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Messages - gmac

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Tell me about Kolsch please
« on: July 03, 2011, 09:12:12 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, 06:20:53 PM »
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, 06:08:08 PM »
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, 04:26:11 PM »

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: July 01, 2011, 01:56:26 AM »
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, 08:47:33 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, 08:31:10 PM »
Does freezing hurt beer?  I put a controller on my freezer and apparently it's in Farenheit, not Celsius.  Beercicle anyone?

Beer Recipes / Re: Pumpkin beer
« on: June 29, 2011, 03:35:47 PM »
Thanks.  I look forward to seeing the recipes.  If I can't find pumpkin, I may substitute squash (I've used it in pies before and you really can't tell the difference).  Personally, spiced beers are one of my least favourite styles but I had a request for some so I'm taking a shot at it.
As more people try my beer and find out it doesn't taste like they expect homebrew to taste, I seem to be getting more requests.  Most of them I ignore but for a few good friends I'll give it a try.

Beer Recipes / Pumpkin beer
« on: June 29, 2011, 01:50:58 PM »
I checked the recipe wiki first and didn't find much so I'm going to ask.  Does anyone have a pumpkin beer recipe?  I'm looking for something that I can brew soon to store for fall.  If you have a fall pumpkin recipe, can you please post it?

Equipment and Software / Re: what mill would you recommend?
« on: June 29, 2011, 01:41:01 PM »
I've got a 3 roller monster mill and I really like it.  But, you have to make some sort of hopper and base for the mill.  Mine works but needs improvement.  The mill itself does a very good job and is easily adjustable.  This is the only mill I've ever owned.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Tell me about Kolsch please
« on: June 28, 2011, 02:04:10 PM »
Thanks all. So the yeast is king, the hops are negotiable as long as they are noble type and not too bitter.  Now, next adaptation question.  Can it work with 2-row instead of pilsner?  Will it just be a shade darker or will it alter the character?  For this first one I will get pilsner malt since I'll be at the LHBS getting yeast but I usually have a 55 lb sack of 2-row on the go most of the time.  I find pilsner just too expensive so I cheap out and go with 2-row which for the styles I usually brew is fine. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Tell me about Kolsch please
« on: June 28, 2011, 03:35:55 AM »
I don't have any of your suggested hops right now although I can get some.  Just before I do would regular Hallertau work?  I don't know the origin, probably domestic.  I can get Mittlefruh (I think...) but i've got several ounces of regular Hallertau so I thought I'd check first.  I'm going to try your recipe and 1/2 everything for 6 gallons (23L fermenter).  Any problems with this approach?  I don't have Magnum either but I assume any high alpha hop would likely substitute ok.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Tell me about Kolsch please
« on: June 27, 2011, 09:28:14 PM »

You have basically two yeasts that are available to choose from, WLP029 and WY2565. Both make good kolsch with the WL strain being a little more tempermental at cooler temps though much easier to clear during conditioning and the WY strain with a little more apple and pear ester than the WL strain.

Can you expand a bit on what you mean by "tempermental"?  I've never used either but I find myself being more drawn to WLP yeast than Wyeast for some reason.  In general I think I've had better success with their yeast but I don't want to buy the wrong one just because others have worked out well.  Of course, there is also the question of which my HBS has in stock as I haven't yet checked.

All Grain Brewing / Tell me about Kolsch please
« on: June 27, 2011, 08:20:18 PM »
I'm looking for something new to brew and I will be picking up a few different yeast next week when I drive close enough to my not quite local HBS.  I'm considering a saison now that it's getting warmer and I may be the Wyeast French Saison yeast but I am seeing a lot of Kolsch on here and I really don't know much about the style.  I'm gathering it is a German ale from Cologne but other than that I don't know much about it.

How is it as a summer beer?  I can look up the BJCP guidelines but is this a beer that you'd consider a session beer?  What makes it special as opposed to other styles?  Is this something you usually have on tap or something that you do once in a while? Can you give me a good, commonly found commercial example of the style?
Just looking for alternative styles to try. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pics of recent brews?
« on: June 27, 2011, 08:08:05 PM »
A nice blend of barleywine and a pale ale.

That's the cleanest stove I've ever seen.

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