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Topics - Pawtucket Patriot

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16
Going Pro / How I Raised $1.25 Million To Start My Brewery
« on: September 19, 2012, 05:32:51 AM »
No, not me personally -- I can only dream.  But Jacob McKean, founder of Modern Times Beer in San Diego, CA, did.  And he wrote a cool editorial for Beer Pulse.  Check it out.

http://beerpulse.com/2012/09/how-i-raised-1-25-million-to-start-my-brewery/

18
All Grain Brewing / Milling Flaked Adjuncts
« on: June 24, 2012, 07:48:51 PM »
I brewed a witbier yesterday with just over 50% flaked adjuncts (~40% flaked wheat, ~10% flaked oats).  My efficiency was 69%, well under what I normally achieve (I usually hit 80-85%).  I didn't mill the flaked adjuncts because, well, I never have before and my efficiency hasn't suffered.  But this was really the first time I've used such a high proportion of adjuncts.  I'm wondering if I could expect a significant efficiency boost if I milled the flaked adjuncts to increase their surface area.  I can't think of anything else in my process or in my stats from the session that would lead to such a low starting gravity. 

To the extent that it would help to know my process/stats, here goes:
I milled the barley malt on my regular setting; this setting hasn't been adjusted in probably 100+ batches.  This was a single infusion witbier that was mashed at 154 for 60 min.  My mash pH was ~5.3-5.4.  I batch sparged and collected 7.5 gallons pre-boil wort.  I boiled for 90 minutes and ended up with a post-boil volume of 5.4 gallons.  S.G. of the post-boil wort was 1.040 (I was shooting for 1.051).  Grain bill was 4 lbs Pils, 3.75 lbs flaked wheat, 1 lb flaked oats, .30 lbs acid malt.

19
The Pub / Todd Haug of Surly Brewing Featured in NPR Article...
« on: May 31, 2012, 07:28:05 PM »
Unfortunately, it's not for brewing.  In fact, the article describes Todd as a mere "beer enthusiast."  Anyway, the article was on the Maryland Deathfest, a metal festival in Baltimore.  Todd is huge metal fan; he and his wife, Linda, who used to run a fantastic restaurant called Cafe Twenty-Eight here in Minneapolis, are in one of the photos.  When I pulled up the site tonight to see what's happening in the wide world, I did a double take when I saw the photo on the front page.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2012/05/30/154030695/portraits-of-an-american-metal-festival

20
General Homebrew Discussion / Homebrewed Wedding Favors
« on: May 22, 2012, 05:31:03 AM »
I brewed two beers -- an IPA and an American Amber -- as wedding favors for my brother's wedding, which is coming up this weekend.  My brother's buddy designed some pretty cool labels for the beers.  My brother's name is Mike and his fiancé's name is Maura, hence the "M" designs.  I'm really happy with the beers, as are the bride and groom.  I think the labels turned out really great too.



It's tough to read the beer descriptions on the labels, so here they are (in case there are inquiring minds):

IPA
Wuh-bam! That's your nostrils being awakened by the enticingly complex aroma of this American-style IPA. With floral and citrus hop notes and a little tropical spice, generous additions of seven hop varieties are balanced by just the right amount of malty sweetness. Full-flavored, yet eminently drinkable, this IPA finishes slightly dry with a lingering hop bitterness. 6.4% ABV.

American Amber
This light-garnet colored American-style ale is all about balance. Toasty grain and caramel malt flavors are met with an assertive bouquet of floral, citrus, and herbal hops. Medium bodied with a smooth finish, this is an accessible ale to be enjoyed among friends. 5.6% ABV.

In hindsight, I wish I had been a little more creative with the descriptions.  I think it would have been cool to make them more personal to the bride and groom.  But, all in all, I'm happy with the results.


21
The Pub / Met John Palmer This Morning
« on: April 21, 2012, 02:46:11 PM »
I went to my LHBS (Northern Brewer, Mpls) this morning to get some specialty grains for the IPA I'm brewing tomorrow and there's John Palmer sitting at a table with a stack of his books.  Northern Brewer was celebrating the grand opening of its Minneapolis location and John was there to give a talk about protein, among other beer-related things.  I walked up and told him that I practically lived in the green edition of How To Brew when I started brewing in 2005.  I also told him that it was the most helpful and accessible brewing resource I've encountered to date.  And since he was there, I figured I could use a copy of the 3rd edition of How to Brew, especially because John signed it 8) 

He seemed like a very nice guy.  It was great to meet someone whose instruction and advice was a phenomenal resource for me when I was starting out.  Hell, I still consult How to Brew from time to time!

