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Messages - erockrph

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Beer Recipes / Re: Need a little advice...
« on: February 29, 2016, 12:15:39 PM »
If I could find brewer's caramel for a reasonable price, I'd use it too, but since the jury is still out on it adding any flavor I'll just let this be a pale mild.
I used enough brewer's caramel to turn Pivo Pils into a dark schwarzbier, and didn't pick up a lick of flavor. I'd consider it a colorant only.

As far as the flavor of your beer goes, I'd look for American Pale Ale malt for your base if that's an option at this point. That should at least be a bit more flavorful than regular 2-row pale malt.

For 1968, I like 68F for fermentation. For a small beer like this I could be done in a matter of days, so I'd start rousing and bumping the temperature 3 or 4 days in.

What I think really lets English beers to get away with sugar in small beers is the low carbonation level. If you plan on carbonating this like an American ale (in the 2.5 volume range) and serve it ice cold, then it will certainly seem watery. If you serve it like an English/cask ale - a bit warmer and in the 1.8-2 volume range, then you can probably get away with it.

I get why people arrive at the 170* hop stand temperature.  I recently tried it at 140* specifically because Myrcene boils at 145*.  So instead of choosing the temperature based on SMM/DMS conversion and maintaining enough heat to kill stuff floating on dust, I chose the temperature based on flavor considerations. 

I have not done a side by side comparison.  That would be interesting.
Where are you getting the 145F reference for Myrcene's boiling point? I'm seeing 331F-334F:

Ingredients / Re: Weyermann Barke malts
« on: February 29, 2016, 08:18:15 AM »
I bought all three Barke malts (Pils, Vienna and Munich) and plan on brewing with all three next week.

What is the Lovibond on the Munich? Do they have Light and Dark Munich varieties, or just a light one?

I'm wondering if frequent stirring would close the delta a bit between the two methods. Maybe a hop stand vs. whirlpool xBmt in the future?

Also, I noticed that it was only a 20 minute hop stand. Again, I wonder if lengthening that would close the gap as well.

The Pub / Re: Cigars
« on: February 29, 2016, 03:56:19 AM »
Alas, I haven't had a cigar in years. I just don't have the kind of free time to enjoy a good smoke since parenthood started. I've also come to the conclusion that smoking one blows out my palate for a day or two. So as much as I enjoy the combo of stogies and scotch, I've been making do with scotch on its own in recent years.

I have been tempted recently because I see that my favorite cigar from way back in the mid-90's cigar boom is back on the market - Flor de Florez. Their Miami Blend was the best cigar I ever smoked. They vanished in the late 90's/early 00's, but it looks like they're back now. I think I still have an unopened box of their old Cabinet Selection, but I doubt they're in decent shape at this point, since they haven't been stored in the best of conditions.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: February 29, 2016, 03:19:28 AM »
I'm hoping to squeeze in a double brewday tomorrow, but I'm working a 3-3 shift today so we'll see how productive I'm actually able to be.

Brew #1 - 1957 Whitbread IPA using WLP002. This is based on a recipe and recent series of posts of Ron Pattinson's blog. Apparently session-strength IPA is nothing new; they've had IPAs of various strengths in England going way back. It will be interesting to see how this compares to our modern American "Session IPA" - I expect it to taste nothing like them. Shooting for a very poundable 1.037 OG and low-to-mid 3's ABV.

Brew #2 - Planning to break in my new 2 gallon coolers with a 2-gallon batch of a Belgian-ish IPA/Pale Ale kinda thing. Grist is Belgian Pils with about 10% D-45 candi syrup. Hops are Styrian Goldings and X-17. Yeast is WLP570. Targeting low 1.050's/40 IBU, so closer to a "Belgian APA" rather than a "Belgian IPA", but I think there is too much of a clash at higher IBU levels with spicy Belgian yeast.

Brew #2 is essentially a big starter for an upcoming Duvel clone, so I'm using it to test out a few ideas I've been kicking around:

- X-17 for Belgian ales - my single-hop trial batch had me thinking that this would be a great hop for a witbier and/or Belgian IPA. I picked Styrian Goldings to go along with it because I loved the early Duvel Tripel Hops, and the marmalade and spice character should go well with the citrus from X-17. I'm hoping that this will be a solid combo.
- 120F Whirlpool - I'm only doing one late addition on this one, a 1 hour whirlpool at 120F. I've started playing with this technique, but I haven't tried it as the sole flavor/aroma addition. Going with 2 oz/gallon - a hefty addition, but far less than my usual IPA insanity.
- D-45 in place of Crystal malt - I've used D-45 in more traditional BPA's before and liked the results, but I've never really used it without any other specialty malts. I've been kicking around the idea that it may bring some caramel character similar to a medium crystal malt, but help dry the beer out at the same time, rather than boost the body. It will also be interesting to see what it does to the color on its own. Using 5 oz in a 2 gallon batch.

