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Messages - erockrph

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Ingredients / Re: Bog Myrtle
« on: March 14, 2014, 09:47:22 PM »
Here it is for $7

You may be able to find it at a hippie health food store. Might be more expensive, but you can buy less.

That's for 1/10 oz, or just under 3 grams. Kinda makes the $12 an ounce seem like a real good deal.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: fermentation not complete ?
« on: March 14, 2014, 07:57:28 PM »
And the idea that champagne yeast will dry out a beer is a myth. It can't attenuate any sugars that brewer's yeast can't also ferment. If there's a gravity drop after repitching with champagne yeast, it's because the initial pitch stalled out above the attenuation limit of the wort.

I think this myth comes from the idea that champagne yeast has a higher listed alcohol tolerance than beer yeast, so if a beer yeast gives up because it has passed its alcohol tolerance, then (theoretically) the champagne yeast can keep going.

I think this idea is flawed because a) most beer strains can go quite a bit higher than their published tolerance if they are taken care of properly - well beyond the alcohol level all but the largest of barleywines and b) unless you pitched a big, healthy, hungry starter, I doubt even champagne yeast are going to be happy when pitched into beer that is already 12-14+% ABV - if that is truly the reason the original yeast gave up the ghost.

If you really thought that you maxed out the alcohol tolerance of your original yeast, then you'd probably be best off with something like eau de vie or distiller's yeast. But even then, I'm not sure if they'd be much help if they're not getting to the party until the beer is already in the double-digits.

Ingredients / Re: Bog Myrtle
« on: March 14, 2014, 05:08:07 PM »
I'm looking for an ingredient called bog myrtle (also known as mycia gale or sweet gale).  Local brew shops no longer carry it and neither does northern brewing supply.  Does anyone know where I can get it?  I've found a few places online including ebay, but 12.00 an ounce seems steep.

I've never used it, but I think I recall that the recommended use is about 1 gram per 5 gallons. If so, then 12 bucks an ounce seems like a steal.

Ingredients / Re: honey malt revisited...
« on: March 14, 2014, 02:00:15 PM »
Haha yeah I am definitely learning more from my frequent mistakes than anything else. For this batch I also decided to add the lime zest and lemongrass after fermentation was complete instead of at the end of the boil. It is a completely different character but not necessarily in a good way. The lemongrass has a 'perfumy' thing going on that is strange. I either used too much (same amount as prior late kettle additions) or let it sit in the beer for too long.

Next time dry hopping with an ounce or two of Motueka instead. It has a similar flavor, but its not as perfumy as using the fresh herbs.

Ingredients / Re: Hop Flavor Database
« on: March 14, 2014, 01:53:54 PM »

May not have everything.

Right. This has the "big 4" oils (Myrcene, Farnesene, Caryophylline and Humulene), that are commonly reported. What I'm interested in is some of the oils that seem to be popping up in the hop literature in recent years like 4MMP, geraniol, linalool, citronellol, etc.

Equipment and Software / Re: Bru'n water and cold steep
« on: March 13, 2014, 09:44:22 PM »
I don't brew dry stouts, so that may be a different animal, but for my stouts and porters I actually prefer a bit more roasty bite. I reserve cold steeping for things like Dunkels, Ambers, Alts, etc., where I am using a roasted malt solely for color and really want as little roasted flavor as possible. I find that cold steeping mutes some of the roasty character from these malts.

I saw a night and day difference in my dark beers when I started targeting the very upper end of the mash pH range. I'm not really sure how I'd factor that in for cold-steeped grain. But, as Denny said, only one way to find out...

Ingredients / Re: Hop Flavor Database
« on: March 13, 2014, 09:33:50 PM »
Very interesting find. Now they need tp publish a matching compendium of hop varieties that list which of each component they contain and how much.

Because of the sugar in the wort, it can get higher than 212.  I've seen temps of 214-216.  But you still don't need a thermometer in there IMO.
You sure of that thermometer calibration? At 30 Brix and 99% purity this gives a 0.31C increase. Maybe hop particles help elevate the temps.

Boiling point elevation increases as purity decreases. Wort is quite impure. At low purity percentage and at 100C you get numbers in the ballpark of what Denny is talking about,

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Bo Pils yeast strain recommendations?
« on: March 13, 2014, 03:46:51 PM »
Might be a little while before I get to brew it, but I just placed my order. Going with Budvar (WY2000). Thanks for the input, everyone!

