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Messages - erockrph

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Ingredients / Re: "Hop My Beer" hop oil
« on: March 06, 2015, 07:24:35 AM »
Yeah, good eval.  I've found some value in the hop shot-type bittering extracts on IPAs, to reduce hop matter on big hop bills. But I think I'll pass on these. Clearly what SN is doing with their oils is in a whole different league.
Since they have such a raw flavor, I'm wondering if the results are different if you use them as dry hops, where they have time to sit in the beer for a week or two at packaging prior to consumption.

I think, for what I'm looking for, I'd be better off looking for lab/food-grade linalool/citronellol/geraniol/etc. That's something I've been wanting to play with.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP090
« on: March 05, 2015, 10:02:54 PM »
I don't have a convenient LHBS, so liquid yeast has to be worth the hassle for me to want to try it. US-05 works just fine for me, so I haven't really played around with other neutral ale yeasts. There is also a local brewpub that uses it as their house strain and they definitely have some fermentation off-flavors in their beers.

I've heard good things about this yeast, but I have to admit I'm a bit gunshy about pulling the trigger on a vial.

Ingredients / "Hop My Beer" hop oil
« on: March 05, 2015, 09:55:46 PM »
I got my package from Hop My Beer in today. Conveniently enough, I just picked up a growler of Rye King from Brutopia (an great local brewpub) last night. It is essentially a Rye Maerzen with a little hop bite (~30 IBU) and only a touch of noble hop aroma. It's a pretty good base beer for sampling hop oils.

I decided to try the Chinook and Citra oils tonight. The recommended dose is 1-2 drops per 12 oz pour. I started with 1 drop in 6oz, so this is the upper end of the range. The bottles of oil were hand-numbered and sealed. The dropper has a childproof top and a fine-point dropper tip. It is pretty clear that they pay attention to their packaging.

First up was the Chinook. When I opened the bottle I picked up a grassy, hop pellet aroma. When I dosed the beer I picked up some grassy, cucumber peel aromas, along with anise and an herbal/spicy/minty note similar to a Ricola cough drop.

On the flavor side, there were some raw hop/resin notes along with some herbal grassiness. The resin tended to linger a bit which left the impression of a bit more bitterness (like maybe 5 IBU more). I didn't get any pine or citrus in either the flavor or the aroma.

The Citra oil had the same grassy, raw hop aroma in the bottle. When I dosed the beer I got more of that raw hop aroma and herbal mint/spice aromas. I did pick up some sweet tropical fruit in the papaya/guava family and maybe a hint of Hawaiian Punch. The fruit was faint, however and had none of the mango/citrus I typically get from Citra.

The Citra-dosed beer had a bit more of the raw hop resin flavor than the Chinook. It made the beer seem a bit more bitter (maybe 8-10 IBU more perceived bitterness to my palate). Other than that, I got no other hop character in the flavor - no fruit at all. Adding 1 more drop made no discernable change. At that point, I added 2 more drops (4 drops total in a 6oz sample) and there was still no fruit character, only more of that "raw hop" flavor.

In the end, the hop oil reminded me more of the hop character in unfermented wort straight from the brew kettle, rather than what I get from dry hops. It's not horrible, but I'm not a big fan. I was hoping for pine and citrus, and just got grassy, raw hops. It seems like the hop oils that lead to grassy hop character like myrcene and farnesene are here in spades, but the floral/citrus oils like linalool, geraniol, and citronellol are either lost or hidden.

Overall, I don't think these are bad products, but they don't necessarily deliver for the trained palate. I am still interested in the iso-alpha acid extract I got. I'll have to find a creative use for the other oils.

All Things Food / Re: Bramble varieties
« on: March 05, 2015, 07:42:10 PM »
Golden raspberries are a real treat, so that would top my list. I've only grown the Anne variety, but they are great. They have a tart, almost citrusy flavor.

I've tried a few different blackberries, but the only ones that have had really great flavor have been my Boysenberries. Well, those and the wild berries that grow in the woods near my driveway. It's frustrating when the giant blackberry plant in your garden has no flavor, while the little scrub brush on the edge of the woods tastes killer.

For currants I have Red Lake (red), Pink Champagne (pink), and Consort (black). The pink ones have a nice flavor for eating out of hand, like a less-foxy red currant. The Red Lake are ok, but don't blow me away either. The Consort is one of my favorite berries in my yard. It has a great aroma and loads of black currant flavor.

I've had mixed results with my gooseberries as far as plant health goes. The Invicta (green) is really tart, but tastes great and makes a real nice gooseberry pie. I've only gotten berries once in the past 3 years, though - the plant isn't doing too great. Pixwell is a very nice red gooseberry, and has fared the best in my garden. It is really tasty for eating out of hand. It has a sweet, blueberry-like flesh, with that classic tart gooseberry skin. My Hinnomaki Red has yet to produce fruit. It grows like a weed at the start of the season, but then seems to pick up some sort of fungus before it can set fruit. I'm probably going to dig it out this year.

I've had good luck with both Stark Bros and Jung Seeds for my berry plants.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Head Question
« on: March 05, 2015, 07:14:45 PM »
How's this for Dunkelweizen.

nice! What vol co2 did you charge it too?

its bottled and i targeted 3.8vol
Hope you have some heavy-duty bottles. Or chain mail...

But seriously, that's a damn nice looking brew.

