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Messages - erockrph

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Ingredients / Brewer's caramel
« on: August 30, 2015, 12:00:30 PM »
I have a couple of bottles of Brewer's Caramel en route from the other side of the pond. I've been wanting to play around with it for a while. Of course, I really have no clue how to use the stuff. Outside of Ron Pattinson's vintage recipes, I can't say I've come across any recipes calling for it. I've always assumed you add it to the boil, although the site I bought it from says to add it to finished beer.

I'm thinking I'd just take a basic brown ale or ESB recipe and go from there. If I can use this post-boil, even better. That way I can split a batch 2 or 3 ways to see what happens with increasing amounts of caramel vs none.

Anyone have any insights or experience as to how I'd use it?

Other Fermentables / Re: priming cider
« on: August 30, 2015, 10:09:38 AM »
You can use juice, or juice concentrate for that matter. You can generally assume that each gravity point you add will produce 0.5 volumes of CO2, and fermentation typically leaves about 0.8-1.0 volumes of residual carbonation. So if you add enough juice to increase your gravity by 3 points, you should end up with about 2.3-2.5 volumes of CO2 in the bottle.

So if your juice has a gravity of 1.040, then you want to add 3/40 (0.075) gallons (9.6 ounces) of juice for every gallon of finished cider.

Unless I overlooked it, the priming sugar should be added to a small amount of water and boiled for a few minutes before adding to the beer. This will help ensure complete and proper distribution of the priming sugar in the beer.
You also want to be sure it is mixed in well, as it tends to stratify and you end up with uneven carbonation. I add mine during racking once there's about an inch if beer in the bottling bucket. The swirling motion of the incoming beer mixes the sugar in fairly well. I still always give a couple of gentle stirs with a sanitized spoon at the end, just to be sure.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: lesser known hop recommendations
« on: August 30, 2015, 09:19:59 AM »
Galaxy is probably my favorite of all the newer hops.
I LOVE a mix of Cascade or Centennial with Galaxy as a flavor addition, and Chinook very late.
Goes well with Citra, too.
Yeah, I dropped the ball - Galaxy is right up there for me ,too. And I like Nelson too, but not quite as well as Galaxy.
I was thinking US hops specifically, but if AU/NZ hops are fair game then Nelson is my fave. It's got big C-hop grapefruit going on, with some nice winy complexity. Motueka is a close second - noble hop notes plus lime zest and lemongrass.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Adding NaCl to beer
« on: August 29, 2015, 10:14:37 AM »
Thanks folks! Although your replies were all interesting, I was just waiting for the definitive answer from Martin.  ;)

who agreed with me....;)

Agreed, but you don't sound so authoritative. Maybe you should wear a tie?
He wears tie-dye, that's not close enough?

Beer Recipes / Re: Raise SRM
« on: August 29, 2015, 09:00:12 AM »
Frankly, I'd brew it as-is and not bother mucking around with color. If you don't like how the beer turns out, then you can always adjust in the future. I can't imagine at 10% Vienna and 10% Dark Wheat malt that it is going to turn out too light for a Saison.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What qualifies as "Real Ale"?
« on: August 29, 2015, 08:43:25 AM »
It doesn't have to be British, made in Britain, or made with British ingredients. I think the biggest thing is that it has to be naturally carbonated and dispensed (i.e., kegs can't be pushed with external CO2). I'm still a little fuzzy on "traditional ingredients" myself. In British ales, sugar and brewers caramel are commonly used. Those wouldn't be Reinheitsgebot-approved, but do they fall under the umbrella of "traditional ingredients" under CAMRA?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: lesser known hop recommendations
« on: August 28, 2015, 09:16:30 PM »
My hidden gems are Meridian and Caliente. Meridian has a big nectarine/apricot thing going on that pairs really well with the usual citrus and tropical fruit IPA hops. Meridian + Citra + Nelson is the base of my house IPA recipe.

Caliente has a touch of lemon, but is mainly red plums to me, with a bit of earthiness on the palate. The plum note goes so well with many British and Belgian yeasts, as well as dark caramel malts and Candi Syrups. It's the cornerstone of my APA/dubbel hybrid, and I sneak it into my ESB's pretty frequently as well.

Beer Recipes / Re: CYBI Union Jack IBUs
« on: August 28, 2015, 12:38:17 AM »
A) The difference between 70 and 105 IBU to most drinkers' palates will be minimal. Whirlpool IBU's tend to be less harsh than boil IBU's (at least to me), and most drinkers can't perceive an increase in IBU's above the 70-80 range.

