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Messages - tomsawyer

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1606
I would expect #2 to attenuate more than #1.  Mash temp (and grist composition) makes far more difference than the attenuation rating of the yeast.  That's just a way of comparing one yeast to another given a standard wort.

+1  I've brewed beers that had 80% attenuation with a yeast that was rated for 74% tops.  Low mash temp, plenty of yeast and a moderate and controlled ferm temp all work to get maximal attenuation.

1607
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Off flavor question....
« on: January 08, 2011, 10:18:46 AM »
Mine took more like a month or so to mellow, but it was at a level that you could pour and a lot of it would blow off and the beeer was drinkable.

1608
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Off flavor question....
« on: January 08, 2011, 07:10:32 AM »
Yeasts can throw sulfur (actually hydrogen sulfide) smells.  I had this with a Belgian wit, it eventually mellowed to the point where I almost couldn't detect it.  At just a touch it can actually contribute positively to aroma.

Probably better to let it gas out in primary/secondary prior to bottling.

1609
All Grain Brewing / Re: Belgian Malt sources
« on: January 07, 2011, 08:10:03 PM »
You can get Castle products from Northern Brewer.

1610
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Frozen Lager
« on: January 07, 2011, 04:56:14 PM »
I should clarify that they're done fermenting and are being lagered in kegs.  there should have been relatively little yeast in the kegs, just what was left after racking.

I did have a small glass of eisbeer when I went to pour a glass from one of the kegs.  As soon as I tasted it I knew what was up, it was concentrated stuff!  I actually let off the pressure and opened the keg to return the beer so as not to weaken what was left.

1611
General Homebrew Discussion / Frozen Lager
« on: January 07, 2011, 04:44:32 PM »
I'm just using a smal firdge to lager, and after a few days of not opening it the temp dropped below 30F and apparently that was enough to freeze my two German lagers.  Does this do irreperable harm?  I have the corny kegs out thawing and will put them back after adjusting the thermostat (knob with numbers).

1612
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dornbusch's Advice for Alt?
« on: January 07, 2011, 04:42:20 PM »
My grist was:

53.4% pils
35.6% light Munich
4.4% caramunich 1
2.2% cararoma
2.2% melanoidin
2.2% carafa special 2

I thought the roasty flavor came from the carafa but it could be a combination effect.  And if lagering tames it down a bit it might be more in the realm of toffee than coffee.

1613
All Grain Brewing / Re: Batch Sparging With Distilled Water?
« on: January 07, 2011, 02:52:35 PM »
When I make my mineral additions I try and design for both mash pH and flavor profile in the final beer.  My tap water is kind of high in sulfate at 90ppm, so sometimes I don't want to use all tap water unless I am wanting 120ppm sulfate after boiling.  When I do use tap water to sparge, I'll often add a little lactic acid and/or an extra bit of calcium salt.  I also employ lactic acid in the mash to keep my chloride and sulfate levels in a reasonable range.

I'm relieved to hear that I didn't mess up that beer!

1614
General Homebrew Discussion / Da Vinci Syrup for Fruit Beer
« on: January 07, 2011, 10:14:13 AM »
My wife likes fruit beers and its something I brew now and then to keep her happy.  They are kind of unstable though, you invariably get a second fermentation and while thats going on they are yeasty, and when its over some of the nice aromas are gassed out.  I actually have a cream ale I'm brewing now, that I'm going to dose with fresh strawberries and put in my serving fridge to prevent refermentation.

We had some Da Vinci sugar-free raspberry syrup in the cabinet and when I poured her a hefe I thought it would be interesting to add a touch of this.  I'd used it once before on a Berlinner Weisse and enjoyed it.  Well she really liked it so I now have a good way of making her fruit beer while keeping the base beer drinkable as well.  I also think that since its sugar-free, you could add it and bottle or keg and it would remain stable.  It tastes quite a bit better than extracts I've used.  There are a lot of flavors of these syrups too.

1615
All Grain Brewing / Batch Sparging With Distilled Water?
« on: January 07, 2011, 10:05:21 AM »
I did this for the first time a few days ago when I brewed a cream ale, so I don't know if there was a negative effect.  I used my tap water and salts for the mash, but didn't have bottled water until my wife got home from the store.  I wanted the final salt levels to be what I'd already added so I batch sparged with the distilled.  My rationale was that the mash still had salts in the bound water, so I wouldn't leach tannins.

Any experiences or advice concerning this approach?  Obviously it would have been safer to blend the  tap and distilled for both mash and sparge.  I'll report back when I taste this batch.

1616
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dornbusch's Advice for Alt?
« on: January 07, 2011, 09:40:20 AM »
Another general alt question.  Why do so many recipes use a combination of pils and munich malt, when a light munich is only 6-7L anyway?  Is all munich too overpowering in terms of the flavor?  I was going to try that Al K recipe but found I was out of Aromatic.

Sorry if it sounds like I'm "virtual-brewing", I do intend to try these different approaches to find out what I like best.  Just can't do a real brew while I'm here at work.  This morning I did weigh and crush the grist, load it in the MLT, and put my water and brewing salts in the pot so I can heat and mash as soon as I get home.  I even considered an all-day mash but I think I want to keep using a mash schedule that leaves a little more body.

1617
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.

1618
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.

1619
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!


1620
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

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