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Topics - melferburque

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Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / malt rye & extract
« on: February 09, 2017, 03:48:50 PM »
I've been out of brewing for several years and no longer have the means of all-grain options like I used to. I'm working to recreate a recipe I had used previously but with DME (couldn't find LME locally within my budget). my concern is steeping only rye (1#) and crystal 40 (1/2#) won't be as effective without the base malt of a mash. should I be concerned?

I had already planned to steep a few degrees higher than normal (156 F) to bring the FG up, which is currently calculating at 1.009 on my software, with a 1.064 OG for 7% ABV.

the recipe I'm looking at is for a 3 gallon batch:

3# light DME
1# dark DME
1# malted rye
1/2# crystal 40

am I going to regret this?

All Grain Brewing / melanoidin in an amber?
« on: June 25, 2012, 06:40:20 PM »
first off, it was awesome to meet so many of you throughout the conference. it was my first, and I was blown away. I definitely plan to attend more, but I doubt I can afford every year.

I wanted to make an amber beer, and I'm typically not big on ambers. I was thinking about changing it up a bit and going with a melanoidin malt, which I've never used. one of my clubmates said this was a bad idea and inappropriate for an amber, but I think they were worried more about style guidelines. I just want to try it out, but I also don't want to waste a batch of beer.

is there any reason why this absolutely would not work? if it comes out funky I'd be okay with that, as I said I don't really like ambers. if it comes out awful, that's another matter. thoughts?

5 gallons

7# maris otter
1.5# munich 10
1.5# melanoidin
1# crystal 80

1 oz centennial FWH
1 oz cascade flameout

US-05 yeast

All Grain Brewing / FG is way too high
« on: June 13, 2012, 03:06:17 PM »
I've been having some issues with the last few batches I've brewed. I've been getting pretty consistent OG yields (70% or so) mashing for an hour with a ten gallon igloo cooler at 152-154 degrees. I bought a refractometer and have had OGs of 1.061, 1.066 and 1.071. using fresh dry yeast, I've pitched two packets of US-05 for each of these (sierra pale clone and two IPAs), let ferment in a 60-65 degree room for 2-3 weeks in primary, and the yeast has pooped out around 1.030 for all three.

I've been using beersmith, and I know I'm mashing a bit on the high side (I like some extra body) but I should still end up with FG in the 1.0teens. I'm missing my final mark by a full twenty points, which makes for some weak (though not unenjoyable) beer. I just can't figure out why. the yeast is fresh, only a couple months old and kept in the fridge, warmed to room temperature prior to hydrating. 350+ billion cells should be more than adequate for those OGs. I've left them primary a full week or two after airlock activity has ceased, and I've done plenty of aeration of the wort prior to pitching. I don't have much control over the fermenting room temp, but so far this year it hasn't gone over 70 degrees in there.

any ideas what I might be doing wrong?

I'm taking a couple of these to my club meeting tonight (north seattle homebrewers), and plan to bring them to NHC assuming they pass muster with my club.

Yeast and Fermentation / slow starter
« on: March 18, 2012, 08:11:15 AM »
I'm working on a starter for wyeast 1338, and I knew it was a slow yeast going in.  I popped it about 2pm friday, and it had swelled to maximum by the time I got my starter going at 7pm.  I'm doing a 1L starter, and it's currently at 1.022 (5.5 brix) after 36 hours.  I don't have time to wait any longer.  is there any harm with cold crashing this as is, decanting and tossing in what I have?  or should I use a dry yeast backup and let this go and use for next time?

All Grain Brewing / repeated stuck mashes
« on: March 12, 2012, 11:08:26 AM »
I recently acquired my own mash tun after sharing with a buddy of mine for the past year. it's an identical setup to his (10 gallon round igloo & stainless steel false bottom), with the exception that I opted for a high temp hose for mine and he has a reinforced braided hose in his.  we used his setup dozens of times without issue.  all four times I've used my setup, I've had a stuck mash.

I typically brew with a bit of rye (10% overall at most), but that was on the old and the new system.  my buddy thinks maybe my hose is getting crushed under the mash, but I don't think that's it.  I'm noticing a LOT of grains under the false bottom when I clean up afterwards.  I don't know how it's getting under there, unless the more flexible hose is allowing the bottom to flap?

mashing out and even dumping my sparge into the tank hasn't been enough to loosen it up, I've had to dump the entire mash tun in my boil kettle and strain through the bazooka tube. I'm sure this isn't as efficient for straining and I'm getting the smaller particulates into the boil.

any suggestions?

