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Messages - erockrph

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Ingredients / Re: Multi-Step Infusion & Water Adjustments
« on: December 31, 2015, 07:41:24 AM »
I do agree that some brewers can get lost in the minutiae of adjusting all the fine details on their water. Where I disagree is that finding a good-tasting source water is sufficient for all your brewing.

I have a well with good-tasting, relatively soft water. There are some water adjustments that I make, where I think it improves the finished beer, but the difference is small enough where it could be considered a minor tweak and the beer would still be pretty good without it. But there are a few beers that absolutely require adjustment on top of my existing water or else the end result is lackluster.

For hoppy beers, I need to add sulfate to get to the 150-200ppm range for my tastes. I've tried it without sulfate and the hop character just falls flat, and in the 300+ range it becomes too much for my liking. For roasty beers like stouts and porters, I need to add baking soda to get in the 5.5-5.6 mash pH range. At lower pH ranges the roast character is muddy, while at higher ranges I get the roast character that I'm looking for.

So, while I think it's easy to get caught up in the small stuff (especially if you don't understand water adjustments very well), you still need to pay some attention to your water to make the best beer possible. Just like with cooking, proper balance of salt(s) and acidity will enhance your beer and highlight the flavors you're looking for.

Ingredients / Re: Single-hopped beers 2015 edition
« on: December 30, 2015, 04:33:43 PM »
I think Enigma is a crappy name for a hop. "I liked it this time, but who knows what will happen next?"
Right. It was an Enigma before, but now I think I have a decent handle on it. Plus, who wants to be reminded of crappy new age music every time they brew with it?

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Ingredients / Re: Single-hopped beers 2015 edition
« on: December 30, 2015, 07:32:20 AM »
My next tasting was Enigma. This is a new Australian hop that I got through Farmhouse Brewing Supply. The pellets clocked in at 18.1% AA.

The nose of the beer had a bright citrus/fruit aroma up front. There was a lot of complexity in the background, with woodsy, spicy, dank and piny aromas all present to one extent or another. The aroma was really big and bright, and had a really familiar "hoppy" character, for lack of better description. It reminded me of really peak quality Simcoe.

The flavor had big citrus and pine notes, almost giving the impression of fresh spruce tips. I did pick up some onion - nothing comparable to Summit, but still over my taste threshold. The bitterness seemed smooth, with some resin notes that fade out on the finish.

The descriptors I've read for Enigma lean towards red fruit (raspberries, red currants, etc.), but I'm not getting much of that. What I am getting still tells me that this is going to be a killer IPA hop, though. Although I did get a bit of the dreaded onion in the flavor, the bright hop aroma is too good to pass over. I'm looking forward to brewing an IPA with this in combo with some other hops in the near future.

The Pub / Re: My Christmas Present
« on: December 30, 2015, 06:09:17 AM »
Wow, the new digs look fantastic! Congrats!

Beer Recipes / Re: Low ABV Brew
« on: December 30, 2015, 06:06:02 AM »
I've brewed this one a few times. It is based on Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter, which was one of my go-to everyday beers until the stopped brewing it. It has enough going on to keep the palate interested despite its low ABV.

Title: Stovepipe Porter Clone

Brew Method: BIAB
Style Name: Robust Porter
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 3 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 3.5 gallons
Efficiency: 75% (brew house)

Original Gravity: 1.047
Final Gravity: 1.017
ABV (standard): 4.03%
IBU (tinseth): 35.42
SRM (morey): 28.52

3 lb - United Kingdom - Maris Otter Pale (58.5%)
1 lb - German - Munich Light (19.5%)
6 oz - American - Caramel / Crystal 60L (7.3%)
4 oz - United Kingdom - Chocolate (4.9%)
4 oz - American - Carapils (Dextrine Malt) (4.9%)
4 oz - American - Roasted Barley (4.9%)

0.2 oz - Nugget, Type: Pellet, AA: 14, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 19.33
0.75 oz - Willamette, Type: Pellet, AA: 5, Use: Boil for 10 min, IBU: 9.39
0.75 oz - Cascade, Type: Pellet, AA: 6.5, Use: Boil for 5 min, IBU: 6.71

