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Messages - smoga

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1
The lagers are lager-ing, so it's time to start on the IPA's (again)
This weekend it's a Chainbreaker White IPA clone.
Already have the starter going, so it's off to the LHBS...

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Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: March 05, 2013, 03:26:09 PM »

Make the NHC competition a qualification event.  What that means is that you need your entry or entries to qualify for the NHC first round for you to enter them.  I would recommend that you could make qualification to the NHC as easy as having beers that place 1, 2, 3 in a BJCP-competition with a minimum average score (let's say 35).  Beers that meet this criteria earn "a ticket" to the NHC first round.  The goal of the first round of NHC would be judge these beers, and then send the winners onto the second round as it is currently set up.

I do know one thing, the crap shoot we all went through last week is something I want to avoid going through again.

I have a real problem with this requirement. Not all of us live in Beervana - some of us live in Beerpuragtory. (aka Utah) There is one and only one local BJCP-competition here per year. So, for me, availability to get a "ticket" rests with a bunch of non certified judges who tasted a beer back in August. Not to mention getting consistant results from non certified beer judges is one of the most frustrating parts of the submitting your beers. I have had beers with 10+ point swings between competitions (in Seattle). I believe this approach is also a crap shoot.  Additionally, the logistics of controlling, verifying, registering and tracking beers & competitions would create a enormous overhead for the AHA. I have and will brew specifically for the NHC.

Allow Pre-Registration. Restrict the number of entries. Up the cost (not dramatically). 1st day AHA members only and only in your local district/judging center.   

3
The beer will be fine. It might be a bit dry given the sugars. I had the same issue with thermometers and I now check them the night before (@ 150F) using a lab thermometer.

I have an issue is with that pretty graph.
My understanding is that the enzyme activity ranges are much more like bell curves (that overlap) rather than distinct boxes where the one enzyme shuts off and the other takes over. If you keep in mind that the boxes represent "peak enzyme activity" and that you get some Alpha Amylase activity in the Beta range and the reverse; then it's closer to how the enzymes are really behaving in the mash.

4
....  When will it be Ordinary Bitter?

The one of the guys in the local Brewing club has started a annual celebration of Ordinary bitter - essentially, low gravity cask conditioned ales - it flies in the face of the "bigger is better" trend in brewing. You never know; It could be getting trendy...

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction mashing with a cooler
« on: April 20, 2011, 02:17:45 PM »
It helps if your wife co-brewer can stir while you do other stuff.

Fat chance of that happening around here.  As much as my wife encourages my brewing and enjoys the beer, she has no time for or interest in actually doing it.

+1 on that. When we were young and in love, she would help out. Since the arrival of the children, no such luck.

The problem I found with Decoctions was the time factor. My usual efficient 5 - 5 1/2 hour brew session turns into a grueling 9 hour marathon, and I really have a hard time justifying those extra 4 hours. All the more power to you if you can get away with it....

6
Looking to do an American rye Ale. Brewing for the second annual:
Yard City Cask Beer & Real Ale Festival '11
Saturday, April 2nd
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #239
190 Dora Avenue
Bremerton, WA

Six brewers (myself included) will be rolling out their low gravity young keg carbonated beers.
I am running over to the LHBS for supplies this morning.

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« on: February 24, 2011, 11:20:32 AM »
I have done the technique of pitch on top of the yeast 6 or 7 times with excellent results
Just a couple of comments on Wyeast Belgian strains for high gravity beers;
Of the current/regular strains:
1388 - Belgian Strong is a excellent yeast for Tripels and golden strong ales
3787 - Trappist high gravity - I don't recommend it, never heard of great attenuation with this strain
3711 - French Saison - much like the 1388 this is a very attenuative yeast. I have know brewers to pitch this after the 3787 to clean up the fermentation
Of the Wyeast private collection strains
3739 - Flanders Golden Ale - a wickedly attenuative yeast. Experienced it taking a 1.135 beer down to 1.008 -
3864 - Canadian/Belgian Ale Yeast - A great yeast for Belgian dark strong

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Brett & Starters
« on: February 04, 2011, 12:38:07 PM »
It might move faster if you used more smack packs instead of making a starter I assumed that was what you were really asking - starter vs. more packs?

