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Messages - erockrph

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All Grain Brewing / Re: What is first wort hopping
« on: October 21, 2015, 07:11:58 AM »
Thanks for the information guys. Does this mean if you only FWH that you would not need to have a boil prior to fermenting?
No, the hops remain in the kettle throughout the boil. You would still do a full boil as normal. The hops still need to be boiled to isomerize the alpha acids and create bitterness.

The Pub / Re: Vent much?
« on: October 21, 2015, 05:48:30 AM »
I have nothing against hunting deer. I love venison. But I have very little respect for trophy hunting. No offence meant to anyone here who has a antlered deer head hanging on your wall, I'm just not super impressed by it. I'm more impressed by your freezer stuffed with edible doe.
At home in RI, deer are a hazard and a nuisance. Harvesting does is a much more effective way of controlling the deer population. And frankly, they tend to be much better quality meat. I don't get to hunt very often down here, and I certainly wouldn't turn down a shot at a trophy buck, but I would never pass up a shot at a doe.

But if I do ever harvest a trophy buck (or moose, if I ever luck out and draw a tag), I intend to mount and display it proudly. Because to me it will likely be a once-in-a-lifetime memory. And frankly, I have yet to get over that feeling when I harvest a fish or animal - that I have taken it's life to feed myself and my family. It's a mixture of pride, awe, sadness and a feeling of being connected with the Earth. That trophy would serve of a constant reminder of that for me. That's why I hunt.

Keith, I know your comment wasn't directed at me, and I understand the sentiment. But not all trophies are for trophy's sake. And there is certainly nothing wrong with a respectful hunter having pride in their trophies. And I certainly would not be impressed either with the trophies of a hunter that does not have respect for the animals that he or she hunts, or the land from which they harvest.

Ingredients / Re: Medium dark crystal?
« on: October 21, 2015, 05:20:39 AM »
Personally, I'd go with 60L. It'll work fine.
+1 - I generally think of Dark crystal in the 80L range and Extra Dark in the 120L range. I've never really heard of crystal referred to as "Medium dark", but I think something in the 60L range sounds reasonable.

I'll get to the point - this is the best Berliner Weisse I've had, by far. Every BW I've tried always seems to have some flaw - not sour enough, funky kettle-sour off-flavors, too much cereal/grainy character, too strong, too watery, etc. This one is spot-on in what I'm looking for in a berliner.

The color is very pale straw, closer in color to Pinot Grigio than beer. A finger of pure white head sticks around for a short while before collapsing. Aroma is fresh lactic/lemon, with a hint of doughy pils malt. Flavor is bright citrus and lactic tang, with a clean finish that reveals hints of grain. Mouthfeel is light, but there is enough acid pucker to keep it from being watery-thin. The acidity is perfect. It is quite tart, but not down to "instant heartburn" level. It is a perfect beer to put down in mass quantity.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Aging beer
« on: October 20, 2015, 07:58:17 PM »
Thanks Gents..  morticaixavier I think your correction "conditioning" is more accurate than aging. 

So would it be best to chill & carb while conditioning or just chill without fully carbing?
Carbonation does not interfere with the conditioning process. Might as well kill 2 birds with one stone and carb while cold-conditioning.

I have a lower standard for data. Given the ubiquity of a spray bottle of Star San in brewing and cellaring, the hundreds of thousands of clean batches of beer being brewed by craft brewers in this country are evidence enough for me.

I would love to know what a local craft brewery uses as a sanitizer because all of their beers are infected.  The fact that no one at the brewery recognizes that they have a persistent infection problem amazes me and most of the local brewers that I know.
If a brewery has a lingering infection and never addresses it, I guarantee that there is a lot more at issue than simple choice of sanitizer. That sounds like an operation that doesn't take quality seriously.

Personally, I feel that Star-San is sufficient the majority of the time. It works just fine as a bacteriocidal agent, and it is more effective in the presence of organic residues than bleach or iodophor.

