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Messages - erockrph

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Darkening Malt
« on: October 22, 2017, 11:39:14 AM »
I use Brewer's Caramel. It works similar to Sinamar, but with even less flavor impact. I did pay a bit of a premium to have it shipped from the UK, though. I don't think I'd pay that price again when I could just use Midnight Wheat instead.

That roasted bitter flavor from fine-ground, highly roasted malts is often from fine particulates that take a while to fully drop clear. Cold-conditioning usually reduces this over time.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: medicinal bite
« on: October 22, 2017, 11:29:29 AM »
Take a look at this...

I've brewed very hazy IPA's using DME as my only fermentable, so this certainly jives with my experience.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: medicinal bite
« on: October 22, 2017, 09:48:18 AM »
Many people have noted harsh, unpleasant polyphenols from the high late hopping in NEIPA.  Could that be it?

Kind of my assumption however 4 oz at the end of the boil and 6 oz dry is nothing compared to what a lot of people use. Are you referring to the hops at the end of the boil?

My IPA's aren't exactly the NEIPA style, but they share the heavy late hopping and minimal (zero, in my case) bittering charge. I get a similar harsh bitterness (kind of an herbal/medicinal bitter quality) in many of my IPA's, and quite a few commercial examples as well. Most of my IPA experimentation in recent years has been to try to get rid of this character while maintaining the intense hop flavor that I love in my IPA's.

Here's some of what I've found:

- I notice this starting at about 1.5-2 ounces of hops per gallon, and it gets more noticible at higher hopping rates
- Polyclar and gallotannin gave both failed to reduce this character
- I have gotten this from whirlpool-only beers (i.e., no dry hops or bittering charge). That's not to say that it can't come from dry hops, but it definitely can come from whirlpool hops
- Pellet hops and cryo hops both give this type of bitterness at high hopping rates
- I do not get this character when a significant portion of my hops are whole cone

I still have some further testing to confirm, but my current working hypotheses are:

- Chopped up vegetative material in pellet hops has a greater surface area for releasing whatever is causing this flavor.
- Heat may increase the extraction of this character. A good test would be having a moderate bittering charge and a massive dry hop addition only, with no late-boil hops.
- Leaf hops may help pull/keep this out of the finished beer when used in conjunction with pellet hops. I'm not quite sold on this yet, but the couple of times I've used both types together I've had the best results in my IPA's.

Ingredients / Re: Help me buy my hops for the year
« on: October 19, 2017, 02:05:16 PM »
EKG for your Goldings
Sterling as your spicy Noble that can also be used late in a APA or similar
Citra or Galaxy for fruit
Columbus for sharp bittering, Magnum for smooth, or just skip the bittering and add a second flavor variety like Simcoe, Mosaic, Nelson, etc. That one's matter of your personal preference. Sterling can double as a smooth bittering hop, as can EKG.

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Briess copper malt
« on: October 19, 2017, 11:42:26 AM »
I would be concerned that the copper malt would oxidize the mash.....(ducking)

Not if you preboil your grain mill and and sprinkle BTB on the rollers   ;D

What is this grain supposed to be? Is it Breiss's version of Red X?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: It's Official
« on: October 19, 2017, 07:01:23 AM »
Being Belgian and into good quality chocolate, I tried Hershey once for like science. You are a lost cause.
Imagine if I concluded the same about Belgian beer after trying Stella Artois?

If you ever have the chance to try Waialua Estate chocolate, it is sublime and a great example of terroir as it relates to cacao. Plus the cacao is actually from the US, which you certainly can't say about any Belgian chocolate.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Far From The Tree - Nova (Hopped Cider)
« on: October 14, 2017, 11:46:04 AM »
I just tried this on tap while I was visiting Salem (MA) for the day. I was super thirsty after walking around all day, so I went for a local cider rather than beer with dinner. It turned out to be the right choice, no doubt.

I've had dry-hopped ciders before (including my own), but this is the first one that got it just right for me. The cider itself is lightly carbonated, and balanced more towards the tart rather than sweet. I definitely got some tropical hop character, and a touch of pine. The hop flavors were a nice accent, but not overpowering. The most notable thing is that there was absolutely zero harsh bitterness or vegetal character.

This was so good that I stopped by a local wine shop on the way back to the parking garage to pick some up for the road. I don't know how widely they distribute, but Far From the Tree is definitely worth a try if you ever come across it.