General Homebrew Discussion / intentionally weak beer
« on: March 07, 2012, 08:29:23 PM »
I'd like to brew a bit lighter beer, mostly just to lower the alcohol, without sacrificing much else.  I'm not looking into a parti-gyle situation, I want to shoot for a 1.040 starting gravity and just work from there.  basically, I'd love to make a lighter IPA.  I'm not keen on a lot of the lighter english styles (bitters & browns), I really enjoy my northwest style beers, be they pale, amber or IPA.  I'd like something with a bit of body and a good hop bitterness.  I was thinking of downsizing a rye IPA recipe I've brewed several times, just not sure how to do it.  here's what I'm thinking:

7# maris otter
1# rye
1# munich
1# crystal 40

1/2 oz columbus @ 60 min
1 oz cascade @ 20 min
1 oz cascade @ 10 min
1 oz cascade @ flameout

munich dry yeast

should put me in the ballpark of 45 IBU backloaded for the aroma, and if I mash a few degrees higher than normal I should end up right at 4% ABV (assuming my usual 60% eff) and a FG of 1.014 or so (using a medium attenuating yeast).  not sure if I want to swap the crystal out for carapils, but I definitely like a bit of that malty body.  I thought the added sweetness may balance the relatively high amount of hops a bit better.

I'd like to brew something along the lines of the beers I like to drink and make, but cut the alcohol back.  I'd rather drink the beer than get the buzz, especially on weeknights.  it seems contrary to what most people are about, but I would love to get a solid session beer that could replace my usual 6-7% 85+ IBU IPAs.

is this just crazy to even attempt?  any tweaks I should consider?  planning to brew friday night, so I have 48 hours to tinker with the recipe.

General Homebrew Discussion / need to filter out orange peel
« on: February 26, 2012, 08:37:25 PM »
about six weeks ago, I brewed a belgian style tripel, and I dry-hopped it with bitter orange peel.  I transferred to keg yesterday, and a few smaller pieces got through the siphon.  I didn't think much of it at the time, figured the worst case was it may clog my tubing or something.  I poured my first glass tonight, and there's a lot more chunks than I anticipated.  looks to be mostly the rehydrated pithy bits, and they do settle out fairly quickly.  I don't like pulp in my orange juice, I certainly don't like it in my beer.  any suggestions as to how I can filter these out?  unfortunately, I've already carbonated the beer.

Yeast and Fermentation / danstar pricing
« on: February 21, 2012, 02:13:44 PM »
is something funky going on with the yeast market?  last time I stocked up on danstar nottingham dry yeast, it was $2.50-$3.00 a packet.  one of my LHBS was out yesterday, checked another today and its stock was $5.00 each.

All Grain Brewing / smaller batches
« on: February 21, 2012, 10:01:18 AM »
I have a couple of three gallon better bottles, and was considering doing half batches of experimental recipes.  I can brew more often because I won't have as much beer to get through.  it should be safe to simply cut any recipe in half, correct?  I'm looking at a strong CDA recipe, so it will be about 12# of grains for three gallons.  will I have any difficulty kegging these smaller batches in my five gallon cornies?  should I plan to bottle condition instead?

Yeast and Fermentation / nottingham in CDA
« on: February 19, 2012, 10:54:36 AM »
I just noticed I'm out of US-05 dry packets, and my WLP060 yeast starter never took off (old yeast, still 1.040 after two days on stir plate).  I've got a couple packets of danstar nottingham which I've used for IPAs before, but wanted to make a cascadian dark today. the LHBS doesn't open for two more hours and I'd like to get an early start.  anyone have any experience with nottingham in CDAs?

Beer Recipes / CDA recipe feedback
« on: February 17, 2012, 09:24:21 PM »
thinking of making another CDA this weekend.  my last one turned out great, it just took a couple months to mature.  I wanted to switch up a couple things, however.

10# maris otter
2# crystal 80
3/4# black midnight 525 (wheat sub for carafa iii?)
3/4# carapils
1/2# special B

I will steep the midnight the last 20 minutes of the mash only so the roast doesn't overpower

2oz warrior 60 min
2oz falconers flight 60 min
1oz cascade 30 min
1oz cascade 15 min
1oz falconers flight 15 min
1oz cascade 0 min

making a WLP060 american ale blend starter with some expired yeast. if that doesn't take off (I've yet to get a viable starter but just bought a stir plate for this one), I'll just pitch a US-05.

it's hard to tell from beersmith how this will work out, since I don't have a CDA style type to judge against.  but it should work out to about 6.5%, 40-45 SRM and 100+ IBU.  any suggestions as to what to change?  I have all of my specialty grains mixed together, but the midnight and the maris are separate.

