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Messages - WDE97

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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!

Equipment and Software / Re: Intermediate Brewer Equipment Question
« on: March 31, 2014, 02:50:27 PM »
I use a 10gal SS kettle with my Blichmann burner for 5-6 gallon batches and love the set-up. Very rarely I wish I had a 15 gallon pot for doing long boils for high gravity beers (collecting 9-10 gallons of wort), but not often enough to warrent another purchase. I either just scale down my batch to make it fit or borrow a larger pot from a friend. The Blichmann is an amazing burner and I have had no trouble fine tuning the flame to avoid boilover issues, even without the use of fermcap. I also use a copper IC, which works great. Go with a bigger one like morticai suggests.

Beer Travel / Re: souther cali
« on: March 03, 2014, 01:42:35 PM »
If you like barrel aged and/or sour beer, have her grab something from The Bruery, in Placentia. They sell some of their beers all over Cali, but a few of their best are only available at the brew pub. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Best Recipe for First All-Grain Brew
« on: February 01, 2014, 12:05:00 PM »
Since you have done several extract batches, I would do one of those you have done already and compare them!
As a default either Denny's Wry Smile IPA or the Waldo Lake Amber are winners with me.  Those recipes are ubiquitous because they are tried and true, not to mention award winning.

I would agree with this. Do something you are familiar with for comparison. Regardless, I would suggest doing something simple so you can spend more time learning/figuring out the process and less time worrying about a complicated recipe.

Equipment and Software / Re: Speidel Fermenter
« on: February 01, 2014, 12:00:44 PM »
I have both the 20L and 30L and absolutely love them. They are seriously heavy duty plastic with two big handles on the side which makes carrying them easy and safe. The large screw on top makes cleaning them really easy, as you can get your hand in there to scrub if needed. I really like the giant 3-piece airlock, too. Less need for a blowoff tube, though I still use one on really big beers. They only drawback I have experienced is that the plastic is not clear, so you can't see into them as well as a plastic carboy. You can see the level of the liquid, though. For me, that's a minor issue compared to all the positives. I'd go with the 30L if you mostly do 5-6 gallon batches.

Equipment and Software / Re: Brew Kettle cleaning question
« on: January 21, 2014, 03:42:44 PM »
I use Oxyclean and once or twice a year a good scrubbing with Bar Keeper's Friend to get all the stuck bit off.

BKF is a great product to get those tough stains and beer stone off of stainless steel. I just do it as needed, maybe every 7-10 batches.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: fermentation question on ipa
« on: October 30, 2013, 09:44:30 AM »
Others on this board likely can provide better info than me on the pellet/whole hops issue, but my experiene is that you don't need to do anything different. Just keep your dry hop time down to <7 days. I think a lot of that grassy flavor comes from too much hop material and/or too long of contact time with the beer. 

I would make a few friendly suggestions on your recipe. I think the 4lbs of carapils and 4lbs of caramel 120 are both overkill.  Carapils is generally used in small amounts (up to 1lb for 5 gallons) for head retention and some body addition, not as a major grain addition. Four pounds would be a waste, IMO, especially if you are steeping your grains. That much would completely overpower your beer instead of adding a nice flavor/color. Try <1lb this time and if you want more, then step it up in future batches. As repo said, hopefully you meant 4oz of each. Also, I would suggest not mixing the subtle european saaz with the powerful US hops. The saaz will likely get lost. Go with more cascade and/or citra and I think you would be happy there.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mixing UK and US base malts for UK styles
« on: October 29, 2013, 02:48:03 PM »
I have used Golden Promise exclusively as the base malt for my Scottish Ales for several years and never had any problems with conversion. That includes the full range from 60/- to Strong Scotch Ales. No need to "water down" the GP with US 2-row.

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