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Messages - erockrph

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1
Ingredients / Re: Gallotannin purple color?
« on: January 16, 2018, 06:15:04 PM »
I haven't experienced that yet but I use all RO water, where I'm pretty sure some of you guys use well or local water (at least partially).  I wonder if there's a connection?
That's my guess. I started using the gallotannin because I have iron and manganese in my well water and wondered if it would help deal with those in my beer. I'm wondering if this is a metal-tannin complex of some sort.

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2
Ingredients / Gallotannin purple color?
« on: January 16, 2018, 04:32:18 PM »
Has anyone using BTB, or any other gallotannin antioxidant, noticed a change in your water or beer color when using it. I've been using FT Blanc in my strike water for the past year, with a definite improvement in my beer.

I don't normally prepare my strike water the  night before brewing, but I wanted to save some time today so I added my salts and tannin to the kettle last night. When I took the lid off the kettle this morning, the water was deep purple in color, like watered down grape KoolAid.

I freaked out and dumped the water, then cleaned my kettle with hot water. On take two I added my salts but waited on the tannin until closer to strike temp. My strike water was clear, but I held some back to do a step mash. By the time I was boiling the remaining water, it was back to purple.

I've decided to let it roll and see how the beer turns out. My guess is that this is from the tannin chelating iron and/or manganese in my water and will drop out when the beer clears. I've noticed that my wort looks muddy/stained, but my finished beers look great. I'm guessing that this has been happening all along and I just happened to "catch it in the act" today.

Anyone else have any thoughts on what this could be? Here's a pic I took of the water before I dumped it outside:



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3
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Building dregs up
« on: January 15, 2018, 10:57:13 PM »
This is cut-and-paste from an old post of mine, so apologies if something is missing here, but here's the procedure I follow for bottle dregs:

Quote
For the initial step, I like to do it in the bottle instead of pouring the dregs off. Transfers are the times where you run the biggest risk of contamination, so I like to make sure the culture is woken up a bit before transferring out. Sanitize the bottle and bottle opener before opening. Then sanitize the neck/lip of the bottle before pouring the beer. I like to leave about 1/2 inch of beer in the bottle, plus the dregs. this way you get any yeast that is still in suspension and not just the flocced out dregs.

I then use a sanitized funnel to add about 1/2-1 inch of 1.030ish wort. Once diluted with the remaining beer, this gives you a nice low OG of about 1.020. This is less stressful to the yeast than the typical 1.040ish starter wort we typically use. Then I cover with foil (for non-sours) or add a small stopper and airlock (for sours). I usually give the first step about 7-10 days to give the yeast plenty of time to wake up and do their thing.

From there, the general rule for stepping up a starter is a tenfold increase each step. So step two is maybe 200 mL or so of 1.035 wort, and then that can go into a normal 2-liter starter. Use your nose to tell you whether there are any problems, and taste your larger starters to ensure that you didn't pick up any contamination along the way.

I’ll have to try that, pretty interesting but probably likely something I would try on a commercial bottle I enjoyed. Why foil for non sours and an airlock for sours though?

Sours need an airlock because the dregs likely include some Acetobacter, which grows better with oxygen exposure. Non-sours don't need the airlock, since I don't really care if I oxidize that small amount of wort. It's merely a matter of simplicity in that case.

4
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Building dregs up
« on: January 08, 2018, 08:21:17 PM »
This is cut-and-paste from an old post of mine, so apologies if something is missing here, but here's the procedure I follow for bottle dregs:

Quote
For the initial step, I like to do it in the bottle instead of pouring the dregs off. Transfers are the times where you run the biggest risk of contamination, so I like to make sure the culture is woken up a bit before transferring out. Sanitize the bottle and bottle opener before opening. Then sanitize the neck/lip of the bottle before pouring the beer. I like to leave about 1/2 inch of beer in the bottle, plus the dregs. this way you get any yeast that is still in suspension and not just the flocced out dregs.

I then use a sanitized funnel to add about 1/2-1 inch of 1.030ish wort. Once diluted with the remaining beer, this gives you a nice low OG of about 1.020. This is less stressful to the yeast than the typical 1.040ish starter wort we typically use. Then I cover with foil (for non-sours) or add a small stopper and airlock (for sours). I usually give the first step about 7-10 days to give the yeast plenty of time to wake up and do their thing.

From there, the general rule for stepping up a starter is a tenfold increase each step. So step two is maybe 200 mL or so of 1.035 wort, and then that can go into a normal 2-liter starter. Use your nose to tell you whether there are any problems, and taste your larger starters to ensure that you didn't pick up any contamination along the way.

