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Messages - skyler

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Strain and Beer Color
« on: April 23, 2017, 12:11:26 PM »
I made an IPA recently and split the batch into two fermenters, one with US-05 and one with Danstar London ESB. The color difference is startling. On the left is the ESB yeast. On the right, the US-05. How? And, fwiw, the US-05 (darker one) tastes hoppier and fresher, but both are fine beers.

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Was one packaged differently than the other?  Just wondering if somehow it may have had more oxygen introduced to it leading to a darker finished product?
They were fermented at the same time, in identical fermenters (8 gal buckets) at the same temperature and were kegged one after the other in the same way (co2 purged keg). One thing of note is that the us-05 took longer to start, but they appeared to be finished at the same time.

100% of tasters (4 total) perceived the us-05 to taste fresher and hoppier, so I don't think oxidation is the culprit this time - though I believe the us-05 may have been mishandled prior to purchase.

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
« on: April 19, 2017, 09:54:35 PM »
Just kegged my first beer using Mecca Grade Lamonta malt...holy crap!
GOOD GOOD GOOD!  Best tasting malt I've ever used.

This is great news. I have seen the stuff at Steinbart and have assumed it wouldn't be worth the premium $$$ because of how much I disliked the Great Western "Full Pint" malt (and Mecca malts "full pint"). But I have been looking for a nice, rich malt to brew great, balanced session beers with and TF Optic (my favorite) is difficult to find locally.

Equipment and Software / Re: pH Meter
« on: April 19, 2017, 09:41:37 PM »
I suppose it's worth mentioning that I have been using Weyermann Sauermalz and this recent IPA that came out less hoppy and more tart did come from a "fresh" batch of acid malt; I buy it in 5lb increments, store it in an airtight container, and it typically lasts me about a year. Of course, I also don't know for sure how much my municipal water chemistry changes season to season.

Yeah, this is horribly confusing. I used to use BeerAlchemy, but the new version is complete garbage, so I switched to BeerSmith 2.0 - it feels like stepping back in time 15 years in terms of user interface. Somehow what other software called 78% efficiency is 62% in BeerSmith. I think it is because it thinks in terms of "system efficiency" instead of just easily letting me control volumes and just calculating "mash efficiency." I am not a fan, though I am sure there is a learning curve.

Equipment and Software / pH Meter
« on: April 19, 2017, 07:18:54 AM »
I'm in the market for a new pH meter and would like some recommendations. Price and ease of use are my main concerns.

I used to brew with a friend who owned a pH meter, but it's been a few years since then and while I have been using Bru'n Water to adjust pH, I haven't actually been measuring. Nothing came out bad, but my most recent IPA (90% 2-row, 6% carahell, 4% acid malt - a small amount of 10% phosphoric acid was used in the sparge water, too) seems a bit more acidic than necessary and appears to have extracted less than expected from the hops and CO2 hop extract. My suspicion is that I should have used 8-10 oz of acid malt instead of 12 oz, and that the acid malt in the mash might have made the phosphoric acid unnecessary in the sparge water. Water was soft Portland water treated with a campden tablet to run off chloramine, then I added just enough gypsum and sea salt to increase the calcium to 60 ppm and get a 3/2 sulfate/chloride ratio.

Clearly I need to be testing my pH.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Great Western vs Briess vs Rahr
« on: April 08, 2017, 04:46:48 PM »
I love GW Pale Ale malt (the 3L). There are few applications where I prefer I think they recently changed the name to "Pacific Northwest Pale Ale Malt" from just "Northwest Pale Ale Malt." I am also fond of Gambrinus malts, but the price is a bit higher for me than it is to buy GW. Few places nearby sell Rahr, so I haven't used it much.

Ingredients / Re: Favorite hop mix?
« on: April 05, 2017, 01:10:12 PM »
I am a big fan of Simcoe/Nelson. Sadly, I haven't been able to get Neslon in bulk for some time, so I haven't brewed with it in years.

Simcoe/Cascade and Simcoe/Amarillo are great blends.

Galaxy/Amarillo/CTZ was a great mix (did that 2/2/1).

Apollo/Amarillo/Ahtanum made an amazing IPA for me once, and I may try blending Apollo with more traditional citrusy hops in the future (2/1 Cascade/Apollo may work).

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Are some batches of yeast just duds?
« on: March 21, 2017, 06:45:03 AM »
Plenty of things can make the yeast less viable, which is why I always recommend starters for liquid yeast use (among other reasons). It could be old (check the date). It could have been left in the too-cold part ofd the fridge, or kept too warm for some time. A starter will mitigate these issues.

Ingredients / Re: Cascade SMaSH - How much 5.5% AA hopping?
« on: March 21, 2017, 06:39:13 AM »
I'd bump the flameout addition to 1-2 oz, personally.

Ingredients / Re: How many ounces of hops in your American IPA?
« on: March 21, 2017, 06:36:57 AM »
I made the move to CO2 extract for bittering, at least for this year (I bought a can of HopShot and filled so many syringes). So an AIPA will have 5-10 mL extract at 60-30 min, 1-2 oz at 10-5 mins, 3-4 oz whirlpool, and 2-3 oz dry per 5 gallons. I have had issues with filtering, but my hop spider had issues with extraction, so I now use a false bottom and a whirlpool, chill with an immersion chiller (sans pump), then squeeze and remove most of the hops when I get to the end of the kettle.

Ingredients / Re: Sacchra 50 in a Red IPA
« on: March 18, 2017, 11:33:26 PM »
Ok, my plan is to go 85% pale ale malt (maybe a blend of 2-row and golden promise), 15% Sacchra 50, and an Amarillo/Simcoe hop bill (bittered with HopShot). I'm thinking ~1.070 and about 100 paper IBUs.

Ingredients / Re: Sacchra 50 in a Red IPA
« on: March 17, 2017, 10:05:45 AM »
Denny, would you use the same amount of Sacchra 50 as you would Crystal, or could you realistically use 12-15% without producing a cloying caramel bomb? How have you used it?

Ingredients / Sacchra 50 in a Red IPA
« on: March 17, 2017, 05:47:00 AM »
Hi guys, I am looking into this Sacchra 50 grain. I have done some serious digging and I just haven't been able to find enough info to build a recipe with. Supposedly the grain behaves in between a Munich malt and a Crystal malt. It's color is 50L and Great Western claims that it "doesn't get in the way of the hops" and recommends it for a "Red IPA." The tricky thing is that it takes 12-15% to actually make a beer red. If this were a regular crystal malt, that would be an insane amount to add to an IPA. Has anyone brewed anything with just Sacchra 50 and base malt? What percentage should I use?

I was thinking either I'd go 12% in a ~1.066 malt bill with just domestic pale ale malt and sacchra 50 or I'd use ~6% and maybe ~2% carafa/blackprinz for color.

Keep temp ramping to encourage it to ferment a bit faster.

My wife and my cats will be very happy with the warmer house temperature. I ferment at ambient in differently-ventilated rooms in the house during the cold months.

Ok guys, I delayed my brewday because of a cold one weekend, then a stomach flu the next weekend. Now I have this 1.043 OG English Golden Ale fermenting at ~67º F with a first-generation pitch of Imperial A09 Pub (purportedly the same as 1968). I pitched the yeast at 65º F at 2:30 pm yesterday.

I had active fermentation and a three-quarter-inch layer of krausen this morning. I know this is a fast strain, but what are the chances the beer will be ready to keg Thursday night (in order to force carbonate Friday morning before work)?

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