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Messages - erockrph

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer classification
« on: November 03, 2014, 01:38:48 PM »
Don't go by how you made it, go by what it tastes like. Do you know any judges with a good palate? Let them sample some but don't give them any information at all about it. Then ask them what category they think it would score highest in.

Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?

I don't think it's displacing batch sparging, I think it's displacing brewing with extract and steeped grains.  It just makes all grain brewing more accessible and gives it a higher "wife acceptance factor".
I think that's an excellent point. BIAB definitely makes it easier for an extract brewer to make the jump to all-grain, especially if you're OK with brewing smaller batch sizes.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Smoke Malt % in a IIPA
« on: November 03, 2014, 07:54:24 AM »
IIPA's aren't meant for aging. I'd just target an American Barleywine to start.

As far as the smoke malt goes, personally I'm not a big fan except at really low levels in a porter. But even despite my prejudice, I can't think of a worse style to add rauchmalz to than IIPA.

My suggestion would be to brew it as an American Barleywine, and maybe use oak instead of smoke if you want a little extra complexity. That really seems like a scenario that will stand up to aging a lot better than a Rauch IIPA.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Generation Count from a Starter
« on: November 03, 2014, 06:41:33 AM »
A friend of mine who worked at Harpoon said they go 50 gens on their yeast but of course they do heavy lab work. I generally go 5-7 maybe 10. It is easy to see when the yeast start to act differently. The first thing I notice is a difficulty to clear the beer even after fining.

They've also more than likely selected an isolate that remains relatively stable under their brewing conditions.  I have that culture on slant.  I plated it from a bottle of Harpoon UFO.  It's in the culture tube labeled "HAR" in the photo shown below.
Are you sure the UFO strain is the same as their core beers? Their core beers taste like London Ale to me, but I've always suspected that the UFO line was a different strain.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Accidentally froze yeast
« on: November 02, 2014, 08:39:03 PM »
No guarantee, but if the yeast wasn't frozen solid I think you should be OK. I have had smack packs get a little slushy on my doorstep in the winter but the yeast always worked fine.

Equipment and Software / Re: Laminar Flow Hood for home yeast lab
« on: November 02, 2014, 06:31:21 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. My biggest concern with this is, was it something that could be used in dealing with yeast handling. I wanted to verify that it was the proper tool and wouldn't be blowing "stuff" into my collections.
This is indeed the proper tool for maintaining a sterile environment, if it is properly used and maintained. If improperly used, it is no better than working in the open air. I would highly suggest investing in some training.
Ay recommendations on where to find training for this tool?
I can't really think of any reference I've run across outside of on-the-job training in a hospital or some other facility that performs sterile compounding.

Some key points to consider:

A LFH blower fan should be kept on 24/7 whenever possible. If it is turned off it should be run a minimum of 30 minutes before using.

Be careful not to block the airflow over the work area.

A LFH does nothing about touch contamination. I'd strongly recommend wearing sterile gloves and a surgical mask at a minimum when working in the hood. Proper aseptic technique is a must.

A LFH will only provide a benefit if your technique is otherwise flawless.

Equipment and Software / Re: Better Bottles and Fermawraps
« on: November 01, 2014, 10:28:55 PM »
I don't use fermawrap, but I have used my Brew Belt with my BB's with no issue.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Will it work?
« on: November 01, 2014, 09:05:48 PM »
Maybe others can chime in, but I feel like 3 qt/lb will dilute the enzymes a bit too much and that could result in a lower efficiency. Not 100% sure on that, though.

I also feel like 68% efficiency is a bit hopeful for no-sparge BIAB.
That's about my average mash thickness for my no sparge BIAB batches and I hit 80-82% kettle efficiency like clockwork. Three quarts per pound is perfectly fine. In my experience you don't start running into problems until you get close to 4 qt/lb.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP007 for Pliny the Elder?
« on: November 01, 2014, 06:21:51 AM »
I believe Mitch Steele has said in a few interviews that they don't use one of the commercially available yeast strains, but a dry English ale strain should get you close.

Ingredients / Re: hop pellit storage
« on: October 31, 2014, 09:56:05 AM »
I vacuum seal the whole pound in a large bag with a lot of extra space. When I need hops I cut open the top, take out what I need, then reseal the bag. One of the reasons why I like bulk hops is that I brew smaller batches and don't often use even numbers of ounces in a recipe. If my hop bill is 1.6 ounces of one hop, 3.5 of another and 2.25 of a third I don't need to worry about wasting hops. If I broke everything down into smaller bags I would.

Good points. Speaking (very) generally doesn't work so well for me :P

...and I should have diagrammed my order like this
Code: [Select]
             All Grain
    |            |             |
    |            |             |
    |            |             |
   BIAB        Batch      Continuous

Oh well, next time :D
S'alright. This diagram I can get behind. I guess my point was that there are pros and cons to each of these all-grain methods, and it's not really a step forward or step back to go from one to the other. But I do get your point on how BIAB can be a stepping-stone for some as it is probably the simplest introduction to all-grain, but may not be the best long-term solution for everyone.

