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Messages - WDE97

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Equipment and Software / Re: Broken thermometer in Wort
« on: November 07, 2014, 10:39:35 AM »
I've broken a lab thermometer in a beer before and just dumped it. My friends who have had that happen also dumped their beer. It's just not worth missing that one little chunk of glass that somehow ends up in a bottle or keg. The stuff inside the thermometer should be okay, but why risk it? IMO it's not worth one batch of beer. On the bright side, you get to brew again!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Storing Aging Beer
« on: November 07, 2014, 10:25:46 AM »
I would add Imperial Stouts to that as well.

Started in 1996 when I was in college. A friend of mine homebrewed and after helping with a couple of batches, I was hooked. Before that, I didn't even know homebrewing was possible. My first batch was some kind of lager kit. Yeah, I know, starting with a lager was pretty silly, but I didn't know better that time. Of course I fermented it in my closet, in Alabama, in the summer, at a nice cool temperature of 72F.  :P  Everything actually went pretty well. I thought the beer tasted great (probably didn't) and kept with it. I brewed a few times a year and then took a few years off when I got married the first time. After getting divorced a few years later, I rekindled my interest and then got serious in 2008. I switched to all grain, bought all sorts of equipment and books, built a keggerator, joined the AHA, turned a bedroom into a storage/barrel room/temp control chamber, and the rest is history! Oh, and two years ago I was fortunate enough to marry a woman who not only tolerates this addiction, but supports and encourages me as well! Now that I'm a "beer nerd" as she likes to call me, we spend a lot of times in pubs and breweries during our travels. Doesn't get much better than that!

Have to agree pretty much across the board with Hoosier. 8 grains is too many. Keep your recipes as simple as possible. I don't have my recipe handy, but its: Marris Otter, flaked oats, Crystal 60 or 80, roasted barley and chocolate malt.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Homebrew Suppliers
« on: November 03, 2014, 06:10:28 PM »
I've used Morebeer, MidwestSupplies, Northern Brewer, Rebel, Keystone Homebrew and Austin Homebrew. Have had excellent experience with all of them.

Beer Recipes / Re: Bourbon stout without a barrel
« on: June 27, 2014, 11:22:44 AM »
I use 2oz of oak cubes soaked in bourbon for 2-4 weeks for 5 gallons of Imperial Stout, or 1-1.5oz of cubes for a lower gravity stout. Just pack them into a mason jar and top off with bourbon. Add the entire mixture to your secondary/keg and age until it tastes good. I like the cubes over chips since they have less surface area per ounce. This allows for a slower oaking process. I've done this to both RIS and Oatmeal Stouts with great results. FWIW I keg, though the extra alcohol isn't enough to kill yeast if you plan on bottle conditioning.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How was the weekend?!
« on: April 28, 2014, 10:52:31 AM »
It was a major beer weekend for me. On Saturday, our club filled a 15 gallon rye whiskey barrel with a russian imperial stout and I filled my 15 gallon rye whiskey barrel with a belgian dark strong. Sunday I brewed three beers. A farmhouse ale w/ rye using The Yeast Bay's Wallonian Farmhouse yeast, a farmhouse/saison type beer using Yeast Bay's Funktown Pale Ale yeast, and a northwest style pale ale packed with Summit and Cascade hops and WYeast westcoast IPA yeast. Trying to fill my keezer with some lighter summer beers. Plus, starting tonight I will be helping teach a homebrew class at the local brewery.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pics of recent brews?
« on: April 24, 2014, 03:24:14 PM »

My first sour beer, a Flander's Red. Kegged a couple weeks ago and almost gone already!

Beautiful color and clarity!

Thanks bluesman! It's even cleared up a bit more in the past few weeks. Taking a lot of self-discipline to not drink it all at once! Wish those dang sour beers didn't take so long to age.  :P  I bottled about half of the batch for further aging and to compare to the batches I have made since. Trying to keep a pipeline of Flander's Red going by brewing one every 4 months or so.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pics of recent brews?
« on: April 14, 2014, 02:49:34 PM »

My first sour beer, a Flander's Red. Kegged a couple weeks ago and almost gone already!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Weekend Brewing 4/11/14
« on: April 11, 2014, 08:24:02 AM »
I'm tired of being 4 months behind. Lets start over.

First off, mind blow. I met a dude today who brews good beer and didn't know what this forum was, or AHA was, or that there was an NHC. How can that be possible?

This weekend I'm brewing a Vienna, an APA, and a Nothern Anglo-Land Brown. Intentionally, none of these will meet the mandates of the poobah guide, nor will I pay to be told how they don't meet. Nor will I post recipes to be told what I want or don't want.

Its official my friends, for most of us style don't mean rip for the next 9 months.

