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Messages - erockrph

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1291
All Things Food / Re: Indian Food
« on: September 24, 2015, 06:40:31 PM »
Denny, I think this might be helpful too. I have been putting scaled down recipes of some of our popular meals where I work on our website. They are all vegetarian and several are Indian. They are normally prepared for up to 140 people so they are meant to be fairly straightforward and made from readily available ingredients.
 http://www.dharma.org/resources/recipes
Nice! That Aloo Matar Sabji recipe looks like something I'll have to try out in the near future.

1292
Ingredients / Re: Agave Fermentation
« on: September 24, 2015, 05:02:44 PM »
I'd treat the agave like honey. Expect it to ferment completely. Either substitute it for some base malt in your recipe if you don't want to increase the ABV and don't mind a drier beer, or plan on it bumping the ABV if you don't want to cut some base malt out and want a fuller body.

I'd also add it toward the end of fermentation if you want to retain any flavor in the finished beer. Even then, I wouldn't expect much out of it since agave nectar isn't the most powerful flavor to begin with.

1293
I consider myself extremely lucky to be homebrewing at a time where brewers like Denny and Marshall (as well as their experiments) are so accessible to the community. It certainly encourages me to do my fair share of experimentation, and I'm a better brewer for it, too.

1294
Ingredients / Re: Sugarcane
« on: September 24, 2015, 10:14:34 AM »
How's this for random: I just ate at a local Peruvian/Bolivian restaurant and had a Caipirinha with lunch. Twenty minutes later and I'm googling "aging mead on sugarcane" and my post from last year is the top result. Guess that's a sign that I'll have to try this out for myself...

1295
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 2278 for hop-forward lagers
« on: September 23, 2015, 04:26:48 PM »
Have you tried Wyeast 2272?  Wyeast 2272 is the Christian Schmidt strain.  It was one of my "go to" strains for a number of years.
I don't think they've put that one out since I started getting serious about lager brewing. I'll definitely give it a try the next time it gets released.

1296
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 2278 for hop-forward lagers
« on: September 23, 2015, 11:46:53 AM »
Mandarins Bavaria is one of my favorites, but the oil content is about 1%, much less than one like Citra and Mosiac. Use more to get the aroma.
This was my first time using Mandarina in this quantity, so I wasn't quite sure what I'd get out of it. I guess my point was that I'd reserve judgement on whether this yeast pulled out some hop flavor until I brewed with more potent hops.

I did like the hop character I got from this brew, but I think I got as much black tea as citrus. I used about 1oz/gallon of MB and 0.5oz/gallon of Apollo in the whirlpool.

1297
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 2278 for hop-forward lagers
« on: September 23, 2015, 08:29:34 AM »
I have a two gallons of a Pilsner left in a keg.  Fully lagered and serving.  What do you think about an aggresive dry hopping?  In particular, the introduction of O2 to a lagered beer.  I have another lagering keg of the wonderful Pils so I am not concerned if it doesn't work.  I have been wanting to try out a hoppy lager for a long time.
I don't see an issue at all with dry-hopping a lager post-lagering. Plus, if it's in a keg you can purge with CO2 to keep O2 exposure to a minimum.

1298
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Pseudo Open Fermentation with blowoff?
« on: September 22, 2015, 07:54:46 PM »
Interesting discussion on open fermentation.  So do you all think a blow off tube not immersed in a sanitizer (closed system) would mimic an open fermentation?  Do you think WLP 051 would beca good open fermentation type of yeast?
I don't know if WLP051 is a great choice for open fermentation. It's a fairly clean strain. The strains that are the best candidates are generally more estery strains like English or hefe strains.

1299
Yeast and Fermentation / Wyeast 2278 for hop-forward lagers
« on: September 22, 2015, 07:51:58 PM »
I've been chasing my white whale for a while now - a hoppy lager that has the malt and fermentation character of a lager but the hop character of an APA. I've never quite been able to nail the balance I've been shooting for, but I think I found the missing piece in Wyeast 2278.

I recently brewed a lager using mainly Red X malt with a splash of Pils, with Mandarina Bavaria and Apollo as my hops, and using 2278 for my yeast. The beer finished crisp and dry, with a nice snap to the bitterness, but the malt flavor still came through and it left some richness in the mouthfeel. As a bonus, it had dropped quite clear on its own after 3 weeks in primary.

Hop flavor isn't as much as I had hoped for, but that might just be from my hop selection (which was primarily Mandarina), and quantities. I'm looking forward to trying this again with some more potent hops and a 80:20 Pils/Munich malt bill.

If you're looking for something different than Chico for an APA, this yeast would probably make a nice choice. Using an accelerated lager fermentation schedule you could have something ready in close to the amount of time needed for an ale yeast. It's probably the best option of all the lager yeasts I've tried for an IPL as well.

1300
Equipment and Software / Re: Kenmore Elite Freezer Conversion
« on: September 22, 2015, 07:18:44 PM »
I have the Johnson A419. Super easy to set up and has worked great for me. At first I just used it for my keezer but have now started using my keezer as my lager chamber too. I am very pleased with the product and the price is worth the ease to me. Set it to the temp you want and forget it. Can't recommend it enough.
+1 - I use mine on my chest freezer that is a lager chamber/keezer, and it works perfectly. Set the thermostat on the freezer as low as it will go and the external controller will turn it on/off as needed to maintain temp. Easy as pie.

