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Messages - erockrph

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1261
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: What's your favorite hidden gem
« on: August 06, 2015, 08:32:53 AM »
Along the same lines of being overlooked because they are made by a Macro, the beers I've tried from Leinenkugel's Big Eddy series have all been great. The Wee Heavy in particular is phenomenal.

1262
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Canned wort for the non-canner
« on: August 06, 2015, 06:55:03 AM »
In which case, you might as well just add DME straight to the water at room temp and save the time and money. That's what I typically do and it works fine for me.
Is that common?

I don't think so, but the way I look at it, my tap water is sanitary enough for consumption and DME is so hygroscopic that nothing is going to be able to grow in it. For brewing, we're just creating sanitary conditions, not sterile ones. If you are using otherwise solid sanitation practices (such as proper cleaning and sanitization of anything that touches the wort), then you aren't likely to introduce a significant amount of contamination by skipping the boil in a starter.

When I'm dealing with old, unhealthy yeast or low cell counts (such as growing up bottle dregs), then I will boil my starter wort. In those cases a small amount of contamination could quickly outcompete the culture you are trying to grow.

1263
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Commercial Canned Starter Wort
« on: August 05, 2015, 07:45:01 PM »
In that case, why not just dump DME into tap water and shake to dissolve and aerate?
I do that for almost all of my starters and it works just fine. I only boil starters if I have an old yeast pack or waking up bottle dregs - cases where I'm starting with a low cell count that can't compete as well with potential contaminants.

I like the idea behind this product, but don't see the benefit if it needs dilution.

I've also heard that Malta Goya works in a pinch. That's probably a lot more cost effective.

1264
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Anti oxidation ideas
« on: August 05, 2015, 07:40:54 PM »
Avoid large quantities of crystal malts. The other day I had to dump an IPA from The Kernel, one of the best new breweries in the UK. Hadn't checked the date, had been brewed six months before. Undrinkable, I think because of the crystal malts.

But that has nothing to do with oxidation.  In fact, there's one school of thought that says crystal can help prevent oxidation.   I have np problem with beers with larger amounts of crystal if the rest of the recipe balances it.

This is something I have to disagree with. Everything I have read regarding recent information says that crystal malts, especially darker crystal malts, reduce shelf life due to oxidation issues. And usually hoppy beers paired with dark crystal malts are just plain bad. I would say "every" but I will leave out a few possible exceptions for beers I haven't tried.

well, I could be wrong..again.
Could it just be that age enhances the natural sweetness and caramel/raisin/fig notes that naturally come from darker crystal malts? I certainly get that in older beers, but I've always attributed it to IBU dropoff over time which would mean there is less bitterness to balance the sweet crystal flavors. I've never really considered that it might be a separate oxidation process.

1265
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Canned wort for the non-canner
« on: August 05, 2015, 07:36:07 PM »
I like the concept, it's just the need for dilution that makes it miss the mark because either:

A) You feel the need to boil the topoff water for sanitization purposes. In that case, there's not much difference from taking the time to make a traditional starter.

or

B) You don't feel the need to boil the topoff water. In which case, you might as well just add DME straight to the water at room temp and save the time and money. That's what I typically do and it works fine for me.

1266
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: IPL guidelines
« on: August 05, 2015, 07:31:49 PM »
I have a hunch that Wy2112 would be a very good strain choice for making an IPL.
Thoughts?
I think it would make a good, hoppy steam beer. I know that 2112 is technically a lager yeast, but the beers it makes don't taste much like what I expect a lager to taste like. At least to my palate it doesn't.

1267
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: IPL guidelines
« on: August 04, 2015, 09:06:24 PM »
I'm of the opinion that an IPL needs to taste like a lager or else it's just a regular IPA, regardless of the yeast. So Mexican Lager is out for me since it doesn't add any real lager character. Same thing with US 2-row. I've been happy with Pils malt and 34/70 as a base in my hoppy lagers. WY2633 has worked pretty well, too.

Currently, I have a hoppy lager fermenting with 2278. I haven't brewed with that strain before, but I've heard it produces a very crisp beer, so I have high hopes.

As far as specs are concerned, I'd target the same OG as an IPA. For IBUs, I like the lower end (maybe 50-60) so the bitterness doesn't completely overwhelm the malt and yeast character. For hops, I like at least a little noble character. Fruity noble variants like Sterling, Motueka, and Mandarina Bavaria are good choices to build around. From there you can splash in the usual pine/tropical/citrus as you like.

1268
I would never hop stand at 120F, that's just too low. You want to maximize flavor extraction, but minimize bitterness. My preferred temp is 170F. You get very little bitterness at all at that temp, but extract loads of flavor. I also usually hold it for 30 minutes or so at that temp. You will extract a good amount of flavor in 10 minutes, but the longer you go, the better.

Personally, I'd move all your late hops to the steep. The more you boil hops, the more volatiles you lose.

1269
Beer Recipes / Re: Commission brew/Blue Moon style beer
« on: August 04, 2015, 11:24:51 AM »
Blue Moon has never tasted 'Belgian' to me so you may want to consider a different yeast unless you think that she would enjoy more of a traditional wit flavor.
Agreed. It's been a long time since I've had Blue Moon, but I'd be tempted to go with WY1010 instead of a traditional Belgian Wit strain. I'd also lean towards domestic 2-row instead of Pils if you want a closer Blue Moon clone.

