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Messages - gmac

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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. 

The Pub / Re: Beer drinking and brewing music
« on: July 23, 2011, 08:21:35 PM »
And now, one of the most incredible songs ever from "The Tragically Hip".  May not be for everyone but have a listen.

The Pub / Re: Beer drinking and brewing music
« on: July 23, 2011, 08:06:09 PM »
I'm feeling generous and a bit drunk so here's a great Canadian group (twin sisters) from Alberta.
Not the best sound quality but still a great song.

The Pub / Re: Beer drinking and brewing music
« on: July 23, 2011, 08:04:19 PM »
And another one.
This was made before I was born but it's still amazing. 

The Pub / Re: Beer drinking and brewing music
« on: July 23, 2011, 08:00:05 PM »

you have to like a band that has that kind of light show, guitarist, drummer...and a flute player.   :)

You want a band with a flute player, this is the ultimate for me.

Yesterday I made a first attempt at a wit.  Not perfect but it's something to build on.  Today I threw together a last minute wheat beer (5 lbs 2-row, 5 lbs wheat, 1/2 lb Munich with 1 oz of Perle @ 60 and 1/2 oz of Hallertau at 15 and 1/2 oz at flameout.  WLP001 left over from another brew.  Just made it since I had the yeast.  Could be great, could be crap.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Summer Beer
« on: July 22, 2011, 01:58:05 PM »
It looks very interesting to me.  Mrs. GMAC hates cumin (although she's getting it in her taco's whether she likes it or not) so when I told her your idea she said "Eww..."  But, she's usually wrong so who cares (thank goodness she doesn't have an AHA account).

I think it would be good but what do I know.  Go for it.  I do think scaling back the cumin to the "hey, what's that...can't quite place it but it's nice" range would be good.  Do you think that will clash with the lemon?  Just curious since I've never thought of those two tastes together.

I love the recent Miller Lite bottle with the spiral twisties in the neck to make it pour faster/smoother or whatever.  My opinion, when you have to rely on the packaging to sell your product, your products crap!

Edit:  I forgot to mention Molson M - the world's first "micro-carbonated" beer.  Apparently the bubbles were just too big for some people...

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