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Messages - erockrph

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Interesting 1056 behaviour
« on: February 23, 2015, 05:00:23 PM »

I feel as though the culture was in pretty good shape when I pitched, and I'm going to continue the crash at high krausen method.  I wonder if any other strains will behave similarly.
I tried the "crash at high krausen" method with WY1968 and it was still chugging away in my 38f keezer. If 1968 won't floc out at fridge temps, then it wouldn't surprise me to hear any strain behave like this.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: bottling from primary fermentation vessel
« on: February 23, 2015, 01:19:09 PM »
I've done it plenty of times with small batches. It is a hassle, but manageable.  I used an autosiphon with the clip to keep the trub out. I sacrificed some beer for the good of the rest. I used carb tabs instead of mixing sugar into the lot.
Same here. The Cooper's carb drops work great for this.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Mash temp and thermometer
« on: February 23, 2015, 10:41:54 AM »
I have one of these and it works great. Readings stabilize within 5-8 seconds and calibration has remained dead-on:

All Grain Brewing / Re: Ipa water addition help
« on: February 22, 2015, 04:18:27 PM »
Nope,  4.6 give me good conversion I was looking on ex water and they have baking soda as a ph raider is this tru I do have baking soda

That will also add sodium which may or may not be desirable.
In my experience, if you're starting with a low sodium content in your source water, then baking soda doesn't add enough sodium to cause a flavor issue. 4.6 is pretty low, though. That may require enough baking soda to cause a flavor impact.

All Things Food / For the cool-climate gardeners
« on: February 21, 2015, 07:45:47 PM »
I was at the RI flower show today and met Petra from Fruition seeds ( I like to experiment with heirloom varieties in my garden that I can't get if I don't grow them myself. A lot of times that means you're rolling the dice with varieties that may not be suited for your locale, especially in cooler areas like the Northeast. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the seeds from Fruition are coming almost exclusively from the Northeast (their farm is in the Finger Lakes area, and the majority of seed they aren't growing themselves is coming from NY, VT, Quebec or Maine).

I never thought I'd be able to grow peanuts up my way, but I was able to grab a cold-hardy variety that originally came from from the northern peninsula of Michigan. I'm probably going to hit up their website for some ground cherries, tomatillos and canteloupe as well.

As much as I love sites like Baker City and Seed Savers Exchange, I was really psyched to find a seed grower who is focusing on regionally-adapted varieties. I will definitely be going out of my way to give these guys my business.

Equipment and Software / Re: Spoon or paddle
« on: February 21, 2015, 07:24:49 PM »
Same here, a 24" metal spoon. Gets in the corners of the cooler much better to break up dough balls and mix.  My paddle is mounted on the garage wall for decoration.   ;D

EDIT - I also like it because I get two uses out of it - to mash and to stir the kettle for whirlpooling.
Same here. I got the same spoon from Northern Brewer or Midwest Supplies, I think. I use it for everything from stirring the mash, whirlpooling, spooning hop gunk out of my filters, mixing in priming sugar, and so on.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brew day efficiency ideas
« on: February 21, 2015, 07:20:20 PM »

What's the hurry? This is my hobby. I like brewing.
I think this often. Especially when I see folks rushing everything. This is just a therapeutic session for me.... Time mostly irrelevant.
I'm jealous of you guys. Finding time is the biggest challenge in brewing (or any hobby) for me. Any efficiency that doesn't come at the expense of my enjoyment of the process simply makes it easier for me to find the time to brew.

Plus, I love the challenge of finding new ways to streamline my workflow. I felt pretty accomplished the time I was able to crank out 8 one-gallon batches of beer in 5 hours.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Help with Mead
« on: February 21, 2015, 07:07:13 PM »
Even though this guide is referring specifically for Melomels (fruit meads), the principles are applicable for all meads (the only difference is that I'd double the nutrient amounts for non-fruit meads, since you aren't getting any nutrients from fruit in those instances). This is one of the best guides out there. I still reread it every few batches:

Personally, I use Lalvin 71B for my meads. Any yeast will allow you to produce a sweet or semisweet mead without backsweetening, but you need to learn what its alcohol tolerance is for the meads that you're making. The only way to do that is a bit of trial and error, I'm afraid. For your first few batches, I'd shoot for an FG lower than what you'd like and then backsweeten to the level you're shooting for. You can always add sweetness to a mead, but you can't take it out if the yeast finishes higher than you'd like.

