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Messages - a witty man

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Brett IPA help
« on: March 27, 2014, 03:37:34 PM »

So I am curious: is the primary difference in the fermentation, with everything prior to that being the same?
How long does the fermentation go typically? 
Is the dry hopping process any different?
I have 2 vials with a 'Best Before' date of July 23, 2014.  Will one be sufficient?  Should I do a starter, or just toss it in?

I've made a few great Brett IPAs. In my experience the brew day is similar to a "regular" brew day, with minor recipe adjustments.

It depends on your desired outcome on the overall IPA, but I think 65 IBUs of Zeus at 60 mins will would be too bitter for my tastes. Brett trois adds a bit of a tropical fruit esters, and may clash with that bitterness. I'd push your bittering addition to late in the boil (like 1.5-2 oz. zeus around 20 mins) or do first-wort-hopping and drop it to 1 oz. Some like to add a bit of aciduated malt when using Brett Trois - the brett will work on the lactic acid and increase the production of fruity esters. The Mad Fermentationist website has more info on this.

You should definitely do a big starter. The starter takes longer with Brett Trois -- about a week to finish in my experience. Crashing can take up to 24 hours as well, so plan ahead. My ferm times have been similar to reverseapachemaster -- about 3-4 weeks. Fermentation should look similar to a sacchro ferment, but it will take longer to finish. You can ramp 2-3º at the end of fermentation to help it along if you want.

Dry hopping is no different. Again, match your hops to your desired flavor outcome--citrusy, tropical, berries, etc. I usually dryhop in 2 sessions of 4 days each.

General Homebrew Discussion / Odd "nutty" taste in dark beers??
« on: March 23, 2014, 03:48:47 PM »
I used to be able to brew really nice dark beers, but lately (past few batches) I've had a consistent peanut type taste in my porters. Its rather unpleasant. I've included two recipes below, thinking it might be ingredient related -- specifically, could this attributed to Pale Chocolate malt? Thoughts would certainly be appreciated!

Porter1 (1.057 OG, 11 gallons):
Amt    Name    Type    #    %/IBU
19 lbs    Pale Malt, Maris Otter (Thomas Fawcett) (3.0 SRM)    Grain    1    74.7 %
2 lbs            Roasted Barley (Thomas Fawcett) (609.0 SRM)             Grain    2    7.9 %
1 lbs 7.2 oz    Pale Chocolate Malt (215.0 SRM)                    Grain    3    5.7 %
1 lbs              Black Malt (Thomas Fawcett) (660.0 SRM)                    Grain    4    3.9 %
1 lbs            Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM)                                              Grain    5    3.9 %
8.0 oz    Caramel Malt - 120L (Briess) (120.0 SRM)                      Grain    6    2.0 %
8.0 oz    Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM)                      Grain    7    2.0 %

Porter2 (
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
20 lbs                Pale Malt, Maris Otter (Bairds) (3.0 SRM          Grain         1        79.5 %       
2 lbs                 Vienna Malt (4.0 SRM)                                    Grain         2        7.9 %         
14.6 oz               Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM)                          Grain         3        3.6 %         
12.0 oz               Midnight Wheat (550.0 SRM)                          Grain         4        3.0 %         
12.0 oz               Pale Chocolate Malt (215.0 SRM)                     Grain         5        3.0 %         
8.0 oz                Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)                            Grain         6        2.0 %         
4.0 oz                Black Malt - 2-Row (Briess) (500.0 SRM)          Grain         7        1.0 %         

For me this is a really style-dependent question. A pils better be clear...but a saison or dry hopped IPA - clarity isn't paramount.

Events / NHC 2014 - Lottery System for Registration?
« on: December 22, 2013, 10:35:22 PM »
I think lottery systems for the competition and NHC tix are reasonable solutions to a difficult situation.

A few more details  (and questions) from the zymurgy article:
- Judges and stewards in the 2013 NHC competition have a guaranteed "opportunity to submit entries" in 2014. (Does this mean an opportunity to submit  6 entries?)

- AHA Members get "pre-registration option" for the conference - I'm guessing this would be pre-registration for a lottery? Is there a separate lottery for AHA members?

- Do judges and stewards in the competition get priority registration for the conference?

Odelay. I really like using a little Brett C on the back end of my saisons. Anyone have experience with a Belle Saison fermented beer with Brett C in secondary? Would there even be anything left for the Brett to work on?

Great feedback. The light beers I've been brewing all have wheat in them, so I will certainly check the crush out next time. It's easy enough to keep it separate and run it through the mill again.

