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Messages - erockrph

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: mash-in volume concern
« on: February 22, 2014, 09:17:46 AM »
Nothing wrong with a thinner mash. I no-sparge and don't run into any issues until I hit the 4 qt/lb or thinner range. I say just use your usual volumes in this case instead of targeting a specific thickness. Be aware that you might overshoot your typical efficiency with a thinner mash.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The politics of homebrew?
« on: February 22, 2014, 08:42:17 AM »
I'm proud to be a Libertarian no-sparger. You can sparge however the hell you want, as long as I'm not footing the bill for your new brewery or subsidizing your grain.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: House Yeast
« on: February 21, 2014, 07:01:16 PM »
I typically brew with US-05, but when I use a liquid yeast I typically brew 2-3 successive batches from low gravity to high. I try to stash away a bottle or two of the lowest gravity beer I made with that yeast. If I want to grow up a pitch, I'll harvest from the low-gravity beer and step it up until I have a full pitch ready. I'm sure it's easier to just go to the LHBS for a new vial, but this is one way to have access to those yeast strains (especially if it is a limited-edition strain).

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: House Yeast
« on: February 21, 2014, 05:54:48 PM »
WLP007 would be a good option, or even WY1968. Ferment warm for an English ester profile and cold for a clean ferment. A lot of US breweries use an English yeast (Stone, for example), but have pretty clean beers because of how they control their fermentation.

The other option is dry yeast. They keep a long time in the fridge, so there's no big worry in keeping a stockpile. I always keep US-05 and S-04 on hand for short-notice brewdays.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Pretty sure I like flat AIPA
« on: February 21, 2014, 12:18:35 PM »
I think you guys aren't pouring hard enough. I'm not a huge fan of excess fizz in my hoppy brews, but that carbonation does a world of good when it comes to releasing hop aroma. I just pour it extra hard to kick out the extra carbonation.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Prime Dose for bottling
« on: February 21, 2014, 11:58:00 AM »
I'm trying to figure out what it is. You say it has yeast and sugar, which would be neat, but the info on that page is vague and stuffed full of marketing keywords and puns.

+1 - It implies that there might be yeast in there, but it never mentions what the ingredients are. My guess is that it contains something like DAP or yeast nutrient instead of actual yeast. And DAP is something I'd never want to add to finished beer. Smells/tastes like ammonia or pee. I'm pretty leery of adding something to my beer if I don't know exactly what it is. I've never really had an issue with my yeast being able to carb a beer, even on big Belgians that spent 3 months in primary before bottling.

And, FWIW, the Coopers carb drops (the ones that look like a ball of sugar candy) have always worked exactly the way I've wanted them to. I use them for all my 1-gallon pilot batches.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Purposely stressing yeast
« on: February 21, 2014, 09:52:00 AM »
I think there are several ways to play with the flavor profile. I'd pick the method that best fits my overall goal. For example, if I would like more esters but also planned on harvesting and repitching, then I would adjust my pitching rate and fermentation temp to increase esters but still oxygenate so I end up with relatively healthy yeast. If I didn't plan to repitch I might oxygenate less or skip it and aerate instead. If I wanted reduced attenuation I agree with Jonathan and would up my mash temp, change grist, or go with a less attenuative yeast.

Bingo. First off, I wouldn't necessarily think of it as "purposefully stressing yeast" - to me that sounds like you are going so far to the extreme that the yeast is going to do all kinds of horrible things. But there are certainly several ways to adjust the initial conditions of the wort/yeast to get the results you're looking for. I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to stress the yeast, but using lower pitching/nutrient/oxygenation rates are certainly all valid options available to the homebrewer. I do I think I'd choose to manipulate other factors first (mash temp & fermentation temp primarily).

I think homebrewing has come along so far because of the quality of the yeast that has become available, and because most good homebrewers place good fermentation practice as their top priority (and rightfully so). But I think that this has also led to some brewers falling under the impression that you absolutely have to pitch as much yeast as Mr Malty tells you to in all cases. I don't see that as the case. I think if you are managing all your other factors properly (aeration and temp control), then you can pitch at a lower rate in some styles and have excellent results. I'm not saying that 1 vial of yeast could work for 10 gallons of barleywine, but I like to pitch about 1/2-2/3 of what Mr Malty recommends when I'm brewing a hefe to get the flavor profile I'm looking for.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Need help with 1st all grain stout
« on: February 21, 2014, 09:35:01 AM »
Maybe it's just my take on things, but I don't think a dry stout will work quite as well by imperializing it. It's intended to be a smooth, drinkable style. I think you would be better off doing something along the lines of a big American or Extra Stout if you want something that big.

