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Topics - pmallory

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Ingredients / Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpin
« on: November 04, 2011, 09:24:47 AM »
Does anybody have any ideas on recipes or type of hops or malt used for Lagunitas' Little Sumpin Sumpin Ale. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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All Grain Brewing / Sparge Water Temperature and pH
« on: August 23, 2011, 12:45:05 AM »
When I sparge, my water in my hot liquor tank drops about 10 degrees over the 30-45 minutes it takes me to sparge. I usually start at 170 and it drops to 160, which is low. I am thinking I could start quite a bit higher. At 178 I'm not so sure I would leach out tannins which would be the main concern with sparging at a high temperature. The reason is because the pH is still relatively low at the beginning of the sparge and only at the end of the sparge would leaching be an issue. But, at the end of my sparge, my water has dropped 10 degrees so a high pH would not be an issue. Having my water go from 178 to 168 doesn't seem to be a problem for this reason.

Me and some other brewers were trying to figure out how decoction mashing worked, as in why it didn't leach tannins out of grain even though you are boiling them. We concluded it must be because the grains in the thick mash that is boiled keeps the pH low and doesn't allow leaching because both high temperature and high pH are required for the leaching of these tannins.

Any thoughts?

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Ingredients / I have a male hop plant
« on: August 07, 2011, 10:47:41 PM »
I have a male hop plant because I found them in the wild. It is already too late this year and the hop cones on the females have seeds. Is it as simple as just removing the male rhizomes? I know this is very similar to growing weed. Do I have to worry about the seeds from the cones being dropped and being planted next year?

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Ingredients / Cacao Nibs
« on: July 27, 2011, 05:47:15 PM »
Do cacao nibs melt in boiling wort? Has anybody used these? When do you add them and how much to get subtle but noticeable flavor? Would you rather just use bitter baker's chocolate?

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Ingredients / Hazlenut Beer
« on: July 13, 2011, 06:16:29 PM »
I have tasted a hazlenut brown ale by Rogue and it was great. I know they use hazlenut extract. Has anyone brewed with actual nuts, like peanut butter, almond butter, or hazlenut butter and not the extract? I am curious how the oils would act in the boil kettle. Would the yeast like all those oils? Can't they use them to make sterols?

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All Grain Brewing / First Wort Hopping
« on: June 10, 2011, 08:27:43 PM »
For first wort hopping what is the utilization, is it about 30%? Does it add any flavor? I've read it adds aroma. I'm just curious how to adjust my recipe if I even need to at all. Do you need to add aroma hops or is it taken care of with the First wort hopping.

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Yeast and Fermentation / oxygen for a sour beer
« on: April 12, 2011, 05:08:39 PM »
I just made a beer with belgian yeast, and when I racked it I added Russian River critters from a bottle of sour into the secondary. I am wondering if I should do something to get more oxygen into the fermenter. I am thinking of just putting foil on top. Would that put too much oxygen in though? Don't brett and acetobacter really like oxygen? Would it taste too vinegary if there is acetobacter in the russian river bottles? I was also thinking of just taking the top of the fermenter off once a week or so. any help would be great.

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Ingredients / Hops for an IPA
« on: April 08, 2011, 05:47:47 PM »
It seems that IPAs have the biggest range for types of hops that can be used. It seems like it used to be a narrower range, but now I see Citra, Simcoe, Amarillo, Chinook, whatever. I'd like to know what other people use for American IPAs. Does anybody have any combinations that work well? Or hops you are attached to for bittering, aroma, or flavoring? I was thinking of trying to incorporate some type of balance between citrus and piny, or citrus and earthy. I am also fascinated by single hop strains. It just seems the options are overwhelming, in a good way, but if anyone has any favorites I'd love to hear about them. Ive been experimenting with Amarillo, and feel they'd be better with some other hop to balance even though they can be used in a single hop beer. I have more experimenting to do.

