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Messages - erockrph

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1
Other Fermentables / Re: great apples this year
« on: September 25, 2016, 03:35:31 AM »
I tried boiling some down to syrup for a gravity boost a year or two ago. The syrup itself was awesome, but the finished cider had a bit of a bitter off taste. I'd definitely follow your plan of using a concentrate rather than a full-on syrup if I did it again, but I've been having luck just using store-bought canned/frozen concentrate lately.

The orchard I usually use just started pressing on Thursday. I hope to pick up a few gallons this afternoon and get my first batch going. I've settled on a nice formula that has been working for me lately to make a nice draft-style cider that has a lot of apple flavor without nearly the sweetness level of commercial versions like Woodchuck or Angry Orchard:

2 gallons fresh juice + 1 can apple concentrate, fermented with D47 or 71B along with pectic enzyme and a pinch of yeast nutrient. After about 7-10 days it is finished, then I cold-crash, keg and force-carbonate. I use 3-4 pints of more of the same fresh juice to backsweeten and then force-carbonate. I've gone from orchard to glass in as little as 10 days. I'm usually bringing growlers of this with me to every Thanksgiving and Christmas get-together I go to, and it goes fast.

2
Other Fermentables / Re: Back Sweetening mead?
« on: September 25, 2016, 02:49:36 AM »
Depending on how strong the mead is, you may not need to stabilize before back sweetening. I generally make sweet, strong meads in the 1.130+ range. I'm pretty confident that when the yeast is done in these meads it isn't going to restart fermentation if I need to backsweeten. I still let it sit in secondary for at least a few weeks (usually a couple of months). That is mainly just to let the flavors meld, but it's also a bit of insurance just in case the yeast does eat a couple of more gravity points.

3
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Last Year's Apple Juice
« on: September 25, 2016, 02:30:25 AM »
There's certainly the possibility that some wild critters may still be viable, but even if they are they're probably really sluggish at this point. You could sulfite if you want to be 100% sure, but if it were me I'd just pitch some yeast and let it go. I'm really liking D-47 in my ciders lately, but I've had good results with 71B as well.

4
All Things Food / Re: Caipicello
« on: September 12, 2016, 09:45:40 AM »
I haven't tried this drink yet. I think when I do I'll use less sugar than I see in recipes to suit my taste. I like the infused swizzle stick idea.
Next time I'm at Yankee Spirits I might pick up a bottle,although it might sit until next summer as it's the time of year where my cocktail thoughts go to whiskey and bitters.
Which drink, Caipirinha or limoncello? I have yet to make limoncello at home, but I agree that most homemade versions I've tried have been too sweet for even my tastes :) Most recipes call for just the zest of the citrus, but with no acidity from the juice to cut the sweetness they end up like alcoholic syrup.

My Caipirinha recipe is 1/2 of a lime muddled with 1 & 1/2 packets of raw sugar in the bottom of a tall glass. Fill with crushed ice, followed by cachaca. I'll take that over a mojito all day, every day.
Caipirinha. I don't see any talk of lemincello in this thread.
A caipirinha sounds good to me with a minimal amount of sugar. A mojito is only good if the mint has time to steep.
What's the difference between cachaca and light rum. Isn't rum made from cane sugar?
Cachaca is made from unprocessed cane juice, while rum could be made from cane at pretty much any stage of refinement. Basically, all cachaca is rum, but not all rum is cachaca.

As far as the lemoncello comment goes, my thought is that the steeping liquid for my swizzle sticks will end up along a similar line as a homemade version. Instead of lemon, vodka and table sugar; I'm using lime, cachaca and sugar cane.

5
All Things Food / Re: Caipicello
« on: September 12, 2016, 07:20:27 AM »
I haven't tried this drink yet. I think when I do I'll use less sugar than I see in recipes to suit my taste. I like the infused swizzle stick idea.
Next time I'm at Yankee Spirits I might pick up a bottle,although it might sit until next summer as it's the time of year where my cocktail thoughts go to whiskey and bitters.
Which drink, Caipirinha or limoncello? I have yet to make limoncello at home, but I agree that most homemade versions I've tried have been too sweet for even my tastes :) Most recipes call for just the zest of the citrus, but with no acidity from the juice to cut the sweetness they end up like alcoholic syrup.

My Caipirinha recipe is 1/2 of a lime muddled with 1 & 1/2 packets of raw sugar in the bottom of a tall glass. Fill with crushed ice, followed by cachaca. I'll take that over a mojito all day, every day.

6
All Things Food / Re: Caipicello
« on: September 10, 2016, 10:34:24 AM »
This idea came to me in a caipirinha-fueled moment of creativity. At first I was just thinking a way of flavoring some sugar cane to use as swizzle sticks, but then I realized that the liquor left behind is probably going to be pretty damn good, too.



I'll check back in on this in a month or two. It's just Mason jars packed tight with alternating layers of sugarcane sticks and lime slices, covered in cachaça.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

Dude you have to take out the lemon skin, its give a terrible bitter taste.


