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Topics - hopaddicted

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General Homebrew Discussion / Storing Fresh Hops
« on: September 01, 2010, 02:05:04 AM »
I pick a big ole bag of hops from a family member's house (they grow them for suncover in the front of their house not for beer brewing), I plan on using them (or at least a large chunk) this weekend. Do I need to do anything special for storing them? My biggest fear is mold since they are fresh moist hops. Do I have to worry about mold that quickly? Any storage recommendations? Ziplocks? Open bags to air out? Room temp? Fridge? Freezer?

I keep my dried hops in the freezer, but not sure if they are the same since they have not dried yet. Would brown paper bags be better than plastic?

Ingredients / Ginger
« on: August 25, 2010, 04:36:17 PM »
Has anyone had any experience brewing with ginger? I think I have seen it a few times in a spice blend for a beer, but never as the main attraction (or at least a headliner).

Any thoughts, experiences, or suggestions are appreciated.

Yeast and Fermentation / Brett Flavor from Wyeast 3724
« on: August 17, 2010, 04:16:36 AM »
I brewed a saison back on 6/26 using 3724, and after kegging and letting the yeast settle out, I am finding a brett like barnyard flavor to the saison, definitely not what I was expecting. I have never used brett before (at the time of pitching and kegging), so no chance of cross contamination from previous use. Being a farmhouse ale strain, is it possible to have some critters in there? I used the fermenter afterwards for my Cranberry Lambic, so no fears of accidental contamination if the saison somehow got some brett, but thinking it was just an Saccharomyces strain, the rest of my soft supplies have been exposed. I am sure I am probably worrying over nothing, but any thoughts on what this flavor may be if it isn't brett? Any chance of some stray brett? It hasn't fermented long, so I wouldn't expect much funk yet, but I have heard horror stories of brett ruining homebreweries of those who were not careful and nerves are getting me a little I guess.

I fermented on the low end (high 60's, low to mid 70's), no other yeasts.

0.50 lb Maize, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Adjunct 4.26 %
0.25 lb Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 2.13 %
8.50 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 72.34 %
1.00 lb Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 8.51 %
1.00 lb Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 8.51 %
0.25 lb Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 2.13 %
0.25 lb Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 2.13 %
1.00 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] (60 min) Hops 18.0 IBU
1.00 oz Saaz [4.00 %] (60 min) Hops 13.3 IBU
1.00 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] (15 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) Hops - 
1.00 oz Saaz [4.00 %] (5 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) Hops - 
0.25 items Lemon Zest (Boil 5.0 min) Misc 
0.50 items Grapefruit Zest (Boil 5.0 min) Misc 
0.50 items Orange Zest (Boil 5.0 min) Misc 
1.00 gm Seeds of Paradise (Boil 5.0 min) Misc 

Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.063 SG
 Measured Original Gravity: 1.064 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.016 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.06 %  Actual Alcohol by Vol: 7.05 %
Bitterness: 31.3 IBU Calories: 285 cal/pint
Est Color: 5.9 SRM Color: Color 
Mash Profile
Mash Name: My Mash Total Grain Weight: 11.75 lb
Sparge Water: 0.97 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE Mash PH: 5.4 PH
My Mash Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Step 1 Add 17.49 qt of water at 166.2 F 153.0 F
10 min Step Add 10.93 qt of water at 202.2 F 170.0 F



Commercial Beer Reviews / Chimey Red
« on: August 07, 2010, 02:43:05 AM »
My New Year's Resolution this year was to better appreciate Belgians. I was a stout guy and found Belgians too sweet and spicy/fruity.

Well after starting the year off brewing two Belgians and taking advantage of Ommegang not far from me, I was really able to appreciate Chimey. Though it sure hurt at the register, what a beer! My daughter was born three weeks ago and has spent more than half of her life in the hospital so far. After a six day hospital stay to start her life out, we were able to take her home for 9 days before taking her back for another six days. Just prior to the 2nd trip to the hospital, my father and brother sent me Brew Like a Monk and Farmhouse Ales. BLAM was great and I spent six days salivating thinking about great Belgians while I pushed through a mediocre 6 pack of Dundee Oktoberfest. Well after bringing my precious daughter back to my SIL's today I cracked open a Chimay Red. What a worthy brew! Starts with that majestic Belgian pour, huge head that doesn't seem to budge. All good things to those who wait. Such complexity and character. Great malty flavor without being at all cloying. So smooth, the esters from the yeast just draw you in until you get to the disappointing bottom of the glass and are left begging for more. I just wish I had another beer drinker to share one with (wife's family doesn't drink).

Yeast and Fermentation / Lactobacillus Sanitation
« on: August 01, 2010, 03:39:16 PM »
Does the same care of cross contamination need to be taken with Lacto that is taken with Brett strains?

I have an older batch of Lacto sitting in my fridge that I want to use up. Any recommendations for a starter? I've heard apple juice (not sure how much), higher starter temps 90-125 degrees, plain LDME...

Plan on either just pitching the lacto or possibly starting with the lacto and adding a witbier yeast after a few days. Still working on the recipe as I see what I have laying around.

Kegging and Bottling / Cold Break in Keg
« on: August 01, 2010, 12:59:18 AM »
For the first time after taking the advice of several on this forum, I skipped the secondary and went right to the keg. The brew is a Saison that spent 4-5 weeks in primary and ended below estimated final gravity from Beersmith.

