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Messages - erockrph

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Scaling recipes
« on: March 12, 2014, 10:59:34 AM »
My current batch size is 3.67 end of boil gallons, which yields about 3.33 primary gallons and 3 finished gallons. I built an entire brew house and kegging setup around this batch size.   I even built a custom kettle that has the proper geometry for this batch size.   I found that 3 finished gallons is big enough to share, but small enough to allow me to brew on a regular basis.

Agreed. I think I like to brew more than I like to drink. I only have about 5 beers a week. By brewing 1-case batches I get to brew once or twice a month without amassing a stockpile of beer that I'll never finish drinking. I have enough for my own consumption, some extra to share, and every 3 or 4 batches is something that I can cellar for extended aging.

Yeast and Fermentation / Bo Pils yeast strain recommendations?
« on: March 12, 2014, 08:11:26 AM »
I have a Bohemian Pilsner coming up soon on my brewing schedule. I've never brewed this style before and was wondering what everyone had for suggestions. It will be a bit on the hoppy side (surprise), and I'm going to be using Motueka for my hops, so I want a yeast that will let some of that lime zest/lemongrass character shine through. I've been looking at 2000, 2001 and 2278, but I'm open to any suggestions.

Also, any suggestions what to brew next after the Pils with that yeast? I already have a doppelbock going, so Baltic Porter seems like the obvious choice for a bigger lager. But I'm leaning towards thinking outside the box a bit and doing some experimenting.

Hop Growing / Re: Indoor Hops?
« on: March 12, 2014, 07:19:36 AM »
Weld a threaded rod to the bottom center of your boil kettle, then you can kind of cider-press the hops at flame out.

That's actually not a half-bad idea. Or at the very least, you could drop a false bottom on top of your hops and press the whole thing down. For the brew in question, I had to dump the wort/hop mass in my BIAB bag and wring it out. My "whirlpool" consisted of me pressing down on the hops with a slotted spoon to squeeze a bit of juice out in spots - like wringing out a massive sponge on top of itself.

So, if anyone was wondering what's the most amount of hops you can put in a beer, it's about 1 lb/gallon for whole hops. The verdict is still out on pellets...

The reason I started the post is that I recently made an IPA with IBU of 76 (Calc by beersmith) with only 20 IBU from 60 min magnum bittering.  14 IBUs from centennial FWH, and the rest from centennial/columbus 15,10 and 5 min.  It was bitter, but very smooth and pleasing if I do say so myself.  I tested it against several commertial IPAs and most found it more pleasing (which is of course personal preference).  I was just wondering if it was that most of the IBUs were late?

That, and your choice of Magnum for your bittering hop. Magnum gives a pretty smooth/clean bitterness. There are other varieties that have more bite to them like Chinook and Columbus. When used at 60 minutes, they leave a more aggressive, lingering bitterness.

First Wort Hopping and late/flameout/whirlpool hopping leave a much smoother bitterness than a traditional 60-minute bittering charge.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Scaling recipes
« on: March 11, 2014, 08:38:09 PM »
Think of this forum as your not-so-local homebrew club. :)

Hop Growing / Re: Indoor Hops?
« on: March 11, 2014, 04:03:24 PM »
Looks you need to make hoppier beers, Denny  ;)

No matter how hoppy I make them, it's hard to use up 19 lb. of Cascades in a year!

according to fmader and erock that's only like 15 gallons of beer.

You can only fit about a pound of whole hops per gallon, silly. And you need to wring the wort out afterwards. Don't ask how I know that lol. Still waiting for that one to be drinkable. I call it "hop spinach" IPA.

So 19lbs would be maybe 30 gallons worth.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Scaling recipes
« on: March 11, 2014, 10:45:56 AM »
The only thing that doesn't scale is your boiloff rate. If you boiloff 1 gallon in an hour for a 5 gallon batch, you will still boil off 1 gallon (or maybe a little more) for a 2.5 gallon batch in the same kettle.

In other words if you would normally start with 6 gallons preboil, then boil off 1 gallon to get to 5 gallons, you should start with 3.5 gallons preboil to get down to 2.5 gallons, not 3 gallons.

Hop utilization may be a bit better in this case as well, but it should be close enough where you wouldn't need to mess with it.

All Grain Brewing / Re: 100% Vienna
« on: March 11, 2014, 07:00:53 AM »
Did you let him know he's wrong?