I have seen no data that supports that assertion.
From the "Handbook of Biocide and Preservative Use" p320:

Compared to chlorine or iodine disinfectants, acid-anionic products are more stable at elevated temperatures, and their germicidal activities are less affected by organic soils.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Finding my Style
« on: October 20, 2015, 12:13:49 PM »
I find that I don't want to brew IPAs. There are too many good commercial examples to warrant the costs of hops at this level. It's cheaper to buy it in my opinion.
If you're a hophead you will be hard-pressed to find a commercial beer that matches the hop character you can get from a super-fresh, massively-hopped, homebrewed IPA. I rarely buy commercial IPA's anymore because I can have mine fresher, and stuff in more hops than is affordable at the commercial scale.

Beer Recipes / Re: 100% Vienna Lager
« on: October 20, 2015, 11:22:55 AM »
I've done it.  It was good, but almost insipid in its lack of complexity.
My experience, too.

My favorite Vienna recipe is the Mexican variety, 50% Vienna, 20% corn, 25% pils, 5% caravienne, then a little chocolate malt in the sparge to darken it a bit.
I might have to brew this one for Cinco de Mayo this year. Sounds damn tasty.

If you need the big guns, then bleach is the way to go. If this is for routine use, then iodophor works great on clean surfaces. It is inactivated rather easily by organic deposits, so you really need to be sure your cleaning is up to par.

Personally, I feel that Star-San is sufficient the majority of the time. It works just fine as a bacteriocidal agent, and it is more effective in the presence of organic residues than bleach or iodophor. Lactic acid bacteria are probably your top concern as potential contaminants in the brewery if you follow good cleaning procedures. But for persistent infections, you should reach for something a bit more broad-spectrum.

Beer Recipes / Re: 100% Vienna Lager
« on: October 20, 2015, 07:08:17 AM »
I can see how the biscuity character of MO could work in a Vienna lager if used with a balanced touch. Interesting idea.
Indeed. I've subbed Vienna for MO before with good results. I've never thought of going the other way, but I can see the potential.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Finding my Style
« on: October 20, 2015, 06:47:24 AM »
For me, it's all about experimenting and getting creative. Even when I really nail a recipe, I often don't rebrew it for a while. I go through a lot of phases, so even though my hoppy Belgian dark ale was one of my favorite beers ever, I haven't been on a Belgian kick in a while so I haven't rebrewed it.

I have a few basic recipes that get brewed more often, but those are typically styles I like but don't feel the need to get super creative with. My märzen and low-gravity porter get brewed pretty often with minor tweaks here and there. On the other hand, I brew Saison and IPA quite a bit, but I'm constantly using new fruit or hops each time.

When I'm planning my brewing, I like to use the same yeast in 2-3 successive batches. I tend to get in an English ale kick over the winter. This year I will be using WY1469 in some test batches, then repitching into an ESB, followed by a big porter or stout of some sort. I also try to make use of the big pitch I've grown up in successive batches by brewing a large, cellar-worthy batch as the final one in the succession.

TL;DR - Inspiration comes in many different forms. Whatever hits you, take it and run with it.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Gigantic/3 Floyds - Crescendo of Doom
« on: October 19, 2015, 08:37:30 PM »
I'm kicking into the first of the commercial brews I got from HoosierBrew for Swaptoberfest. This is an IPL collab from Gigantic Brewing Company and 3 Floyds. Color is yellow-gold with a short white head. Aroma is citrus hops with some spicy notes. Flavor is more earth/pine/herbal with a touch of dank/onion. The fruitinees from the nose is much more subdued on the palate. Bittering is moderate for the style. Finish is crisp with some lingering pine resin.

Overall, this is a tasty beer. I don't pick up much on the malt front, and there isn't much fermentation character here to make it stand out as a lager. I find a lot of collab brews to be a bit unfocused, and I get that a bit here. I'm not sure what specific hop varieties they use, but they mention English hops in the kettle and German hops for dry hops. It's a cool idea, and well-executed, but nothing really stands out.

It's all fine and dandy until you bring lagers into the equation.
I'm not sure it'll matter, but you better believe we'll test it out.
I agree, Marshall. I think if you have an adequate, healthy pitch of yeast, then it doesn't matter if you're brewing a lager or an ale.

If you're price shopping, check out White Labs lab supplies section on  I can't speak to the quality as of yet, but I just placed an order from them for some pre-poured plates to play around with plating and isolating colonies from mixed cultures. Prices were in the range of $15 for a 10-pack depending on the specific media you get.

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