Also, it sounds like the pH may be high - I have been trusting the ColorPHast strips to the number. It may be time to invest in a pH meter, and to start cutting my water with some RO for pale beers.

All Grain Brewing / Poor mash efficiency on paler beers? (Water Chem?)
« on: October 30, 2013, 03:04:30 AM »
I've been trying to figure this one out. On most amber and dark beers I have my recipes dialed in at 72% efficiency, and can nail the numbers (calculated from Beersmith and Bru'n Water). When I brew paler beers, however, my efficiency drops by about 10 points.

Here's the latest grain bill:
6 gal batch; 7.81 gallon boil

10 lbs Maris Otter
5 lbs Wheat Malt
1 lb. Crystal 20

Anticipated pre-boil grav: 1.060
Actual pre-boil grav: 1.048

I got a water report in the spring of 2013, and I've been using Bru'n Water to calculate my water additions. On this one I used the "Yellow Bitter" as a guide. Here are the overall numbers I got after doing additions of Gypsum, Epsom Salt, and Lactic Acid to both the mash and sparge water:

59 Ca
30 Mg
33 Na
134 Sulfate
61 Chloride
-9 BiCarbonate
RA (according to Bru'n water) = -67

I checked my pH using colorphast strips throughout the mash, and it was a steady 5.3.

So, I'm stumped. I mill my own grain, so LHBS is not a factor. Admittedly, I am trying to figure out this water stuff on my own, referencing some books (including water by Palmer/Kaminski), so I have a feeling it has to do with that.

Any insight as to why I may be getting low efficiency on pale beers only would be appreciated! Thanks all.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: nyc
« on: September 22, 2013, 04:42:20 PM »
Tørst in Williamsburg is an amazing bar. One of my favs.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sour question from a beginner
« on: July 06, 2013, 04:16:43 AM »
Welcome to your next obsession, Tony!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sour question from a beginner
« on: July 05, 2013, 12:13:24 PM »
I'd encourage you to check out some commercial examples. Rodenbach and Rodenbach Grand Cru are both great moderately sour (yet approachable) examples that are readily available in most good craft beer shops. Either of these are a great baseline to give you an idea of a middle-of-the-road sour.

All Grain Brewing / Kettle Mashing Question
« on: June 26, 2013, 11:54:03 AM »
Reviving an old thread here, didn't see this particular question so here goes.

I wish to direct-fire kettle mash a wit (50% unmalted wheat, 50% pale malt) while recirculating with march pump. I have two choices for kettle: a polarware with false bottom, or a smaller kettle that has only a bazooka screen.

I gather from the posts above that false bottom works for this (does not get clogged).  I'd prefer to instead use the small kettle with bazooka screen (and keep the bigger one for my boil). Does anyone here have experience recirculating kettle mash using only bazooka screen? Will it clog?
I think direct firing with a bazooka tube is a bad idea. With a false bottom you have the flame heating liquid, with a bazooka tube I think you'd have a greater chance of scorching the grain that is sitting on the bottom of the   kettle.

I'd go with the polarware, and definitely throw some rice hulls in this one. All that wheat will get real gummy.

I got an email back from Jeppe at Evil Twin yesterday. He said that all the variants of Femme Fatale are brewed with 100% Brett C., so it is a different yeast than the WLP644. I don't know if its a proprietary strain of Brett C., but I'm definitely going to play around with it a bit, and try a 100% ferment with it soon.

I have a healthy starter going right now, and I'd be happy to swap some -- let me know what you were thinking, Kyle!

Yeast and Fermentation / Infection
« on: June 08, 2013, 03:21:57 PM »
The air stone / aeration setup could be a source as well. Those things are really difficult to clean without boiling.

hve you emailed Evil Twin about it? I am amazed at the amount of help some brewers offer to homebrewers.

Huh. Why didn't I think of that?! I'll report back if I hear anything!

Over the last year or so I've fallen hard for 100% Brettanomyces ferments, and have done a bunch of brewing with WLP 644 Brett B Trois. I do realize that this is trending, and I turn here with the hope that there is a vast support network to answer all my questions!

I've also been doing a bit of culturing from bottles. One of my latest has been Evil Twin's Femme Fatale Brett (100% Brett IPA). In scouring the internet (10+ minutes on the google), I have not been able to determine what strain this is. I'm guessing its the Brett Trois (Drie) strain -- the same as WLP644? Does anyone know for certain?


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