(Very) Generally speaking, brewers start off simple and move progressively more complex, and I see where BIAB fits perfectly in that scenario, AND if the goal is simply "all grain beer" then brewers may choose to stop at that method once they get there. Generally, the steps to all grain go something like this (with the brewer skipping a step or three along the way):
-Beer kit
-Extract plus character grains
-Partial Mash
{All grain methods}

BIAB comes before batch and continuous so it can be a logical stopping point for some.
I have to disagree on a few points here. I think most beginner kits are extract + specialty grains nowadays, with the exception of Mr Beer. So the first three steps can be lumped together. I also think that many brewers are skipping the partial mash step nowadays, since partial mash is basically all-grain with an added step of adding extract.

My biggest disagreement is that there is a hierarchy for all-grain methods. While there are varying degrees of complexity between each method, they are really on equal footing as far as the quality of beer they produce. BIAB isn't necessarily a step towards batch sparging any more than batch sparging is a step towards fly sparging.

..., does anyone other than me see BIAB overtaking batch sparging as the preferred method to make all-grain beer on a small scale?

I can't say for everyone else, but I don't. Do I see it as a step in the process to brew all grain beer? Absolutely! A step that some may stop with since it achieves their goal and simplifies their (brewing) lives. And I would venture a guess that nearly everyone here on this forum is considered "small scale" ;)
In the realm of homebrewing, I would define "small-scale" as anything less than 5 gallons, which is still considered by many to be the standard batch size for homebrew. I do see advantages for BIAB at that scale, as the weight of the grain bag is much more manageable, and you can easily brew in the kitchen with the same gear used for partial-boil extract batches. In fact, that is why I brew BIAB - I moved from extract to 3-gallon all-grain using BIAB. I was able to keep using most of the same gear.

If I were going to brew 5 gallon batches, I would probably change to a 3-vessel batch or fly sparge system outdoors. For me, my choice of all-grain method is based solely on scale.

Equipment and Software / Re: Laminar Flow Hood for home yeast lab
« on: October 31, 2014, 05:38:35 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. My biggest concern with this is, was it something that could be used in dealing with yeast handling. I wanted to verify that it was the proper tool and wouldn't be blowing "stuff" into my collections.
This is indeed the proper tool for maintaining a sterile environment, if it is properly used and maintained. If improperly used, it is no better than working in the open air. I would highly suggest investing in some training.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Priming Sugar Calculator
« on: October 31, 2014, 05:10:32 AM »
Now, lets apply this to the importance of fermentation temperature control. If you have no temp control, unless you take hourly readings after fermentation is complete, how do you know what the highest temp was? If you guess it got to 68, and you want 2 volumes in 5 gallons, you need 3.06oz of corn sugar. But if it had gotten up to 78 while you were busy, you need 3.36oz, so you'll be about 10% flatter than you wanted. Another good excuse to get temp control.

Except that the beer is still fermenting and producing CO2 after high krausen when the temperature drops back down. It's the highest temperature after active fermentation is finished. So in your example the beer will come back down to within a degree or do of ambient after that initial temperature spike. Fermentation should still be enough to keep the beer saturated with CO2 for that temperature/pressure.

On the contrary, if you do have temperature control and you ramp up at the end of fermentation, then you would need to factor in your final ramp temperature in your carbonation calculator.

Other Fermentables / Re: Cider, Scotch Ale style
« on: October 30, 2014, 08:21:56 PM »
Since commercially produced juices and farm ciders these days tend to be from sweeter apple varieties...not to mention that you're gossing up the ABV with some sugar... the process you describe might benefit from the addition of just a bit of malic acid to increase the perception of the apple character.
My last batch probably could have used a touch of acid. I'm hoping that the concentrated cider will also bring some concentrated acidity with it as well. My usual orchard's cider has a fair amount of tannin and acidity, but they were sold out and the one I used for this batch was a lot sweeter than I'm used to. The boiled syrup did have a nice tang to it, but if that's not enough I will add some malic acid.

  In addition to that, on the few occasions where I've added sugar to my ciders, I've always gone with brown sugar or apple juice concentrate rather than table sugar, for a bit more character.
Just a thought.
Thanks for sharing the concentrated boil idea -- great idea.  Sounds similar to ice cider except that is concentrated by freezing on the tail end.
I've thought of using either ice cider or apple juice concentrate for chapitalizing the ferment. I went with the boil concentration because I wanted to use the same source of juice and I didn't have time to do the ice thing. But if I might dabble with them next year.

Yeast has a big effect on residual apple character and can either enhance or hide the apple.  I have experimented with a lot of different yeasts for cider and found none better than Cote des Blancs.  US-05 is pretty good too and also the 4184 sweet mead yeast if I recall correctly.  Many other yeasts hide or dull the apple character including English cider yeasts.  The one I would be interested to try and haven't yet is WLP400 witbier.  I use this in my apple ale and love it there... for some odd reason I just never remember to try it in a cider cider.  Next year.
I've used S-04 and T-58 on my ciders in the past, but I decided to give a wine yeast (71B) a try this year. I figure if it makes a good cyser, it will probably make a decent cider.

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