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Topics - nateo

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All Grain Brewing / FauxPils Faceoff
« on: April 29, 2012, 02:56:51 PM »
Goal: To determine whether triple-decoction or no-sparge single infusion provides better results in a pale, delicate, malt-centric beer for an average homebrewer.

Who I need: Eight people to drink beer and provide feedback. I'm looking for a mix of certified judges and non-judges who have a good palate.

What you'll get: Three beers each, one of which may or may not be a duplicate of either beer, to be randomly determined.

After tasting: Provide feedback following a standard BJCP-style scoring form format for each beer.

What I ask for: I will keep all feedback anonymous (unless you want credit), but I will upload the results on my crappy blog I never update. It would also be cool if you wanted to fill the bottles back up with some of your own homebrew and mail them back.

I want to keep the recipe details a secret until after the tastings, after which I'll make my detailed brewing notes public. I plan on brewing the beers back-to-back sometime late next month, or early in the following. 

Please leave any comments, concerns, or heckles below. Thank you.

1. Denny
2. Ron
3. Tom
4. Jeffy

1. Don (I know you brew a lot of lagers)
2. Jason
3. Red
4. Garc

All Grain Brewing / Stupid high gravity brew
« on: April 28, 2012, 03:07:10 PM »
I'm trying to figure out a way to brew Avery's Mephistopheles. Years ago I talked to one of the brewers about this briefly, and IIRC he said they start at 1.146, and just pitch fresh yeast everyday until it's done. Since I don't have access to tons of free yeast, I'm thinking of dividing the fermentables into three additions:

Step 1: 8L @ 1.080, ferment to 1.020
Step 2: Add 8L @ 1.155, new gravity 1.087
Step 3: Add 2L @ 1.376

Step 1 would be an otherwise "normal" beer, and step 3 would be just dextrose and turbinado. I'm not sure about step 2. I haven't mashed a beer that large before. What efficiency should I expect? I'm planning on a long boil for that one.

My reasoning for doing it this way is to keep the pressure on the yeast as low as possible, and to be able to start out with a reasonably sized initial pitch.

Any thoughts?

Zymurgy / "New Rules of Brewing Water" - Same as the old rules?
« on: April 26, 2012, 06:18:32 AM »
I know it's just an excerpt (from the introduction?) of a book, so I'll try to reserve judgement, but a couple things jumped out at me:
"2. Starch conversion in the mash works most efficiently at a mash pH of 5.1-5.5 at mash temperatures." - I'm not sure sticking you pH meter into a hot mash is really 'best practice."

It also sounds like Palmer is still in his "RA color spreadsheet" mode, but maybe I'm reading too much into that, and maybe he discusses the differences between base, crystal and roasted malts' effect on alkalinity in more depth.

Talking about 1:2 of sulfate to chloride seem really outdated too. No sane person would argue that 5ppm:10ppm will taste the same as 50:100 or 500:1000, although they all have the same ratio. IMO the absolute amounts make a bigger difference than the ratios.

Zymurgy should really have Martin write an article about brewing water for them. I think it would be a lot more enlightening.

I brewed a Hefe today following some advice Eric Warner gives in his book on the style. One of his tips is to boil for 120min. I got a lot more hot and cold break with the 120min boil than I usually do with a 90min boil. Is there a reason I shouldn't boil all my worts for 120min?

Going Pro / Brewers have all kinds of beliefs
« on: April 22, 2012, 08:53:48 AM »
I really enjoy touring breweries and talking to different brewers. I'm always amazed at how much differing opinion there is about brewing.

The last brewery I went to had a German brewhouse, with a sweet mash agitator in the boil kettle (I assume for decoction mashing? I don't know why else your BK would need a mash agitator.) They didn't do any decoctions though, so I thought it was an odd choice. Maybe they got a good deal on it or something.

They also just used regular municipal water run through a whole-house filter. I asked about their water hardness, since most of the water I've seen in MO is hard as nails. They said their water was really hard, and they tried to brew a Koelsch and it turned out horrible.

I asked if they had tried any softening techniques, like boiling or lime treatment, and the brewer said he doesn't believe in adding any chemicals to his beer. He didn't believe in adding any brewing salts either.

Their beer was OK, not amazing, but above average. They just make the kinds of beer they can with their water, and don't worry trying to make other kinds.

Ingredients / Adding oats during the boil?
« on: April 22, 2012, 07:41:48 AM »
Interesting read over at Mike's blog:

Has anyone else tried this? I wonder if it'd work with flaked barley?

Events / AHA Rally in Rolla, MO at Public House
« on: April 20, 2012, 12:09:50 PM »
Anyone on here going to this? It's tomorrow. I'm taking the afternoon off work to check it out.

