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Messages - erockrph

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I just use cool tap water. I use the whisk attachment on my stick blender to mix/aerate the must. I have yet to run into an issue. Hypothetically, I may be rolling the dice. But pragmatically, until I shoot craps for the first time I'm going to stick with what works for me.

FWIW, I don't sanitize any fruit that I add at primary before pitching, either. I do use plenty of yeast, rehydrate with Go-ferm, use staggered nutrient additions and aerate several times a day for the first 5-7 days. I'm pretty confident that my yeast can out-compete any other microbes until they produce enough alcohol and drop the pH to where competing microbes aren't an issue.

Beer Recipes / Re: Vienna Lager recipe help
« on: August 03, 2017, 04:48:45 PM »
If you want to go the Mexican route, I assume some corn is necessary. In my experience, the sweetness from the corn can accent munich malt in an adverse way. Mine straddles the line of being almost too sweet and malty but it finishes at 1.011.

I brewed a Mexican-style Vienna this spring, and I did notice the toastiness of the Vienna and sweet corn flavor were initially quite prominant and at odds with each other. It took a couple of weeks on gas for those flavors to mellow out, but when they did I ended up with one of my favorite beers I've brewed in a long time.

Here's my recipe, FWIW. I didn't get the chance to order WLP940, so I used S-189. It is on the hoppy side (flavor-wise) for a Vienna, so you may want to skip the flameout addition if that's not what you're going for. I do think the higher IBU's help balance the corn, so you might want to leave the boil addition as-is.

Title: Negra de Cinco

Brew Method: BIAB
Style Name: Vienna Lager
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 3 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 4 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.039
Efficiency: 80% (brew house)

Original Gravity: 1.051
Final Gravity: 1.012
ABV (standard): 5.15%
IBU (tinseth): 24.93
SRM (morey): 14.94

2.5 lb - German - Vienna (48.8%)
1 lb - Flaked Corn (19.5%)
1.25 lb - German - Pilsner (24.4%)
4 oz - Belgian - CaraVienne (4.9%)
2 oz - American - Midnight Wheat Malt (2.4%)

0.5 oz - Sterling, Type: Pellet, AA: 7.1, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 24.93
1 oz - Sterling, Type: Pellet, AA: 7.1, Use: Boil for 0 min

1) Infusion, Temp: 148 F, Time: 60 min, Amount: 12 qt, Sacc Rest
2) Infusion, Temp: 163 F, Time: 30 min, Amount: 5 qt, Alpha

White Labs - Mexican Lager Yeast WLP940

Adjusted color to dark amber with Brewer's Caramel (not Midnight Wheat)

All Things Food / Re: Happy Nat'l Chicken Wing Day!
« on: July 31, 2017, 12:41:43 AM »
Makes me wanna do some of my smoked spicy Korean wings. They blow regular Buffalo wings out of the water.

Got a recipe? I've recently discovered the joys of Gochujang, and I'm looking for new ways to abuse it. I have a funny feeling that it will be the next Sriracha.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Steeping/Whirlpool Hops
« on: July 30, 2017, 11:40:21 AM »
I just brewed an IPA that I've brewed numerous times. I skipped my bittering additions so that I could actually gauge the bitterness from whirlpool. The bitterness is totally different. The batch was  15 gallons in the fermenter. Cooled to 170 w 3 oz ea of Cascade, Centennial, and Citra for 30 minutes. I added 3 oz of each again when I started the CFC again. That addition ended up about 10 min starting at about 150. What I like is the fact that when you drink it the bitterness is so smooth. Whirlpool addition bitterness is slow on the palate. I'm not sure of the IBU, but drinks like a 30ibu beer. My next version will get all additions at flameout, with another charge once it hits 170ish. It lacks some of the bitterness it needs for balance. I do chill and recirculate in the kettle. I'm kegging today, so the bitterness perception could change with the carbonation. I find it nice to get all that fresh hop flavor from the whirlpool, without the palate wrecking bitterness. 

And this is why I love the all-flameout IPA. My 98 IBU beer could have easily passed for 50-60 IBU, and what bitterness is there is nice and smooth. It has enough of the bitterness that I'm missing from a lot of the NE IPA's out there, but it isn't abrasive at all.

The Pub / Re: Shrubs
« on: July 29, 2017, 12:00:51 PM »
Making kombucha is so easy... if you're already buying it raw, you can just pour the dregs into a sugar/tea mix and start your own scoby.  I agree that you might end up with more than you want to drink, but it's worth trying.  If nothing else you'll save $5 a few times  :)

Yep. I scratched my kombucha itch a few years back. It's pretty easy to do from a bottle with live cultures, similar to growing up your own yeast from bottle dregs.

The thing is, I hate vinegar. The kombucha I like the best tastes either like fizzy fruit juice or homemade soda, so now I just make my own soda instead.

Ingredients / Re: Nelson Sauvin - looking for feedback
« on: July 29, 2017, 11:42:11 AM »
First question, where can you buy Nelson right now?

The 2017 crop suffered from poor growing conditions and is pretty much MIA. Farmhouse has some 2016 left, which of course would still be good:

Past that, NB and morebeer have some for those inclined, but don't specify the crop.