5
My brewing time has been severely limited as of late, and I haven't brewed anything sine the end of the summer. That said, I finally splurged and picked up a few pieces of gear that I've always wanted, but were hard to justify as a 3-gallon kitchen brewer.

The first was a new 5.5 gallon Anvil kettle. I've always brewed using a regular 5-gallon stock pot. While it is high quality, the ladeling/pouring of hot water/wort was always a real PITA, and has led to my share of mild scalds over the years. Having a purpose-built brew kettle will allow me to run off to my mash tun without dumping anything. Plus, I can do neat tricks that all the cool kids are doing like underletting my mash. And with the kettle screen I can run off into my fermenter without having to try to carefully pour the clear wort off the top of 4 gallons of liquid, hops and trub (and not spill a bunch all over the kitchen hardwoods).

Although my juryrigged cold water bath in the kitchen sink has served me servicably well, I finally sprung for an immersion chiller. Unfortunately, I don't have a way to connect it directly to my faucet because of the faucet design, and I'm too far away from my hoses to use those from the outside. For the time being, I will just fill a few buckets with tap water and use a pond pump, but I'm planning on teeing off of my supply line on my sink in the near future to make things easier there.

Who knows when I'll actually get a chance to use all my new gear, but I'm looking forward to easier brewdays in the near future.

6
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: NaCl?
« on: January 08, 2018, 03:12:17 PM »
Jim, I have found that sodium in the 40-50 ppm range does give a small boost to counteract that "something's missing" character in the mid-palate. My only caveat is that I was getting this in my lagers, that use a far softer water tham my typical English ales. I end up in the 50-80 ppm range on Sulfate and Chloride in those typically. I switched from using CaCl2 for my chloride adjustment to kosher salt. That cut my Calcium (not a big deal in lagers) and boosted my Sodium. I don't have a specific description for the change, other than that my palate isn't hunting for the malt flavor during the middle like it was before.

As Martin stated, English Ales with more ions already in the water may be a different can of worms. I'd try adding a sprinkle of salt to your problem beer and see if that makes a change for the better. For these purposes, salts are simply flavorings and can be added to taste in the finished beer similar to flavor extracts, coffee, etc to determine effect and dosage rate.

7
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The Myth of the 100+ IBU IPA
« on: January 08, 2018, 01:15:28 PM »
I've been saying this for years, but once you hit about 60 IBU's the other factors that affect bitterness play more of a role in differentiating two beers. The actual lab-measured IBU level means far less for extremely hoppy beers than something like a blonde ale or a malty lager.

FWIW, I've had an IPA lab-measured at 98 IBU. Its only hop addition was a large (~4oz/gallon) 90-minute flameout addition at flameout. To my palate, the bitterness was far less than a typical West Coast-style IPA despite the large measured IBU value.

8
The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: January 08, 2018, 12:43:48 PM »
Had some Talisker on Christmas for the first time in at least 5 years and--unlike other things from my past--it was still as wonderful as I remember it: great balance of peat, honey, etc. I know this is saying what many others have long said, but, damn, it sure is gratifying to be able to rely on some things....

Love that stuff, too.
Talisker and Scapa are often overlooked because they technically aren't Islay distilleries, but they both fall into that peaty, island-distillery category. They are both fantastic, Talisker is very similar to the coastal Islay malts like Laphroiag and Scapa is in the ballpark of the interior Islay distilleries like Bowmore and Bruichladdich.

9
The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: December 24, 2017, 07:28:37 AM »
the flavors are muted to the point I find it long in the tooth.

I guess I'm not the only one. I find several of the expensive, older Scotches highly smooth but sometimes at the expense of flavor. Many of my favorite Scotches are in the 12 year (even 10 year) range - obviously a tad hotter than a 15+ but also more intense and enjoyable in flavor to me. I like a very light dose of water in those to open them up anyway.

I definitely find this to be true with most blended and Highland scotches; i.e., ones that start on the mellow side to begin with. Johnny Blue and Chivas Royal Salute are my classic examples of this. They are great, easy-drinking whiskies without a doubt, but they've lost all their edge. If I wanted a milder whiskey, I'd be drinking a bourbon instead of Scotch.

Islay malts are a different animal, though. They start off peaty, salty, and smoky when young, and they still carry through a lot of that character well into their old age. As some of the strong flavors start to mellow with time, the complexity really starts to increase. Laphroaig 30 year is the best glass of any spirit I've ever had, bar none. It was till unmistakeably Islay in character, but the peaty/smokiness had mellowed out and you could pick out more nuances in flavor and aroma.