Cheers to John Palmer!

22
All Grain Brewing / Inconsistent pH readings...
« on: February 20, 2012, 11:47:24 AM »
I use Bru'n Water to predict my mash pH, in conjunction with actually taking pH readings using ColorpHast strips.  As long as I use +.3 pH correction with the strips, they support Bru'n Water's predicted mash pH 90+% of the time.

Today, I took a pH sample from my IPA mash and the strips indicated a pH of 5.6-5.7 (I almost always shoot for 5.3-5.4).  I was sort of skeptical of this reading, so I tried a second strip.  It ended up reading the same thing.  Out of curiosity, I took a sample of the first runnings and it was dead on at 5.4.  With my limited tech/science knowledge, I can't explain the discrepancy here.  Can someone explain why the sample from the mash might have been higher than the that of the first runnings?  Which one should I trust as an indicator of mash pH?  At this point, I'm more inclined to trust the pH of the runnings sample since it supports Bru'n Water's mash pH prediction.  But maybe the pH of the first runnings should be less than the mash pH?   ???

edit: One more thing -- I brewed almost this same IPA recipe a few months ago with 1% acid malt.  The mash pH was dead on at 5.4.  The only things I changed for today's beer was using a slightly darker English cara malt (approximately 17L darker), and 4% aromatic.  According to Bru'n Water, those changes resulted in a .1 pH drop, so I didn't use any acid malt this time (I use the acid malt ROT that each 1% drops pH by .1).

edit 2: Edited post to clarify that I'm referring to mash pH.

23
I was recently gifted a bag of Weyermann Floor Malted Bohemian Pilsner.  So far, I've used it for a BoPils and for a CAP and I love the results.  I'm thinking of doing a 50:50 blend of the floor malted stuff and Best Pils for my Helles and Northern German Pils.  Has anyone used the floor malted bopils malt for German beers?  What are your impressions?

24
All Grain Brewing / Kolbach Index And Total Protein Question
« on: February 01, 2012, 03:07:53 PM »
I'm trying to grasp whether and when a protein rest would be beneficial for certain grists. I've seen a few rules of thumb thrown around related to the Kolbach index and the total protein percentage. I've generally heard that a protein rest may be beneficial when the Kolbach index is lower than 38%. Likewise, I've heard that a protein rest should probably be done for grists with a weighted average total protein percentage of 12 or greater.

First, are these rules of thumb accurately stated?  If so, are they worth following?

Second, what if I have a grist for which the Kolbach index is 35 but the total protein percentage is 10. Would a protein rest be beneficial?  I guess what I'm really asking is how do these numbers relate to each other when trying to determine whether or not to do a protein rest.

25
General Homebrew Discussion / Massive Starter Krausen
« on: January 11, 2012, 05:46:34 PM »
Last night I pitched a rinsed slurry of Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire to 1L of starter wort.  After I got home from work today, this is what I found...



I've made a starter for nearly every one of my 120+ batches in the last six years and I've never seen this before.  Did I overpitch or something? ???

26
All Grain Brewing / Decoction Boil Time
« on: January 02, 2012, 07:00:06 AM »
I'm brewing a BoPils today for which I'll do a Hochhurz decoction mash (Beta @ 145, Alpha @ 158).  I did a lot of searching on the web last night for thoughts on decoction and I've noticed that there seems to be a lot of variation between how long brewers recommend boiling the decoction.  I've seen a general range of 15 - 45 minutes.  And I've read that one should aim for the low end of the range for lighter beers (e.g., helles); the high end should be used for darker beers (e.g., dunkel).  But then I came across some posts on another homebrew forum where a brewer that I know to be fairly well-versed in decoction indicated that you basically won't get any flavor benefit from doing a decoction unless you boil it for at least 45 minutes.

