Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - gmac

Pages: 1 ... 113 114 [115] 116 117 ... 144
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Who Dumps Beer?
« on: June 13, 2011, 10:42:20 AM »
Out of 15 all-grain batches so far, I've only considered dumping 1.  It's an Anchor Steam clone made with Munton Maris Otter that is really, really cloudy.  Almost to the point of being muddy looking.  It tastes fine but it's very unappealing.
I had a mild that looked similar and after gelatin and time, it is now my clearest beer so I'm going to try the same with this one and see if I can salvage it.  The rest of this malt is being saved for Stout season.

The important point is that I am more than willing to dump it if I have to.  I'm no expert but I know now that I can do much better and I need to feel happy about the beer that I drink and serve to family and friends.  Keeping it for private consumption would just extend the pain.

Equipment and Software / Bigger fermenter
« on: June 13, 2011, 09:06:39 AM »
I need a bigger fermenter.  Right now I'm using 18 and 23L glass carboys as well as some 23L plastic pails.  The glass looks good but you all know why it can suck.  The pails are alright but I have a hell of a time getting them to seal and I like to watch the bubbles.
So, has anyone tried converting a 15 gal Sanke keg over to a fermenter?  I'm assuming you could get it pretty clean since they get re-used in the brewery.  I thought about cutting out the valve and welding in a threaded fitting so that I could close it, adding a drain fitting in the bottom, a blow-off tube fitting in the top and a valve for racking. 
I've looked at the stainless ones but they seem to be pretty pricey (more than I want to spend). 

Anyone have any better suggestions that won't break the bank?

The Pub / Extreme brewing
« on: June 12, 2011, 09:09:53 AM »
I bought Extreme Brewing (and Brewing up a Business), the other day and I have to say I was pretty disappointed by it.  Almost all the recipes are extract recipes which in itself is fine but not what I was looking for.  I guess I just expected more from DFH.  Do they make most of their beers from extract?  I know I can work the OG backwards to get close but I was hoping for more direction on malt blends.  What should I have bought instead? (I have Palmer's, Strong's and Daniel's books already). 

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Stone Ruination IPA
« on: June 08, 2011, 07:58:16 PM »
Couldn't find it. Had a Cathedral Square "Belgian Style" IPA. Pretty good. Bitter but less hop aroma.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Stone Ruination IPA
« on: June 08, 2011, 09:57:46 AM »
I will try to find it. Had a bunch of the pale ale last night and a "Big Bison Ale" but can't recall the maker. It was good but had an interesting caramel or molasses flavor that I can't quite place. They've got Schafly's Hefeweizen and Summer Lager. May have to go out on the town to find the IPA.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Stone Ruination IPA
« on: June 08, 2011, 06:16:21 AM »
I'm in downtown St Louis, just beside the arch and I thought I'd give a few of the American IPAs a try. Had my first Bell's Two Hearted Ale which was good but they also had Ruination on tap so I had a couple.
7.7 ABV, 100 IBU, slight copper colour and a touch cloudy but very attractive appearance. Incredible head retention and nice lacing. Strong presence of US hops with a tonne of hop flavour and aroma. This isn't my preferred style of beer but it was pretty good and I will order it again. If you are a fan of the Two Hearted Ale I mentioned, you'll probably really enjoy this too.

Beer Recipes / Re: New(er) to HB
« on: June 05, 2011, 04:29:56 PM »
I can't really give you a good recipe (I could try but there are many better sources than me on this forum) but I was in your boat not that long ago and one thing that I found is that Primary/Secondary fermentation schedules seem to have gone out of style for the most part.  I assume that's what you mean by 2 stage.  Ferment it in the primary and leave it there until it's done and then bottle/keg directly.  I've been doing it since coming back to brewing and I think it works just fine and I'm sure others on here will agree (and some won't which is why the forum is great).

All Grain Brewing / Re: What would you call this beer?
« on: June 04, 2011, 03:32:43 PM »
My problem is that I am not a recipe person.  I'd prefer to make one up and take the bad with the good and be pleasantly surprised by my successes like I was with this one. 

The only problem with that approach is that if you hit gold, you never know exactly how to recreate your recipe. I hope that you keep notes as you go along!

I keep pretty exacting notes to the gram and to the minute for everything I do (as well as after pitching and tasting notes).  I've done this brew several times now and tweaked one thing or another (tried a different hops or a slight modification of the grain bill) but each time the base is pretty much the same so I can ascertain what the small differences are. 

When I mentioned not following recipes, I was referring more to following others recipes.  I've brewed this Amber about 5 times now and I'd say each was pretty close the the previous but unfortunately, the prior batch is always gone so I have nothing to compare to ;).  For the one-off brews, I keep the same notes just so that I can try to do it again if I hit on something I like as I did here.

