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Messages - yaleterrace

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: High Final Gravities
« on: March 05, 2011, 08:35:58 AM »
Hey everybody, back after a few days (just got a chest freezer and did the kegerator conversion routine).  So I tried a quick fermentation test with Safale US-05 and S-04 packets, no results.  I did try pitching a super high gravity yeast (WLP-099) on one of my stuck fermentations in the carboy, and it got right to work.  I also plan on checking all of my thermometers with a friend's that don't reside in my brew room.  Otherwise, I'll be adjusting my mash schedule somewhat, although I am still left puzzled as to why I began having these issues about 10 batches ago, (well after switching to a 20gal Blichmann mash tun).

On a side note about the saison, the grain bill was formulated to get a high FG beer, since I don't like the bitingly dry traditional style.  Instead of getting a dry and thin beer, I was looking to replace dry for hoppy bitterness, and let this offset the residual sweetness.  Toward the end of secondary, I pitched an Abbey Ale yeast starter on the whole shebang to play up the Belgian influence, and the results were great, until I got a much higher FG on the last attempt.  Oh, and the sacc. rests were 45 min @ 147 and 25 min @ 158.  Cheers!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: krausen equation
« on: November 20, 2010, 03:21:09 PM »
Okay, so now everyone has the background (didn't want to get into all this):
I am brewing 10 - 15 gallon batches every 7 - 10 days (not exceeding more than 200.00 gal/yr) so I have the capacity to store and reincorporate unfermented wort.  Given that overall ambient fermentation room temperature in my home changes only +/- 5 degF per ale fermentation cycle (seasonally), I am not concerned about conditional variables as far as the differences for the gyle refermentation is concerned.  I would also like to eliminate the use of refined sugar us in my processes.  (So I take pride in turning malted barley into sugar.  So what?)  As it is now, I have almost exclusively employed dextrose as a refermentation fermentable, but recently having acquired the total apparatus for kegging multiple batches, I am not so fond of the mouthfeel of my force-carbonated batches.  Also, as I understand it, the alcohol content can be determined much more accurately with gyle refermentation since the total fermentable component of the wort is identical between the original batch and the gyle, and since fermentation has ceased post secondary fermentation, I will know the exact fractional fermentability between OG and FSG.  This means I can create a beer with no processed sugar extracts, naturally ferment it, and do so with relative ease once I can wrap my head around some numbers.  Worth it to me.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: krausen equation
« on: November 20, 2010, 03:07:37 PM »
you posted the metric equation for starters...

i have never used pellet hops, and never will, because i have some inexplicable attraction to whole leaf hops.  Beyond pellet/whole hop ratios, (which should basically be an alpha acid content difference, and can be measured accordingly,) there are also some other factors, mainly freshness and volume.  Pelletizing hops is great for many reasons, from what I hear, including the smaller amount of space needed for storage, but they can stale faster as well.  It is certainly a matter of storage, and how quickly they are used, etc., but I like the idea of using unprocessed, fresh (dried, but not old) hops in my beer.  Pelletized hops will also break up almost immediately in a boil, and can clog/coat equipment more so than whole leaf cones.

good luck and cheers!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Homebrewing and children bad??
« on: May 22, 2010, 09:55:05 AM »
it all depends on state law in your neck of the woods.  brewing up to 200gal/year is legal in most states but not all.  have a local homebrew store?  if so, you're in a good state.

as far as the inspection is concerned, i wouldnt hide the whole setup and pretend nothings going on, esp since the investigator knows youre brewing already.  there is, however, some concern to be expressed for character assessment, since many people stigmatize homebrewing unfairly ("duh-uhhh... is that a meth lab?).  just be straight about it, and call it your hobby.

good luck, and cheers!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Things you should not do
« on: April 10, 2010, 09:14:21 AM »
Do not take the lid off a bucket of beer that has been fermenting for a week, put your face about an inch away from the beer and deeply breath in the aroma.

Trust me on this one.
 I think I hurt my nose and I got dizzy for a few seconds.

I'd also add that this might not be too helpful for your beer mid-fermentation, if you care about keeping bugs out.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: NHC re-brewing question
« on: April 10, 2010, 09:11:19 AM »
I entered an imperial brown in the specialty beer category.  I'd like to brew a similar recipe this weekend that I could enter in the second round on the off-chance my beer makes it.  Since its the specialty beer category how similar would the beer need to be to the first beer?  For example- could I enter a black IPA instead of an imperial brown or does it need to be of the same base style? I ask because I'd like to brew a black IPA this weekend but I have no more of the imperial brown and who knows whether I'll go through to second round.


