let you dial in things much more reliably.  Best of luck.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Tropical Stout
« on: June 17, 2016, 01:38:52 PM »
Agreed, Joe.  I wasn't terribly clear.  I was expecting it to leave some residual "cane"-like flavor, but ferment out mostly, if not entirely.  The lactose is intended to ensure some residual unfermented sugars giving it sweetness, but if the lager yeast leaves some "molasses" flavor behind, I am hoping it compliments the fruity esters and sweetness to some degree to give complexity.

I see it very much like honey added to a honey lemon Koelsch to give floral notes to balance the citrus.

I could be convinced otherwise - this is my first fling on this style.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Best Beers in America
« on: June 17, 2016, 01:30:32 PM »

For the record, most of the beers I have been drinking are <6%, with the majority around 5, and even some 4% and less thrown in there.

I brought a tmavý ležák to club night. That is a dark Czeck lager. Mine was at 4%, as my club had all session beers at the both.p

Agreed. Making tasty low(er) alcohol beer is a fun challenge - and they're wonderful to drink in quantity. I gave my mother-in-law a pour of Denny's Mild (FYI Denny: I went with 10% flaked wheat and it is awesome) that sits at a petite 2.9% and she was floored by the flavor in that low of an ABV.

A well done Mild is a beer to behold.  A 4% dark Czech lager is on my list of brews to make this year.  I had one at the lunch hour of a comp in Wisconsin and the judges killed the keg in half an hour.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Tropical Stout
« on: June 17, 2016, 01:16:01 PM »
I appreciate the concerns and I will tone it back to 4 oz. of molasses - I will use the Barbadian without the Blackstrap and unsulphured.  As a Tropical Stout, the beer needs to be sweet per the style, however.  I am not sure if molasses can dominate, but the style definitely contemplates Caribbean influence on the sweetness and molasses is that. 

This is not a beer I intend to make is for a club contest for this new style in the 2015 BJCP style guide (hence only the 2.5 gallon batch that I will bottle condition).  We had a commercial example of the style a few months back and it was so badly oxidized that the style flavor was somewhat lost on us.

Just wondering if anyone has brewed the style and any additional feedback is welcome.  I have all the ingredients other than the lactose and the molasses, so I intend to make it Sunday, if all goes as planned.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Tropical Stout
« on: June 17, 2016, 11:22:24 AM »
I was not going to use black strap - something milder.

Here's the BJCP flavor description:

Flavor: Quite sweet with a smooth dark grain flavors, and restrained bitterness. Roasted grain and malt character can be moderate to high with a smooth coffee or chocolate flavor, although the roast character is moderated in the balance by the sweet finish. Moderate to high fruity esters. Can have a sweet, dark rum-like quality. Little to no hop flavor. Medium-low to no diacetyl.

And the ingredients per BJCP:

Characteristic Ingredients: Similar to a sweet stout, but with more gravity. Pale and dark roasted malts and grains. Hops mostly for bitterness. May use adjuncts and sugar to boost gravity. Typically made with warm-fermented lager yeast.

This newly recognized style is fermented with estery lager yeast and S-23 has the most of that as far as I know.

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