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Topics - Erik_Mog

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General Homebrew Discussion / First competition results
« on: November 06, 2016, 08:54:16 PM »
I entered two of my beers in the Carolina Quarterly Brew off recently. My Czech pale lager did not place, but my "Gizzy Face" APA  took first place for Pale Ales. I am really stoked as this was my first all grain brew, and I have not been brewing that long. I didn't expect either of them to place, much less take 1st place in the category.

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The Pub / Realizing a dream
« on: September 05, 2016, 12:45:32 AM »
So, I have been riding motorcycles for almost as long as I have been driving, and have had at least one of each of the major brands at some point in time, but have always been a Harley guy.  I had one when I was young, and then went from brand to brand.  In 2008, I bought a used 2006 Sportster XL883C.  it was in my budget at the time, and it got me back on a Harley.  But, the whole time I have been riding, there was one bike that I swore I would have one day, and has always been my ultimate dream bike....a Harley-Davidson Road King.  Today, on a chance I went to Ray Price HD, and my dream came true.  At the ripe young age of 52, I traded in my Sportster, after 8 good years of riding, and rode home on a new 2016 Road King.  I never though it would be more than just a dream, but today it came true.  I am just so psyched, I had to share.

Yeast and Fermentation / Disappointed with WLP300
« on: September 03, 2016, 01:47:13 PM »
I brewed another batch of my Blood Orange Hefeweizen and decided to use WLP300 this time since I keep reading about how this is a great Hefe yeast.  I under pitched, according to BeerSmith, using 2 packs instead of the recommended 3 based on the yeast age, no starter, and no aeration, hoping to stress the yeast to get more banana.  I fermented at 68F for the first couple of days and then raised the temp to 70F.  I took a hydrometer sample today, 7 days after pitching, and I had reached the predicted final gravity.  OG was 1.047 and FG is at 1.011.  I plan to add the 3# of Blood Orange Puree tomorrow.

At this point, it has none of the character I would expect of a Hefeweizen.  I get no banana at all, and little to no clove.  I would describe it as maybe a slight spiciness.  Not at all what I would expect from a Hefeweizen.  I raised the temp to 74F, hoping that once it begins to ferment the sugars in the puree, that the higher temp will bring out some character from this yeast.  Funny thing is, the fermentation chamber smells like someone set off a banana bomb in it, just none of it is in the beer.

Based off the way it tastes now, I will be going back to WB-06 when I brew this again.  I had high hopes for the WLP300 based on reviews, but it seems to be a very disappointing yeast. 

Ingredients / Fruit puree in primary or secondary
« on: August 27, 2016, 03:12:19 PM »
I previously brewed a Blood Orange Hefeweizen, and racked it on to 3# of blood orange puree in a secondary fermenter. The beer came out amazing. I am going to be brewing this again tomorrow, and have a quick question. I have switched from using a glass corboy for fermenting to a 60L Speidel. If I am able to add the puree to the Speidel as fermentation is winding down, with out spashing (ie: putting a sanitized hose on a funnel and putting it below the surface), could I just go ahead and add the puree in the primary, or would it still be best to rack it into a 5 gal carboy with the puree. I'm just wondering if it would help prevent possible contamination, or if it would have some negative effect on the finished beer by adding it to the primary just before it finishes up.

General Homebrew Discussion / Style guidelines
« on: August 07, 2016, 12:32:59 PM »
So I was reading through the BJCP 2015 and Brewer's Association 2015 Style Guidelines, and have a question.  Why is there so much difference between the same styles in these?  For example, Marzen:

BJCP 2015
Original Gravity: 1.054-1.060 SG
Color: 8.0-17.0 SRM
Final Gravity: 1.010-1.014 SG
Bitterness: 18.0-24.0 IBUs
Alcohol by Volume: 5.80-6.30 %

Brewer's Association 2015:
Original Gravity (ºPlato) 1.050 - 1.060 (12.4 - 14.7)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (ºPlato) 1.012 - 1.020 (3.1 - 5.1)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 4.00% - 4.70% (5.10% - 6.00%)
Bitterness (IBU) 18 - 25
Color SRM (EBC) 4 - 15 (8 - 30) 

You can see that there are some pretty significant difference between the two.  For a person that wants to brew to style, how do they choose which guidelines to use?  What is the 'correct' one?

General Homebrew Discussion / First Competition
« on: August 04, 2016, 03:32:30 AM »
I am going to be entering one, and possibly two of my Beers in the Carolina Quarterly Brew Off sponsored by Raleigh Brewing and Atlantic Brew Supply. Lap Dog Czech Pale Lager will be a definite entry, and I may possibly enter Leia's Kiss IPA as well. I'm not expecting to win, or even place for these beers, but the feedback from BJCP certified judges will be worth the entry fee. The results of the competition will be announced October 23.