1) Infusion, Temp: 162 F, Time: 60 min, Amount: 16 qt, Sacc Rest

Fermentis / Safale - American Ale Yeast US-05

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: safale us-05
« on: December 30, 2015, 05:51:07 AM »
Perhaps I am inpatient.  Never had to wait this long with any yeast in 17 years of brewing.  Pitched rehydrated yeast 8 hours ago.
You've never had to wait 8 hours to see yeast activity? 
I was thinking more like, "You've been brewing for 17 years and you still check your fermentations that early/often?" After my first 2-3 batches, I stopped checking earlier than 2-3 weeks unless it was needed for something like dry hops or temperature adjustment. I've never once had an issue with yeast that was DOA, and I just trust it to do its thing after I pitch.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: "Shaken, not Stirred" Summary
« on: December 30, 2015, 05:46:49 AM »

You're welcome. The biggest worry I hear is off flavors or dilution by pitching the whole starter.

I'd say:

1.) The off flavor thing seemed to have derived from people pitching a Crap load of Starter wort that was stirred into their beer. This method seems to mitigate that concern.

2.) If you account for the extra volume upfront during recipe creation then dilution shouldn't be an issue. People who complain about that didn't plan well enough.

Good to hear you've had good results Jim.
I'm willing to bet that a lot of the off flavor concerns come from pitching a large starter that was allowed to finish out and had plenty of chance to oxidize since the yeast had finished up and the starter was allowed unfettered access to oxygen. By pitching at high krausen, the yeast are still plenty active and oxygen pickup/oxidation of the starter wort isn't a concern.

Other Fermentables / Re: Cinnamon: boil or not to boil?
« on: December 29, 2015, 06:54:26 PM »
I think cold-extracted cinnamon tends to emphasize the "hotter" flavors, while hot-steeped gives more of the "sweeter" flavors. I liken cold-steeped to Atomic Fireballs and hot-steeped to apple pie or mulled cider. It's not exactly it, but that's the general ballpark to my palate.

Equipment and Software / Surplus electric heating elements
« on: December 29, 2015, 05:33:29 PM »
I saw this today on AS&S while looking for a molecule kit for my son (I had to explain valence electrons to my 5-year old the other day - figured I'd strike while the iron was hot).

This seems like a good fit for a DIY electric brewing system. Thought I'd share for anyone who might be interested:

Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian Dubbel / American Double
« on: December 28, 2015, 08:19:08 PM »
I made my own apple syrup by boiling a gallon of pressed juice down to about a pint of liquid, although you could probably go down a bit further. I was using it to boost the OG on a cider I was brewing. I then proceeded to mop up every drop in the pan with marshmallows. It is addictive stuff, and easy enough to make on your own (although time consuming).

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: December 28, 2015, 06:30:47 PM »
Brewing a Belgian dubbel today that I plan to "open" ferment (cling wrap over the top of the bucket) and bottle in a couple weeks.
How is cling-wrap going to mimic an open ferment? Or are you going to leave it on loose? I've always been under the impression that free access to oxygen is what makes an open ferment work the way it does.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Ah yes, winter brewing
« on: December 28, 2015, 06:28:18 PM »
For some reason this winter has felt like a wet, muggy spring in Philly so far. Think we only had one brutally cold day.
Same here in southern New England. We went for a walk around the neighborhood on Christmas day after dinner, one of us in shorts, and all remarked how it was colder on Halloween when we took the kids trick-or-treating.

Pretty cold today, though, and the first snow is expected tonight.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Guinness Nitro IPA
« on: December 25, 2015, 05:15:03 AM »
I bought a sixer of this out of curiosity, having never tried a hoppy nitro beer before. Now I need to find 5 other curious drinkers, or one person who actually enjoys flat IPA. Nitro just isn't a good vehicle for American hops. Even at just 44 IBU, the bitterness seemed a bit rough against the smooth nitro body. Just a clash from every angle, as far as I'm concerned. Can't recommend this one.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mill Gap Settings
« on: December 25, 2015, 05:05:14 AM »
I use a 0.88mm guitar pick, which is 0.035"

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: 9% ABV, 0% carbonation
« on: December 24, 2015, 05:05:58 PM »
If the bottles are only sitting at 60oF then you need to warm them up to at least 70, even up to 80 is fine. Even with raising the temp a high ABV beer will take more than 4 weeks to carbonate and condition, IME 8-10 week and they should be awesome!

Agreed. 2 weeks is too early to be worried about carbonation. Even normal-gravity beers take 3-4 weeks at that temp to hit your desired carbonation level.

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