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Topics - gimmeales

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Yeast and Fermentation / What stops US-05?
« on: January 19, 2011, 11:08:44 PM »
I brewed a SMaSH IPA little over a week ago. Not wanting it to be too dry and knowing it was an aggressive yeast, I mashed high ( ~156F at dough-in, settled down to ~154F for the remainder of the infusion).  One 11.5g sachet of hydrated US-05 brought the thing down to 1.009.  A good 4-5 points lower than I thought I might end up - I'm wondering how high I'd had to mash to keep this beast at bay? 

All Grain Brewing / Water help for Old Ale
« on: January 14, 2011, 09:36:39 PM »
I suddenly find myself able to brew tomorrow, so need to get crackin.  Making an Old Ale (1.088 OG) base of Maris Otter with some Medium Crystal and Molasses Brown Sugar bringing the color to 18-20 SRM.  Below is my current water - what should I adjust?

Calcium: 26.7
Magnesium = 0.37
Sodium: 0.95
Chloride: 2.6
Sulfate: 1.2
Alkalinity as CaCO3: 18.9

Thanks in advance, all!

EDIT:  updated color to a bit darker

Discovered just last night the perils of not fully draining the water from your immersion chiller - a burst line!  I must not have drained it entirely from last brew session and with it sitting in my shed over a 5+ day cold snap (highs barely getting above freezing) what water was in there collected, froze and popped one of the coils open with .5" tear.

Sucks as I'm brewing this weekend and thoughts of a huge ice bath are not exciting.

Anyone have any luck fixing such a failure?  May be time to make a 50-footer from 1/2 inch piping like I've wanted.

Ingredients / Pale Chocolate vs. Kiln Coffee
« on: January 03, 2011, 04:56:19 PM »
So in what I'm now thinking was a silly move, I've ordered 5lbs of each of these malts realizing after the fact that I've got
10lbs of 2 very similar specialty malts.  I'd ordered the Kiln Coffee having used it in a past recipe I want to replicate and had heard so many recommendations for the Pale Chocolate in many styles, ordered it too.  Chewing a couple grains side by side there are noticeable differences so interested to see what they are like in a finished beer.

Anyone have side-by-side experience with these to comment on distinctives?  Sounds like some some experiments on the dark side of the beery spectrum are in my future!

All Grain Brewing / All Maris-Otter IPA input needed
« on: December 22, 2010, 03:24:04 PM »
I've been intrigued by SMaSH beers for awhile and was most recently inspired to brew one after the latest Zymurgy article on single-malt beers.  I'm next wanting to doing an IPA with American Hops (Columbus) with some of the Crisp's MO I have.  I guess my main question is:  are SMaSH beers mostly valuable as an exercise in flavor highlighting or do they make a great beer that can stand on its own?  Just wondering what to expect compared to my other IPAs which use various specialty grains at ~15-20% of the total grist.

Plan is single infusion mash @ 155F and fermenting with US-05 - should I mash higher to preserve more residual sweetness and body with how attenuative this yeast is?

The Pub / Old Baltic Shipwrecked Beer
« on: November 18, 2010, 10:11:44 PM »
Tried searching for 'shipwreck' and 'oldest beer' in the archives to no avail.  Has anyone heard\seen more about the 200-year-old stuff found in Baltic back in September?  Freakin awesome find and according to the CNN article, the 'culture in the beer is still living'.  Read in another article about some breweries clamoring for a chemical analysis so clones could be produced.

Equipment and Software / Giant Tea Ball for hops?
« on: October 21, 2010, 05:47:43 PM »
Anyone use one of these ( for hops in the boil?

One reviewer says they work great for homebrewing, but the mesh looked maybe a bit open for containing pellet debris well.  I currently use a 5-gallon paint strainer bag which works well enough and is super-inexpensive, but I like the idea of the durability of stainless and not having to worry about my bag coming open and hops getting everywhere.  These are inexpensive enough, I maybe
have to try it regardless, would have enough other uses around the kitchen anyway.

General Homebrew Discussion / Hop Tree?
« on: September 24, 2010, 04:48:17 PM »
Walking on the same route as I do every morning to work and for some reason took notice of some trees lining a couple blocks of sidewalks in downtown Seattle. By the trunk and leaves, looked almost like a plum or cherry but and scattered about were what looked just like massive hop cones - "4-5 long and larger circumference of any hop I've seen by about double.

I rolled one of the cones between my fingers (which were paper-like and browning on the edges like mature hop flower), and got the faintest, green vegetal aroma. Only vaguely 'hoppy'.

Some googling came up with this, appears that this is the 'Hop-hornbeam':

Anyway and interesting find to me, thought some of the others here may find it interesting.

