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Topics - gmac

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Yeast and Fermentation / WLP002 English Ale
« on: September 01, 2011, 11:23:40 AM »
I'm planning on a brown ale this week and I wondered if anyone had any thoughts on this yeast?  I've read that it flocculates extremely well.  Do I need to rouse it during fermentation as I did with the Wyeast London II I tried before?  It stalled out and had to be warmed and roused to get it moving again (maybe I should have checked to see that these were different strains - just thought about that...).

Beer Travel / Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
« on: September 01, 2011, 09:02:56 AM »
Next week I start my yearly travel cycle through the North Central US.  I always like to try local beers when I can but I'm sure that most of the place I go to don't have the real micro/nano brews available.  So, I'm asking for your help.

If you live in one of the states listed above (ND, SD - just the East part) and you have a good recommendation for a beer that I should seek out while I'm out there, please let me know.  I'll probably be in each state for at least a week so I don't mind driving a few miles out of my way to find a good beer.  There are some definitely obvious ones (MI - Bell's) but are there really tiny but great breweries that don't distribute very broadly?  That's what I'm looking to find.

All Grain Brewing / My first Saison
« on: September 01, 2011, 08:55:19 AM »
I made my first Saison a few weeks ago and I'm not really sure what to think of it.  I used Wyeast French Saison yeast and it worked amazingly well (mostly Pilsner malt and 1 lb table sugar).  I also spiced it with coriander, dried orange peel, fresh ginger and peppercorns.  OG was 1.062 but the FG was 1.000 - does this seem right?

It's good, I think.  We don't get many Saison's around here so I have no commercial comparison but it is definitely a bit funkier than I'm used to.  My wife doesn't like it but there's a long list of things she doesn't like so I'm not that upset. 

I wish that there was someone I could send a bottle to so they could tell me if it's close to what it should be or if I'm way off the mark (border issues so don't all volunteer...)

Yeast and Fermentation / 2 -week old slurry
« on: August 30, 2011, 07:29:39 AM »
I have a couple cups, maybe close to a quart of 2-week old slurry I collected when I kegged a kolsch.  It's been in the fridge since I kegged and I'm planning to split it between two 5 gallon carboys tomorrow.  I think that there is more than enough to do two batches.  But, given that it's been sitting for a bit, what's the best way to handle it to get it ready?  I was considering adding 1 or 2 quarts of 1.040 wort to it today just to wake it up but is that wise?  Is it better to just split it and pitch it tomorrow?
Please advise on what you think would give the best result.

Beer Recipes / Non-alcohol beer
« on: August 29, 2011, 11:53:16 AM »
Any have a recipe for a non-alcohol brew?  I looked up one in back issues of BYO that had the beer placed in an oven for a while and then carbonated.  Anyone ever try this?  I'm looking to make some non-alcohol beer for a friend that can't have alcohol due to a heart condition and he asked if I could make non-alcohol beer that actually tested something like beer. 

Kegging and Bottling / Carbonating 1 gal in a 5 gal cornie
« on: August 10, 2011, 06:38:45 PM »
I made a wit for a friend and I put it into a free keg, added sugar to it and then used the CO2 to push the beer out and slowly fill the bottles.  But, I ran out of bottles.  I have about a gallon left in the bottom of the cornie and it has priming sugar added to it.  I'm gonna leave it warm for a few days to use up the priming sugar but will this be enough to carbonate the beer given all the headspace?  I'm assuming no but should I just stick the CO2 on at regular pressure or will the CO2 in there screw up the pressure somehow?

Ingredients / Priming sugar for 1 gal.
« on: August 06, 2011, 09:42:42 AM »
Sorry, I can't find my copy of How to Brew anywhere so I'm asking here.
I have a 1 gallon jug of wheat beer that I put on pureed apricots.  The secondary fermentation has now subsided and I'm going to bottle it but I have no idea how much sugar to use for slightly less than 1 gallon.  I'm going to put it in the fridge for a couple days to help it clear and settle and then siphon off the beer, leaving the apricot sludge behind which is why I'll be shy of a gallon.  Any suggestions how much table sugar to use for this amount of beer?

The Pub / Aren't some of you guys drummers?
« on: August 04, 2011, 12:02:21 PM »
I remember a discussion a while aback about the relative merits of drummers versus the rest of society.  Depending on your point of view, this video will prove you right - regardless of which side you may be on...

General Homebrew Discussion / How much beer is too much?
« on: August 01, 2011, 07:28:34 PM »
Today I made my 20th all grain batch in 20 weeks.  That means I'm going through about a keg a week.  Not all drank by me of course, and a couple batches are for a party at the end of the summer and there's still some in the fridge awaiting consumption but I just realized I've made 100 gallons of beer in the past 5 months. 

