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Messages - erockrph

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Ingredients / Re: how to add herbs for flavors
« on: March 05, 2015, 04:48:19 PM »
Have you cooked or made tea with it before? If so, what procedure did you use and how did you like the flavor impact? That's the rule of thumb I use for trying to figure out how to handle ingredients I'm adding to beer. It it likes heat, then I add it with 5 minutes left in the boil, or at flameout followed by a short steep at hot temps before chilling. If it's more delicate, then I treat it like dry hops and add it to the fermenter at the tail end of fermentation.

The Pub / Re: Check out this homebrew!
« on: March 05, 2015, 10:58:47 AM »
Congrats to you and the family!

Cellar up to 21 years.
Yes, back to beer. You should seriously brew a big barleywine or RIS soon and stash it away for when the little one is all grown up.

Other Fermentables / Re: Anybody try kombucha
« on: March 05, 2015, 09:35:29 AM »
I've had good luck culturing a kombucha SCOBY from a bottle of GT Kombucha from the grocery store.  It's a good idea to step up the batch size until your SCOBY gets to full size, much like culturing yeast from a bottled brew.  I went with the original, and it worked for me.  YMMV.

I harvested from three bottles of three different flavors. I have it going in a quart size mason jar. Only a week down and I see something floating on the top. Not sure if it is a scoby or not. From what I read and pictures I have seen it should be white or translucent. But again it is only been one week. Will step it up to a gallon in about two more weeks if I see more on the top. If not, I will try to find a local brewer that will give/sell me one.
Sounds similar to my experience. Started to see some gunk floating at about a week, and got a disk of jelly around two weeks or so. The brown strands (which I believe are the yeast part of the SCOBY) formed pretty late in the process. At that point I stepped up from a pint to 2 quarts and brewed my first batch. The original starter was pretty vinegary at that point, but I wanted to let it go pretty far before I stepped it up. The first 1/2 gallon batch saw the SCOBY thicken quite a bit.

I bottled around 10 days into the ferment and it was still a bit sweet, but pleasingly tart as well. For my second batch the SCOBY developed more brown tentacles in just a couple of days. I have a feeling that this batch will finish sooner than my first one as the SCOBY is still developing.

Ingredients / Re: Vitamin C in commercial beer
« on: March 05, 2015, 09:02:12 AM »
Belgium brewers also use coriander often, and that is another antioxidant.
Don't forget Vitamin C that comes from citrus peel as well.

I guess my concern is that no one is vetting these recipes. There are a lot of recipes out on the net that are mediocre at best. The whole point of buying a kit is to get a recipe that you can be assured will make good beer. A site like this is rolling the dice unless there is a solid recipe-vetting process.

Equipment and Software / Re: Sanitizing a barrel
« on: March 05, 2015, 08:39:43 AM »
Episode 5 of the Sour Hour has a wealth of information regarding Jay Goodwin's method of sanitizing and storing barrels. I don't have a timestamp for when he gets into the barrel details, but it's well worth a listen for anyone who works with barrels:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dryhop DIPA with Perle?
« on: March 05, 2015, 07:41:29 AM »
I've used Perle as a dry-hop a few times. I am a big fan. Although I can't say that I get the mint character that others say is there. More of a nice spicy fruity character. I just used TriplePerle as a dry hop on an IPA that I hope to tap this weekend as well.
used in pils with spalt, I cant pick up mint either...perhaps on its own I would.
For me, I don't know if I'd call it mint, but it's like a generic "sweet spiciness" to me. Depending on the other character of the hops sometimes it comes off as sweet cinnamon, or cardamom, or like a Ricola cough drop to me. It's not just Perle I'd describe like this, I get this from a few other hops like Polaris and Northern Brewer as well.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dryhop DIPA with Perle?
« on: March 05, 2015, 07:33:23 AM »
Perle in Rouge Dead Guy is subdued; these are left-over hops from a Dead Guy clone.

I am looking to use these in a Pliny base loaded with Chinook to add additional depth to the dry hop - not sure how it will work out though. IF anything, an ounce during dry hop, .5 oz. for 14 and .5 for 7 days.
I think in this context it certainly can't hurt. Worst case scenario is that you wouldn't notice that it's there unless you do a side-by-side. Best case is that it adds a subtle herbal-spice character that should go really well with Chinook.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dryhop DIPA with Perle?
« on: March 05, 2015, 05:54:12 AM »
I think it is something worth experimenting with. Perle to me has always been kind of minty. If that's the flavor you are after then go for it. I like to blend in some noble-sh or European hops with my IPAs. For a long time I used to use French Strisselspalt as an added sry hop. It added a complexity that I liked. Now I use Crystal.
I like that noble-ish character to add complexity to my hoppy beers as well. I use a lot of Motueka and Sterling for this since they're in the Saaz family, but get fruity when you start to push the hopping level on them.

To the OP, I've never used Perle as a dry hop but I think it would be a good choice with Simcoe and Chinook in particular. One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of noble hops are comparatively low in oil content and may just end up getting drowned out by bolder hops like Simcoe. I think it's still worth it to try, but if you don't end up getting the impact you're looking for, then you might need to bump up the amounts of Perle compared to the other dry hops.

Equipment and Software / Re: sorry...immersion chiller recommendations
« on: March 04, 2015, 10:31:38 AM »
I chill to 80-90 degrees with an immersion chiller then put the beer in the ferm chamber and pitch in the morning.  Less hassle than trying to get to pitch temp right away.

