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Messages - beersk

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« on: January 02, 2013, 08:46:16 AM »
Thanks for the insight, I didn't know that.  And knowing is half the battle!

Ingredients / Re: Too much lactic acid?
« on: January 02, 2013, 08:43:08 AM »
I never put lactic acid in the sparge water...Bru'n water is always telling me to.  I wonder if it'd make any difference.  It always says to add maybe 1.6mL at most.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast - refrigerate ASAP
« on: January 02, 2013, 08:35:22 AM »
Very pleased with the way things worked out.  After pitching the starter on Sunday, nothing was happening for the first 24 hours or so.  Then I checked and it had really taken off.  A beautiful krausen has developed, and the activity is what I would expect.  Looks like things are on track.

Righteous.  Good to know.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Hockhurz Step Mash: Check my Process
« on: January 02, 2013, 08:29:48 AM »
That looks just how I've done Hockhurz decoction.  Looks right as far as I know...I don't think the mashout at 168 is to be held for any prolonged period of time.

All Grain Brewing / Re: atringency
« on: January 02, 2013, 08:27:17 AM »
Maybe you're over sparging too if you're collecting 5 more gallons than you end up with...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« on: January 02, 2013, 07:59:53 AM »
One of the things I've learned, talking to German people, is that "Germany" is kind of an abstract concept, while the historically independent regions (Bavaria, Thuringia, Saxony, Franconia, etc) are very much still how Germans think about their country. "Germany" is a fairly recent invention, so "German" lager flavor is a bit of a misnomer.
Deutschland is how they think of it. Germany is what we call it.

Of course, the Franconians will tell you they are not really Bavarian.
A German woman challenged me when I said there was a German beer that had banana and clove flavors.  I told her it was common to Bavaria, and she said something like "Oh, that's Bavaria, you said German".
That's funny. What's the deal with wanting to separate everything? Bavaria is somehow not German, to her? It's a region of Germany, yes? Like saying West Coast or Cascadia is not American? Guess I don't get it since I don't live there.

I brewed a hopped up American brown ale yesterday (India Brown Ale, in other words) and tomorrow I'm brewing black IPA. Got 26 batches brewed in 2012, most ever for me by about 10 batches.

Most dubbels are great but Chimay Red continues to be my favorite.  An interesting thing I have seen with most dubbels as well is that the flavors evolve over time.  If I taste two Chimays bottled at different times they will be quite different but both very tasty.  You might always have a little surprise when tasting the bottled versions.  On tap will be more consistent in the near term but from different batches there can be small differences.  This is all due to the complexities that the yeast provides.  It is like a box of chocolates.....
The thing with a box of chocolates is someone who knows chocolate well will know what they're going to get.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Christmas Presents
« on: December 26, 2012, 07:34:12 AM »
My girlfriend got me "Brewing Better Beer". I told my dad about it and he said, "She trying to tell you something?" haha, I laughed.
I also got my dad a brewing starter kit from Northern Brewer.  They had a deal where if you bought a 5 gallon kettle and a dead ringer kit, you get the brewing equipment free...unbelievable; saved like 90 bucks.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« on: December 23, 2012, 04:18:10 PM »
One other potential issue mentioned was oxidation due to shipment.
That's true.  But I can never taste the wet cardboard in beers like Spaten.  The last helles I brewed had just a tad of that flavor I'm looking for and I lagered that on the yeast cake for 2 weeks before kegging for another 2 weeks at 40F.  Thinking I need more late hops, bigger starters/more yeast, and lager longer on yeast cake. Just sucks to take up the fermentation chamber space for one carboy.  Need to brew two lagers a couple days apart and lager both, so it seems more worthwhile.

Dang, I have a couple vials of White Labs oktoberfest lager yeast that expired on October 31st or something like that. Mr. Malty puts them at 10% viability and for a 4 gallon batch of 1.045 lager, I need 5 vials and about a gallon starter.  Fargh! I don't even feel like bothering with it...

I was thinking about brewing a bitter and then washing/repitching into a porter, but I have never washed and harvested yeast. I dont mind paying the extra couple bucks for a new vial/pack as long as its not that big of a deal.
This should be fine. But it's usually best to make a starter with yeast that is a little out of date, or just in general.
But you don't want to make starters bad enough that you'll pay extra for another vial? Starters at least ensure you have healthy yeast. You don't have to make them for every batch, learning to harvest the yeast is easy enough. You don't need to rinse (boiled and cooled water) or wash (with phosphoric acid solution) it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Forgot to add roasted barley
« on: December 21, 2012, 06:53:11 AM »
I'd say it's a bit late...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Starsan after BLC
« on: December 20, 2012, 08:53:26 PM »
Ok, I getcha. I think I'll still just stick with my current process.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: An alternative to starters
« on: December 20, 2012, 01:50:48 PM »
I don't see how this is better than taking some of the wort and making a starter with it, then pitching that into the batch the next day.  I think the smaller initial volume of the starter would be easier to manage.  But whatever works for you. :)
This idea sounds good to me too. Take about a half gallon of wort from the batch, pitch the yeast into that, and then pitch it all back to the main wort the next day. I've done something similar with lagers while they're chilling down to pitching temp in the chest freezer.

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