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Topics - rjharper

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Yeast and Fermentation / German yeast in a Cali Common?
« on: June 18, 2014, 11:40:06 AM »
I know that BCS states that you have to use San Fran lager yeast but has anyone tried using German lager strains? I've been building up a W34/70 population for a Helles but I need something fast and different and I was thinking a Cali common would be a good way to build up yeast and get a faster batch out. But would it even work? I've seen that it can add sulphury notes.

Ingredients / Best Styles for Strawberries
« on: June 16, 2014, 07:25:56 AM »
I hit the local self-pick farm this weekend and scored a lot of strawberries, and after cleanup, dehusking, and pie making / shortcake eating, I have 11lbs of chopped strawberries and juice in the freezer. So what do I brew? I'm tending towards a lighter brew like a blonde or wheat to showcase the fruit. I know strawberry is mild and drops off fast. My plan is to rack to the strawberries in secondary but hold it at 40F in the kegerator so I don't ferment out all the flavor.

So any suggestions from those who do fruit beers more often?

Homebrew Competitions / MCAB XV Results
« on: May 28, 2013, 08:08:21 AM »
Anyone heard any news on the MCAB? I know that there was a shipping address snafu that pushed back some of the judging, but the last site update still states results by Sat 5/25.  LAst I heard the organizer John is still waiting for results from the competition director (cant post without results!)

Beer Recipes / Schwarzbier
« on: February 27, 2013, 11:55:31 PM »
I'm planning a batch of Schwarzbier as a step up for my WLP885 Zurich Lager yeast for the Baltic Porter to follow. How does this look for the Schwarzbier? It seems to fall in between Jamil's two recipes in terms of roastiness.  I subbed Blackprinz for the Black Roast Barley since its dehusked, and similarly I like Midnight Wheat for color and head retention without astringency.

50% Munich
40% Pilsen
2.5% C60
2.5% Chocolate
2.5% Blackprinz
2.5% Midnight Wheat
Mash @ 151F

1.5oz Tettnang @ 60 mins 26 IBU
0.5oz Hallertau @ 15 mins 4 IBU
0.5oz Hallertau @ 0 mins

Target 1.052OG
30 IBU
30 SRM

WLP855 Zurich Lager


Edited to correct my spelling

Ingredients / Tazo Passion Tea Bags
« on: February 13, 2013, 03:02:42 PM »
"Tart rose hips and citrusy lemongrass woo the voluptuous blooms of hibiscus flowers."

Got a box of these; don't care much for the hot tea by itself (without a ton of sweeter), but the flavor, aroma and color of this has me thinking a steep at the end of the boil in a Hefe or Saison may be interesting and refreshing if done with a light touch. The ingredients listed are Hibiscus Flowers, Natural Tropical Flavors, Citric Acid, Licorice Root, Orange Peel, Cinnamon, Rose Hips, Lemongrass and Juice Extract (color).

I dont pick up the cinnamon or licorice. Anyone tried this, or have any thoughts?

General Homebrew Discussion / My first firkin!
« on: January 15, 2013, 12:18:06 PM »
This Friday marks my first firkin at my favorite local beer bar, TapWerks in Bricktown OKC.  It was collaborative brew with my friends at COOP Aleworks, also of OKC. COOP don't distribute outside of OK, so if you've not made it to one of our liquor stores, then you're missing out on F5 IPA and the Territorial Reserve series.  But back to the firkin; it's my Egyptian recipe that's medaled at Dixie Cup, Foam Cup and the IN State Fair this year. I even made the local news blog.

Can you tell I'm excited?  :D

Equipment and Software / Kegs freezing
« on: October 08, 2012, 11:14:31 AM »
I've had a 15 cu ft chest freezer converted into a keggerator for 3 years now.  Since day one it's been set at 36, with the cooling turning on at 40.  Just recently, I've noticed the keg diagonally opposite the temp probe has been freezing, first a dunkelweizen, then my soda water.  The probe hasnt moved in 3 years, the temp settings haven't changed, but that corner does seem to be icing up preferentially.  Any thoughts?