I have considered this. The problem is I aerate using gravity into my speidel 30L. If I pitched in the morning wouldn't I need to aerate again? It's not easy for me to do it once it is in the fermenter. Baby steps until I aerate properly...

hmm good question. wonder how much you loose over that time period.
And how much less O2 goes into solution at 80-90F vs fermentation temps...

Equipment and Software / Re: sorry...immersion chiller recommendations
« on: March 04, 2015, 10:07:25 AM »
I add a chilling paddle to the equation. It can help chill pre-chill water to use less ice then put in wort right in the middle of the immersion chiller and stirred around in tandem with the coil. Its food grade plastic. The foodservice industry uses them to quickly get soups and such down to safe temps:
This would be great for me to get down to lager pitching temps. Currently, I use frozen water bottles, but there always seems to be some glue residue that doesn't come off cleanly. It would be nice to have something that was actually built for that purpose.

Other Fermentables / Re: Anybody try kombucha
« on: March 04, 2015, 09:47:15 AM »
I like it, but it sure can look a little creepy. 

erockrph, what vessel are you fermenting in?  I have been using an old big pickle jar and some big Ball jars...seems like I always spill some when transferring to bottles.  I have been trying to transfer without getting a bunch of sludge in the bottles and have yet to settle on a good system.

RE: carbonation, I have found that what you add for flavor at bottling can have an effect - last batch I tried both some with grape juice and some with elderberry concentrate.  The grape carbed fast and became quite fizzy, while the elderberry is still fairly flat.  Sugar content I suppose.

Looking forward to your thoughts, as I know you are a sucker for experimenting. :)
Right now I just have one 2-quart Ball jar for my main fermentation vessel. I have been leaving the lid loosely screwed on so that it can let out gas during fermentation. If this ends up working out for me, I'll probably add a second vessel if this SCOBY has a baby.

For bottling, I poured out most of the kombucha carefully through a fine mesh strainer (to catch any gunk or in case the SCOBY slipped out) into a sanitized pitcher, and left the mother and maybe a cup of liquid behind. I added the juice at that point, then poured into bottles through a funnel. Then I brewed more tea and topped off the SCOBY jar.

What's everyone using for tea? I'm using green tea, since I prefer the flavor. It seems like most people use black tea, though. I'm wondering if there's any differences other than just flavor.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: cleaning bottles
« on: March 04, 2015, 08:26:50 AM »
Removing labels is a PITA, but once it's done you don't have to bother with it again when you start using it for homebrew. I use an Oxiclean soak for labels, but otherwise it isn't part of my regular cleaning process.

Unlabeled bottles simply get rinsed repeatedly in hot water until no residue/foam/aroma remains. I eyeball the bottom of the bottle to ensure that there is no caked-on sediment. Usually there's not, but I hit it with a bottle brush if needed. Rinsed bottles are stored upside-down or in a covered box until bottling time.

For bottling, I use the anti-bacterial setting on my dishwasher to sanitize my bottles and a small cup of starsan to sanitize my caps.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer for Thought...
« on: March 04, 2015, 08:19:19 AM »
The potential for uncivil responses rises for users that have avatars that are not attached to their actual identity. I've suggested that users be a little more open and put "themselves" out there personally so that your fellow user gets to know you and who you are. All it takes is a little extra info on your signature line.

Take responsibility for being a civil member of this forum.
I think most avatars speak somewhat to the actual identity of the owner, whether they are personal pictures or otherwise. 

Just think of in terms of 'truth in advertising'.  I could post a picture of myself and in reality, it tells you nothing, especially as small as these pictures are.  I use an image of Joe Btfsplk for my avatar and maybe you realize that it just might be harder for me to make drinkable beer than it is for you.  Of course, I could also use Pig from Pearls Before Swine if I wanted to make a comment on my general intelligence.  To accurately show my personality, I'd have to use Rat from the same comic strip. ;D
I don't have a problem with avatars, but I do think that having your name in your signature really helps with the atmosphere here. This forum is more like a big homebrew club than anything else. At the very least, knowing everyone's name keeps it more human and helps with the camaraderie.

I think it doesn't take long for newbies around here to learn the ropes and understand that things work differently on this forum. We typically have pay a lot more attention to the newbie asking a lot of questions that we've answered every few months, than the blowhard troublemaker looking for attention. There's nothing wrong with being opinionated as long as you keep it civil.

Other Fermentables / Re: Anybody try kombucha
« on: March 03, 2015, 07:52:56 PM »
I just bottled my first batch of kombucha. I tried kombucha for the first time recently. Honestly, I thought the ones I tried were a little bland, but I definitely saw enough potential to want to try it out myself. I grew up a SCOBY from the dregs of a few bottles of Live Kombucha Soda. I stepped it up similar to stepping up bottle dregs from a beer.

From what I understand, a lot of Kombucha makers reformulated their products a few years back when there were some concerns that the refermented Kombucha could potentially exceed 1% ABV. What I don't like about the Live Soda is that they sweeten with something like stevia or splenda, which leaves an "artificial sweetener" taste. The good thing is that this means that their culture probably isn't doctored, since they aren't back-sweetening with sugar. It took a little time, but I have a nice jellyfish going on right now.

I backsweetened this batch with Pom-blueberry juice and bottled in 12oz PET soda bottles. I'm hoping I'll get a nice fizz out of them, but they're already pretty damn tasty even if they don't sparkle up too much,

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