General Homebrew Discussion / My beer is a hit!
« on: July 28, 2016, 02:46:58 AM »
The Blood Orange Hefeweizen that I brewed as sort of a homage to the band my brother is in (Born Again Heathens, hence the beer name Born Again Heathenweizen) is apparently a hit.  I heard from them today, and they asked me if I would brew another batch of it for them to take with them when they go to Florida in September.  They are also releasing an EP, and my brother asked if I may be interested in brewing another batch if they do a release party.  I'm pretty stoked about that.  Looks like my next brew or two will be the Hefe again.

General Homebrew Discussion / Free Wort....
« on: July 23, 2016, 04:37:46 PM »
Just picked up 5.5 gal of free wort from Raleigh Brewing Company.  They said it was Pale 2-Row, and Carmel 20, and 25-30 IBU, hopped with Williamette.  OG measures 1.046.  Since my chest freezer currently has an IPA in it (being bottled tomorrow), and will have tomorrows Lager going in it, for the freebie, I pitched a pack of T-58, and put it in a room that stays about 70F-72F.  I plan to dry hop with 1oz of Saphir.

I know it's going to ferment on the warm side, so I am thinking that if it actually turns out, it may be some kind of Belgian Pale, saison-ish thing or another.  If it doesn't turn out, I am only out about $7 for the yeast and hops. 

Any guesses as to what this may actually turn out tasting like?  I won't be able to cold crash this one either, so I plan to just leave it in the primary for at least 3 weeks to let the yeast drop out as much as it can.  As a guess, it may come out around 4.8% ABV based on just the yeast and OG (no idea what their mash temp or actual grain percentages were).

Beer Recipes / Thinking about trying my first Lager....
« on: July 20, 2016, 03:29:52 PM »
Hello again.  I am going to try to brew again on Sunday, and plan to either do another batch of the blood Orange Hefeweizen, or try my hand at doing a Lager for the first time.  I am thinking about a Czech Pale Lager, and this is what I have come up with.  As always, I would love any advice you can give me on this recipe.  I am really unsure about the mash temp for this style.  Would I mash at 148F for light body, or 152F for a medium body.  Sadly, most of my experience in drinking Lagers has been with the BMC type beers, which was a major factor in the reason I pretty much only drink Ales (IPA, APA, Hefe, and the rare Stout or Porter).  Thanks again for your help.

Czech Pale Lager (Name Pending)
Czech Pale Lager
Type: All Grain
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Boil Time: 90 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %

6 lbs Pilsner, Floor Malted (Weyermann) (2.0 SRM)
12.0 oz Munich 20L (Briess) (20.0 SRM)
12.0 oz Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)
4.0 oz Carapils (Briess) (1.3 SRM)
1.50 oz Saaz [3.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min 21.4 IBUs
0.50 oz Saaz [3.50 %] - Boil 10.0 min 2.6 IBUs
1.0 pkg Czech Pilsner Lager (Wyeast Labs #2278) [124.21 ml] 1.5L Starter
Est Original Gravity: 1.039
Est Final Gravity: 1.010
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 3.8 %
Est Color: 4.8 SRM

Mash at 152F for 60 min.

Yeast and Fermentation / IPA stopped at 1.015
« on: July 16, 2016, 05:43:58 PM »
I just checked on the IPA I have fermenting.  I had very vigorous airlock activity for 5 days, and none for the last 2 days.  OG was 1.064, and it is at 1.015 now (BeerSmith predicted 1.010 FG).  The Krausen has dropped.  I used a 1.25L starter of WY1450.  I mashed at 148F for 75 min.  At 1.015, that is 75.4% AA.  Do you think it is going to drop any lower than it is?  I tasted the hydrometer sample, and it did not taste sweet, and the flavors and aroma were amazing (even before dry hoping).  Regardless, I plan on letting it sit until at least Tuesday before dry hoping, unless you guys think it is finished, and I will dry hop tomorrow morning, then cold crash on Wednesday, and add gelatin and hopefully bottle next Sunday.  I am not in a big hurry though.  I want to make sure it is finished before I do anything.  I did bump up the temp from 65F to 68F yesterday.  I plan to give the fermenter a gentle swirl before going to work today to mix the yeast back up a bit and see if it does anything.  I also have a couple of packs of US-05, if you guys think I need to add it in.

This was my grain bill:
11 lbs 4.0 oz         Pale Malt, Golden Promise   
8.0 oz                Carapils (Briess)       
6.0 oz                Caramel Malt - 40L (Briess)
6.0 oz                Sugar, Table

Yeast and Fermentation / Starter question
« on: July 09, 2016, 02:46:09 PM »
I made a 1.25L starter Tuesday afternoon, and let it go on the stir plate until Thursday night when I got home from work, then put it in the refrigerator, to settle out for my brew day tomorrow.  While it was on the stir plate, ther appeared to be a tiny amount of krausen, and some condensation  formed on the inside of the flask, indicating to me, that the yeast at least did something to generate heat.  Today I took a look at it, and it has dropped clear, but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of yeast.  I made 75oml starter for my last brew, and there seemed to be more yeast in bottom of the flask.  It smells fine to a really yeasty beer.  I used 1 pack of WY1450 pitched into 1.25L starter wort made with 125g of DME.  Do yo think that the starter will be fine to use, even though there doesn't look like a lot of yeast (it could be just an optical illusion since there is 500ml more liquid than in my previous starter), and I am just worrying about nothing, or should I just pick up a couple of packs of US-05 to use instead (or to have as a go to solution should the starter not work)?

