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Messages - erockrph

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The Pub / Re: Computer - XP
« on: April 23, 2014, 06:52:52 AM »
I'm not interested in upgrading hardware. The computer is slowing over the years and IME that means about two more years it will be heading out the door.

I'm just not feeling changing the OS either. If it was less than a half hour to do EVERYTHING then fine, but somehow I see hours of time spend tweaking, learning, etc. I just don't want to spend hours when the only consecutive hours I have anymore or on the weekend.

I think I have resolved it to backup and roll with it. When it dies/as it dies, replace. ;)

If you want to give Linux a spin, then you could try a Live CD like Knoppix. Nothing to install, and you can be up and running in a few minutes.

Ingredients / Re: Hops list
« on: April 23, 2014, 06:47:41 AM »
Thanks for sharing! I forsee this being a major timekiller for me in the near future...

Other Fermentables / Re: cider with wlp 070 bourbon
« on: April 23, 2014, 04:52:53 AM »
This mead seems to be finished after 2 weeks at FG 1.060............I think it is too sweet.
Any suggestions?  Will this yeast take it down more than a few points or should I consider another option?

SG 1.150

I could go with a WLP 099 super high gravity yeast that can ferment up to 25%

You sure it's finished that soon? My big meads are still slowly finishing up the last 10-20 points through weeks 3-4. Of course, that's with 71B. I have no experience with this yeast. What's your fermentation temp?

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Victory Swing - Session Saison
« on: April 22, 2014, 09:19:11 PM »
Bummed to hear about the Victory Saison, but you can't brew a saison without a true saison yeast, IMO. I'm guessing they're probably just using their Golden Monkey yeast on this.

I use 3711 myself, but if I don't mash high it tastes like it is watered down and boring.

Interesting. I have a hard time picturing a watered down/boring beer from 3711. Everything that yeast touches turns to gold for me. My Saison goes from 1.040 down to 1.004 or so, but still has a great mouthfeel. I do mash at 158 for that one, but I don't have to go up to 162 like I do for most other session beers - the yeast leaves behind a nice mouthfeel on its own. My tips are to target a low mash pH (5.2) and carbonate highly. It comes out like a dry white wine.

Hop Growing / Re: Organic Rhizomes vs. Non Organic
« on: April 22, 2014, 08:59:20 PM »
One thing to consider about organic plants is that you run a greater risk of introducing pests that may not currently be an issue in your garden when transplanting organic plants. I've (unfortunately) had to stop using a local organic nursery because some bugs were hitching a ride on their plants.

I think this will be far less of a risk from rhizomes or bare rootstock than potted plants, but it is still something to consider.

Ingredients / Re: Cocoa powder
« on: April 22, 2014, 12:59:43 PM »
They have a variety of cocoa powders, our did when I got some last. it was 100% cocoa content. As I said may not be available every where

It is 100% cocoa, but some of the fat (i.e., cocoa butter) is still in there. Unprocessed cacao is approximately 50% fat. Powder has had much of the fat expelled, and is typically in the 20-24% cocoa fat range.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer and Wine Journal
« on: April 22, 2014, 12:29:33 PM »
+1 - It is a really great site, as I had expected given Chris's history as editor of BYO. He's quite responsive to comments and questions on the site as well.

Ingredients / Re: Azacca Single hop IPA tasting notes
« on: April 22, 2014, 12:13:36 PM »
Thanks for sharing your results. Now I'm really excited to brew with this one!

Ingredients / Re: comet hops
« on: April 22, 2014, 12:07:51 PM »
I have some of these in the freezer and they're on the docket for one of the next runs of single-hopped brews i do. The descriptors always seem so good on the website when you go to buy them, but the end results often fall short. We'll see about this one.

Ingredients / Re: EXP 1210 Hops - Good? Bad? Ugly?
« on: April 22, 2014, 12:04:01 PM »
Sounds about right to me. You might even consider using some as FWH as well.

Let us know how it turns out!

Ingredients / Re: Cocoa powder
« on: April 22, 2014, 11:59:19 AM »
It's probably not available every where but valrhona makes a 100% cocoa powder that is amazing. It also contains no fat so no worries about head retention problems down the road

All cocoa powder that I am aware of contains fat. The Valrhona powder is 21% cocoa fat. It is also a dutch-process cocoa. This generally equates to darker color, improved solubility, but overall less rich chocolate flavor than natural cocoa. I haven't tested them in beer, so I can say whether the improved solubility of dutched cocoa balances out the richer flavor that natural cocoa typically gives.

As far as natural cocoa goes, I will be making a mead with Domori's in the near future. Everything they make is out-of-this-world, and their Il 100% bar is one of the best chocolates I've ever had.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Repitching question
« on: April 22, 2014, 11:10:36 AM »
I say go for it. Any brininess or flavor (which should be mild if you have good oysters) will be quite dilute once pitched to a new full batch. Plus, the zinc in the oysters is a good yeast nutrient.

I harvest yeast 2-3 times per year.  Just about a month ago I harvested some Bell's yeast from some fresh Oberon.  Got a beer going with it now in one of my conicals and will probably brew a couple more with it over the summer.  I usually cheat and start with 2-3 bottles worth of yeast.  I flame the bottle lip with an alcohol lamp, decant the beer into my glasses.  swirl the slurry... Flame the lip again and pour in the vicinity of the alcohol lamp into my flask.  When I start with a single bottle I usually just put about 50-100ml of 1.015 wort into the bottle direclty with a stirbar and foil over the top.  if I start with multiple bottles I start with about 100-150ml of starter wort in a small flask... Step it up to 500ml, then to 1500-2000ml.  Seems to work well for me.

I primarily culture bottle-conditioned yeast from sours, but have also done so from non-sour beers as well. I do my first two steps in the bottle itself. I add about 1/2 inch of 1.020 wort to the bottle through a sanitized funnel right after I pour it, then attach a small stopper and airlock. This step takes a while to get going, and may take 10 days or so to finish. Once the first step is done, I'll add about 4oz of 1.030ish wort. This step tends to take off fairly quick. At this point there is also enough of a sample to get a good smell (and maybe even a small taste if you're careful) to check for signs of contamination. This is where I'd stop if I wasn't going to brew right away, and I'd save this for a little while until I'm ready to make a full starter.

The nice thing about stepping it up in the bottle is that you're going to have a much bigger & healthier culture in the bottle before you try to transfer it. Although you should still pay very close attention to sanitation, this may be a bit more forgiving of contamination instead of pouring a small amount of very sleepy dregs out of the bottle.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Hop sediment
« on: April 22, 2014, 10:14:46 AM »
I've had this happen to me on more than a few occasions. Raw hop material can be harshly bitter, so give your bottles adequate time for the hops to settle out.

I did have one beer that was unsalvageable, but that was the perfect storm of bad conditions. I ended up overpriming a bit, so the beer was pretty fizzy. On top of that I used a very flocculant yeast (1968, I think), which all dropped like a stone and stuck tight to the bottom of the bottles before the hops could all settle out. Whenever I'd crack a bottle, the rush of carbonation kicked up all the loose hop sediment off the bottom of the bottle and it would all end up in the glass.

Now my practice is always to stop well short when racking to my bottling bucket. Better to leave a beer in the fermenter than ruin the rest of the case just to get one more.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottle conditioned lager
« on: April 22, 2014, 10:04:19 AM »
Important lesson - always do a carb-check on bottle-conditioned beers BEFORE moving them to cold-storage.

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