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Messages - erockrph

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Ingredients / Re: playing with limited ingredients
« on: February 01, 2014, 12:36:09 PM »
I agree with Jeff. For something dark like a stout I'd just sub out the Pale malt for Pils. If you have access to something like Vienna or Munich malt you could add a little of that to get some of that bready character back in. But otherwise, I think an even swap is your closest bet. I don't think extra roasted malt will do much to make up for the Pale Malt character.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Scaling recipe question for hops
« on: February 01, 2014, 12:22:19 PM »
For you guys who brew smaller batches, are hops linear in terms of scaling down from a 5 gallon batch to a 3 gallon batch or from 5 to 10 gallons for that matter?  Or do you need moreover less per gallon as you go either direction on a batch?  I should know this, but I haven't seen it discussed, or at least I don't recall seeing it...

You may see some increase in isomerization efficiency as you scale down because your starting wort gravity is usually lower (assuming that your boiloff rate is the same as a larger batch). I couldn't really say if it's enough to be significant, as I generally just use my software to scale recipes if needed.

Ingredients / Re: Is my water too minerally?
« on: February 01, 2014, 09:27:48 AM »
I stopped using Willamette hops because judges thought they had a metallic flavor.

I've picked this up in beers using Nugget on occasion as well.

The Pub / Re: This is where...
« on: January 31, 2014, 05:37:09 PM »
That is an absolutely jaw-dropping view! Enjoy the scenery, the food, and (most importantly) the company for your anniversary!

Beer Recipes / Re: Mac ESB
« on: January 30, 2014, 12:19:54 PM »
I agree with Jonathon, a true Scottish yeast can throw a hint of smokey phenol into the beer. I have experienced this, but have not deciphered what conditions that yeast wants in order for it to create that phenol. Some brewers try to cheat and use a smoked malt of some form to add the phenol, but I haven't been impressed with the result. I can tell you that achieving that phenol in conjunction with the characteristic Golden Promise sweetness is a beautiful thing.

In the case of an ESB that is likely to be more hop focused, I'm not sure you would pick out the phenol. In addition, I'm not sure that it would be a positive addition. However, if its reserved and melds well with the other malt and hop components, it could be fine. Do be on the lookout for excessive phenolic character. That will likely be dinged in judging.

I've been meaning to test this myself, because I'm not altogether convinced that it's coming solely from the yeast. Every time I've picked this up in a Scottish Ale it's been subdued enough that I could buy that it's coming from the Roast Barley or maybe some scorched sugars during the kettle caramelization process. Maybe the yeast accentuates it a bit, but I can't help but wonder if you brew something like an APA using just 2-row and light Crystal if you'd be able to detect that smoky note.

FWIW, I didn't have any GP for my recent 70/-, but I have a sack of Crisp MO laying around so I used that instead.  The Edinburgh Ale yeast does a fantastic job of bringing out all that biscuity MO goodness.

Beer Recipes / Re: Dunkel Recipe - Feedback
« on: January 30, 2014, 12:02:43 PM »
To me, what makes a Dunkel is using Dark Munich for the majority of your base malt. Keep the hop character very low as well. My Dunkel that I brewed yesterday was something like:

(3 gallon batch)
4 lb Dark Munich
10 oz. Pilsner Malt <- (primarily for the enzymes to help the Munich convert fully)
1.5 oz Midnight Wheat

Mash at 153F for 75 minutes

20 IBU's Sterling at 60 minutes (any noble hop will do ya fine)

WY2633 (Octoberfest Lager Blend) pitched @ 45F, and allow to free rise to 50F for the start of fermentation

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Acetaldehyde
« on: January 30, 2014, 11:54:30 AM »
A ring around the neck of the bottle is often a sign of some form of infection in the bottle.  That along with gushing.  Could be the bottles weren't as clean as you had thought.

While that is true, it could also be a krausen ring from renewed fermentation in the bottle. I wouldn't expect an infection to take hold to enough of an extent to cause gushing in under 2 weeks. I'd lean towards overpriming or bottling before hitting a stable FG.

Beer Recipes / Re: Mac ESB
« on: January 30, 2014, 08:52:01 AM »
Will it fly? Probably. Will it score high across the board? Depends on what the judges are looking for. Seek out a fresh example of Fuller's ESB for a good example of the hallmark of the style.

When I think of an ESB, I think of English yeast, English Crystal Malt and English hops. But a dry MO/EKG pale ale certainly fits the style as well. I'm not a judge, but if someone is looking for more fruity yeast character, or some Crystal malt character then you may get dinged.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Clear Beer!
« on: January 29, 2014, 10:13:33 PM »
Apologies for the crappy cellcam pic, but this is a 70/- that is crystal clear with no filtering, fining, or cold-crashing. It's bottle-conditioned as well, and this is about a month after bottling. WLP028 is just that good.

