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Messages - erockrph

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1096
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Sierra Oktoberfest 2015
« on: September 18, 2015, 06:48:07 AM »

I just brewed 10 gallons on saturday. Essentially BCS recipe for half and the other half git the same percentages of pilsner, munich II, and vienna, leaving out the caramunich. I made the BCS version last year and could not get it to budge from 1.025, down from 1.056. It turned out darker and obviously overly sweet. The overwhelming thought from the forum was to leave out the caramunich, so now I can compare for myself. Good luck with yours when you do brew it again

I use some carahell in mine- finished 1.012 and 1.011 on two batches this year.
Yeah, something sounds off about an FG in the 1.020's. Even when I brewed the BCS recipe as-is with CaraMunich III, I finished in the 1.012 range. I have since replaced the CaraMunich with half as much Aromatic. It boosts the crusty/toasty/Munichy goodness that I like without adding sweetness or fullness.

1097
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« on: September 18, 2015, 05:53:53 AM »
Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks!  I get that.  Of course my process is the best.  For me.  Not for anyone else.  But it's certainly an option that some people just never seem to consider.  Everyone brews the same way as Denny Conn or John Palmer or Jamil Z or whoever else.  It seems to me so often that everyone is set to auto-pilot.  Does it work?  Sure it works!  But so does my way.  And nobody else seems to do it my way!  Well, a few.  But not many.  It's an option worthy of consideration.  That is all.
Big +1 on this. I've developed a system that works great for me, and allows me brew 3-galon all-grain batches in my kitchen. This enables me to brew the beer I want to brew, as often as I like to brew, and makes the amount of beer that I typically consume in a reasonable period of time. If I listened to common wisdom when I started brewing, I would have never gotten into all-grain brewing and might have quit the hobby once I started getting bored with partial-boil 5-gallon extract batches.

1098
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Opening Fermenter to check hydrometer
« on: September 17, 2015, 08:59:04 PM »
I'd be more worried about introducing possible contamination by putting your hydrometer right in the fermenter. If there's any active fermentation at all, then the yeast should pick up what little oxygen may be introduced. I've never run into any issues by opening the fermenter to draw a hydrometer sample.

1099
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 09/21/2015
« on: September 17, 2015, 04:44:29 PM »
Gotta rack my session mead to secondary and contemplate backsweetening. Otherwise, I need to clean out some kegs before I get set for more brewing.

1100
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: officially on pause
« on: September 17, 2015, 04:42:57 PM »
In Alabama we can only possess (in our household) 15G of homemade beer, wine, cider, etc.

My pipeline is 2 batches deep. Most of the time, I have a 3G batch in the fridge and a 3G batch in the fermenter. So, I'm legal.
Must be tough to be a sour beer brewer in your state  :-\

1101
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« on: September 17, 2015, 04:41:58 PM »
It makes sense for some people to brew large batches. If you don't drink much or have that many other people drinking your beer, then it makes more sense to brew smaller.

Brewing inside in the winter is a great idea. It adds humidity to the house and heat. I brew inside year round, probably shouldn't in the summer months though. Gets a bit humid in my place.

:)  Smells great in the house for a couple days, too!
I wish my wife thought the same way  ;D

1102
If you're simply looking to check out flavor and aroma, then bittering with a neutral hop should be fine. Personally, I like to get an idea of bittering quality as well, so I do a FWH to 40-45 IBU with the same hop that I'm testing. It all depends on what you're going for.

1103
Beer Recipes / Re: Grog-style Beer
« on: September 16, 2015, 06:12:52 PM »
I like where you're going with this one. I think the results are going to be pretty subtle here, which is never a bad thing, especially for the first try at a recipe. Motueka is one of my favorite hops, but it's not super-potent. It's more like lime zest and lemongrass rather than straight-up citrus.

12 oz of Molasses will likely be noticeable, but not overpowering. It works great with English-style yeasts, in my opinion. Make sure you use unsulfured molasses.

For cinnamon, there are a few ways to handle it. If you use it at the end of the boil you get more of a cooked cinnamon flavor - think mulled cider or apple pie. In secondary you get more heat. I think the boil might be more in line with what you're looking for.

I'd be tempted to use a darker crystal malt like Extra Dark English or Special B, as well as D-90 or D-180 instead of the D-45. They bring a raisin/fig flavor that will accentuate the rum character nicely.

