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Messages - mugwort

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All Grain Brewing / Re: New equipment
« on: January 10, 2015, 08:54:14 AM »
Your assistant gazes upon your brewing operation with utterly laid-back approval.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Happy New Beer!
« on: January 02, 2015, 12:42:39 AM »
Happy New Years y'all!  A bit of nice New Year's beer health news from our other favorite Charlie...

Beer has the nutrient advantage over the other drink choices.  And homebrew tends to do us even better than commercial, as it's usually fresher and unfiltered.  Cheers!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegging/tap system Questions
« on: December 09, 2014, 07:52:54 PM »
These are some really great suggestions.  Two tanks keep you from a long, unplanned expedition to get a fill.  And using 2.5 or 3 gallon kegs is easier and a boon to variety on tap.

Definitely get the twin gauge regulator which you can set different pressure for each, and then further split the lines as you see fit.

You can run a very low pressure to the mead.  Also you can leave the valve that is feeding the mead off, only switching it on when the pour slows to a trickle.  This will minimize gassing the mead.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling Logistics
« on: December 04, 2014, 07:09:05 PM »
If you've got a ton of carboys, just notch a wooden dowel with whatever increments you desire.  View dowel close to fermenter with your eye at liquid level.  Absolutely don't forget to subtract the trub.

I've got a square dowel with marks added for all my glass carboys (3, 5, 6.5 and my single 6 gallon--each gets a side).  After all that measuring and notching, I keep that baby hidden and safe from my wood-chewing puppy.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Secondary fermentation/carboy question
« on: November 11, 2014, 07:04:14 PM »
The cherry juice concentrate is a great idea.  It's usually in a little bottle, maybe 10 or 12 ounces.  I wouldn't do more than two bottles before giving it a week to ferment and then taste.  If you find after the cherry refermentation that you want more cherry, you can add a sugar free syrup or extract to taste, thereby skipping additional fermentation.

I'd also just do it all in primary.  You can go 6 weeks or more, as long as your temps are not excessive.  Also, if it's not a big hassle you can run the cherry juice down the inside wall of the carboy by leaning it at an angle.

As for the nibs, I toast them if they're raw and then throw them in loose.  Some people prefer short exposure times but I'm not among them.

There are so many ways you can do this and none mentioned so far are "wrong".  So go with what works for you and keep good notes of course.

I've had the big stainless steel jug for a few weeks but only am now getting around to cleaning it.  I'm planning on fermenting with it in about a week.

Impressions so far...

Well, as pointed out, it's heavy.  For better or for worse.

Build quality is sloppy.  Seams, welds, and edges are too frequently sharp, rough and choppy.  Lots of places to take off skin, and picks and cracks inside to potentially harbor gunk and funk.

Unlike some others, mine appears not to leak, at least as tested by one PBW soak.  Will do a second soak and then a StarSan treatment before it goes into service.

Vessel capacity is large and access to inside is easy--the reason I signed on.

However, the generally poor build quality and workmanship are a real bummer. 

Should have coughed up another hundred and got a SS brew bucket.

The technique seems good.  You flush with CO2 which is a must.  Three to four days at 65-70*F is all that is needed.

After I remove the hops, the keg goes in the fridge under CO2 for a week.  Then I pull a full pint (not a little bit at a time to taste test, as that just mixes things around that have settled out) and dump that down the drain as I have no desire to have hop bits disable my taste buds.

I've used pellets and whole hops and really haven't had a problem with either.  The most important part of dry hopping is the hops themselves.  If the hops don't smell incredible before you use them, they will not suddenly smell incredible in the beer.

Is this flavor something you only get in your homebrew or is it something you don't like in craft examples?

Thanks for the ideas.  One thing I don't do is do a pint pull to flush the hop particles.  After hooking it up to dispense, I tend to do little checks and tastes that probably serve to keep stuff agitated.

Also, since I tend to carb at room temp while dry-hopping, I'm sampling the beer within a day of the hops coming out, so there's little settling time.

I detect a rough hop leafiness in some commercial brews, but most don't stand out beyond the rest of the hop flavors and aromas so I don't find them objectionable.  For example, some Sierra Nevada brews (Celebration, Torpedo) seem to me to have that leafiness along with a rough bitterness but everything seems balanced enough.  Most of the time I enjoy it.

Also perhaps it's partly finding out how a beer's intended to taste.  Same way I learned to appreciate sours over time with an "oh, it's supposed to taste like that" thought.  Probably the most shallow way of appreciating something, but it's a start.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dry-hopping sours successfully
« on: October 02, 2014, 09:10:23 PM »
I've never dry hopped a sour, but I've been having this issue a lot lately myself on many dry-hopped beers.

Having very recently enjoyed New Belgium Le Terroir during their most-excellent brewery tour, I know what I'd like to achieve.  Dusty-green veg aroma was near nonexistent, and the pleasant hop aroma aspect was well-integrated with the gentle sourness.  Sigh.

