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Topics - Kirk

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Commercial Beer Reviews / Boulevard Deschutes Conflux
« on: December 23, 2011, 03:23:43 PM »
Anybody try the new Wit-IPA put out by Deschutes and Boulevard as a joint project?
I just had it on tap at my LHBS.  Good stuff.  Anyone know some details about it?  Like what kind of yeast?

Ingredients / Hopping to Taste - Revisited
« on: December 15, 2011, 11:09:56 PM »
Awhile back I posted on hopping to taste - particularly in the finish.  I tried it out, and even posted that I thought it worked out well (and I was probably a little proud of myself).
But as it turned out, what tasted about right at the end of the boil, turned out to be "not enough" after conditioning.  
And further, a previously brewed beer (lager) that seemed over-hopped after 2 months (possibly initiating my hypothesis) became awesome at 5 months.
So, I've been thinking that I should share (confess) that I didn't know didly-squat, and that "hopping to taste" is way more difficult than I foresaw, and I've since abandoned it.

Yeast and Fermentation / forgot to aerate
« on: December 11, 2011, 03:21:10 PM »
I forgot to aerate prior to pitching.  When is it too late to aerate? 

Equipment and Software / march pump stuck
« on: December 08, 2011, 06:07:37 PM »
My march pump quit working.  When I plug it in, the aluminum prop (maybe that's the impellor, I don't know) visible on the back side grabs, looks like it's engaging, but doesn't spin.  Any ideas?

Commercial Beer Reviews / Sam Adams Boston Lager -- as a Czech Pilsner
« on: October 05, 2011, 02:54:40 AM »
Enjoying a Boston Lager for the first time in a long while, and to me it sure is similar in flavor and color to some Czech Pilsners I've had lately.  The malt build is probably very similar and easy to predict.  The yeast may be the key.  I don't know what they use.  The hops may not be Saaz, and may be more up front than Saaz, but still in the same ball park.  Any thoughts?

All Grain Brewing / Lemon Juice as Acidifier
« on: August 04, 2011, 06:49:52 PM »
Lemon juice should act as a good acidifier for ph adjustments, IMO, no drawbacks as far as I can see.  I'm considering trying it out.  Any helpful warnings or opinions?

General Homebrew Discussion / Hopping to Taste
« on: July 20, 2011, 01:49:33 AM »
Are taste buds a reliable tool for adding hops to wort?
I would really like to rely more on taste, as in seasoning soup.  What a blast it would be if it worked!  But of course, I’m not real confident in my ability to make that evaluation.  As everyone here knows, what’s being tasted near the end of the boil is far different from the final result, which it seems to me challenges flavor balance sensing more than just a bit.  However, I want to go for it, and hopefully get to a new level that goes beyond adding a predetermined amount according to a recipe or IBU count.   
By the way, I’ve seen craft brews on which the brewers put a “?” on the IBU’s, meaning they don't know and maybe don't care.  But that really isn’t the point, except when using home-grown hops.  I don’t mind IBU calculus but OTOH, when I start brewing more with my own hops my estimates will only be a WAG.  And moreover, even with commercial hops, I would rather use calculations only for a baseline, and finalize using taste.
So come hell or high water, I’m going there.  If you have some KSAO’s to share (i.e., relying on your taste buds), I would sure like to hear from you.  Just don’t tell me it’s in Palmer’s book, page 187, OK?  Actually, you can.  I can take it.

All Grain Brewing / Unfermentable, da-dee-dee-da
« on: July 13, 2011, 04:31:51 AM »
I gave some of Gordon's mashing ideas a good go last Saturday.  In a Schwarzbier recipe no less, I mashed only the base malts, adding some crystal and chocolate at vorlauf, and then added some cold-processed caraffa and roast extract near boil's end.  I was surprised by how much it raised the OG, but it makes sense.  Good thing I didn't overdo it, as I only added less than 2% each of crystal and chocolate at vorlauf, and only enough extract to get the color to the low end of the Schwarzbier range.  But I am wondering if it might finish a little too sweet.  Interesting though.  Anyone else tried this out?

Beer Recipes / Rye IPA - Why the Wheat?
« on: June 22, 2011, 09:15:54 PM »
Denny's recipe calls for about 3% wheat.
I brewed my first batch early May, about 4% wheat, following Denny's lead.
Question in my mind is what is the purpose of the wheat?  Head retention?  Mouthfeel? Wouldn't the rye be a close enough cousin to help in that area?
I'll be brewing another one soon, so I'd like to know more about what wheat, in small percentages, contributes to malt builds.

