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Messages - morticaixavier

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Ingredients / Re: Honey in beldian strong ale
« on: Today at 07:13:28 AM »
Sure, there's no reason why you con't. Just make sure you add at flame out (not before) or you will lose all the honey character during the boil. If you want even more honey character don't add it until fermentation is finished because the yeast releasing co2 can scrub the aroma.

+1 to this. I like using honey in Belgian style beers. But the only way I've ever managed to get significant character is adding in the fermenter after fermentation starts to die down. This also gives you the benefit of needing slightly fewer yeast cells as you only have to pitch based on the gravity without the honey.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Questions
« on: July 30, 2015, 09:59:31 AM »
the short answer: leave it in till it tastes the way you want it to.

The longer answer: when you are ageing in a barrel vs on chips there is one major difference. You will be getting a lot more o2 ingress in a small (I'm assuming 20 liter barrel?) barrel than in a fermenter + oak chips. This means that the ageing related changes to the beer that we want (softening of the hops, mellowing of higher alcohols into esters) AND the ageing related changes that we don't want (Papery flavors, muted flavors) will happen faster and to a greater degree. You can coat the outside of the barrel with wax to help reduce the o2 ingress.

However the advice to only leave it on the oak for 5 days is flawed. After about 5-10 days either way you will notice a pretty strong oak/woody/boozy flavor and will be tempted to take it out so that the flavor doesn't get any stronger. If you wait another couple weeks though the flavors will mellow and blend and the harsh woody oak character will drop out leaving the soft vanilla/whisky notes you are after with oak ageing. The woody flavor and tannins will bind with other compounds in your beer and drop out over time leaving the really nice wood flavors we want.

If yo

Beer Recipes / Re: Suggestion and Critique Robust Porter recipe
« on: July 30, 2015, 07:00:52 AM »
This is personal preference but I have eliminated black malts from my porters. I get a more balanced roast that lets the malty sweetness shine. A great porter can be very simple.

I included the black malt in these porter because I was finding them too smooth to the point of insipid without the black malt.  There are no rules.

I like that word "INSIPID"
Lacking flavor.
"mugs of insipid coffee"

I must agree with the Denny with a caveat  "Im new and still learning alot"

My info:
I got into brewing middle of 2014yr and made 2 Kit beers with DME turned out pretty good I think
Then I got full retard. Wow simple enough All grain here I come..LOL Big mistake!

I formulated a porter recipe rather than brewing a tried and true one because I thought I was PRO Brewer..  :o
#1  and #2 porter batches  "self formulated recipes"
UK Maris Oter malt
German Munich
Crystal 60 + 80
Pale chocolate malt
German carafa 2
Water: No water modifications (i dont know how too to this day): I just used 50% RO water + 50 spring water form grocery store
Results: turned out too thick, too smooth and under attenuated and had a  sharp kinda bite to them like acidic ** I experimented and added a teaspoon of baking soda.. wow changed the bite to a smoother character.

My final last try at #3 porter recipe before posting here today and taking 6 month break
I dropped the pale choc, dropped the carafa 2 and lowered the crystal amounts, but kept the chocolate and added a 3 oz of black patent
results still not right,  under attenuated "wlp002"  but this did have a nice smooth roasty character that was lacking in the others 2 batches same yeasts by the way....

Posting these new recipe formulations has given me the confidence that Im on the right track because eof everyone here who has commented :)

Last question? truly how important is water additions to the results... I mean if I have a solid and right recipe and brew it correctly with good water vs same but with water additions, will the recipe with water modifications be that MUCH BETTER? all other things equal..

Thank you guys, keep the wisdom flowing?

you mentioned underattenuation a couple times. What are your yeast handling practices? underattenuation is usually due to poor yeast healther, low cell count, inadequate aeration. If the beer got really cold I suppose that could have stalled them out as well. I wouldn't mess with the recipe too much until you deal with the attenuation problem. Getting the water chemistry right will also help a lot. Check out bru'n water if you can. It's a spreadsheet that will help you decifer your water and how to manipulate it to get your desired results.

Beer Recipes / Re: Suggestion and Critique Robust Porter recipe
« on: July 29, 2015, 11:58:41 AM »
Don't get too hung up on rules about percentages of this and that. Use as much or as little as you need to acheive your goal.

What didn't you like, or rather what did you want to change about the first batch?

I like munich and chocolate malt in my porter and skip the crystal for the most part. I count on mash temp and yeast selection to control attenuation/perceived body and mouthfeel.


stale as in oxidized?

