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Messages - erockrph

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1
Going to try and brew Saturday
       4.5# pilsner malt
       4.5# wheat malt
       1.2oz chocolate wheat for some color
       1.0 oz Styrian Golding 60 minutes
       1.0 oz Styrian Golding 5 minutes
       Saisonstein's Monster yeast
       49 oz apricot puree after primary fermentation

Been on a saison kick lately and adding some fruit (albeit puree and not fresh) is something I've been wanting to try.
Saison is one of my favorite styles for adding fruit. The tart, dry finish works really well with a lot of fruit. My freezer is loaded with currants and gooseberries right now. I think a good amount of it will be going into a saison.
erockrph, I have a saison with pilsner, munich, and wheat 75/20/5 almost done fermenting with Belle Saison(1.049 down to 1.05) and another lined up for this weekend with 90/10 pils to munich II with a blend of 3724 and 3711). I have been thinking about blackberries in secondary. Either puree from the LHBS or trying to source local fresh berries. Any thoughts on which might be a better base for the blackberries? This will be my first fruited beer. The LHBS has one 3# can of Beer/wine puree and a larger 6# can labeled as wine use. I will be in local farmer's market tomorrow and should be able to find fresh, just not sure on price point. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated

I've only used fresh blackberries, but they can certainly be messy and can be expensive. I've heard good things about puree. 1lb/gallon is the absolute minimum, but I'd push it to 1.5-2lb/gal if you want any significant fruit flavor.

2
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lager
« on: Today at 09:43:15 AM »
First of all, hold off on judgement until the beer is done. If everything tastes OK in the end, then no harm/no foul. Second, it's always best to let primary fermentation complete on the full yeast cake, along with some extra time for some warm conditioning so the yeast can clean up byproducts like diacetyl.

Everyone is different, but for my normal gravity lagers I pitch at 45F, then let it free-rise to 50F for 5-7 days. From there I bump it a degree or two every day or two. I pull it from the fermentation chamber around day 14, and let it d-rest at room temp for 2 days. At that point I take a taste sample. If everything tastes good, I cold crash at 30F for 3-5 days, then transfer to a keg for lagering (with gelatin if needed). Because I wait until the yeast is completely done before lagering, I don't feel the need to lager on the yeast.

3
Going to try and brew Saturday
       4.5# pilsner malt
       4.5# wheat malt
       1.2oz chocolate wheat for some color
       1.0 oz Styrian Golding 60 minutes
       1.0 oz Styrian Golding 5 minutes
       Saisonstein's Monster yeast
       49 oz apricot puree after primary fermentation

Been on a saison kick lately and adding some fruit (albeit puree and not fresh) is something I've been wanting to try.
Saison is one of my favorite styles for adding fruit. The tart, dry finish works really well with a lot of fruit. My freezer is loaded with currants and gooseberries right now. I think a good amount of it will be going into a saison.

4
It's another crazy summer with no potential brewdays on the horizon, so I'm pulling an all-nighter tonight to get this batch started so it's ready for tailgating this fall:

Red Hoptober Lager:
3 gallon batch
1.055 OG
32 IBU

90% Red X
10% Pils (mainly for an enzyme boost)

Mash 149F x 90 minutes
Amber Bitter water profile

32 IBU Sterling at 60 min
2oz each Sterling and Motueka at 170F x30 minute hop stand

WY2278 Czech Pils

If it works out, I might try this grain bill as an Alt with more bittering and less finishing hops.

5
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentis W-34/70
« on: Today at 05:56:46 AM »
Well, whether it was a 5 or a 6 it is now fermenting.  I was a bit nervous as there was a much longer lag time than I'm used to (around 44 hours before krausen even started to form), but I've only done ales thus far, almost always use liquid yeast with a starter and have never pitched at 50 degrees before this batch.
Lager yeasts normally take longer than ale strains to form a krausen, even at room temp when making a starter. You should be fine.

6
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Opening home brew store
« on: July 29, 2015, 10:10:27 AM »
I have no personal experience, but all my local homebrew shops use BSG:

https://bsgcraftbrewing.com/

7
+2 - do not add salts to extract recipes. You have no idea what the mineral content of the original brewer's water was. You may even be better off using RO or distilled water.

+2.5 - The only exception is if you're tweaking a known recipe and all the other factors are the same (i.e., water source and extract brand/type remain the same). In that case if you feel like the recipe needs a boost you can start adding small amounts of a mineral to adjust the recipe to taste.

