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Messages - gmac

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Ingredients / What is candi sugar?
« on: July 04, 2011, 08:33:17 AM »
I'm not sure I really know what candi sugar is.  How does that differ from plain table sugar, especially "light" candi?  Our sugar is mostly from beets so I don't know how much different it would be.  Is it worth buying for a saison or would a lb of table sugar get me close enough to where I need to be?

Ingredients / Re: Full-Flavored Belgian Wit.
« on: July 04, 2011, 08:31:39 AM »
How much lemongrass would you suggest (inches of stalk)?  I'm going to do a wit soon and I was actually thinking the same thing.  I've got bitter orange, sweet orange (maybe), chamomile flowers and coriander that I was going to use sparingly and I like the idea of adding a lemon note too.  I'm trying to copy a beer from Quebec called Blanche de Chambly which is noted for having some lemony notes so this may work.  I was going to use a touch of lemon zest but I like the "exotic" feel of using lemongrass.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Unbalanced pale ale
« on: July 04, 2011, 08:06:17 AM »
Maybe.  I'll ask her.  I guess worst case is to hop in the keg and then rack into another keg.  I'm gonna need more kegs...

All Grain Brewing / Re: Unbalanced pale ale
« on: July 04, 2011, 07:31:39 AM »
Thanks Oscar.  I'll add them this morning.  I just don't have any sort of hop bag.  They are going right into the keg which is why I wanted to know about the floating or if they are going to block the outlet tube. 

Zymurgy / When's the next edition?
« on: July 03, 2011, 09:23:08 PM »
Just curious.  I joined April 21, still waiting for my first edition to arrive. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Edit: I did a decoction, damm!t...
« on: July 03, 2011, 08:09:34 PM »
How come I'm only in Minnesota when it's snowing?  The weather looks great out there. 
Congrats on the good brews.  I tapped my decocted amber lager the other day.  Tastes pretty good but I can't say it's the best I've ever had until I get through the bottom part of the keg where all the hops etc have settled.  I find that most of my beer is pretty bitter until I get past the hop floaties.  Just glad to hear it's working for you.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Tell me about Kolsch please
« on: July 03, 2011, 08:05:58 PM »
You can get a decent bench type pH meter for around 60 bucks. Worth in IMO.
I agree, worth it but where can you find one for that price?  Remember, they have to ship to Canada, the duty can't be too much and the exchange needs to be close to make it worthwhile.  See, that's my problem.  I can find all kinds of great stuff on-line but most of it doesn't ship out of the US. 
I also need a new flask for starters having broken my 1 gal jug, a stir plate would be great.  Some smaller flasks for stepping up starters, bottles for storing yeast slants, an autoclave, a large hadron collider and some other miscellaneous lab gear that I can't brew without.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Unbalanced pale ale
« on: July 03, 2011, 08:00:26 PM »
Do they float or do I need some sort of bag to put the dry hops in?  I'm gonna use 1 oz of whole Cascade and see what happens. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Tell me about Kolsch please
« on: July 03, 2011, 02:12:12 PM »
My water is fairly hard (Carbonate = 216 if I remember right) and I was going to brew this as I'd brew most other lighter beers with a 50/50 split with distilled water (I found out that my local pharmacy carries distilled water for some reason).  I'm not sure if this will be enough so I do occasionally add a gram or two of citric acid to it as well if necessary (I admit, I'm sort of haphazard with this but my results have been good so far).  My pH meter is just an aquarium one and I had to replace the batteries and I don't think it is any longer calibrated.  I don't have any calibration solution but if I was to put it in plain distilled water, shouldn't that read 7?  I did that and it read 8.3 which is why I am confident it is not calibrated. 

Any thoughts on putting it in distilled water and adjusting it to 7?  I know a low and high are better to form a curve but this is what I have.  I could use plain 5% acetic acid vinegar for the low end if someone can tell me what the pH of that is.

