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Ingredients / Considerations making candi with lime
« on: November 11, 2018, 01:35:44 PM »
I'm attempting to make some candi syrup using pretty much the method in the Sui Generis blog.  This does away with the idea of using an acid to aid inversion, for reasons best explained in the blog. In short, he says it inhibits Maillard reactions; essentially if you use an acid, you are making inverted and caramelised syrup rather than a 'maillard' candi.

I have some lime, and once I've sorted out the problem of crystals forming during the initial (part) inversion stage, before it's added, I want to know whether I need to neutralise the alkalinity of the candi syrup at the end (and how best, if so).  It seems like there would be enough lime just in the candi to affect the alkalinity of the wort significantly.

Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated; it covers quite a few areas of expertise!

Beer Recipes / First Black IPA recipe; critique please
« on: April 11, 2018, 08:52:14 AM »
Any comments welcome - this is a first attempt for me! Cheers

Colour - I want it to be 'black' in the glass, not brown.  Dark brown in the pour and at the extreme edges would be OK.  I know that sounds unimportant, but I will be disappointed if I produce a brown IPA! Does 37 SRM sound enough? That's Brewmate's prediction, which tends to be about right on my rig.

Taste - I want a reasonable contribution from the carafa - my goal is not to produce an IPA that happens to be coloured black - but neither do I want anything acrid, charred, or just a mess.  The best black IPAs I've had manage to tread that line really well.  Hops wise, am I OK to go entirely for flameout and later, as per below? I always seem to end up with enough bitterness one way or the other.

I will prepare the water to around 90ppm CaCO3, 100 Ca, 100 Cl and 75 SO4

5.25 gal batch to around OG 1.071

Crisp Pale (Flagon) 85.5%
Munich I 5%
Crystal 80 (SRM) 5%
Carafa III (700SRM) 4.5%

153f Mash for 60 mins
WLP007 1.5L shaken starter
Ferment at 63f


None in boil

Flameout: 0.33 oz Citra leaf + 0.33 Galaxy leaf

185f: 0.33 oz Citra leaf + 0.33 Galaxy leaf + 0.33 Centennial pellet

176f: 1.33 Citra leaf + 1 oz Galaxy leaf + 0.5 Centennial pellet

Allow to cool to 167f then hold for 15 mins.

Dry Hop 1 (FV High Kraeusen @63f): 0.33 Citra pellet + 0.33 Galaxy pellet

Dry Hop 2 (FG, secondary @59f; 3 days): 3 oz Citra pellet + 3 oz Galaxy pellet

Kegging and Bottling / Transfer/bottling temperature vs oxygen
« on: April 02, 2018, 08:03:31 PM »
Never considered this before, but is there any value in me letting my NEIPA warm up before bottling? If I transfer it to the bottling bucket and bottle it at its current 34f, I guess it will absorb more oxygen during that process than at a higher temperature... though how much more, I have no idea. 

Considering how much lower we have to set the CO2 pressure on kegs for a certain vols of CO2 at (say) 41f versus 53f, the potential for colder beer to absorb gas more easily seems clear, but I haven't seen the issue discussed.  Maybe I'm missing something.

Yeast and Fermentation / Saison 'free-rise' didn't happen
« on: September 21, 2017, 08:42:24 AM »
My first saison on the go, but it hasn't produced the 'free-rise' I was hoping for, so I've had to apply the heat manually.  Anyone had successful self-rises with Belle Saison?

It was 22L of 1.041 pitched with one rehydrated sachet of BS at 66f.  Nice head of yeast after 12-18 hours. I controlled it (fridge/heat) at 66f for 30 hrs before turning off the cooling side.  It stayed pretty much there at 66, edging up maybe 2 degrees at 42 hours before the head started to fade a little and it seemed to be returning to 66, so I took an SG (1.027) at 48 hours for future reference, and set the heat for 69.  It soon looked more active again, and it's now up (manually) to 73 on day 4, but never produced it's own lift.

I've seen reports of this travelling the same difference unassisted.  I perhaps left the calcium a little low (~50ppm) compared to most of my brews, but other than that, I can't think anything else would have caused it to be sluggish.

