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Messages - erockrph

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All Things Food / Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« on: May 23, 2016, 10:14:26 AM »
No pix  but on my 3rd cutting of asparagus.  Trying to keep the frost off
is a workout.
My asparagus bed sucks. [...]
Same here. I planted 10 crowns 4 years ago and I'm lucky to get a dozen spears total each year from the surviving crowns. I don't really need the space right now, so I don't mind leaving them there. My son will pick and eat them right then and there, and there aren't too many veggies he'll do that with.

I and scaling it back this year in the garden. Every year I convince myself I can keep up with everything and every year in July the weeds and bugs take over for good. I have peas and root veggies in one bed and two rows cleared and covered with black plastic waiting for transplants. In addition to those, my son has a small raised bed, and that will be it for the veggies this year.

My fruit trees have already lost the battle with the gypsy moth caterpillars. This is the second year in a row with them. As much as I want to stay organic, I might have to concede this one and hit everything this isn't flowering or producing fruit with Sevin.

The only batch I lost to infection was after I threw a couple of cinnamon sticks into secondary on a batch of winter warmer. Any other infected batches have been intentional :)

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: NE IPA reviews
« on: May 22, 2016, 11:46:49 AM »
I knew it would be unlikely that the winner would go unassisted.
Is your NE IPA ready yet?
Sort of. I used a massive dry hop with pellets only and there's still a raw hop flavor and bitterness that hasn't finished dropping out yet. I don't really get any of the grittiness that Denny picked up on. Since I bittered it like a normal IPA rather than a light APA and used my normal sulfate adjustment, I think it holds up to the extra body just fine. It's really more of an IPA with flaked grain than a full-on NE IPA. I'm hoping I can give a more thorough evaluation soon as the raw hop character falls out.

Other Fermentables / Re: First Hard Apple Cider - Any Tips?
« on: May 22, 2016, 08:50:21 AM »
Jon, it sounds like you are not sulfating when you and keg?

If I'm just gonna keep the cider in keg, no. But if it's going out to a comp or given to friends in bottles, I do use a small amount of campden and sorbate for safety.

Edit - I always backsweeten a little. Obviously, if I left it bone dry I wouldn't worry about it.
I backsweeten quite a bit when I keg, and I still don't bother sulfiting. The kegs usually go quick, and even if they don't the yeast works slowly enough. After 6 months in the keg it may lose a little sweetness, but not enough to go bone dry.

Beer Recipes / Re: Der Rudi! Super Alpha lager
« on: May 22, 2016, 08:04:08 AM »
Following up with DrRudi 2.0 in full conceptual phase.

I intend to rework this recipe in a month or so.

Recipe will be largely the same, only this time I'll make sure I get that lager yeast properly started 'fore I pitch it. Less bitterness, in favour of more hop aroma and flavour.

Given that the malt bill will be roughly the same, and the focus should be somewhat on DrRudi, d'you guys have any advice on specific NZ hops which might pair well with DrRudi?

I can get the following:
  • Dr. Rudi
  • Green Bullet
  • Kohatu
  • Motueka
  • Nelson Sauvin
  • NZ Cascade
  • Pacific Gem
  • Pacific Jade
  • Rakau
  • Southern Cross
  • Sticklebracht
  • Waimea
  • Wakatu

I also have some Comet in the fridge, as well as some Citra.

The esteemed HomoEccentricus will supply the yeast, which I believe to be Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager.
I guess the question is what you're looking for in hop character. If it's something to compliment the "fruity, but delicate" character, then you want something complimentary that won't overpower it. Motueka is the only one that sticks out on that list. If you have other options then Sterling and Mandarina Bavaria come to mind, and well as good ol' Cascade (I've never used the NZ Cascade, so I don't know if that would work here equally as well).

If you want to accentuate the fruit, then you should be prepared to have the Dr Rudi be just a background note, and use it in a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio (with the Dr Rudi being the larger portion) with a fruitier hop like Nelson or Citra. Kohatu and Rakau may work as well, but they seem to me like they would clash with the lager character a bit.

Hi all, got back into brewing with my old equipment, and have been hitting around 55% efficiency where I used to hit 70%. Nothing has changed, except that I'm still using the same toilet supply hose thingy that goes in my 10gal Home Depot mash tun. It's certainly seen better days, kind of coiled up like a dead snake. However it drains perfectly into my kettle each time so I didn't see the need to replace it.

