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Messages - tomsawyer

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1606
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dornbusch's Advice for Alt?
« on: January 07, 2011, 09:38:25 AM »
one thing to try (majorvices helped me with this a couple years back) is to hook the gas up to the beer side and bubble the CO2 up through the beer - will help release some of the sulfur.

That's how I always carbonate my kegs.  I really didn't smell sulfur when I purged the gas a few times so I think its going to be fine.

[I'd recommend no more than an oz. of carafa.  I've switched to Sinamar for coloring alts and prefer that to carafa.

I avoided it entirely this time.  Its not the roasty note is overwhelming or unpleasant, I just think it is out of place for the style.  I may get some sinemar, or at least add carafa late in the mash if the color is needed.

1607
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dornbusch's Advice for Alt?
« on: January 07, 2011, 07:51:27 AM »
I kegged my first real attempt at alt last night.  The FG was 1.015 (OG 1.051), I guess my decoction mash and the use of caramunich and cararoma did bring more body to the beer.  It wasn't overly sweet so I can live with the 70% attenuation.  It does have a borderline roasty note to it though.  The wife described the flavor as coffee, I thought it was slightly chocolate but with a roasty hint.  I used the equivalent of 3oz of carafa special 1, I suppose this is the source of the flavor?  I'm brewing another tonight, doing an all light Munich base with 5% Caramunich 1.

I also detected just a hint of sulfur in the beer, I purged it a few times with CO2 as I was putting the keg on gas to try and get rid of that.  Hopefully that'll dissipate during lagering.  Its in the lager fridge at 30F now, I'll give it as long as possible before breaking it out.

1608
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dornbusch's Advice for Alt?
« on: January 05, 2011, 06:28:06 AM »
Wow its hard to believe those malts weren't available twelve years ago.  Of course his research was probably based on experiences from another ten to twenty years prior, with no internet.

I do think 5% crystal in an alt isn't a bad level is it?  Thats what was in his altstadt recipe.  Thats a pretty modest amount.

I started brewing in March of 1998, just under 13 years ago.  I've seen a huge increase in the availability of ingredients in that time.

Couldn't you have just kilned some of your base malt though?  Assuming you could get the fire started by rubbing two sticks together.

Man the good alt recipes are coming out of the woodwork now, I love it!


1609
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dornbusch's Advice for Alt?
« on: January 05, 2011, 06:05:38 AM »
I knew I should've let Denny report on his recipe, sorry.  I was going off this '09 report.

http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=80186&p=749514&hilit=Milo+alt#p749514

1610
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dornbusch's Advice for Alt?
« on: January 04, 2011, 03:13:20 PM »
Zum Uerige's recipe supposedly has only 2.5% caramunich.  And Denny's Milo alt has no crystal.

I've always heard the "rule" that 20% is upper end for crystal, and since I'm not big on sweet beers I've rarely even used 10% but I'm inching upwards because I keep drinking great commercial craft brews that just seem to have more malty flavors than I am coming up with in my beer.  I've also procured some better quality malts, but I am thinking the sweetness might bring out the flavors somewhat better.  I'm also mashing at a little higher temp to get more body and maybe a little more sweetness.

1611
All Grain Brewing / Re: Missing your target gravity...
« on: January 04, 2011, 02:55:30 PM »
You could as easily add good old table sugar, that is something most people have in their pantry.  Or a combination of longer boil and sugar, since their effects to some extent offset each other (one drier, one less).

1612
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dornbusch's Advice for Alt?
« on: January 04, 2011, 12:31:13 PM »
Wow its hard to believe those malts weren't available twelve years ago.  Of course his research was probably based on experiences from another ten to twenty years prior, with no internet.

I do think 5% crystal in an alt isn't a bad level is it?  Thats what was in his altstadt recipe.  Thats a pretty modest amount.

1613
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dornbusch's Advice for Alt?
« on: January 04, 2011, 10:05:49 AM »
Interesting reading, I'm surprised that you would use crystal simply for color when it brings so much with it.  You could get neutral color from a little dab of dehusked carafa added late in a mash.  I do think there are sweeter alts though, and in this country BluCreek makes a fairly sweet alt that is pretty tasty.

1614
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's your first brew for 2011?
« on: January 04, 2011, 08:14:16 AM »
I made a little cream ale last night, 1.040 and 15 IBU.  It'll be a base beer for a strawberry ale for the wife, I intend to add frozen strawberries to secondary, chill that while it extracts the flavor, and then keg afterwards.  Fruit beers aren't terribly stable but she enjoys them when we go to the local brewpub so I put one out periodicaly.

1615
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dornbusch's Advice for Alt?
« on: January 04, 2011, 06:13:07 AM »

How long does 1007 typically take at 56F?


I usually leave my Alt in primary for 3 weeks but the bulk of fermentation is probably done in 10-12 days at that temp.  I like to give it a little bit of time after the Krausen falls back in before I move it to a keg and start lagering.

Thanks thats a good benchmark.  I pulled mine out of the 56F chamber after 11days, of course the d-rest temp is only 62-64F.  I'll give it three weeks total before lagering.

1616
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dornbusch's Advice for Alt?
« on: January 03, 2011, 05:01:37 PM »
I don't have near the experience brewing Alts that Denny does, but since it is my favorite style I probably put more thought and care into brewing those batches and I agree with his comments.  I don't know that there is much need for a diacetyl rest, especially if you use WY1007 and pitch and ferment on the cooler side.  Even at 56 deg f that yeast attenuates very well and finishes clean.  I'm sure raising the temp can't hurt, though. 

I did enjoy his book, mainly for the historical information on Altbiers and good discussion on the style vs. the technical brewing info.

How long does 1007 typically take at 56F?

His recipes always kind of freak me out as he will specify using huge amounts of crystal or aromatic malts...I like to use those malts in moderation and have a hard time believing a recipe with 20% crystal malt will taste good (at least for my tastebuds).

I see his Altstadt recipe is only 5% crystal, that seems reasonable.  Supposedly alts from other areas are sweeter, although 20% crystal is a lot and I wouldn't be wanting that kind of beer.

1617
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dornbusch's Advice for Alt?
« on: January 02, 2011, 07:08:25 PM »
Interesting article, although they are using an under-modified malt so the protein rest is certainly more likely to be necessary for that reason.  I'm not sure that Global pils and munich malts are going to need this same protein rest to provide adequate medium-chain polypeptides for body and head retention.  In fact I've read that a protein rest on a well-modified malt can actually break down proteins too much, resulting in the opposite effect.  I generally get a really nice egg-drop soup effect using pils malt and proper salts in my water.  But I'm certainly open to suggestions.

1618
I'm in the camp of those who think you did the right thing.  To me the chloride and chalk would make it taste like alka seltzer.  You'd probably also need to adjust the pH drastically with acid to even get a decent mash.

1619
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dornbusch's Advice for Alt?
« on: January 01, 2011, 08:49:15 PM »
Thanks Denny, I kind of thought the advice was a little dogmatic in several respects.  I generally like the idea of a d-rest, not only for attenuating diacetyl but just to be sure things finish as completely as possible.  Conditioning on a yeast cake doesn't make much sense, and he does say you should rack a time or two which doesn't jibe with the rest of the advice.  I'm torn on the protein rest, but I don't typically have problems with a good rocky head when using the right yeast.  I did appreciate his description of the subtle differences between British and German malt, I usually try to get the authentic ingredients but didn't know exactly what parameters might be affecting the outcome.

1620
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How much did you brew in 2010?
« on: January 01, 2011, 08:43:14 PM »
I documented 45 brews, all around 3gal.  I also made quite a bit of wine.

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