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Messages - gmac

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All Grain Brewing / Re: First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math
« on: February 20, 2011, 10:18:53 PM »
Thanks again to everyone.  I am actually considering adding one change, even before I get started and that is to simply add 1 oz of black patent to darken the beer slightly.  I don't think that this will change too much except the colour.  But, I may also leave it out for the reason of starting with this for consistency.  

Thanks to Hokerer and Dannyjed for your suggestions.  If this one goes well, I will move to MO in the future and see how it turns out.  I know your suggestions will make better beer.  Also, thanks to Jaybeerman for his thoughts.  Appreciate the support.

I do wonder what you all think of the hopping schedule and choices I suggested.  Would it make any difference to alter the EKG and Fuggles later additions?  One of the things I read was that these beers were very heavily influenced by the type of hops and the timing of additions.  This is one area that I am perhaps a bit more open to suggestion because this is not all that different from making an extract beer so I am more comfortable with making changes here.  It's the mashing/sparging process that is scaring the hell out of me right now.


All Grain Brewing / Re: First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math
« on: February 20, 2011, 02:37:06 AM »
An on-line search did give me a bit of info about my water but not much.

Our water is disinfected with sodium hypochlorite (good old bleach I guess) and so I don't think chloramine will be an issue but correct me if I'm wrong. 

Hardness is 220 mg/L but it doesn't say what ions are present in this report.  Likely a high level of carbonate based on our substrate.

Sodium level is about 24 mg/L and is naturally occurring (meaning that there is a very low level of chloride so it isn't coming from percolated road salt).

We do seem to have 0.05 ug/L of uranium in the water which sort or explains why my pee glows in the dark though...

All Grain Brewing / Re: First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math
« on: February 20, 2011, 02:08:54 AM »
To clarify a couple things.
The 2-row barley choice is one of economics and practicality as much as anything to do with flavour.  Being my first batch, if I really screw it up, I'd rather do it with malt that's 60% the cost of MO.  That's one of the things I'd try to change after a few batches once I'm more confident with the process. 

The yeast was chosen because I have done extract brews with that same yeast and have had good success and I liked it.  So, again, sticking with what I know for this first attempt. 

Likewise, I've made a starter with this one before and it worked out well.  I boiled about 400 g of light malt extract in 4 L of water, cooled it and pitched the yeast.  After 3 days, I crashed it, poured off the wort and pitched the slurry.  I don't have a stir plate (all I do have is an old 1 gallon apple juice jug) so I'm just shaking it intermittently when I'm in the basement.  So, my yeast number probably isn't as high as could be.  I've never used Mr. Malty or Beersmith.

The reason I went with this style is that I like ales and my wife prefers medium hopped darker beers.  My last beer was an IPA with IBU of about 60 and that was too bitter for her so I'm trying to tone that down a bit and come in with something a bit maltier and less hoppy.  The "English Pale Ale" as a style was more of a guideline for what I was aiming for in terms of IBU:GU ratio.  Until I get the process down, which will likely take many batches, I don't think I'll worry about hitting the style exactly.  Once I can do it, then I'll start to dial in on doing it better.

Thank you all very much for your comments to date.  Really appreciate knowing I'm sort of on the right track. 

All Grain Brewing / First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math
« on: February 19, 2011, 08:40:12 PM »
Although there are a myriad of beer recipes available, one of the things that excites me about this hobby is coming up with my own recipes.  So, I am trying to formulate a very simple recipe that I would like to try for my first all-grain batch.  I'd appreciate it if you'd check my math and give me your comments/thoughts.  I won't list all the calculations I did but I was using Ray Daniel's "Designing Great Beers" as a guide as well as a style reference.  My goal is to have something that I can do repeatedly and  make small changes to as I become more proficient.

Some assumptions first.
Style:  English Pale Ale
% efficiency - 65% ( as this is my first attempt, I am keeping my expectations low and also allowing some room in case it goes better than I expect)
Target OG = 1.045
Volume = 6 US gal (23L)
Boil volume = 7 US gal
Boil time = 1 hour
Process = Infusion mash/batch sparge (Coleman Extreme cooler) per Denny's directions on his site.

Based on the calculations that I came up with (and there is some rounding in here), my grain bill will be:
11.5 lb Canadian 2-row Pale Malt - to be ground by supplier
0.7 lb Crystal 40L - to be ground by supplier
This is based on roughly 95:5 ratio of pale to crystal.

Hops and schedule
English Fuggles Pellets (6% AA) 1.5 oz - 60 min
East Kent Golding Pellets (4.75% AA) - 1 oz - 15 min
English Fuggles Pellets (6% AA) 0.5 oz - 5 min
Note:  I considered adding the remaining fuggles and 1/2 the EKG at 15 min and adding the other 1/2 oz EKG at 5 min or flameout)

Yeast: Wyeast London ESB 1968 - Prepared in 4 L starter prior to pitching

Other:  Irish Moss added 15 min before end of boil

Water:  Municipal water with Camden tablet to remove chlorine.  Water condition is unknown although relatively hard (limestone bedrock, lots of shale production on appliances etc).  I know that getting this analyzed needs to be done.