1301
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Goosing the Mash? Brewday issues
« on: September 22, 2015, 05:21:40 PM »
Appreciate the tips - the boiled water + cold water/ice are good ideas. The chalk did do the trick but it was after I added about 2.5 grams of it so probably not ideal, baking soda is a good idea - does it affect anything besides pH?

Yea, the detergent was a bonehead move. I was mashed in before I remembered running it thru a couple water cycles was on my to do list. But I didn't detect anything in the post-boil wort so maybe I got off in the clear. Either way the batch was really low gravity (~1.030 table saison) + small volume so I used only 3.5# of grain coupled with hops I've been meaning to use up and dry yeast. So if it ends up bad it's a cheap dump at least.

Try pickling lime to raise pH.

+1 to Denny's suggestion. Baking soda will add sodium. Pickling lime will add calcium instead, it's also a more potent acid neutralizer so less is needed.
Baking soda doesn't add enough sodium to have a noticeable effect on flavor under normal brewing conditions unless you already have a lot of sodium in your water already. If you have pickling lime handy, then by all means go for it. But you should be just fine with baking soda.

And ice cubes are my go-to for lowering mash temps in a pinch. Super convenient.

1302
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Stepping up a starter by gravity, vs volume?
« on: September 21, 2015, 11:00:54 AM »
You want the yeast to be as healthy as possible and the lower the gravity (to a point) the better in that regard.  There is no benefit to increasing the gravity and it might even be detrimental.
I don't know if I agree with that. If you're starting with healthy yeast from a fresh starter, then my understanding is that you can build up their tolerance to gravity and alcohol in successive generations. That certainly matches my experience, at least. For really big beers I have had great results by pitching from a yeast cake from a batch that was in the 1.060's, which was previously stepped up from a normal-gravity starter or a session beer.

AFAIK, there is no such thing as building up "tolerance".  You simply want more healthy cells, and a lower gravity will make sure they're healthy.
Actually, there is quite a bit of research showing that alcohol exposure does increase alcohol tolerance in yeast. In particular, yeast tend to alter the fatty acid makeup of their membranes in response to increasing concentrations of ethanol, and this in turn enhances their tolerance to alcohol.

As we all know, what happens in a lab doesn't necessarily translate to what happens beer. And you can't apply what happens with one yeast strain universally, either. But it works for me, so I'll stick with it.

1303
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Stepping up a starter by gravity, vs volume?
« on: September 21, 2015, 09:21:58 AM »
From what I have read here, yeast growth is limited by stress and volume of starter. Only so much can grow in a specific size starter, the only difference the gravity makes is whether or not the yeast are stressed or not
It is actually limited by the amount of extract (i.e., sugar) available in solution. Here's an experiment Kai ran a few years ago. Essentially, the same amount of yeast grew in 400mL of a 5 Plato wort as it did in 200mL of a 10 Plato wort. Yeast growth and viability didn't start to decrease until he got to 20 Plato (~1.083).

http://braukaiser.com/blog/blog/2013/05/28/starter-wort-gravity-and-yeast-growth/

1304
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Stepping up a starter by gravity, vs volume?
« on: September 21, 2015, 09:14:13 AM »
You want the yeast to be as healthy as possible and the lower the gravity (to a point) the better in that regard.  There is no benefit to increasing the gravity and it might even be detrimental.
I don't know if I agree with that. If you're starting with healthy yeast from a fresh starter, then my understanding is that you can build up their tolerance to gravity and alcohol in successive generations. That certainly matches my experience, at least. For really big beers I have had great results by pitching from a yeast cake from a batch that was in the 1.060's, which was previously stepped up from a normal-gravity starter or a session beer.

1305
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Stepping up a starter by gravity, vs volume?
« on: September 21, 2015, 09:10:26 AM »
I've just set off a 750ml shaken starter of WLP550 ('Chouffe') planning to step that up x5 by volume in the next step, ready for a 20L 1.075 tripel.  That volume is all I can get in a glass vessel, which is where I'd prefer to keep it.

It occurred to me that I could step up more, by increasing gravity and volume, perhaps up to the equivalent of a 10x volume step: five to ten times (volume) per step is a guideline I've read.  So, two questions:

1. Is stepping up the gravity ever a good idea, rather than sticking with the standard ~1.040?
2. If I do step up gravity, can I treat the increase in SG as effective as the same increase in volume? For example, if I do a second step of 5x volume and 1.5x gravity (1.060), would that be as effective (both in growth and health) as doing  a 7.5x second step at 1.040?
Yes and yes, or at least within the same ballpark. I don't know if it is needed for 1.075, but by increasing the gravity on successive starters (I just brew a full batch of beer after step one so I at least get to drink my starters, but it's the same idea), you will grow and select for yeast that is more tolerant of higher gravities.

I'm sure there is a gravity range for starters where gravity and/or alcohol becomes high enough to affect yeast growth, but I suspect that it isn't much of a factor in the 1.060 range. Generally speaking, yeast growth is based on the total amount of extract, rather than volume. So multiplying the volume by the gravity as you are doing should provide a good estimate.

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