Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - erockrph

Pages: 1 ... 111 112 [113] 114 115 ... 367
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,

Ingredients / Re: Kefir lime leaves; hops combo
« on: March 03, 2015, 06:10:33 PM »
Thanks Eric. Yes, 1056.
Good point about hoppy beer and head retention. I think I have only used flaked barley in a stout so wasn't thinking about if it would not perform well in a paler beer. OTOH there's been a lot of pushback on the idea that wheat helps with head retention. I don't think I'm convinced to nix the flaked barley but I'll go with a light touch and hope the hops help too.
Are your hop amounts based on 2.5 gallons?
Yes, I was thinking for 2.5 gallons. One to two ounces whirlpool hops per gallon should give you good hop flavor and aroma but still leave some room for the lime leaves.

Beer Recipes / Re: Thoughts on Black IPA recipe
« on: March 03, 2015, 12:59:05 PM »
IMO, there IS no point in making it black.  If you get roastiness, it conflicts with the hops.  If you don't, what's the point of just making it black?
I'm with Denny on this one. I have had a few examples that I greatly enjoyed, but I just can't get behind this style overall. Absolutely nothing against those that are into this style.
I understand both of these reasonings. If you're not a fan of the roast and the hops combo, you choose not to make it black at all. I just don't get not liking the combo of roast and hops and just make it black to make it black.

It's one of my favorite styles and one of the best beers that I brew.
Agreed. Personally, I don't think that hops necessarily conflict with roast. It's like garnishing espresso with a strip of lemon peel. Another example - many of the best chocolates out there have fruity undertones that go great with a balanced roast character (Madagascan terroir often shows up as a bright lemonade flavor). The thing is - it's all about balance. A pound of Roast Barley and 100 IBU of Chinook sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Personally, I prefer the roastier beers in the style as long as the hop character leans towards the citrus side with moderate bittering. Heavy Seas Black Cannon and Widmer Bros Pitch Black come to mind.

Ingredients / Re: Kefir lime leaves; hops combo
« on: March 03, 2015, 12:38:22 PM »
I thought I had some munich but don't. I have Vienna but not enough to get to 20%. I'm thinking 80 % 2 row, 15% Vienna, and 5% 10L carmel. and oh yea, flaked barley. I guess I'll be giving 110% like coaches say. Maybe 1.065-70. I think that will get me malty but not sweet with a dry finish.
I absolutely will be using the lime leaves sparingly. I'm thinking bittering with a combo of centennial and galena then doing a hopstand with centennial, Amarillo and cascade. I'll chop up the lime leaves in a processor with hot wort and add to the hopstand. I'll take a gravity sample a week later and taste to see if it wants some more dry hops or lime leaves.
This could be real good or real bad. Its a 2.5 gallon batch and I'll be bottling two batches this week so its a good time to take a chance. I've been concentrating on simplicity and classic styles lately so a little playing around will be fun.
Since there isn't a lot active in this category I thought it would be OK to bump this up and say since there are quite a few people here who are really into making IPA's I would love what people think of this outline of a recipe.
I'm not a big fan of flaked barley in an IPA - it has a grassy, raw grain flavor that sticks out like a sore thumb in pale beers. At least to my palate - others may disagree. Otherwise, the grain bill looks good to me. Hops do wonders for head retention, so you might be OK. If I felt the need to add some head insurance I'd use maybe 5-10% wheat malt or flaked/torrified wheat.

Your hop schedule looks pretty good to me. I'd shoot for 60-70 IBU from your bittering addition. I have no idea how the hop/lime leaf balance is going to fall, but I'd go with maybe 1 or 1.5 ounces of each hop variety in the whirlpool.

What yeast are you planning on using? Are you sticking with the typical 001/1056/US-05, or something else?

I'm very curious to hear how this turns out. Keep us posted.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Starter for 1 Gallon Batch?
« on: March 03, 2015, 12:20:38 PM »

At 1 gallon it IS a starter. Well almost.
Can I jump in? What about sub 5 gallon batches? Using WLP001 on a 3 gallon pale ale. Starter?
For that beer/yeast you'll be fine unless the yeast is very old.

Personally, my batches are targeting a final volume of 2.5 gallons (3 gallons or so into the fermenter). I don't make a starter for ales unless the yeast is pretty old or I'm brewing a high gravity beer. Since liquid yeast is a bit of a treat for me (I don't have a LHBS that is convenient to me, and I try to order in bulk online instead of batch-by-batch), I do try to stretch it out by brewing a few batches in succession. I will typically do 2 successive batches in the 1.040-1.060 range, then brew a big beer (1.090+) - all using some (or all) of the yeast from the prior beer.

For lagers, I typically make starters in the 2-3 quart range.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: When is a lager an ale
« on: March 03, 2015, 12:06:49 PM »
What I've found is that a lot of people have OCD about their recipes falling within the style parameters given in their software. So if the "American Amber Ale" category doesn't give any warnings about SRM/IBU/gravity in their software, then that's where it goes. It's all pretty arbitrary and can simply be ignored.

