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Messages - erockrph

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I want to brew bigger batches
« on: August 24, 2014, 06:18:46 AM »
The beer is just amazing. I run out too fast..

You must have a lot of thirsty friends.  I went the other way. I brew 3.5-gallon batches that yield 3 gallons of kegged beer.  It takes me four to six weeks to drink that much beer.  I used to brew 5.5-gallon batches that yielded 5 gallons of kegged beer.  Beer would queue up to the point where I would have to dump batches in order to be able to brew.
Same here. I still end up dumping some 3 gallon batches, as a matter of fact. If I had the time for it I'd probably drop down to 2 gallon batches so I could brew more often. Three gallons is the sweet spot for me with my more proven house recipes, but 2 makes more sense for one-off recipes.

Maybe I just need more kegs...

The Pub / Re: Natural Born Losers
« on: August 23, 2014, 07:10:52 PM »

Yeah, well this guy makes $10 an hour, no insurance and no house and crashes on peoples sofas or whatever gal he is hooking up with at the time. He does have an iPhone though and lots of debt I'm sure to go along. But I'm not sure how you get to be 37 years up in life and still live like you just flunked out of high school.

Is he by chance a drummer in a band?
He's not that talented.

So then he IS a drummer?  ;)
All the drummers I've known have been exceptionally talented... at getting fired, getting speeding tickets, locking their keys in the car, etc

Other Fermentables / Re: Fast mead fermentation
« on: August 23, 2014, 07:06:31 PM »
I made a melomel 8 days ago with an OG 1.135 and I checked the gravity today and it is 1.003. Wow, I didn't think this would be possible in such a short time. I used SNA and kept fermentation temps around 68. I used Lalvin 71-B (Narbone) yeast and it says on the fact sheet that the alcohol tolerance is 14%. I think this one will definitely need some back sweetening.
I've never bothered with checking my gravity that soon, but the numbers sound dead on with my experience with 71B. 1.130's OG end up finishing in the single-digits for me.

Ingredients / Re: Substitute for rice hulls
« on: August 23, 2014, 07:02:05 PM »
I started using a voile bag, for brew in a bag, in my mashtun. No more stuck runoffs. You can pull the bag if it starts to get stuck or slow, no need to vorlauf most of the time, and you can pull the bag after you're done sparging, put it in a bucket to clean later, and just spray out the mashtun. It's quite easy.

Very interesting idea indeed!
Works great. I do what is essentially BIAB, but in a beverage cooler to help hold mash temps better. Cleanup is a breeze, too.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Allagash Confluence
« on: August 22, 2014, 07:59:59 PM »
I am cracking into my bottle from June 2012. Confluence is Allagash's dry-hopped/Brett-aged beer.

The nose has plenty of fruit complexity. I get Bretty pineapple along with pear and apple. There is some spiciness as well, leading to a bit of a mulled cider impression. I'm not getting much funk, maybe a hint of horsiness way in the back, but it's pretty much fruit all the way in the aroma.

On the palate the fruit is less assertive. I get some rustic, grainy malt throughout. There are overtones of fruit, earth and a little barnyard in the middle. The finish has a bit of a lingering resin and grass hop bitterness. There is some nice complexity here, and everything seems pretty well-balanced. Mouthfeel is on the thin side, but the carbonation helps round that out a bit. This is a really well-done Brett beer.

Given that this is a 2-year old beer, I was surprised that the hops held up so well (dry hops in particular). I was also expecting a bit more Brett character. No complaints, though, as the balance seemed just right. I have a bottle of the 2013 hanging around. I'm not quite sure to drink it sooner to see how the hops are when it's young, or sit on it longer to see if the brett develops more over time. These are life's tough decisions :)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Trying the new Wyeast seasonal sour blends?
« on: August 22, 2014, 06:51:55 PM »
The brett will also produce acetic acid with the oxygen. But hopefully in small amounts. I think if kept in check barrel aged brett beers with a subtle acetic character can be refreshing.
I guess my concern is how you keep the acetic subtle without making vinegar or nail polish remover.

I wonder if they could brew and dump before pitching yeast. Would certainly be wasteful.

Maybe an LHBS can team up with a local brewery.
Or brew and let someone take the wort home to pitch. Sort of like the wort giveaways that breweries will sometimes do for homebrewers.

The Pub / Re: Natural Born Losers
« on: August 22, 2014, 11:08:17 AM »

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Trying the new Wyeast seasonal sour blends?
« on: August 22, 2014, 10:57:12 AM »
Anybody using/loving the new Wyeast seasonal sours, particularly the 3203 De Bom or the 3209 Oud Bruin?

