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Messages - erockrph

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1006
Other Fermentables / Re: First Mead
« on: February 17, 2016, 07:41:18 PM »

Semi dry. Good alone or with food.

That's what I will be shooting for.

Ken, the toughest part of meadmaking (in my experience) is figuring out where your yeast is going to quit ahead of time. My first meads finished much drier than anticipated. I then tried to compensate for that by starting at a higher OG, and ended up stalling out at 1.050 a couple of times.

Since then, I've decided to err on the side of caution and plan to finish a bit lower than I'd like. It is much easier to backsweeten a bit than it is to fix an overly sweet mead. If my yeast decides to give out a bit early, then I'm still going to be OK. I only brew 1-2 meads a year, and the ingredients are expensive, so I'd rather not take too much of a chance.

I have FG 1.005 plugged in my plan with 1.11 OG. guess all I can do is see what happens. Would you recommend something else?


Nope, that's as good a starting point as any.. You may end up lower, but you can certainly backsweeten if needed.

FYI - I find that the semi-dry range for a mead is in the 1.010-1.020 range. It's a lot different than your typical beer.

1007
The Pub / Re: Beer Experiments
« on: February 17, 2016, 06:59:00 PM »
I can think of a few reasons why the results aren't as black and white as we'd (ideally) like to see:

A) You have multiple tasters all giving their own responses to the experiment. That's like trying to weigh a series of items using a different scale each time. You will likely see a trend appear over time, but since none are calibrated to each other you won't hit an ideal level of precision across the board. A bowling ball will read fine on a bathroom scale or a fruit scale, but will max out a gram scale. An aspirin would be fine on the gram scale, but not the larger ones.

B) Each experiment tries to hold as many variables the same, and tests a specific variable. So the results from that experiment are only applicable within those specific variables. The whirlpool temp experiment may give different results in a blond ale vs a stout vs an IPA. Maybe different varieties of hops give different results. Maybe different yeast strains would have an effect, or base malt, or fermentation profile, etc. Basically, you have to view each experiment as a starting point, or a few data points, and then add that in to your own experience to decide how it is going to impact your brewing.

C) By nature, these experiments have a relatively small sample size. As you add more and more data, trends start to become clearer. Denny and Drew have taken an approach to get more data points, but at the expense of less control over the testing because of the crowdsourcing aspect. We've already seen some potential issues in the first two experiments. I applaud them for taking the right approach and calling suspect data into question, and analyzing the numbers both with and without the outliers.

I was fortunate enough to have done a test of the 120F whirlpool before the most recent XB podcast was posted. I feel that I have gotten some good results from this, and the recent IGOR experiment gave me some confidence that there is at least something to this technique. That makes me want to explore it further to see how I want to apply it to my own brewing. That's all I could want and more out of an experiment like this.

1008
All Grain Brewing / Re: Water salts mass to volume equivalent chart
« on: February 17, 2016, 06:32:33 PM »
FWIW: This also illustrates why it's preferable to use weights and not volumes when baking. Two different cups of flour can have very different weights.

Another example is kosher salt vs. regular table salt. Those who have used both will likely know that kosher salt is far less salty compared to an equal volume of table salt. Weigh out the two, and the saltiness is the same.
For the kosher salt, it is because of the size of the crystals. I wouldn't be surprised if this had something to do with the discrepancies we're seeing with the brewing salts as well.

1009
All Grain Brewing / Re: Water salts mass to volume equivalent chart
« on: February 17, 2016, 06:31:13 PM »
Jon, thanks for the fact checking on this. I think my lazy ass will keep breaking out the scale for my salt additions from here on in.
Yeah, same here. If anything, I'd have expected the CaCl2 (being prone to absorbing moisture) to have measurements all over the place, but it was spot on. Like the OP I can't help but feel that some of these products contain more filler than we'd like. But yet we manage to make good beer. So as OCD as a lot of us are with our measurements (I know I am), it sort of seems like getting in the ballpark is what's really important.
The other thing about CaCl2 that worried me is the size/shape of the pellets. In a small teaspoon, those round balls could easily leave different sized gaps in between the pellets, leading to inconsistent results. It's interesting that this is the only reading that matched the chart closely.

I will still keep using 1/2 tsp of gypsum added to a 3 gallon batch of extract IPA, but that is because A) the starting concentration in the extract is already unknown and B) I've tested it many times and it works for me. But that's where I'm going to draw the line for my brewery.

1010
Other Fermentables / Re: First Mead
« on: February 17, 2016, 06:25:35 PM »
Semi dry. Good alone or with food.

That's what I will be shooting for.

Ken, the toughest part of meadmaking (in my experience) is figuring out where your yeast is going to quit ahead of time. My first meads finished much drier than anticipated. I then tried to compensate for that by starting at a higher OG, and ended up stalling out at 1.050 a couple of times.

Since then, I've decided to err on the side of caution and plan to finish a bit lower than I'd like. It is much easier to backsweeten a bit than it is to fix an overly sweet mead. If my yeast decides to give out a bit early, then I'm still going to be OK. I only brew 1-2 meads a year, and the ingredients are expensive, so I'd rather not take too much of a chance.