All Things Food / Re: Mustard?
« on: March 13, 2014, 08:41:50 AM »
I've been thinking about that old mustard thread lately.  I found a jar in the back of the fridge with about an 1" of the last batch from last Fall in it.  It's kind of watery and got me thinking I need to check out the new Indian market at the end of the street. 

Luckily next week is Spring Break and I have the week off.   ;D

I feel the same way about these food threads as Corky.  My wife will shoot me and order that chipper shredder if I pick up anymore "foodie" habits.  I haven't pulled the trigger on cheese making yet because I'd like to see my kids grow up.   ::)



I think of cheesemaking as a "filler" hobby - something to do if I don't have time for a full brew day, or if I want to mix things up a bit. It doesn't stink up the house, either, so the wife doesn't give me as much of a hard time about it. I can certainly see where it could get addictive, though.

Back to mustard - anyone ever grow their own seed? I've been meaning to dabble in making stone-ground mustard, but just haven't gotten around to it. It would be really cool DIY to use your own beer AND own seeds.

Ingredients / Re: Head retention
« on: March 13, 2014, 08:36:18 AM »
You can have great head retention with just base malt, if you have a good mash and fermentation.

If you want extra help, use some wheat in the beer, and lots of hops. Wheat proteins will aid the head, as will hop oils.

Flaked barley as well. In fact, I use a little flaked barley in my belgian wheat because I was unhappy with the head retention (probably because of the oils present in the lime leaves used in recipe.)

Flaked barley works great for head retention, but I just don't like what it does for the flavor of a pale beer. It has a real "raw grain" flavor that , once you notice it, it tends to jump out at you. I've started using torrified wheat where I would normally consider using flaked barley, or even Carapils.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Bo Pils yeast strain recommendations?
« on: March 12, 2014, 05:22:06 PM »
Yeah, I'm not doing a completely by-the-books BoPils with the Motueka, but that's fine. I can definitely pick up the Saaz-lineage with Motueka, but there is a lime zest/lemongrass flavor & aroma that I love. I'm definitely not planning on a "bombs away" hopping approach, but I am planning on a short hop stand and modest dry hop. I think the Motueka will fit the bill nicely here, and the Saazer parentage will help tie things back into the Bohemian theme. (Motueka was actually originally called "Saaz/B") I guess it will be something of a "Motuemian Pilsner" in the end.

And, to get the train back on the rails, I'm pretty sure the original "Saaz" comment was referring to the yeast's lineage, and not the hop's .

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Chemistry of beer flavors
« on: March 12, 2014, 12:06:16 PM »
FWIW. If you use this argument on the BJCP written exam, you will likely be raked over the proverbial coals
I'd be tempted to give bonus points for it. :)

The problem with trying to prove that it occurs in the boil kettle is that it is hard to measure.  The products of caramelization and maillard reactions are somewhere between similar and identical, and not all of the compounds have been identified.  It would be great if there was some product that was only formed by caramelization, then we could just check for that forming in the kettle.  I don't know that such a product exists though.

Or you could simulate it by boiling a malt sugar solution of comparable gravity to wort in the absence of amino acids. If true caramelization was possible then you should detect some caramelization products. Otherwise, it would be reasonable to conclude that these are caused through the Maillard reactions in boiled wort.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Bo Pils yeast strain recommendations?
« on: March 12, 2014, 12:01:04 PM »
I would go with 2206, 2124 or 2278. I like your Baltic idea but how about Schwarzbier if you've not tried that? They can be fantasitcally interesting and refreshing dark lagers.

I was thinking of brewing something big, but I should have 2 fermenter spots open when the Pils is ready. Maybe I'll split the cake and do a Schwarz on one and something else on the other half. Maybe something with the new Red X malt from Best. Decisions, decisions...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Scaling recipes
« on: March 12, 2014, 10:59:34 AM »
My current batch size is 3.67 end of boil gallons, which yields about 3.33 primary gallons and 3 finished gallons. I built an entire brew house and kegging setup around this batch size.   I even built a custom kettle that has the proper geometry for this batch size.   I found that 3 finished gallons is big enough to share, but small enough to allow me to brew on a regular basis.

Agreed. I think I like to brew more than I like to drink. I only have about 5 beers a week. By brewing 1-case batches I get to brew once or twice a month without amassing a stockpile of beer that I'll never finish drinking. I have enough for my own consumption, some extra to share, and every 3 or 4 batches is something that I can cellar for extended aging.

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