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The rind might look thick on a few of those slices because of the angle I cut them at, but those are actually pretty small limes with thin skins. If it turns out too bitter, then I'll just use it like bitters instead.

7
All Things Food / Re: Caipicello
« on: September 10, 2016, 09:40:13 AM »


When Drew and I were in Brazil we got to visit an artisan cachaca distillery.  Started in the mid 1800s by the grandparents of the guy who currently runs it.  Way out in the Brazilian jungle.  Mike Tonsmiere was with us and he was freaking out over the bat s*** covered barrels!
Was he jealous of all the microbes that must be floating around in there? ;)



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8
All Things Food / Caipicello
« on: September 09, 2016, 05:31:21 PM »
This idea came to me in a caipirinha-fueled moment of creativity. At first I was just thinking a way of flavoring some sugar cane to use as swizzle sticks, but then I realized that the liquor left behind is probably going to be pretty damn good, too.



I'll check back in on this in a month or two. It's just Mason jars packed tight with alternating layers of sugarcane sticks and lime slices, covered in cachaça.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk


9
Equipment and Software / Re: Fermenter Recommendations
« on: August 30, 2016, 02:51:26 AM »
I've started fermenting in kegs and I'm quite happy with the results. I really like being able to do a closed transfer to a purged serving keg, and you can easily start the carbonation process by setting your PRV to about 15 PSI at the tail end of primary. I've even rigged up an oxygen tank to a liquid disconnect to be able to oxygenate in the keg.

All that said, this works for me because I brew 3 gallon batches, so I can use cheap 5 gallon kegs as fermenters. And I still use buckets if I don't have a keg available for a batch. But for my purposes, kegs give me pretty much everything I want in a conical (closed transfers, and I can blow out the spent yeast through the liquid out), at a much more attractive price point. Plus, I can still use them as kegs if needed.

10
Hop Growing / Re: Harvest in MI
« on: August 26, 2016, 11:02:59 AM »
I started giving hops another try this year. We had a really rough season (gypsy moths out of control, and a long drought during the heart of the growing season), but I just picked an ounce of the best-smelling Sterling I've ever had. There is a whole lot of lemon in the aroma. It's a shame that I got such a low yield that it will be tough to make use of them in a beer.

11
The Pub / Re: Maui - Hawaii Sea Spirits
« on: August 16, 2016, 02:13:46 AM »
Very cool! For the rim, do they ferment the unprocessed cane juice, Cachaça-style?

12
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I feel like an olypian.
« on: August 13, 2016, 08:17:58 AM »
I feel like an Olympian because I've been drinking caipirinha's every night this week. Your story is much better :)

Congrats, Steve!

13
Beer Recipes / Re: tips for brett blonde
« on: August 08, 2016, 08:42:40 PM »
When brett has to struggle it creates more funk flavors. When situations are ideal it creates more clean flavors. If you add brett to a "finished" beer that has dextrines to slowly chew on it will create more funk flavors than when you pitch it in fresh wort. So you can have a 100% brett fermented beer that tastes cleaner than, say, Orval where the brett is added post fermentation.
Actually, I think a lot of wild beer brewers are moving away from this line of thinking. The reason Brett makes a funkier beer in secondary is because a Saccharomyces primary ferment creates the precursor compounds that Brett turns into more complex flavors. So in Orval's case, for example, Brett has plenty of esters and phenols to work with from the primary ferment with a Belgian ale yeast.

I would recommend a starter for the Brett. It may take a couple of steps to reach target pitching rates, given the lower cell counts in commercial packaging. Brett starters also take longer than Saccharomyces to get going. Each step may take 3-5 days (maybe even a week for the initial step).

The point of the starter isn't so much to ensure a clean beer, but to get to full attenuation in a reasonable amount of time.

14
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
« on: August 08, 2016, 08:22:49 PM »
What if I want more phenols, not esters?

Ferment colder?  It's not a hard and fast rule, but for yeasts that can produce esters and phenols (Belgian and German wheat) colder fermentation often expresses the latter.
I was under the impression that fermenting cooler didn't necessarily increase phenol production. Rather, it suppressed ester production, and thereby swinging the phenol/ester balance towards the phenolics. Of course, that could just be another homebrew myth.

15
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 6 Common Homebrew Myths
« on: August 08, 2016, 08:18:16 PM »
A good list, but I would quibble with the liquid vs. dry yeasts.  I would agree that they are equivalent for neutral yeasts (lagers, American ale), but for those styles where you want the yeast to produce esters and phenols, such as Belgians, British, and German weissbiers, I find all the dry yeasts lacking compared to the liquid varieties that are available.
I think the reason that liquid yeast is better for specialty styles is primarily because of the specific choices available. If there was a dry equivalent of 1762 or 3787, I would be surprised if you couldn't make a good Belgian ale with it.

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