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Messages - erockrph

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New to brewing and I need help!
« on: May 23, 2014, 09:07:58 PM »
We should push for the AHA to schedule one of the upcoming conferences for Boston, Providence or maybe Portland (Maine - the other Portland with a great beer scene) so you all have an excuse to head out way to drink visit.

Ingredients / Re: Bravo, El Dorado
« on: May 23, 2014, 10:28:05 AM »
I haven't played with Bravo yet, but El Dorado doesn't do it for me. It's powerful, oily and monotone - a lot like Citra. But instead of the cool mango thing it's straight up sweet fruit - like honeydew or maybe papaya, and maybe a touch of Pez candy. It's not bad, but it's just not my tastes.

Just make sure whatever you brew with it gets bone dry. El Dorado leaves a sweet impression as it is, so any residual sweetness in the beer will be amplified by it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New to brewing and I need help!
« on: May 23, 2014, 10:11:40 AM »
1) - it isn't completely up to date, but at least 95% of the info in there is exceptionally useful.

2) Ask questions on this forum. We've all been beginners ourselves. There are no stupid questions here, and everyone is quite helpful. You've come to the right place.

3) Control your fermentation temperatures. Low-to-mid 60's F is right for most ales. If you have a basement that stays relatively cool, then you're in good shape for brewing in New England.

4) Pay close attention to sanitation

5) Use fresh, quality ingredients

6) Have fun. Don't stress. Whatever happens, you will make beer.

Nothing brewing this weekend. Working Sat/Sun. Hoping to get some time in the garden with my son on Monday.

why is your son in the garden? is he  not allowed in the house?

It's just until he's nighttime potty-trained. Just a little incentive. Coyotes haven't bothered him much (yet).

I used to try to match an exact profile, but now I just focus on the ions that are most relevant to the style I'm brewing. I largely use gypsum and CaCl2, but I like a small amount of sodium in my malty beers, so I will usually add some kosher salt to those.

I've been meaning to experiment with Epsom Salts a bit more, especially in hoppier beers.

Nothing brewing this weekend. Working Sat/Sun. Hoping to get some time in the garden with my son on Monday.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash tun, all grain?s
« on: May 22, 2014, 09:20:21 PM »

Home Depot should start bundling these with hose braid...

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mineral adjustment after fermentation
« on: May 22, 2014, 03:54:50 PM »
Have only done this with CaCl2 and gypsum. Haven't tried with Epsom.

Wise choice, otherwise you might end up with some "explosive" results

Ingredients / Re: Need help for a authentic baltic porter.
« on: May 22, 2014, 03:48:59 PM »
Best Malz is high-quality German Malt. I think you're good.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: starter with airlock
« on: May 22, 2014, 03:30:30 PM »
+1 to what everyone else is saying. Bacteria can't crawl up under a piece of foil to contaminate your starter. Plus it allows more O2 in and more CO2 out. Kai did an experiment on this not too long ago:

I will often just loosely cover my bucket fermenters with an undrilled lid during the early stages of fermentation. You only really need an airlock to keep O2 out during aging beyond the active fermentation phase.

US-05 and S-04 will do quite well for almost any American (US-05) or English (S-04) beer style. But there aren't many good dry substitutes for Belgian styles. If you want to brew a Belgian-style IPA, then use one of the Belgian yeasts. Otherwise, stick with the 05 for an American IPA, or 04 for an English IPA.

One other tip: If your local homebrew shop doesn't store their dry yeasts in the fridge, then grab a few packs with the longest expiration dates and keep them in the fridge at home.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Mead - Fruit in Secondary
« on: May 22, 2014, 07:19:41 AM »
If it's fully done fermenting, there's no need for cap management. I don't think there's an issue if it's "mostly done" either, but I don't like to start racking meads until they're completely finished fermenting in primary.

Other Fermentables / Re: Orange Drank
« on: May 21, 2014, 09:03:52 PM »
So I bottled this today. FG was measured at 1.019 by hydrometer. I didn't take an OG, but a little back-of-the-envelope math gives me a rough estimate of 1.067 OG, and 6.4% ABV. I used 12 oz of extra light DME and enough Tang mix to make 1 gallon. Per the nutrition info, Tang contains 22g of sugar per 8oz serving, which is roughly 12.4oz per 1 gallon. Plugging this into Brewer's Friend, I get 1.067.

More importantly, the DME portion of this is 1.032. If you assume that the 71B ate all the simple sugars in the Tang completely, then that means it's only in the 40% attenuation range for the DME portion of this brew. That makes a good starting point estimate if you want to try to dial the sweetness up or down.

As far as tasting notes go, well it's not horrible. The sulfur note did age out. Unfortunately that really opens up the rather surprising banana ester. It turns out if you ever want to make a really underattenuated hefeweizen, Lalvin 71B might just work. It's also a bit dry in its current state. I'll withhold final judgement until I drink a fully carbonated sample, but I'm thinking this might be best off in the 1.025-1.030 range for a FG. It just doesn't have the "poundability" that something like Mike's hard lemonade has.

I'll keep you posted a few weeks down the road when the bottles are carbed up.

Ingredients / Re: Need help for a authentic baltic porter.
« on: May 21, 2014, 06:46:44 PM »
Dark malts can be 100L different in color from on maltster to the next.

For a Baltic Porter I would go with German malt for base and some specialty, and English dark roast malts. I don't think you will get the same flavors from domestic base malts.

You might also consider some molasses in small quantities, or make your own invert III (recipes for boiling sugar to the right color are on the net).

Agreed on the malt selection - German Pils/Vienna/Munich and CaraMunich would be the most appropriate choices, along with English Chocolate and/or Black Malt. English pale and crystal malt have a distinct flavor that would really push the beer more towards a London Porter in style.

I like the molasses idea a lot. I might have to take a stab at a BP this fall. Thinking a relatively clean English Ale yeast, WLP013 maybe.

+1 to avoiding sulfured molasses. And I agree that Blackstrap gets harsh pretty easily.

+2 - I like the Blackstrap cut with Lyle's idea..

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Am I being too anal?
« on: May 21, 2014, 06:30:09 PM »
Not original. My pappy used to start his mead with a blowoff, and once the bubbles quit he'd put this huge necked balloon over the top of the carboy. Balloon would slowly fill and when it stopped and started sagging it was done.

That was about 1974...

It's called a condom, Jim...

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