Ingredients / Re: how to add herbs for flavors
« on: March 05, 2015, 04:48:19 PM »
Have you cooked or made tea with it before? If so, what procedure did you use and how did you like the flavor impact? That's the rule of thumb I use for trying to figure out how to handle ingredients I'm adding to beer. It it likes heat, then I add it with 5 minutes left in the boil, or at flameout followed by a short steep at hot temps before chilling. If it's more delicate, then I treat it like dry hops and add it to the fermenter at the tail end of fermentation.

The Pub / Re: Check out this homebrew!
« on: March 05, 2015, 10:58:47 AM »
Congrats to you and the family!

Cellar up to 21 years.
Yes, back to beer. You should seriously brew a big barleywine or RIS soon and stash it away for when the little one is all grown up.

Other Fermentables / Re: Anybody try kombucha
« on: March 05, 2015, 09:35:29 AM »
I've had good luck culturing a kombucha SCOBY from a bottle of GT Kombucha from the grocery store.  It's a good idea to step up the batch size until your SCOBY gets to full size, much like culturing yeast from a bottled brew.  I went with the original, and it worked for me.  YMMV.

I harvested from three bottles of three different flavors. I have it going in a quart size mason jar. Only a week down and I see something floating on the top. Not sure if it is a scoby or not. From what I read and pictures I have seen it should be white or translucent. But again it is only been one week. Will step it up to a gallon in about two more weeks if I see more on the top. If not, I will try to find a local brewer that will give/sell me one.
Sounds similar to my experience. Started to see some gunk floating at about a week, and got a disk of jelly around two weeks or so. The brown strands (which I believe are the yeast part of the SCOBY) formed pretty late in the process. At that point I stepped up from a pint to 2 quarts and brewed my first batch. The original starter was pretty vinegary at that point, but I wanted to let it go pretty far before I stepped it up. The first 1/2 gallon batch saw the SCOBY thicken quite a bit.

I bottled around 10 days into the ferment and it was still a bit sweet, but pleasingly tart as well. For my second batch the SCOBY developed more brown tentacles in just a couple of days. I have a feeling that this batch will finish sooner than my first one as the SCOBY is still developing.

Ingredients / Re: Vitamin C in commercial beer
« on: March 05, 2015, 09:02:12 AM »
Belgium brewers also use coriander often, and that is another antioxidant.
Don't forget Vitamin C that comes from citrus peel as well.

I guess my concern is that no one is vetting these recipes. There are a lot of recipes out on the net that are mediocre at best. The whole point of buying a kit is to get a recipe that you can be assured will make good beer. A site like this is rolling the dice unless there is a solid recipe-vetting process.

Equipment and Software / Re: Sanitizing a barrel
« on: March 05, 2015, 08:39:43 AM »
Episode 5 of the Sour Hour has a wealth of information regarding Jay Goodwin's method of sanitizing and storing barrels. I don't have a timestamp for when he gets into the barrel details, but it's well worth a listen for anyone who works with barrels:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dryhop DIPA with Perle?
« on: March 05, 2015, 07:41:29 AM »
I've used Perle as a dry-hop a few times. I am a big fan. Although I can't say that I get the mint character that others say is there. More of a nice spicy fruity character. I just used TriplePerle as a dry hop on an IPA that I hope to tap this weekend as well.
used in pils with spalt, I cant pick up mint either...perhaps on its own I would.
For me, I don't know if I'd call it mint, but it's like a generic "sweet spiciness" to me. Depending on the other character of the hops sometimes it comes off as sweet cinnamon, or cardamom, or like a Ricola cough drop to me. It's not just Perle I'd describe like this, I get this from a few other hops like Polaris and Northern Brewer as well.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dryhop DIPA with Perle?
« on: March 05, 2015, 07:33:23 AM »
Perle in Rouge Dead Guy is subdued; these are left-over hops from a Dead Guy clone.

I am looking to use these in a Pliny base loaded with Chinook to add additional depth to the dry hop - not sure how it will work out though. IF anything, an ounce during dry hop, .5 oz. for 14 and .5 for 7 days.
I think in this context it certainly can't hurt. Worst case scenario is that you wouldn't notice that it's there unless you do a side-by-side. Best case is that it adds a subtle herbal-spice character that should go really well with Chinook.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dryhop DIPA with Perle?
« on: March 05, 2015, 05:54:12 AM »
I think it is something worth experimenting with. Perle to me has always been kind of minty. If that's the flavor you are after then go for it. I like to blend in some noble-sh or European hops with my IPAs. For a long time I used to use French Strisselspalt as an added sry hop. It added a complexity that I liked. Now I use Crystal.
I like that noble-ish character to add complexity to my hoppy beers as well. I use a lot of Motueka and Sterling for this since they're in the Saaz family, but get fruity when you start to push the hopping level on them.

To the OP, I've never used Perle as a dry hop but I think it would be a good choice with Simcoe and Chinook in particular. One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of noble hops are comparatively low in oil content and may just end up getting drowned out by bolder hops like Simcoe. I think it's still worth it to try, but if you don't end up getting the impact you're looking for, then you might need to bump up the amounts of Perle compared to the other dry hops.

Equipment and Software / Re: sorry...immersion chiller recommendations
« on: March 04, 2015, 10:31:38 AM »
I chill to 80-90 degrees with an immersion chiller then put the beer in the ferm chamber and pitch in the morning.  Less hassle than trying to get to pitch temp right away.

I have considered this. The problem is I aerate using gravity into my speidel 30L. If I pitched in the morning wouldn't I need to aerate again? It's not easy for me to do it once it is in the fermenter. Baby steps until I aerate properly...

hmm good question. wonder how much you loose over that time period.
And how much less O2 goes into solution at 80-90F vs fermentation temps...

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