Beer Recipes / Sorachi Ace in a Hefe?
« on: October 01, 2012, 06:43:04 PM »
I have a fairly standard honey-hefeweizen that I make regularly.  It's 60% wheat, 25% pils and 15% honey at flameout, and fermented with WLP380.  Normally I add just enough Hallertauer at 60 mins to balance, but I'm tempted with subbing in Sorachi Ace for its lemony flavours. So;

Will the dill notes from Sorachi muddle it?
Will the Sorachi even work with a clovey here yeast (I'm not switching to WLP340, I find American wheats too boring)?
Since its so high in AA, should I add it later and risk the hoppy notes, or add so little at 60 I won't even notice the differences?

This recipe is already a favourite and never lasts long on tap.  Should I just stick with a good thing here?

Kegging and Bottling / Champagne bottles
« on: September 28, 2012, 08:47:25 PM »
Does anyone have a good source of brown 750ml champagne bottles? I've scoured Google but cant seem to find any from regular homebrew sources, and I dont live near any good brunch places where I could harvest empties from.  Any suggestions?

I wonder what percentage of AHA membership joins in July just in advance of GABF for the sole purpose of buying tickets.  I mean if you're going to drop $250 per head on tickets, plus flights and hotels, what's another $38.  I'm not usually one to advocate raising prices, but I'd rather see the AHA membership costs go up, so that AHA members actually reflect homebrewers, not just people who want to power drink at GABF for a weekend.  Plus that way, the people who actually brew and appreciate craft beer, might have half a chance to get a ticket for members only...

Equipment and Software / Building a jockey box
« on: July 11, 2012, 11:04:59 AM »
Anyone bought one of these cold plate chillers from sodadispenserdepot? They seem pretty cheap compared to some of the ones on beer related sites.

Beer Recipes / Which BJCP#? 16E or 20A
« on: May 30, 2012, 10:21:57 PM »
I brewed a mango peach saison that I want to enter in a competition.  I'm leaning towards submitting as a 16E based on the comments in the 20A description that "other fruit-based Belgian specialties should be entered in the Belgian Specialty Ale category (16E)". I guess its just a little hard not to want to enter it as a fruit beer for some reason.  I just don't want a bunch of penalized scores with comments "should have entered it as a XXX". Any thoughts from experienced judges?  I don't have enough to enter both.

Kegging and Bottling / Nitro bottling
« on: April 26, 2012, 08:24:25 AM »
Ok I have a hairbrained idea, and thought I'd run it past people who should know better!

It's my understanding that as a homebrewer it's difficult, if not impossible, to bottle a nitro beer and not have it seem flat when it's poured later. We need a widget. Commercial nitro beers, add a small amount of liq N2 right before bottling, which raises the pressure in the bottle and forces the beer into the widget, then when the bottle is opened, the beer escapes the widget, foaming and causing nucleation sites for the rest of the beer.

What if we reused bottles with widgets in them? I may not have ready access to liq N2 (actually at work I do, but it's a logistics thing), but we could add a pellet of dry ice, or maybe if the beer was over beer-gas-carbed to begin with, that would suffice.

Thoughts? Discuss...

Equipment and Software / Scored a tank of beer gas. Now what?
« on: April 24, 2012, 10:49:08 AM »
So like everything else in this hobby, scoring something on the cheap (a tank of 75/25 beer gas), has now led to the purchase of a restrictor faucet, nitrogen regulator, extra shank, disconnects, sintered stone for the keg, etc...  Nothing's really cheap is it?! :D

So, that all said, to those of you running nitro beers at home, any good advice?

Yeast and Fermentation / Which Brett?
« on: April 15, 2012, 06:59:50 PM »
I brewed a Scottish strong ale a few weeks ago with an OG of 1.106  I used a WLP028 yeast cake from a previous batch, oxygenated heavily, but fermentation stalled out at 1.040. In hindsight, I mashed too high for this recipe, I should have gone lower to push fermentability.

So that said, I'm thinking this might be a good candidate for my first attempt at souring. The beer at the moment has a really good malty flavor, the kettle caramelization has a nice nutty, toffee flavor, but the overall delivery is just way too sweet.  I though adding some Brett, knowing its ability to chow down through some of the unfermentables, might make for an interesting end result. But which Brett?

WLP645 Brett C seems to make the most sense, its from English type ales, but I don't like the pineapple aromas it promises. The alternatives would be Brett B and go Belgian, or Brett L and go smoky, spicy and horsey.

I've got zero Brett experience, so help me out please.

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