I poured the first draft and it was opaque and almost creamy in appearance. The smell is overpowering yeasty. I am assuming that the yeast just settled and is coming out now. I used Wyeast's Saison (don't recall #) and force carbonated. I kegged the brew about a week ago, but just pressurized it initially, only force carbonating it last night.

Do I have anything to worry about?

Yeast and Fermentation / Cold Crashing Your Yeast Starter
« on: July 28, 2010, 06:57:37 PM »
I've seen several mentions of cold crashing your yeast starter to pitch just the yeast and dump the beer. My question is how long does it normally take, as a rule of thumb, to cold crash an ale yeast. I understand that some yeasts probably vary and I am also assuming that lager yeasts will take longer as well (though no clue how much longer). I am just looking for a ballpark estimate for planning purposes.

Beer Recipes / 1776 Porter from Radical Brewing
« on: July 26, 2010, 01:32:15 PM »
Has anyone brewed this before?

I haven't brewed someone else's recipe in a long time, but this one really has my interest and I have been meaning to brew it for a while now. I am a little concerned about it's ability to convert itself though. Below is the base recipe:

4.5 # English pale malt
4.5 # biscuit
4.5 # brown

I would love to use MO for the pale malt, but have considered replacing it with 6-row. Randy Mosher even points out that the brown malt may not convert itself and the Biscuit malt that I am using, from Castle, has no enzymes. Though 6-row should be able to help convert, I am not confident that MO is capable.

Any thoughts or advice?

Yeast and Fermentation / Wyeast 1335 - British Ale II
« on: July 26, 2010, 12:57:38 PM »
Has anyone had any problems with this yeast strain?

I popped my activator pack yesterday late afternoon and I didn't see any activity before I headed to bed. I check it right before I headed to bed and verified the packet inside was popped and sure enough it was and still virtually no swelling (almost looks like a small swell, but not sure). This morning I figured I had nothing to lose by opening it up and throwing it in my starter. It smelt kind of funky too. I happen to have another pack of the same strain, so I'll probably make another starter and see if maybe that is just the natural funk of the yeast.

The package is still young (manufactured 22Jun10), was refrigerated as soon as it arrived, and has been in my household refrigerator, so it's condition should be strong.

I don't normally use an airlock when I make a starter, but I threw one on today to monitor it's progress.

Any other suggestions?

Kegging and Bottling / Filtration Systems
« on: July 20, 2010, 01:16:02 PM »
I'm new to kegging and was surprised to find filtration systems pretty reasonable priced.

How many people utilize filtration in their brewing process? Are you happy with the results?

I have been impressed with the clarity gain of lagering, not that my ales were bad either (always use a secondary).

I don't expect much of a gain, but for the fairly modest cost and potential flexibility of the system (may double it as a hpback as well) it makes sense to add to the arsenal eventually.

Appreciate opinions.

Beer Recipes / Cranberry Lambic
« on: July 13, 2010, 03:02:16 AM »
I am planning on brewing my first lambic shortly, a Cranberry Lambic (5G batch). Any recommendations for a recipe? I am tentatively looking to keep it simple:

6 lbs Six row pale malt
3 lbs Unmalted Red Wheat
1 lb Dark Munich Malt
2 oz Willamette (vintage 2007)
Wyeast 3942 Belgian Wheat

I have some rice hulls, not too sure how much open, but plan to add some to compensate for the large quantity of wheat. Probably going to try to do a turbid mash with full array of rests and shoot for a high mash temp (155 degrees) for the main mash, I'm a sucker for the traditional methods (even if they aren't needed with the grains available now). I'm going to add the cranberries and a Lambic Blend or Roeselare Ale Blend to the secondary. Fermenting in plastic the whole time.

Any suggestions would be appreciated...

General Homebrew Discussion / Problem with Empty Barrels
« on: July 09, 2010, 01:06:39 PM »
I read something somewhere (maybe radical brewing), about keeping a used wine barrel (50-60 gallon) empty being an issue. Is it actually an issue to keep a wine barrel empty? If so, how much beer at a minimum should be in there?

I was planning on asking some local wineries for used barrels to store my collection of sours I am looking to start. I was only planning on doing five gallons at a time, then beginning to blend once I got an idea of what my beer tasted like, so that I could tweak the recipe until I eventually had a full barrel of blended ages.

I would wait to start collecting the barrels, but I move with my work potentially every three years or so and am in a very populated quality wine area, so I think it will be fairly easy to find what I am looking for.

Appreciate any suggestions...

I just started lagering and sure enough within two days of throwing a batch in the fridge, the temp rose up to 56 degrees and has stayed between 56 and 60 degrees (primarily around 56). I used the White Labs WLP800 on the German Pilsner and the WLP820 on the Oktoberfest. What effect will these temperatures have with these yeasts? Will some extra time in the secondary or at colder temps help any off flavors that may be generated by the higher fermentation temps? I am not planning on serving until October (saving for an Oktoberfest party, date TBD) and will wait to keg until necessary (to avoid the temptation of drinking it all before the party). I am planning on tasting tonight to see how it is doing so far. Any advice/input appreciated.

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