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Messages - erockrph

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Beer Recipes / Re: Berliner Weisse Methods
« on: July 10, 2015, 07:16:51 PM »
I do a sour wort method. I mash, then runoff into a keg and use a few handfuls of pilsner malt to innoculate the wort. To minimize the risk of off flavors I drop the pH to the ballpark of 4.5 using lactic acid and I purge the keg with CO2 to keep the oxygen levels down. Then I stick the keg in a cooler with my Brew Belt strapped on it.

I would recommend a spunding valve of some sort if you do this in a keg, however. I learned the hard way that a lot of CO2 pressure can build up during the souring process. During my first sour wort process I hooked up a cobra tap to draw off a sample, and was met with an instant firehose/geyser scenario. What a mess that was...

Ingredients / Re: Flaked oats in IPA
« on: July 10, 2015, 07:06:37 PM »
I tried flaked barley in an APA and will never use it again in a pale beer. I get a raw, grassy flavor from it that I just didn't care for.

Are you sure that came from the flaked barley?  Ive used it on a number of accassions and never had that flavor.
I'm pretty sure. I was trying to add body to a session beer, and added about 5% flaked barley to my existing recipe. I never got that flavor in any previous versions of the beer, just the one with flaked barley.

I've just made a ballpark guess by using the water calculator in Brewer's Friend. But I did mine preboil. I'm not sure if there's any other relevant chemistry going on in the boil other than simple concentration of the wort.

And it shouldn't make much of a difference if you overshoot a bit and end up lower than 4.5 by a few decimal points. Remember, it takes 10 times as much acidity to go from 4.2 down to 3.2 than it does to go from 5.2 to 4.2.

Could it be that the chewing and saliva starts to isomerise them?
I had that thought, but the quality of the bitterness is so much different that I have a hard time buying that as the sole explanation.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sour
« on: July 10, 2015, 06:46:44 PM »
In the world of wild beer, there are sour beers, funky beers and beers that are both sour and funky. There are also varying degrees of both characters. Make sure to sample the spectrum before you come to any conclusions.

If you're going to ease yourself in, then Bruery Hottenroth and DFH Festina Peche are good entry-level beers on the sour side, and Orval is a good start on the funky side. If you want both tart and funky, then a milder gueuze like Gueuze Fond Tradition or Boon Gueuze might be a good place to start.

Ingredients / Re: Flaked oats in IPA
« on: July 10, 2015, 11:55:56 AM »

May be flaked barley is a better option. Use about 8-10%.

Can I ask why you would suggest barley instead of oats? What would be the differences to expect?
It will still gives you body but less silky. But that is just my opinion. Keep on brewing.
I tried flaked barley in an APA and will never use it again in a pale beer. I get a raw, grassy flavor from it that I just didn't care for.

Did you notice this in the analysis from Steiner that I posted?  It lists iso alpha acids, alpha-acids, and humulinones.

"The alpha-acids are not bitter though they contribute to bitterness units value. The humulinones are oxidized alpha-acids and are slightly bitter."
If unisomerized AA's are not bitter, there has to be something else in the plant material that is harshly bitter, because it sure tastes that way to me.

Actually the way you use it as a liner for batch sparging in a cooler would work great for me. Do they make them for round coolers? It seems it would be easier for me to just pull the bag, give some grains to the chickens and the rest to the compost. Its a piano (Edit PIA: damn autofill) to dump from the cooler with a false bottom.
As far as biab goes I love it for 2.5 gallon batches on weeknights in the winter in my kitchen and its made me a better brewer because I have been able to do way more batches. That being said, if I have the time and the weather is OK I prefer batch sparging outside and I wouldn't want to do 5 gal biab.
I use a bag from in my 5-gallon round cooler and it works great. He will make it to any measurement you specify. I had him make it wide enough to use in my kettle in case I ever wanted to use it on the stove as a traditional BIAB, but high enough to line my 5-gallon cooler. My procedure is to do a full-volume mash in the cooler, sort of a hybrid between BIAB and more typical cooler mash. The cooler helps hold mash temps for me better than keeping it on the stove in my kettle.

I agree that BIAB would probably be unwieldy for larger batch sizes, but for my purposes it suits me just fine.

