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Messages - erockrph

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9 lbs fresh hops is the equivalent of roughly 2 pounds of dried hops. I guess that will be alright if he wants to try to stretch that out to 2 batches. FWIW, I use 17 ounces in 3 gallons of IPA, but I admit I have a bit of a hop problem.

Equipment and Software / Re: Small batch equipment questions
« on: September 23, 2014, 09:56:35 AM »
Good to know I can use the buckets on hand.  Now where are you guys finding apple juice or cider in glass? The store and my locals all seem to use plastic.
I buy 1-gallon jugs with the associated stoppers at my LHBS.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: fruit flies in airlock
« on: September 23, 2014, 08:52:06 AM »
I've had one or 2 batches where I saw fruit flies in the airlock and the beer ended up infected.  I have no idea whether it was because of the flies in the airlock, or if some actually got into the beer.  I've always believed it was the ones in the airlock, even though that makes no sense!
Do you use Star-San or alcohol in your airlocks, or just plain water? I've always assumed that a sanitizer would take care of anything that makes it through the airlock.

Equipment and Software / Re: Small batch equipment questions
« on: September 23, 2014, 08:43:34 AM »
Primaries can be any size. The extra volume will be filled with CO2 from fermentation. I brew 3-gallon batches in 6.5-gallon buckets all the time with no issues.

As far as secondaries go, you want as little headspace as possible to minimize oxygen contact over time. I don't think this is a huge deal for meads, as they aren't as susceptible to oxidation as beer, but for beer you really want to be careful. I use 1-gallon jugs a lot for fermenting my really small batches.

Equipment and Software / Re: Mini Tun
« on: September 23, 2014, 06:40:32 AM »
Caught one hell of a cold right after posting this. My oven only gets down to 170. Won't a oven set at 170 raise a 150 degree mash? It must only raise the temp slightly over an hour?
Preheat to 170F. Turn it off before you start the mash, it takes some time to mix and adjust the temp if you are a little off. It takes some time to measure and adjust pH if you are one of those pH guys like me. Then when you are done, put it in the oven, which will be less than 170F. You could have an oven thermometer in there to tell you when the temp is 150F or a 150F +.
Plus, the air in the oven isn't going to do much versus the thermal mass of your entire mash. Just think of it as being super-effective insulation.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: It stopped bubbling! Did I kill it?
« on: September 23, 2014, 06:35:11 AM »
Does the opposite stand true? If so that explains the extra bubbles in the hot tub
You got one of those newfangled "sulfur springs" hot tubs?

I wonder how much gypsum it would take to produce the "Burton snatch" in someone's hot tub...

Special B isn't exactly the malt I'd choose if I wanted to evaluate my impressions on Crystal malt in general. I love the stuff, but it's a distinct flavor that I wouldn't necessarily equate with other Crystal malts.

My recommendation for giving Crystal a good taste test would be:
93% UK Pale Ale malt of your preference
7% Dark English Crystal
35 IBU's and ~1 oz late hops of the UK hops of your choice
dry hop with EKG

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: It stopped bubbling! Did I kill it?
« on: September 22, 2014, 06:59:38 PM »
Cold air exerts less pressure. By cooling your fermenter it will take more CO2 production to build up enough pressure to push through the airlock. You're fine. RDWHAHB

I usually backsweeten and adjust for acidity early in secondary. That allows the raw honey flavor to mellow out a bit and integrate while the mead is aging. I'll give it a few weeks in secondary, then add finings as I rack a second time. From there it ages until I'm ready to bottle. Sometimes its a few months and sometimes it's over a year before I bottle. But that's more of a function of my schedule than the mead's.

As far as aging temp goes, I just keep mine at cellar temp. It may help to cold crash prior to rackings, though.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: AIPA yeast: Fruity Esters or Clean & Crisp?
« on: September 22, 2014, 11:48:38 AM »
My AIPA's are all about the hops. The yeast is solely there to convert the malt sugars to alcohol.

I use 1968 in hoppy beers all the time, but they're typically ESB's.

Ingredients / Re: Belgian yeast
« on: September 22, 2014, 11:35:05 AM »
When you venture into dark Belgian territory, I think WY1762 is a good beginner's choice. It's not necessarily super clean, but the ester profile meshes well with things like Dark Candi Syrup and Special B.

Ingredients / Re: Fresh cranberries
« on: September 22, 2014, 10:49:46 AM »
I have never used them, so I cannot comment on process. However, I have drank a few beers with cranberries in there, and one thing I noticed is that cranberries have a lot of tannin in their skins. It can really overpower a light/dry beer. I would plan the grain bill to leave some extra residual sweetness in the beer to balance that out.
That's why I'd only want to use them in a Saison (specifically using 3711) or maybe a sour when it comes to beer. In those beers the tannins have some tartness to balance them out. The tannins can really compliment the lighter mouthfeel as well.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dry yeast for English styles
« on: September 22, 2014, 10:45:49 AM »
My favorite dry yeast for English styles, hands down, is Munton's Gold. It's the closest dry yeast to Fuller's yeast that I have ever used.
You serious? I've never tried Munton's because I can't say I've ever heard anything good about it. If it's really that close to Fullers I'd definitely give it a shot. My biggest complaint about dry English strains is that the ones I want aren't available.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: September 22, 2014, 09:27:37 AM »
Brewed a Session IPA on Saturday with Cascade and Centennial (FWH, 15 and 0 additions) that I'm going to split into 5 1 gallon jugs and dry hop with different combinations of hops (Citra, Amarillo, Simcoe, etc).

You may want to dry hop each with one hop variety, then blend the resulting beers, if you're looking to taste-test different hop combos.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: color contributions from dark yeast slurry
« on: September 22, 2014, 09:25:25 AM »
Not to cop out, but I think it's a lot of "It depends". I'd try to leave as little of the beer as possible from the initial batch. Maybe even rack off some of the top layer that you'd normally leave behind to a waste bucket, to try to clear off the cake as much as possible.

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