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Messages - erockrph

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentis W-34/70
« on: July 25, 2015, 09:48:39 PM »
IIRC from the Fermentis presentation at NHC, their dry yeast loses 5% viability per year in the fridge and 10% per year at room temp. They were previously using a 2 year best by date, but recently increased to 3 years based on the rather slow loss in viability over time.

Depending on how the yeast was stored, you're looking at anywhere from 70-90+%of the original viability. That should be plenty good enough for a 1.058 Märzen.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Note to self
« on: July 25, 2015, 05:57:46 AM »

I brew in the house so it's bare feet for me. Plus, how else am I supposed to know if I forgot to close the ball valve on my mash tun again?

"Braille Brewing"?

More like "Hot, Wet Feet" brewing

The Pub / Re: Are these cherries?
« on: July 24, 2015, 09:05:43 PM »
I popped one in my fingers and there was a single cherry-like pit. I'm pretty sure they are pin cherries. I ended up tasting one after taking a tiny nibble the previous day. It was tart and slightly astringent. I don't think I'll get a chance to harvest enough to do anything with them before they go overripe and shrivel/fall off the trees. I might have to try them next year in a mead.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Note to self
« on: July 24, 2015, 08:48:18 PM »
I brew in the house so it's bare feet for me. Plus, how else am I supposed to know if I forgot to close the ball valve on my mash tun again?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fullers - WLP 002
« on: July 23, 2015, 08:07:22 PM »
I brewed my first batch with this strain (an ordinary bitter - Muntons MO, Thomas Fawcett C45, Boadicea Hops) and good lord everyone wasn't kidding about how flocculant it is! I'm 10 days from brewery and just pulled a sample and it was clearer than any beer I've made even after a cold crash. 

I did detect a bit of diacytel, while it doesn't seem out of place for this strain/style I was hoping to tone it down a bit. Should I just rouse the fermentor and bump the temp to 70f or something for a few days? I fermented at 65f.

If you rouse and bump the temp I doubt it will take more than 2-3 days to clear out the diacetyl. Then taste and go by what your palate tells you.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water for an Oktoberfest?
« on: July 20, 2015, 07:12:21 PM »
I like to keep it pretty soft on this style. I like Cl around 40 and Na around 20-30. This leaves me with Ca in the 40ppm range, which is fine for a lager. I like 5.3 for my mash pH as well.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: How long to let a starter cook?
« on: July 13, 2015, 09:10:10 PM »
Yea, the vial would probably be fine with the gravity. I figured I'd error on the side of a starter since beer smith suggested more cells and I hear that a heartier pitch with 002 should reduce esters and diacytel
Esters, maybe. I'd still bump up the temps and rouse the yeast at the end to insure against diacetyl. When 002 is done it drops like a stone. If there's diacetyl left at that point it may stick around.

Beer Recipes / Re: Berliner Weisse Methods
« on: July 10, 2015, 07:16:51 PM »
I do a sour wort method. I mash, then runoff into a keg and use a few handfuls of pilsner malt to innoculate the wort. To minimize the risk of off flavors I drop the pH to the ballpark of 4.5 using lactic acid and I purge the keg with CO2 to keep the oxygen levels down. Then I stick the keg in a cooler with my Brew Belt strapped on it.

I would recommend a spunding valve of some sort if you do this in a keg, however. I learned the hard way that a lot of CO2 pressure can build up during the souring process. During my first sour wort process I hooked up a cobra tap to draw off a sample, and was met with an instant firehose/geyser scenario. What a mess that was...

Ingredients / Re: Flaked oats in IPA
« on: July 10, 2015, 07:06:37 PM »
I tried flaked barley in an APA and will never use it again in a pale beer. I get a raw, grassy flavor from it that I just didn't care for.

Are you sure that came from the flaked barley?  Ive used it on a number of accassions and never had that flavor.
I'm pretty sure. I was trying to add body to a session beer, and added about 5% flaked barley to my existing recipe. I never got that flavor in any previous versions of the beer, just the one with flaked barley.

I've just made a ballpark guess by using the water calculator in Brewer's Friend. But I did mine preboil. I'm not sure if there's any other relevant chemistry going on in the boil other than simple concentration of the wort.

And it shouldn't make much of a difference if you overshoot a bit and end up lower than 4.5 by a few decimal points. Remember, it takes 10 times as much acidity to go from 4.2 down to 3.2 than it does to go from 5.2 to 4.2.

Could it be that the chewing and saliva starts to isomerise them?
I had that thought, but the quality of the bitterness is so much different that I have a hard time buying that as the sole explanation.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sour
« on: July 10, 2015, 06:46:44 PM »
In the world of wild beer, there are sour beers, funky beers and beers that are both sour and funky. There are also varying degrees of both characters. Make sure to sample the spectrum before you come to any conclusions.

If you're going to ease yourself in, then Bruery Hottenroth and DFH Festina Peche are good entry-level beers on the sour side, and Orval is a good start on the funky side. If you want both tart and funky, then a milder gueuze like Gueuze Fond Tradition or Boon Gueuze might be a good place to start.

Ingredients / Re: Flaked oats in IPA
« on: July 10, 2015, 11:55:56 AM »

May be flaked barley is a better option. Use about 8-10%.

Can I ask why you would suggest barley instead of oats? What would be the differences to expect?
It will still gives you body but less silky. But that is just my opinion. Keep on brewing.
I tried flaked barley in an APA and will never use it again in a pale beer. I get a raw, grassy flavor from it that I just didn't care for.

Did you notice this in the analysis from Steiner that I posted?  It lists iso alpha acids, alpha-acids, and humulinones.

"The alpha-acids are not bitter though they contribute to bitterness units value. The humulinones are oxidized alpha-acids and are slightly bitter."
If unisomerized AA's are not bitter, there has to be something else in the plant material that is harshly bitter, because it sure tastes that way to me.

Actually the way you use it as a liner for batch sparging in a cooler would work great for me. Do they make them for round coolers? It seems it would be easier for me to just pull the bag, give some grains to the chickens and the rest to the compost. Its a piano (Edit PIA: damn autofill) to dump from the cooler with a false bottom.
As far as biab goes I love it for 2.5 gallon batches on weeknights in the winter in my kitchen and its made me a better brewer because I have been able to do way more batches. That being said, if I have the time and the weather is OK I prefer batch sparging outside and I wouldn't want to do 5 gal biab.
I use a bag from in my 5-gallon round cooler and it works great. He will make it to any measurement you specify. I had him make it wide enough to use in my kettle in case I ever wanted to use it on the stove as a traditional BIAB, but high enough to line my 5-gallon cooler. My procedure is to do a full-volume mash in the cooler, sort of a hybrid between BIAB and more typical cooler mash. The cooler helps hold mash temps for me better than keeping it on the stove in my kettle.

I agree that BIAB would probably be unwieldy for larger batch sizes, but for my purposes it suits me just fine.

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