I would certainly not describe it as a sherry or metalic flavor. It would be closer to a paper flavor but I don't think it was oxidized.

The salty flavor could from the water they are using.  Do you get salty flavor from Cal Commons?

I do not get a salty flavor with Anchor Steam and the couple of homebrews I have tried. Perhaps it is the water, the city is probably pumping it in from the Gulf. I did not taste the local water during my visit.

paper says oxidation. That's a packaging fault. Metallic would not be oxidation. That's ussually a water problem.

Salty says water to me as well. I don't think what you are describing is a yeast character though. Doesn't really sound like something I'd want to replicate either.

I have a 100% Brettanomyces SMASH IPA fermenting away that I brewed Friday

Red wheat malt and Citra....I'm excited to see how this turns out

must have made for an interesting lauter.

I brewed up 10 gallons of farmhouse yesterday.

Peterson Quality Pale Malt (Local malting house)
Weyermann Rye Malt
Weyermann Munich
Rolled Oats

Nelson Sauvin at FWH and Nelson and Hallertaur Mitt at flameout.

pitched 3724, Ardennes, and Brett C. and it's cranking away already this morning. The 3724 was super fresh, less than 10 days old.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sweet IPA
« on: July 23, 2015, 05:53:10 AM »
So I was wrong looking at my notes here it is.
Mash at 148* for 75
RO water with
3.6 G Gypsum
1.2 Salt
6.5 Epsom
4.45 Baking
8.1 Chalk
No acid

OG = 1.084
FG = 1.012

Tried again today just to malty and sweet tasting. maybe because its 9.5%? Disappointed was wanting something dry and hoppy!
Alcohol will enhance the perception of sweetness, but I'm wondering about those additions.  Why were you targeting such a high alkalinity (is that 4.45g of baking soda and 8.1g of chalk)?  I guess, granted, the chalk really doesn't dissolve well so might not have made much difference, but I'm not sure what you were going for by adding it.  Same with 'salt' (as in table salt?).

this! that is a lot of minerals.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: $69 kegs
« on: July 20, 2015, 12:05:11 PM »
They are made in China.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Building body into a sour ale
« on: July 20, 2015, 06:29:57 AM »
I'm with Jim here. it's just not part of the style. you can create some body like mouthfeel with higher carbonation though.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sweet IPA
« on: July 20, 2015, 06:21:34 AM »
you may be able to manipulate the flavor of the finished beer with some gypsum additions. it dissolves easily in cold beer or water. you can mix up a solution at a known strength and dose a glass to get the proportion then scale up to the full batch (assuming you are kegging).

why not do a shorter boil? 30 minutes will get you your IBU and give an opportunity to add the coriander.

It's 60% pils malt -- do you think I'll have any DMS problems boiling for only 30 minutes?
Berliner wiesse is mostly pills and its is often not boiled at all. I don't know for sure that you wouldn't have a problem but absent other options it's worth a try. Sounds like you do have other options though

why not do a shorter boil? 30 minutes will get you your IBU and give an opportunity to add the coriander.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Biab brew going from pale to brown
« on: July 18, 2015, 06:20:22 PM »
glad to hear it. It's amazing to me how much barley, hops, water, and yeast want to become beer

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Kegged lager too soon?
« on: July 17, 2015, 07:29:08 AM »
Say whaaaaaaat?  Okay that is exciting news!  I guess I need to learn how to use my refractometer correctly. I had no idea I needed to adjust the FG reading for alcohol!  You guys are the best - thanks for the help.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

also taste those samples. I'm guessing if you tasted it you would have immediatly known that there was a measurement error. to Paraphrase Denny, we taste beer not numbers.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Kegged lager too soon?
« on: July 16, 2015, 10:48:31 AM »
I measured with a refractometer but had been worried about under-aeration.  I managed to cool the wort quickly with an immersion chiller and large stirplate (3" stirbar) to room temperature and then stuck it in my keezer overnight to drop it to pitching temp. I figured the stirplate action had aerated the wort pretty well so the next day when I pitched the yeast, I didn't bother to try and aerate it anymore. I got good bubbles and krausen within 36 hours so I figured that had been fine but maybe I should have aerated with pure oxygen?

It sounds like you guys don't think the remaining yeast will be enough to continue fermentation in my keg so I should repitch. I've never fermented in a keg before. Do I really need to bother with a blow-off tube?  Isn't the keg strong enough to withstand extra pressure if I manually vent a little every day (which I don't mind doing)?

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adjusted for the presence of alcohol a 1.029 reading is more like 1.014

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