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Messages - erockrph

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Beer Recipes / Re: help me classify this - baltic porter?
« on: Today at 05:41:40 PM »
That works! Yes it looks like I am 6 points below the low end of the style guidelines.

Anyone got any recommendations for widely available commercial examples of Baltic Porters? I think I have maybe seen Zywiec and maybe Baltika #6 around...
You might be able to find Sinebrychoff at a good bottle shop. And it is well worth the search, I might add.

Just threw together a freezer-cleaner, but for once it wan't hops that I needed to clear out. I had some blueberries and peaches in the freezer that need to go, along with a small amount of raspberries. I just threw together a small melomel with them (1.045ish) that I will backsweeten, keg, and carbonate when it's done. Depending on what it tastes like when it's done, I'll backsweeten with either honey, peach nectar, or blueberry juice. I've been wanting to make this style of mead ever since I got hooked on B. Nektar's line of carbonated hydromels.

Equipment and Software / Re: corny keg noob question
« on: Today at 10:18:09 AM »
I have a chest freezer + temp controller that serves double-duty as both my kegerator and fermentation chamber. It is far from ideal, since I can't practically use it for both functions at the same time. At some time in the future I plan on acquiring a real kegerator, but I will make do with what I have for the time being.

If you want to serve your kegs at cellar temperature, then there's no reason why you can't. Just keep in mind that carbonation is a function of temperature, and you may see variable carbonation if you have big swings in temperature. That may also affect line balancing if you need to pressurize to different PSI values (or whatever your metric equivalent is) in different seasons.

See, that's what I don't understand. Say that there's 200 units of CO2 produced during fermentation. At the end of the fermentation at 20C, the beer looses 100 units. Now I cold-crash to 0C. Surely the beer is not going to take up again a considerable amount of C02,  say 50 units?

And the cold crashing is already finished.  :'(
You understand correctly. Most of that CO2 has offgassed through the airlock, and isn't going to go back into the beer. The best bet is to enter the highest temperature your beer was at after active fermentation has been completed into your priming sugar calculator.

Ingredients / Re: What Is Red X Malt?
« on: Today at 08:25:30 AM »
There doesn't appear to be any more color variation between kernels than any other variety of malt I've seen, so I have a hard time believing that it was a blend. Plus, if it was a blend and there was any significant difference in size and/or density between any of the components then they'd tend to separate in the sack during shipping, and that could lead to inconsistency in the beer.

It converts itself just fine, and tastes in the ballpark of a light Munich malt. I'm guessing it's something in the kilning process, but that's just a WAG on my part.

Ingredients / Re: Brewer's caramel
« on: September 03, 2015, 08:22:10 PM »
For tonight's experiment I added 1/4 tsp to about a tablespoon of Bass, swirled until it was pretty much blended in, then poured the rest of the beer on it. The result is an inky black brew. It may well take less than an mL to turn a 12oz beer from a Pale Ale to a Porter in appearance.

At this level, I taste a faint bit of caramel flavor in the middle that gets dried out by the gypsum note in the finish. Otherwise, there's no additional sweetness or acrid/burnt notes. So far, this seems like a great color adjuster with minimal flavor impact. I have some pilsners in the fridge, so I think I'll try turning one into a Schwarzbier over the weekend to see if there is a noticeable flavor impact in a lager.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: British Ale Yeasts
« on: September 03, 2015, 11:52:23 AM »
My only issue with Ringwood is that most commercial breweries using it end up putting out massive butterbombs. I have no doubt that in the hands of a knowledgeable homebrewer it can produce good beer.

Ingredients / Re: Brewer's caramel
« on: September 03, 2015, 08:23:59 AM »
I'm guessing the difficulty mixing it means that adding it during the boil would work best.
It tends to drop to the bottom like honey, but it is nowhere near as viscous. It mixes in fairly easily, but it doesn't disperse into the beer without some mixing. It would certainly work in the boil if you know how much you need, but you could easily dose it in a keg or bottling bucket as well.

As far as adding in the glass goes, I think you'd want to add it to the glass first and pour over it, or mix it into a small amount of beer first then add it to your glass.

Ingredients / Re: Brewer's caramel
« on: September 02, 2015, 08:03:25 PM »
My insulin syringe plan quickly went out the door once i realized that the needle is too fine to draw this stuff up. I also learned that it just drops to the bottom of your beer, rather than dispersing when added. I still did my best to try to mix some in and ended up with a sample that is maybe 5 SRM darker than the original Bass (it went from deep golden-copper to amber/red). I just have no idea exactly how much caramel went in to make this color.

What I've learned so far is that this seems quite flavor neutral, at least at this amount. I only pick up a touch more sweetness on the finish in the doctored beer, but I'm pretty sure that's just because I ended up knocking out quite a bit of carbonation in trying to mix in the caramel. I didn't pick up any more caramel or acrid/burnt notes in the caramel beer.