This really sounds like a good recipe to me. Keep us posted if you brew it, I'd really like to hear how it turns out.

1104
The Pub / Re: Ten Drinks a Week
« on: September 16, 2015, 11:52:52 AM »
You need to get out on those beautiful Oregon trails Denny.

Yeah' but that's not as easy as walking into the guest room and getting on the treadmill.  I need something so easy that I can't make excuses not to do it.  Besides, rainy season is starting!

I don't know.  Our treadmill is in the basement family room and I still do a fine job of avoiding it regularly. 
Yep, our exercise bike is right in the living room facing the TV. Too bad I don't watch much TV...

1105
Ingredients / Re: Maple Extract
« on: September 16, 2015, 11:10:07 AM »
I've never tasted imitation maple flavor, but I can tell you with certain there will be a significant difference in flavor between imitation maple and the real thing.

I've also never used maple extract, but I have used maple sugar and maple syrup.  In the sugar and syrup format, which I assume to be far less concentrated than extract, you need to use a large amount to get anything more than a subtle flavor.

If you're kegging, I would start with adding a small amount and tasting the beer to see the impact.  Do this until it reaches the level you want.

The other option is to dose a measured pour of beer with a measured amount of extract until you find the ratio you like and then scale up the volumes.
I agree with all of this. I'd also add that Grade B maple syrup adds a lot more maple flavor than the typical light- or medium-amber stuff people usually put on their pancakes. That's what bakers typically use (I know; I can't any of the Grade B stuff from my local sugar shacks because it's already spoken for).

1106
Ingredients / Re: Hop pellet density
« on: September 15, 2015, 08:57:48 PM »
I think it's a neat picture, but I am also skeptical about what this means in the real world. Once the pellets break up, hop bits are hop bits, right? Plus this would only conceivably be a concern during dry hopping. In the boil pellets break up almost instantly and are caught up in the motion of the boil.

1107
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: A Twist on Starter Technique
« on: September 15, 2015, 06:01:34 PM »
By the way, the culture that I propagated the other night is NCYC 1333.  NCYC 1333 is a Yorkshire culture with a unique set of attributes on paper. NCYC 1333 is supposed to be a head forming, flocculent, and attenuative culture, which is a rather unique set of attributes for any yeast strain, let alone a Yorkshire strain.   
Interesting. That actually matches my experience with WLP037 rather closely. It is both more flocculant and more attenuative than WLP002, which was quite surprising to me when I first started brewing with it.

1108
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Step mashing with declining temps
« on: September 15, 2015, 10:59:57 AM »
I don't think anyone would advocate that you just pour some hot water in your mash tun, stir in your grain, then call it a day without ever measuring a temperature. You need to know and control your strike temps, but everything else you can dial in based on your own system. Mash temp is important, but there are many other factors that also decide body and attenuation in a finished beer.

And frankly, if you can't taste the difference between 2 beers, then there's no difference as far as I'm concerned, regardless of what the numbers say.

In the end, each brewer needs to understand his or her own system. If you want more body, then boost your mash temps by a few degrees, hold it for a shorter time, use a less attenuative yeast, etc. If your mash temp drops a few degrees during the mash, then maybe you need to mash your stout a few degrees higher, or bump up the flaked barley, or whatever. Easy enough.

FWIW, I mash barleywines at 147 for 2 hours, but they still end up with a body like a sumo wrestler.

1109
All Things Food / Re: Indian Food
« on: September 14, 2015, 10:29:59 AM »
4. Paneer is super easy to make and super expensive to buy, so make it if you like it.
I've been following this thread closely, but didn't have much too add since my "Indian" cooking is largely based on store-bought curry powder and garam masala that I doctor up a bit. But I am wholeheartedly behind Pete on paneer. It's super easy to make, and once you make it you will want to use it in about everything.

1110
Applying a boil to something for 30 minutes or 90 should yield different results whether cooking or brewing. I am not saying that DMS will be the difference, but hop utilization and isomerization should at least be different between them, no? The results showed slight differences in color, I simply think more differences would have been seen.
In this experiment, the hops were boiled for the same length of time in each, so no significant differences should be noted.

Unless I'm specifically looking for a character that is imparted through a lengthy boil (concentrating a barleywine wort, for example), I'm going to start using shortened boils and see what happens.

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