If you do proceed as planned, I'd probably cut the roast barley to about a pound. I'd also probably shoot for something in the 60 IBU range - which would be splitting the difference between using a 1:1 BU:GU ratio versus the upper end of the style guidelines. That approach has worked for me in the past when Imperializing other non-hoppy styles to at least get in the right ballpark.

General Homebrew Discussion / Highest OG for all-malt brew
« on: February 20, 2014, 01:31:24 PM »
No, this isn't a "my barleywine is bigger than yours" thread. But I was wondering how high everyone would be comfortable pushing the limits for an OG on a beer that used no simple sugars or incremental feeding or anything else of that sort. In other words, at what point would you be concerned that the OG would be so high that the beer had little chance at finishing out at a drinkable FG, and is more likely to stall out at the "alcoholic malt syrup" stage.

Here's my scenario that has me thinking about this. For my next beer I am brewing a barleywine using an iterated mash. Basically, for a 3-gallon batch, I am planning on mashing 8 lbs of grain around 160F (for a high Alpha rest), then pulling the grain bag, and replacing it with 8 more pounds of grain. I'm hoping this will get me down to Beta rest temps (148ish), where I will hold for a long mash to max out fermentability.

I'm using 60% as a ballpark effiency, which would give me something in the 1.125 range for an OG. The thing is, I've gotten as high as 86% efficiency on barleywines using 8 lbs of grain in the mash before. If that happens, then I'd be up over 1.170 for my OG. Even with a big pitch of yeast, followed by a second active starter pitched 7 days later, I have a hard time imagining that this would finish as low as I'd want.

What would you use for your upper limit for the OG on an all-malt barleywine?

Ingredients / Re: Water adjustment for an Old Peculier clone
« on: February 20, 2014, 12:47:29 PM »
On a side note, they do open Fermentation, I've been to the brewery before and had a nice tour.

Yeah, I'm doing the open fermentation thing myself (bucket with a sanitized paint strainer bag over the top). My whole basement smells like English ale for the first few days of fermentation. It's quite a lovely thing :)

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Is my bottling process oxidizing my beer?
« on: February 20, 2014, 11:49:39 AM »
I'm with Denny. I just prop the other side of the bucket (opposite the spigot) on a book or two. Any sediment that makes it into the bottling bucket usually settles down below the spigot opening. That last bit in the bucket is generally just the right size for a hydro sample.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: my first logger ?s
« on: February 19, 2014, 08:27:26 PM »
No need to keep your starter in the 50's, room temp will be just fine. Since you're just worried about growing yeast and not brewing beer the warmer temps won't be an issue.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I was surprised...
« on: February 19, 2014, 03:40:47 PM »
Did anybody ever actually brew the Goat Scrotum Ale?   :o

Guilty.  That recipe gives you a long list of "extras" you can add.  I'd only brewed a few batches and had no idea what I was doing, but I recall adding spruce, molasses, and a couple other things.  I had to force down the entire 5 gallons because nobody else would drink it.

Which brings about a valuable lesson for the newbie: don't be afraid to dump a batch if it sucks! Just gives you another reason to brew more beer.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Clear Beer!
« on: February 18, 2014, 07:29:10 PM »
It's hard to go wrong with 16 oz of hops

Bah, needs more hops :)

Beer Recipes / Re: dubbel feedback
« on: February 18, 2014, 06:21:23 PM »
I haven't brewed one yet but I'm curious. I think I read or heard that if too much simple sugar is added too early that the yeast will go after those and then get lazy (wrong term for something with no brain probably) and will stall leaving maltose behind. True or myth? If it's true, seems like adding toward the end of high krausen would be best.
I say myth

+1 - My last quad had about 25% simple sugar (added during the boil), and went from 1.090 down to 1.014 with no problem. I think if you pitch enough yeast, then there's not an excessive amount of growth to select for cells that prefer to metabolize simple sugars.

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