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Messages - erockrph

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If you purge bottles with nitrogen rather than CO2, then you will lose CO2 from solution into the headspace after bottling. I'm not sure if it's enough to be a concern, but it's definitely something to do the math on before converting your brewery.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Adding Fruit to a Sour...When?
« on: June 03, 2014, 02:40:55 PM »
Regarding this subject, I do things differently than the popular consensus of the internet tells me to do and I've been very happy with the results.  Here is how I do a Flanders with fruit:

Brew a simple batch sparged Belgian amber ale mashed at 152F.  Zero hops.  4oz. of malto-dextrin added to the boil.  Chill to the low 60s.  Pitch one pack of Roeselare WY3763.  No starter.  Pitch one pack of brett or a small starter of dregs from a brett beer.

Let it ferment for 30 days.  It should get bubbling in less than 2 days.  After 30 days, check the gravity.  It should be around 1.010 already.  Now add the fruit to the primary.  That's right, I said add the fruit after 30 days.  Let it ferment for another 5-6 months.  Don't open the fermenter during this phase.  There is no reason to.  Satisfying your curiosity too see how sour it is won't make the beer taste better when you are ready to drink it, but it might make it taste worse.

After 6-7 months of fermentation and 5-6 months on the fruit, you should be ready to bottle.  Check the gravity.  It should be around 1.002-1.006.  I've had good luck not adding wine yeast at bottling.  However, it takes 1-2 months for the bottles to carb.  During this time, the sourness increases.

9 months after brewing, you should have a tasty fruited Flanders fully carbed in bottles.  The Flanders I currently have in bottles used this method with 1.5# of dried black currants.  The fruit flavor is substantial.  The internet says it shouldn't be.  The sourness is mouth watering.  The pH is 3.32.  The brett character is robust.

Awesome! Thanks for sharing! I'm just starting to get my sours up and running, so this is good info for me.

Here's a few followup questions, if you don't mind. It sounds like you're not adding any priming sugar - do you find that the 1.002-1.006 range is the right target for bottle-conditioned sours? Do you ever have any issues with overcarbonated bottles at the upper end of that range, or undercarbonated at the lower end? Are you using heavy Belgian bottles, or the normal 12oz and bombers that we typically recycle from US craft brewers?

For the black currants, are you using 1.5lb in a full 5-gallon batch? I'm planning on using my harvest this season in a sour or two (a sour-wort Berliner Weisse and/or part of a batch of Lambic I brewed this fall). I was thinking of using 2-3 pounds in a 3-gallon batch. It sounds like you are using a whole lot less.

Ingredients / Re: Mandarina hop
« on: June 02, 2014, 12:05:18 PM »
I have 2 8oz. packs of Mandarina coming, and I hate to not use all the hops in a pack.

I like that line of thinking! :)

The Pub / Re: Birds keep stealing workers
« on: June 02, 2014, 12:01:51 PM »
You can try a plastic owl to scare birds off.
But then the birds will laugh at you.

better to build some predator bird nesting boxes to encourage REAL owls/hawks/etc to nest near by. Then you're talking real ecosystems.

+1 - I live in the middle of the woods, but I have a barred owl, a family of hawks, and a fox den in the area. I've never had an issue with pests in the garden smaller than a turkey or deer.

Ingredients / Re: Mandarina hop
« on: June 02, 2014, 11:06:47 AM »
I brewed a Red X/Mandarina Bavaria SMaSH lager that is still conditioning. My first impressions were "meh" - it seemed like mainly noble hops, with a touch of citrus. With a name like that, I was expecting Summit (hold the onions).

I've been finding that a lot of the new German hops just aren't living up to their billing compared to the expectations based on the newer US and NZ varieties. Based on the name, I don't think I'll be playing with Hüll Melon, but I'm still curious about Hallertau Blanc.

All Grain Brewing / Re: No lauter tun
« on: June 02, 2014, 10:32:30 AM »
For me there were 2 reasons for a false bottom:
1. to get the bag off of the bottom so as not to melt it.
2. it creates a temp buffer that keeps you from overheating the bottom portion of the mash where it is closer to the heat source.

The thing is - your sugars and enzymes are already dissolved in the liquid portion of the mash at that point. I don't usually BIAB in my kettle (I use a separate cooler mash tun to help hold my temps), but when I have I always make sure to keep stirring my mash whenever the heat is on. Even with a clad bottom on my kettle, I'm still worried about hot spots.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lost track of ABV
« on: June 02, 2014, 10:11:28 AM »
According to research we did for the book, sweet cherries have about 79 ppg and sour about 65 ppg.

What is ppg?