I found that my extract pale ales & IPA's improved with an extra 1/2 tsp of gypsum in a 3 gallon batch. I think that's in the ballpark of an extra 100ppm or so of Sulfate. I use soft well water and Muntons Extra Light DME, so YMMV. I have heard that Briess's water has a relatively high mineral content, so you may want to think twice about adding extra minerals to it.

8
Ingredients / Re: Downey Mildew and Michigan Hops
« on: July 28, 2015, 11:14:27 AM »
Have you tried milky spore?

I am going to apply the beneficial nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora in my hop yard, gardens, and around the ornamental trees that Japanese beetles love in September.  Heterorhabditis bacteriophora is a hunter-killer nematode that is supposed to be effective against Japanese beetle larvae.   I used beneficial nematodes to take care of a massive flea infestation that I had in my yard at my prior residence.  The nematodes made quick work of the flea larvae in the soil, putting an end to the life cycle.   The problem never came back. 

With that said, Japanese beetles are not fleas.  The Japanese beetles in my area have been subjected to  pesticides long enough that they are difficult to kill.   PyGanic is supposed to be an effective contact killer.  However, it appears to be ineffective against the Japanese beetles in my area.  I personally witnessed Japanese beetles survive for hours after direct application.  I do not know if PyGanic eventually killed the beetles because the leaf on which they were feeding was skeletonized by the next morning.

The main problem I am up against is that I live in a semi-rural area where the farmers practice no-till farming.  No-till farming is good for the soil and Japanese beetles.
I tried Neem Oil with moderate success, but it needs frequent reapplication (especially after rain). Eventually my J-Beetle problem resolved itself after I started treating treating my lawn for grubs (non-organically).

9
I wonder if they didn't use WY2124, which is used by many breweries at warmer temps to create more ale like flavors.
I find that it is used by many breweries at warmer temperatures to try to pass something off as a lager even though it just tastes like poor fermentation.

10
Yeah, I get about a 43% evaporation on 1 gallon batches. 1.75-1 over 90 min.

Don't measure boiloff in %.  You will not get twice as much in a 10 gal. batch as you do in a 5.  Measure boiloff in gal./hr.
For most calculations that makes the most sense, but when you're talking about concentrating mineral additions percentage is a good way to look at it. If your boiloff on a small batch is 25% greater than on your usual batch size, than any preboil flavor additions (such as minerals added to the mash) will likely need to be reduced by the same factor.

11
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentis W-34/70
« on: July 25, 2015, 09:48:39 PM »
IIRC from the Fermentis presentation at NHC, their dry yeast loses 5% viability per year in the fridge and 10% per year at room temp. They were previously using a 2 year best by date, but recently increased to 3 years based on the rather slow loss in viability over time.

Depending on how the yeast was stored, you're looking at anywhere from 70-90+%of the original viability. That should be plenty good enough for a 1.058 Märzen.

12
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Note to self
« on: July 25, 2015, 05:57:46 AM »


I brew in the house so it's bare feet for me. Plus, how else am I supposed to know if I forgot to close the ball valve on my mash tun again?

"Braille Brewing"?

More like "Hot, Wet Feet" brewing

13
The Pub / Re: Are these cherries?
« on: July 24, 2015, 09:05:43 PM »
I popped one in my fingers and there was a single cherry-like pit. I'm pretty sure they are pin cherries. I ended up tasting one after taking a tiny nibble the previous day. It was tart and slightly astringent. I don't think I'll get a chance to harvest enough to do anything with them before they go overripe and shrivel/fall off the trees. I might have to try them next year in a mead.

14
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Note to self
« on: July 24, 2015, 08:48:18 PM »
I brew in the house so it's bare feet for me. Plus, how else am I supposed to know if I forgot to close the ball valve on my mash tun again?

15
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fullers - WLP 002
« on: July 23, 2015, 08:07:22 PM »
I brewed my first batch with this strain (an ordinary bitter - Muntons MO, Thomas Fawcett C45, Boadicea Hops) and good lord everyone wasn't kidding about how flocculant it is! I'm 10 days from brewery and just pulled a sample and it was clearer than any beer I've made even after a cold crash. 

I did detect a bit of diacytel, while it doesn't seem out of place for this strain/style I was hoping to tone it down a bit. Should I just rouse the fermentor and bump the temp to 70f or something for a few days? I fermented at 65f.

If you rouse and bump the temp I doubt it will take more than 2-3 days to clear out the diacetyl. Then taste and go by what your palate tells you.

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