Beer Recipes / Feedback requested on IPA recipe
« on: July 04, 2016, 10:30:17 PM »
Thinking about an IPA for my next brew, this weekend if schedule allows, to redeem myself from my failed IPA.  This is the recipe I am working on, and would love your feedback/suggestions.

Leia's Kiss-AG
American IPA
Type: All Grain
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 7.22 gal
Boil Time: 60 min      Equipment: My 10 gal Brew Pot w/Igloo Cooler
End of Boil Volume 5.72 gal         Brewhouse Efficiency: 73.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 4.75 gal      Est Mash Efficiency 73.0 %


11 lbs Pale Malt, Golden Promise (Thomas Fawcett) (2.7 SRM)   90.7 %
10.0 oz Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM)  5.2 %
8.0 oz Caramel Malt - 60L (Briess) (60.0 SRM)  4.1 %
1.00 oz Centennial [11.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min  39.3 IBUs
1.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 mins) 
1.00 oz Amarillo [9.20 %] - Boil 10.0 min  11.9 IBUs
1.00 oz Cascade [5.40 %] - Boil 10.0 min  7.0 IBUs
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 mins) 
1.00 oz Amarillo [9.20 %] - Boil 0.0 min  0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Cascade [5.40 %] - Boil 0.0 min  0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Denny's Favorite (Wyeast Labs #1450) [124.21 ml] 1L Starter
1.00 oz Amarillo [9.20 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days  0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Cascade [5.40 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days  0.0 IBUs
0.50 tsp Gelatin (Secondary 2.0 days)

Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.060
Est Final Gravity: 1.011
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.5 % 
Bitterness: 58.3 IBUs
Est Color: 7.7 SRM 
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 12 lbs 2.0 oz
Sparge Water: 4.13 gal
Sparge Temperature: 180.0 F

Mash Steps Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 19.81 qt of water at 160.2 F 148.0 F 75 min

Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun , 4.13gal) of 180.0 F water

I am also thinking of this water profile (based very loosely on Bru'n Water's Pale Ale profile with a lot lower Sulfate):

Ca   95
Mg    4
Na    9
SO4   158
Cl    54

Mineral Additions (gm)   Mash   Sparge      
Gypsum           .      5.0   4.1   
Calcium Chloride      1.5   1.2   
Epsom Salt              0.5   0.4   
Mash Acid Additions                  
Lactic   88.00   %   0.99   (ml)

Est. Mash pH:  5.32

Would love any suggestions/feedback, especially on the hoping.

The Pub / Finally....
« on: July 01, 2016, 02:45:26 AM »
So, I got laid off from my last job on January 7, 6 months to the day after I came home from work one day to discover my wife had packed up an left, and had to get rid of most everything I had to be able to move back to NC, since I could not afford to live in Texas anymore. For the last 6 months, I have been sending out Resumes, and had a few interviews that went nowhere. Needless to say, I have been feeling pretty useless, and hopeless for a while. Tonight I just finished doing a two day Stage with an Italian restaurant (the owners parents were the ones that opened Tony's Pizza in Endicott, NY), and I was offered and have accepted a position as Head Chef/Kitchen Manager, and will be returning to work on Wednesday. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off of me, and I can start getting my life back in order slowly. The last two days I have felt more alive than I have for months. Just had to share this with someone.

Equipment and Software / Pickup tube for false bottom in mash tun
« on: June 27, 2016, 04:17:34 PM »
I have a domed false bottom in my mash tun, and the dead space is just under 1/2 gal. I do have some extra vinyl tubing that will fit in the center hole of the false bottom. If I were to cut a piece of this so it was about 1/8" to 1/16' above the bottom of the mash tun, would that make any appreciable difference in the amount of unrecoverable wort left in the tun after mashing, or not enough to worry about? I am trying to make my equipment/process as efficient as possible.

My only concern about doing this, if it would make any noticeable difference, would be stuck runoff/sparge. I just did my first all grain brew day, and when I first opened the valve, the finer grain particles had apparently clogged the outlet hole on the false bottom, and I had to blow back through it to get any runoff started. After vorlauf, there was no issue, even after stirring when adding the sparge water. Would putting a pickup tube on make it less likely to happen again, or would I be asking for trouble?

All Grain Brewing / First all grain brew day
« on: June 25, 2016, 11:36:04 AM »
Just mashed in for my first all grain brew...I am psyched! Added my strike water at 164F, stirred in the grain good to break up clumps, an few minutes of stirring and it stabilized at 152F. Sealed it up, and now to wait an hour. Hope it hold temp good.

Now it's time for coffee!

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