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Messages - snowtiger87

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When you walk through the grocery store and say to yourself, "I can ferment that, and that, and ohhhh that would be good in this kind of beer."

Beer Recipes / Re: Pumpkin Ale
« on: October 18, 2011, 04:59:39 PM »

Thanks for the data. I have never looked at it that way. How about this technique if people still don't want to put the pumpkin in the boil (I don't)?

Before sparging gently mix it into the top of the grain bed. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so and then start then sparge, or mash-out, then sparge.

This way it should not plug up the filter, but the process of sparging should still extract the color and sugar from the pumpkin, and the 10 minute rest may even convert what little starches are there.

Beer Recipes / Re: Pumpkin Ale
« on: October 16, 2011, 04:55:59 PM »
"As for the grains I am using, I was trying to use up some leftover grains I had and didn't want to buy more in bulk without knowing what my next batch after this pumpkin ale would be. I thought the rye would add a little bit of spiciness that it can have. "

That is fine. I was just looking for a reason. I am not a fan of adding something to the recipe just to add it.

The tincture method could be a good way to go with the spices, I have just never tried it.

Beer Recipes / Re: Pumpkin Ale
« on: October 16, 2011, 11:06:09 AM »
In my experience pumpkin (when mashed) contributes, color, some gravity (I have it at 1.030 pppg in ProMash and a creamy mouthfeel to the beer. Also, there is the authenticity part that MDixon mentions, which is key to me.

Pumpkin added to the boil will give you chill haze and stability problems as you are just adding starch. Would you add non-mashed grain, oats, or wheat to the boil? If you don't intend to mash the pumpkin I say leave it out as well. I agree that a pumpkin spice beer can be made and no one would know there is no actual pumpkin in the beer except the brewer.

As for the recipe, why mix Pale Ale and Marris Otter malt? (I say use all Marris Otter). Why the crystal 20? The crystal 60 should be plenty. What is the Rye for? I like to add some Special B (maybe 4 oz for this recipe) to add some richness and color without being too sweet in the final product. Don't use late addition hops as they interfere with the spices.

Ingredients / Re: Prickly Pears
« on: October 16, 2011, 10:36:51 AM »
Since I am in Afghanistan (and have not found any here) I have a friend back home (Denver, CO) picking, processing, and freezing them for me so I can use them when I get back. She is also a beekeeper and will be supplying 2 lbs of honey for the beer. Of course, I have promised her half the batch for all her help so I will have to bump up the recipe to 10 gallons. I will also be using Colorado grown and malted barely for the base malt of this beer, making it an all-Colorado ingredient beer.

Can you tell I was inspired by Drew's Zymurgy article, "A Saison for Every Region"?

I did not know that prickly pears grew in New England. With all the humidty and rain I would expect them to get pretty big and plump.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Judging and Offering Fixes for Flaws
« on: October 16, 2011, 10:05:11 AM »
Gordan can back me up here if he likes so here are my thoughts. As a BCJP judge we are encouraged (actually, required on the test) to give constructive feedback whenever possible, but to never guess (i.e. extract vs all-grain, name hops, yeast, etc). We should not be demeaning or harsh in our comments. We should also strive to fill out each section of the scoresheet adequately. I am always dissapointed when I get a scoresheet back and there is one word on each of the eval sections (and I have many times). Usually these come from non or new BJCP judges, and pro brewers.

Personally, I can usually taste an old extract and dry yeast in a beer. As the quality if dry yeast has improved I must admit this is getting harder. I can also easily sense if the beer is too bitter, dark, harsh, estery, etc.

Like all judges, I have my own opinions on how beers in certain styles should be and those opinions come out in my evaluations but I try to keep then muted.

Ingredients / Re: Prickly Pears
« on: October 14, 2011, 09:03:36 AM »
You know you are a homebrewer when you walk through the grocery store and say to yourself, "I can ferment that, oh and that, and that too . . ."  ;D

I think I will go with 1.5 lbs of processed fruit per gallon. Thanks for the advice.

Ingredients / Re: Pumpkin Pie Spice
« on: October 14, 2011, 09:00:16 AM »
The Savory Spice Shop in Denver does mail order. I have been very pleased with them.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Need some advice!!!
« on: October 14, 2011, 08:56:35 AM »
I would brew a lower alcohol beer like a Dunkel or Helles to get my yeast count up and then use the yeast cake from that to ferment the Doppel Bock in 2 weeks. The timing should work out well.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Stalled Fermentation - Belgian Strong
« on: October 14, 2011, 08:52:36 AM »
That is some great information. It makes my head hurt reading :-\ it but great anyway.

You are correct about rousing the yeast now. It probably won't do any good if it has gone dormant. I normally start rousing when the fermentation shows signs of slowing down - not when it appears totally finished.

All Grain Brewing / Re: my last night brew, trouble and stress
« on: October 14, 2011, 08:41:47 AM »
The decoction (1st decoction) part should be 1 qt thick mash for every lb of grain in the recipe. Of course, if all you really want to do is raise the temp a few degrees (instead of 120 to 152 or something) then that formula can be modified.

Denny's point about the enzymes is 100% correct. That is why "THICK PART" is emphasized.

Don't worry, will end up with beer though.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Stalled Fermentation - Belgian Strong
« on: October 13, 2011, 03:43:47 PM »
Have you tried rousing the yeast? I would do that every day to see if you can get them kicked back up into the beer. I would not waste money on more 1388. After a week of rousing with no favorable results I would just add a couple packs of Nottingham dry yeast or SA-05. By now you have gotten most of the character from the 1388 yeast anyway.

Brett may not do anything at this alcohol level.

Ingredients / Prickly Pears
« on: October 12, 2011, 09:27:17 AM »
I have never used them in a beer before but I have an idea to make a prickly pear Saison. I think the earthy character of the fruit would go well with earthy character of Saison yeast.

My question is how many pounds of processed prickly pears (skinned and seeded) should I use for 5 gallons? I plan to put them in the secondary. I would like a strong prickly pear character in the finished beer.

Thanks for your input.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Saison for a competition
« on: October 12, 2011, 09:21:50 AM »
Spices can go in a Saison, but they should be part of the overall beer profile and not stand out on their own. As a judge if I could pick out a certain one I would consider that a flaw.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: high alcohol bottling
« on: October 11, 2011, 09:30:58 AM »
Normally I bottle my Belgians so I use the 750ml Ommengang-type cork and cage bottles for the Abbeys and 750ml champagne-style capable bottles for Saisons as they can handle higher pressures. When I get home I intend to teach a class on this for my homebrew club because the one person who has watched me do it was amazed at how smooth my process went.

Of course the right tools help, such as a Champagne floor corker, a masonry tool to twist the cages, and the larger capping bell for Euro caps.

I use a few 375ml or 12oz bottles for each batch in case I want to enter competitions.

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