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Messages - erockrph

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All Grain Brewing / Re: mash pH vs beer color
« on: June 07, 2015, 07:41:54 AM »
I'll give you the targets I shoot for.

5.2 - saison
5.25-5.3 - pale lagers
5.4 - hop forward beers and beers that don't fit any of these other numbers
5.5-5.6  -  dark beers

If you enter your grist lovibond ratings and water volumes accurately, these numbers will make good beer for you. Good luck !
I use pretty much these exact numbers as well. And while these are sort of based on color, you should really be thinking of how it fits the style rather than just the color. For example, I'd still target 5.3 pH for a schwarzbier even though it's closer to a porter in color since I'm still looking for a crisp finish similar to most of my pale lager recipes.

Also, something I feel should be mentioned is that I target these mash pH's because they tend to drive the finished pH to where I want it. It doesn't have much to do with mash chemistry in particular. As long as your mash pH is in a good range for conversion, you could just as easily adjust in the kettle. I just prefer to make all my water adjustments up front for simplicity's sake.

Your results make biological sense to me. It's not so much that cells lose the ability to produce enzymes over time, it's just that there are biological feedback loops that upregulate or downregulate the production of proteins. This takes time - it's not a quick process.

My guess is that yeast cells upregulate the production of maltose permease (the enzyme that brings maltose into the cell) and/or maltase (the enzyme that cleaves maltose into its constituent sugars) in response to increased maltose concentrations. In other words, if the yeast is in the presence of malt sugar it will take steps to increase its ability to use it.

Yeast grown in the absence of maltose are less likely to have a large amount of these enzymes. The genes that encode for the production of these enzymes are always present, they're just not always turned on. Once they are signaled to ramp up production it takes time to start churning out these enzymes. That would seem to explain the increased lag times and slower drop in gravity for the dextrose-starter beer.

What I was most interested in reading was that there was little difference in flavor between the two. I guess you could use another sugar source in a pinch if you really needed to boost cell count, but wort still seems like the best option. I have run into a situation where I was lower than expected on DME. I might consider boosting the starter with sugar if I ever run into that situation in the future.

Beer Recipes / Re: Rauchbier Ale recipe
« on: June 06, 2015, 09:27:32 AM »
That actually sounds really appetizing. I have wanted to do a Scottish 80 and a wee heavy for awhile. So just off quick estimates here is what I am thinking
55% Rauchnalt
40% Irish pale Malt(just bought a sack of it)
5% Roasted barley
WLP028 I think is Edinburgh Ale Yeast
And I'm thinking some Nugget hops just for some plain bittering hops
Any thoughts?
Looks like a good start to me. Keep the IBU's in the low 20's and you should be good to go.

Beer Recipes / Re: Rauchbier Ale recipe
« on: June 06, 2015, 07:53:28 AM »
Full disclosure - I do not enjoy smoked beer beyond the first sip.

That said, you can go up to 100% smoked malt in a recipe if you want. You could maybe do something like a smoked Scottish 80/-. Use 100% smoked malt for your base, some Roast Barley to hit your color and a Scottish ale yeast.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Switching to O2
« on: June 06, 2015, 07:24:23 AM »
You want the bubbles to come out almost as slow as possible.  If it's bubbling out the top of the wort, then it's not going into solution.

I run mine for around 60 seconds or so.  I don't really time it. Bigger beers, I run longer than smaller beers.

My understanding is that it is extremely hard to over-oxygenate.

I also keep 5 gal star san around and start and finish the process in the starsan to insure i done leave or clog the stone with wort. They are really hard to clean if ya get wort in them.
+2 - including the Star San part. I really only break out the O2 for big beers, and I kind of use a rule of thumb of 1 second per OG point - so a 1.090 beer gets 90 seconds, a 1.120 barleywine gets 120 seconds, etc. For beers even up to the 1.070's I don't bother with the O2 tank. A slow pour through my filter screens, followed by a bit of sloshing does just fine.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: keys to a crisp lager
« on: June 05, 2015, 07:46:40 AM »
Cool thanks. I did an American Wheat recently at 5.25 but tried acidulated malt for the first time to get there. It is crisp but also a little tart. I think I will stick to the lactic acid even though they should have the same affect...

In my mind, I was going for an 'Americanized' helles type of thing which is probably why I chose 5.4. At least that sounds right in my head...

Do you think temperature is partly to blame as well?

I don't think temperature is to blame, but the colder you can get the faster everything will drop out. It may continue to improve if you keep it stored cold.

Also, you could certainly try dosing a sample with a small amount of lactic acid and see if the flavor goes where you want. If it solves the problem you could dose in the keg.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Big brew Barleywine
« on: June 05, 2015, 06:12:56 AM »
Transferred my Big Brewday Barleywine to secondary today with a Medium+ oak spiral which had been soaking in Knob Creek.

The SG measured 1.017

Should I be worried about it being too 'thin'?