General Homebrew Discussion / Dry-hopping sours successfully
« on: October 02, 2014, 06:03:45 PM »
I've mentioned my more general dry-hopping issue in another topic, so I won't go into that here.  What I want to ask is, are there special considerations with regard to dry-hopping sours?  Can factors like increased acidity speed up or harshen hop character extraction?

I'm wondering this because of my most recent dry-hopping experience with a tart wit (lacto/brett/pineapple/passion fruit).  I put 2 oz of fresh-smelling Nelson Sauvin pellets in a very fine mesh bag with some marbles and then added that to a keg holding a little over 2 gallons of tart wit.  I kept the keg between 55 and 65 degrees for four days before removing the hops, occasionally swirling gently to assist contact.

When I opened the keg to remove the bag, I found that I had not tied the bag sufficiently and some sludge had emerged from the bag.  Dealing with some particles is not a big deal.  I line a large goblet with a fine mesh bag during the pour and then slowly lift the bag from the glass to retain any hop particles as the beer filters through.

What bugs me is that in addition to wonderful gooseberry notes from dry-hopping, there is an obtrusive hop pellet character present--that powdery green smell that meets the nose when you crush a pellet.

I've given the beer a few cold weeks to clarify. Many particles have settled and the off-flavor is less prominent.  Unfortunately, as time and gravity tone down the rough edges, the delicate dry-hop aroma is fading as well.

I feel like the bag breach was only part of the issue, but there's no way to be certain.  Really don't want to dry-hop my next long-aged sour, only to bring about excessive or unfavorable hop extraction.  Time to do some more reading and research.

Curious of the dryhop technique you used (when/where/how)?
I've been mostly keg-hopping for the last 2 years.  I put 1 to 3 ounces at a time (all pellets in the last year) in a fine mesh nylon bag with some marbles and rack from primary into the keg, making sure to purge thoroughly with CO2.

For bottle-conditioned beers, I'll put the mesh bag through the neck of the carboy, racking to bottling bucket 4 to 7 room-temp days later.  I've tried loose dry-hopping but can't get the sludge to drop out satisfactorily so I stick to nylon bags.

I've tried contact times from 3 days to 2 months (when keg ran out), and have found that shorter contact time tastes better.  Likewise, I've tried different temps (40 - 75 degrees) and found that warmer temps impart hoppiness with less stemminess.  I'll sometimes do a second addition, switching our the bag after 3 or 4 days.

I say none of this conclusively.  It's just what I've found so far, without going to the lengths of splitting the wort into multiple vessels and dry-hopping under different conditions simultaneously.  This may be on the menu in the future.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg hopping frustration
« on: October 01, 2014, 10:30:17 AM »
Assuming the bag didn't loosen or experience a breach, perhaps the mesh of your bag is too coarse.  I've got other dry-hop problems, but using a very fine mesh bag (fabric-like) keeps the hop sludge at bay.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer goes flat when chilled-help!
« on: September 30, 2014, 06:24:15 PM »
and what temp are you entering in the carbonation calculator? it should be the highest temp achieved after the bulk of fermentation has occurred. so if you bump your temp to 70 at the end to finish out enter 70.

A very good point.  Makes me a bit sad to think of the carboys containing marathon brews in my closet that will require a 90 in that field when bottling time comes around.  Lousy heat wave.

Is there a particular hop that you use consistently with your hoppy beers that could contribute to this. I have used Bravo a few times and really get an overwhelming hoppiness out of it. Not vegetal necessarily, but not dank either...
Not really.  I've used organic simcoe, citra, nelson and a few others.  If I'm careful with the time and temps I can get that desired dry-hop character with only a hint of the dry-hop dustyleaf off-flavor.

In those cases, I consider the dry-hop a success, though I can't help but wonder what the original would be tasting like at the same time.  In a number of instances I thought I'd prefer the non-dry-hopped, but a split batch side-by-side tasting like Mort is suggesting would help me evaluate further.

Anybody decided to forego dry-hopping in favor of putting it all in at whirlpool?  I am doing more and more IPA flameout and chilldown additions these days and really liking it.  Super aroma and flavor.

What I'm not liking are the results I tend to get dry-hopping.  Along with the desired hop aroma, I always get some level of detectable "vegetivity" that comes along with it.  Think about what you smell in addition to the lovely oils when you crush and rub a (non-stale) hop pellet.  It's that green "pelletiness" I keep encountering but haven't yet come across a good descriptor for it or a reliable way to avoid it.

Like a number of others, I've found shorter and warmer additions reduce vegetative character.  I've recently done 3-4 days at between 60 and 70 degrees and things have been better.  But I would love to eliminate it fully.

Anyone dealt with this problem or have any suggestions?  I'm tempted to go back to leaf but those are getting harder to find organically.

While dry-hopping isn't that tough, I find it a hassle, considering the hops tend to over-share.  I won't miss the additional step(s) of dry-hopping, especially if I can achieve say 80% of the end-product hoppiness with additions made during my wort chilling time.

I'm wondering if this is some good pragmatism or simply veiled sour grapes.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Low FG, any fix?
« on: September 15, 2014, 06:28:18 PM »
You guys got me paranoid now...time to double-check mine.

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