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Messages - erockrph

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1261
Ingredients / Re: Differing AAU ratings for same hops
« on: August 20, 2014, 11:20:02 AM »
This is almost as much fun as hand-loading.

I am sure that means something different than what I think it means.  8)
I'll take "squeezing off a round" for $100, Alex  :o

1262
Equipment and Software / Re: Bottling under pressure from a gallon jug
« on: August 20, 2014, 08:02:16 AM »
Are you using a full size autosiphon or the smaller ones designed for one gallon jugs?

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/mini-auto-siphon-3-8.html

Smaller one is definitely easier to work with.

I don't go directly from jug to bottle though. I drilled a two gallon bucket as a bottling bucket and rack into the bucket first.
Smaller one, with one of the autosiphon clips so I can set it to the proper level without having to hold it in place by hand.

The issue with the bottling bucket is that I am usually doing a few different batches at a time (in the short window of time between when my son goes to bed and when my wife gets home from work). So that's one more thing to rinse/sanitize in between batches. By using CO2 pressure, I'm hoping to just mow through a bunch of these quickly.

Unless you're going back and forth between clean/mixed ferment beers, I wouldn't worry about washing and re-sanitizing bottling equip. between batches. If you carried over trub, or are going from a dark to light beer, just rinse with some clean, chlorine-free water and keep going. A big bottle of water would be sufficient.

Its a rough trade off at such a low volume, but if you bottle from your primary, you'll end up with a lot of trub in the bottles, plus its much more difficult to prime consistently.
These are generally just test batches, so I'm not worried about a little extra trub in the bottle. Coopers carb drops have yet to do me wrong for priming. And if you're going to rinse with water, you might as well just use Star San instead AFAIC.

1263
Ingredients / Re: Briess Malts
« on: August 20, 2014, 05:26:50 AM »

Now that I've been brewing a lot more lagers, I've been contemplating buying a sack of good-quality Pils and just using that and/or MO for all my base malt needs. You may have finally convinced me. An I do brew West-Coast style American ale (I don't get enough fruit in my diet...) :)

I'm looking to brew the La Cumbre 'Project Dank' IPA recipe in the last issue of Zymurgy, and it uses IIRC Canadian Pils as the base malt. In addition to LARGE amounts of hops,   :) .   I'm intrigued by the idea of the pils malt combined with that hopping level. We'll see how it comes out.

EDIT  -  I brew West Coast ales (clearly). Life's too short NOT to brew and drink citrusy, piney beers, aside from any number of other styles.     ;)
If I want citrus and pine, I can get it commercially. But if I want peach/mango/pineapple with a touch of dank citrus, or any other combo like that I have to do it myself if I want it done right (and fresh). As far as the pils malt thing goes, I have a few hoppy lagers under my belt and I think Pils malt works just as well as US 2-row with hops.

1264
Ingredients / Re: Briess Malts
« on: August 19, 2014, 10:06:33 AM »
I use Avangard Pils for every style other than British ale.  It's a dead ringer for Durst Pils at an unbelievable price point.  My favorite British base malt is Thomas Fawcett Pearl.  I do not brew West Coast-style American ale (life is too short to spend it immersed in citrus and pine :) ).
Now that I've been brewing a lot more lagers, I've been contemplating buying a sack of good-quality Pils and just using that and/or MO for all my base malt needs. You may have finally convinced me. An I do brew West-Coast style American ale (I don't get enough fruit in my diet...) :)

1265
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: getting the bacon flavor correct
« on: August 19, 2014, 09:53:17 AM »
I had a brown ale on cask with bacon added to the cask. I have long eschewed the idea of bacon beer but there it was and I figured I should try it at least once. It was pretty good. Not the kind of beer I would drink pint after pint. Very assertive bacon flavor.

This is what I think of Rauchbier. Sounds like an interesting idea at first. Doesn't taste horrible. But after about 3 sips I'm done. If I was at a beer festival and a brewery didn't have anything else more interesting on tap I may try it, but I'd never spend money on it. And I would never waste the time or grain to brew even a 1 gallon batch that I would be dumping about 125 ounces from.

1266
All Grain Brewing / Re: Newbie Malt Question
« on: August 18, 2014, 09:26:24 PM »
All malts are grains, but not all grains are malt. "Malt" refers to malted grains, and these are required for the majority of your mash. The malting process makes the required enzymes available for mashing. The majority of your mash should be made up of "base malts", which are malts that have enough diastatic (i.e., enzymatic) power to convert themselves, along with any adjuncts you use. These are malts such as Pilsner, Pale 2-row and 6-row, Pale Ale malt, and so on.

Even if you do want to jump into all-grain brewing right to start (and you certainly can if you understand all the steps involved), you should really start off with a proven recipe, or better yet, a kit.

1267
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Additions to the seconday
« on: August 18, 2014, 09:16:42 PM »
Blackberry sour sounds good to me, too. Maybe dry hop the English one?

