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Messages - yeastmaster

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Ingredients / Re: Prefered base malt for brewing?
« on: January 22, 2013, 06:18:28 PM »
What are you making?
For some British Ales I like GP, for others I like MO. I do like GP for a sweet-malty flavor.

I never know what I'm making until the spirit strikes me.  It looks like the new supplier also has some basic 2-row also but I'm interested in something with a little character.  I brew fairly frequently but not enough to keep two different types of base malt on hand.

I haven't brewed with Golden promise for years, could be interesting to try.  I think I've only ever used it for Scottish ales. 

Ingredients / Prefered base malt for brewing?
« on: January 22, 2013, 03:32:08 PM »
I typically by 50 pound sacks of malt for my brewing so I always have some on hand when I want to brew.  I have a limited selection where I live (Fairbanks, Alaska) and tend to have to get whatever is available (frequently gambrinus or great western 2 row).  I just found a source with a selection of malts that has inexpensive shipping for me and I was wondering what people liked. 

I tend to brew a variety of ales ranging from blondes, red ales, IPA's, Stouts, Belgians, you name it...but I do tend to like malty beers.  This survey has a list of some of the malts I have to choose from and I just wanted to see what people liked ;)

Ingredients / Re: Spruce Tips
« on: December 11, 2012, 02:27:15 PM »
I only use hops for bittering in my spruce beers, but I would imagine an English variety hop would pair better than a citrusy American one.  You can boil the tips in plain water to get an idea of the flavor and aroma.  Pete's wife Aimee makes jelly from boiled spruce tips - it's fantastic.

noble hops.

Alaskan uses blue spruce.

I was thinking about English hops but I could see noble hops working as well....

Ingredients / Re: Spruce Tips
« on: December 11, 2012, 12:46:23 PM »
Does anyone have any thoughts about what hops go well with spruce?

Ingredients / Spruce Tips
« on: December 10, 2012, 07:29:40 PM »
I have some spruce tips I collected this spring and have stored in the freezer (probably 1/2 to 1 quarts).  I've brewed with spruce tips before and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions about how much to use, what time in boil, etc.  I think what I have is mostly white spruce.  I was thinking about an amber type ale to put these in.    :)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop bags
« on: April 04, 2011, 10:26:32 PM »
I've been round and round on the hop bag issue.  I just feel better letting the hops float free in the wort.  I currently use a whirlpool immersion chiller and have been moving towards whole hops that I've been bagging. I was thinking of using a false bottom in the BK instead.  Any thoughts on this as an alternative to the bags?

Bag the bags. Go with the FB or a "hop taco".

This seems like a great idea also but I might start with the paint straining bag until I have a little time to work on a project

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop bags
« on: April 04, 2011, 10:25:22 PM »
If you are worried about this and need to use a bag in your system, go to the big box store and get the large nylon paint strainer bag.

That is not a bad idea, I might try that.  My kettle has a circular copper maifold around the bottom but I find it will clog with hops if I am using a bunch.  The original idea was to whirlpool to get the debris in the center but I have never had much success with that.

General Homebrew Discussion / Hop bags
« on: April 03, 2011, 06:36:46 PM »
Does using hop bags have much of an impact on hop utilization?  My last IPA really didn't come out as hoppy as I was expecting.  I typically use pellet hops and until recently just threw them in when I brewed but have tried switching to keeping my hops in hopbags because I was having problems with the hop debris clogging up my manifold..... 8)

All Grain Brewing / Re: Decotion in a strong dark Belgian?
« on: March 04, 2011, 06:43:13 PM »
If you pull a thin decoction (all liquid) and only boil it briefly, I doubt you will see any flavor or color changes.  It's not traditional, as others have mentioned, but I don't see any reason not to do it.

This is exactly what I ended up doing and it worked out great.  The sweet wort tasted pretty good and fermented pretty vigorously.  I haven't tried a post fermentation sample yet for flavor or gravity.  The whole batch was a bit of an experiment but I have high hopes for it. 8)

Other Fermentables / Re: Blueberries
« on: February 26, 2011, 11:44:42 AM »
I made Blueberry wine with 15 lbs in August for the first time.  I just bottled it a few weeks ago and it tasted very good.  Thanks Mark for beer advice with bluberries.  I might try some in the secondary because I still have around 3-5 lbs in the freezer.

What was your recipe for blueberry wine?

I've done a blueberry mead, yum!

I haven't done a blueberry stout but I have done a cranberry stout which was pretty good.

Other Fermentables / Blueberries
« on: February 25, 2011, 07:58:15 PM »
Does anyone have any thoughts about what I might do with 15 pounds of blueberries?

Equipment and Software / Re: Building a new mashtun!
« on: February 24, 2011, 06:27:01 PM »
Brewed with the new mashtun last weekend.  What a great set up.  Way easier to mash in and great at holding the temperature.  The batch sparge was much faster and easier than my old setup.  I got clear wort almost right away with the braid in there and only had to recirculate a tiny amount.  On my old set up I would start getting clear wort but when I opened up the valve all the way it would get cloudy again.  No problem like that with this new set up.  Thanks to everyone else for advice and inspiration!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Decotion in a strong dark Belgian?
« on: February 19, 2011, 01:06:41 PM »
I have plenty of room for an infusion, the only problem with that is it doesn't leave me a lot of water for my batch sparge.  I suppose that I could decrease my water to grain ratio in my initial step to try and compensate.

I was planning on at least 90 minute rest

You really don't have to take out the drain if you set it up this way...  Cheers!!!

This ^^^^ is what I did. No leaky. Cheersx2!

This seems super simple.  I pulled the spigot out of mine and put in a ball valve.....mostly because I enjoy building things ;)

All Grain Brewing / Decotion in a strong dark Belgian?
« on: February 19, 2011, 12:43:32 PM »
I'm doing a strong dark Belgian and I want to do my mash in the mid 140's F to help get keep the FG from being too high.  Would it be inappropriate at the end of a long mash to do a decoction to raise the temp up enough for a mashout and to help get everything flowing better when I sparge?

I batch sparge and last time I did a mash like this I had a lot of trouble draining my first runnings.  I think the problem was my fairly low temp because it ran a lot better when I warmed the mash up with my batch sparge water

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