Not at all.  It's difficult, if not impossible, to brew a thin barleywine. A big malty beer that starts with an OG as high as barleywine leaves a ton of malty character in your beer regardless of your FG.  Think of the  Belgian Quads -  they're essentially Belgian barleywines and they all finish low and have tons of malty richness.  FWIW, I mash barleywines @ 148F for 90 minutes, they finish fairly low, and have a ton of body and richness.
+1 - Alcohol tends to add a nice mouthfeel in bigger beers. Plus, since alcohol is lighter than water a higher alcohol beer has more dextrins remaining compared to a lower gravity beer that finishes at the same gravity (in other words, alcohol lowers the gravity of a beer).

And I can't say I've ever had a beer that seemed thin that finished at 1.017, barleywine or not.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Keeping Yeast Slurry Long Term
« on: June 04, 2015, 10:14:26 AM »
I save yeast so I have a variety around as much if not more than to save money. I don't live near a lhbs.

I'm in the same boat. 250 miles round-trip to my "local" homebrew shop. I tend to mail-order new cultures once every year or two, in either the spring or fall when shipping temperatures are reasonable.
My LHBS is open hours that generally conflict with my work/family schedule, so I'm in the same boat. I keep a stash of dry yeast on hand for short-notice brews, and try to brew a couple of successive brews when I use liquid yeast. For strains I like but can't get a hold of easily, I keep a few mason jars of the yeast cake from a previous batch and store them in the fridge. I've had good luck with most strains just growing up a starter from these.

The Pub / Re: Google Photos Test
« on: June 03, 2015, 04:19:02 PM »
Just had to chime in on this to say that I'm finding the search terms function on Google Photos to be pretty incredible. I spent about a half hour just searching random words, and it was darned near flawless.

The faces search is pretty amazing, too, IMO. I searched my 74-year-old aunt's face, and it even found a set of old baby pictures of her that I had scanned in. Impressive.
The image search thing is great. I use it to bust people's chops all the time. "No seriously, you do look just like Ma Fratelli from The Goonies. Google says so!"

The Pub / Re: Good NHC Plane Book?
« on: June 03, 2015, 11:11:21 AM »
You probably have read it already, but Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher should be a required read for any home brewer or craft beer fan.

Beer Recipes / Re: Beamish clone
« on: June 03, 2015, 11:01:11 AM »
I haven't brewed it myself, but I would trust one of Dawson's recipes:

Ingredients / Re: Adding Wine to White IPA
« on: June 03, 2015, 10:52:53 AM »
I have not found hefe strains to work well with fruit the times I have tried them, but if you really want to try it out then set up a tasting. I'm having a hard time thinking of a wine varietal that would pair well with the flavors that come from a hefe. A clove-forward hefe might work with something like Syrah or Red Zin. A banana-forward hefe might be tough - maybe a less-acidic white that has some melon flavors.

I decided to try this myself by using a wine kit. I have a 3711 Saison with Nelson Sauvin & Motueka hops in the whirlpool, a lambic-esque sout and a pyment (grape mead) all using must from a Gewurztraminer wine kit.

Everything is still early in fermentation, so I don't have any specific feedback for you at this point. But the advantage of using finished wine is that you can taste before you make your finished blend.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Low Attenuation/High Floc?
« on: June 03, 2015, 10:40:13 AM »
WLP037 makes Fullers look like a wit strain. It drops like concrete when it's done - I could turn my fermenter on its side and the cake didn't budge at all. It looks sort of like egg drop soup when it's fermenting, but with much bigger clumps. It has a distinct ester profile, but it's much less fruity than Fullers (pretty sure this is Samuel Smith's strain). It attenuates well if you pitch enough yeast and oxygenate well. And it can tolerate pretty low temps - I fermented it in the upper 50's/low 60's without a problem. I haven't used it in hoppy beers, but Sam Smiths brews some nice hoppy beers.

The only problem is that I think this is still only available seasonally in the winter from WL.

My recommendation would be to control the body/attenuation with your mash not with your yeast.  Yeast doesn't always do what you expect it to do.

+1 - Plus, if you want a style for hoppy American lagers you're better off with something that can finish dry if needed.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Saison attempt
« on: June 02, 2015, 12:41:35 PM »

Stalled even with the heat?  What was you OG?  I've been thinking about coming back to 3724, but I just can't put up with the stall.

I haven't tried it for this reason plus, I just really like 3711
+1 - I love 3711. It's definitely quite a bit different from Dupont, but I love the flavor profile I get from it.

Beer Recipes / Re: Sprucey rye saison
« on: June 01, 2015, 12:35:09 PM »
You're absolutely right that the type (and maybe even brand) of molasses impacts the flavor.

I prefer to use Barbados molasses, as it has a milder flavor. Lately though I've been using organic black strap.

Black strap has the strongest flavor.

Years ago, I made a oatmeal-molasses stout and used a LOT of molasses.  It was delicious.

It all depends on what you are looking for in the final beer.
I use 8 oz. of "Original unsulphured" (not blackstrap) in a 3-gallon batch of old ale and it gives a nice molasses flavor without being overpowering. As you said, type of molasses and desired effect play a big role.

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