Other Fermentables / Re: First Mead
« on: February 28, 2016, 05:55:45 AM »
Hey forgot to ask- you sprinkle the ferm o and stir it in or are you mixing it with some must and then adding it?
I can get away with sprinkling before stirring because I brew 2 gallons or less in a 6.5 gallon bucket for primary. But I've seen the volume almost double due to foaming during a nutrient addition. Unless you have 100% headspace volume or more, I'd recommend mixing your SNA's in with a bit of must first.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My First Homebrew, A True Story
« on: February 28, 2016, 05:47:04 AM »
Regarding the glass carboys, I'm really careful and I'm more worried about the toxicity of fermenting in plastic based on scientific studies.  BPA is just one of many issues.  Point well taken though.

Actually, most of the new plastic fermenters are BPA free!
I'd say that the potential hazards of dealing with glass carboys far outweigh the potential hazards of fermenting in food-grade plastic. In fact, the biggest hazard in brewing (by a large margin) is the alcohol we consume in the end product.

The "Homebrew Toxicology" episodes here should help mitigate many of your concerns:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pre-Hopped malt extract water adjustment
« on: February 27, 2016, 09:57:42 PM »
How do you know what you are adjusting to? Extracts already contain all the minerals from the water they were originally brewed with. Unless you know the exact amount that is already present in the extract, you are flying blind.

The only time I add any minerals to an extract batch is when I brew hoppy beers that can benefit from a boost in sulfate. I add 1/2 tsp of gypsum to a 3 gallon batch in those cases. Otherwise, it's not worth messing around with.

Equipment and Software / Re: Walmart Clearance: 2 gal Coleman Stacker
« on: February 27, 2016, 07:35:11 AM »
Extract is great hiatus-breaker! Especially when one needs to get the fermenters filled pronto. Get's the appetite up for a big grain batch. ;D
Indeed! If it weren't for extract, I'd have nothing but empty kegs right now. It definitely helps keep you going when you're tight on time.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Oktoberfest water profile
« on: February 27, 2016, 07:32:35 AM »
Please recognize that the comment about the calcium being too low was made prior to my 'discovery' that we don't need much calcium when brewing lagers. Lager yeast are actually adversely affected by high calcium. With that said, adding all of your calcium salts to the mashing water helps boost the calcium level during the mash and that helps remove oxalate from the wort. 40 ppm Ca in the mash seems to be sufficient for removing oxalate.  Assuming that your sparging water has low calcium, the overall calcium level in the kettle wort is dropped into the low levels preferred by lager yeasts.

By the way, you certainly can have more chloride or sulfate in your Munich-inspired beer styles, just don't go too high!
I have been down in the 20ppm range for Calcium on my recent Maerzens and have been quite happy with the results from the lower minerality in my water. I think I've been in the range of:

20ppm Ca++
10ppm Na+
30ppm Cl-
20ppm SO4--

I think overall, my lagers have really benefited from a lower minerality across the board (with the exception of sulfates in hoppier styles).

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Whirlpool vs Flavor/Aroma/Dry Hop
« on: February 27, 2016, 07:16:11 AM »
Things I love about beer #17:

Every conversation about beer will devolve into a philosophy debate if given enough time.

Carry on...
By "time" do you mean our linear concept of time or the whole time-space continuum?
This was one of the most brutally-challenging pop-sci books I've ever read, but immensely interesting. I might have to re-read it soon:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Whirlpool vs Flavor/Aroma/Dry Hop
« on: February 27, 2016, 07:02:51 AM »
Things I love about beer #17:

Every conversation about beer will devolve into a philosophy debate if given enough time.

Carry on...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Whirlpool vs Flavor/Aroma/Dry Hop
« on: February 26, 2016, 01:29:10 PM »
I'm going to stick my neck out here and say that the term flavor as used in brewing is a bogus concept. What you sense in the mouth is taste; what you sense in the nose is aroma. That covers everything - there is no third sense of flavor.
Except that taste is rarely perceived in a vacuum. Maybe this is more of a semantic issue than anything else, but I consider what I smell when I stick my nose in the glass to be aroma and the sensory experience when I take a sip to be flavor. It's futile to try to isolate only what the tongue experiences unless you are truly anosmic.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Port - beer hybrid
« on: February 26, 2016, 01:04:03 PM »
I would be drinking a nice bottle of port ASAP and taking notes if I were in your shoes. Hell, I'm not in your shoes and I'll probably do that...
You might be on to something. I see a side-by-side tasting of some 2-year old homebrewed barleywine and some Sandeman Founders Reserve in my future this weekend.

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