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Messages - erockrph

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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.

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...

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Most likely culprit of a slight banana ester?
« on: September 14, 2015, 08:35:13 AM »
Do you have any experience with this strain? Is this something new that you haven't picked up before? I'm grasping at straws here, but I get a pear ester from it that could possibly be taken for banana.

Or maybe it could be a combination of diacetyl with other esters combining to give that impression? Warm ferm temps plus an oversized pitch seem like a recipe for a D-bomb with 002 unless you rouse the yeast frequently and bump the temperature at the end of fermentation.

I doubt you underoxygenated your wort for that beer, if anything you could have overshot depending on how much headspace your fermenter has.

Thanks, Marshall! You just got me 30-60 minutes of my life back on every AG brewday.  ;D

Eric has a 15 min all extract recipe he uses for hop experiments. You can look back and see many of his reviews from the past few years.
Here is my post where I go into the most detail about my procedure:

I also went into a bit more specifics on my blog as well:

I've cranked out as many as 8 batches in the time span of a typical all-grain brewday. You can steep some crystal instead of the Munich LME if you'd like, but I find things work more quickly with the LME.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Step mashing with declining temps
« on: September 14, 2015, 07:37:32 AM »
At the temps you're talking about- you're going to get a thin bodied beer like a Pilsner or pale ale.

There is a huge difference between 150, 152, 154, 156, and 158 mash temps.  The most noticeable will be the body of the beer.  The second will be efficiency.  I've been to way too many breweries where their stouts have the same body as their pale ales.  The reason is they "set it and forget it" and the mash temp drops over the course of the mash.

You'll never really get a great porter or stout unless you can hold the mash temp +\- 1 degree. 

If this is a problem- you're better off starting on the high side and dropping into your target temp than you are trying to raise the temp to target. 

Higher temps conversion rates are quicker but less efficient.   If you're temps drops below the body style you're shooting for you'll also get higher alcohol but a drier beer.

For medium bodied or rich bodied beers raising the temp to mash out is critical to "lock in" the conversion versus continuing conversion during mash out as the temp drops- reducing body, increasing ABV, reducing residual sweetness.
This doesn't match my experience very well at all. There is a huge difference between 147F and 162F mash temps, but I haven't seen a significant difference in my end results with mash temps ranging between 150F and 155F or so. Lagunitas mashes their IPA at 160F, but it doesn't have a body like a stout. Malt today is so hot with enzymatic content that mash temperature just doesn't have a huge effect unless you're at relative extremes in the range.

I completely disagree that you need to be able to hold your mash temp to within a degree to produce a good porter or stout. Most homebrewers don't have that capability, but still produce excellent full-bodied beers. Like any beer, you may have to adapt a recipe to fit your system in order to really dial it in. But the ability to do so is well within the reach of a knowledgeable homebrewer.

Beer Recipes / Re: Cider
« on: September 13, 2015, 09:06:59 PM »
There are many ways to skin that cat. I like T-58 and S-04 for ale yeasts if I'm bottle conditioning. They'll go dry, but not bone dry. I get a lot of sulfur with no nutrients, the fermentation takes a bit longer, and the beer finishes a bit sweeter.

My current SOP is to use 71B wine yeast, along with nutrient, pectic enzyme and apple juice concentrate to boost the OG to the 1.060-1.070 range. It finishes quick, then I sulfite/sorbate and backsweeten with fresh juice. This dilutes it back down to 6% or so, adds some apple flavor back, and sweetens it to my liking. Then I keg and carbonate.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
« on: September 13, 2015, 08:54:00 PM »
Nobody has mentioned tannin levels in a discussion about fruit?
I think they certainly help add some balance, especially in a sour. But have you noticed a correlation between tannins and flavor in beer?

Other Fermentables / Re: Metabisulfite & Sorbate
« on: September 13, 2015, 11:45:21 AM »
I am planning on splitting the batch into two smaller batches.  One will get raspberries and the other will get vanilla and oranges.  So if I'm hearing everyone's feedback right, I'll  should use both since there are natural residual sugars in the fruits. Otherwise I run the risk of fermentation starting again. But I shouldn't add them for a while since the yeast may lower my pts still.
You are correct, although you could just let the yeast go through a secondary fermentation once you add the fruit and not have to worry about additives. It depends on how much of a "fresh fruit" flavor you want in the end. I typically add fruit in primary, but I will backsweeten with juice or concentrate in my lower gravity meads on occasion. In those cases I do sulfite/sorbate.

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