Beer Recipes / Re: Chili pepper porter recipe?
« on: January 28, 2014, 01:06:46 PM »
Personally I prefer to avoid dried chilies. I normally use two peppers per gallon and leave them for 48-72 hours. Habaneros are fun. Good flavor with a long lingering heat. Jalapeños are good for flavor and medium heat and anaheims are nice too.

Sorry if I am hijacking... I am planning to add habaneros to an upcoming 5 gallon batch. You recommend using 2 peppers per gallon? I am going for something more subdued than a normal chile beer but still noticeable. Maybe 1 pepper per gallon?

I'm a chile head, but I don't normally see habanero and "subdued" in the same sentence. I wouldn't use much of it if that's what you're after.

True, but the flavor of Habaneros is fantastic. You can really dial a lot of that heat down by carefully de-seeding/destemming them. I'm also tempted to grow some of these this year:

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 2 weeks on Yeast
« on: January 28, 2014, 12:57:13 PM »
I've regularly left beer on yeast for 4-6 weeks or longer with no autolysis problems.

+1 - My record is 10 weeks (unintentional - life got in the way) with no ill effects to speak of.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
« on: January 28, 2014, 12:55:25 PM »
Regarding cherries with pits in aging: Does anyone have a yes or no answer to wether the pits can produce a substantial amount of carcinogens?

I've heard that for peach/apricot pits. It may or may not be an old wives tale, but I'm not going to be the one that does the research! Plus - the whole peach doesn't fit through the barrel bung, anyway...

I've never heard carcinogens. they have cyanide precursors though (AKA Vitamin B something). And in exactly the right circumstances could produce the dangerous kinds of cyanide compounds if eaten in large amounts. I am NOT a doctor and do not have a definitive answer on this.

All fruits of the Prunus genus (Peach, Plum, Apricot, Cherry, Almond, etc) contain varying levels of amygdalin in all parts of the plant (including the stone), except for the edible portion of the fruit. Amygdalin gets broken down in your GI tract to several compounds, one of which is Hydrogen Cyanide. HCN is very nasty stuff. I'll never forget seeing my rat in tox lab, and hearing the dreaded words from my prof "I don't think he got the antidote quick enough". Which is a nice euphemism for "you killed him".

Now the amount is present in varying levels depending on the species. Apricots and bitter almonds are on the high side, while plums are on the low side, IIRC. Since I've heard that some of the pro's include the pits of cherries, I'm guessing that your exposure is likely to be below the threshold of toxicity at the amounts of cherries typically used in beer. But you're on your own with that. I sure as hell ain't trying it myself.

Beer Recipes / Re: Marzen
« on: January 27, 2014, 07:09:45 PM »
Alright, brew day is coming up.

Looking through my hops collection I have Magnum, Sterling, and Liberty.

According to BCJP it shouldn't really matter what I use because there is little to no hop flavor and hop aroma is not even mentioned. so I lean towards Magnum and I'll save the Sterling and Liberty for some hoppier lagers.

But I'm open to being talked out of it.

A little late noble hop character isn't necessarily a bad thing (Sam Adams Ofest, for example). I'd go with the Sterling out of the ones you have listed if you do. Any of those would be fine for bittering. Personally, I'm using 3/4 oz of Sterling as FWH and 1/4 ounce at flameout (3 gallon batch) for mine on Wednesday.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: White labs vial production date?
« on: January 27, 2014, 04:55:11 PM »
Fyi - Brett strains get 6 months instead of the usual 4

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Bottle fermentation/refermentation
« on: January 26, 2014, 11:02:59 PM »
As a minimalist brewer who does not have the ability to keg or force carbonate, refermentation has been something I'm considering trying for my lagers. Typically I lager for 3-4 weeks, but I'm wondering if I could lager for longer and add yeast at bottling for carb. My question is would you be able to taste the excess yeast in the final product if you inoculate with the recommended rate? Just curious.

If you have not been force carbonating you have already been refermenting in the bottle. the process of filtering out the primary yeast and adding bottling yeast is useful on a large scale when you want perfect control over the amount of yeast in each bottle but for in your case you can just keep doing what your doing. it's also worth noting that you can still lager even after bottling, it just means keeping it cold for a bit longer before drinking it.

That's how I've done my lagers in the past. Ferment, D-rest, bottle, let sit warm to carbonate for ~3 weeks, then lager in the bottles. Works quite well, but the important step is to wait for carbonation before lagering.

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