Equipment and Software / proprietary hops in beersmith2
« on: February 17, 2012, 01:08:12 PM »
what's the easiest solution to using ingredients not listed in beersmith?  I've been brewing a lot lately with falconer's flight, but I have to guess on the ingredients when trying to build a recipe.  I typically just add half the amount used as simcoe and half as citra, but I honestly have no idea if this is correct.

there are other ingredients I've used as well (juniper, cardamom, etc) that aren't always listed, but I usually just add those to the notes.  I doubt they're affecting IBU or gravity enough to worry about.

All Grain Brewing / batch sparge question
« on: February 17, 2012, 08:26:47 AM »
it has occurred to me that my efficiency problems likely lie in my sparging techniques.  I know I'm not hitting the proper pH, but I suspect that was due to sparging too quickly.  I'm going to experiment with letting the sparge water soak for a solid 30 minutes this weekend to see if that helps.

but I'm curious about the temperature.  my understanding was you mash around 150 and sparge around 170.  I add hotter water, calculated by beersmith and usually about 165 for the mash to hit my 150-ish target.  I generally ad my sparge water at 185 or so to raise the grain bed temp to 170.  is this wrong?  should I be adding 170 degree water?  it might explain my astringency problems, but that doesn't make sense.  adding 170 degree water to 140-ish degree bed isn't going stop the enzyme process, right?  the bed would act as a heat sink and drop the water below 170 pretty quickly.

anyone want to share their batch sparge procedures?

All Grain Brewing / help interpreting BJCP scoresheet
« on: February 05, 2012, 12:07:19 PM »
I entered my first homebrew competition yesterday, and got my results back.  I'm pretty happy with the results (30 from a nat'l BJCP judge), but I'm looking for some help interpreting the comments and how to improve my beer.

first, the recipe:

11# maris otter
2# rye malt
1# crystal 80
1# carapils

mashed at 149 deg with 4.5 gal water, batch sparged 3 gallons. origina pH was 5.4, sparge wasn't much different

1.5 oz columbus for 60 mins
2 oz cascade for 15 minutes (and whirlafloc tablet)
2 oz willamette at flameout

safale US-05 yeast, no starter.  primary for seven days, secondary for seven days with one oz citra pellets.  forced carbed and bottled two weeks after carbonation.

OG 1.065, FG 1.013

the comments:

aroma 8/12. slightly off funk in the front, backed by citrus and a light sweetness. no DMS, slight acetaldehyde

appearance 2/3.  very hazy light orange with thin off-white head.

flavor 12/20. lightly sweet, firm bitterness. some tropical notes in the mid-palette, finishes slightly resiny.

mouthfeel 3/5. medium body, medium-light carbonation, slight late astringency, no overt alcohol.

overall 7/10. very nice, almost amber-ish in impression, and slightly astringent in the finish but still tasty.

total 30/50 (not sure why, the above adds up to 32).  none of the descriptor definitions with checked off.

the carbonation is my choice, I tend to under-carb my beers.  I get too much foam off my keg otherwise, and I actually prefer a lighter carb.  too many bubbles bite my tongue in an unpleasant way.  my next go around I'll up the hops a bit, I realize the IBUs are a tad low for an IPA.  mostly I'm concerned about the astringency and acetaldehyde.

some background: I sterilize everything with iodophor.  my mash is a ten gallon igloo cooler with a false bottom. I've had trouble with my efficiency in the past, rarely getting over 60%.  I've just learned to accept the slightly lower OG.  I've also started working with yeast starters with limited results, I don't have a stir-plate and suspect that may be a problem.

any suggestions?  I'd like to tweak this recipe a couple times before entering it in the NHC.  should I worry about adding carapils AND crystal?  is my astringency or acetaldehyde due to improper sanitation?  I haven't used star-san yet, but could start if that would help.

All Grain Brewing / is vorlauf necessary?
« on: January 03, 2012, 10:10:31 AM »
I had added this as a subtext to an efficiency question on other thread, but figure it's worth its own post.

is it necessary to vorlauf?  I've found it's easier for me to just strain my wort through a fine mesh screen into the kettle.  this way I don't get any stray grains, and the mash compacts itself eventually anyway.  I don't have a steady enough hand to pour the vorlauf back into the mash tun without disturbing the grain bed.  am I missing a key step by not pouring it back through?  is it affecting my efficiency, or am I risking some sort of hot side aeration by straining the wort?  I have been straining the entire mash and batch sparge, but I suppose I could always stop straining after the first minute or so and not have many solids make it into the kettle.

thoughts?  it seems like HSA aeration is a contentious topic, and the only reason I've seen given for the vorlauf is to prevent the grains from getting into the boil.

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