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Messages - erockrph

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The Pub / Re: diesel trucks new v old(er)
« on: October 09, 2014, 08:24:29 PM »
I also would only be interested in a 4WD.  Trucks are so light in the back end that I'll never buy a 2WD truck.  It is surprising how often I need it.  (I have a Toyota Tacoma 4WD now and love it but it is not in the same class)

+1 - My Tundra just celebrated its 10th birthday and still going strong. 4WD is non-negotiable on a truck AFAIC. If you don't need 4WD on a truck, then you don't need a truck.

Ingredients / Re: Does Briess mix crystal malts?
« on: October 09, 2014, 08:14:26 PM »
I think this is a case of someone taking one truth and blowing it way out of proportion. For any malt, each individual kernel is going to vary in color. Malting isn't an exact science. So while a sack of C-40 is listed at a color of 40L, the kernels inside the bag will be within a certain range, but the average color is going to be 40L.

Each individual maltster is going to have different tolerances as far as how far the color range may be for a particular product. So a sack of C-40 could hypothetically have individual kernels that measure 20L or 60L, but the bulk of the grain will be much closer to 40L. It's not like they're mixing 20L and 60L Crystal malt and calling it C-40.

I've heard interviews with some smaller maltsters that claim they are producing malt with a tighter range of color than some of the larger maltsters, and that this leads to a better consistency of flavor. Maybe that's where Breiss comes to play in this story.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast starter time question
« on: October 09, 2014, 08:04:04 PM »
S Cerv - that makes a lot of sense to me for ale starters where the starter volume is relatively small compared to the batch size and you're pitching the whole thing. But what about lagers? My lager starters are maybe 25% (or more) of my total batch size. I don't want to pitch the whole thing; I just want to pitch a thick slurry.

Is there any alternative to letting it ferment out and cold crashing it? I'd love to hit the best of both worlds and be able to pitch a thick slurry of healthy yeast. Plus, I'd love to be able to make a starter on short notice the night before.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Getting Back
« on: October 09, 2014, 07:53:09 PM »
Thanks for the reply...I really don't want to get back into the 5 gallon kettle size for now. I have two enormous 10 gallon kettles and I'm wondering if I could get away with a 3 gallon kettle. I would consider 4 as well.

One concern I have is that the brew bag I bought certainly won't fit around any kettle (14x18). Is there a jury rig technique that I can use to keep this bag off of the bottom of the kettle? Or maybe that's not an issue since it won't be that hot while mashing in.
You would only need to keep the bag off the bottom if you plan on adding heat during the mash. You could use a false bottom, a metal steamer basket, a colander, or even a trivet of the appropriate size and shape. Since you're doing small batches, it should be easy enough to just lift the bag by hand while heating as well.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Alternative to lactic acid
« on: October 09, 2014, 07:49:02 PM »
Most homebrew supply shops sell 10% phosphoric acid.  You need to use more of it than lactic, but it's incredibly safe.  Phosphoric acid is the main ingredient (along with sugar and water) in cola.

I've used both 10% phosphoric and 88% lactic with similar good results. You can pretty much use them interchangeably in soft water.

Personally, I've switched to lactic in all my beers that need acidification now that I've started to dabble in sours and Brett-aged beers. Brett can make ethyl lactate (which is responsible for the nice tropical fruit/pineapple flavors brett makes) from lactic acid, so it never hurts to have some lactate ions floating around in case I decide to add Brett to a beer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: BIAB grain bill question
« on: October 09, 2014, 07:41:38 PM »
My pre-boil efficiency is a rock-solid 80-82% using cooler BIAB/no-sparge, as long as my mash thickness is in the 2-3 qt/lb range. With the exception of really small beers (~1.040 or less), I use my full volume of brewing liquor in the mash. I've never seen a need for sparging with my setup.

I don't adjust my water volume to account for grain absorption. There isn't a whole lot with a really thin mash, and even less so if you squeeze your grain bag. I mash with 17 qt for most beers and 18 qt for beers with a lot of boil hops or if I'm doing a 90-minute boil. That gets me a ballpark of 3 gallons in the fermenter, and about a case of 12-oz bottles or 2.5 gallons in the keg.

As far as converting recipes goes, it will take a bit of trial and error at first. Take meticulous notes for your first several batches. Once you dial in your efficiency, then converting recipes is a breeze. I use Brewer's Friend, but any software should work just fine. I just input a 5-gallon recipe at whatever they give for an efficiency, then convert to my efficiency and batch size.