All Grain Brewing / Unbalanced pale ale
« on: July 03, 2011, 11:20:53 AM »
I made a very plain pale ale using only 1 oz of Cascade FWH.  The rest of the grain bill is 8 lbs 2-row, 1 lb vienna.  That's it.  I think the beer is a bit unbalanced.  It's OK but it has too much body and if I do it again I'll leave out the vienna and add 1 lb of corn or maybe even plain sugar to make it lighter in body.  My question is, would dry hopping this now do anything to improve it?  I know it won't add bitterness nor will it lighten the body but I was wondering if you thought it would add any complexity that would make this more drinkable.  Like I said, it's not terrible but it's not what I was shooting for.  Right now I can see myself blending this with something else in the glass until I get it used up.  I won't throw it out.

More radically, could I boil 1/2 an ounce of hops in a quart of water and add that to lighten it slightly and add more bitterness?  Probably not the best remedy.  I'd prefer to just try the dry hops if you think it's worth the effort.  Can you dry hop cold, carbonated beer?  I've never done it before.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Tell me about Kolsch please
« on: July 03, 2011, 11:08:08 AM »
Well, the Wyeast kolsch yeast is on order (LHBS closed all weekend - must be off to the cottage).  I ordered 10 lbs of Pilsner malt.  Not sure what brand and I'm sure it's domestic but it's a start. German seems to be hard to find for some reason although I'm probably just not looking in the right places.

I'm going to use the recipe that Majorvices posted this first time unless someone can suggest a reason that I should modify it in some way.  I'm pretty sure it will be a good starting point. 
Here's a really dumb question.  What would happen if I used it as written for 10 gallons and split it and pitched Kolsch yeast in one half and Wyeast French Saison in the other?  Are they similar enough in ingredients that this would work?  Just trying to do the most with my time.  I also thought of removing 1 gallon of wort and adding candied ginger/pepper or whatever to that and boiling it on the stove seperately and then adding it to the saison.  Or, am I just making things too complicated?  I just want to maximize my time and splitting 10 gals will save me a lot of time versus brewing two days in a row.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Frozen beer
« on: July 01, 2011, 09:26:11 AM »

Dang....don't worry about the beer.....but what are you SERVING?

Not sure I follow Oscarvan.  Are you asking what I usually have on tap?  Until now I've been using a fridge to store my beer so there's been one lager lagering and usually a keg of amber ale in the fridge all the time.  The third spot I rotate all of those other kegs in and out depending on who's coming over, what I feel like drinking or what I've made that's new.  It's been a pain in the butt which is why I went and bought the freezer.  I can get at least 8 cornies into the freezer.  The fridge is going to get a second temp controller to become a lager fermenter (or ale in the summer if it gets too hot).

Next on the list is that Kolsch and then a wit and a saison (I think I'm gonna need a bigger freezer). 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Frozen beer
« on: June 30, 2011, 06:56:26 PM »
I'll see your cornie and raise you 6.  I had people coming over so I put everything I had into the new freezer to get them nicely chilled for a "sampling".  Froze all 7.  California common, cream ale, rye pale ale (it was the slushiest having more alcohol I think), amber ale, mild, amber lager and light lager.  Seven unique snow cone flavours.

I'm sure they'll be fine but thanks everyone for putting my mind at ease.  I've pulled the plug and I'll play with the temp tomorrow.  Luckily I'm away for a few days so they can drop clear again for when I get back.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Frozen beer
« on: June 30, 2011, 01:47:33 PM »
It will drop out some flavor compounds and proteins, but it should be fine other than that.  Just wait for it to thaw completely.
I have an 8.5% rye pale ale that I had a glass of at 1/2 thawed.  Probably 10%+.  Sort of a barley wine taste to it.  Not terrible but not how it tasted when thawed.

General Homebrew Discussion / Frozen beer
« on: June 30, 2011, 01:31:10 PM »
Does freezing hurt beer?  I put a controller on my freezer and apparently it's in Farenheit, not Celsius.  Beercicle anyone?

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