Fermentation temp:  65 degrees (cellar temp with wet towel over carboy).

Thank you very much.

Beer Travel / Re: Anyone been to Costa Rica?
« on: February 19, 2011, 05:48:55 AM »
Thanks Oscarvan.  Really appreciate it.  First time my wife and I have travelled and one of the reasons I chose Costa Rica was the lower crime rate compared to other Central/South American countries.  We'll do our best to look our worst. 

I think for the most part we'll be around the resort but I absolutely must fish (it's a bit of an obsession) so I'll probably be wondering the beach at least a bit so I'll keep an eye open, and I won' t have too many Costa Rican beers until I'm safely back in my room...


Beer Travel / Re: Anyone been to Costa Rica?
« on: February 17, 2011, 12:36:31 AM »
the usual South of Miami precautions DO apply.

Please elaborate.  I've barely been South of Erie.

Beer Travel / Re: Anyone been to Costa Rica?
« on: February 17, 2011, 12:34:56 AM »

Are you staying in San Jose or going some where else?

Guanacaste area.  Taking my wife for her 40th so no Blue Marlin trips either.  Plan to spend 2 days drinking beer and sitting by the pool, then I'm going to go find some fish.  Mrs has a zipline/jungle hike/horseback riding/volcano thing planned for one day in which I believe she is trying to kill me...

I'll keep an eye peeled for Bavaria Negro...  Thanks.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Beer line length.....
« on: February 17, 2011, 12:25:44 AM »
Is the hose the same size for a both types of faucet?

Hamana? All beer hoses are 3/16" ID...........

OK, I read this on my phone while waiting for my kids and before heading to the hardware store to get line for a picnic tap.  I got 3/16 ID vinyl line but I don't know what constitutes "Beer Line".  This is pretty thin stuff.  Probably 5/16 OD.  The line I took off seems to be a lot thicker walled.  Not sure where I'd find beer hose if there's a difference.  Just wasn't sure since all I have is picnic tap.
BTW, I have 10 feet of this on the tap right now and it pours great.

Beer Travel / Anyone been to Costa Rica?
« on: February 16, 2011, 10:27:17 PM »
Headed there next week, are there any good beers that I should make sure to try?  Not a beer destination but hey, if I'm there I should try the local brews right?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Beer line length.....
« on: February 16, 2011, 10:21:07 PM »
Is the hose the same size for a both types of faucet?

Ingredients / Re: Crystal vs Cara vs Caramel Malts
« on: February 16, 2011, 09:28:17 PM »
, a whole buttload of different flavors can be had from the different types.

Thanks for not getting too technical on me :)

OK, i'll just go with crystal 40.  Appreciate the clarification.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: my Brewery on youtube
« on: February 16, 2011, 05:58:55 PM »
Love everything about it, especially the lift for your mash tun.  Great idea to save space.  Very well organized. 

Ingredients / Crystal vs Cara vs Caramel Malts
« on: February 16, 2011, 05:19:43 PM »
I'm still working on a grain bill and I'm looking over the items available from my supplier and I see a few products that appear to be pretty similar and I'm curious what the differences are and what the contribute to a brew.

Crystal Malt - I think I know this one fairly well and what it brings (body, colour, flavour)
Cara  - I see this a lot on my supplies site with various suffix's.  Cara-pils, Cara-amber.  Is this a trade mark of a particular maltster?  What does it bring?
Caramel Malt - I thought this was another name for Crystal but am I wrong?  Probably.

Just exploring my options.

Beer Recipes / Re: Fuller's London Porter. Help me make it.
« on: February 16, 2011, 04:31:13 AM »
The latest edition of BYO has an article on Fullers and several clone recipes.  You could check that out.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Too much foam
« on: February 16, 2011, 04:28:34 AM »
Well, I crashed the pressure down to nothing and got most of the CO2 out of solution.  In fact, it's a bit flat right now.  I'm running the pressure at about 10-12 PSI right now and I'm going to creep it up just slightly.  I had the pressure so low on the keg that I could just get beer out and that was about all.  I turned it up last night and the beer is perhaps slightly more carbonated than it was yesterday when it was sort of flat.  I'm more than happy to run comparative tests every day...

At this pressure, I'm not getting the foam that I was before but the beer is a bit flat so I think that as you've all mentioned, the hose is too short and I'm balancing the system by reducing the pressure to the point that matches the hose length.  Now, I need to change it so that I balance the hose to the proper pressure.

To answer questions asked, the tap, keg and everything else are all at the same temperature.  I have to apologize that I can't give you better information but I'd say the temperature is about 34 degrees.  You wouldn't want to stand there too long in your shorts...

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