Beer Recipes / Re: Thoughts on Black IPA recipe
« on: March 02, 2015, 08:40:48 PM »
One thing that I've never understood about brewers wanting to avoid roastedness in a black IPA. Isn't that most of the point in making it black? If you're not wanting any roasted flavor in your black IPA, why not just make an IPA. Somebody please set me straight if I'm missing something lol.
My point is by adding the dark candisyrup you not only get a dark color, but also nice flavor. A flavor that I prefer over roast with American citrusy hops. I don't have a problem with roast flavor or even some in a black IPA, but like it better in a stout. Most IPA recipes don't have dark candisyrup, so it is different than making just an IPA.
I agree that this is a great flavor combo. I'm a big fan of it myself. But the end result, while similar in color, is a different animal than what is typically referred to as a Black IPA. It's more like a Dubbel IPA (not to be confused with a Double IPA)

While we're on the subject - try your Candi Syrup IPA with a yeast like 1762 or 3864 and a dash of Special B some time. The flavors meld together surprisingly well.

Beer Recipes / Re: Thoughts on Black IPA recipe
« on: March 02, 2015, 06:21:21 PM »
One thing that I've never understood about brewers wanting to avoid roastedness in a black IPA. Isn't that most of the point in making it black? If you're not wanting any roasted flavor in your black IPA, why not just make an IPA. Somebody please set me straight if I'm missing something lol.
I agree. It's no different than adding green food coloring to your beer on St Patty's Day.

Semantics of hoppy porter vs Black IPA aside, I think you need at least a little bit of roast otherwise I don't see the point. Personally, I like the combo of citrus and roasted coffee/chocolate quite a bit. It can be overdone, but I like a good amount of roast in my Black IPA's.

Beer Recipes / Re: Thoughts on Black IPA recipe
« on: March 01, 2015, 09:21:38 PM »
My secret weapon in my Black IPA is Candisyrup D-180 and some Carafa III. I don't like a lot of roast, but rather a hoppy, dark fruit flavor.
My Belgian Dark Ale is based on a similar idea. Dubbel malt bill and yeast, APA gravity and hops (mainly Caliente for that big red plum aroma). It works really well.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
« on: March 01, 2015, 09:01:05 PM »
I gotta admit, I expected this thread to eventually fall off the rails when I first saw the title. But not like this.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Question about hop utilization in a hopback...
« on: March 01, 2015, 01:08:51 PM »

So my friend Neil and I decided to give it a go, but without lautering through the hopback. Turns out a 1.5 gallon vessel barely holds 12 ounces of whole hops, and drops the flow rate such that circulation through is a bit non-practical. Of course, we made a bloody mess of my garage floors and lost a significant amount of wort.

Had a ball though (you will get it when you see the 10" wad of spent hops). PSA - that stuff is HOT to handle!

I decided to throw the hop ball and the worn out nylon bag it was in into our big garbage can... for the very first time, I can truly say I like the smell of that can! Nothing like cascade and centennial!
Yep, brewing an IPA soundly beats Febreeze for freshening garbage cans :)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
« on: February 28, 2015, 09:12:43 AM »
There are so many details beyond just pitch rate that affects fermentation. Oxygenation, fermentation temps and schedule, wort gravity, yeast health, yada yada, all come into play. If one of these factors is a little off, then paying close attention to the others will probably make up for it in the majority of cases.

Is it best practice to never make a starter? Probably not. But I'm sure the majority of the time you will still come out with beer that is just fine as long as you're not sloppy with your other practices.

The Pub / Re: Doctors Orders. Now what?
« on: February 27, 2015, 09:25:06 PM »
OK. So I guess I was a little overly cautious about posting medical info on line. But we are all friend here.
This all is about me having two bouts of pancreatitis about 9 months apart. It was no fun. Down and out for 5 days. Think the flu without the projectile from both ends but three times the pain. After too many blood draws, CT scans and MRIs, all 4 Dr.s have no clue as to what is causing it.
GI Dr says no alcohol to see if it returns to rule out that as a problem. I tried to assure him that I am a light to moderate drinker (true) and the week before this last one I had only two drinks over a 6 day trip. But he was not swayed.
So that is my story. I have started sampling Kombucha and hope to have a starter culture in a few week.
For what it's worth, alcohol is so closely tied to pancreatitis that there's no way any prudent doctor wouldn't assume that it could be a contributing factor. Don't take it as a personal judgement; your GI is just doing his job. Pancreatitis is something you don't want to mess with (as I'm sure you understand by now). I would definitely follow his advice to avoid alcohol until you can get to the bottom of what's going on. I've seen it first hand myself - my mom developed diabetes following some severe pancreatitis because of years of alcoholism.

Enjoy that kombucha. I've got my first batch going right now, myself.

I hope everything works out for the best for you. I'll be sure to toast your health the next time I pour a beer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Ipa water addition help
« on: February 27, 2015, 09:07:00 PM »
Well I plugged everything in to Brewers friend calc and I hit ph dead on what I wanted 5.4 altho it was 5.47 but that's close enough for me on my first time lol
Brewers Friend's calculator gives virtually identical results to Brun'water for me. They're both great tools.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: mandarina
« on: February 27, 2015, 01:22:01 PM »
Yeah, I'm just about on hop overload, if there is such a thing. Bought a lot of new varieties in the last couple months. Probably just need to brew for awhile before I buy many more.
Been there, done that. I bought a whole bunch of new hops last year before life got in the way of brewing. I have a freezerful of hops and still crave more. I keep telling myself that hops are cheaper than women's shoes and handbags to justify to myself that it's OK.

Pages: 1 ... 111 112 [113] 114 115 ... 367