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Topics - erockrph

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1
Commercial Beer Reviews / Far From The Tree - Nova (Hopped Cider)
« on: October 14, 2017, 11:46:04 AM »
I just tried this on tap while I was visiting Salem (MA) for the day. I was super thirsty after walking around all day, so I went for a local cider rather than beer with dinner. It turned out to be the right choice, no doubt.

I've had dry-hopped ciders before (including my own), but this is the first one that got it just right for me. The cider itself is lightly carbonated, and balanced more towards the tart rather than sweet. I definitely got some tropical hop character, and a touch of pine. The hop flavors were a nice accent, but not overpowering. The most notable thing is that there was absolutely zero harsh bitterness or vegetal character.

This was so good that I stopped by a local wine shop on the way back to the parking garage to pick some up for the road. I don't know how widely they distribute, but Far From the Tree is definitely worth a try if you ever come across it.

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2
The Pub / A Nice Surprise
« on: October 06, 2017, 10:08:20 AM »
My wife, who knows next to nothing about beer, decided to surprise me yesterday. Apparently, she did about an hour of research while waiting at an appointment, and ended coming home with this. I think she's a keeper :)



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3
General Homebrew Discussion / Mason Jar airlocks
« on: August 04, 2017, 06:17:03 PM »
I saw this today and thought I'd share. These are probably best suited for saurkraut/kimchi/etc, but you could probably use them for small batches of beer or mead in a large mason jar.

https://www.thegrommet.com/masontops-waterless-airlocks-for-mason-jar-fermentation

4
General Homebrew Discussion / Mad scientist brewday
« on: July 15, 2017, 12:32:40 PM »
I had a short smount of time to squeeze in a quick brew last night, so I took the opportunity to try a few new ideas I've been kicking around. It was very seat-of-the-pants, and I felt a bit like a mad scientist as I was going along.

- There were few exact measurements. About 14 ounces of Pilnser DME and almost 3 ounces of CaraHell went into about 3 quarts of water and got heated to about 160F, where I pulled the grain bag. After it started to boil, I took it off the heat and added my hop addition at about 190F.

- Speaking of my hop addition, this is where the real mad scientist part came in. I have several varietal-specific Hop Shots that I've been needing to try, and not having any hop material in the kettle would be helpful for this extra-simple brew. One issue I've always had with the hop shots is that they don't seem to dissolve/disperse fully. I'm always left with a bunch of dark oil drops about the size of a BB even after a full boil and long whirlpool. And since anything trapped inside the oil globules can't get into the wort, I wanted to find a way to decrease the size (therefore increasing the surface area) of the hop extract.

My solution was to reserve about 2 tablespoons of DME and drizzle the hop shot over it bit-by bit, mixing every so often. It got to a play-doh consistency about half-way through, and ended up as a very soft paste. I added the paste and whirlpooled for about 10 minutes. It took almost the whole 10 minutes for the last few bits to dissolve. I ended up with a few dots of resin the size of a ball-point pen tip, and none in the larger BB to pea size that I would end up with in the past. Next time I'm going to go with a bit more DME in the mix (play-doh consisency) to see if that goes in to solution better. Overall though, I think I'd call this one a win.

- After the whirlpool, I poured it into my keg and added about a quart of ice (for a total of 1 gallon or so). The keg was still pretty warm, so it went into my chest cooler set to 30F for the night. The wort smelled very strongly of hop resin. It smelled a lot hoppier than plain hop shot wort, but it didn't have the characteristic Citra aroma I was shooting for (I used a Citra Hop Shot). 5 mL was probably way too much for a 1 gallon batch, so I'm going to pitch a mix US-05 and Windsor at a rather high rate to try to pull out some of that resin. I plan to ferment and serve in the same keg, too.

Should be an interesting brew. I'll keep this updated as I go.

5
Yeast and Fermentation / Ale strain for pressurized fermentation
« on: July 14, 2017, 10:13:44 AM »
I'm looking to experiment with some single keg batches (same keg for fermentation and serving). I'm mainly planning on doing this for IPA's, although I may branch out to other styles if this works well. My plan is to set my adjustable PRV to 15 PSI after pitching, and let it go. If I dry hop, it would be in the first couple of days, while fermentation is still going strong.

My biggest question is which ale strains are suitable for high-pressure brewing. My best-case scenario is if US-05 or some other dry yeast works (in fact, I'll probably try this with US-05 just for the hell of it anyways), but I'm willing to branch out to liquid yeast if needed.

Anyone here have any experience or know of anyone who has tried this for an ale?

