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Messages - erockrph

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1756
All Grain Brewing / Re: Question about high final gravity
« on: February 15, 2015, 10:55:45 AM »
The first week in the fermenter, I kept the temp at 70 and have dropped it down to 65 for the last two weeks. The krausen dropped after 2 days.

This is pretty much the exact opposite of what I would do.   Rather than start at 70 then drop to 65 after a week, you will probably have better results if you started at 65 then ramped up to 70 after a few days to finish fermentation. 

Starting cool then raising the temp after a few days helps control esters and encourages the yeast to clean up diacetyl precursors at the end of fermentation.
Starting relatively warm then dropping the temp 5 degrees is a good way to get your yeast to drop out early and leave a lot of diacetyl behind, especially with an Irish strain.
+1 - I ruined my first batch of homebrew doing this. Complete butterbomb.

1757
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Culturing from Commercial Beer
« on: February 14, 2015, 07:13:23 PM »
Would using the dregs from two beers be better than one during the first step if you used a mason jar instead of the original bottle?

Also, should I cool this wort like a traditional starter?

Yes and yes.  This is a fun project, especially when it works.  My buddy brought a bottle of Westvleteren back with him from Belgium and I cultured the yeast.  I made a clone of their quad which is delicious and now a Dubbel.  So +1000 (for me) to culturing something that's hard to find.

EDIT:  However if you want to culture and clone the SNPA, have at it and enjoy!
I was under the impression that Westy got their yeast from Westmalle, which is WY3787. I'm wondering if there's any difference between the two, outside of the Westy XII yeast being more stressed since it's coming from a Quad.

1758
unfortunately I don't keg, wish I could. I was going on the impression that more surface area gave better hop utilization and better results during dry hopping, of course, I may have misunderstood. LOL
It could potentially make some difference, but it's more of a function of both contact area and diffusion over time. So more surface area may lead to more contact area. But that increase is negligible compared to being able to rouse the hops and/or move the wort around. That will increase the diffusion part of the equation, which plays a much bigger effect.

If you have access to CO2, simply bubble it through the bottom of the fermenter intermittently to rouse the hops and get the wort moving a bit. That's where I think you'd see the most improvement in hop oil extraction.
I aerate with pure O2 using  a .2 micron stone and SS wand. I wonder if I could use the same process but with CO2 instead of O2? I use small CO2 canisters, I imagine the gas is clean enough not to inject bad critters into the beer, with the alcohol content I imagine it's safe enough. Do you think this would be a good technique?
I've meant to try something similar myself, but I usually just add more hops instead  ;D

1759
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What book to read
« on: February 14, 2015, 11:11:05 AM »

I have actually read both Palmer and Papazian's books twice. I feel like I have the basics down somewhat. I feel like I'm just throwing ingredients together without knowing what their purpose is. Even though I have enjoyed what I've made so far.

Designing great beers might be a good read for you. As well as the new book by Mosher.
+1 - also "Brewing Classic Styles". I still use those recipes as a starting point when I'm designing something new.

1760
Beer Recipes / Re: Hops to pair with trois
« on: February 14, 2015, 08:38:46 AM »

Citra, mosaic and galaxy. I just made an IPA with that combination and am going to use it in my next brett beer. The aroma and flavor from that blend is just wonderful to me. Very fruity and I feel like each hop adds something different and they pair well. I get pineapple and blueberries mostly.

Where do you think the pineapple and blueberry comes from?  Any particular hop or just the blend?

Blueberry definitely comes from the Mosaic . Pineapple from the other hops and/ or from the Brett.
I always get monotone mango from Citra when I use it alone, or if it totally overpowers the other hops. But once I get it in a blend with certain other hops it starts to morph into pineapple. Citra + Nelson + Meridian combine to give pineapple-grapefruit, at least to my palate.

1761
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Drauflassen on high gravity beers
« on: February 14, 2015, 07:56:58 AM »
My first thought is that if you have the ability to do so, then brew the initial batch at a lower gravity and step up the gravity on the second half.

I've heard of this technique before, and in practice it really sounds no different than pitching a starter at high krausen. I'm surprised that more breweries that brew double or triple batches to fill their fermenters don't use this technique.

1762
Ingredients / Re: Data on Blackprinz
« on: February 14, 2015, 05:55:51 AM »
I don't have any numbers in front of me, but I'm pretty sure treating it like Carafa Special III should get you in the right ballpark.

1763
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Culturing from Commercial Beer
« on: February 14, 2015, 05:50:52 AM »
Place your thumb or the palm of your other hand over the fat end stopper and shake until the liquid is nearly all foam (you should hold the stopper in place; otherwise, Murphy will more than likely show up, and you will have wort on your ceiling)
what's the point of the stopper if I just use to shake? Couldn't I use the foil?
You could use something else (even your thumb if you're wearing a sanitized glove), but the stopper is certainly the best way to keep our boy Murphy from laying down the law all over your ceiling/walls/hardwoods/carpet/etc.

Edit - fix busted quote box

1764
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Culturing from Commercial Beer
« on: February 13, 2015, 08:39:38 PM »

I've stepped up from bottles several times. It's a fun experiment. It's not going to save you any money and unless you really know what you are doing and have an expensive microscope I doubt you will find it makes beer as good as a $4 pack of US-05.

