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Messages - erockrph

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« on: June 26, 2015, 10:22:40 AM »
I think that there are a few approaches to answering this. You could say that something is a lager if you use a lager yeast. You could also say that something is a lager if you go through a lagering (i.e., cold-conditioning) process.

Personally, I go by the "what does it taste like?" rule. As the brewer, you're the only one who knows the process and ingredients used in your beer (unless you tell someone first). So all that really matters is what it tastes like to the drinker. If it tastes like a lager (or more specifically, if it tastes like a style that is considered a lager style), then you can call it a lager in my book even if it was brewed in the 60's with an ale yeast. A style name is simply something to set the expectations of the drinker, be it a BJCP judge in a contest or just one of your buddies.

Ingredients / Re: How would you add lime juice?
« on: June 26, 2015, 09:10:16 AM »
I've used True Lemon and True Lime (the powdered stuff) with good results in kombucha and meads. I believe Mike Tonsmeire posted about using it recently as well on his blog ( It's easy to add to taste in the glass, then scale up to the full batch size.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mocktoberfest?
« on: June 26, 2015, 08:52:46 AM »
72F is pretty warm for any yeast. I'd say if you can get it cooler, ferment with Saflager 34/70. It's a very versatile yeast, even into the 60's it ferments clean.

A big +1 to this. You will get much closer to your target with a temperature-tolerant lager strain like 34/70 (aka WY2124) than a clean ale yeast. I brewed quite a few Ofests using the "bucket with frozen water bottles method" and have had very good results with both 34/70 and WY2633 (Octoberfest lager blend, which is my personal favorite yeast for malty lagers).

The biggest tips I have are to pitch a large, healthy starter, and to pitch as cold as you can manage. If you can get down to the mid 40's for a pitching temp then you can make a pretty clean lager even if your fermentation temps climb near 60F (and probably higher).

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I like the Brewing Network, but....
« on: June 26, 2015, 08:38:19 AM »
I don't really brew for competitions, so I've stayed out of this conversation so far. But I keep hearing this issue come up every year. I do have a few thoughts on the issue, many of which have already been stated or implied by others.

- Homebrew clubs come in all shapes and sizes. By this fact alone, there is no way to define a set of rules that won't favor certain clubs more than others. No matter what you do to the rules, someone is always going to see it as unfair.

- I am not a member of the BN club, but I think it is awesome that they are able to compete (and be successful) as a club despite not being a club in the traditional sense. As times change, more and more of us aren't able to join traditional clubs, either because of geography, careers or family. As many others have stated, I consider this forum to be my homebrew club. Even if I had a local club that met next door to me, I'd have a hard time making it to regular meetings.

- For reasons stated above, I intend to enter some competitions this year (including the NHC) under the newly formed AHA Forum Club. I think that having the ability to compete as part of a non-traditional club is important and I intend to support that.

- If you're so über-competitive that you feel the need to boo your fellow homebrewers when you lose, then you need to RDWHAHB. Oh, and you're a jerk, too.

- I was very disappointed by the lack of dick jokes in Justin's post. The internet led me to believe that the BN was just a bunch of misogynists making dick jokes. Shame on you internet; I trusted you.

Equipment and Software / Re: Rethinking my brewery
« on: June 25, 2015, 05:24:53 PM »
Yep.  Tops out at 9 lb. of grain, but you can get up to 1.090 with it.  That means that you could make 5 gal. of a 1.045 beer by dilution.  I start with 3.25 gal. of water and end up with a 2.5 gal. batch.
If you were shooting for a bigger beer, could you brew a smaller batch (like 2 gallons) with the full 9 pounds of grain? Or is there a minimum amount of water, or mash thickness constraints? Could you run an iterated mash by replacing the grains and mashing a 2nd time, or are you forced to go straight to the boil process from the mash?

I really like the PicoBrew concept. The main constraint on my brewing is time. If I had an appliance that let me "set it and forget it" through the entire mash and boil, I'd be able to brew way more often. I already brew 2.5 gallon batches, so that would work out perfect for me. If the price point was lower, I'd be all over it.

All Grain Brewing / Re: saison in the bottle: wait it out?
« on: June 25, 2015, 12:16:35 PM »
Check a bottle once or twice a week. Once it gets where you like it, drink it but save a handful for long-term aging and check them every couple of months. Take detailed notes.

I generally brew pale, low-gravity saisons and they're great after a few weeks in the bottle but are still pretty good 6-12 months later.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: home-made off-flavor kit
« on: June 25, 2015, 11:49:28 AM »
For an exam I gave recently, I took a 6 pack of Corona and put the bottles about 3" from a flourescent light for 4 days.  Worst case of skunking I've ever encountered!
That's interesting. I thought that they used tetra-isoAA extract so they could use clear bottles without skunking. Maybe I'm getting Corona confused with someone else.

you might want to consider going with a 90 minute boil and adding the additions timed to the sequence as well.

Not sure what you mean. Are you suggesting to continue the Fibonacci series up to 90 minutes?

to include the series on quantity AND time so additions at 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, and Dry (although that wouldn't be 144

I looked into that. It wouldn't get me to a sufficiently high IBU. I would have to add a separate bittering hop, but wouldn't that be cheating?

