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Topics - rbowers

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31
Kegging and Bottling / Belgian corks
« on: August 25, 2012, 02:44:39 PM »
So I just spent a large chunk of time corking up some beer in some nice Belgian bottles + wire cappers.  I know with aging the corks can dry out but in what timeline does this become a concern?  The bottles will need to carbonate for 10 days or so.  When do they need to be laid on their side to keep corks moist and sealed?  I don't want to increase the headspace and risk oxidation by laying them on their side right now.  Any suggestions?

32
Beer Recipes / Flanders attempt- initial recs
« on: August 16, 2012, 06:53:14 PM »
I got excited about trying to brew a Flanders red ale these past few weeks and have done some initial research in preparation for the brew day (8/31).  I have some general questions though:
I am going to use the wyeast roselare blend but I've read a lot about pitching a primary clean sacc ale yeast first then rack to secondary with roselare.  Doing a straight ferment with the blend from the get go seems to yield a much more sour end beer vs. a primary fermentation followed by the bugs.  I'm leaning towards the latter option as I don't want something too sour for my first run at this.  Any recs?  How long do you let the initial sacc ferment go- completion? 5 days?
It seems deliberately under pitching and under oxygenating will help leave some fuel for bugs.
A high mash (158F?) also seems to leave additional fuel for bugs after primary ferment?  What about a shortened mash time(~45min?).  Does the roselare blend have the capacity to dry out otherwise unfermentable portions of a typical wort over time?
In terms of oak chips in the secondary I assume they stay in the whole time?  A little goes a long way over a year I imagine
The last concern comes with the extended aging.  I've read a lot about the need for micro-oxygenation over the year long maturation with the bugs.  What is the best way to achieve this?  The dowel in the stopper seems easy enough- does this require maintenance? If the initial yeast is pitched onto underoxygenated wort should i i try to oxygenate it after pitching the blend or will transfer to a secondary (not evacuated with CO2) suffice.  Does the dowel need to be down in the beer or just above in the headspace?  What is a good aging temp over the course of the year?
Again this will all be new to me so any suggestions are greatly appreciated.  The time investment on this beer really makes me want to get it right or at least get it close to good.  Thx in advance

33
Kegging and Bottling / 750mL bottle carbing
« on: August 13, 2012, 05:39:06 AM »
Is there any changes that need to be made for carbonating beer with corn sugar in 750mL bottles versus the normal 12oz bottles.  I have usually used 1cp corn sugar per five gallons in a normal beer.  Has anyone ever used the carbing calculators online to adjust carbonation for a higher level? 

34
Yeast and Fermentation / American Hef Starter
« on: July 26, 2012, 04:34:24 PM »
Made a 1.6L starter for a ten gallon batch next week of American Wheat using wlp American Hef strain.  Seeing as it is not flocculant at all despite putting in fridge is it important to pitch the whole starter or is it still reasonable to crash cool and pour starter beer off the yeast cake, sacrificing the suspended yeast.  Thoughts?

35
Beer Recipes / Amber/ESB Recipe- please critque
« on: July 23, 2012, 07:25:44 PM »
Trying to formulate a recipe for an amber/ESB.  My goal was for a medium-full bodied, malt-dominant, smooth drinking amber ale with supporting bitterness and more subtle hop aroma/flavor.  Not really sure where all this fits in stylistically speaking but here is what I came up with.

10 gal batch
Mash 154 x 60
OG 1.060
IBU ~30

MALT:
7lb Marris Otter
7lb American 2 row
3lb Munich
2lb Crystal 40
1lb Victory
1lb Carapils
0.5lb Aromatic Malt
0.25lb Chocolate Malt

HOPS:
1oz Magnum 14% AA at 60min
0.5oz Willamette 6% AA 15min
0.5oz Mt Hood 5% AA 15min
0.5oz Willamette 5min
0.5oz Mt Hood 5min

Yeast- I am still up in the air on this.  I was thinking an English strain- WLP002, 005, or maybe Burton Ale Strain.  I wanted to avoid WLP001 and the like to not put too much emphasis on hops.

I toyed with the idea of adding some flaked oats for more body/smoothness but feel like the malt bill is getting somewhat complex.  The victory malt I don't have a whole lot of experience with- looking for some toasted/biscuit flavor.

I'm all ears on suggestions.  Thanks


36
Ingredients / Honey malt
« on: July 20, 2012, 10:51:51 AM »
I was thinking of adding some honey malt to a developing raspberry wheat recipe in hopes of a touch of sweetness and honey notes.  Not looking for anything prominent or overpowering.  Has anyone used this malt before and have any recs on amount?  Does a little go a long way?  The recipe is 50:50 wheat and 2 row malt and 0.5lb Munich.  Thoughts?