Just curious, how much does the average brewer brew?  Doesn't matter if it's all-grain or extract, just wondered if I'm keeping up with the rest of you.

Ingredients / Centennial hops partner
« on: August 01, 2011, 09:08:26 AM »
I'm doing a 10 gal batch of APA and I thought I had 6 oz of Centennial on hand but I guess I mis-read some Cascade and I only have 4. 
Any suggestions to make up the missing 2 oz?  I have Cascade, Amarillo, Willamette, some British and some Noble hops. 

My recipe was 2 oz at 60, 2 at 15 and 2 at flame out.  I'm sure I could use Cascade instead but what else would partner well with the Centennial?  Or should I just use 2 oz of Northern Brewer at 60 since I doubt you can taste them at that time?

If I was to sub in Amarillo instead, would you suggest using them at 15 or at flameout?  Or combining them?

Beer Recipes / Smoking malt
« on: July 29, 2011, 07:49:03 AM »
Dumb idea #2 - Smoked porter
In preparation for the cooler days of autumn, I'm thinking of either a coffee porter or more intriguing, a smoked porter.  But, how do I smoke the malt?  I'm assuming you need just a little bit since I want the smoke to be present but not over powering.  Probably just use green maple twigs for the smoking but I can get other woods if needed.   I am sure that I want to use hardwood and not softwood (pine, spruce etc). 

How do I smoke a bit of malt and how much do you suggest for a 5 gal batch so that it is present and supporting but not overpowering?  Doesn't have to be perfect but I need a starting point to fine-tune from later.


Beer Recipes / Jaggery Cream Ale/Kolsch
« on: July 29, 2011, 07:43:07 AM »
You can always tell the day after I've been driving for hours because I have all these dumb brewing ideas.  Yesterday I drove from Montreal to my side of Toronto (8 hours) so I had lots of windshield time.  Here is what I was thinking.

I have a batch of kolsch yeast (Wyeast) ready to go in a 3L starter.  I made a kolsch last week so I've been slowly building it back up from the residue left in the starter jug and now it's probably enough to do another batch.  But, I don't have pilsner malt or wheat malt and I'd read about using kolsch yeast in a cream ale somewhere.

Here's what I'm considering and I know it doesn't fit into anything approaching a recognized style.  Just thinking simple and summery for the end of August vacation.

8 lbs - Pale Malt (my supplier was out of 2-row so dug a bit deeper and bought 55 lbs of Weyerman Pale Malt)
2 lbs - Jaggery (instead of mashing corn or rice)
1 oz Northern Brewer @ 60
1/2 oz Cascade @ 30
1/2 oz Cascade @ 10
Kolsch yeast. 

Ingredients / Dried Apricot
« on: July 29, 2011, 06:59:36 AM »
I have a wheat beer just finishing up fermentation and a friend's wife asked if I could make her some apricot wheat.  She's not a beer drinker (wine snob) and she doesn't drink much beer but she heard wanted to try something in a gateway beer so 1 gal will be enough and coincidentally, I just picked up a couple 1 gal jugs.

But, apricot puree and fresh apricots are both hard to find but I can get dried apricots easily.  I was wondering about adding dried apricots to a cup of water and bringing it all to a boil to sterilize and then letting them soak a bit to take in some water.  Then, I was thinking into the food processor and make a puree to add.  What do you think?  Would this work?  How much?  I read 3 lbs for 5 gallons so I'm thinking that a 1/2 lb would probably do it assuming that it's more concentrated being dried.

Please give me your thoughts.

All Grain Brewing / Why has my efficiency gone to crap?
« on: July 26, 2011, 02:50:57 PM »
My first several AG batches were running somewhere around 85% efficiency.  Today I did a brew using 10 lbs of pilsner malt and got 6 US gal (23L) of 1.042 wort.  I calculate that to be around 70%.  I guess that's ok but I can't figure out why it's gone down so much.  I am using 2 quarts per lb of grain, mashing at 150, using 50% distilled water and 50% tap to reduce my carbonates and hardness.  Mash was 5.4 pH after adjustment with citric acid (nothing new).  Just can't figure out why I've dropped 15% or so and it's bugging me. 

Beer Recipes / Jaggery in a saison
« on: July 20, 2011, 10:44:27 AM »
I was in an Indian grocer the other day and they had 1 kg blocks of jaggery there so I got one (hey, I've spent $2 on worse things...)

Now I'm wondering what to do with it.  I'm looking at a saison next week and I was wondering how 2 lbs of jaggery would work in it?  I know they are supposed to be dry so would subbing out some grain and adding this be a mistake?  The other option could be Jaggery Cream Ale using WLP001, 2-row and jaggery only.  

Or, is there something else I should be doing with it?

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