1270
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Anti oxidation ideas
« on: August 03, 2015, 11:50:28 AM »
IPA's don't last, that's about as assured as death and taxes. Hops drop off rather precipitously, especially dry hops.

If you really want fresh IPA's, I'd urge you to reconsider brewing smaller batches. If you're not able to drink them before the quality drops off, then what's the gain in brewing extra beer that you're going to dump (or at the very least, not enjoy as much)?

My only other recommendation is to move a significant portion of your dry hops to a hop stand/whirlpool addition instead. These types of additions tend to last longer before dropping out. They still don't give the same punch of aroma that you get from dry hops, but they're passably close in many instances. It won't buy you a bunch of time, but my beers with heavy whirlpool additions still retain quite a bit of hoppy goodness for 6+ months.

1271
"I've only used fresh blackberries, but they can certainly be messy and can be expensive. I've heard good things about puree. 1lb/gallon is the absolute minimum, but I'd push it to 1.5-2lb/gal if you want any significant fruit flavor." erockrph

Are those weights for both purees and fresh fruit?

I've only used fresh fruit. I will defer to someone with experience with purees to comment on that.
One more follow up here. I went with fresh red and black raspberries, no fresh blackberries to be found at the local farmers' market. Should I let this run at higher saison temps to finish or more at ambient temps (70-75) currently in my basement
Which yeast are you using? I've only fruited saisons using 3711, and in those cases I add them in secondary and let them sit at ambient for 10-14 days before packaging. I prefer to add fruit at ambient to try to keep as much of the volatiles from blowing off. I don't know if 3724 has different requirements for finishing out fruit added in secondary.

1272
Eric, Red X malt shouldn't need an enzyme boost. It's pretty savvy malt on its own. Either way, it can't hurt to have the pils in there. Looks like a good recipe, I brewed something similar last year that was pretty decent.

Good to know. I did want to push the hops a bit in this one, so I took steps to make sure this dries out to the level I want (long, low mash rest; Amber Bitter water profile; extra pils malt for enzymes; etc). If the malt character is as nice as it smelled in the wort, then I may try some maltier applications (Dunkel/Bock) this fall. I will feel more comfortable letting it ride at 100% of the grist in those instances.

I also called an audible on the hops. I realized that 90% of the beers I've brewed over the past year or two have featured either Sterling or Motueka as one of the main hops. I ended up bittering with Mandarina Bavaria, and using 2.5oz Mandarina and 1.5oz of Apollo in the hop stand. So I'm basically tring to make an American Pale Ale disguised as a German red lager :)

1273
"I've only used fresh blackberries, but they can certainly be messy and can be expensive. I've heard good things about puree. 1lb/gallon is the absolute minimum, but I'd push it to 1.5-2lb/gal if you want any significant fruit flavor." erockrph

Are those weights for both purees and fresh fruit?

I've only used fresh fruit. I will defer to someone with experience with purees to comment on that.

1274
The Pub / Re: Mr. Robot
« on: July 31, 2015, 11:08:53 PM »
My favorite is how dark crime labs are on shows like CSI. Second favorite is how many people Jack Bauer can kill in 24 hours. Realistic makes for bad TV.
What kills me is that no one ever turns on the lights in any crime drama ever. My wife and I are constantly screaming at Criminal Minds or CSI: "Turn the damn lights on! I can see the switch right there!"
Precisely why porn is so successful.  If they hired a consultant from their fan base to keep it real, the whole industry would collapse because every show would be the same.
Well, every "show" would last about a minute and a half followed by 7 hours of snoring...

1275
Going to try and brew Saturday
       4.5# pilsner malt
       4.5# wheat malt
       1.2oz chocolate wheat for some color
       1.0 oz Styrian Golding 60 minutes
       1.0 oz Styrian Golding 5 minutes
       Saisonstein's Monster yeast
       49 oz apricot puree after primary fermentation

Been on a saison kick lately and adding some fruit (albeit puree and not fresh) is something I've been wanting to try.
Saison is one of my favorite styles for adding fruit. The tart, dry finish works really well with a lot of fruit. My freezer is loaded with currants and gooseberries right now. I think a good amount of it will be going into a saison.
erockrph, I have a saison with pilsner, munich, and wheat 75/20/5 almost done fermenting with Belle Saison(1.049 down to 1.05) and another lined up for this weekend with 90/10 pils to munich II with a blend of 3724 and 3711). I have been thinking about blackberries in secondary. Either puree from the LHBS or trying to source local fresh berries. Any thoughts on which might be a better base for the blackberries? This will be my first fruited beer. The LHBS has one 3# can of Beer/wine puree and a larger 6# can labeled as wine use. I will be in local farmer's market tomorrow and should be able to find fresh, just not sure on price point. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated

I've only used fresh blackberries, but they can certainly be messy and can be expensive. I've heard good things about puree. 1lb/gallon is the absolute minimum, but I'd push it to 1.5-2lb/gal if you want any significant fruit flavor.

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