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Messages - erockrph

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What kind of beer would these make
« on: February 24, 2015, 04:58:01 PM »
S. bouliardii is the yeast in a kombucha SCOBY, IIRC. It does produce alcohol, but I don't know how well it handles maltose or other longer chain sugars.

I'm not totally up on all the other bacterial strains, but I think they are all lactic strains typically used in yogurt.

Ingredients / Re: Meussdoerffer Melanoidin
« on: February 24, 2015, 01:18:19 PM »
Anyone use this before?

Meussdoerffer Melanoidin, Germany -Cargill
This kilned malt, similar to a dark aromatic Munich, improves flavor and fullness. Meussdoerffer Melanoidin malt imparts a reddish color to dark, amber, and red colored beers.
Ideal for: Amber beers, ales, stouts, bock
30-40 L

looks to be a bit more robust then the 23-31 L weyermann I have used. just bought 10lbs and plan on trying it out next brew.
I'm curious to hear about this one as well. The Aromatic malts I've used are typically in the low 20's. I'm wondering how this compares.

The Pub / Re: Doctors Orders. Now what?
« on: February 24, 2015, 07:41:31 AM »
Have you thought of getting into Kombucha, Kefir or some other fermented beverage? That may be a way to scratch the itch without consuming alcohol (or at least minimal, Kombucha is usually in the sub-1% range). Or maybe some other kitchen-related hobby like cheese or breadmaking? When I can't brew, I still get the itch to create.

Is this permanent or temporary? If it's just short term, maybe brew some beers that need long aging like sours, barleywines, etc.

Ingredients / Re: Hop Oil
« on: February 24, 2015, 07:15:57 AM »
Cool!  I think I will bite the bullet, too.   ;)

FWIK, you are supposed to use hop oils toward the very end of the process (utilization rates at the earlier stages are very very poor), so dosing it in finished beer, or as their website suggested to add it directly into the beer before you drink, may be what I'd do anyway.
It does seem like they are framing it to be easy to use for consumers instead of homebrewers, but I suppose it's not that different in this case.
Right. For homebrewers, the better option is just to add "real deal" dry hops. This would be good for playing around with different hops in a small sample, for teaching non-homebrewers about different hops and what they do, or maybe for kicking up the hop aroma on bottled batches that are starting to lose some pop.

Ingredients / Re: Hop Oil
« on: February 23, 2015, 09:13:41 PM »
They got right back to me. It does sound just like the freshops product:

Thanks for you interests!

Our hop oil is pure steam distilled from whole hops and no solvent was used. It is different from hop extract that it does not contain other hop compounds.
It is designed to be used in finished beer, pre-diluted in alcohol to be dosed at 5ppm per 12oz with one single drop.

We have more information on our website , and since we don' have to pay extra auction fees, we do have better pricing there.

Let us know if you have more questions!

The price is $5 apiece on their website, with free shipping over $25. I ended up snapping up the iso-AA product as well as Centennial, Chinook, Apollo and Citra oils. I'm looking forward to trying them out.

Ingredients / Re: Hop Oil
« on: February 23, 2015, 06:25:29 PM »
Ever since I heard about that Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter, it got me all interested in hop oil all over again.
It seems like the major hop suppliers all have it listed somewhere, yet it's nowhere to be found.
Then I stumbled upon this on eBay:
A good selection of different hops, too. Anyone tried them yet?
I've never heard of them, and something about their post has my spidey senses tingling. They don't actually mention their source or how the oil is extracted. The product also seems marketed more to the consumer than the brewer. I've had bad luck with other products meant to doctor up a beer.

I messaged the seller asking for a bit more detail about the product. If it seems legit, I may spring for a few. Citra flavored water/tea/kombucha sounds pretty tasty to me, and it would be a nice way to taste-test various dry hopping regimens on a beer.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Me being a beer snob
« on: February 23, 2015, 06:08:22 PM »
This is my fave beer snob glass. It does have a bad habit of making everything inside it taste overrated, though...

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Interesting 1056 behaviour
« on: February 23, 2015, 05:00:23 PM »

I feel as though the culture was in pretty good shape when I pitched, and I'm going to continue the crash at high krausen method.  I wonder if any other strains will behave similarly.
I tried the "crash at high krausen" method with WY1968 and it was still chugging away in my 38f keezer. If 1968 won't floc out at fridge temps, then it wouldn't surprise me to hear any strain behave like this.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: bottling from primary fermentation vessel
« on: February 23, 2015, 01:19:09 PM »
I've done it plenty of times with small batches. It is a hassle, but manageable.  I used an autosiphon with the clip to keep the trub out. I sacrificed some beer for the good of the rest. I used carb tabs instead of mixing sugar into the lot.
Same here. The Cooper's carb drops work great for this.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Mash temp and thermometer
« on: February 23, 2015, 10:41:54 AM »
I have one of these and it works great. Readings stabilize within 5-8 seconds and calibration has remained dead-on:

All Grain Brewing / Re: Ipa water addition help
« on: February 22, 2015, 04:18:27 PM »
Nope,  4.6 give me good conversion I was looking on ex water and they have baking soda as a ph raider is this tru I do have baking soda

That will also add sodium which may or may not be desirable.
In my experience, if you're starting with a low sodium content in your source water, then baking soda doesn't add enough sodium to cause a flavor issue. 4.6 is pretty low, though. That may require enough baking soda to cause a flavor impact.