The Pub / Re: diesel trucks new v old(er)
« on: October 08, 2014, 05:46:28 PM »
I must admit, I'm not familiar with diesels in particular, but I feel that somewhere in the early 80's the quality and craftsmanship of American vehicles took a nosedive. Like you alluded to in your post, the difference between 70's and 90's US trucks is much more significant the difference between 80's/90's and 00's, IMO. Given that, I'd go with a more modern truck that has seen fewer winters. (Caveat - being a New Englander, the number of winters a vehicle has been through may be a lot more significant to me than it is out your way)

Equipment and Software / Re: Online fermentation using Tcontrol
« on: October 08, 2014, 11:51:28 AM »
That looks pretty cool. How are your measuring CO2?

Ingredients / Re: what hops to use with apricots
« on: October 08, 2014, 11:40:42 AM »
How about a complimentary yeast?  For apricots, I am thinking S-23 lager.
I think the OP was planning on brewing a wit, so that yeast is out.

In general, when I think fruit I think 3711. An apricot saison, dry-hopped with Meridian, sounds amazing actually.

Edit: If you're going that route then you might as well bottle-condition with some Orval dregs while you're at it...

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Getting Back
« on: October 08, 2014, 07:48:35 AM »
So perhaps I'm looking at doing all-grain or BIAB one gallon batches (based on the ease of the recipe I linked to above). Aside from 2-3 stockpots for all grain,can anyone recommend a strainer that would be appropriate for this size of brew?
TL:DR, BIAB or All grain for one gallon lazy batches?

I used this bag quite a bit until I got a true purpose-made BIAB bag, and it works just fine. I'd either BIAB in the kettle in a preheated oven, or BIAB using a small cooler. The smaller the batch size, the less thermal mass and the easier it is to lose heat. I'm not a huge fan of heating the mash directly (I'm concerned about hot spots), but I do think you lose enough heat in smaller batches that you need a way to insulate the mash for BIAB.

All Grain Brewing / Re: unfermentable porter
« on: October 08, 2014, 05:42:49 AM »
So I brewed a harvest porter recently with baked sweet potatoes, acorn squash, and sweet nugget squash in the mash. I originally undershot my mash temp and added the baked ingredients almost directly out of the oven. I noticed the mash temp rise to my intended temp in a few minutes however I foolishly didn't pay attention as the mash progressed.

All fermentation activity seemed normal but it has stopped in the mid 1.020s. The OG was around 1.054 from what I remember. My fear is that the mash temp rose above 158 which has severely limited attenuation. I roused the yeast and warmed the beer without any effect. I decided to pitch a pack of US05 yesterday without any luck either.

Any other thoughts other than too high of a mash temp? I haven't decided if I will keg the batch or dump it yet. I am contemplating re-brewing it however that will really mess with my schedule...
Depending on how much of the veggies you used, maybe there wasn't enough diastatic power in the mash to convert everything fully?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Wee Heavy extended boil time?
« on: October 07, 2014, 03:47:37 PM »

I found that there is a distinct look that occurs at the right carmelization stage - there are striated bubble seams across the surface.  I wish I had taken a picture.  I boiled a gallon down to somewhere above a pint, but definitely less than a quart.

Yeah, boiling down to 25% doesn't seem to do it. Flavor is good, color not as dark as I would like.

+2.  I don't get the striated thing necessarily, but the bubbles get really big and take a longtime to pop. Pretty cool looking.
And they start to stack up on each other as well

Beer Recipes / Re: American Mild v3
« on: October 07, 2014, 01:19:06 PM »
Curious. Do you contribute the lack of body to the OG or lack of dextrins?

You don't mention the yeast at all... while this is an American Mild, it seems like Mild would really need even a light estery English yeast that maybe attenuates around 60-65%?

Excuse the questions marks... I am just speculating.

I think it's a combination of both that are making it seem thin.  I used 1450 becasue of the mouthfeel it adds to the beer.  But I don't really want the esters from an English yeast.  Both batches so far started at 1.040 and finished at 1.010.  Interesting in that one was mashed at 153 and the other at 165.  Kinda makes ya wonder what people think is happening when they change mash temp by a degree or 2.

Speculation is fine...that's where I'm at now!
One other idea: maybe try mashing much shorter - like 15-20 minutes. This way you will hopefully get conversion but might leave some of the longer dextrins before they get broken down.

Beer Recipes / Re: American Mild v3
« on: October 07, 2014, 01:11:41 PM »
Denny, have you tried something like oats or rye to increase the viscosity a bit? I've been drinking a few American session beers lately, and I think Founders All Day IPA is the only one that has it right. I think they've been kind of tight-lipped about their recipe, but I've heard them mention in interviews that they have a rather complicated grain bill.

Beer Recipes / Re: American Mild v3
« on: October 07, 2014, 01:02:53 PM »
My first one is carbing right now. It seems tart and roasty which is not a great combo for me. Unless it totally changes it might get kicked to the curb.
Try dosing with baking soda before you dump it. This description sounds a lot like my early porters before I started targeting a higher pH. Bumping up the pH a bit may help here.

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