No habla espanol :(

All Grain Brewing / Re: 100% Vienna
« on: March 10, 2014, 08:40:41 PM »
Reading the guidelines calls for "light reddish amber to copper color." How does Negra modelo fit this description? I've brewed 100% Vienna Vienna Lagers that hit the light reddish amber (a decoction darkens a bit). For that matter I've brewed a Munich with 100% dark Munich that made an award winner.

To add to the confusion, the brewer bills Negra Modelo as a Dunkel, even though it's really just a dark Vienna.

If it turns out too sweet you can always just add some water.  It would then be at the same ratio it would have been if you had added less honey in the beginning.  Depending on the fruit you add to a secondary fermentation it can water down your mead quite a bit as well.

I've never had good luck diluting post-ferment. The result has always been watery and insipid. The thing is, not only are you diluting the alcohol & sugar, but you're also diluting the fruit, acid, tannins, and any other flavor compound in there. Plus for big melomels if it finishes sweet, then that means it already didn't attenuate as far as your target. Dilution is just going to push you further from your goal.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pics of recent brews?
« on: March 10, 2014, 12:51:49 PM »
Nice! What's the base beer for the Poha berry ale? I keep seeing Poha seeds for sale in Kitizawa's catalog and I've always wanted to try them out. Slight climate difference between Hawai'i and New England, though :)

+1 to all of Michael's suggestions. I have yet to make a mead that doesn't require some sort of post-fermentation adjustment. I suppose if I had the time and resources to brew the same recipe consistently I'd be able to dial it in. But I am generally only brewing 2-3 meads a year, using whatever fruit I have that is fresh and crying out to be made into mead, and at whatever ambient temps I have in my basement.

I've learned to target the low end of the gravity range, because you can always add honey back, but can't take it out if it finishes too sweet.

For your particular issue with this mead, I'd start with acid blend. That will help with the "bland" and may add the perception of mouthfeel by giving a bit more "juiciness". If the mouthfeel is still thin at that point, then you can add tannin. When I adjust my meads, I start with honey (if needed), then acid (if needed), then tannin (if needed).

I approach it differently.  I decide how much hop flavor I want, along with any other bitterness from later additions, and start from that.  I look at how much bitterness those will give me, then I add enough hops for bittering to get to the IBU goal I have in mind.

For me, desired hop flavor = ∞ in most IPA's :)

But seriously, the majority of my IPA's are close to, or over (and often well over) the 60 IBU threshold where most people's bitterness perception maxes out. To me, I think the bittering quality starts to come into play more than bittering quantity at that point. Whether or not you use a 60-minute addition, and what varieties you use, have more impact than whether you measure 60, 80 or 100 IBU's, at least with the IPA's I brew.

The Pub / Re: Tablet For Dummies
« on: March 10, 2014, 09:26:16 AM »
My wife and I have both had Android phones since the original Motorola Droid. We won a Nexus 7 tablet a year ago, which makes life real simple since it runs Android. We still have a PC, and I don't think Android is 100% ready to replace a "real" PC yet. But if you're looking for all the features in your Android phone, just in a larger form factor, then an Android tablet is the way to go. It's real easy to bring all your apps and data over from one Android device to another.

For connectivity, WiFi is just about everywhere nowadays. You can also tether to your smartphone if your provider allows it. The biggest downfalls that keep me from using Android as a PC replacement are poor compatability with both Flash and printers. I suppose if you had a compatible printer then Cloud Print would be acceptable. There are also flash-emulating browsers out there, but nothing that works as well as a true Flash-enabled browser on a PC.

Hop Growing / Re: Indoor Hops?
« on: March 10, 2014, 08:07:06 AM »
I think that indoors isn't such a good idea.  I have some in a 55 gallon poly drum cut in half.  I made a cage of 6' welded fabric fence with wire going between the two halves at the top.

Last year, I only filled the drums about half way and the plants were very unhappy (they barely grew to the top of the fencing and didn't produce many cones).  This year I filled the pots w/soil.  With the rain & sun we've had here in the bay area, my Magnums are about 3' tall.  I hope to get them trained to go horizontal when they get to the top.

Don't know what I'll do if we get a late frost.

Last year in half wine barrels my centennial cascade and Willamette grew about 8' vertical then another 8' horizontal. Off three barrels, each with four ryzomes, I picked about ten gallons. Dried on a window screen on a box fan laid flat. I brewed two pale ales and had about 8 oz left over. About a pound total. When you run them horizontally they need help wrapping around the twine. I bought some 12' cedar and building trellis this year.

Even in my 27" pots my hops make the ~14ft run up to my deck railing without a problem (and would probably keep going if they could). The issue is keeping up on the water and nutrient needs for such a fast-growing plant in a container.

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