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Messages - erockrph

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: scaling down batch size
« on: March 08, 2015, 03:31:27 PM »
I assume that goes for the hops too?  I guess the wort concentration would be the same, so halving the hops would work equally well?  This leads to the question then: why are recipes always size specific? why not just say "pounds/gallon?"
I prefer to think of recipes as OG and percent for grain bill and IBU and oz/gallon for hops. This is kind of a universal way to describe a recipe. Its also an easy way to "think out" ideas in your head. From there it's the same math exercise no matter what batch size you're using.

Beer Recipes / Re: Tomorrow's brew - Double IPA
« on: March 07, 2015, 06:49:12 PM »
The grain bill looks fine, although I prefer to skip the crystal malt. That looks like about 3 ounces of hops in the whirlpool. I would recommend increasing that a lot. I use 4 oz of hops in the whirlpool per gallon for an IPA. Which means that a sane person would want to target at least an ounce per gallon :) I'd double or even triple your whirlpool additions.

For a beer like this, hop selection is strictly a matter of personal preference. Cent/Mosaic/CTZ will make a great IIPA. Citra, Simcoe and Apollo would all be fantastic in a beer like this as well. Let us know how it turns out!

The Pub / Re: Should get special dispensation for this...
« on: March 07, 2015, 08:04:56 AM »

I was just have a little fun, looks like a nice vehicle for her. Hopefully someday I'll be able to spend money on a nice car for my wife instead of dumping money into a brewery.

Appreciated .....I'm a ball buster also.

Someday when I'm done with open air on two wheels, I'm all about the corvette. I still thinks it's one of the best value performance cars in the world....and its American made.
My Dad had both a 'vette and a BMW when I was a kid. They were both great cars, but I liked the Corvette much better. It was pretty tough to stuff a family of 4 in there, though. My brother kept kicking my shins and my head would bounce off the rear window if we hit any bumps in the road.

Beer Recipes / Re: Hoppy dark wheat ale
« on: March 06, 2015, 06:30:01 PM »
Sounds like a tasty beer. If it were me, I'd be tempted to use an English ale yeast and swap the Cascade for EKG's, but it looks really good as-is.

You're definitely following a prudent course by keeping the grain bill simple on a beer where you're not sticking to a style. You run into a lot less risk of flavors clashing.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash pH and light beers
« on: March 06, 2015, 06:08:38 PM »
alternately you could just use lactic acid and skip the acid malt all together.

+1.  Lactic is reliably 88% (at least what you get in LHBS). I always wonder how reliable that acidity is across different maltsters. Lots of ways to make beer, though.
Bingo. You can certainly make excellent beer using acidulated malt, but I prefer the level of control I get from using lactic acid of a known concentration.

Beer Recipes / Re: Today's Shopping LIst
« on: March 06, 2015, 01:24:43 PM »
Your reminding me its about time for us to make a pilgrimage to Yankee Spirits in Sturbridge Ma. Its the largest package store in New England. Its the size of a large supermarket. The space cereal would take up is whiskey and the beer section is bigger than most entire package stores. They do a ton of business, there are always license plates from 3 different states in the parking lot, so they move through their inventory quickly. The beer area isn't inside a cooler but they do seem to have the area kept as cool as they can, I would say about 50.
The Yankee Spirits in Attleboro is an old supermarket as well. I've never been to the one in Sturbridge, so I can't compare but the Attleboro one is huge. They stopped doing mix-a-six years ago, so I don't go there too often any more. But they do have a killer selection for when you're looking for something special.

Other Fermentables / Re: Anybody try kombucha
« on: March 06, 2015, 11:18:19 AM »
Thanks for the info, Mary! Your NHC talk is one of the main reasons I even tried Kombucha in the first place. Water kefir does sound like it's more up my alley since I'm not a huge vinegar fan, I figured kombucha was a good place to start since I can essentially do it with bottle dregs and ingredients I already have around the house.

I'm still new to the process, but I am already finding that I like my own homebrewed kombucha a lot better than the stuff I'm getting at the supermarket.

Beer Recipes / Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
« on: March 06, 2015, 10:57:31 AM »
I use hibiscus in the secondary (without making a tea) and I get plenty of character and color out of it there. I think there is a lot of variability between different brands, but I find that 2/3 ounce per gallon (which would be about 100g in a 20L batch) gives me a nice pink color and enough hibiscus character without being overwhelming.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP090
« on: March 06, 2015, 08:44:51 AM »

Yeah, I remember that thread now.  I never had a hint of diacetyl from 090, or heard of it from other brewers. I did the usual for my American beers - pitch @ 62, ferment at 64, ramp near the end.  I wonder if they could be a little eager to get beer on line and rush things a bit.  +1 to Steve - getting a pitch from them would be a good test. It's very clean.

Yes getting a pitch from them would be good first step. However if there has been some mutation and therefore somewhat a unique house strain, then he might experience som similar results as their products. I'd also consider just running test on fresh vial for best analysis.

I agree. But I'm betting he makes a clean beer with theirs. Sounds more like they're rushing their process. Maybe not.
Agreed. Their beers taste "homebrewey". There's some diacetyl, but they also have green beer/underattenuation flavors.

Tangent - I hate to use the term "homebrew flavor" nowadays, because I typically get that flavor more from brewpubs that rush their beer.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: cleaning bottles
« on: March 06, 2015, 08:19:25 AM »
OK, let me try it another way (and let's disregard labels for now). What if I want to skip the oxi clean step? Rinse the bottle well after drinking it, obviously, then what? Sterilize in oven. Anything else?
Other options are using the "Sanitize" setting on your dishwasher, or spraying with a no-rinse sanitizer like Star-San.