Hopefully a better harvest next year.

complete rumour at this point, but I heard rumblings that there is some internal strife at one of (the only??) main farms growing NS and that further supply is not guaranteed.
I hope that's not the case. Nelson is one of my all-time favorites, and I haven't seen it around much as of late. It gives an intense citrus character that pairs exceptionally well with tropical hops.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Steeping/Whirlpool Hops
« on: July 29, 2017, 10:09:32 AM »
It depends on what you're going for. For things like pale ales and/or hoppy lagers I like to chill to about 160F and go for 30 minutes. This gives you a nice boost of hop flavor with minimal IBU contribution. This lets you control the hop flavor separately from bittering in styles where you want to control your IBU's.

My best results in an IPA are to skip the bittering addition, and add all my hops in a 60-90 minute whirlpool right at flameout. The hot temps will generate all the IBU's you need (the sample I had analyzed came back at 98 IBU), and I think that it improves flavor extraction.

The Pub / Re: song title game
« on: July 22, 2017, 07:30:30 AM »
Paradise City - GnR

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Even I think that is too much dry hops lol

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP 644 Sach Trois Q and A
« on: July 18, 2017, 10:06:54 AM »
I would treat it like a normal yeast. I have had a lot of luck using it in secondary after French Saison in primary. That plus some fruit makes an amazing fruited beer. It will not go "sour" (at least in the common sense of a sour beer) unless you also pitch lacto or kettle sour. In my experience, it will dry the beer out below 1.000 so be prepared. This does allow you to pitch a ton of fruit.
Interesting. I have had zero luck using this yeast in secondary with 3711. But this was back when they were still calling it Brett, so it could be that my expectations were off. I was shooting for fruited and dry hopped Brett saisons, but never got any further flavor development once I pitched the Trois.

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One of the interesting things that Bryan has turned me on to in the recent months is tracking the percentage of extract you get after each rest. We use an adapted form of Kai's first wort gravity chart in our spreadsheets and we have shown that for 100% conversion we nail that gravity consistently.

What does that mean? Well we know that we can expect 100% of the available first wort extract at the end of our mash. Since we are using no-sparge, that turns out to be our pre-boil gravity. In order to track extract across the mash, you simply take gravity readings with your refractometer after each rest. What you'll see is the progression of available extract for a certain temperature and time.

For instance, we both use sight glasses so we can SEE conversion happening and gravity readings confirm this. If you know that you expect 12.9 Brix at the end of the mash and you read 5.2 Brix at the end of the 144 F rest, you know that you have obtained 42.6% of the first wort extract from that rest. You could certainly infer that beta amylase was very active at that temperature. If you then show 8.5 Brix after your 147 F rest, you know that 23.3% additional extract has been gained, and so on and so forth. Bryan has been hitting ~90-95% of his pre-boil gravity after his 3rd beta rest.

You can also use this as a troubleshooting tool for poor conversion or even high gelatinization temps for new malts. If you run a multi beta amylase rest schedule and your first rest is 147 F with a step to 153 F, and you don't see any extract content until the ramp to 153 F, you know that your gelatinization temperature lies somewhere on that spectrum. If you see sluggish gains in extract content throughout the mash, you may have poor conversion.

For those using single infusion, this troubleshooting tool could also be used to determine whether you should extend rest times. For instance, if you plan on mashing for 45 minutes, but at the end of the duration you only have 65% of the deisred extract, you can extend the rest time and take another reading at 60 minutes, 90 minutes etc. and use that as a metric for that temperature rest.
Good info, thanks for sharing!

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend?
« on: July 17, 2017, 06:39:25 PM »
I'm brewing my first pass at what I call my "Gold Standard" lager - I'm looking for a go-to light, corn-based lager. It's not quite a CAP, not quite a Helles or Vienna, and not quite a Cream Ale, but it borrows what I like from each:

1.048 OG

50% Avangard Pils
25% Swaen Pale Ale
20% Flaked Corn
5% Dingeman Aromatic

25 IBU from Sterling at 60 minutes
1 oz Sterling at flameout

White Labs High Pressure Lager fermented at 66F at 15 PSI

Just to touch on a few points that were brought up.

A) Greg Doss's presentation is exactly why I started targeting 153 on my single infusions

B) I'm with Dave in thinking that Beta hangs around long enough up to the mid 150's to do what it needs to do. It's not like you flip a switch and it all denatures at once. There is a rate of denaturation (and an associated half-life). Given the enzyme content of most modern malt, even if the half-life of beta amylase is relatively short at these temperatures, there is likely enough enzyme present to do what it needs to do. Plus, the increased alpha activity at these temps will help make beta more effective.

C) While I still single-infuse for most of my ales, I have been doing a simple 2-step mash (147 x 60 minutes to 162 for 30 minutes) for my light lagers, and I like the results. I also have had good results doing an iterated mash for my barleywines (mash half grain at alpha temps, pull grain and add remainder to drop down to beta temps). This has resulted in great attenuation in some huge beers (my best was 84% in an 1.142 all-MO BW).

The Pub / Re: song title game
« on: July 16, 2017, 09:20:32 AM »
Foam Born - Between the Buried and Me

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP051 Ferm Temp
« on: July 16, 2017, 07:09:56 AM »
A) 75F isn't enough to kill yeast of any strain

B) Just about every ale strain (even the ones that do OK at higher temperatures) give the best results when started in the 60's. You might get some off flavors by pitching so hot.

C) That strain tends to start slow. I wouldn't worry until 24 hours or more with no activity at all.

The start of fermentation is the most critical time for temp control. Even if you can't control your temps during fermentation, pitching at the right temp will make a big difference in the quality of your beer.

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