Hi Cliff,

Re-brewing is allowed for any style entered in the National Homebrew Competition.  Unfortunately, you have to submit the same style that was originally entered; that is, I doubt a black IPA would fare as well in the judging since it would be judged as an imperial brown ale, which is how the entry is described in the competition database.

Good luck in the competition!

    Janis Gross
    National Homebrew Competition Director
    AHA Project Coordinator

Janis, I think your explanation is nice and concise, but I'd lose the "unfortunately".  Nothing unfortunate about needing to brew again!  Especially since I think we could all use some practice in replicating recipes for good measure.  Not to mention it would be nothing but unfair to get your foot in the door with one beer, then switch it up with something that might not have even made it through the 1st round.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cost Per Batch?
« on: April 10, 2010, 09:06:05 AM »
My typical pale ale runs around 35 or 45 bucks (all grain) for 5 gal, but i just make a maple DIPA that weighed in at $125/9gal (at 9.5%ABV) so it really depends.  My next batch is a belgian gruit / robust porter blend, and I don't skimp on the herbs, so it'll probably wind up at around $200/ 17.5 gal. ($57/5 gal).

For me, the idea is not "how do I make a clone, but cheap?", I'm more of a "nobody but me makes this" kinda guy.  that's not to say you are shooting for what I'm doing, or vice-versa.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Smoked Oak Chips in Secondary
« on: April 10, 2010, 08:32:15 AM »
Sound input, thanks guys.  I wound up just lightly toasting the oak for this batch, after I drizzled it with some homemade vanilla extract.  I think I'll probably try smoking some oak soon, and try including it in a side fermentation with my next batch.  The real goal is not to achieve a fully smoke-flavored beer, but more to layer some subtle wood-on-wood flavors into the whole thing.  I picked oak as an ideal wood for a few reasons, namely its traditional use as an additive or vessel material, but also because the shavings provide excellent surface area as opposed to chips or cubes, while remaining tough enough to not fall apart.  We shall see.

Either way, I'll post my results as soon as i get to the smoke test.

General Homebrew Discussion / Smoked Oak Chips in Secondary
« on: April 03, 2010, 08:53:36 AM »
I am making a blended ale right now; it is my second go-around with this recipe.  It is a split batch of high gravity (1.100) worts fermented in primary with dry english and belgian yeasts.  The recipe includes crystal 90, belgian spec B and coffee malts with enough hops to balance, not compete.  The last time, I blended them together over lignum vitae/palo santo chips and shavings in secondary and it was great.  I got to thinking I'd like to try some toasted oak in this beer, and then got to thinking it might be a fun experiment to try smoking some oak chips and shavings to use.

Is this a horrible idea that will yield nothing but pain, humiliation and rejection from my regular drinkers?
Has anyone tried this, as opposed to smoking the grain?
Is there a wood I can smoke with that will impart a perceivable but not overpowering aroma/flavor to the oak?
Anything I'm missing?

Thanks, and cheers!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: how do you
« on: February 04, 2010, 05:53:47 PM »
As was said, a Cream Stout is a stout with lactose (aka a sweet stout). See

I personally do not like sweet stouts so I don't have a recipe, maybe someone else will chime in. Basically though, make a 1.050-1.060 stout and add about 1/2 lb of lactose per 5 gallons of beer. For a relatively accessible example try Mackson's Sweet Stout  (yuck!) ;)

+1 on the YUCK to Mackesons

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's your Favorite Style of Beer?
« on: February 04, 2010, 05:52:14 PM »
RIS for winter drinking (cant wait for 3/1 to get some KTG at Portsmouth!) and probably IPA or a belgian gold for the warmer months.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Astringency in dark beers
« on: February 04, 2010, 05:34:15 PM »
maybe its just me, but i never go above 175 on the high-end for mash-out with a batch sparge.  the closer i get to 170, the less tannic and astringent my ales are.  then again, i did a one step decoction for my last pale, and that 212d didnt hurt anything.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: dextrose?
« on: February 04, 2010, 05:14:59 PM »
yep, dextrose is industry terminology for corn-derived sugar.  it is the most common sugar for bottle-conditioned/refermented priming homebrew.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: okay here it goes
« on: February 04, 2010, 05:12:29 PM »
hell yes i'll taste your beer!  notes is a small price to pay.  in fact. i hereby open myself up to anyone who wants a critical tasting!  is this an extract, partial, or all grain batch?

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