Kegging and Bottling / Excess sediment from bottling yeast?
« on: August 05, 2017, 01:35:10 PM »
I'm considering pitching some new yeast at bottling with my current brew, considering how slowly some Belgian strains seem to carbonate at normal room temperature.

I have a 1.078 tripel in the FV, fermenting happily with WLP550. I've done quite a few Belgian beers before, around that OG.  My temps schedule tends to be to hold it around 65f for 4 or 5 days, before gradually raking it up to about 74 for the next two weeks or so.  I then crash it to 36 for a few days, prime, and bottle.  It's not unusual for them to take at least 4 weeks to carbonate at room temperature.  Sure, I can wait that long (and longer) for some maturity to develop anyway, but I have to wonder if there are advantages to reseeding the beer, like many Belgian brewers do.  Keeping the bottles at 74+ would block up my fermenting fridge, as that's the only place I could do that!

Having chilled the beer down for a few days to get it fairly clear, I don't want to introduce excess sediment to the bottles, whether it be yeast, or trub (from option b, below).  Nor do I want any detriment to the long term flavour development.  So do I:

a) Rehydrate a few g of dry yeast (please suggest which, and how much for 20L) and add that to the bottling bucket
b) Get a small (750ml?) 1.040 DME starter going 12 hours before and add that in, as one article says
c) I'm ruling out c), which was to sprinkle in dry yeast, as I did that once before and got uneven clumps, which dropped rapidly in the bottling bucket!
d) Continue without fresh yeast
e) Something else

All Grain Brewing / Diacetyl rest left too late?
« on: January 01, 2017, 04:04:43 PM »
I'm within a couple of points of my expected FG on a Pilsener, unexpectedly soon.  There's a big sulphur smell and some diacetyl to my taste, though it otherwise taste very promising.  OG was 1.047; SG currently 1.011, 5 days after pitching two rehydrated sachets of 34/70 into 21L. It's been at 54f throughout.

This is my first lager, so I'm a little unsure what to expect from here.  I've reset the brew fridge to 65f, but will this be too late to have a good effect on cleaning up the brew?

This was based on a friend's recipe, but I undershot my gravity, while pitching twice as much yeast.  I thought I'd adjusted the timescales enough in my mind before taking an SG, but it's gone quicker than my shortest expectation!

All Grain Brewing / Has Lagunitas IPA recipe changed (since 2009)?
« on: April 20, 2016, 03:02:07 PM »
I've just kegged a Lagunitas IPA clone, as detailed on the 2009 Brewing Network/Jamil show, with the Lagunitas brewer himself.  I subbed Magnum for the Horizon bittering and tweaked exact amounts for my efficiency, subbing C15 for 13L caramalt, but otherwise followed all directions pretty close, including temperatures, from mash to keg, yeast, dry hopping schedule (I used pellets) etc.  I didn't truly burtonise the water, more like 180ppm sulphate to 80 chloride, approximately.

I have a nice beer, but it is nothing like the Lagunitas IPA I buy in bottles today.  Mine is much more English, with greater presence from the crystal and WLP002 (WY1968 equivalent; 1.2L active,shaken starter in 21L), and far less hop aroma.

Looking at the recipe, it's hard for me to think this could ever have ended up close to the current offering.  Anyone tried this recently, or can offer an insight into changes in the commercial brew, which I love?

My adapted recipe:

Grain Bill
4.565 kg Pale Malt (75.76%)
0.530 kg Caramalt (8.8%)
0.365 kg Wheat Malt (6.06%)
0.338 kg Munich II (5.61%)
0.228 kg Crystal 60 (3.78%)

Hop Bill
6.0 g Magnum Leaf (17.3% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil) (0.3 g/L)
5.0 g Summit Pellet (15.8% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil) (0.2 g/L)
12.0 g Centennial Pellet (9.2% Alpha) @ 30 Minutes (Boil) (0.6 g/L)
20.0 g Willamette Pellet (4.8% Alpha) @ 30 Minutes (Boil) (1 g/L)
23.0 g Cascade Pellet (8.3% Alpha) @ 1 Minutes (Boil) (1.1 g/L)
20.0 g Cascade Pellet (8.3% Alpha) @ 0 Days (Dry Hop) (1 g/L)
20.0 g Centennial Pellet (9.2% Alpha) @ 0 Days (Dry Hop) (1 g/L)

70.5C mash

All Grain Brewing / Brewersfriend Mash Calc. CRS tweak?
« on: March 31, 2016, 02:40:51 PM »
Please can someone tell me what figure to use from the Brewersfriend Mash Chemistry calculator in treating liquor with CRS, down to a certain ppm CaCO3, testing along the way as I add it, before entering the actual ml that turned out to be required (rather than a theoretical amount), and adjusting the other salts accordingly for the desired profile? I don't trust the strength of the CRS, and experience has shown I often need less than expected, when heading for a certain ppm CaCO3.

