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Messages - erockrph

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Ingredients / Re: Water adjustment for an Old Peculier clone
« on: February 18, 2014, 05:46:53 AM »
Thanks for weighing in on this, Martin!

I'm calling an audible and cutting things down a bit to a more reasonable (but still a lot harder than I typically use):

Ca: 165
Mg: 21
Na: 33
Cl: 103
SO4: 298

I might try dosing the finished beer with some CaCl2 in the glass somewhere down the line if I feel like experimenting a bit. I checked back on some old tasting notes of mine and a few trusted spots on the web, and everything mentions either minerals/mineral water or a drying finish, so I feel pretty comfortable with these numbers.

I'll come back with some tasting notes once this one is ready.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Rye Water Adsorption
« on: February 17, 2014, 11:43:08 AM »
What's your mash thickness? Maybe with thicker mashes the beta glucans from the rye are enough to gum up the works a bit, but with a thinner mash it's able to flow a bit more freely? Just a WAG here, no experience to back this up...

Ingredients / Water adjustment for an Old Peculier clone
« on: February 17, 2014, 09:44:37 AM »
So a while back I was given an Old Peculier clone recipe that allegedly comes from someone's "Brewlab training and analysis" prof after a trip to the Theakston brewery. It includes some brewing water parameters. I'm typically in the "keep it simple" school of thought when it comes to water adjustments and typically keep my adjustments on the low side. But this water is seriously hard, and I've never come close to putting this much mineral adjustment in my water.

So my question to those of you who have brewed with hard water is A) does this look right to you? and B) is this going to taste OK?

Pertinant details below:

Original recipe as I received it:

Pale ale malt - 71%
Crystal malt (does not specify which) - 3%
Torrified wheat - 7%
Sucrose - 18%
DD Williamson Caramel Syrup - 1%

30 IBU from magnum hops
Late hops with fuggle ( does not specify what time to add)

Sulphate - 400 mg/l
chloride - 200 mg/l
calcium - 170 mg/l
alkalinity - 25

The caramel syrup is caramel coloring (similar to what you would find in something like cola) as far as I can tell. I was going to sub with black treacle, but I couldn't get any in time so I'm using 50-50 Lyle's Golden Syrup and Molasses instead. Here's the recipe I'm going to brew:

Style Name: Old Ale
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 3 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 3.5 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.042
Efficiency: 80% (brew house)

Original Gravity: 1.056
Final Gravity: 1.017
ABV (standard): 5.12%
IBU (tinseth): 29.35
SRM (morey): 22.19

3.75 lb - United Kingdom - Maris Otter Pale (69%)
8 oz - Lyle's Golden Syrup (9.2%)
6 oz - Torrified Wheat (6.9%)
3 oz - United Kingdom - Extra Dark Crystal 160L (3.4%)
2 oz - American - Midnight Wheat Malt - (late addition)  (2.3%) <--for color adjustment
0.5 lb - Molasses (9.2%)

0.6 oz - East Kent Goldings, Type: Pellet, AA: 7.2, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 29.35
0.75 oz - Challenger, Type: Pellet, AA: 4, Use: Boil for 0 min
0.65 oz - East Kent Goldings, Type: Pellet, AA: 7.2, Use: Boil for 0 min

1) Infusion, Temp: 153 F, Time: 60 min, Amount: 16 qt, Sacc Rest

White Labs - Yorkshire Square Ale Yeast WLP037

Here's the adjustment I've come up with from Brunwater (note: I have pretty soft well water that I'm using for my base). I no-sparge, so this is all going into 4 gallons of mash liquor.

Gypsum - 6 grams
Epsom Salt - 4 grams
CaCl2 - 5 grams
Baking Soda - 1.6 grams

This is what Brunwater spits out as my water analysis:
Ca: 201ppm
Mg: 27 ppm
Na: 40ppm
SO4: 324ppm
Cl: 166ppm

This is way harder than any brewing water I've ever used before. Should I roll with this as-is, or should I scale it back a bit?

Beer Recipes / Re: dubbel feedback
« on: February 17, 2014, 08:48:53 AM »
First of all, I wouldn't waste my time with the Candi Sugar. If you want real dubbel-type flavor, then you need Dark Candi Syrup (i.e., D-180). The candi sugars don't do much (if anything) on the flavor side.

If it were me, I'd definitely cut out the Caramunich and Wheat. If you change the candi sugar for dark candi syrup, you can probably skip the Carafa. I love Special B in a dubbel, but 12oz might be a bit much - a little goes a long way. Maybe drop it to a half pound.

