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Messages - erockrph

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But that's fine, it's a hobby, not a job, after all.

Yep. First off, the yeast companies give several performance ranges - temp, attenuation, alcohol tolerance. They also give lists of styles that each strain could be used for, many of them a stretch.. I don't see the temp ranges as any more accurate as the rest of these recommendations. They are rough approximations to give new brewers reasonable performance. At some point a brewer's personal experience and preferences come into play.
This kind of brings me to Mark's "nuclear weapon" analogy. If you're trying to take out New York City, you don't need to pinpoint a dime in the middle of Central Park. Anywhere in the middle of Manhattan will get the job done. But if you have your target dialed in, you might as well shoot for it dead-on. That will certainly give you the most leeway in case something goes awry.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Oxygenating Wort
« on: May 12, 2015, 05:52:04 AM »
I rack into fermentors by pouring through a strainer so all of my batches get some amount of aeration. Other than that I tend to rely on pitching a healthy volume of yeast for most beers. Most of my beers also feature a lot of yeast character and a little stress is good for producing that character. However, I do have the typical oxygen set up and use it religiously with lagers and big beers.

Same here. I brew small batches, so I'm just pouring my kettle through a strainer (or series of strainers) by hand. After I seal the lid, I'll shake it for 30 seconds or so and call it a day. The only exceptions are big lagers or barleywines. Those will get a minute or so of O2 from a tank.

I wonder if the recipe choice had something to do with this, in particular the relatively low OG. Low-gravity wort is generally considered less stressful to yeast, so that may help in minimizing the difference between the two beers. I'm wondering if this was repeated with an ESB in the 1.060's if the gap between the two brews would be more noticeable.

Another great xBmt, Marshall! Thanks for sharing.

I'd leave it on the yeast until you are sure you are at a solid FG for a few days. I've had beers sit on dry hops for 2-3 weeks (not intentionally, but life happens), and they've been fine. I'd be hesitant to leave it in primary for several months, but have no direct experience with o say that it is definitely a bad idea.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Empty Keg Storage
« on: May 11, 2015, 04:11:45 AM »
I usually clean and sanitize and leave the keg full of star San mix pressurized.  When I'm ready to swap a keg, I'll clean the next one, and then dump the star San mix from one to the other and repeat.  If the previous keg isn't pressurized when I go to use it, I know I have a leak to deal with before racking beer into it as well.
This is my usual as well. I keep a spare keg full of Star San that has been purged with CO2 and pressurized. When I'm ready to fill it, I jump the Star San to an empty keg under pressure, leaving only CO2 behind.

Beer Recipes / Re: Lagers
« on: May 10, 2015, 09:20:18 PM »
My lagers turn out better than my ales.
Same here, generally speaking. I can't say that I've ever brewed a lager that I didn't like, but I've had some misses on ales. I look forward to brewing my Märzen more than any other recipe of mine, by a lot.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Empty Keg Storage
« on: May 10, 2015, 05:47:51 PM »
Applying just enough pressure to make sure the lid has a good seal.

Can't I just seat the lid by simply shutting the lid?
If you're not storing it purged of CO2, then yes. And frankly, with good-quality new kegs you don't really need to store them under pressure to seat the lid. All my kegs that I've gotten new from AiH over the past year or so will hold a seal even if they aren't pressurized.

Beer Recipes / Re: Lagers
« on: May 10, 2015, 05:46:13 PM »
In general, are lagers more difficult to produce given the means to ferment them in? I know it takes longer, but I'm curious if technically, it's harder to produce good results.
Lagers tend to be less forgiving of flaws in fermentation than ales. If your practices are solid, then it is otherwise no more difficult to produce a good lager than most other beers.