1011
Beer Recipes / Re: Low Gravity English IPA
« on: February 17, 2016, 06:15:31 PM »
I am sure most of you are aware that Mr. Pattinson has a book out called "The Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beers". I have the book for a couple of years now and cannot recommend strongly enough. I have brewed several recipes from this book with excellent results.
If this brew turns out well, I just might have to do that. I find myself on is blog every month or two and end up going straight to the "Let's Brew Wednesday" articles. I have about two lifetimes' worth of Brewer's Caramel on hand, so I really ought to brew more of his recipes just to make a dent in that.

1012
All Grain Brewing / Re: Water salts mass to volume equivalent chart
« on: February 17, 2016, 06:11:26 PM »
Jon, thanks for the fact checking on this. I think my lazy ass will keep breaking out the scale for my salt additions from here on in.

1013
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: W-34/70 Fermentation Temp exBEERiment
« on: February 17, 2016, 06:06:47 PM »
Am I the only one who ferments lagers at 50°F for a month, then kegs and lagers at 32°F for 6 weeks?  I never let my lagers get above 50°F.

I brewed with WLP833 once in the low 60s and ended up with a fruit bomb.

These days, you may be.  The fast lager schedule is nothing new.  I believe it comes from Narziss?  You should try it.  I can make lagers every bit as good as the "old fashioned" (YOUR) way in a fraction of the time.  As long as you keep the temps low for the first 3-7 days, there are no ill effects I've found to raising it after that.  A week or two of lagering and they're done.
In my experience, some of my maltier lagers continue to improve up to maybe 6 weeks or so of cold conditioning. But by that time the keg is half empty because it's good enough after 2 weeks and I can't keep myself from stealing "samples" a pint at a time every few days.

I don't typically fine my beers, so that may have something to do with it.

1014
Other Fermentables / Re: First Mead
« on: February 17, 2016, 02:48:30 PM »
42.3gr according of fermaid O (TONSA) and this calculator:   http://www.meadmakr.com/batch-buildr/

I've never seen that calculator before, but it is awesome! Insta-bookmark.

1015
Beer Recipes / Low Gravity English IPA
« on: February 17, 2016, 01:15:19 PM »
I saw a few recent articles on Ron Pattinson's blog that discuss some low-gravity IPA's that were available in England in the early-to-mid 20th century. There was a recipe posted for 1957 Whitbread IPA that was brewed down at 1.036/3.9% ABV. It's interesting that Session IPA's have become a big thing in the past few years in the US, when they were apparently no big deal a century ago in the UK.

I think I'll be taking a shot at the recipe in this article: http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2016/02/lets-brew-wednesday-1957-whitbread-ipa.html  I'll probably use 1469 or 002/1968 instead of 1099, and I might push the hops closer to the end of the boil to get a bit more flavor/aroma, but otherwise I'll keep it close. Should be interesting.

1016
Other Fermentables / Re: First Mead
« on: February 17, 2016, 11:57:24 AM »
i think it should be ok and land me in the optimal PH range.

so Im reading that using goferm for the yeast rehydration, then using fermaid K during fermentation is all I need. fermaid K had DAP and says no additional DAP additions needed. this accurate?

I follow Curt Stock's recommendation for SNA with melomels. He uses a ratio of 1 part Fermaid K to 2 parts DAP. While Fermaid K contains DAP, I believe it is designed for wine musts that have a significant amount more FAN than mead musts.

I plan to move to Fermaid O soon - it's an organic nutrient made from autolyzed yeast and contains a large proportion of nitrogen, and therefore doesn't require additional DAP.

1017
All Grain Brewing / Re: Water salts mass to volume equivalent chart
« on: February 17, 2016, 07:53:50 AM »
Very handy, and should get you passably close for our purposes. One caveat is that some salts are extremely hygroscopic, and will pull in water from the stmosphere. That is turn will affect their density. CaCl2 is probably the biggest concern with this - it's what DampRid is made with, which is intended to pull moisture out of the air.

1018
All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mash For Kolsch...
« on: February 17, 2016, 07:48:38 AM »
Gordon is an expert beer judge, but not necessarily an expert brewer.  As an opposing view, Jamil Z *is* an expert brewer, and he doesn't do step mashes. 

Gordon won Ninkasi more times, and more recently than JZ. I trust Gordon's cred as a brewer as much as I trust JZ's. That said, you have two excellent brewers who have produced award-winning beers with different methods. That tells me that either method has the potential to produce excellent beer.

Personally, I'm perfectly happy with my beers brewed using a single-infusion mash.

1019
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: New dry yeasts
« on: February 16, 2016, 06:49:00 PM »
Got a helles about ready to crash and keg using S-189, and I have a few packets of K-97 in the fridge waiting to go. Altbier is in the near future for me.

1020
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: W-34/70 Fermentation Temp exBEERiment
« on: February 16, 2016, 10:10:33 AM »
It's pretty well known that 34/70 (WY2124) works at that kind of temp so there was no surprise for me.
Not a huge surprise for me, but 70F is definitely higher than I'd ever tried or recommended with this yeast. And I've always hedged my bets saying it would be passably close at those temps. The results here are more like "undetectable, if not better" rather than "passable" at ale temps.

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