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Ingredients / Wild Hops
« on: March 29, 2011, 07:12:58 PM »
A few years ago I found some wild hops in northern New Mexico. I returned last spring when they were first coming up and cut out 6 rhizomes and took them back to my garden. I built a raised bed and mixed in some great soil and harvested them. I've had them stored for a while now and am going to brew with them. I got about 9 ounces for this first year and I want to brew a 10 gallon batch using only these hops. I am trying to think of what kind of recipe to use for this. I am guessing the alpha acid is low, around 4, but who knows. Also, it seems like a waste to use these as bittering hops, but I really do want a beer that uses only this hop. I'd like to do a pale ale, but for the hopping schedule, I haven't decided yet. Let me know if you have any ideas how to emphasize the hop.

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Yeast and Fermentation / Dry Yeast Activation
« on: March 29, 2011, 07:02:35 PM »
Quick question: the ingredients on one of my packets of Safale Dry Yeast says to activate: sprinkle in wort. I just read 'Yeast' by Chris White and he talks about why not to do that. Would it be better to activate it in water even though the instructions say wort? I was wondering if the dry yeast packet has enough yeast that it can afford to lose some when activated in wort instead of water.

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Kegging and Bottling / Bentonite
« on: March 07, 2011, 06:18:17 PM »
I recently found out that one of my favorite local breweries uses Bentonite to clarify their beer. I never got around to asking how to use it. I figured you added it late in the process, maybe close to bottling/kegging. Does anybody have any experience using this in homebrewing? Also, I know it is a mineral, so I am guessing you have to be pretty careful to not accidentally bottle any?

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Yeast and Fermentation / Canning Yeast Starters
« on: March 05, 2011, 04:49:51 PM »
I canned my first batch of starters using a pressure cooker. I followed the usual recipe for starters, 1 cup of light DME per quart of water. I feel the color of the starter, after the pressure cooking is much darker than it should be, or than it was before I cooked it. Is this some sort of Mailard reaction? Or could this color change be in my head? Anybody else notice something similar when they do it?

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Yeast and Fermentation / Pitchable Dregs
« on: February 18, 2011, 07:05:34 PM »
Has anybody had any successful dreg-pitching stories? Or has anyone cultured and propogated up from dregs out of a bottle? I want to know some of the bottles that can be used that don't use a different strain to carbonate. I guess the best way is just to try it out.

I recently used a Bam Biere from Jolly Pumpkin and had great success. I just pitched the last inch into my fermenter with another Belgian yeast. Since I didn't propagate up, it didn't dry my beer out. It finished at 1.010 after five months and had a nice brett pelicle when I kegged it. I could have let it go longer but it just tasted great so I'd rather drink it than watch it. Anyways, all of Jolly Pumpkins beers are sour and have pitchable yeast. The sour is a little bit subtle and it has a good amount of brett.

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Ingredients / High Quality Hops
« on: February 18, 2011, 05:18:11 PM »
I recently ordered some cheap Cascade hops for around $10 / pound. They were decent quality at best, not very good. I would only use them in malt oriented beers, and probably won't buy them again. They were from NicoBrew. I am curious if anybody has favorite places for ordering hops, and not because of price, but for flavor and quality. I think this last batch of hops has taught me not to skimp on ingredients. What about good organic hops? Anybody know of any good farms to buy from?

I found some great organic (although not certified) Cascade hops. DeSmet Farms out of Albuquerque, NM are great. They sometimes have Willamette also. I've been to the farm and got to see their care for the plants. I also grew my own and that's a great way to know how high of quality you are using.

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Yeast and Fermentation / Yeast Lab
« on: January 21, 2011, 03:21:01 PM »
I am interested in starting a little yeast lab at home with test tubes and petri dishes. I know that owning a microscope isn't necessary, but I am thinking about getting one. So, I don't know how good of quality it has to be to for yeast. Does anyone know what magnification power I would need for it? How about a price range to look for or where to get them. Any good brands that aren't too expensive? Any other advice before I hop in? All I have to go on is a few books.

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