Interestingly, they're advertising their sour-making speed, advising no initial aeration, followed later in the fermentation by oxygen addition.
The "periodic dosing with O2 during fermentation to stimulate ethyl acetate production" thing says to me that you're intentionally trying to get some Acetobacter activity. While that's certainly one way to get things to sour quickly, I can't help but be a little leery of that recommendation. I'll withhold judgement for now, but that just seems like a recipe for vinegar to me.

I don't understand why no LHBS demo brews. I understand not having samples, but demo brews? What about shops that offer classes?

I was wondering the same thing. As long as you don't pitch the yeast, it's really no different than making soup...

The Pub / Re: Natural Born Losers
« on: August 22, 2014, 08:13:08 AM »

The problem with many people is lack of discipline and no long term thinking skills.

+1. I've lost count of how many people I've known over the years who made roughly the $$ I made, lived beyond their means on credit cards and big purchases, and ended up losing their butts (and homes, in some cases).  It's crazy. A little self discipline never hurt anybody that I'm aware of.

+2 - People see my house and make snide comments about how nice it must be to be loaded, even though we're making the same kind of money. Meanwhile, they're driving a new BMW every 2 years, paying craploads of credit card debt, living in an overpriced apartment, etc. Here I am driving an 11-year old pickup, and have the house I do because I'm not stupid with my money and was able to pounce when the real estate bubble popped.

Beer Recipes / Re: American Mild
« on: August 22, 2014, 08:00:59 AM »
I got amazing efficiency...89% brewhouse for a no sparge!  Ended up at 1.040 OG.
that is amazing for no sparge. I generally aim for the mid to low 60's no sparge

Yeah, but I think something's wrong.  I just pulled that from Promash.  When I calculate it manually, I get about 76%.  I think that"s correct and I must have something set wrong in Promash.  Still. 76% is pretty respectable.
Did you mash with the full volume of liquor for the batch, or did you target a mash thickness and top off in the kettle? Somewhere near 4qt/lb (which is session beer territory for me) I start to see a drop in efficiency.

Beer Recipes / Re: IPA
« on: August 22, 2014, 07:00:15 AM »
Dirt Wolf is one of the best DIPAs I've had in awhile - love it.  I think you're on the right track. Part of what makes it so good is the high attenuation, ie., drinkability. Many DIPAs have a cloying sweetness I don't care for, as well as not necessarily a much more aggressive hop schedule than AIPA. Therefore I would mash @ 149 or 150F for 75 minutes, to get a drinkable FG.  I would also limit or drop the carapils, to help attenuate thoroughly - that amount of base malt and caramel malt will leave plenty of malt character. I would limit the caramel/crystal to no more than 5 or 6% C40, as it is certainly not an overly 'caramelly' beer.
You obviously know what hops are used in the beer, since those 4 varieties are the actual ones used. The one change I would make is to move the 5 minute Chinook and Mosaic additions, in addition to an extra oz each Citra and Simcoe, and do a 45 minute hopstand @ 170F  -  ie., cool your wort to 170F then add the hops and steep, lid on but stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes (hopstands give you EXCELLENT hop flavor, as well as some aroma). Then cool and pitch. I think these changes will have you pretty close.  My $0.02.  Good luck !

EDIT - Forgot - a lb of sugar in place of a lb of base malt is a great idea for DIPA. Commonly done. It will help dry out the finish.

+1 to all of this

Equipment and Software / Re: 5-gallon bucket filter
« on: August 22, 2014, 06:58:28 AM »
What that filter would be nice for is those of us who just dump their kettle into a bucket fermenter. This would probably do a decent job of catching trub and hop schwag without clogging. I might have to look into this.
I dump my kettle into the bucket as well (no valve), and I pour through a funnel with a strainer bag to catch extra hop particles (not caught by the spider) and some of the trub. Definitely catches a fair amount.
I put one of these inside a paint strainer bag, and it certainly catches a lot.

But I don't use a spider, so an all-pellet hop IPA is still a bit of a challenge for me. I'm thinking a fine filter like this may make life a bit easier. And it will be a heck of a lot easier to clean afterwards.

Equipment and Software / Re: 5-gallon bucket filter
« on: August 22, 2014, 05:48:57 AM »
What that filter would be nice for is those of us who just dump their kettle into a bucket fermenter. This would probably do a decent job of catching trub and hop schwag without clogging. I might have to look into this.

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