37
Ingredients / Carawheat malt
« on: July 19, 2012, 11:05:25 AM »
Tuning up a raspberry wheat recipe and while I like the raspberry flavor it seems a bit unbalanced towards the tartness mostly contributed by the raspberries.  The malt right now is 6lb white wheat, 4lb 2 row, 0.5 lb Munich.  I've never used carawheat before but was curious if it could add just a touch of sweetness and body to balance out the raspberries.  If so any suggestions on amount? .33 lb ?  Not sure if upping the mash temp a bit would provide the same effect- currently at 151F x 60min

38
Yeast and Fermentation / San fran lager strain
« on: June 30, 2012, 09:26:59 AM »
I have my baltic porter with san fran lager yeast that has been at about 58-60F for 15 days now.  I checked the gravity last night and it has dropped from 1.085 to 1.030.  Fermentation has slowed a bit but still showing active signs.  My question is regarding when I can begin to drop the temp a bit with this strain as this is the first time I have used it.  The carboy is sitting in my keezer with the rest of my beer and I am hoping to be able to start to chill it down a bit.  Can I expect fermentation to continue safely if I drop down towards 48-50F (likely a few degrees a day)?  My goal is a gravity around 1.018-1.020. 

39
Yeast and Fermentation / Unplanned open fermentation
« on: June 21, 2012, 10:43:49 AM »
So I brewed up my long planned Baltic porter, dropped it in the keezer to ferment at 58F and promptly left town the next day for Florida for five days.  Came home and found the airlock top sitting on the floor of the keezer- I suspect the fermentation activity and foam blew it off but there was no significant mess to suggest all that much of an overflow of fermentation activity.  Anyways, the carboy sat open to the air of the keezer x 5 days at the most.  There is an internal small fan in the keezer circulating air.  The SG has dropped from 1.085 to 1.050, it tastes fine, and no horrendous odor.  I replaced the airlock and fermentation continues, albeit, slowly.  What are the chances this is infected?  How do I tell?  Is this worth following thru to the end of my planned 3-6 months aging.  I was really excited on this beer and pretty pissed this happened especially since I genuinely considered a blow off tube but then decided against it.

40
All Grain Brewing / 1st wheat brew
« on: June 13, 2012, 06:13:57 PM »
Going to brew up a raspberry wheat for the first time tomorrow- really my first effort at a beer with a good amount of wheat (50% grist).  I have heard these mashes can prove tricky so I was hoping to elicit any advice others may have. 
I plan on using a good amount of rice hulls. 
I've heard wheat beers can foam up pretty good in the carboy- any use for silicone anti-foam agents and if so how do you use these?
Any suggestions on mashing?  I have initial plans for a single infusion mash at 150F x 60 min.  Any role for protein rests or other steps?
Sparge as normal or additional cautions?

I'm all ears.

41
Beer Recipes / Peaches anyone?
« on: June 05, 2012, 07:16:05 PM »
Any ideas for a good style to brew with peaches.  Just brainstorming a bit here to try and get some ideas going down the line.  Was down at LHBS  and someone mentioned an APA  which caught my attention.  A light Belgian blonde was another idea.  I'm not sure how an IPA recipe would match up with the fruit. I don't know of many commercial examples.

42
Kegging and Bottling / Altitude and beer transport
« on: June 03, 2012, 06:23:16 AM »
What can be expected from beer brewed and bottled at 2000 ft and then transported to say 8000 ft?  Can I expect exploding bottles or excessively carbonated/foamy beer due to the lower pressure or is this not an issue?  I figure breweries in Colorado (which is where I'm headed) have the same reverse problem shipping their beer to lower states.  Does anyone have any ideas about this?

43
Yeast and Fermentation / Storing Yeast Starters?
« on: May 22, 2012, 11:45:53 AM »
I've got a big two weeks of brewing coming up with a laid back work schedule and my wife and kids leaving town for 2 weeks thus leaving me to attend my hobby.  I am going to try and cram in 5 batches so I'll be set for months.  I've been planning this for awhile.
In preparation I was hoping to get my yeast starters ready a week or two ahead of time.  2 batches will require sizable starters (big baltic porter and dunkel).  The other 3 will be smaller beers.  Is there a way to store starters for a week or two?  Perhaps placing them in cleaned and sanitized bottles and capping them?  I could then crack them open as needed.  I only have two starter flasks.  Suggestions welcome.

44
For my upcoming raspberry wheat recipe I plan to secondary the beer on top of a raspberry puree for 2-3 weeks.  Likely going to use 3lbs.  Is there a way (or a reason) to account for the fermentation of raspberry sugars contribution to the alcohol level or is it negligible?

45
Beer Recipes / Raspberry Wheat Ideas
« on: May 07, 2012, 09:36:17 AM »
Looking to brew up a raspberry wheat for my sister's wedding at her request.  I've never brewed this style before (wheat beer +/- fruit) so I thought I'd kick this out for some pointers.  I want more of an American Wheat style so will probably use a neutral yeast- will WLP001 work or does anyone have specific recommendations.

6lb 2-row
4lb white wheat
0.5lb munich
Hallertauer 1oz at 60min, .5oz at 20min

Is there any role for crystal malts in the style?

Then there is the issue of the raspberries.  I've seen the vintners harvest cans which sounds easy enough.  Buying fresh raspberries might turn this into quite the expensive brew.  I'd plan on adding them to the secondary for 1-2 weeks.  I am going for hints of raspberries NOT fermented raspberry juice so will 3lbs suffice for a 5.5 gallon batch?

Mash temp seems to be high in most recipes I've seen ~154F x 60min.
60min boil

Wedding is in September and hoping to have 1-2 test runs prior to the final product.

I'm all ears on suggestions

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