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Topics - dvannest

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I have, for various reasons, been unable to obtain a proper brew kettle and have only a 2 gallon stock pot. For that reason, I can really only do a 1.5 gallon boil and then dilute to the full 5 gal. My question is, do I scale down my malt addition accordingly, and add only 1/3 of the malt at the beginning of the boil, then the additional 2/3 at the end (I would do it at 10 minutes to make sure it all dissolves)?

Any advice on how to work with such a small boil but still get a full beer? My last beers have been thin and I speculate that adding all the malt at 60 in a partial boil may have something to do with it. Or maybe not. Ideas?

Thanks as always for the collective wisdom!

PS - I am making a robust porter, so I will steep my grains in 1 gal first, then add .5 gal water, boil, add malt.

My first attempt at an IPA was based on Pliny the Elder; it turned out all right but the bitterness was huge - allmost to the poit of obscuring the flavor and aroma. I mean, it was very sharp. Blew out your palate immediately. Perhaps a bit ambitious on my part.

So this time I thought I'd try something less complicated and go with a single-hop IPA. I brewed a two gallon batch consisting of 2 lbs pils DME and 1 lb amber DME. I added .5 oz of Chinook 13.3% AA at 60, 15, and 5. I racked it after a week; at that point I gave it a quick taste and I'll I got was bitter - that same sharp, unbalanced bitterness. I dry hopped with another .5 oz Chinook, and will bottle in a week.

I'm again concerned about the bitterness being too dominant - the calculator I used put it at 63 IBU, which seems quite reasonable to me, but it tastes much higher right now. Generally, I find commercial beers at 65 IBU to be pretty mellow. Do I just need to get this batch bottled and let it condition for a while? Is it supposed to be this sharp right now? Should I back off the high AA hops and go for a lower AA hop? I like bitterness, but balanced with flavor and aroma. Any thoughts on process and how to get a balanced IPA?

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