Next time around I'll try to kick this up to porter-level darkness and see what happens.

Ingredients / Re: Brewer's caramel
« on: September 02, 2015, 06:41:38 PM »
Does that mean it would take ~16ml to raise 5 gallons ~27srm? Or did I screw up my math? Maybe it's double the amount: ~31ml to get ~27srm in 5gallons?

Also, where exactly did you order it from? :D
2 EBC is roughly equal to 1 SRM. It takes just over a mL of the stuff to raise 5 gallons by 1 SRM.

I got it from here:

Service was great - I got it in just over a week from the UK. But shipping was what really cost me. It was something like 18 pounds to ship two bottles, which only cost 8.50 pounds for the items themselves. It was certainly pricey to acquire. It was a totally random impulse buy, but I've been wanting to try this out for a while so I decided to just go for it.

Ingredients / Re: Brewer's caramel
« on: September 02, 2015, 06:32:56 PM »
Not that I doubt you, but I can't believe it is darker than sinamar. That stuff like ink
I thought the same thing, but when I saw the insanely high EBC rating and how little you need to color a full hectoliter, I checked the Sinamar specs to compare. The caramel is indeed 4 times darker. What is yet to be determined is the flavor contribution at that level.

Ingredients / Re: Brewer's caramel
« on: September 02, 2015, 11:09:38 AM »
FYI - I just got this in today. It is 33,000 EBC (~16,500 SRM), making it about 4 times as dark as Sinamar. The bottle states that 6mL will raise 100 liters (~26 gallons) by 2 EBC. In other words, my two 250mL bottles are approximately a lifetime supply.

I will probably be using insulin syringes to dose this stuff in bottles at first. It smells good, just like I'd picture burnt caramel would smell. The smell definitely calls to mind certain English ales (Old Peculier, for one). I might have to buy a sixer of Bass to do some initial taste-testing soon rather than waiting until I can make time to brew a full test batch.

All Things Food / Re: Bramble/ribe varieties
« on: September 01, 2015, 06:24:06 PM »
We had some bizarre weather this year. Spring was cool and dry. We had rain the early part of summer, and the rest of the summer was warm (but not hot) and very dry. My blackcurrants did fantastic, and my red and pink did OK. Gooseberries were mediocre as usual.

I ended up digging out my Hinnomaki Red gooseberries and my rather bland blackberries. I planted a second blackcurrant in place of the gooseberry and a couple of lowbush blueberries and a tea plant in place of the blackberries. Of course, I've been pulling up blackberry shoots all season. They grow like mad - shoots are popping up as much as 15 feet away from there I pulled out the main crown. I think I finally have it under control now, thankfully.

Ingredients / Re: Brewer's caramel
« on: September 01, 2015, 12:14:39 PM »
I'm interested in a synopsis of the raw stuff. I followed the recipes for homemade invert #2 and brewers caramel. I believe my invert was a complete success, but the caramel has me worried. Everything I can find indicates that the raw ingredient has a "burnt sugar" smell to it and bitter/acrid flavor to it, but this isn't from a homebrewing source. I'd love to hear your thoughts when you have some in-hand.

The brewers caramel I made definitely has some of the "burnt sugar" aromas and bitter taste, BUT that's exactly what it is (the blackest you can make sugar without lighting it on fire :D). I can't imagine any way to make "black ink" sugar using heat and not end up with some highly-cooked/burnt sugar character.  Anyway, I tested some of mine in plain water and at 1/8tsp per 12oz you cannot get much (if anything from it) and I get a nice light amber color. At 1/4tsp per 12oz you get some aroma hints of toasted marshmallows, not much flavor but a hint, and the dark amber color I'm looking for. I intend on using it at the middle amount 3/16tsp per 12oz (~3 Tbsp per 5 gallons), and subbing in 1-1.5 oz of debittered black for the remaining color.
Thanks for the info. that should come in handy for a starting point for my initial experimentation.

Other Fermentables / Re: Impatient? Or reason to stress?
« on: September 01, 2015, 12:11:16 PM »
A mead this big is probably going to take longer than 2 weeks to hit FG. A mead this size brewed with 71B should finish up in the 1.020's or 1.030's if you take care of it right. Just let it hang out in primary and be patient. There's no rush to get it off the yeast cake. I usually let mine sit in primary for 6 weeks or so before my first racking.

There should be no need for sulfites or sorbate to prevent carbonation in this mead. Once the yeast finishes up, it isn't going to go any further. The main reason you'd want to sulfite a mead is if you're going to backsweeten. A mead this size probably shouldn't need backsweetening, and even if it did I doubt the yeast would restart fermentation at this high of an ABV.

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