Yeast and Fermentation / Culturing up a pitch from bottle dregs
« on: August 26, 2010, 05:27:26 PM »
I've got a bottle of Fantome Pissenlit I'd like to try culturing the yeast from.  In the past I've successfully washed and re-used yeast for multiple generations from fresh cultures, so I'm familiar with the process and sanitation measures that need to be taken.   Still, a couple questions though:

Isn't yeast from a bottled beer (especially an 8% example) pretty stressed and in bad shape by the time you drink it to warrant not culturing it up?  Especially considering an imported beer has endured a potentially many-weeks-long journey in getting to my fridge in potentially compromising environments (heat, light, etc)?

I know it can and has been done, but I'm wondering what I can realistically expect both in flavor profile and performance from culturing up from bottle dregs.  Also, any simple steps I can take to ensure they're as healthy as possible? (nutrients, oxygen, etc)?

General Homebrew Discussion / Judged beer process\ingredients help
« on: August 18, 2010, 02:00:24 PM »
Hey all,

Just got my results from a recent BJCP competition and I got some feedback I'd like some help with.  Brewed a Saison that ended up stronger than anticipated (8.8%), so I entered it as a Belgian Specialty instead of a straight-up Saison.

Of the three judge's comments, 2 of the 3 (in various combinations) checked the boxes for Acetaldehyde, Diacetyl, and Vegetal (not DMS.  I can't say I pick up the latter two, but if 2 of 3 judges did, I'm guessing it's there.  I still really like the beer, but would like to know of any weakness in process or recipe here that would contribute to those characters:

10lb  Domestic 2-row
1lb    Munich
.75lb Wheat
1lb    Cane Sugar

1oz Amarillo @ 60
.75oz Amarillo @ 5
1.5oz Willamette @5

OG 1.070
FG  1.004

Pitched a 2-liter starter of WY3711.  Fermented two weeks in primary (got up to 76F), + one more in the keg before cooling and carbonating.  Fermentation behaved normally.  Aside from my less than traditional hop bill, anything look suspicious?  For such a low FG, the beer does not finish particularly dry with a semi-slick mouthfeel which is a little surprising.  Thinking hard about my ingredients, it occurred to me my Willamettes are I believe from the '07 crop - old hops?  Anything else look particularly Diacetyl or Vegetal producing?

Any input greatly appreciated!

Kegging and Bottling / Help me design a killer kegerator!
« on: March 16, 2010, 06:59:48 PM »
Hey all,

I've been charged (well, I volunteered) for getting a workable kegerator system in my office.  The big challenge is that the new building we're in has a custom cabinet unit which had a beer dispensing system put in as an afterthought.  It currently houses two pony kegs and a flash chiller, which doesn't work for anything more than a single event - not long-term storage.  I'm wondering what options exist out there for converting this space into a properly refrigerated space.  What I'm looking at (without any cutting) is a box that is 41"H x 39.5"W x 31"D (all internal dimensions), but with a 'serving shelf' on the front that reduces the current opening to 22"H.  There is a possibility of cutting out the back of the cabinet to get another 8" of depth.  Will make more sense with some pics:

I'm hoping for: 1.)  suggestions on refridgerators\chest freezers that may fit the space as-is (i.e. cheap 'n easy) and/or  2.)  possibilities for a custom job, even referrals to companies in the NW (Seattle) that do this type of work.  I'm guessing number 2 is the mostly viable option considering the odd-sized space, but I want the experts to take a look and chime-in.  I really want to get draft beer back in the office! (wouldn't you?)


All Grain Brewing / Badly stuck Mash - why this time?
« on: March 15, 2010, 09:14:05 PM »
I asked this on another forum recently without a lot of concrete feedback, so I present to you:  I brewed a Dry Stout a couple weeks ago - had a badly stuck mash and sparge of the likes I've never experienced (had to nearly completely scoop out the mash tun with a strainer) . I've brewed a good dozen batches on my system, one of which had 20%+ Rye (w/out rice hulls) which lautered without a hitch.

The gap on my Barley Crusher has not been changed. The two culprits I'm guessing at this point are:

1.) Extra Dry base malt causing excess flour and husk breakage (this was Golden Promise malt I got from the LHBS)

2.) I doubled the Flaked Barley from the first batch of this beer (2lbs in a 9.5 lb total grist) and wondered if the flaked format creates a more gummy mash?

Either of these likely?  Any other potential culprits?

Thanks in advance!

General Homebrew Discussion / Scale for very small measures?
« on: March 02, 2010, 10:31:08 PM »
Hey all, where can one find a scale that will measure in grams, say for spices and water treatments?  (i.e. very small amounts my kitchen scale doesn't do)


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