6
Ingredients / Cryo hop pellets
« on: July 06, 2017, 05:25:20 AM »
Has anyone experimented with these yet? I have Citra, Equinox (sorry, I refuse to use the stupid new name) and Simcoe on order, and I plan to use it in my standard IPA recipe. I've read that you should use about half of your normal late/whirlpool/dry hop quantities for a similar results, but I've got a twitchy trigger finger and I'm tempted to push the limits right off the bat.

I'm also wondering what the alpha % is on these. I typically skip the early addition and get all my IBU's from a hot whirlpool. It will be interesting to see how the bitterness compares to a typical hop addition.

I'll post my feedback when I get around to using them. At some point I'll also have to do a side-by-side with the varietal hop shot to see which I prefer.

7
The Pub / Tapatalk sucks now
« on: June 12, 2017, 09:20:15 AM »
I detest the in-line ads. This might be the straw that breaks the camel's back and gets me to uninstall. Are there any other forum apps out there?

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8
Yeast and Fermentation / What the floc?
« on: June 06, 2017, 07:52:15 AM »
This picture was taken after about 5 minutes of hard shaking. Looks like some sticky stuff...


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9
The Pub / May the 4th be with you
« on: May 04, 2017, 06:04:07 PM »
Just tapped my "Negra de Cinco" a day early. After I put the first lime on, this just came to me...

10
General Homebrew Discussion / Bonehead move for the day
« on: May 04, 2017, 05:53:00 PM »
Please tell me that someone else has done this so I don't feel like too big of an idiot...

I started milling my grain and noticed a strange noise coming from my mill. Everything went through, but nothing was crushed. Tried again, same thing. I haven't checked the gap in years, so maybe it loosened up. Reset my gap to my normal setting. Nope, still no crush. So I crank the gap as tight as it will go. Still no crush.

That's when I realized that I had used my drill recently. Sure enough, I left it reverse. So I reset my gap to my normal setting. Now the grain won't go through at all when I start up the mill. After breaking down the whole mill yet again I see that the second roller won't spin at all. Apparently all those spins in reverse caked the other roller with grain dust and bound it up. I cleared the dust out and it started spinning like new. Finally, I got back to my normal crush the next time through.

Thankfully, the rest of the brewday went off without a hitch, but took about 45 unnecessary minutes longer. Had to share.

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11
Commercial Beer Reviews / Sam Adams Fresh as Helles
« on: April 14, 2017, 09:17:31 AM »
I ordered this at my local Uno's after seeing the name, but not knowing anything about the beer. The first taste left me a bit disappointed, as I was hoping for something resembling a traditional helles. But then the hops kicked in on the finish and I fell in love with the beer. Think blonde ale with a big kick of Mandarina Bavaria on the finish, rather than a Helles with orange petals. I got a nice citrus character, but to me it was primarily hops rather than floral.

I'm not always a fan of Sam's seasonal offerings, but I will be drinking this all spring as I see it on tap. 

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All Things Food / Looking for a good ginger beer recipe
« on: February 03, 2017, 03:36:01 PM »
Does anyone have a decent ginger beer recipe that they can share? I've seen recipes ranging anywhere from 2 Tbsp to 1lb of fresh ginger for a 2 liter batch. I'm definitely looking for something with some kick to it, but a pound in 2 liters seems ridiculous.

13
Beer Recipes / Looking for a good Dry Stout recipe
« on: January 20, 2017, 01:17:06 PM »
The title says it all. In my years of brewing, I've never brewed a Dry Irish Stout. I'm planning to put one on tap for St. Patty's this year, and I'd love to have something in the ballpark of a Murphy's. Any recipe suggestions?

14
All Things Food / Bread
« on: December 17, 2016, 01:10:04 PM »
I finally got a bread machine after years of wanting to get one. As much as I'd like to do everything by hand, time is a big barrier for me, so I'm starting with a machine for now.

I've gotten my feet wet with a few recipes that came with the machine, and now I'm ready to start branching out. I'm kind of at the point like a kit brewer who is ready to start making a few tweaks to some proven recipes as a step to eventually designing my own recipes.

I know there are several bread makers here. Any good references, forums, recipe sites you use for reliable information and recipes?

15
General Homebrew Discussion / You know it's a good day...
« on: November 07, 2016, 05:48:14 PM »
When you come home to a new package of experimental hops to test:

I am very excited to try these out. Pat sent me a sample of his X-17 hops last year and they were phenomenal. I know very little about these new hops other than what I'm reading on the analysis sheet. Judging by the oil content, and amount of beta-pinene and linalool, if I had to guess I'd say this has the potential to be Simcoe-esque, but that is really just a WAG at this point.

Here's my write-up of X-17 from last year. I'm due for another round of hop trials soon, and the C148 will definitely be one of them.

http://hopwhisperer.blogspot.com/2015/12/x-17-hops-tasting-notes.html

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