Ingredients / Re: RO sparge water
« on: May 10, 2015, 07:58:23 AM »
FWIW, I add the salts I need to hit my profile first into the software, and then add acid or baking soda to hit my target pH. Lots of ways to get there, though.
Same here. As a matter of fact, the most current revision of Kai's water calculator on Brewer's Friend lets you specify your acid and target mash pH, then calculates the amount of acid needed. It makes it easy to focus on salts specifically for a flavor profile, without worrying about pH.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dryness and ABV
« on: May 10, 2015, 05:10:54 AM »
yeah 93%ADT and 6.2% for wlp001 seems crazy.... does the beer have any funny tastes or smells?
+2 - That's lower than most of my saisons get. Either it's infected or your hydrometer is off. I can't see Chico getting that low on its own.

Beer Recipes / Re: Best Red X and rye?
« on: May 08, 2015, 11:38:13 AM »
good catch. supposed to base + rye  = 90-92%

Even at 73% 2row, 18% rye, and 9% carared I think I'm looking at a color of 9. That's not red. If I max the carared to 25% it looks like about 15.5, which is getting there.

Red X is not in the calculator I use but I adjusted dark munich to where Red X is supposed to be. Coupled with 18% rye, I think I can get 20.8srm and OG 1.059. I'm not the best with color, but that seems pretty red to me (maybe even brown).
Adding what goschman said - about 9% carared - to that would be 22.5srm. That's too brown I think?
Per Best Malz, a 100% Red X grain bill at at gravity of 1.050 will produce the optimum red color. Lower or higher amounts of Red X may need additional adjustments. Shade isn't specifically part of the SRM spectrum, so I would take SRM with a grain of salt. The same SRM could potentially range from orange to amber to brown in color tone. I'd use Best's recommendation as a starting point and adjust from there with CaraRed, Carafa, etc.

Beer Recipes / Re: Best Red X and rye?
« on: May 08, 2015, 10:26:18 AM »
Let me pick your brains on this.

I'm wanting to a red rye ale with falconers flight and the Best Red X seems interesting. I'm reading descriptions of it being munich-like. Do you think using this as a 80-85% base malt will muddy 15-20% rye or the combination is too heavy in the bready department?

I might use a little bit of other malts - thinking perhaps 5% C15 or C40 or even 2-3% smoked malt (just enough to question if it's there)?

Would you scrap this idea?
Keep it simple and use 2 ingredients?
Would you go with cara?
Would you go with smoke?


red x not at 100% and outside 1.055 doesn't seem to make the best red beer if that's where you are headed. in this case, I'd use carared instead. its a real nice malt contribution and gives a nice amber red color to your beer, without bombing it with crystal notes.  i d go about 90-92% rye and 8-10% carared.
You sure he should use that much Rye? I'm thinking he'll need a metric truckload of rice hulls to lauter and the finished beer will have the consistency of carbonated loogies.

Ingredients / Re: How do you get chalk to dissove in brew water?
« on: May 08, 2015, 09:45:19 AM »
Use soda or food grade pickling lime (CaO) rather than chalk because chalk is difficult to dissolve without sufficient acidity.

+1.  I like baking soda for its ease and safety.
+2 - Unless you're starting with high-sodium water, baking soda is safe, simple and effective.

Beer Recipes / Re: Original Dubbel
« on: May 08, 2015, 07:16:43 AM »
Makes me want to buy some Westmalle Dubbel. Haven't had it in forever. There's definitely a chocolate character, but it never seemed like a roast character to me per se. I could be wrong. Any excuse to buy Belgian beer works for me.    ;)
Indeed. I might even have one aging in my basement with a couple of years on it. Might be time to dip into it.

Ingredients / Re: Great Base malt debate?
« on: May 08, 2015, 07:05:11 AM »
For example, I have friend's who swear EKG is the hop of the gods, I can't stand the stuff, domestic or UK.

On that note, which seems to be where this exbeeriment is heading, I'd like to see more side-by-sides of UK versus US Fuggles and such. May have to do a quick two-gallon batch and split it.
While we're at it, it would be just as interesting to sample the same hop variety from two different farms in he US. That's an experiment I may have to dig into myself...

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