B) It's unlikely that you'll hit 100+ IBU's anyways. There is a limit to how much iso-AA will dissolve in wort, plus the yeast will end up pulling some out during fermentation as well. My 400+ calculated IBU IPA measured at 98 IBU's when I sent it for lab analysis.

C) Short of running controlled experiments that are analyzed in a lab, calculating whirlpool utilization at the homebrew level is a total crapshoot. It would not surprise me at all if the BeerSmith estimate is high.

In other words, run with the recipe you have. If something needs to be tweaked, then adjust it on a future brew. If the beer ends up too bitter, make the adjustment in the earliest bittering addition and leave the late hops as-is.

Ingredients / Re: Saaz or Hallertauer Mitt?
« on: August 28, 2015, 12:11:43 AM »
Czechvar yeast makes a fine Czech Pils, but is too soft for German Pils. Saaz is the traditional choice for that style, and may be expected if this is for a competition. Otherwise any noble or noble-ish hop will suit you just fine. I agree with all the other varieties mentioned by others and will add that Ultra makes a nice choice as well.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: British Ale Yeasts
« on: August 27, 2015, 11:56:05 PM »
I wouldn't necessarily say that British ales are "my thing", but I do go through phases where I brew a lot of them.

WLP002/WY1968 - The Fullers strain, and probably my favorite of those I've used. It can be quite fruity (stonefruit with a bit of pear), but that's something I'm typically looking for in something like an ESB. It isn't as attenuative as other ale yeasts, but I routinely get in the mid/upper 70's for an attenuation percentage by rousing the yeast and increasing fermentation temps at the end. This is my go-to strain for bitters.

WLP037 - This is a winter platinum strain from White Labs. It is labeled as their "Yorkshire Square" yeast. I haven't seen confirmation of which brewery it comes from, but to my palate it tastes dead-on for Sam Smith's. It's comparatively low on the ester side, but it does produce this bizarre, almost medicinal phenolic note initially. Thankfully, that fades a bit over time. This yeast does seem to enhance the malt more than the hops. It is more attenuative than Fullers, but also even more flocculant. Seriously, this drops like concrete and starters end up looking like a lava lamp. It's good for drier Bitters, Nut Browns, Porter, and even makes a damn nice English Barleywine. I tried it in an Old Ale, but it ended up a bit too dry for my tastes.

S-04 - This is a decent dry ale yeast. I find it to be lower on esters than a lot of other British strains, but still easy to pick out as British. One thing that bothers me is that I tend to notice a strong "bready" note from it. In paler beers it stands out more. For that reason I tend to reserve this one for stouts, porters and roastier brown ales. I tend to reach for something else when it comes to brewing pale ales.

WLP013 - This is another yeast that has a lower amount of esters, but still tastes characteristically "British". This is a good attenuator, but a bit slower to clear compared to other British strains. I grew up on Harpoon, and the ester profile from this strain reminds me a lot of their house strain. It's moderately fruity (mostly pear) with a touch of dry oakiness. It tends to accentuate the malt a bit, but not at the expense of hops. It's a nice choice for ESB's, EIPA's, and it makes a nice base for spiced beers.

My wish list is WY1469 (Timothy Taylor) and WY1768 (Youngs). I will definitely be taking one of these for a spin this winter.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Bottling with WLP002
« on: August 27, 2015, 10:58:11 PM »
Just to jump in, WLP002/WY1968 is one of my favorite British ale strains. I have never run into any issues with bottle-conditioning with this yeast.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lager Fermentations
« on: August 27, 2015, 10:53:50 PM »
Softer character than most lager strains.
+1 - it also produces more diacetyl than most other lager strains, so make sure you taste after your d-rest to make sure the level is where you want it before you start lagering.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Adding NaCl to beer
« on: August 27, 2015, 10:43:25 PM »
I add it to my malty lagers to about 35 PPM. I've never done a triangle test to see if I could pick it out at that level, but I like the results in those beers. If you've ever had bread that was made without any added salt, it's obvious as the bread ends up tasting a little flat and flavorless. Even if you don't taste the salt directly I think it helps to accentuate other flavors. Another advantage for lagers is that it allows you to add chloride without increasing Calcium levels.

I haven't played with NaCl in my IPA's yet, though. Those just get gypsum and lactic acid. I'd be interested to see how salt affects hoppy styles. I may have to sprinkle a bit in some IPA to see.

Thanks for sharing the results. It was an interesting read. I'm on the fence on whether I prefer to see this kind of stuff in pie/bar graph format, or the more descriptive format you used. I appreciate the commentary, but my analytical side tents to want to interpret these things using a chart.

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