1268
Equipment and Software / Re: Bottling under pressure from a gallon jug
« on: August 18, 2014, 01:03:39 PM »
Oh okay, I have never racked to a bottling bucket, never saw the benefit. What I do is compress the wand spring and hold it on the first bottle with some masking tape. Then start the siphon and undo the tape and continue filling as normal. I also made a bottle holder out of scrap wood with a hole saw and I can fill several without the worry of knocking any over.  I start with a bomber if I am filling any bombers that way the tape doesn't contact anything that will go into a bottle. Play around with that using water, I think you might like it. 

I worry about the pressure needed  to push the beer might be enough to push out the stopper, but maybe I  am wrong on that.

That's a good point about the pressure unseating the stopper. If I go this route I may be better off using a growler filler instead of a bottling wand and turning off the CO2 between bottles. I do like your ideas, though. I'll have to give this a try next time. Thanks!

1269
FWIW, when I'm making my "very much like Westmalle" beer (I just can't take the word "clone"), I use FWH.  I'm pretty certain Westmalle doesn't do that, but it got me the beer I was looking for.  Maybe try playing around with that.

I've started using FWH for most of my Belgians and lagers. Regardless of whether it's authentic or not, it gets me the results I enjoy the best.

1270
Ingredients / Re: Pilsner malt
« on: August 18, 2014, 12:35:26 PM »
I try to use German pils for German, Belgian pils for Belgian, depending on what I have on hand. But having said that, those German and Belgian pils malts are all good to excellent and any would work in a pinch.

+1 - If I end up buying a sack of Pilsner I'd probably buy Best and be fine using it on all my brews. But I generally buy ingredients for just a couple of beers at a time, so it's Best or Weyermann for my German styles and Castle for my Belgian ones.

1271
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Choosing a house yeast
« on: August 18, 2014, 12:30:58 PM »
It depends on what you want out of your house strain. For me, if I were looking to have a house American Ale strain I'd try a bunch of yeasts that aren't 001/1056/US-05 and decide what one works the best in my usual recipes. In particular, I'd try them each in an IPA and a Porter to make sure they cover both hoppy and dark beers.

Not that there's anything wrong with Chico, but if I'm going to pick a house yeast I would like to get a house character that's different than 90% of the other beers out there. I'd probably settle on one of the cleaner English strains like WLP013 or WLP007. I'd want to get some character from my house strain.

1272
Commercial Beer Reviews / Ommegang Wild at Heart
« on: August 17, 2014, 08:58:56 PM »
I've been dipping into my commercial stockpile as of late since I haven't been able to brew much as of late. This is one that is fairly disappointing to me.

Wild at Heart is a 100% Brett primary, but the Brett character is really subdued. To me it's like a Vienna Lager that was poorly fermented. The primary flavor is a grainy malt character that kind of makes me think of Sam Adams. There is some Belgian Tripel-like fermentation character, along with just a hint of Brett fruitiness. The finish is a bit sweet and underattenuated.

I don't know if Ommegang uses a house Brett strain, but the difference between this beer and their Biere de Mars (which had a normal primary with Brett added in the bottle) is astonishing. The Biere de Mars is one of the best Brett aged beers I've had, while the Wild at Heart is "meh" at best.

1273
Took my first hydrometer reading as its almost been 4 weeks since it's gone in the fermenter.  I pulled out the tube w/ my hydrometer in it, and racked beer until it was almost full.  My reading said 1.011 and my OG was 1.048.  Does this sound about right?  I assume I should take another reading in a few days and if the reading is the same, I should be ready to bottle, correct?

Thanks,

Keith

Final gravity sounds right in the range I'd expect for an 1.048 extract beer. If you get the same reading in a couple days, then you're good to go.

1274
Equipment and Software / Re: Bottling under pressure from a gallon jug
« on: August 17, 2014, 10:40:20 AM »
Are you using a full size autosiphon or the smaller ones designed for one gallon jugs?

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/mini-auto-siphon-3-8.html

Smaller one is definitely easier to work with.

I don't go directly from jug to bottle though. I drilled a two gallon bucket as a bottling bucket and rack into the bucket first.
Smaller one, with one of the autosiphon clips so I can set it to the proper level without having to hold it in place by hand.

The issue with the bottling bucket is that I am usually doing a few different batches at a time (in the short window of time between when my son goes to bed and when my wife gets home from work). So that's one more thing to rinse/sanitize in between batches. By using CO2 pressure, I'm hoping to just mow through a bunch of these quickly.

1275
Ingredients / Sugarcane
« on: August 17, 2014, 10:21:43 AM »
I'm trying to come up with some ideas for meads and lime-based ones keep popping into my head. I've seen Mojito mead recipes out there, but I'm not always in a mint mood. So the next logical idea is a Caipirinha mead. And that brings me down the rabbit hole of using sugarcane in the mead.

Now, I've never actually cooked with sugar cane, so I have no clue whether my romantic notion of racking my mead onto cut up bits of cane is a worthwhile endeavor. Anyone have any clue whether I will get any noticeable flavor out of this? Or am I better off using sugarcane juice (if I can find some out my way)? I was planning on doing this in secondary after sulfite/sorbate, so I'm not worried about the yeast fermenting all the sugar out.

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