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Messages - cheshirecat

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Doing a clone of Heretic's Tafflebully on Friday. Been a couple weeks since I brewed so I am looking forward to it!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hoppy Red Ale
« on: February 06, 2012, 02:29:03 PM »
@tomsawyer... You know I didn't even think of that, makes a much more sense...   ;D  It all comes mixed but since I am adding some grain anyway might as well just use the malt extract and make an IPA. I know he would like that much better. Thanks!

General Homebrew Discussion / Hoppy Red Ale
« on: February 06, 2012, 02:00:43 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I am very excited because I got one of my closest friends into brewing. He bought the basic brew kit from Midwest supplies and it came with than Irish Red Ale kit. Unfortunately, that's not exactly a style he enjoys. I thought I would help him tweak the recipe a bit to come up with West Coast Style Red Ale, since he does love IPAs.

Having a little trouble thinking about what types of hops to use. Was thinking of keeping it simple and going with just a little Magnum for bitting then some Cascade/Centennial and dry hop this some Cascade and Amarillo. I've never been a big red fan so don't know how well all of this would play out. Some thoughts on my recipe would be greatly appreciated.

IBU: 53.3
Color: 14.2

6 lb Golden LIght LME
2 lb DME
1lb Carared
12 oz Crystal 40L
2 oz Special b
2 oz Roasted Barley
.5 oz Magnum (60 min)
.75 oz Cascade (15 min)
.75 oz Centennial (15 min)
.75 oz Cascade (5 min)
.75 oz Centennial (5 min)
1 oz Cascade (dry hop 7 days)
1 oz Amarillo (dry hop 7 days)

WL 001 Cal Ale

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Is PBW environmentally safe?
« on: January 25, 2012, 04:36:48 PM »
John Herskovits of Five Star was on Brew Strong (thebrewingnetwork) a few years ago and specifically stated the PBW and Star Stan were designed to be environmentally safe.

Brewing a Irish Stout on Sunday... already getting ready for St. Pattie's :). Kegging an American Brown, and dry hopping a NW Pale Ale. Fun weekend!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Efficiency: How Good is Too Good
« on: January 19, 2012, 10:06:54 PM »
I am all over the board, love all sorts of beers. :)  But most often 1.050 to 1.070 so mid range. Not worried about hitting 1.057 when I shoot for 1.060, I've been missing 10 or so points. For example I my last brew I shot for for 1.054 ended up at 1.045. Just trying to dialing it in. I did how ever found one of my big problems... the stick I use to measure water in my pot was almost 1/2 gallon off. I have been diluting my beer my 1/3 to 1/2 gallon. Fixed that tonight so I will see how it goes tomorrow when I brew. But still would love some more advice! 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Efficiency: How Good is Too Good
« on: January 19, 2012, 05:07:54 PM »
I have a related question I thought I could ask here instead of starting a new tread (don't mean to hijack the thread).

I am currently trying to dial in my efficiency. I do partial mashing using quite a bit of grain vs extract (usually around 80/20). I mash in a 5 gallon igloo and batch sparge (using Denny's method). My efficiency has been pretty up and down (swings of 10 to 20%). Some of this I attributed to the mill at my brew shop, which sucks. I bought my own mill which really helped on my first brew (jumped from 55% to 72%) but next brew was about 63%.

I can't do full boils, right now I do 4 gallons (though I just got a bucket heater to get that up). My mill is set at about .035.

I would like to get about 70% and not so worried right now about getting better efficiency just trying to get it consistent.

Stating with my next brew I am going to track my boil off rate. Also I was't accounting for mash tun dead space, which now I have fixed in my software. I use the same process every time and take as many notes as I can.

What are some other things I could be doing to help dial in my efficiency? Oh, I also check to make sure the malt I am using is nice and fresh.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Diacetyl Issues
« on: January 19, 2012, 04:30:35 PM »
Never thought of that, makes a lot of sense. What about switching up to 007? Obviously gets more attenuation but looks like it  flocculates a little less. I've used once or twice with good results. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Diacetyl Issues
« on: January 19, 2012, 03:35:05 PM »
Hi All thanks! Good thought on the MO, something to keep in mind, may cut it with a little Pale Malt. I am a little more worried about my non english beers that where I don't use MO. I just starting using Great Western Pale Malt but this is very recent so can't speak to how that will work out.

I use 002 a lot even in non-english styles. Think I may ferment a little lower than 65 see how that works out. Since I got my fridge ferm temps should be stable (I use a Johnson Temp Controller). For ales I pitch at 62 then let it raise up to 65 hold it steady for a few days then once it starts slowing down I go to 68 for 3 to 5 days. Then I let it sit at ambient temp for a week or two (need to free up my fridge). I usually dry hop "warm" at ambient temps (which is almost always 65 to 68 during the winter).

For lager diacetyl rest I've read somewhere that you raise the temp 10 to 15 degrees at about 2/3 sugar depletion. Is that correct? Is there a rule of thumb when to start checking? Hate getting into my beer to much before fermentation is over. I know it will vary just wondering if there was a general rule.

Thanks for the great info!

General Homebrew Discussion / Diacetyl Issues
« on: January 19, 2012, 01:34:00 PM »
Hi All...

I have had some problems with diacetyl in both my lagers and a couple ales. I have a fridge with temp control which I use every time. For lagers I usually ferment at 50 degrees for 4 weeks (no diacetyl rest). In my ales I usually use WL002 and ferment at 65 or 66 then up to 68 after three days. If I am using a pilsner malt I do a 90 minute boil. I never leave my lid on or anything (until I am cooling).

Since getting my fridge it has been better but a couple beers since have still had the problem. Specifically, a Firestone DBA clone (from The Brewing Network CYBI), a Cali Common (from Brewing Classic Styles, fermented at 60 degrees w/ WL Cali Common yeast), and a Dopplebock (from Brewing Classic Styles).  The first may have been fermentation temp swings (had problems with the controller), the other two were kept at ferm temps for about two weeks then moved into my "cellar" which is generally at 65 degrees.

Could it be under pitching yeast? I always make a starter (with a stir plate) based on Mr. Malty. Should I think about doing a diacetyl rest with my lagers?

Any help pointing me in places I could do better or think about would be great!

Brewing a NW Pale Ale on Friday. Fourth attempt on trying get this one right!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What do you want Santa to bring you?!
« on: November 01, 2011, 09:14:57 PM »
Beer gun and a moster grain mill. I haven't been good but promise to better next year. If I get my loot of course.  :P

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