Boil Size: 27.07 l
Post Boil Volume: 22.81 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 20.00 l   
Bottling Volume: 19.17 l
Estimated OG: 1.064 SG
Estimated Color: 17.7 EBC
Estimated IBU: 16.7 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 71.3 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
5.00 kg               Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (5.9 EBC)          Grain         1        76.9 %       
1.00 kg               Munich Malt - 20L (39.4 EBC)             Grain         2        15.4 %       
0.50 kg               Cara-Pils/Dextrine (3.9 EBC)             Grain         3        7.7 %         

0.00 g                Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 89.0 min     Hop           4        0.0 IBUs     
1.00 g                Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 55.0 min     Hop           5        1.1 IBUs     
1.00 g                Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 34.0 min     Hop           6        0.9 IBUs     
2.00 g                Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 21.0 min     Hop           7        1.4 IBUs     
3.00 g                Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 13.0 min     Hop           8        1.5 IBUs     
5.00 g                Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 8.0 min      Hop           9        1.7 IBUs     
8.00 g                Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min      Hop           10       1.8 IBUs     
13.00 g               Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 3.0 min      Hop           11       1.8 IBUs     
21.00 g               Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 2.0 min      Hop           12       2.0 IBUs     
55.00 g               Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 1.0 min      Hop           13       2.7 IBUs     
34.00 g               Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 1.0 min      Hop           14       1.7 IBUs     
89.00 g               Centennial [10.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool   Hop           15       0.0 IBUs     
144.00 g              Centennial [10.00 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days  Hop           17       0.0 IBUs     

1.0 pkg               American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) [124.21 Yeast         16       -           
You could do the 144 minute addition as a hop stand. Flameout at 89 minutes with 89g, then hold it hot until 144 minutes, when you make your last hop addition of 144g.

I've only just started to listen to these, but the audio quality on these seems to get better every year. One improvement that would be a huge help for future conferences is if the id3 tags could be set on these files prior to posting. For those of us using mp3 players it would be a huge help in figuring out what file is what. Right now the song titles are just a string of digits, with an unknown artist and "TASCAM DR-08" as the album title.

Thank you!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Liquid Yeast > Dry Yeast?
« on: June 24, 2015, 10:19:46 AM »
That may be true, but the fermentation character of 1007 is something that I really enjoy in my alts. I've heard that K97 is the dry equivalent.
Have you compared it to an alt made with 1056?
I have not, but I haven't compared it to one made with pale malt instead of Pils, either. I'm sure they would all be good beers, but that 1007 character is something I look for in my alts. It's merely a flavor preference on my part.

The Pub / Re: Homebrewing and Children
« on: June 23, 2015, 08:46:18 PM »
My son just turned 5. He doesn't have much interest in helping me brew, but that's probably because he has no interest in the finished product. To him, beer and soda are the same thing. They're both things that adults drink that he has no interest in. He does love rubbing hop cones between his hands and smelling them, though.

My son made me real proud one day when we were eating lunch at a local brewpub during a brewday. You couldn't see them brewing from the dining room, but you could smell it. Right as they first bittering addition went in my son said "I smell hops!"  ;D

My thing with parenting is that I'm honest and straightforward as much as humanly possible. I try to explain things at his level, but without dumbing things down or sugarcoating them too much. Lead by example and give your kids the tools they need to make informed decisions and you will be astounded by how proud they make you.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Pilsner Urquell in brown bottles!
« on: June 23, 2015, 08:32:13 PM »
Apparently I missed the memo, but PU is being sold in brown bottles in the US now. I haven't had Urquell in years since I have a longstanding boycott of green-bottled beer. I bought a 12-pack as a backup brew for my son's birthday party in case my Maerzen was too "dark" for any BMC drinkers (it wasn't, the keg kicked just as the bulk of the crowd left). I was happily surprised when I opened the case and the bottles were brown.

What a damn good beer this is. It is crisp and smooth, and loaded with hoppy goodness without being clinging and resinous. And the hop burps are unlike any American Ale. At 4.4% ABV this might just be the perfect lawnmower beer.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Liquid Yeast > Dry Yeast?
« on: June 23, 2015, 05:23:38 PM »
I'm really excited about this, especially the K97. I'd definitely work up a house altbier recipe if I could keep a couple of packs of German ale yeast in the fridge at all times.

US-05 (as well as 1056 and 001) works just about as well for an alt as anything else.
That may be true, but the fermentation character of 1007 is something that I really enjoy in my alts. I've heard that K97 is the dry equivalent.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Souring old home brew
« on: June 23, 2015, 05:11:42 PM »
it will likely get badly oxidized in the process of decanting. Cooking is a good use of old homebrew though.
There are ways to minimize oxidation to the point where this wouldn't necessarily be doomed to failure right off the bat. Brettanomyces is pretty good at scavenging O2, or at least converting oxidation byproducts into tastier compounds. I'd get a starter of Brett going in the final fermentation vessel, and carefully pour the bottles into the starter while it is still showing signs of activity. I can't guarantee that it will be good, but if you have the fermenter space available then no harm in trying it out.

You might have trouble getting any sourness out of a finished beer. The hops and alcohol will inhibit lactobacillus from being very productive. Pediococcus will work on complex carbohydrates, but it's slow. A Brett-aged beer seems like the best bet, but if you have patience you might be able to get some acidity from a Pedio-Brett blend.

And I agree completely that cooking is an excellent use for old homebrew, especially maltier beers.

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