My first batch, 10 gal,  was a smash around here and is almost gone.  All the women in my life, ah yes, I do have a few, six daughters, some with families of their own, most of whom don't like regular IPA's, love it.  The rye seems to take the edge off the hops, pushes the malt a little more forward, and whatever, some of you may be able to express the difference way better than I.  Anyway, cheeers, and Denny, you may be too busy, but I know there is a lot of expertise and experience out there to help me out.

All Grain Brewing / Screw-Up Confession
« on: June 21, 2011, 08:33:26 PM »
Friday, June 17th, 7:08 AM, I was adjusting mash PH with Lactic Acid, or so I thought, when I looked down and saw I was drawing from the PH Storage Solution Bottle.  AArgh! 
Bummed me out for awhile, but after looking it up, storage solution is mostly Potassium Chloride (KCL), a salt.  Lethal in sufficient quantities.  Used for executions, and Kervorkian used it too.  But, I only put about 10 ml in 9 gal of water, so I think I'll live.  Didn't seem to affect efficiency, taste, or enzymatic activity.  Whew!!

By the way, I changed my hammer back to my real name, and posted my real mug for all to see.  Cheers!

Ingredients / Red-Rye IPA
« on: May 07, 2011, 08:36:06 PM »
Just brewed my first Rye IPA yesterday.  Denny, I largely followed your recipe.  I used 71.9% 2-Row, 17.9% Rye, 6% Dingeman's Special-B (because it's my favorite crystal right now), 4% Wheat, and 0.4% Carafa Special.

The wort had a beautiful red hue to it, which I was shooting for.  But my question is:  Does Rye contribute anything to color?  Or, as I suspect did I get it mostly from the tiny bit of Carafa?

Yeast and Fermentation / Dead Yeast Mulligan
« on: April 16, 2011, 07:13:46 PM »
Yesterday, I brewed a 5 gal. Dunkel, and pitched at least a quart of thick slurry, and nothing happened.  The yeast was saved from about 2 months ago.  I should have taken the clue from when it didn't generate any action on the stir plate with the starter wort.  I thought the yeast had the sugar so outnumbered already that maybe I had just "missed it".  And, it smelled OK.
So I have a new starter going with fresh yeast.  I was either going to just pitch the new yeast in, or rack the wort into a brew pot, boil it, cool it, and then pitch.  I chose the latter.  I didn't want to worry about what all that dead yeast would do over a month's time sitting at the bottom.  So, I've got the wort coming to a boil now.  What do you think?  Did I overreact?  Or would you have done the same?

Equipment and Software / Cold Crashing & Air Locks
« on: April 07, 2011, 12:23:57 AM »
I've always used an airlock when cold crashing, but I'm tired of it (i.e., the negative air pressure threatening to suck water into my beer).  So, today I said the heck with it and put a cap on them instead.  Actually, I only had one cap that fit, so for the other two I just covered the stopper with duct tape.  Am I missing something?
The glass carboys are not a problem for negative air pressure when you pick them up, but when they get in that cold environment, you can see the liquid starting to move the wrong way.  And those *&^#@ Better Bottles create negative air pressure every time you pick them up.  Plastic buckets probably do too, although I haven't used one in a long time, but I expect to use them more in the future.  So anyway, I figure, if you let the fermentation finish completely, it's no problem.  I know, I'm boring, too many words, this is like a diary.  Have many of you long ago replaced your airlocks with caps for cold crashing?  And yeah, I know, I could use vodka and not worry about it.  ;)

Equipment and Software / Leaky Better Bottles
« on: April 03, 2011, 11:08:24 PM »
Anyone else sprung a leak in a Better Bottle?  I just had my second one.  The first time, I thought it was a fluke.  Now now.  The leak is on the bottom somewhere, just like the first one.  It was sitting outside full of PBW solution, soaking away, then I noticed the wetness below and the volume inching downwards everyday.  Freezing was not a factor.  I think I'm giving up on them.  I wonder if PBW could have an effect on the material?

General Homebrew Discussion / A Brewer's Prayer Meetin'
« on: April 01, 2011, 01:31:41 AM »
OK, I'll open, if you guys join in, and somebody eventually close... :D

Dear Lord, thank You for the warmer weather of Spring, so that I can finally wash my Carboys outside, and pour them out on the Lawn....

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