All Things Food / For the cool-climate gardeners
« on: February 21, 2015, 07:45:47 PM »
I was at the RI flower show today and met Petra from Fruition seeds ( I like to experiment with heirloom varieties in my garden that I can't get if I don't grow them myself. A lot of times that means you're rolling the dice with varieties that may not be suited for your locale, especially in cooler areas like the Northeast. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the seeds from Fruition are coming almost exclusively from the Northeast (their farm is in the Finger Lakes area, and the majority of seed they aren't growing themselves is coming from NY, VT, Quebec or Maine).

I never thought I'd be able to grow peanuts up my way, but I was able to grab a cold-hardy variety that originally came from from the northern peninsula of Michigan. I'm probably going to hit up their website for some ground cherries, tomatillos and canteloupe as well.

As much as I love sites like Baker City and Seed Savers Exchange, I was really psyched to find a seed grower who is focusing on regionally-adapted varieties. I will definitely be going out of my way to give these guys my business.

Equipment and Software / Re: Spoon or paddle
« on: February 21, 2015, 07:24:49 PM »
Same here, a 24" metal spoon. Gets in the corners of the cooler much better to break up dough balls and mix.  My paddle is mounted on the garage wall for decoration.   ;D

EDIT - I also like it because I get two uses out of it - to mash and to stir the kettle for whirlpooling.
Same here. I got the same spoon from Northern Brewer or Midwest Supplies, I think. I use it for everything from stirring the mash, whirlpooling, spooning hop gunk out of my filters, mixing in priming sugar, and so on.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brew day efficiency ideas
« on: February 21, 2015, 07:20:20 PM »

What's the hurry? This is my hobby. I like brewing.
I think this often. Especially when I see folks rushing everything. This is just a therapeutic session for me.... Time mostly irrelevant.
I'm jealous of you guys. Finding time is the biggest challenge in brewing (or any hobby) for me. Any efficiency that doesn't come at the expense of my enjoyment of the process simply makes it easier for me to find the time to brew.

Plus, I love the challenge of finding new ways to streamline my workflow. I felt pretty accomplished the time I was able to crank out 8 one-gallon batches of beer in 5 hours.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Help with Mead
« on: February 21, 2015, 07:07:13 PM »
Even though this guide is referring specifically for Melomels (fruit meads), the principles are applicable for all meads (the only difference is that I'd double the nutrient amounts for non-fruit meads, since you aren't getting any nutrients from fruit in those instances). This is one of the best guides out there. I still reread it every few batches:

Personally, I use Lalvin 71B for my meads. Any yeast will allow you to produce a sweet or semisweet mead without backsweetening, but you need to learn what its alcohol tolerance is for the meads that you're making. The only way to do that is a bit of trial and error, I'm afraid. For your first few batches, I'd shoot for an FG lower than what you'd like and then backsweeten to the level you're shooting for. You can always add sweetness to a mead, but you can't take it out if the yeast finishes higher than you'd like.

For 71B, my sweet spot for an OG is about 1.140. Different yeast strains will have different alcohol tolerance, so you need to do some testing. Most champagne yeasts are pretty alcohol tolerant, so I'd start at 1.130ish for your first batch. Figure out how much honey you need to backsweeten with, then add about 2/3 as much to your next batch at the beginning. By your 3rd or 4th batch you should have a good feel for what you like if you keep all the other factors the same (i.e., same fermentation temp and nutrient schedule).

Using staggered nutrient additions, you can have drinkable mead in 6-8 weeks. But these will be in the mid-teens ABV%, so they could always use some extra time to age and mellow out.

One more thing, you can't go by the manufacturer's recommendation for the yeast's alcohol tolerance with meads. Using proper staggered nutrient additions, you will generally exceed the yeast's listed ABV tolerance (sometimes substantially). For example, Lalvin states that 71B has a tolerance up to 14% ABV. My meads are typically around 16%, and you can get it up over 18%.

Honey can vary in sugar concentration a bit. 35 PPG is a conservative estimate. I usually start with that as a guideline, and take a gravity reading after I mix in my water. If I need to dilute it a bit, I do so at that time. I brew 1.5-2 gallon batches. I use a 6.5 gallon bucket for my primary, and mix the honey and water using the whisk attachment on my immersion blender. Make sure you have plenty of headspace in whatever fermenter you're using! The mead will foam up quite a bit as you aerate and add nutrients for the first week or so.

Good luck and enjoy. Meadmaking is pretty simple once you get the hang of it. And the results can be fantastic.

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