My question is, can something like that lower efficiency? I couldn't imagine that's true if I'm draining the entire mash tun, but I've run out of ideas. If so I'll go grab a fresh one. Thanks.
I've read that those bags used as a mash tun filter work really well.  That might be an option for you.  Mash in a bag and run off into a kettle vs brew in a bag where you lift the bag to drain into a kettle.
That's what I do and it works great. I'm closer to BIAB where I do a no-sparge in a cooler lined with a bag, but you can certainly batch sparge as well. It makes cleanup pretty easy.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Is 7 days long enough?
« on: May 22, 2016, 07:05:57 AM »
I bottled my first batch this last Monday (an American IPA), and so far, no bottle bombs, and looking at the bottles, there is no ring around the neck indicating any infection.  I was thinking about popping a bottle in the fridge tonight and opening it up tomorrow to check it.  Is 7 days long enough in the bottle to get an idea of how well it is carbonating and clearing (if at all), or should I just wait another week before popping open a bottle?  I do plan to let the rest of it sit in the bottle another week before touching it.

For me, 10-12 days is the bare minimum to get even a remotely drinkable level of carbonation, and it still may taste a bit sweet from unfermented priming sugar. I usually wait at least 2 weeks for my first check, and full carbonation is usually around 3 weeks.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: NE IPA reviews
« on: May 20, 2016, 10:03:26 PM »
Bonus points if anyone knows why Wormtown Be Hoppy has a happy face on the packaging.
Harvey Ball:

(I admit, I had some Google assistance on that one)

Ingredients / Re: Valley Malt
« on: May 20, 2016, 08:12:32 AM »
I just brewed with the Valley Malt grains you shipped me, and I am really looking forward to the beer. The Biscuit Wheat tasted good enough to eat with milk and a bit of honey.

The thing about the share is that is too much grain for me. A sack of base malt lasts me over a year because I rarely brew enough of one style all year long to use it up.

Beer Recipes / Re: British Ordinary Bitter critique & suggestions
« on: May 19, 2016, 07:48:38 PM »
Yep, grew up in the north of England but currently live in London. I'm certainly no expert at brewing English styles but I've drunk lots of them over the years. London beers not the best. I think they're overrated outside the UK because the "London" brand gives them undeserved cachet.

Best bitters I've had have mostly come from Yorkshire/NE Midlands.

Yorkshire beers are great. I remember the first time I had Timothy Taylor Landlord. Have tried to recreate it with Wyeast W. yorkshire yeast but wasn't quite like the real thing.
After trying Boltmaker for the first time I developed the opinion that some of the flavor I was attributing to the yeast in Landlord is likely coming from the hops instead. Boltmaker has a lot less of the fruity character that I took to be yeast esters in LL.

Personally, I think that a hop's bittering character is still important to know even if you're evaluating it as a flavor and aroma hop. If you're brewing a beer with heavy late additions the bittering contribution will have some impact on the beer.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

The Pub / Re: The 2 B's
« on: May 18, 2016, 06:46:24 PM »
I used to go to Fenway about once a month in the years BC (before child). I still get up there at least once a year. the only game I have tickets for right now is the 2nd to last of the season, but I might have do the "count the rotation" trick so I can get to a game that Price is starting.

Staying in Boston for the night is never a bad thing. I usually take one or two overnight trips with the family on "staycations" every year. It's a great city even if you don't do more than hit the usual tourist traps. Plus, that also means you can hit Beer Works or Bukowski's for a couple of cold ones before/after the game.

Ingredients / Re: Hop storage lifespan ?
« on: May 18, 2016, 06:35:53 PM »
I used to use my FoodSaver religiously when I was a whole hops plus false bottom brewer, but I started to use Talenti ice cream containers after switching to using pellets.  A Telenti pint-size ice cream container holds about 8ozs of pellets.  These containers are clearly made from one of the new O2 barrier PET resins.

I am assuming those can't be flushed or purged of O2 though?
Bah, you're only storing hops, not mashing a helles  ;)

Ingredients / Re: water for 1800s IPA attempt
« on: May 18, 2016, 06:33:41 PM »
I would caution you to err on the conservative side when deciding your target values. There are water profiles out there that can certainly ruin an otherwise excellent beer. Everyone's palate is different, but once you head north of the 200-250ppm of sulfate range (especially when paired with a healthy dose of chloride) you start to reach a point where it is as much mineral water as beer. Even higher amounts of sulfates can give farty/eggy aromas.

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