+1
+2 - I mainly do this to step up Orval or other sour dregs, or to grow up a pitch from a batch of homebrew that used a platinum strain that isn't currently available.

1765
unfortunately I don't keg, wish I could. I was going on the impression that more surface area gave better hop utilization and better results during dry hopping, of course, I may have misunderstood. LOL
It could potentially make some difference, but it's more of a function of both contact area and diffusion over time. So more surface area may lead to more contact area. But that increase is negligible compared to being able to rouse the hops and/or move the wort around. That will increase the diffusion part of the equation, which plays a much bigger effect.

If you have access to CO2, simply bubble it through the bottom of the fermenter intermittently to rouse the hops and get the wort moving a bit. That's where I think you'd see the most improvement in hop oil extraction.

1766
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Culturing from Commercial Beer
« on: February 13, 2015, 06:31:37 PM »
First and foremost, since the culture is not in the greatest health and is a fairly low cell count, proper sanitation is an absolute necessity - even more so than usual.

For the initial step, I like to do it in the bottle instead of pouring the dregs off. Transfers are the times where you run the biggest risk of contamination, so I like to make sure the culture is woken up a bit before transferring out. Sanitize the bottle and bottle opener before opening. Then sanitize the neck/lip of the bottle before pouring the beer. I like to leave about 1/2 inch of beer in the bottle, plus the dregs. this way you get any yeast that is still in suspension and not just the flocced out dregs.

I then use a sanitized funnel to add about 1/2-1 inch of 1.030ish wort. Once diluted with the remaining beer, this gives you a nice low OG of about 1.020. This is less stressful to the yeast than the typical 1.040ish starter wort we typically use. Then I cover with foil (for non-sours) or add a small stopper and airlock (for sours). I usually give the first step about 7-10 days to give the yeast plenty of time to wake up and do their thing.

From there, the general rule for stepping up a starter is a tenfold increase each step. So step two is maybe 200 mL or so of 1.035 wort, and then that can go into a normal 2-liter starter. Use your nose to tell you whether there are any problems, and taste your larger starters to ensure that you didn't pick up any contamination along the way.

For sanitation, I have had good luck simply using Star-San, but if you really wanted to take stronger precautions, then using something like 151 or Everclear, then flaming it off is the way to go.

1767
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What book to read
« on: February 13, 2015, 05:25:56 PM »
If you like hoppy beers I'd go with Hops first. Otherwise, I'd pick Yeast. Water and Malt can't hurt for an extract brewer, but they have much more impact once you start brewing all-grain.

1768
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing This Weekend? 2/13/15
« on: February 13, 2015, 10:40:03 AM »
Tomorrow's my birthday and I had planned to brew like usual.  But I got asked by a local brewery to help out with their zwickelmania event (http://oregoncraftbeer.org/events/zwickelmania/).  That could lead to a consulting gig, so I'm doing that instead of brewing.
Happy birthday, Denny! Hope everything works out well with the event.

1769
If you can purge the fermenter, then rousing by bubbling CO2 through the beer will be even better than increasing the contact area.

1770
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop Teas and other Hoppy techniques
« on: February 12, 2015, 08:08:37 AM »
My opinions... (ask 5 others and you will get 6 more opinions)

1.) I do not like the strategy of having the wort less than boil and above 170 for an hour... that is asking for off flavors.  10 to 15 minutes would be plenty. 
I have done this many times and I haven't picked up any off flavors that I can attribute to this. My hoppiest IPA has all the hops in a 90-minute flameout/whirlpool addition.

2.) I would add charges at 10 minutes of boil, 5 minutes of boil and 0 minutes of boil, and see what that does.... the charcter of adding hops is differet depending on the time you drop them in... and I think you need a RANGE of character to get the full hop effect you are looking for. Adding a bunch at one shot, give you a limited range of hop character.
I think you can get the full range of hop character from a whirlpool addition that you can get from late boil additions, and then some. If you want a range of flavors, then use a few different hop varieties.

3.) Compare finishing gravity of your beer to your favorite beer.  You may need to get your beer dow to 1.008 or below to get the mouth feel you are looking for.  (get the body of the beer out of the way a bit so the hops shine through)
+1 on this. Also, limit crystal malt and get at least 200PPM of sulfate in the finished beer.

4.) your more hops idea is probably a good idea.  I think you get everything out of the hops in about 10 to 15 minutes...once the stuff is in the wort, the green stuff is just taking up space.  (again opinion)  The hop stand you are doing at the end between boil and 175.... is a good thing, just not for an hour.  No added benefit for going past 15 minutes, and there are some cons that make me wrinkle my nose at the idea.
While I haven't heard it straight from the source, I've heard several mentions that Ray Daniels quotes the sweet spot for hop stands at 80 minutes. I don't know the specifics of the experiments and if it's universally applicable, but I have gone up to 90 minutes before chilling with good results.

I also agree big time that more hops can't hurt. Also, keep in mind that not all hops are created equal regarding oil content. One ounce/gallon of Citra will give you a lot more hop presence than 1 oz/gal of something like Motueka or Cascade.


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