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Topics - gmac

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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?

The Pub / Showering with Gordon
« on: July 14, 2011, 02:17:00 PM »
I have this bad habit of reading on the john and then setting my book on the edge of the tub and forgetting about it.  Apparently it fell in and when my son turned on the water to have his shower, it had slid into the tub.  Now, my Brewing Better Beer (the same one I lost and then found) is now a lot thicker and the pages are quite a bit curlier than they used to be. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Wit Starter
« on: July 13, 2011, 10:15:50 AM »
I just had a thought.  Normally I'd let a starter run for a few days and then cold crash it and pitch the healthy yeast at the bottom.  But for a wit, is this the right plan?  I'm wondering if the yeast will settle properly.  If I was to pour off the liquor on top, am I really getting rid of the less floculent yeast that I should be keeping?

Yeast and Fermentation / Plastic starter vessel...
« on: July 12, 2011, 08:55:48 PM »
I made some starter today and put 2L in two different plastic jugs.  The jugs used to hold distilled water.  So, now I'm wondering if I can just boil 2L of starter and cool it and put it back into a the same jug (after sanitizing it).  Is there a problem with plastic and alcohol?  I'm not going to drink it so would it matter for a starter?  I'm going to start a kolsch tomorrow, please let me know if I need to use a glass vessel or if this is OK?

Yeast and Fermentation / Making starter from grain.
« on: July 12, 2011, 08:17:26 AM »
I don't have any DME on hand and I need to make a starter.  If I crush and mash 1.5 lbs of 2-row in a gallon of water for an hour at 150-155F and then strain out the "wort", is there any reason that won't make a reasonable starter?  I think 1 lb in 1 gal would give me a wort of 1.036 if I got 100% of the sugar.  Since I won't get 100%, I thought I'd just go a lb and a half.  I was just going to bring the water to temp, add the grain and adjust to hit my temp and then put it in the oven.

Any reason it has to be super clear?  I won't be vorlaufing, just pouring it into another pot through a strainer and then boiling for a few minutes to sterilize.  But, assuming I do a starter and then cold crash it and discard the liquid, what does it matter?

Beer Recipes / Adding dry hops timing advice needed
« on: July 10, 2011, 09:59:42 AM »
I've never dry hopped a beer in the primary but I don't really use secondaries any longer so I was wondering when the right time is to do that.  I have an IPA that I brewed last Monday and I thought of dry hopping it today but when I opened the bucket, I was surprised to see how much krausen was still present on the top.  Would you wait for that to fall or add dry hops now?  I don't have a gravity reading as I am loath to take them during fermentation for fear of contamination.

Equipment and Software / Freezer condensation
« on: July 10, 2011, 09:57:12 AM »
How do you control the condensation in your keg freezers?  Mine is getting a bit damp inside. 

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