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Messages - erockrph

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The Pub / Re: Hops, not just for your breakfast brew
« on: August 12, 2014, 07:56:18 PM »
Pretty cool, especially the Varroa mite treatment.

The Pub / Re: Baseball 2014
« on: August 12, 2014, 07:31:55 PM »
erockrph - many thanks for your suggestion on the book. It arrived on Friday and I've managed to get through a few pages.....already enjoying it and I'm sure it will help me understand the game better. Gerry Remy seems quite a character :D

Character indeed. If you are able to watch any Red Sox games on the NESN network, I'd highly recommend you do (even if you're not a Sox fan). Jerry has a phenomenal baseball IQ, and he always seems to be having a lot of fun.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First post
« on: August 12, 2014, 06:17:25 PM »
Welcome! Don't get frustrated, your beer will continue to get better. Take good notes, and ask questions here. We all want to help you make better beer.

Beer Recipes / Re: Holiday Prowler
« on: August 12, 2014, 01:23:33 PM »
I wouldn't recommend using a whole nutmeg seed:

Ingredients / Re: Cinnamon Rolls?!?!
« on: August 11, 2014, 08:34:29 PM »
I think you need to add the cinnamon on the hot side for this (like a flameout steep for example). Adding it by tincture may get you more "Red Hots" cinnamon than baked goodness. A light touch of vanilla will probably emphasize the sweet spice side of the cinnamon, but you want the vanilla just barely there.

I'm thinking maybe an ESB-like grain bill, with MO for your base malt and some medium crystal for some sweet caramel-like notes. If you want butter, then get your hands on Red Hook's yeast...

All Grain Brewing / Re: Hop Aroma In The Final Product
« on: August 11, 2014, 08:18:21 PM »
My IPA's use about 4-5 ounces of dry hops for a 3-gallon batch. Two oz of dry hops in 5 gallons is pretty low if you want a big hop aroma. Try at least 4-5 ounces next time around.

You can also double or even triple your whirlpool hop addition if you're crazy like me :)

All Grain Brewing / Re: BIAB: What's necessary and what's not?
« on: August 11, 2014, 08:15:13 PM »
BIAB can be as cheap and low-tech as you want and still crank out damn good beer. That's one of the benefits of BIAB.

For me, I only brew 3-gallon batches, so I have no problem picking up and dumping my 5-gallon kettle. I got a decent one with a clad bottom that works well on my stovetop, and I've been using it since my first partial-boil extract batch. I have no need or want for a spigot, and my relatively inexpensive probe thermometer works perfectly fine for my purposes.

Ingredients / Re: Caramel in beer / Sanitizing cacao nibs
« on: August 11, 2014, 11:33:47 AM »

My LHBS carries organic cacao nibs from brewers best and ive seen two batches becoming infected both that were aging on these which makes me think they need to be sanitized to kill anything funky on them before use. Whats the best way to do this?

Also I was talking to someone who wanted to put some homemade soft caramel into his beer. I advised the best way might be to separate some of the wort into a double boiler and melt the caramel into that before adding to the beer, or even adding back to the beer at flame out. Would you retain any of the caramel flavor? Certainly it would add gravity to the beer because of the sugar. Do you think there would be any negative contribution to the beer/equipment, maybe head retention to the beer? or sticking to your equipment?

As far as the nibs go, I'd soak them in some high-proof neutral spirit (vodka or 151 Rum), then add the whole thing into the fermenter.

For the caramel - this is just sugar/water caramel, right? If there's butter or some fat in them then I'd be worried about head retention, otherwise it should be fine. I think your double-boiler idea would be fine. Unlike other sugars, I'd guess that you'd be able to keep some caramel flavor in the finished beer, since we typically caramelize the runnings on Scottish ales and that works just fine.

Beer Recipes / Re: First Lager
« on: August 11, 2014, 09:37:14 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. I like what I see. I will be bottle conditioning, and am curious about the lager step. Do I need to secondary, or is this just like all the replies i have seen for ales: just leave it in primary?
There is no need to have a separate vessel just for the lagering step. Lagering is simply cold-conditioning and can be done either in the primary or the bottle/keg.

Equipment and Software / Re: Lowes vs Home Depot MLT
« on: August 11, 2014, 08:59:53 AM »
While brewing = no shoes, no pants and no beers for me. What's the point of having the comfort of brewing in my kitchen if I can't dress the part? Plus, how else would I know if my ball valve was open unless I could feel the hot brewing liquor on my foot?  :D

Beer Recipes / Re: First Lager
« on: August 11, 2014, 08:08:26 AM »
I pitch at 45F, then set my temp controller to 50 and walk away for a week. Then I start bumping the temp by 3 degrees every 2-3 days. By the end of week 2 you should generally be ready to check for diacetyl, then crash and lager on a beer this size.

If you're bottle conditioning, you may be better off lagering in the bottles. Cold crash for 1-2 days, bottle, then let them sit warm for 2-3 weeks until fully carbonated. You can then lager them as cold as you can. This way you could drink some right away if you wanted, while the remaining bottles should continue to improve with some added cold-aging. I've done this several times, and it's a great option if you're not kegging.

Ingredients / Re: Brewing with cabbage (say what?)
« on: August 11, 2014, 07:50:52 AM »
Blackberries will give you a deep, inky purple. Blueberries are close to that color as well. Hibiscus is in the pink-to-magenta range. Beets are red/purple. Red wine must (Merlot/Cabernet/etc) will get you into the deep purplish-red range as well.

A lot of the color will be quite dependent on how much you add. For example, at 1 oz/gallon steeped Hibiscus adds a deep pink color. For full-on red you'll need to go higher. For a lighter blush, maybe 1/3 to 1/2 oz/gallon will do.

When you add the ingredients matters as well. A lot of natural dyes are degraded or changed by heat and/or pH. Certain colors will be different depending on whether you add them on the hot side or cold side.

Good luck, and please continue to share your results!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: The Beer Bug
« on: August 11, 2014, 07:20:25 AM »
Thanks for the feedback, Wingnut! Those are the kinds of things I was expecting it to be useful for. Not necessarily for lab-grade precision, but a good tool to monitor for trends and unexpected results (i.e., temperature spikes). To me, it would be a cool toy if it were in the right price point. It would also be nice if it had an added temp probe to record ambient temps separately - this way you can potentially catch temp swings in your ferm chamber before the beer starts to change temps.

It's also a bummer about the mead thing (i.e., that it doesn't play nice with degassing/SNA and the like). That would probably be my top use for it.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Stout in primary question
« on: August 11, 2014, 05:52:11 AM »
So why do we go to a secondary in the first place?
There are a lot of things in homebrewing that continue to be done because "that's how it's always been done". A lot of what we do was initially modeled after how pro brewers work, even if it's not needed at homebrew scales. I'm guessing the whole secondary thing is because pro brewers typically use a secondary bright tank to help clear their beer. It's not really needed at the homebrew level, and may actually cause more harm than good.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Lager color adjustment
« on: August 11, 2014, 05:47:11 AM »
A) You're using Carafa Special (i.e., the dehusked variety) and not regular Carafa, right?

B) Briess claims that Midnight Wheat is the smoothest of the dehusked malts for adding color, and I tend to agree in my experience. This is all I use for color adjustment now. In something like a lager you will probably still find some roast. But that's because you're the brewer, you know it's there, and you're looking for it.

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