10
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Swaen Malts...
« on: December 23, 2017, 03:59:30 AM »
I have tried several of their malts, and all are quite good. I find the Pale Ale malt to be on par with other continental pale ale malts I've tried. My house base malt is currently 70% Weyermann Bo Pils and 30% Swaen Pale Ale malt, and it has served me quite well in both pale lagers and IPA's.

Their version of Carared (I forget the name off the top of my head), and their Vienna are also quite nice.

11
The Pub / Re: Porch Pirates
« on: December 17, 2017, 07:47:52 PM »
That tells me that people don't give a crap about Citra in Houston, but once you moved to beer country you started running into problems.

I'd reach out to the shipping company first to confirm that they didn't just deliver to the wrong house. That's probably even more likely than theft, IME.

12
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: black and tan question
« on: December 17, 2017, 07:45:51 PM »
It has to do with density. Guinness is a lower gravity than Bass and will float on top. The clear divide is the tough part, but that's why you usually see it poured over the back of a spoon (or something similar). If you pour too hard, then the Guinness will start to mix with the Bass, and you see less of a sharp split between the two.

This is the same way that layered shots work, by the way.

13
Other Fermentables / Re: cider:water ratio for a cyser?
« on: December 13, 2017, 09:08:01 PM »
Not sure I understand the wording of your question, so I'll provide answers for all interpretations.  Heat pasteurized into the fermenter, not at the end.  Yes, it was bottled.  It turned out very dry, and sparkling.  I primed it with honey.

And.... turns out my silver took Best of Show.  I'm beyond excited!  Too bad there's none left.  No one loved it before, though, so why should they now?!

http://stlbrews.brewcompetition.com/
Gotcha... I had assumed that you referring to heat-pasteurizing to stabilize post fermentation and therefore bottled it as a still, sweet mead rather than carbonated and dry.

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14
Other Fermentables / Re: cider:water ratio for a cyser?
« on: December 11, 2017, 06:41:47 PM »
After posting here this morning, I got to thinking about a specific recipe for my "morat"/cyser -- I just learned the term "morat" is used for mulberry mead, and that's sort of what I'm going for, except that I want about half my base fermentables from cider and not all honey.  The 1 liter of mulberry should be sufficient for that flavor but if not I have a second liter that I could add in secondary.  So here's what I've kind of figured out, for anyone interested -- this is for 3 gallons of "morat/cyser", planned OG of 1.057-ish and ABV 7.5%-ish:

2.5 lb local basswood and apple blossom honeys (about a 50/50 mix)
1.6 gallons local unpasteurized cider (most likely McIntosh, Cortland, Wealthy, and other local culinaries)
1 liter commercial mulberry juice
0.9 gallon municipal tap water (heated to eliminate chlorine)
1 pack Cote des Blancs yeast

I'm a heat pasteurization guy, as I trust nothing to chance or to sulfites, so I will heat treat the must to about 160 F for 15 minutes, then cool and pitch.  I'm also a bit of a purist, so there will be no chemical additions of any kind, except for possible gelatin (see later) and possible traces of sorbate in the commercial mulberry juice.  Ferment at around 55 F for a month or two, racking once per week to slow the fermentation even more and hopefully stall it out around 1.010.  If proceeding too quickly (as is often the case!), I will hit with gelatin and chill further (probably in my garage in winter!) to knock out the yeast even further.  Want this to finish above 1.000, and 1.005-1.010 would be best.  Eventually after several months, bring up in temperature for a little bit and ensure fermentation is pretty much dead, then prime and bottle.  If I absolutely have to, I'll add sorbate.  Yummy mulberry apple honey wine-cooler!!!!!

I'll confess I'm not a snobbish mead guy at all, I just know what I like and I make it to suit my own tastes!  And I believe this will do the trick VERY nicely.  I can't wait!  Should be heavenly, and not so dang strong so I can drink it like Kool-Aid -- I know -- blasphemy!  It's gonna be great though.

I finally entered this stuff into competition.  Bringing home a silver out of 17 entries.  Heat pasteurized.  No sulfites.  No sorbate.  Tasted smooth like a wine cooler, but 9% ABV after all was said & done.  None left.  Goodbye, Morat Cyser.

http://stlbrews.brewcompetition.com/

Since you heat-pasteurized, did you bottle this still?

15
Ingredients / Re: Denali
« on: December 06, 2017, 07:39:13 PM »
Denali-Citra-Vic Secret makes a killer NE-style IPA. I haven't brewed a single-hop with it yet, but Sean's description sounds similar to my impression. When I added them to my kettle, I picked up something that reminded me of opening a bag of clementines. There was definitely some orange in the beer, which I wouldn't expect from either Citra or Vic Secret on their own.

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