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Topics - dcb

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Yeast and Fermentation / Clay fermentation vessels
« on: January 16, 2015, 04:30:28 PM »
Just saw this article this morning.  It's about Benson Brewing of Omaha, which has begun riffing on the idea of using custom made clay amphora for fermentation and aging:

I have yet to obtain a wooden keg and we're already off to the next great thing!

Yeast and Fermentation / Brett puzzlement
« on: November 18, 2014, 02:30:43 PM »
I'm re-posting a question from the recipes section in the hopes it will attract some comments.  I'm just bottling my first brett beer and very puzzled about something.

It was brewed in June with an OG of 1.073 and fermented down to 1.012 in just over two weeks.  I racked to secondary and pitched Brett. b, where it sat for some 5 months at about 65F.   This weekend I sampled again, and while the flavor is quite different and largely as expected, the SG is still at 1.012. 

My (admittedly simplistic) picture of it was that brett is able to metabolize sugars that are not fermentable by Saccharomyces, and I expected the SG to drop by at least a few points. Clearly something has been going on, but it doesn't match my model of how this works.  What's wrong with my understanding?

(My original thread:

General Homebrew Discussion / Commercial recipes posted online
« on: October 03, 2014, 01:20:48 AM »
From a thread in a Seattle homebrew club's mail list, I ran across links to a couple of commercial breweries that post their recipes for all to see.

One is Gigantic Brewing Company from Porland, OR.  All recipes are scaled to 1 bbl, and the proportions of the ingredients are both interesting and instructive.  The grain bills that I've looked are are restrained in the number of types, and the hops are often tilted will toward the whirlpool or dryhop phase-- both of which are principles often extolled here.

Another is Modern Times of San Diego.   Their recipes are scaled to an amateur-friendly 5 gal batch size.

As a software engineer who spends a lot of time in the open-source world, I love this concept.  As a fairly new brewer who is starting to explore recipe formulation, these resources are especially noteworthy.

Events / Seattle: Elliot Bay Invitational
« on: September 24, 2014, 03:06:42 AM »
Any Seattle people going to this?  I bought two tickets.   From

Come enjoy an afternoon in our Cascade Hall together with a unique collection of 15 Barrel-aged, Blended, and Sour Beers carefully curated by Elliott Bay brewers from among some of the region’s most respected and innovative breweries.

Ingredients / Interesting combination of flavors
« on: September 24, 2014, 02:26:08 AM »
I brewed the Rye IPA below a few weeks ago.  It is basically Denny's Rye IPA with a bit less rye, combined with hops that I simply made up based on what I had in the freezer and an idea in my mind of what I wanted a beer to taste like.  It was very much an experiment.

There is one very curious aspect to the taste that I'm at a loss to explain.  There is a very pronounced hop flavor.  I've brewed with Amarillo before, which are reputed to have that flavor, and I've also brewed with Amarillo + Cascade.   I've never brewed with Mosaic.   There is some synchronicity of flavors going on here that puzzles me.  Is it the combination of the hops with each other?  Or the rye?  I find this fascinating in the best possible way.

I quite like this beer and will enjoy drinking it.  That said, when I next brew it I'd like it to have a bit less of a monochromatic hop taste.  The bitterness is about where my palate likes it, but the flavors and aromas could definitely tickle more parts of the mouth and nose.   Comments and suggestions are hereby solicited.

Brew Method: All Grain
Style Name: American IPA
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 6 gallons (fermentor volume)
Efficiency: 65% (brew house)

Original Gravity: 1.066
Final Gravity: 1.019
ABV (standard): 6.25%
IBU (tinseth): 64.61
SRM (morey): 8.95

11 lb - American - Pale 2-Row (65.7%)
2 lb - American - Munich - Light 10L (11.9%)
0.75 lb - American - Caramel / Crystal 40L (4.5%)
2 lb - American - Rye (11.9%)
0.5 lb - Belgian - Caramel Pils (3%)
0.5 lb - American - Wheat (3%)