For all of you brewers out there who do decoction mashes, how long do you boil the decoctions.  Is it style/color dependent?  Do you do a one-size-fits-all boil time?  Should I be boiling my thick decoctions longer/shorter than my thin decoctions?

Should I be doing decoctions as all??? ;) :D :P

27
All Grain Brewing / Recommend A Thermometer For Measuring Water Infusions
« on: December 11, 2011, 07:57:26 AM »
I recently tested my dial thermometer for accuracy and it was way off (by 10 degrees at both freezing and boiling -- who knows how much in the middle of the range!).  Luckily, my digital traceable thermometer, which I use to measure mash temp, was dead on.  Anyway, I'm looking to replace my dial thermometer with another stick-style thermometer that I can clip on to my HLT, which is a 5 gallon SS kettle.

I would also be open to a brewmometer, so long as I can count on it to be accurate.  Does anyone have any recommendations?

28
All Grain Brewing / Humdinger Attenuation Issue
« on: December 11, 2011, 07:52:06 AM »
Several of my recent brews have been way overattenuated (~85% apparent attenuation) and I'm trying to identify the issue.  

Here is some info on the overattenuated batches
First, these batches have involved grain bills with little, if any, caramel malt.  I'm starting to wonder if I need to start adding some dextrin malt to my pils/helles-type beers just to add a slight amount of unfermentable material.

Second, I've been using acid malt for most of the lighter batches that have overattenuated.  I have been consistently hitting a mash pH of 5.3-5.5 for the batches in question.

Third, most of these batches have started with 12P worts.

Fourth, these batches were mostly fermented with WLP833 and Wyeast 2206.  For a five gallon lager batch, I make a 2L stirplate starter with 2 smackpacks/vials.

Finally, I mashed almost all these beers around 150 for 60 min.

I just tested my brewing thermometers yesterday and my dial thermometer, which I use to measure the temp of my water infusions, was way off (at least 10 degrees at freezing and boiling).  But my traceable digital thermometer, which I use to measure mash temp, was dead on.  So, I feel like I can rule out a thermometer issue.

29
Yeast and Fermentation / What's Your Favorite Bohemian Pilsner Yeast?
« on: December 01, 2011, 06:49:46 AM »
I'll be brewing my first bohemian pilsner in a few weeks.  I've been considering using Wyeast 2000, but I'm open to other suggestions.  What's your favorite yeast for a bo-pils?

30
Beer Recipes / Munich Dunkel Question
« on: November 15, 2011, 06:10:28 PM »
I'm going to brew a Munich Dunkel soon and was wondering if it's cool to use a base of mostly (~70%) Global Dark Munich 15L.  I've used this malt in much smaller percentages before in Schwarzbier and Oktoberfest and have liked the results.

Right now, my recipe looks like this:

Munich Dunkel
4-B Munich Dunkel
Author: Matt Schwandt

Size: 5.1 gal
Efficiency: 85.0%
Attenuation: 77.0%
Calories: 174.19 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.053 (1.048 - 1.056)
Terminal Gravity: 1.012 (1.010 - 1.016)
Color: 19.12 (14.0 - 28.0)
Alcohol: 5.3% (4.5% - 5.6%)
Bitterness: 23.9 (18.0 - 28.0)

Ingredients:
6.5 lb Dark Munich
2 lb Pilsen Malt
.50 lb Caramunich® TYPE II
.20 lb Carafa® TYPE II
.45 oz Magnum (12.5%) - added during boil, boiled 60 m
.25 oz Hallertau Mittelfruh (3.4%) - added during boil, boiled 5 m
.50 ea Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) - added during boil, boiled 5 m
2 L White Labs WLP833 German Bock Lager

Notes
Single infusion batch sparge
- Add 1g Ca(OH)2 to mash ==> 5.4 pH
- 16 qts @ 163 (65 degree grain) ==> Saccharafication @ 153 [60 min]
- 3 qts @ 212 ==> Mashout @ 165 [10 min]
- 14 qts Sparge H2O @ 185 ==> Sparge @ 170 [10 min]
- Add .5g CaCl to kettle

Target water profile: 53 Ca, 6 Mg, 16 Na, 42 Cl, 27 SO4

Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.5.20

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