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Messages - gmac

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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 / Re: Jaggery Cream Ale/Kolsch
« on: August 01, 2011, 09:01:32 AM »
I'm using the WY2565 for my normal Kolsch.  It will be 2 weeks tomorrow and is still bubbling away.  I've been keeping it in a swamp cooler but I haven't been religious about the ice since about day 5.  I'm gonna let it come up in temp and I hope it finishes out soon.
This is for a 5K run my wife is doing at the end of this month.  I'm going to keg it, cool it and fine it with gelatin and then leave it alone for 3 weeks.  The day before the run I was going to transfer it over to a new keg to take to the after party. 

Do you think this will be enough time to clear?  Any suggestions on how to handle it if not? 

I'm hoping to use the yeast for a 10 gal batch right after I keg this one so that I have some for myself too.  Next summer this will go into the brewing rotation in the spring but this is the first time I've made one (I'm assuming I'll like it since every seems to).

Ingredients / Re: Dried Apricot
« on: July 31, 2011, 05:22:36 PM »
Major, I will try it next time.
I put the 14 oz can of apricots in the sanitized food processor and into the beer. How long do you recommend leaving them to sit?  Its only 1 gal so I'm hoping a few days are enough but I don't know.

Beer Recipes / Re: Jaggery Cream Ale/Kolsch
« on: July 31, 2011, 08:07:29 AM »
I agree, I probably wasted it but it was an impulse buy when I was getting Indian coriander and it was only 2 bucks for a kg.  The beer is fermenting away, I'll let you know what it tastes like.  I have a truer kolsch ready to go into a keg today or tomorrow so I'll see what it tastes like and how it compares to this one.

I had to use the jaggery because if I didn't it would be gone soon.  I kept walking by it and picking off little pieces to eat.  It certainly has a unique, buttery characteristics unlike anything I've ever tasted before.  My friend who is from England loved it and says that it reminds him of a candy that he grew up with and it must have been made with jaggery instead of regular sugar.

Beer Recipes / Re: Smoking malt
« on: July 29, 2011, 03:40:40 PM »
Smoking your own malts gives you another knob to turn on the process side.

Jeff has experience and a system that one can only envy for smoking grains.  The wood that I can add to his list is pear, that has some nice soft smoke flavors and even goes well with some hops if you use some restraint on the smoke and hops.

I have some crabapple shavings to try out soon.


Why not pour in a 1/2 bottle of Lagavulin if that's what you're after?

Beer Recipes / Re: Jaggery Cream Ale/Kolsch
« on: July 29, 2011, 03:37:47 PM »
Ooops.  Sorry Dmtaylor, should have checked back earlier.
Ended up with 10 lbs of 2-row, 2 lbs of jaggery, 1 tbsp of black patent at sparge.
Mashed at 1.049 for 1 hour.  Added 1 oz of Centennial at 60, 1 oz of Amarillo at 10 and 1 oz at flameout.
Didn't help that my neighbour came by and we kicked my keg of Centennial APA that was awesome.  So, this will probably be a higher alcohol APA with Kolsch yeast instead of WLP001 like last time.  Not the best planning and forethought but hey, can't do everything perfect.  I am sure the jaggery will only end up as more alcohol and the flavour will be lost but hey, there's always next time.
Final result is 20 L of 1.076 OG wort.
Thanks anyway...

Ingredients / Re: Dried Apricot
« on: July 29, 2011, 03:32:47 PM »
I'm philosophically opposed to health food stores (sorry Mort, you seem like a very nice guy...) so I went with 2, 14 oz cans of apricots in syrup.  Gonna do a quick puree, add them and see what happens.  Total shot in the dark but the syrup will likely kick start a new fermentation.  May do one can and see how they turn out and then add the 2nd if needed. 
Thanks all for your thoughts.

Ingredients / Re: Dried Apricot
« on: July 29, 2011, 10:17:22 AM »
Sigh....  why is nothing simple in this hobby?

If I can find canned apricots, do you envision any problems?  I'm asking Mrs. gmac to look when she gets groceries this afternoon.  Or, do you suggest an alternative (not raspberry)?  Would peaches work?

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 / Re: Why has my efficiency gone to crap?
« on: July 26, 2011, 06:51:51 PM »
Are you certain that your weights and volumes are accurate. If so...then I'd lean to the crush assuming your water chemistry is on the mark.

The other consideration is your temperature measurements. Calibration?


My weights and volumes could be out a bit but I weigh everything going in and out so I don't think they are off much.  I'm not sure about my water, I have Martin's page but I just don't quite get it.  I'm adjusting pH with citric acid because that's about all I can find around here and I have a new and just calibrated pH meter so I think that's ok.  I was using plain tap water for darker beers up until now but I've been doing some lighter beers and using 50/50 distilled and tap because my hardness is high.  But, it was higher when it was all tap water.  My hydrometer reads pretty close to 1.000 in 60 degree water (not distilled) so I think it's pretty good.  I wonder if my roller could have slipped open or something through use???

All Grain Brewing / Re: Why has my efficiency gone to crap?
« on: July 26, 2011, 06:47:37 PM »
Next batch I'm gonna tighten the gap a lot.  I haven't had a stuck mash yet so I'm gonna keep cranking it down.  Might try malt conditioning too so I don't destroy the husks.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Why has my efficiency gone to crap?
« on: July 26, 2011, 02:57:25 PM »
I was getting better efficiency with OIO brand malt and I did switch to Canada Malting 2-row for the last several batches. Today was pilsner malt. I mill my own but I'm considering tightening the gap and seeing if that helps.  I got good efficiency with the OIO and Munton Maris Otter malts and I'm gonna go back to the OIO when the Can. Malt is gone.  Just surprised at how it has dropped.

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. 

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