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The Pub / Re: A Nice Surprise
« on: October 14, 2017, 11:30:36 AM »
Looks like a great haul.

How is the Spencer?
It is a really solid beer. It's more West Coast than Northeast. We had just seen it at The Big E, but we were on the way out and the link was long and slow. My wife knew I wanted to try it, thus the sole non-German beer in the selection.

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The Pub / Re: A Nice Surprise
« on: October 06, 2017, 11:27:27 AM »
The cutest thing was she told me that we need to save the goats :) She apparently hasn't seen my collection lol!

The Pub / A Nice Surprise
« on: October 06, 2017, 10:08:20 AM »
My wife, who knows next to nothing about beer, decided to surprise me yesterday. Apparently, she did about an hour of research while waiting at an appointment, and ended coming home with this. I think she's a keeper :)

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Heat Shocking Yeast to Increase Glycerol
« on: October 06, 2017, 08:41:48 AM »
body mostly

There are so many other ways to create body for beer brewers, that this is not really a method.

I've also read in some winemaking articles recently that glycerol may not add to body as much as once thought.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Where to learn more about yeast
« on: October 06, 2017, 08:34:25 AM »
Most yeast strains available to homebrewers originally come from commercial breweries. If you can get your hands on beer from breweries that use a particular strain, then you can get at least an initial impression of some of the flavor profile.

Ingredients / Re: Hops Glut?
« on: September 27, 2017, 05:27:19 PM »
was wondering about this being inevitable not only due to flattening in the industry growth but with so many varieties that continue to pop up.
Same here. Also, the amount of time that it takes to bring a new variety to market is rather long. I fear that as the market hits saturation, many smaller hop breeders are going to feel the pinch when there just isn't enough demand to support the continued influx of new varieties that they have in the pipeline.

There is at least one producer of hop oil out there. I've used their product to make my own beard oil, but I didn't find the aroma to be very "hoppy" once mixed in with the carrier oils. Once I spiked it with some citronellol and beta-pinene it got closer, but still rather muddled. If you looked at some hop oil charts and started playing around with a half dozen or more of the constituent oils, you might be able to get in the ballpark of a hop aroma. This is something I've always wanted to do, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

The compounds I'd start with:


Then build up one that is pine-forward with an orange note. A citrus/floral combo. A tropical-citrus. And so on. You'd probably want some grassy-cannibus notes in the background of all of them.

Good luck! Keep us posted here if you get some good results.

The Pub / Re: Product Development, Homebrewing, and Keurig
« on: September 25, 2017, 07:44:42 AM »
I have a Zymatic and it is a lot of fun but, after dozens of batches I can attest I really feel I make better beer on my old 12 gallon homebrew system. I can't understand the sense in "pico paks" unless you are just very rich and don't know what to do with your money.

Keurig is just pure idiocy IMO. My mom bought me one years ago and after I used the initial pods I strictly used it for hot water until it died. OTOH I actually like to drink GOOD coffee so there's that.

We had Keurigs at a former job and after a while it struck me how wasteful they are.  We live in such a "disposable" society and most people don't even notice it... You can recycle the cups but you have to do a lot of work to remove the filter and grounds before you can.  Plus, making real coffee is not hard...

To me, and this is just my personal opinion, the automatic systems like the Zymatic and Pico to me feel more like a coffee maker and less like brewing.  I enjoy being more involved in the process, but to each their own.  I am intrigued by the thought of making it easier for me in my tiny kitchen, but I think the furthest I would automate would be a grainfather to help with mashing. As it stands now, I don't do all grain and I don't mash.
I understand the sentiment, but in the end it's all about what you enjoy with the hobby. For me, it's tinkering with new ideas and recipe design. If I was sure I was going to get similar quality results compared to my current setup, then the Zymatic would be perfect for me (the Pico, not so much). I enjoy the brewing process, but I don't have the time to brew as often as I'd like. Something like the Zymatic would let me control recipe design, but free me up during the actual brewing process.

I'm the same way with Keurig. Sure, I prefer good coffee, but a Keurig is quick and keeps me out of the drive-thru in the morning. I only drink one cup a day, so the portion is just right, too. Thankfully, I've discovered that cold brew is just as quick and lets me drink better coffee. I'm seriously considering turning one of my kegerator taps to a nitro coffee tap.

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