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Messages - erockrph

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1
Other Fermentables / Re: Watermelon mead
« on: Today at 05:17:38 AM »
I might try this myself. Agreed  that cooking the juice might not work nor the rinds. I'm into dehydrating some watermelon and adding for a few days before racking into tertiary for a short ageing. I'm still into a very small raspberry addition. I do it with rhodamels and it doesn't take over but adds a nice color and acidic note.
If I do this I will wait for the local watermelon crop. I think the drought we are having will be to our advantage in that the melons will have less water and more concentrated flavor.
Yep, I think it will be a good year for melons in our area. I find that you need a string of 90+ degree days for the best results with melons, and not too much rain as they are ripening. And we're certainly in the middle of both situations right now.

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Other Fermentables / Re: Watermelon mead
« on: July 25, 2016, 05:39:48 PM »
Hi Eric!
I love the idea. However, I have to say that I agree with you that even with 100% watermelon juice I fear it won't taste as watermelony as you would like. This reminds me of the time Jerry wanted to date the roommate of the woman he was dating. He and George agreed it was an impossible maneuver but eventually came up with a foolproof plan ( the threesome).
So this is my brainstorming.
1. No extracts etc.: smells like perfume.
2.: How about reducing the juice by boiling down. Maybe 5/1.
3. Does the rind have any oils? You could put it all through a macerating juicer and add to tertiary.
4. You could dehydrate slices of watermelon and dry watermelon in secondary.
5. For acid, instead of just lemons add some raspberry or macerated cranberries. This will be a complementary flavor but also turn it more pink. I find with subtle fruit flavors that being the "right" color tricks the mind a bit.
6. What's the watermelon hops? El Dorado?
7. Serve with a slice of watermelon over watermelon ice cubes.

Good thoughts. I had considered the reduction, but I'm always afraid that you'll get "cooked" flavors that just aren't the same as fresh fruit. If the rind has oils, it doesn't remind me of the fresh fruit character I'm looking for. The rind always seems to have a "green" note that doesn't interest me. Same with dry hopping - I've tried it in cider and I'm not a huge fan because of the other hop flavors and bitterness that carry over.

As far as the berries go, that sounds like a good idea, but I think they would take over the melon too quickly.  I like lemon here because it can give a citric tang without too much flavor impact. The dry-meloning sounds like a great idea if I can find the opportunity to dry out some melon slices.

The real winner sounds like melon cubes. It kind of fits the sangria vibe I'd hope to get out of this. I'm also thinking of backsweetening with more melon juice, since I'm sure this would end up bone dry. This is sort of how I make sweet ciders - target a higher ABV than where you want to finish, then backsweeten by diluting with fresh juice.

I really wish I could sample the brix on melons in the market. I've heard that they can range from 10-15 brix. Obviously, the super-ripe ones would be way better for this application.

3
Other Fermentables / Watermelon mead
« on: July 24, 2016, 07:56:23 AM »
I've been on a big watermelon kick this summer, and got to thinking about brewing a watermelon mead. Has anyone here ever brewed one? My thought was to handle it like a cyser - replace all the water in the mead recipe with watermelon juice. My only concern is that watermelon is so subtle that even at 100% of the liquid content it might not be particularly flavorful.

I'm thinking of targeting the 8-10% ABV range, and using lemon juice if needed to boost the acidity at the end.

4
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 30m boil help
« on: July 24, 2016, 05:58:14 AM »
I think there MIGHT be a chance for DMS on a short boil if you are using old school under modified malt.  BTW the last pils I did the majority of IBU was from a 30m hopstand/whirlpool (just like my IPA) and it rocked.  Right now, the hopstand/whirlpool is the time killer but I think it is worth it.
I think it is more related to the kilning rather than the modification if the malt. Higher kilned malts will have more if the DMS precursors driven off and pose less risk of DMS formation in the boil.

5
I make a nice cream ale using 1056 that's done well in comps. I hold 60F for 4 days, then ramp slowly up to ~ 68F. Makes a really clean beer.

Do you do any extended lagering for it, or do you just cold crash/fine before packaging?

I just cold crash in keg and fine. It's pretty clean right away fermented at those temps. Nothing wrong with a couple of weeks of conditioning, but (once it drops clear) it's ready to drink IMO.
I just tapped this tonight and it is amazing. I followed a similar schedule to yours. I used US-05, held it at 60F for the first 5 days, then let it rise to ambient (67F in my basement during this heat) to finish up. I've been in a bit of a rut lately, so I'm calling this my "Slumpbuster Cream Ale".