Ooh, that reminds me... Hey, how much nestles quick is appropriate for a light lager?

That is just amazing!? Guy must live off the grid or something.

Plan on brewing a double batch of a rye farmhouse style ale. Got two vials of yeast from The Yeast Bay I want to use. The Wallonian Farmhouse and the Funktown Pale. Also just brewed 15 gallons of a belgian dark strong yesterday for a whiskey barrel. That was the first 15 gallon batch I ever did by myself. Thank (enter deity of your choice) for pumps!

Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian Dark Strong recipe help
« on: April 08, 2014, 11:22:23 AM »
Another data point that might be worth considering is targeting a final gravity and letting that determine your OG to get the right ABV.  St Bernardus has a FG of 1.010 which means that an OG of 1.090 will be 10.5%.  Since you'll be barrel aging this beer, I can see bumping up the OG to stand up to it, but for general BDS purposes, I thought it was an interesting data point that St Bernardus finishes so dry.

I'm also intrigued by the blend of yeasts you mentioned and will try that on my next attempt.  One of the best examples of BDS that I've had from a US craft brewery is from Pfriem and it turns out they use the Leuven strain of yeast.  This isn't available to homebrewers currently, but maybe a blend will get close.  Here is an article that discusses the Pfriem beer:

Good point. I was wondering if the 1.021 FG was a bit too high. I definitely don't want it to be too sweet, but need some sweetness to balance out the barrel character. I might adjust it down to shoot for 1.015-1.018 FG.

Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian Dark Strong recipe help
« on: April 08, 2014, 10:44:50 AM »
Thanks for the feedback!

I definitely agree with keeping the speciality grain to a minimum. I may cut my quantities back a bit, but like the flavor they provide. I brewed a similar recipe (without the candi syrup) a few months ago and liked the flavor profile even though it was quite young. Unfortunately, I won't have the opportunity to try either of the beers svejk mentioned. That would be a good plan before I brew this again in the future.

HoosierBrew, I haven't done a blend with these three yeasts before, but a guy in our brewclub did a BDS with a similar blend and it was fantastic. It was NHC worthy after only 2 months. We made him bottle off a couple six packs for entering next year. I had those three yeasts available after we did a club Belgian yeast experiment, so I had a full yeast cake of each. After tasting the one guy's beer, I thought I would give blending a try. Thanks for the suggestion of lowering my mash temp. I was wavering on that as well. I'll shoot for 150F.

Beer Recipes / Belgian Dark Strong recipe help
« on: April 08, 2014, 08:20:02 AM »
I'm brewing an 18 gallon batch of Belgian Dark Strong for aging in a 15gal whiskey barrel. My main questions would be about specialty grain use. Should I use more/less, different malts? I know simple is usually better, but I just can't seem bring myself to drop anything. Any thoughts, comments, suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

18-E Belgian Dark Strong Ale

Size: 18.0 gal
Efficiency: 65-70.0%
Attenuation: 75-80.0%

OG: 1.103
FG: 1.021
Color: 23.1
Alcohol: 10.9%
IBU: 21.6

50.0 lb Pilsner Malt
15.0 lb Vienna Malt
2.0 lb Caramunich® TYPE I
1.5 lb Aromatic Malt
1.0 lb Special B Malt
0.5 lb Melanoidin Malt
3.0 lb Belgian Candi Syrup - Dark (Dark Candi, Inc)
3.0 lb Belgian Candi Syrup D-180 (
6.0 oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker (4.5%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min
Yeast slurry containing 1/3 each of:
 WYeast 1762 Belgian Abbey II™
 WYeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity
 WYeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale™

Mash:  90min at 151F.
Boil:  90min.
Cool to 68F, oxygenate and pitch yeast.
Hold at 68 for 3 days. Let temp rise to 72 and hold for 2 weeks.
Cool to 62 (temp of barrel room) and rack into barrel.
Save leftover for topping up, then bottle the rest for comparison w/ barrel aged beer.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How did the brew weekend go?!
« on: April 07, 2014, 10:39:51 AM »
that is a full cooler. is that the 100qt?

It's around 165qt. We used 75 lbs of grain and just barely got everything in there, as you can see! Pretty thick mash, but we still got about 60-65% efficiency.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How did the brew weekend go?!
« on: April 07, 2014, 09:43:03 AM »
Pretty good brewing weekend for me. Did a Flander's Red on Saturday to replace one I just bottled last week. Pitched it on a yeast cake from a previous batch that was fermented with East Coast Yeast Flemish Ale yeast. Interested to see how it works out on the second generation. The first batch was seriously sour, but oh so good!

Sunday our brew club did an 18gal batch of Russian Imperial Stout to fill up a 15gal rye whiskey barrel we just picked up. Always fun to brew with the club!

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