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Messages - erockrph

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The way you use your yeast...
« on: September 26, 2015, 05:42:20 AM »
My only issue with the shaken not stirred method that Mark uses is the amount of starter wort going into the fermenter. I understand it's not nasty wort like that from a stir plate or constantly aerated starter, but it's still a large amount going into a 5 gallon batch.

I limited mine to a qt.  My OCD side says that's still too much, but we'll see.
Right, what makes this work is both the smaller starter size, and pitching it at high krausen so you aren't pitching spent/oxidized wort. I have been using this successfully in my lagers for the past few batches and I think the only change I need to make is to make my starters even smaller. I'm not getting off flavors from the starter wort, but I'm on the fence about whether I'm getting less base malt character from dilution with DME. I've been making 2 quart starters for 3 gallons of 1.050's lagers. I'm thinking of going to just over a quart or maybe just going with the drauflassen method.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Fast ipa
« on: September 25, 2015, 10:35:28 AM »
One had lots of diacetyl. … In other words, punished for my hubris. The Wrath of the Titans of Beer.

FWIW, inconsistent diacetyl more likely indicates contamination (specifically Pediococcus) during bottling than anything else.

Yep, pedio can lead to a butter bomb.  Had a sour at a competition earlier in the year that was straight up movie popcorn butter.  Other than that it had a lot of potential, if they would have krauesened it to get some sacc in there to clean it up.

I'm about to send a fast IPA in to the BrewUnited Challenge.  Going for an 11 day turnaround.
Wow. I thought 4 weeks was going to be cutting it close for mine. Good luck!

Ingredients / Re: Agave Fermentation
« on: September 25, 2015, 10:33:45 AM »
Pecan pie is crazy sweet. Ironically, because 100% get turned to alcohol, all these potential sugar/syrups will actually make the beer drier instead of sweeter. I think the focus should be mainly on the specialty malts to0 get the sweetness. I think blackstrap molasses then would give you the most bang for the buck in terms of getting an appropriate associated flavor because its so strong you could only add a little to get the right flavor. I guess I would go fairly heavy on crystal/carmel malt and a little blackstrap in secondary and pecan extract.
Agreed. Blackstrap or maybe D-180

Ingredients / Re: Sugarcane
« on: September 25, 2015, 10:32:36 AM »
You probably need to account for the vegetal matter and any tannins and other flavor compounds contributed beyond the sweet extract from the cane.

I'm not an expert on sugar production but I believe the sugarcane is usually pressed to extract the sugar and that would be the essence of what you want rather than the woody aspect of the cane.
I think the tannins might be what he was going for, though.  That would be what I would be looking for if I was aging an imperial stout on it.  It would be more for a different barrel aged character than an additional sugar.

But yes, they press the cane to extract the raw 'sugar' and then process it and refine it to varying degrees depending on their end goal (molasses, syrup, raw sugar, refined, etc.).  The other parts of the stalk wind up being various other products (e.g. bagasse can be used as fuel or can be turned into paper).
For a Cachaça- or Caipirinha-inspired mead, I think I'd sorbate/sulfite first, then rack onto sugarcane chunks for aging. This way I would get that "wood"-aged character, plus extract some sweetness. A lot of places garnish Caipirinha's with a sugarcane sliver swizzle stick, and I can't help chewing on it afterwards. That woody/grassy/tannic note would certainly have its place. I'd try to hunt down raw cane juice for further backsweeening if needed.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Rehydration/wort temperature
« on: September 25, 2015, 06:55:34 AM »
I gave up rehydrating a long time ago since my beers were turning out just as good when I just sprinkled my dry yeast on top of my wort.

How much lag are you seeing, and (much more importantly), how are your beers turning out? Dry yeast does tend to have a bit longer of a lag time than a fresh starter of liquid yeast, but as long as your sanitation is good that shouldn't really have an impact on the finished beer.

All Things Food / Re: Indian Food
« on: September 24, 2015, 06:40:31 PM »
Denny, I think this might be helpful too. I have been putting scaled down recipes of some of our popular meals where I work on our website. They are all vegetarian and several are Indian. They are normally prepared for up to 140 people so they are meant to be fairly straightforward and made from readily available ingredients.
Nice! That Aloo Matar Sabji recipe looks like something I'll have to try out in the near future.

Ingredients / Re: Agave Fermentation
« on: September 24, 2015, 05:02:44 PM »
I'd treat the agave like honey. Expect it to ferment completely. Either substitute it for some base malt in your recipe if you don't want to increase the ABV and don't mind a drier beer, or plan on it bumping the ABV if you don't want to cut some base malt out and want a fuller body.