Ingredients / Re: What hops with rye?
« on: June 03, 2011, 09:15:02 AM »
Thanks all. From what I can gather there's no problem with any type as long as you like the taste.  I guess I'll know in a few weeks what rye + noble hops taste like.  Then, there's always next time with American hops...

The recipe ended up being:
4 kg 2-row malt
1 kg rye malt
250 g C45
50 g C120
1/2 tsp Citric Acid to adjust mash pH (I have yet to notice any flavour from this)
Mash at 150 for 75 mins

1 oz Tettnanger (3.5% AA) FWH
25 g Perle@60 - after hot break
1 oz of Halltertau + 1 oz of Tettnanger mixed together with 10 g additions every 5 mins from 20 to flameout. 
Irish moss at 15

Wish me luck.

All Grain Brewing / Re: What would you call this beer?
« on: June 03, 2011, 09:07:53 AM »
Thanks everyone.  I just wanted to know what you think because I was considering taking some bottles to a CABA event next week but now I have to work anyway so that's not gonna happen.

I agree that 98% of what I brew is "beer" that probably doesn't exactly match any particular style and I'm just fine with that.  I basically brew this beer one week and then screw around with something different the next week.  I'm keeping a keg of this Amber Ale on tap most of the time and then rotating in something else (right now it's a mild that isn't too good - too hoppy for the thin malt body).  This week I had to do both because I'm falling behind.  This weeks "Special" is a Rye PA and we'll see in 2 weeks if I hit it or missed it.

My problem is that I am not a recipe person.  I'd prefer to make one up and take the bad with the good and be pleasantly surprised by my successes like I was with this one. 

Not trying to stir up a "style" debate.  I'm a live and let brew sort of person. 
Again, thanks for helping me clarify and especially thomasbarnes for his advice on how I should enter it if I do. 

What if someone else finds it instead of me?
I made the kids clean up their games in the basement and my 9 year old found it under the couch.  So technically, it was no where I looked.

Equipment and Software / Re: Extending the life of Star-San
« on: June 03, 2011, 08:11:34 AM »
There's a Wal-mart about 35 minutes away.  Next time I'm in that area I'll see if they have distilled.  I will look for a neighbour with a softner too as suggested.  There is a place that sells RO water near me but I don't do business there (all kinds of problems with friends getting ripped off for gas...).  I guess I could swallow my pride and go buy a few gallons just this once.

I have beautiful soft water running around my house (I've mentioned this before) but I'm not sure how clean it is (bacterially  i mean, it looks very clean and its very cold).  I may try to boil a couple gallons of this for a while and then add some Star-San and see what happens.  I'd love to use this to brew with but its so shallow that even if I got a good water report back, I'd be afraid of a rain washing contaminants into it.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Equipment and Software / Extending the life of Star-San
« on: June 03, 2011, 05:56:02 AM »
My water is fairly hard and as such, when I add Star-San to it, it clouds almost immediately.  I've read on the forum that once it goes cloudy, it loses its' effectiveness.  I've put 2.5 gal in a glass carboy and added Star-San and watched it turn milky in seconds.  I've not yet encountered any noticable contamination issues but I only use the sanitizer once.  I've gone through almost a full container in a couple months.

I don't have access to RO or distilled water that is convenient to get.  Is there anything I can do to my regular water to help extend the life of the sanitizer?  For example, would adding citric acid to lower the pH help?  I've also "double dosed" the water with more sanitizer (less than label rate) the next day if I have something to sanitize.  Not sure if this is a good idea or not but it seems to have worked.

Is there a different no-rinse sanitizer that would be better in my situation?  I've started using an acidic dairy wash to clean my carboys etc so I think that helps but I don't use it for siphons, bungs etc.  Any advice would be appreciated.

Ingredients / Re: What hops with rye?
« on: June 02, 2011, 12:31:25 PM »
What rye malt are you using?  Although it may be heresy, I've found I prefer Briess rye malt to most continental rye malts I've tried.

I don't really know.  I think my supplier buys in bulk and then re-bags.  It just says "Malted Rye".  I have the same complaint with all his products.  Crystal is just crystal, MO is just MO.  Unless you buy a 55 lb sack, there's no way to tell unless he replied to an email which is not guaranteed.  Not ideal but all I've been able to find so far.

Ingredients / Re: What hops with rye?
« on: June 02, 2011, 08:50:56 AM »
I think you're on the right track with the hops.  I've found that a large presence of the citrusy hops tends to hide the rye character (and have gotten the same comment on multiple scoresheets).  IIRC, Denny's does use some CTZ but finishes with Mt Hood which I've always considered as a sort of "pseudo-noble" and lets the rye come through.
Thanks.  I'm gonna use Perle to bitter and then finish with Tettnanger and Hallertau.

Pages: 1 ... 113 114 [115] 116 117 ... 144