Points/lb./gal.  The number of gravity points you get from one lb. in one gallon.

Seems high  :-\ ...because as a comparative measure regular 2-row lends roughly 35 ppg, corn is about 36 ppg and sucrose (table sugar) is 46 ppg.
Sucrose is 46 points per pound per gallon, or the points yielded by dissolving one pound into one gallon of water. 2row would be the same I think. ppg only works for liquids. Although the abbreviations may get mixed up, I don't know.
I know this to be fact; I read it on the internet.

I believe technically its the SG when one pound of a fermentable is diluted to a total volume of 1 gallon. The SG of a solution made from 1lb of cherries topped up with enough water to make one gallon of solution is the ppg.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Watermelon Quad????
« on: June 02, 2014, 10:01:35 AM »
I think you'll need to use an extract to get this to work. Then you can dose it to taste before bottling/kegging.

Or you could just dry hop with El Dorado...

I don't know, the above mentioned Hell or High Watermelon has noticeable watermelon flavor and aroma and is made with watermelon juice rather than extract.

Right, but there's a huge difference between a light wheat beer, and a big Belgian with significant yeast and malt character. You may be right, but I don't know how you'd pull it off in a quad. If you add it post-boil or post-ferment, then you're going to dilute the beer down too far. If you use it for your brewing liquor I'd be afraid of boiling off all the aromatics from the juice.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lost track of ABV
« on: June 02, 2014, 07:40:38 AM »
I'd call the cherries a wash for all practical purposes. I'd be more concerned with how far down the Brett takes it. I'd just take a gravity now and use your original OG measurement for calculating your ABV.  ABV equations are just estimates anyways, so this will get you close enough.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Watermelon Quad????
« on: June 02, 2014, 07:37:58 AM »
I think you'll need to use an extract to get this to work. Then you can dose it to taste before bottling/kegging.

Or you could just dry hop with El Dorado...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brewing a "Fest" in summer
« on: June 02, 2014, 07:35:09 AM »
I've done lagers by keeping my fermenter in a large bucket filled about to the level of beer in the fermenter. I swapped out frozen water bottles of various sizes 2-3 times per day. It's not perfect for temp control (you will get some fluctuations in temp), but it will at least keep you in lager fermentation range. The key is to pitch as cold as you can manage (45F or less), and pitch a whole lot of yeast. I've found that lager yeast can be a bit more forgiving of warmer temps as long as you pitch on the coldside with a big pitch of yeast.

If you can't cold condition in the fermenter, then bottle as usual and let them fully carbonate (give them at least 3 weeks at room temp). Then you can lager them in the bottles.

And I highly recommend WY2633 (Octoberfest Blend). I've made some good 'Fests using this procedure with this yeast.

Beer Recipes / Re: An ale that tastes like a lger?
« on: June 01, 2014, 08:18:49 PM »
How low can you maintain, temperature-wise? Some lager yeasts will stay pretty clean up to 60ish. WY2124, 34/70, and WY2007 all come to mind. The key is to pitch a crap load of yeast, and pitch at as low of a temp as you can manage. Like close to 40F, if you can manage it. You can go through the lager phase in the bottle if you don't have a way to cold condition in the fermenter.

You can certainly brew a lager-type ale, but it's still going to taste like an ale. Although lager yeasts are noted for clean fermentations, they still have a distinct flavor profile.

The Pub / Re: Old school. Really old school!
« on: May 30, 2014, 11:50:56 AM »
I've always wanted to try making a gruit beer. Thought Midas Touch was pretty good.

Like the rest I do a lot myself. Americans appear to have lost a lot of the old knowledge but are picking it back up again.

Sweet onion tops are starting to fall over. I'm out so will begin plucking them out of the ground very soon.

Wow. Up here I'm at least another month or more before I can even pick scallions.

I do agree that we've come to a time recently where more and more of us have interest in learning some old-time skills before they become lost to the ages. Technology has become a vital part of our lives, and it's a great thing. But it's a nice feeling to be connected back to nature in a more primal way.

My 3-year old planted the "Three Sisters" in preschool yesterday. That was pretty cool to hear about.

The Pub / Re: I have been enjoying playing my bass so much lately
« on: May 30, 2014, 11:27:43 AM »

Nice striper! Looks like it's pushing 70 pounds. That's a once-in-a-lifetime fish!

Ingredients / Re: question about dry hop time frame.
« on: May 30, 2014, 10:08:20 AM »
I'm still trying to wrap my head around how you guys can fit all your dry hops into contraptions like these. If I tried to dry hop in tea balls, it would look like the world's largest string of Ben-Wa balls when I pull them out of the fermenter.

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