Somewhat - I only have 1 pack & I'm SOL until Wyeast re-releases it again (its a Private Collection strain).  My main concern was that I'd throw off the ratio of ale yeast:Brett by building a starter because the 2 strains would reproduce at different rates.

From my experience anyway, I really don't think the ratio of Brett to yeast is that critical - They seem to behave like a "tag team" The yeast ramps up does it's thing; and only once it's done does the Brett start to do it's thing. My limited experience with Brett indicates that a little goes a long way; even a small portion of Brett will eventually sour a full batch of beer. So, even if they don't reproduce at the same rate, you have plenty of Brett....

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Brett & Starters
« on: February 04, 2011, 11:24:21 AM »
For a beer that big; definitely do a starter.

I used this yeast (9097) last time it was out and it took around 3 months post fermentation for the Brett pellicle and flavor to come through. That was stored in my 60F basement; I would believe the Brett lag time would be less at a higher temp. I sent this batch straight to bottles, this yeast makes a beer to sit on and savor.   


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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sugar
« on: February 01, 2011, 12:43:55 PM »
Amen Denny!

dons, I experienced many of the symptoms you describe here; The low extraction rates, the lack of fermentability, the reluctance of yeast to clean up. I solved it one way:
I bought a lab thermometer... Sing praises to the brewing gods!

The dial thermometer I was using was at least 6 degrees off (high) at 150F I was mashing in way too low.
when I switched to using the lab thermometer, my extraction rates jumped almost 10 points.
I brewed a beer similar to your beer (OG 1.043) last week using only 8 lbs. of grain vs. your 11lbs.

A lab thermometer and making yeast starters will change your (brewing) life.  

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sugar
« on: February 01, 2011, 11:34:49 AM »
Just a couple of questions to satisfy my curiosity:

What's your thermometer? Is it a dial thermometer? When's the last time it was calibrated?
and did you make a starter? and if so how large?

12
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 1469 in a barleywine??
« on: January 25, 2011, 12:24:56 PM »
Can you wait? On deck (in about 10 days) is a Old Ale using 1469

I have a Timothy Taylor clone (OG 1.043) currently bubbling away with this yeast, I thought it would make the perfect base for a Old Ale. I even went out and got a can of Black Treacle.

My experience with brew big beers on the prior yeast cake is that the alcohol tolerance levels Wyeast quotes are pretty darn close to real world yeast behavior. So, I would be worried that the 1469 would give out too early for a 12% beer. But, wow, the Wy description of "full chewy malt flavor" sounds very enticing for a big beer....


13
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Frigid Weather Brewing
« on: January 20, 2011, 12:27:10 PM »
I brew in Seattle on the back patio. The weather forces me to brew in the winter on those rare sunny days. And when it's sunny that means, cold (for Seattle) around 20F

In the cold, I have noticed that the burner puts out a lot less BTU's if I leave the propane outside (where it's normally stored) I assume the propane in it's normal liquefied state thickens up in the cold. I had a couple experiences where it took over an hour to reach boil with a cold propane tank; wind blowing, temps in the 20's...
So, I bring in the propane bottle the night before brewing. Problem solved.  

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast Old Ale Blend
« on: November 08, 2010, 12:45:42 PM »
I agree, it was too big for the style, but it's a unique way to get that sweet/sour balance in a beer without resorting to using lactobacillus (Which I don't really care for)
Next time around I will try it with "only" 16lbs of Maris otter (vs. 20) to bring out more of the Brett character.

I have 6 bottles left and I will enter 3 of them in next years NHC under 19A - old ale...

Oh, and yes, I did throw the dregs of this yeast on top of a gallon of Russian Imperial Stout, and I do not recommend it. I can understand why there are no sour stouts around. The combination of lots o hops, sour and roasty notes is not good. Blech.

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast Old Ale Blend
« on: November 08, 2010, 11:01:39 AM »
The strain is Brett Bruxellensis. That's straight from Jess Caudill at Wyeast Labs

Made a brew using this yeast March of 09 -
The OG was 1.110 the FG around 1.039 - It took around  3 months for Brett character to kick in.
Once you see the pellicle form, then you know the Brett has done it's thing.  
Really great example of the sweet & sour you can get with the right balance of a big beer and brett
Scored a 38 in this year's NHC under 17C (Flanders Brown/Oud Bruin)

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