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Messages - rbowers

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Beer Recipes / Re: Suggestions for Saison
« on: August 16, 2012, 06:57:30 PM »
I tried using mango in a wit beer and I also could barely pick it up.  Seems like you have to use a pretty large amount I guess.  I'm not sure if i will be going that route again though.

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

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? 

Beer Recipes / Re: Amber/ESB Recipe- please critque
« on: July 28, 2012, 07:05:03 PM »
Alright some research and contemplation has led to the following revision for the malt bill:
10 gallon batch

13lb Marris Otter
5lb Vienna
2lb English Crystal (if I can find locally)- otherwise going to sub crystal 40 or 60
1lb Victory
6oz Chocolate (mostly for color)

Hops are staying the same
WLP 005 British Ale w/ good size starter

I have an ESB on tap now that I am quite pleased with that was MO base with 3/4lb each of crystal 40 and 80 and 1/2lb victory.  This will be my first foray into a beer with a fair amount of vienna malt so we will see how it goes. 

Going to mash at 154 for 60min. 

Any additional recs?  Thanks again.

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?

Beer Recipes / Re: Amber/ESB Recipe- please critque
« on: July 24, 2012, 04:45:06 PM »
Thanks for some of the suggestions.  Stopped by LHBS today and got some tips on yeast- I'm gonna give WLP005 British Ale a try. 
With regards to the malt, I like the idea of using the MO as I like the richness it provides.  Does anyone think 1/2 Munich and 1/2 MO is going to be too?; maybe go with one or the other + some 2-row?  English crystal will do well I imagine so I'll probably drop the c40 and go with English med crystal.  Will lose the oats and aromatic as I assume all the base malts and victory will provide plenty of malty goodness. 

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

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

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

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?

Ingredients / Re: Carawheat malt
« on: July 19, 2012, 02:34:42 PM »
Thanks for the advice.  The base beer, uncarbonated and at 70F, tasted okay- definitely no excessive tart flavors there.  The fruit came in the form of a puree in which I believe the seeds have been removed. 
In terms of adding chalk- where can this be purchased?  I may bump up the mash temp to 153 next batch ad see where things go.  Thanks again.

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

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. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Unplanned open fermentation
« on: June 21, 2012, 03:40:00 PM »
3 piece airlock and the cap was missing leaving a direct communication between beer and ambient air.  The fluid surrounds the tube in the center of the airlock and was filled with water and subsequently beer when I found it.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Unplanned open fermentation
« on: June 21, 2012, 01:01:24 PM »
Thanks for the tips.  I'll hang with it and see where things go.  Come September we will know I guess.

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.

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.

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