Ingredients / Re: "Hop My Beer" hop oil
« on: March 06, 2015, 07:24:35 AM »
Yeah, good eval.  I've found some value in the hop shot-type bittering extracts on IPAs, to reduce hop matter on big hop bills. But I think I'll pass on these. Clearly what SN is doing with their oils is in a whole different league.
Since they have such a raw flavor, I'm wondering if the results are different if you use them as dry hops, where they have time to sit in the beer for a week or two at packaging prior to consumption.

I think, for what I'm looking for, I'd be better off looking for lab/food-grade linalool/citronellol/geraniol/etc. That's something I've been wanting to play with.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP090
« on: March 05, 2015, 10:02:54 PM »
I don't have a convenient LHBS, so liquid yeast has to be worth the hassle for me to want to try it. US-05 works just fine for me, so I haven't really played around with other neutral ale yeasts. There is also a local brewpub that uses it as their house strain and they definitely have some fermentation off-flavors in their beers.

I've heard good things about this yeast, but I have to admit I'm a bit gunshy about pulling the trigger on a vial.

Ingredients / "Hop My Beer" hop oil
« on: March 05, 2015, 09:55:46 PM »
I got my package from Hop My Beer in today. Conveniently enough, I just picked up a growler of Rye King from Brutopia (an great local brewpub) last night. It is essentially a Rye Maerzen with a little hop bite (~30 IBU) and only a touch of noble hop aroma. It's a pretty good base beer for sampling hop oils.

I decided to try the Chinook and Citra oils tonight. The recommended dose is 1-2 drops per 12 oz pour. I started with 1 drop in 6oz, so this is the upper end of the range. The bottles of oil were hand-numbered and sealed. The dropper has a childproof top and a fine-point dropper tip. It is pretty clear that they pay attention to their packaging.

First up was the Chinook. When I opened the bottle I picked up a grassy, hop pellet aroma. When I dosed the beer I picked up some grassy, cucumber peel aromas, along with anise and an herbal/spicy/minty note similar to a Ricola cough drop.

On the flavor side, there were some raw hop/resin notes along with some herbal grassiness. The resin tended to linger a bit which left the impression of a bit more bitterness (like maybe 5 IBU more). I didn't get any pine or citrus in either the flavor or the aroma.

The Citra oil had the same grassy, raw hop aroma in the bottle. When I dosed the beer I got more of that raw hop aroma and herbal mint/spice aromas. I did pick up some sweet tropical fruit in the papaya/guava family and maybe a hint of Hawaiian Punch. The fruit was faint, however and had none of the mango/citrus I typically get from Citra.

The Citra-dosed beer had a bit more of the raw hop resin flavor than the Chinook. It made the beer seem a bit more bitter (maybe 8-10 IBU more perceived bitterness to my palate). Other than that, I got no other hop character in the flavor - no fruit at all. Adding 1 more drop made no discernable change. At that point, I added 2 more drops (4 drops total in a 6oz sample) and there was still no fruit character, only more of that "raw hop" flavor.

In the end, the hop oil reminded me more of the hop character in unfermented wort straight from the brew kettle, rather than what I get from dry hops. It's not horrible, but I'm not a big fan. I was hoping for pine and citrus, and just got grassy, raw hops. It seems like the hop oils that lead to grassy hop character like myrcene and farnesene are here in spades, but the floral/citrus oils like linalool, geraniol, and citronellol are either lost or hidden.

Overall, I don't think these are bad products, but they don't necessarily deliver for the trained palate. I am still interested in the iso-alpha acid extract I got. I'll have to find a creative use for the other oils.

All Things Food / Re: Bramble varieties
« on: March 05, 2015, 07:42:10 PM »
Golden raspberries are a real treat, so that would top my list. I've only grown the Anne variety, but they are great. They have a tart, almost citrusy flavor.

I've tried a few different blackberries, but the only ones that have had really great flavor have been my Boysenberries. Well, those and the wild berries that grow in the woods near my driveway. It's frustrating when the giant blackberry plant in your garden has no flavor, while the little scrub brush on the edge of the woods tastes killer.

For currants I have Red Lake (red), Pink Champagne (pink), and Consort (black). The pink ones have a nice flavor for eating out of hand, like a less-foxy red currant. The Red Lake are ok, but don't blow me away either. The Consort is one of my favorite berries in my yard. It has a great aroma and loads of black currant flavor.

I've had mixed results with my gooseberries as far as plant health goes. The Invicta (green) is really tart, but tastes great and makes a real nice gooseberry pie. I've only gotten berries once in the past 3 years, though - the plant isn't doing too great. Pixwell is a very nice red gooseberry, and has fared the best in my garden. It is really tasty for eating out of hand. It has a sweet, blueberry-like flesh, with that classic tart gooseberry skin. My Hinnomaki Red has yet to produce fruit. It grows like a weed at the start of the season, but then seems to pick up some sort of fungus before it can set fruit. I'm probably going to dig it out this year.

I've had good luck with both Stark Bros and Jung Seeds for my berry plants.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Head Question
« on: March 05, 2015, 07:14:45 PM »
How's this for Dunkelweizen.

nice! What vol co2 did you charge it too?

its bottled and i targeted 3.8vol
Hope you have some heavy-duty bottles. Or chain mail...

But seriously, that's a damn nice looking brew.

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