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Topics - abraxas

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Ingredients / Falconers Flight Hops
« on: April 16, 2011, 03:24:36 AM »
So I ended up with about 10 oz of Falconers Flight hops blend recently.  Now that I am looking at brewing with them I am learning that they are a blend of hops including Citra (along with Simcoe and Sirachi Ace and some experimental varieties).

Typically it doesn't take much Citra before a beer taste "catty" to me.  Can anybody whose brewed with them tell me if Citra is in a notable makeup?  I'd rather give them to a friend that loves Citra then use a brew day towards something I'm probably not going to want to drink.

General Homebrew Discussion / Brett Saison Category
« on: February 12, 2011, 10:39:08 PM »
I have a Saison I finished with some brett which I think is the best beer I have ever brewed.  There is a competition I would like to enter it into but I am not sure if I should enter it into 16C Saison or 16E. Belgian Specialty Ale.  The brett character is mild but still very present, would most judges find this appropriate for a Saison?

If I should enter it into 16E, is Brett Saison enough of a style description?

Yeast and Fermentation / Advise for a Friend
« on: February 06, 2011, 07:58:57 AM »
I stopped by my friends place yesterday and she was just finishing up a NB Oktoberfest kit (OG 1.058) and pitching a single smack pack of yeast (WYEAST 2633).   I told her that she was underpitching by quite a bit and she asked me for advice, I said I'd think it over and get back to her.  The options I think are:

-Let it ride, should still make good beer-may have some attenuation issues

-Go to the brew shop today and pick up another pack (or more like 3 more packs)

-Or I could give her some harvested Bavarian Lager yeast I have handy, I'm thinking a few days with the current yeast would result in the proper yeast flavor contribution and then adding the additional yeast would assist in completing the fermentation, the Bavarian Lager yeast should be fine for the style

I'm leaning towards giving her some of the Bavarian lager yeast and having her pitch it right away.  Anybody have an opinion on this?

She has a space where she can maintain 50-55F pretty consistently.

Liquid will absorb more CO2 at a lower temperature at a given pressure, this is simple.  But for two different temperatures and pressures corresponding to a similar solubility equilibrium won't the higher temperature reach equilibrium much quicker?  Intuitively it seems like this would follow a 10C = 2x the speed rule of thumb from chemistry, unless I am missing something.

So if I were to force carb at 65F (26psi) outside of my kegerator instead of 45F (15psi), I would think that I could expect to do it in 4-5 days instead of the 8-10 I typically experience in my kegerator?  

This is relevant because I have 4-5 beers I would to carb up and enter into a competition in a month or so.  After nice long lagering/conditioning I hate to go with a shake method to achieve carbonation as I just don't know how long it would take to resettle everything back out.  I will go with a burst technique but I am thinking I should bring them out of the 32F lagering stage to a 50F room just for the carbonation period.

Equipment and Software / Filter Advice
« on: December 28, 2010, 04:16:13 PM »
I am thinking about buying a filter and looking for some advice. 

Much of the reason I would like to buy one is because I have a Pliny clone that I would like to serve for New Years. I don't think I can get the beer from the primary where is cold conditioning into a carbed keg in a drinkable condition by then.  A coarse filter (say 10 micron) should allow me to transfer it to a keg, then shake carbonate it without requiring a good few days to resettle.

I have also found too much yeast/precipitate gets kicked up when I bring kegs to parties and events.  I have been incorporating some gelatin fining but this takes time and planning...

There's also the obvious other uses, meads/crystal pilsners...but primarily I would like to turn around beer quicker if required and make beers more transportable.

Do you guys that have filters find you get enough use out of them?  Should I go with a plate filter (disposable pads seems much cheaper/easier) or a canister filter (I have seen some reusable filters: plus it will work as a Randall).


Yeast and Fermentation / Underpitching Yeast
« on: November 12, 2010, 09:45:15 PM »
I've been trying to better understand yeast and pitching rates and have a few questions...

1)  What triggers the end of the yeast growth phase?  I know oxygen/UFA/sterols/cell wall health are a major part of this.  So do the yeast reproduce while their cell walls are healthy, turn to producing alcohol and then die or go into suspension? 

2)  Couldn't an additional nutrient/O2 supplementation encourage greater growth/vitality within the yeast/offspring?  I suppose the result would be a beer with higher ester byproducts.  This to me would suggest somebody pitching their entire starter might see no advantages over just underpitching.

3)   Does an equal yeast growth at two temperatures result in the same amount of ester byproduct?  Higher temps=more yeast growth (resulting in greater ester formation and attenuation before cleanup of byproducts)

4)  I suppose on the other end: low temps= less yeast growth (resulting in lower final attenuation before yeast inactivity as a potential complication)?

I've always wondered if there was a way to treat the fermentation to maximize a low pitch rate.  There are many times it would be nice to brew a batch of beer only to find out that you only have a single vial.... does this always result in inferior beer to a beer with a proper pitch rate?

General Homebrew Discussion / Adding Hops Before Boil Start/Hot Break
« on: November 11, 2010, 10:39:23 AM »
Last night I was brewing and figured why not add the hops as I was bringing the wort up to boil, before boil and hotbreak.  Worked ok and seemed to prevent a big hot break (though honestly I was sidetracked and wasn't paying that much attention).