0.5 oz - Columbus, Type: Pellet, AA: 15, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 22.37
0.5 oz - Mosaic, Type: Pellet, AA: 13, Use: Aroma for 10 min, IBU: 7.03
0.5 oz - Amarillo, Type: Pellet, AA: 8.6, Use: Aroma for 10 min, IBU: 4.65
0.5 oz - Cascade, Type: Pellet, AA: 7, Use: Aroma for 10 min, IBU: 3.78
0.75 oz - Mosaic, Type: Pellet, AA: 13, Use: Whirlpool for 20 min at 180 °F, IBU: 12.17
0.75 oz - Amarillo, Type: Pellet, AA: 8.6, Use: Whirlpool for 20 min at 180 °F, IBU: 8.05
0.75 oz - Cascade, Type: Pellet, AA: 7, Use: Whirlpool for 20 min at 180 °F, IBU: 6.55
1 oz - Mosaic, Type: Pellet, AA: 13, Use: Dry Hop for 0 days
1 oz - Amarillo, Type: Pellet, AA: 8.6, Use: Dry Hop for 0 days
1 oz - Cascade, Type: Pellet, AA: 7, Use: Dry Hop for 0 days

1) Infusion, Temp: 152 F, Time: 75 min
Starting Mash Thickness: 1.5 qt/lb

1 each - Whirflock, Time: 15 min, Type: Fining, Use: Other

Fermentis / Safale - American Ale Yeast US-05

Profile Name: Light colored and hoppy
Ca2: 75
Mg2: 5
Na: 10
Cl: 50
SO4: 150
HCO3: 0
Water Notes:
1.5 t gypsum
1t CaCl2

Beer Recipes / 185 Days Until Christmas
« on: June 22, 2014, 07:16:09 PM »
I'm gaining confidence by the batch, and would like to try to put something special up to be ready to drink about Christmas time.  My wife and I love Belgians, and pretty much anything with Brett in it.  I'm picturing something like a dubbel, but drier, maybe with some dark fruit notes, and a bit of a complicated funk.

My thought is to modify a recipe I found elsewhere that purports to be similar to Chimay Red, and pitch some Brett into a long secondary.  I have a great place under the stairs in my basement that stays 65 - 68F, so I can put it out of the way and let it work.  I have already made the candy syrup (see and cannot wait to taste it in a beer.

I would appreciate feedback from those with more experience than I have, especially if you see a potential problem that I've missed.

5.25 gallon batch

8 lb. Belgian Pilsner
2 lb. Munich (20 L)
0.5 lb. Caramunich
0.5 lb. Special B
1.5 lb. homemade candy syrup
1.5 oz. Willamette (3.2% AA) - first wort hop (original recipe called for Tettnanger, but I have something bordering on a fetish for local hops)

WY 1241
Brett l. (WY 5526) in secondary

All Grain Brewing / First AG batch (and first post)
« on: January 26, 2014, 02:59:17 PM »
Yesterday a friend and I dove in with our first all-grain batch.  It would be hard to think of a more enjoyable way to pass the afternoon.  Overall, we were pleased with the process, hitting mash temps exactly and getting an OG just a bit low (1.058 whereas the recipe called for 1.065).  We had a couple of surprised that I'd appreciate comments on.

The first thing that surprised us was how dry the mash was at mash in.   We used 13.625 pounds of grain and 20 qts of water per Beersmith.   That was enough to moisten the grain well but there was no standing liquid and there would have been zero run-off from that.  I was expecting it to be somewhat soupy.  Does this sound right?

The other thing was that we lost a good bit more in the boil than expected.  We started the boil with 5.9 gal but recovered only about 4.25 gal in the fermenter.  We kept a nice gentle boil going for an hour but didn't feel like it was too terribly dramatic.    While cleaning up, I squeezed the hop-crud left in the pot to see how much might have been soaked up but managed to get only 12 more ounces, which didn't account for much of the loss.

Still, we were pleased with the results.  We felt like the wort tasted clean and sweet and hoppy, and if we got our sanitation right we'll end up with something very enjoyable.   It'll be six weeks until we know if this was just hubris on our parts, but the airlock was bubbling away nicely this morning so we'll go with that optimism for the time being.

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