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Messages - erockrph

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Dry yeast can be stored in one's freezer without harming the culture.
Thanks for the tip. I always suspected that, since I keep my cheese cultures there, but never knew for sure.

All Grain Brewing / Re: starting out all grain
« on: December 30, 2014, 11:38:20 AM »
Electric brewing and cheap are mutually exclusive.  The cheapest legal way to all-grain brewing involves an aluminum kettle, a cooler, and a low-cost propane stove.

With that said, I have seen a lot of people blow a ton of money on this hobby only to discover that technique, not technology makes good beer.  An experienced brewer can make better beer from extract than a beginning brewer can make from all-grain.

what's the cheaper but illiegal way?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Rest Mash and Mash Out
« on: December 30, 2014, 11:23:12 AM »
Since this topic was active and I was brewing two identical grain bills tonight, I decided to test it put. Both Munich Helles, both estimated to be 1.049 at 75% brew house. One I sparged with 165ish and the other with 190ish. The 165 came out at 1.048 and the 190 came out at 1.052. Same volumes, same amount of hops, same boil times.

I'm glad you posted that, Jim. I never put it to the test like that - always meant to, just never happened. But I always felt I got a few extra points. I like the reduced viscosity of the hotter sparge, too.

Any increase in gravity is more likely from increased conversion due to hotter water, not better extraction.  Keep in mind that in batch sparging you're draining, not rinsing, the sugar from the grain.
Solubility isn't the only issue that sparge water temperature affects. Hotter water decreases viscosity as well. Even if no extra sugar is dissolved in the mash, you may end up with less stuck to the grain material using hotter sparge water.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Whirlpool Hop Additions
« on: December 30, 2014, 09:28:36 AM »
That's the exact book its from. I was actually going to post another thread asking how to use those percents haha!

I was thinking that the percentages were kind of vague too; which really surprised me because the rest of that book is damn detailed.

Thanks for the explanations, I've only brewed a few times but I can already feel myself becoming an addict!
Percentages are the best way to describe recipes in a universal manner. This way everyone can adjust their grain bill based on their batch size and efficiency, and their hop bill based on utilization. All you need is the target OG and IBU's to figure everything out.

The only place percentages don't work very well is describing late additions for hops. That's because you need to account for both the IBU's gained (which could be substantial if you're referring to a commercial IPA), and for the flavor/aroma coming from the late hops. One way around that is to add all your IBU's at 60 minutes and add all your late hops after your wort is cooled to 170F or so so that you get negligible IBU's from them. But that's not necessarily going to get you the same beer - it's just going to make the numbers work out.

In the end, like most things in homebrewing, you just want to get yourself in the ballpark with your first shot at a recipe. From there, keep detailed notes and adjust to taste.

Ingredients / Re: Malt with 'dusty' sensation/flavor?
« on: December 26, 2014, 11:14:45 AM »
I have noticed this occasionally in beers that are relatively young. It could literally be from grain dust still stuck in suspension. Try lagering for a month or so and see if that improves it any.

If it is a pH issue you could simply dose a sample with some baking soda to see if it improves. That's an easy way to test that particular hypothesis.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Dedicated home-brew store in your neighborhood?
« on: December 26, 2014, 09:40:40 AM »
I have a hardware store within walking distance from my house that sells some brewing/winemaking supplies. They're good for last minute things (dry yeast in particular), or for equipment (buckets/better bottles/cleaning supplies, etc.). But they don't sell bulk grains, and they have a rather small hop supply (stored warm), so I can't really use them as a LHBS.

My nearest bona-fide homebrew shop is about 20-30 minutes away. They're only open odd hours, so it's tough to get there for me. They also only carry White Labs, but I use a lot of Wyeast. They're friendly enough, but they've been around for like 20 years and their information is just as old. Needless to say, I don't use them a whole lot. MoreBeer is more like a local homebrew shop to me than they are.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Do you strain your wort?
« on: December 26, 2014, 08:05:45 AM »
Since I just throw my hops in loose in the boil (I don't use a bag or spider or anything like that), I do use a strainer for most of my beers. But if you're brewing a beer without a lot of trub, then you could just use an autosiphon to rack to your fermenter. Or you could just pour carefully and leave the last few pints (with the thickest amount of trub) in the kettle.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Question on Mash Temp
« on: December 26, 2014, 06:06:33 AM »
Couple hints I have found from my system.... the time it takes for the temperature to settle and be more or less even throughout the mash is about 15 minutes.  I do not know why, but it seems that after I dump in the water, and stir for 2 to 5 minutes, the mash reads one temp.  When I check again in 10 minutes.... it is usually another temp (sometimes higher sometimes lower...often by 5 degrees or more)

Most of my recepies have the same amount of grain, and same mash thickness... so I have settled on just warming my strike water to 12 degrees above the desired mash temp... and have had good results. 