For 71B, my sweet spot for an OG is about 1.140. Different yeast strains will have different alcohol tolerance, so you need to do some testing. Most champagne yeasts are pretty alcohol tolerant, so I'd start at 1.130ish for your first batch. Figure out how much honey you need to backsweeten with, then add about 2/3 as much to your next batch at the beginning. By your 3rd or 4th batch you should have a good feel for what you like if you keep all the other factors the same (i.e., same fermentation temp and nutrient schedule).

Using staggered nutrient additions, you can have drinkable mead in 6-8 weeks. But these will be in the mid-teens ABV%, so they could always use some extra time to age and mellow out.

One more thing, you can't go by the manufacturer's recommendation for the yeast's alcohol tolerance with meads. Using proper staggered nutrient additions, you will generally exceed the yeast's listed ABV tolerance (sometimes substantially). For example, Lalvin states that 71B has a tolerance up to 14% ABV. My meads are typically around 16%, and you can get it up over 18%.

Honey can vary in sugar concentration a bit. 35 PPG is a conservative estimate. I usually start with that as a guideline, and take a gravity reading after I mix in my water. If I need to dilute it a bit, I do so at that time. I brew 1.5-2 gallon batches. I use a 6.5 gallon bucket for my primary, and mix the honey and water using the whisk attachment on my immersion blender. Make sure you have plenty of headspace in whatever fermenter you're using! The mead will foam up quite a bit as you aerate and add nutrients for the first week or so.

Good luck and enjoy. Meadmaking is pretty simple once you get the hang of it. And the results can be fantastic.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: how high on a yeast bed?
« on: February 21, 2015, 05:31:16 PM »
Building up a big pitch of yeast off a smaller gravity beer is the best way to go in my opinion. My biggest beer has been a 1.142 barleywine that finished over 16%. I grew up the yeast (WLP 037) starting with a 1.040ish Brown Ale, then using some of the slurry for a 1.065ish Old Ale. The barleywine went on the full cake from the Old Ale and went down without a fight.

Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian Dubbel
« on: February 21, 2015, 07:19:02 AM »
The 550/570 blend is growing on me.  I understand it to be what Ommegang uses to make Gnomegang.  It isn't a 'classic'  dubbel profile though if you are looking for competition points.  I think blending the classic strains (500, 530, 540) with 570 in general for dark(er) belgian beers gives them a little more fresh fruit character, like pears, lemons and apples, which I enjoy.  I have to believe those brighter fruit characters are present in the style when you drink them fresh at the abbey, but are lost in their travels across the pond.  Dried fruit characters seem to hold up well to heat and time.
Interesting. I was under the impression that Ommegang used their house strain (which isn't available from WL or Wyeast to the best of my knowledge) for all their beers.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: "re-bottling"
« on: February 20, 2015, 09:30:43 PM »
I guess my big concerns are A) how do you keep it from getting oxidized? and B) how do you keep it from losing carbonation?

The Pub / Re: Lucky bastard
« on: February 20, 2015, 06:33:43 PM »
The liquor store in my neighborhood, which has an awesome clown logo, has had quite a bit of it recently.  It's pretty good.

Edit:  Seriously though, how great is this?

Clowns don't normally creep me out, but this one looks like he turns into Pennywise after dark...

And a big +1 to Sculpin. Love that beer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Munich Dunkel Mulligan
« on: February 20, 2015, 06:24:52 PM »
To me, it's Dark Munich malt that makes a Dunkel taste like a Dunkel. It has this really dark bread crust character that I just don't get from any other malt. To me, I think a Dunkel made primarily with Light Munich would end up closer to an Ofest in flavor.

I agree with Keith completely, the Special B is way out of place here - unless by "imported age" you mean "sweet fig and raisin". I like Special B, but not in lagers.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Light American Lager guidelines
« on: February 20, 2015, 06:21:15 AM »
I am not a BJCP judge, but to me a Light American Lager should be super, super clean. Since there is virtually no malt character, there is really nothing for that sulfur to hide behind. I like a touch of sulfur in my German lagers, but I don't think I'd want any in a Light American Lager.

Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian Dubbel
« on: February 20, 2015, 06:11:13 AM »
I guess maybe what I should ask is if 50% of a Munich base malt is too much for the style.  Too melanoidin rich?  Too bready and toasty?

I think you want to go majority of pilsner malt for the base malt. You want the beer to have an almost dry "crispness" to it.
I agree. A little bit of melanoidin character would probably be ok, but the breadiness might be a bit much. To me, a good dubbel is crisp and easy drinking, with the right balance of dark fruit and Belgian yeast character.

I know yeast strain hasn't come up yet, but I like WY1762 a lot for this style. WY3864 (Unibroue) is another good one for this style, and I think it is out as a limited release right now. They both have a nice plummy note that compliments the Special B and dark syrups quite well.

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