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Messages - rbowers

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Beer Recipes / Re: Emptying the hop tray
« on: September 06, 2012, 06:01:28 PM »
So this looks messy but maybe something like this?

60min- 0.8oz Columbus + 0.2oz magnum (~25 IBU)
15min- 1oz cascade + 0.5 oz simcoe (~10 IBU)
0min- 1oz cascade + 0.5 oz simcoe + 1 oz mt hood
Dry Hop: 1oz cascade + .25 oz centennial + 0.2 oz Columbus + 1oz mt hood

Total ~ 35 IBU

The amounts seems strange but this is a "use up the spare hops" kinda recipe.

I could always up the magnum to leave more Columbus for a dry hop.

It'll be interesting to see the mix of the mt hood with the others for aroma.  Let me know what you think.

Beer Recipes / Emptying the hop tray
« on: September 06, 2012, 03:37:08 PM »
I need some suggestions for an upcoming recipe.  I'm trying to use up some hops left over in the freezer from previous batches/what I have lying around.  The beer will be a 10gal batch of American Amber with a malt bill of 65% 2 row, 20% munich and some crystal 40/120, victory and a little wheat.
My hops available are:
3 oz Sorachi Ace (originally destined for Belgian IPA)
1 oz simcoe
2 oz cascade
1 oz Columbus
2 oz mt hood
2 oz willamette
.25 Oz centennial
.5 oz chinook
.5 oz magnum

My original plan was to use the Columbus for bittering, cascade additions at 15 and 5 min.  But I get a bit lost after that.  The simcoe would probably be good as a late addition.  The centennial will likely just get tossed in at the end.  I'm not sure where the mt hood and willamette (or the sorachi ace) could fit in.  Ive always used willamette and mt hood in my english ales and like them there but haven't used them in any hoppy american style ales. Chinook and magnum would be alternatives for bittering.  Shooting for about 35-45 IBU.  Yeast will be split between wyeast NW ale 1332 and San Diego super strain.  I'm all ears.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: 4 or 5 keg fridge
« on: August 30, 2012, 01:32:49 AM »
I built my keezer about a year ago with plans for 4 taps.  I think it is a 8cf chest freezer from Sears and it works great.  I've got room for four cornies in the bottom and can put the co2 tank on the compressor shelf.  I've also been able to find a few shorter/fatter cornies that fit just right on the shelf and work good for lagering or flash chilling some batches.  I recently "had to" bottle a batch I plan to age a bit and man that is a process I don't miss at all.  Search around for different plans and find what may work best for you- plenty of options.  Good luck.  My only I wish I had 6 taps.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Some Basic Kegging/Force Carbing Questions
« on: August 30, 2012, 01:20:05 AM »
My first foray into kegging with force carbonation used a fast carb shaking method.  Didn't come out so great- it involved beer in my regulator and on the ceiling of the garage.  I've since learned to be patient and ride out 12 psi for 5 or 6 days (doesn't help you much in your particular situation).  My only advice is definitely let it rest for at least a few hours if you go the fast force carb route.  Otherwise it's all foam.

Kegging and Bottling / Belgian corks
« on: August 25, 2012, 09:44:39 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?

Beer Recipes / Re: Flanders attempt- initial recs
« on: August 17, 2012, 01:00:13 PM »
I'm not sure how much the bugs will deal with the residual sweetness but I know the goal is a pretty dry beer.  That seems like a lot of special B- I've used it in a few beers and a little seems to go a long way.  I assume the silicone bung is solid or is there a need for an airlock?

Beer Recipes / Re: Suggestions for Saison
« on: August 17, 2012, 01:57:30 AM »
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 17, 2012, 01:53:14 AM »
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, 12:39:06 PM »
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 29, 2012, 02:05:03 AM »
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, 11:34:24 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, 11:45:06 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 24, 2012, 02:25:44 AM »
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, 05:51:51 PM »
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, 09:34:42 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.

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