The Pub / How long before there are no spelling or grammar rules?
« on: April 19, 2012, 07:37:48 AM »
Is it my imagination or is spelling and grammar getting worse? Maybe I'm not remembering correctly. Is the internet making spelling and grammar irrelevant? When almost everyone ignores the rules of language, how long will it take before they no longer matter?

Is there a rule of thumb for bottle weight vs max CO2? Or I guess the weight to volume ratio to total carbonation volume?

I have some Boulevard bottles that weigh 256g and had beer with published CO2 of 3.5 volumes. I have some Piraat bottles that weigh 283g, and had a lot of carbonation, but I don't know how much. My plain old longnecks weigh about 200g, and those I assume are only safe up to 3 volumes.

I read Warner's book last night, and I had a few questions. I know people say that parts of the book are outdated. Is it outdated because malt quality is better today? Which parts, in particular, should I ignore? Can any of the advice be used to brew better beer?

This passage jumped out at me, because my malt's S/T is 34%: "The most intensive mash program commonly used for brewing a Weissbier is the double decoction mash. This mash program is chosen for malts that not highly modified, particularly if the degree of soluble protein is less than 36%. . ."

He also recommends an extended boil (90-120min+) because of the higher level of coagulable protein.

The way I've been brewing my wheat beers: I dough-in around 100*, keeping the barley separate from the wheat. Through direct heat, I raise the temp of the wheat portion to 120-130*, hold for 15-20min, raise to a saccharification temp of 150*-ish for 15-20min, then bring to a boil for 10-15min. I then add that portion to the barley portion, and the temp will hit around 150*. I let that rest for 30-45min, then start to vorlauf and lauter. I generally use a 60min boil for the wort.

I've tried doing single infusions with this malt, but in large amounts it gets really gummy and my sparges stick. My batch efficiency is also really poor (around 60%) when using a single infusion.

Using the above-mentioned method, I can brew with around 55-60% wheat malt, and my sparges are slow but they don't tend to get stuck, and batch efficiency is around 70%.

Here are the specs for my wheat malt:
Fine/Coarse - 78.5/77.1
DP - 188
Total protein - 15.24
Soluble protein - 5.2
S/T - 34.12
Mealy/Half/Glassy - 90/10/0
pH - 6.1

So, any thoughts?

Ingredients / Northern brewer flat-rate shipping on grain sacks?
« on: April 13, 2012, 03:00:54 PM »
Hey guys,
I ordered a 55lb sack of grain from Northern Brewer. In my cart it estimated shipping at about $26. I added a few more items and checked the shipping estimate again, and it gave me the $7.99 flat rate. Is their cart buggy, or do you get flat-rate shipping if you spend over a certain amount with them?

The Pub / Beer anxiety dreams
« on: April 10, 2012, 06:49:12 AM »
Does anyone else have anxiety dreams about brewing flaws? I had a dream last night my IPA turned to cardboard. I've only made one seriously oxidized beer (old hops) but it was the worst beer I've ever had.

General Homebrew Discussion / Methode Champenoise, dry hop in bottle?
« on: April 09, 2012, 01:12:49 PM »
I'm working a Belgian Brut and will be doing the methode champenoise to bottle it. Basically, you let it carb up on the lees, invert bottle, freeze lees into a plug, uncap the bottle, blow out the lees, then recap.

Would it be possible to dry hop in the bottle, then blow out the pellets with the lees? Is there a reason I should, or shouldn't try this?

Going Pro / Brewing on a schedule
« on: April 08, 2012, 06:46:40 AM »
On the advice of some of the guys here, I've been trying to brew on a weekly schedule, in anticipation of brewing commercial a few years down the road.

What do you do if your beer isn't done when you need the empty tank? Is this just yeast selection, where you only pick strains with quick and acceptable performance?

I haven't been monitoring fermentation progress every day. The beers are usually ready to rack within a week. Two batches ago I used Danstar Windsor for the first time, since I ran out of S-04, and after a week I was only at 33% apparent attenuation. I was boiling a wit at the time, and I needed the bucket, so I racked anyway.

If this were a commercial beer I was trying to make on a schedule with limited fermenting space, this could've been a real disaster. 

Ingredients / Undermodified pils malt?
« on: April 05, 2012, 12:49:01 PM »
Sorry if this has been covered before, but my google skills fail me.

Does anyone know of any supplier for undermodified pils malt? Does such a thing exist anymore?

I've seen floor-malted Bohemian pils from a few stores. Is that the same, or is it pretty well-modified?

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