I used to keep a frozen 1 gallon jug of water on hand, and a pot with 3 or 4 gallons of boiling water.... allowing me to adjust the temp if needed.    (Now I have added a pump and a coil and pump the mash water through heated water if I need to add heat)

As mentioned elsewhere on this thread...  missing the temp, even by a lot, rarely has a signficant effect on the beer.

different opinion for couple reasons....there's a reason folks mash at lower temps for say saison or other beer they are targeting for very dry finish. the mash temp does impact the types of sugars produced and ultimately does impact the yeast ability to convert those sugars during fermentation. another factor to consider is mash temp and time for full conversion. mashing low temp or at a temp much lower than targeted-say 144F vs. 148F target IME requires longer time for mash and conversion.  good info on this here :

Agreed on mash temp vs time. But as far as a few degrees difference in mash temp having a noticeable effect on a finished beer goes, I have a hard time buying into that one.

I do think that a beer mashed at 145F for 2 hours will probably be noticeably different than one mashed at 162F for 30 minutes. But for any difference much smaller than that I really think it's going to really hard to perceive on the palate. I doubt I could tell a fully attenuated 1.010 beer apart from a similar one that fully attenuates to 1.008. I've tried the maltodextrin thing in session beers before and I don't find that it makes any noticeable difference. It is practically flavorless when added to beer, and those few gravity points don't seem to make a big difference in mouthfeel to me.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sour Mashing with Unmalted Grain?
« on: December 23, 2014, 07:53:25 PM »
Lowering your pH to about 4.5 prior to pitching should also help inhibit the nasties from taking hold.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Beer Gun Tips
« on: December 23, 2014, 01:29:38 PM »
I usually use from 2-4 PSI, depending on the beer. Start low, then increase until the foaming gets to be too much. The first 10 or so ml are the foamiest, so that's the dog's share. I do 12 bottles and then cap, so the dog gets the next 10 ml
I hope those aren't hoppy beers!

Ingredients / Re: Home malted pilsner
« on: December 23, 2014, 01:05:01 PM »
I'm kinda heading in the opposite direction.  The only thing I've grown is hops and I'm tearing them out this year.  Too much work and I just don't enjoy it any more.  Good on you guys who are growing and/or malting your own!
Its a wise move to accept that your not enjoying something that you thought you might or thought you "should". I have been trying to remember to ask myself if I really want to or need to spend the time when I take on a new project. Right now I really do enjoy growing some of my own ingredients and will continue to. But I'm trying to remain open to letting go of those things that I don't enjoy.
+1 - I'm wrestling with this with my whole garden in general right now. Without fail, by June it seems to turn into a beast of burden rather than a labor of love. I just can't seem to make enough time for it. You can't lose sight of the fact that a hobby is supposed to be fun and not an obligation.

Ingredients / Re: What is the most hops you have ever used in a batch?
« on: December 23, 2014, 12:58:15 PM »
The most I've ever used is a pound in a 1-gallon batch. It's over a year later, and I'm still waiting for all the hop debris that made it through from the boil to drop out in the fermenter so I can start the dry hops.

You made stew, not beer.
More like porridge, but you're definitely in the right ballpark. The other time I did this using whole cones it was like boiled spinach. Yes, I did this twice.

Ingredients / Re: What is the most hops you have ever used in a batch?
« on: December 23, 2014, 10:04:28 AM »
The most I've ever used is a pound in a 1-gallon batch. It's over a year later, and I'm still waiting for all the hop debris that made it through from the boil to drop out in the fermenter so I can start the dry hops.

As far as an actual drinkable beer goes, I use 17 ounces in a 3-gallon batch of my house IPA. It is complete hop overload at that point, but that's how I like it.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP037 Yorkshire Square -- medicinal flavor
« on: December 22, 2014, 08:20:08 PM »
you may very well have gotten some other yeast, but i will tell you this yeast is finicky . when PH of mash is less than 5.3, i have had the same medicinal problem you report. 5.35-5.5, no issues. very active and also highly floculant as described. your temps should not be a problem- i pitch at 60F with no issues. also, IMO this is a yeast that needs nutrient, adequate pitch rates, and good oxegenation.

edit: only used with darker oatmeal stout, so consider that.
I didn't get band aid, but I did notice a funky phenolic that seems to age out after a couple of weeks. It is insanely flocculant, and is a beast if you pitch enough. It ripped through a huge all-malt barleywine fermented at 58F, and didn't require any coddling other than a big, healthy starting pitch. Speaking of which, I should check in on that brew as it's approaching its birthday.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: do you use dry yeast
« on: December 22, 2014, 08:12:45 PM »
It would be interesting to split a batch between a fresh pack of BRY-97 and a fresh pack of WY1272 or WLP051 based on this information.

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