From everything I've heard and read, both the saturation limit AND people's ability to taste IBUs quit at around 90 IBUs.  Personally I'm coming to more the conclusion that we are able to taste really nasty bitterness, but the solubility limit in normal beers of around 6-8% ABV is about 90-100 IBUs maximum, so it's really NOT a matter of taste, but just the solubility.  If you lick some HopShot or hop extract sometime, you'll understand exactly what I mean -- we are able to taste some really horrible levels of IBUs like 1000 or 10,000 IBUs or whatever.  But, you'll never find those levels in real beer.  Isomerized alpha acids just are not able to dissolve any farther in your herbed up maltose/ethanol/water mixture, i.e., beer.
I have come to believe that there is more going on with hops than simply iso-AA when it comes to harsh bitterness in highly-hopped beer. Like you mentioned, Hop Shot tastes nasty (as does crunching on a hop pellet), and those AA's (and other bitter components) haven't been isomerized yet.

I think when you really start to push the hopping limits you can start to get a rough bitterness that is coming from fine hop material that makes it into the finished beer. I know I've noticed it in some of my beers (especially after I switched to solely using pellets), and in commercial beers as well. For the iso-AA's solubility sets a realistic upper limit on measured IBU's. But I think it must be possible to have other material in suspension that is also contributing to bitterness, and not necessarily in a pleasant way.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Thoughts on "fermcap"
« on: July 09, 2015, 06:44:42 AM »
I stopped worrying about it some time ago. Read this the other day, I am not worried.

"The dose makes the poison"

Fermcap-S Safe level is 13g/day, at 2 drops per carboy the per glass rate you would get is 0.009g/glass. I can't drink that much beer! 1400 pints day.
Source the "Homebrew Toxicology" presentation by Paul Hanlon, NHC 2015.

Alcohol is the most toxic thing we are ingesting.

Agreed, but why not limit what you can?  I've had no trouble living with drastically reduced of Fermcap.
I would likely have to stop brewing without Fermcap. I boil 4 gallons (with the lid on until I get up to a rolling boil) in a 5 gallon pot on my stove. If I boiled over with any great frequency the wife would cut me off.

I realize that you are not trying to tell anyone to stop using Fermcap. I'm not trying to force it down anyone's throats myself. But as a pharmacist I will say that there is no medical or toxicological reason to limit your use or exposure to Fermcap. The stuff is perfectly safe and nontoxic even if used at much higher levels than as described on the label. And you are likely already exposed to this stuff on a frequent basis from other food/cosmetic products already.

Again, I understand your sentiment, but the phrase "why not limit what you can?" implies that there is a reason to limit Fermcap exposure, and there is no good reason outside of "personal choice". There is more reason to limit beer altogether than Fermcap, at least from a medical/toxicological viewpoint.

That, and I think a lot of IBU calculators overestimate utilization at the homebrew scale. By calculating FWH as a 20-minute addition you may just be compensating for this overestimate and ending up with the IBU level you had intended in the first place.

FWIW, the analysis of the beers I did was almost spot on with what was predicted by Promash.
Interesting. I've heard a few experiments over the past few years on some of the homebrewing podcasts, and they all seemed to fall under the predicted IBU by 20-50%. There are probably a lot of variables affecting this, though. I'm not sure which equations they were using, though.

The only beer I've had tested was predicted in the 400's IBUs and only measured 98. I don't think that's a good representative sample, though  8)

I also do this all the time. I have a couple of 3 gallon carboys I use for long term aging.
Same here. I brew 2.5-3 gallon batches. My sours primary in a 5 gallon better bottle and condition in a 3-gallon one. My clean beers ferment in buckets ranging from 4.5-6.5 gallons, then go into 2.5-gallon kegs.

This will come in handy for adding juice to must when making meads. Thanks!

Thanks for all the comments re: calculating FWFs as 60 versus 20 minute additions. Clearly the evidence shows both the IBUs and the perception is closer/slightly over a 60 minute addition.

I'm still surprised that the several AIPAs and APAs that I brewed with FWFs calculated as 20 minute additions did not taste insanely bitter to me.

The American craft beer drinker palate has largely grown immune to hop bitterness.  Now we jack up our perceptions of bitterness via salt additions (sulfate).

My opinion, calling it like I see it.  :)
That, and I think a lot of IBU calculators overestimate utilization at the homebrew scale. By calculating FWH as a 20-minute addition you may just be compensating for this overestimate and ending up with the IBU level you had intended in the first place.

The Pub / Re: help buying sour beers
« on: July 06, 2015, 11:36:55 AM »
New Belgium La Folie is generally regarded as one of the best. It's seasonal and hard to find though
Well, it's certainly one of the sourest/most acetic. Personally, I enjoy it a lot, but not everyone feels the same way.

I'm not sure what's available out there, but Jester King makes fantastic sours. I like Red Poppy from Lost Abbey a lot, and Gueuze Girardin, Gueuze La Fond Tradition and Mikkeller's spontaneous lambic series are my favorite Belgian sours (unfortunately no Cantillon or Drie Fonteinen out my way).

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