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Messages - gmac

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All Grain Brewing / Efficiency drop
« on: July 06, 2011, 07:31:51 AM »
Just wondering how much impact the malt plays in driving efficiency?  I switched 2-row malt and my effiiciency seems to have dropped dramatically.  I did not adjust my roller spacing although I'm considering tightening them until I get through this bag.  I mash at 2L/lb, same as before.

I was running 82-85% and all of the batches I've done with this grain have been in the 70-72% range.  Yesterday I used 8.5 lbs 2-row, 1 lb of corn and 0.5 lbs of C45 and got 18L of 1.052 OG.  Did I screw up the math?

Ingredients / Re: Infused sugars?
« on: July 05, 2011, 09:03:31 PM »
I think the explanation is that you said someone should try it and he was saying "not me".  My kids will do that at times.  Last one to say "not it" is "it".  Of course, I'm sure you probably figured this out already...

Beer Recipes / Wit Recipe
« on: July 05, 2011, 05:30:27 PM »
A good friend asked me to brew him a wit similar to Blanche de Chambly, a Quebec beer that I'm sure most of you have not had before.  Since its probably not that familiar to most of you, I know it will be hard to answer some of my questions but I'd appreciate some starting comments.

I know I won't hit it 100% the first time but I have a few questions.  I'm going to use bitter orange and coriander for this and I don't want to over do it so some guidance there would be appreciated.  How much is a good starting point for each (I know I can probably find recipes with this but what does the group think)?  Further though, one of the comments that come up on-line when you see reviews of this beer is that it has a lemony character.  Not sure if this is coming from the yeast that they use or from the use of lemon.  I was thinking of using lemon grass and I asked in another post about how much but it's sort of buried in there.  So, any thoughts on a good starting point if using lemon grass and how to use it?  Lastly, I've read that chamomile flowers are also nice and I've ordered some.  How much is a good start?  I want to make a nicely layered assortment of flavours without being overly busy but am I reaching too far on this first attempt?

I also don't have any flaked wheat although I do have flaked oats and malted wheat.  Can I live without the flaked wheat?  Is there anything else that I could sub in? 

Sorry for asking so many recipe questions lately but I've got a few yeast strains headed my way so my mind is working on about 3 different recipes at once.  I'm even getting them confused in my mind (sometimes I can remember if I'm thinking about a kolsch or a saison or a stout or an APA or what?)

All Grain Brewing / Re: Unbalanced pale ale
« on: July 05, 2011, 09:11:39 AM »
  Sounds like a nice summer beer and the dry hopping should bring it up to the next level, so enjoy.
That's what I was shooting for.  I may have mentioned but I didn't use Vienna, I used light Munich.  I think that may have been my mistake.  Probably leaving it out would have been fine, it's just a touch too malty.  Dry hops are going in today.
Thanks for all the advice everyone.

Zymurgy / Re: When's the next edition?
« on: July 05, 2011, 09:08:11 AM »
And we had a postal strike so that doesn't help things.  I'll keep an eye open and if I don't see it in the next week or so I'll get back to you.  Thanks for the follow up.

Beer Recipes / Re: First Recipe Help
« on: July 05, 2011, 07:10:59 AM »
If it's a stout, I'd sub out a whole lot of that black patent and replace it with a bit of roasted barley to give it that characteristic stout taste.  Also, I think you've got way, way too much black patent and even chocolate.  Personally, I think it's gonna taste extremely burnt and unpleasant with that much BPM. 
What crystal are you planning to use?  I'm assuming something mid-range (40?) but there are lots of choices as well.
Good luck and I'm sure it will turn out great and I think you're on the right track but I think you may be a bit over-enthusiastic when it comes to the specialty grains.  It takes less than you think to do what you want in my experience.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Unbalanced pale ale
« on: July 04, 2011, 03:34:26 PM »
.50 cents at the brew store for a hop bag can also did the trick ;)  I think the addition of some hops will get you in the ball park of where you want to be since the hop aroma can often times be enough to trick our brains into thinking we're drinking something much more hoppy than we are...or at a minimum it's a great aroma!
.50 cents plus $20 in gas and 4 hours to get to the not quite local HBS.  But, I get what you're saying.
Mrs. Mac says she has some pantyhose I can have although I think she is worried I'm going to rob the gas station or something.  Plus she says she's not drinking beer that tastes like feet.  She's very fussy that way.

Ingredients / Re: Infused sugars?
« on: July 04, 2011, 12:54:48 PM »
If you use vanilla beans as I sometimes do, put the bean pod in a 1/2 lb of sugar and leave it for a while.  Vanilla sugar.  Awesome on fruit or in deserts.  Not sure about brewing with it but it is great to have on hand.

Ingredients / Re: What is candi sugar?
« on: July 04, 2011, 12:52:41 PM »
When do you add sugar?  I just brewed an amber ale and I was shooting for 1.060-1.062 but came up quite short in my efficiency.  I calculated at 85% but only got 76% (I am using a new 2-row which may be part of the problem).  So, my gravity is only about 1.050.  Can I add a lb of sugar to bring it up higher now or should I wait until the yeast have had a chance to munch on the maltose first? 

This beer is fairly heavily hopped, at least for me (1.5 oz Centennial @ 75, 1 oz Casdade at 30, 1/2 oz Cascade at 15, 1/2 oz at 0, 1 oz to go in for dry hops).  Being lower gravity than I expected will it be out of balance with lower alcohol?  Or just leave it at session strength and live with it?

Brewing today - some sort of American Amber Ale.  Was supposed to be an AIPA but ended up darker.  I'm addicted to chocolate malt. Seem to want to put it in everything.
10 lbs 2-row
1 lb light Munich
0.5 lb C45
0.25 lb C120
1 oz Chocolate malt.
1.5 oz Centennial @60
1 oz Cascade @ 30
1/2 oz Cascade @ 15
1/2 oz Cascade @ 0
1 oz to be dry hopped. 
WLP001 with a good starter.

Ingredients / Re: What is candi sugar?
« on: July 04, 2011, 09:10:06 AM »
So what I'm hearing is - use a lb of sugar.

What about corn syrup instead since it's usually more fructose.  Regular sucrose is fructose + glucose.  Any thoughts on using light corn syrup instead of sugar?  I'm fine with sugar, now I'm just curious.

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. 

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