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Messages - dvannest

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I have, for various reasons, been unable to obtain a proper brew kettle and have only a 2 gallon stock pot. For that reason, I can really only do a 1.5 gallon boil and then dilute to the full 5 gal. My question is, do I scale down my malt addition accordingly, and add only 1/3 of the malt at the beginning of the boil, then the additional 2/3 at the end (I would do it at 10 minutes to make sure it all dissolves)?

Any advice on how to work with such a small boil but still get a full beer? My last beers have been thin and I speculate that adding all the malt at 60 in a partial boil may have something to do with it. Or maybe not. Ideas?

Thanks as always for the collective wisdom!

PS - I am making a robust porter, so I will steep my grains in 1 gal first, then add .5 gal water, boil, add malt.

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I thought our water was pretty good out here, but I know we do have some chlorine in it. I will check the City's water quality site. Does anyone know at what level (ppm) chlorine will have a negative/harsh effect?

It seems that otherwise I need to switch to a lower AA and cumuholone (this discussion was the first I have heard of this!) hop and make bigger additons later in the boil. My goal is to derive a nice, basic, single-hop IPA that can be the basis for experimentation in the future. With all this good advice I should be much closer the next go-'round.


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Thank you all very much for the hints and tips. It sounds like I need to get schooled in some chemistry here - so far I have been treating my brewing as more art than science. Seems like a lil' more science is in order. Practically, I have been trying to brew smaller batches because I hate to spend on and then dump a 5 gal batch that doesn't turn out. My immediate take-away is to change my water from tap to bottled, look for a less harsh hop (As a Seattlite I do love me the NW IPA's, so maybe I'll go to Amarillo), and back off the volume of bittering hops at the boil, instead making more generous additions at 15, 5, and 0. I did revisit my Pliny-inspired IPA after posting yesterday and the harshness has mellowed with time (althgouh point well taken about drinking IPA fresh- I'd rather get the recipie right up front). I'll take all IBU caclulators with a grain of salt from here on out.

Thanks again to everyone for being so generous to a first-time poster!

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My first attempt at an IPA was based on Pliny the Elder; it turned out all right but the bitterness was huge - allmost to the poit of obscuring the flavor and aroma. I mean, it was very sharp. Blew out your palate immediately. Perhaps a bit ambitious on my part.

So this time I thought I'd try something less complicated and go with a single-hop IPA. I brewed a two gallon batch consisting of 2 lbs pils DME and 1 lb amber DME. I added .5 oz of Chinook 13.3% AA at 60, 15, and 5. I racked it after a week; at that point I gave it a quick taste and I'll I got was bitter - that same sharp, unbalanced bitterness. I dry hopped with another .5 oz Chinook, and will bottle in a week.

I'm again concerned about the bitterness being too dominant - the calculator I used put it at 63 IBU, which seems quite reasonable to me, but it tastes much higher right now. Generally, I find commercial beers at 65 IBU to be pretty mellow. Do I just need to get this batch bottled and let it condition for a while? Is it supposed to be this sharp right now? Should I back off the high AA hops and go for a lower AA hop? I like bitterness, but balanced with flavor and aroma. Any thoughts on process and how to get a balanced IPA?

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