Today I see that Palmer recommends adding the hops after the HB:

Online I read that this might result in reduced precipitation of proteins and phenols resulting in a cloudier final product.  I've also read the concern of leaving too much hop material on the kettle walls (this didn't seem to be an issue).  I was using whole hops so I wasn't able to notice a shortage of trub.

Even with a vigorous fermentation should I expect more haze and phenol character in the final beer? 

General Homebrew Discussion / Groupon Homebrew Kit
« on: November 09, 2010, 08:25:50 PM »
My sister texted me this: asking me if this was a good deal.  She already has a wine kit so it's sort of a wash for her for the ingredient kit and bottling bucket but it seems like a great deal, if even for a Christmas present for a friend.

My beginner kit cost well over twice that (though it included How to Brew and a glass secondary with no bottling bucket)

Not trying to pimp the company (no affiliation), I was just impressed with the cost.  Home brewing seems like it is growing like crazy.

Yeast and Fermentation / Dissimilar Yeast Flocculation
« on: October 19, 2010, 11:05:51 AM »
If I brew a beer with a less flocculating yeast like German Ale, can I add a more flocculating yeast like Scottish Ale to speed up clearing of the beer?

It seems like in some situations it would be nice to have a a yeast cake which is less susceptible to being stirred up. 

Ingredients / Citra hops smell like cat urine to me
« on: August 12, 2010, 09:20:39 PM »
I have had three beers that had had a cat urine rank and three were brewed with citra hops.  Might just be me...but I am not a fan.  Though SN Torpedo seems to be an exception.

General Homebrew Discussion / Scottish Ale Chloride to Sulfate Ratio
« on: August 07, 2010, 11:25:25 AM »
I recently brewed a Scottish 60 and a Wee Heavy.  I adjusted my water to 66:46 ppm Chloride Sulfate thinking that on this style of beer I would want to have a malt emphasis water base.  As I am learning more about water profiles I am learning that this style would actually (probably) be better with a 1:2 ratio more similar to the Edinburgh water profile (45:105).

Edinburgh - Think of misty Scottish evenings and you think of strong Scottish ale - dark ruby highlights, a sweet malty beer with a mellow hop finish. The water is similar to London's but with a bit more bicarbonate and sulfate, making a beer that can embrace a heavier malt body while using less hops to achieve balance.

I can adjust my beers easily enough with a little Gypsum (I have room for some more Calcium) added to the kegs but I am thinking I have been thinking about this all wrong.  A heavily hopped beer (AIPA) should have a malt emphasis to balance the hop bitterness and a malty recipe should have the reverse.  Is this a good very basic rule of thumb? 

I know this is going to vary according to recipe and desired outcome so I guess what I am asking instead is my original thinking that a malt-emphasized style should have a high Cl/SO4 was wrong?  I would like to set up some experiments so I can understand this better I just want to have a little more basic understanding....

Yeast and Fermentation / Wyeast 1728 Scottish-Fermenting Cold
« on: August 06, 2010, 09:02:19 AM »
I am pretty impressed with the Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale yeast so far.  I have my fermentation chamber set at 50F for the first few days of fermentation with a gradual ramp up and have gotten nice active fermentation on my last two batches.

The first beer, a Scottish 60 came out very clean tasting with a lot of emphasis on the malt (if a bit thin right now).  I pitched a packet into the batch without a starter (6 gal, OG: 1.034), a little light but it went fine.

I am hoping for similar results with a Wee Heavy (6 gal, OG:1.07) I just brewed utilizing about 200ml of thick slurry from the Scottish 60.

I am going to oak the WH and if both are tasting good after some cold conditioning time I am going to blend to get: (24) bottles of a Wee Heavy, (24) 80 Shilling, (24) 70 Shilling and (24) 60 Shilling.

Ingredients / Dissolved DME Volume
« on: August 05, 2010, 09:21:36 PM »
Been curious about this one for a while: if you have a gallon of water and add a pound of DME, whats the final volume?

I am going to brew a Strong Scotch ale tonight towards the lighter end (SG:1.070) of the style.  I have more than enough yeast slurry from a 60 shilling I just transferred (250ml thick slurry, Wyeast 1728).  Would this be a good candidate for a high pitch rate, low aeration to minimize yeast growth/ester production?

Jamil's calc tells me I need about 140 ml of slurry.  I am thinking about maybe using about 200 ml and just doing 10 min or so or pumped air through a stone.  I'll be starting fermentation around 50-55F, I had good luck down here with the 60 Shilling.

I am nervous about getting too few esters and getting something that lacks beer qualities.  I had done a series of hefe's and encountered this with a very high pitch rate (with 3068 none the less).

Kegging and Bottling / Draft without Carbonation
« on: August 01, 2010, 06:06:02 PM »
Is it possible to put something on tap and maintain no carbonation?  I am thinking something like a bladder in a corney keg separating the fluid from the gas.  I have seen wine on tap in brew supply shops but have never paid too much attention to the flow rate or level of sparkle.

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