6
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 30m boil help
« on: July 22, 2016, 12:57:58 PM »
Depending on the recipe, you may get a bit more hop flavor if you're moving a 60-minute addition up to 30 minutes. I don't know if there's much you can do about it, but it's something to be aware of.

Another good point.  I think sticking to the neutral types should mitigate or use hop extract for early additions where you don't want any flavor but in some ways I consider this an advantage!

Agreed - for hoppy styles this is definitely a plus. For an American Light Lager it might not be.

7
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 30m boil help
« on: July 22, 2016, 11:30:47 AM »
Depending on the recipe, you may get a bit more hop flavor if you're moving a 60-minute addition up to 30 minutes. I don't know if there's much you can do about it, but it's something to be aware of.

8
Beer Recipes / Re: marzen
« on: July 21, 2016, 12:14:50 PM »
I've been dialing mine in for a bit, and this is where I like it (3 gallon batch):

2 lb Light Munich
2 lb Pilsner
1 lb Vienna
6 oz Aromatic

I like mine leaning more towards the Munich than the Vienna. I was really happy with the change from CaraMunich III to Aromatic - it seems to amp up that Munich character I'm shooting for. It also hits that light orange color that I'm shooting for as well.

Thanks for sharing! I think my goal might be similar to yours. Is the light munich around 6L?
I believe so. I've been using Avangard, and I'm pretty sure it's listed at 6L.

9
Beer Recipes / Re: marzen
« on: July 21, 2016, 12:08:16 PM »
I've been dialing mine in for a bit, and this is where I like it (3 gallon batch):

2 lb Light Munich
2 lb Pilsner
1 lb Vienna
6 oz Aromatic

I like mine leaning more towards the Munich than the Vienna. I was really happy with the change from CaraMunich III to Aromatic - it seems to amp up that Munich character I'm shooting for. It also hits that light orange color that I'm shooting for as well.

10
Beer Recipes / Re: Red X Saison
« on: July 20, 2016, 07:49:11 PM »
I generally use about 10% Pils malt in my Red X beers. That seems to be the sweet spot for me to boost fermentability without sacrificing color.

11
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Experience with Saflager 34/70?
« on: July 20, 2016, 07:41:44 PM »
It's a very forgiving lager strain and cleanly ferments even in the sixties. It is, however, bland as far as lager strains go. It works well for those hoppier craft lagers where the nuances of other strains might be lost or even undesirable.

I don't know if I've ever really thought of it as bland, but I get where you're coming from. It is quite neutral, with very low sulfur production. W34/70 is the US-05 of lager strains.

I prefer WY2278 for hoppy lagers and WY2633 for malty lagers, but 34/70 will do a fine job for any lager (and most ales).

12
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 120F Whirlpool hop addition only
« on: July 13, 2016, 01:01:06 PM »
https://www.experimentalbrew.com/experiments/writeups/writeup-hop-whirlpool-does-steeping-lower-temperature-improve-final-hop
I started playing around with the 120F whirlpool around the same time as Jim had proposed this experiment, and I've come to a similar conclusion as the IGORs - that the lower steep temp is definitely different, but I'm undecided if it is necessarily better. That said, I've been doing all my whirlpools at 120F in recent months, so maybe I've already subconsciously decided which I like better...

13
Other Fermentables / Re: Cigary cider
« on: July 11, 2016, 05:55:09 PM »
Cranberry is my favorite. Blackberries work very well, too. They both bring some tannins and acidity as well, so it helps to add some depth to the cider as well.
Will add redcurrants to the cider. Work well in lambic too.
Interesting coincidence - I just started picking my redcurrants and pink currants today. If I had some cider or fresh apple juice laying around, I'd probably join in.

14
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 120F Whirlpool hop addition only
« on: July 10, 2016, 05:57:37 AM »
I predict it will be fun and interesting. My attempts at 120 with longer times produced something in between what you get at 170 vs dry hopping.
Same here, flavor wise. I am curious to see what it gives from a bitterness perspective. I wouldn't be surprised if it is a significant amount despite the relatively cool temp. The recent findings about humulinones put some ideas in my head and this is one of the tests I wanted to run.

15
General Homebrew Discussion / 120F Whirlpool hop addition only
« on: July 09, 2016, 09:50:04 PM »
I ended up finding myself with enough time for a quick extract brew tonight, so I brewed something I've been wanting to experiment with for a while. I brewed my usual extract IPA recipe, but with the only hop addition being a huge whirlpool addition (8oz in 2.25 gallons) at 120F for one hour.

Theoretically, there should be virtually no isomerization of alpha-acids at that temp. It will be interesting to see how much perceived bitterness there will be. I do plan on sending a sample out for analysis to see what the measured IBU level is as well. Stay tuned.

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