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Topics - nateo

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I was having issues with some medicinal blackberry mead from a while back. It was a split batch. One half is fine. The other had a pellicle form, and smells like rotten fruit and funk. I'm guessing it's Brett and maybe lacto. Is there any way this will age out, or should I dump it?

Ingredients / Any ideas where to get citron/bergamot peel?
« on: January 06, 2013, 02:32:45 AM »
I've found some bergamot marmalade online, and every sells bergamot essential oils, but I can't find anywhere that just sells dried bergamot peel. Has anyone seen this for sale anywhere?

Can you use just the oil to brew with?

Commercial Beer Reviews / NB + Brewery Vivant Biere de Garde
« on: December 28, 2012, 11:14:13 PM »
Really interesting brew. Reminds me of Campari and soda. Firm, dry bitterness, with a strong floral/citrus aroma. One of the better Biere de Gardes I've had.

If anyone else has tried this, I'd love some feedback on taking a stab at cloning it.

All Grain Brewing / A better way to brew with raw wheat berries
« on: December 26, 2012, 08:26:50 PM »
Grinding wheat berries is a PITA. I've found that if you boil the wheat berries for 15 minutes before grinding, you can keep the pericarp intact, while pulverizing the endosperm to flour. The intact pericarp acts like a husk, making rice hulls unnecessary; it will lauter faster and the wort will be clearer.

I used a Corona mill with no problems. I didn't try it on my two-roller mill, but it might get gunked up, so use a malt mill at your own risk.

The wheat will be much fluffier. Here is a picture. Both bags contain 800g of wheat berries. The left one was boiled first, the right wasn't.

I have some more info on my blog, if you're interested:

The Pub / Shortshipped grain from AHS
« on: December 24, 2012, 10:57:56 PM »
Hey folks,
I'm making an inventory of my grain supplies, and I came across a still-sealed bag of Special B from AHS. For kicks, I threw it on the scale. It weighed exactly 1.76lbs with packaging, but it said 2lbs on the label. Is it possible the grain lost weight during storage? I ordered the grain in March, and I'm kind of annoyed, but I feel kinda weird telling them about it at this point. Maybe I should just let them know that it happened, so it won't happen to someone else? Am I being completely insane and unreasonable?

Next time I get grain from them, it's going on the scale right away.

What's an acceptable variance to you? I feel like +/-0.05lbs is OK, and +/-0.1lbs is pushing it.

General Homebrew Discussion / That German Lager flavor, round 2
« on: December 23, 2012, 05:17:19 PM »
So the first thread got really long, and I realized I couldn't remember what conclusions we came to. There was some conflicting info, which I think is why this topic hasn't been settled. I read through the thread again, and took some notes:

Necessary things:
noble hops
decoction (or not)
huge starter
low mash pH (5.2)
late hop additions
sulfury yeast
lager on the yeast cake
German ingredients
aerate well
aroma hops @ 10-15min or aroma hops @ 5min
extended aging (or not)

Commercial Beer Reviews / Blue Moon's Proximity
« on: December 22, 2012, 06:47:38 PM »
Blue Moon's latest "crafty" beer. It's half wheat malt, half sauvignon blanc grape juice. Fairly uninspired, but inoffensive. Not worth the price tag ($8, IIRC). It tastes exactly like a mix of Blue Moon and a sauvignon blanc wine, which is what it is, so I guess that makes sense.

It could be really cool if done properly. I think I'll try to brew something like that soon.

Equipment and Software / Weird German homebrew equipment
« on: December 21, 2012, 04:54:44 PM »
Check this out:

I've never seen a mill like that before. It's so tiny. It looks like he uses a hot plate for the mash, and I'm not sure what for the sparge, but it looks kinda like a turkey fryer. He also pulverizes the hop pellets with a mortar and pestle, but he admits that's just him "being German."

Edit: There's the mill. It has 2.7" rollers.

The Pub / Health effects of phosphoric acid in beer?
« on: November 19, 2012, 03:30:00 PM »
Someone told me I shouldn't use phosphoric acid to acidify my mash because it's more toxic than lactic acid. My first thought was "that's BS." My second thought was "wouldn't 4%ABV alcohol in beer be more toxic than the 20mg or so of phosphoric acid in a 12oz beer?"

Has anyone heard about this? I googled a bit and it looks like people think Cola hurts your kidneys because of the acid, but I would think ingesting that much sugar would mess your kidneys up more than the acid would.

All Grain Brewing / Wet milling fail / I'm an idiot
« on: November 14, 2012, 07:33:06 PM »
I tried wet-milling some pils malt on my MM-2. I soaked the grain for about 2-3 seconds, then strained it in a colander. I ran it through once at 1mm, and it milled fine, without jamming up or anything. Because I love clutching defeat from the jaws of victory, I tried to run it through again at 0.5mm, and this happened:

I was thinking about mashing with adjuncts and had a few questions. Does anyone target a specific nitrogen content for their wort?

Adjuncts like rice and corn will lighten body, and they contain very little protein. Wheat malt is frequently used to increase body or head retention, and typically has more protein. There seems to be a correlation between protein content and body, but is it exact enough to use predictably? For instance, would an adjunct-heavy beer with a low-protein pils malt be noticeably lighter-bodied than an adjunct-heavy beer with a lot of 6-row and/or wheat malt, assuming the same Kolbach?

Zymurgy / Is there a way to opt-out of the hard copy?
« on: October 22, 2012, 11:33:16 PM »
I read Zymurgy online. I don't like having the hard copies around. I have no friends to give them to. I feel guilty throwing them away, and slightly less-guilty recycling them. Is there a way to opt-out of physical copies? 

The Pub / British hops declining due to low demand
« on: October 08, 2012, 10:23:37 PM »

I thought this was an interesting article.

"At the industry's peak in 1872, British hop farmers grew around 72,000 acres of the perennial climbing plant, but demand has decreased to the point that last year only 2,500 acres were grown. The only major hop-growing regions now are Hereford and Worcester and Kent. Despite this, the UK is at the forefront of efforts to develop new varieties – including dwarf or hedgerow plants thought to be more sustainable than higher climbing hops – and the revival of old ones. The hedgerow hops cost less to grow, can be picked by machine, are more resistant to disease and require lower chemical inputs. "

General Homebrew Discussion / Aluminum pot and lime decarbonation
« on: October 05, 2012, 05:14:28 PM »
So, I normally do my lime softening in a food-grade plastic trashcan, but I only needed a little bit, so I used an aluminum stockpot. The inside of the pot turned dark gray after I drained it. I used the water to brew a batch of beer. I didn't think about aluminum corrosion until after I was done brewing.

The water sat at about pH 10 for 12-15 hours. Should I be concerned about excessive aluminum content in the beer?

Ingredients / How best to use raw wheat berries?
« on: October 03, 2012, 05:09:43 PM »
Has anyone tried soaking wheat berries in water overnight before milling, to soften them up?

Does anyone have advice for torrifying them in an oven? Like how hot and how long?


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