I'd also add it toward the end of fermentation if you want to retain any flavor in the finished beer. Even then, I wouldn't expect much out of it since agave nectar isn't the most powerful flavor to begin with.

I consider myself extremely lucky to be homebrewing at a time where brewers like Denny and Marshall (as well as their experiments) are so accessible to the community. It certainly encourages me to do my fair share of experimentation, and I'm a better brewer for it, too.

Ingredients / Re: Sugarcane
« on: September 24, 2015, 10:14:34 AM »
How's this for random: I just ate at a local Peruvian/Bolivian restaurant and had a Caipirinha with lunch. Twenty minutes later and I'm googling "aging mead on sugarcane" and my post from last year is the top result. Guess that's a sign that I'll have to try this out for myself...

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 2278 for hop-forward lagers
« on: September 23, 2015, 04:26:48 PM »
Have you tried Wyeast 2272?  Wyeast 2272 is the Christian Schmidt strain.  It was one of my "go to" strains for a number of years.
I don't think they've put that one out since I started getting serious about lager brewing. I'll definitely give it a try the next time it gets released.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 2278 for hop-forward lagers
« on: September 23, 2015, 11:46:53 AM »
Mandarins Bavaria is one of my favorites, but the oil content is about 1%, much less than one like Citra and Mosiac. Use more to get the aroma.
This was my first time using Mandarina in this quantity, so I wasn't quite sure what I'd get out of it. I guess my point was that I'd reserve judgement on whether this yeast pulled out some hop flavor until I brewed with more potent hops.

I did like the hop character I got from this brew, but I think I got as much black tea as citrus. I used about 1oz/gallon of MB and 0.5oz/gallon of Apollo in the whirlpool.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 2278 for hop-forward lagers
« on: September 23, 2015, 08:29:34 AM »
I have a two gallons of a Pilsner left in a keg.  Fully lagered and serving.  What do you think about an aggresive dry hopping?  In particular, the introduction of O2 to a lagered beer.  I have another lagering keg of the wonderful Pils so I am not concerned if it doesn't work.  I have been wanting to try out a hoppy lager for a long time.
I don't see an issue at all with dry-hopping a lager post-lagering. Plus, if it's in a keg you can purge with CO2 to keep O2 exposure to a minimum.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Pseudo Open Fermentation with blowoff?
« on: September 22, 2015, 07:54:46 PM »
Interesting discussion on open fermentation.  So do you all think a blow off tube not immersed in a sanitizer (closed system) would mimic an open fermentation?  Do you think WLP 051 would beca good open fermentation type of yeast?
I don't know if WLP051 is a great choice for open fermentation. It's a fairly clean strain. The strains that are the best candidates are generally more estery strains like English or hefe strains.

Yeast and Fermentation / Wyeast 2278 for hop-forward lagers
« on: September 22, 2015, 07:51:58 PM »
I've been chasing my white whale for a while now - a hoppy lager that has the malt and fermentation character of a lager but the hop character of an APA. I've never quite been able to nail the balance I've been shooting for, but I think I found the missing piece in Wyeast 2278.

I recently brewed a lager using mainly Red X malt with a splash of Pils, with Mandarina Bavaria and Apollo as my hops, and using 2278 for my yeast. The beer finished crisp and dry, with a nice snap to the bitterness, but the malt flavor still came through and it left some richness in the mouthfeel. As a bonus, it had dropped quite clear on its own after 3 weeks in primary.

Hop flavor isn't as much as I had hoped for, but that might just be from my hop selection (which was primarily Mandarina), and quantities. I'm looking forward to trying this again with some more potent hops and a 80:20 Pils/Munich malt bill.

If you're looking for something different than Chico for an APA, this yeast would probably make a nice choice. Using an accelerated lager fermentation schedule you could have something ready in close to the amount of time needed for an ale yeast. It's probably the best option of all the lager yeasts I've tried for an IPL as well.

Equipment and Software / Re: Kenmore Elite Freezer Conversion
« on: September 22, 2015, 07:18:44 PM »
I have the Johnson A419. Super easy to set up and has worked great for me. At first I just used it for my keezer but have now started using my keezer as my lager chamber too. I am very pleased with the product and the price is worth the ease to me. Set it to the temp you want and forget it. Can't recommend it enough.
+1 - I use mine on my chest freezer that is a lager chamber/keezer, and it works perfectly. Set the thermostat on the freezer as low as it will go and the external controller will turn it on/off as needed to maintain temp. Easy as pie.

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