I'm preparing 36L brewing liquor for a Lagunitas IPA clone tomorrow, though I'm not truly Burtonising it; I daren't shoot quite that high on the minerals.  Targeting 100ppm Ca with just 60 Chloride to 180 Sulphate.

Beer Recipes / BrewDog Publish All Recipes (link)
« on: February 25, 2016, 12:54:19 PM »
In case anyone missed it, a fascinating resource for those of us familiar with their beers:

DIY DOG (click)

All Grain Brewing / Mash pH during Infusion Step Mash
« on: February 13, 2016, 09:32:34 AM »
I'm planning to do a hefe this weekend, progressively adding liquor to step mash by infusion.  I have all my quantities worked out, taking the 4.7Kg of grain through various rests, starting out with only 6.6L liquor (1.4L/Kg) through to 3.9L/Kg at the end, over 100 minutes. This is something I have read others doing successfully.

My question is how (if at all) do you adapt your liquor treatment, as compared to preparing for a single infusion? Do I just calculate what pH I would be aiming for in the main beta-amylase step, or do I make adjustments for how the grains will have less buffering from the liquor at lower volumes, while they are at those rests.  Will it matter? I have about 120ppm CaCO3 (UK water!), with acidulated malt and CRS at hand.

Yeast and Fermentation / Stepping up a starter by gravity, vs volume?
« on: September 21, 2015, 03:12:09 PM »
I've just set off a 750ml shaken starter of WLP550 ('Chouffe') planning to step that up x5 by volume in the next step, ready for a 20L 1.075 tripel.  That volume is all I can get in a glass vessel, which is where I'd prefer to keep it.

It occurred to me that I could step up more, by increasing gravity and volume, perhaps up to the equivalent of a 10x volume step: five to ten times (volume) per step is a guideline I've read.  So, two questions:

1. Is stepping up the gravity ever a good idea, rather than sticking with the standard ~1.040?
2. If I do step up gravity, can I treat the increase in SG as effective as the same increase in volume? For example, if I do a second step of 5x volume and 1.5x gravity (1.060), would that be as effective (both in growth and health) as doing  a 7.5x second step at 1.040?

Yeast and Fermentation / A few bottle harvest qusetions
« on: June 18, 2015, 10:15:58 AM »

3 questions if I may, then details below.

1.  Do you you often see a krausen (or the remains of krausen, if you've missed it overnight) in any of the  steps of a bottle harvest? I haven't in my first two attempts so far: see below.

2.  Do your bottle harvest starters taste just the same, with as little sourness, as when you make starters from a lab vial? Mine haven't, yet.  I do not decant between steps, if that affects things there.

3.  Is it possible that my second 250ml step, currently on the go, has finished it's growth phase and started to clear a little within 9 hours?

I currently have 250ml of ~1.030 on the go, stepped up from 50ml of 1.020 added to the last 1cm of a bottle of St Austell Proper Job.  I saw nothing in the 1st step apart from sustained turbidity for the first day or so followed by accelerated clearing.  Last night I proceeded to this second step regardless.  I noticed a little sourness in the residue of the fist step afterwards. 

Only 9 hours later I have a jar with a good layer of trub/yeast settled and the beer starting to clear at the top.  A swish around reveals noticeable off gassing.  There's no sign of krausen marks.

This is my third attempt to culture up some commercial bottle yeast.  The first was an ~8% Belgian of unknown age; failed - it got infected in an obvious way before it got going.  I think my first step was too heavy in any case.  The second was from the dregs of 3 bottles of a local brewery which I know to be the primary yeast, which got going well through the steps and plenty of yeast was visible in the final 1 litre stage, but there was just a little too much sourness in the taste for me to pitch it.  It looked fine.

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