The Biscuit I can go either way on. I like what a touch of Biscuit or Aromatic gives to the dark Belgian styles, but I generally skip it in dubbels, and reserve it for my Quads where I want to develop a little more malt complexity to stand the test of time. A half pound would certainly be appropriate in this style if you like it.

A great dubbel recipe is the one for La Trappe Dubbel on the site ( The combination of the D-90 and D-180 syrups gives a real nice complexity. It has become my SOP for my dark Belgians.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Carboy Disaster
« on: February 17, 2014, 08:10:17 AM »
Damn. I think it's time to retire my one glass carboy for holding emergency drinking water or some other "prepper"-type use. These types of stories scare the crap out of me. Glad you survived!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 2/16/14
« on: February 16, 2014, 06:40:56 PM »
Tuesday is my next brewday. Going to be brewing an Old Peculier-ish brew using some Yorkshire Square yeast harvested from my Nut brown. I also need to step up my Red Poppy dregs and do a taste-test on my Märzen and Dunkel to decide whether they're getting a D rest before lagering.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Next improvement Oxygenation
« on: February 16, 2014, 11:54:07 AM »
So it seems to be a matter of preference? The possible negative hinted at would be changing an established oxygenation process for a repeatable recipe.

That's how I feel. Basically, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

FWIW, of all the equipment purchases/upgrades I've made, my O2 setup is the only one I feel wasn't worth the money. There are a lot of other things I wish I would have purchased instead.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Next improvement Oxygenation
« on: February 16, 2014, 09:25:19 AM »
I'm speaking past my pay-grade here, but for your lagers wouldn't a sufficiently large pitch accomplish the same thing? I've only been doing lagers for about a year now and they are improving. Lots to learn.

I don't know if it necessarily accomplishes the same thing, but I don't think the extra O2 is necessary for normal gravity lagers, either. Still, it certainly doesn't hurt as insurance.

What would accomplish the same thing (or at least something similar) is re-aerating about 12-18 hours or so after pitching, which is something I've had success with in the past with my high-gravity beers prior to getting an O2 setup.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Ambient vs Actual (sort of)
« on: February 16, 2014, 09:08:12 AM »
I'm curious, do you know the difference between the ambient air temp and the wort temp?
I always read that the fermenting beer can be 10 degrees warmer, I'm a bit skeptical of that with a five gallon batch.

I'm pretty sure the experiment has been done. Temp sensor in a thermo well inside the fermenter and another in the surrounding air. 10 degrees is a little extreme except for in the biggest of beers but 5-7 is not out of the question.

+1 - Even with just a fermometer I've seen up to 7 degree increases over ambient in a 3-gallon batch of a high-gravity brew.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Next improvement Oxygenation
« on: February 15, 2014, 10:12:50 PM »
I only bother using my O2 setup for big beers, and only as an insurance policy as I haven't noticed any difference compared to my usual splash & shake method of aeration.

I run it full open until I start seeing bubbles, then I back down until the bubbles are just rippling the surface. I go for one second per gravity point (so a 1.090 beer gets 90 seconds, for example).

Equipment and Software / Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
« on: February 15, 2014, 10:02:00 PM »
I still use the glass carboy that came with my starter kit, but everything else goes into plastic. I generally use buckets for primaries and Better Bottles for secondaries (I.e., sours and meads).

I don't use spigots on my fermenters, but I feel pretty confident in my cleaning process for my bottling bucket. I have two spigots. After I bottle a batch I swap out the spigots and throw the dirty one in the bucket when I do my PBW soak. End result is a squeaky clean spigot and my bucket is ready to go for next time.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Tap It IPA
« on: February 15, 2014, 07:20:42 PM »
Most breweries have enough info on their label and/or website to make a first pass at the recipe. It's 7% ABV, their distributor lists it at 72 IBU's on their webpage. They mention FWH, medium caramel malt, Citra and Simcoe in the description. Never having tried the beer, my WAG for a first pass at a recipe would be:

1.070 OG

95% 2-row
5% Crystal 40

72 IBU's FWH using equal amounts of Citra and Simcoe
2 oz each at flameout
2 oz each for dry hops

Cal ale yeast fermented low 60's

I doubt it would be a dead-on clone, but I do this all the time to ballpark a first-pass at a recipe based on a beer I like. Usually there's enough information available to make a guesstimate at a starting recipe with just a little bit of digging. Start at the simplest possible recipe, then adjust to taste.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Craft Beer and Alcoholism
« on: February 15, 2014, 12:19:55 PM »
I'm surprised to hear that taster flights seem trendy. I've seen them at pretty much every brewpub I've been to, and if available I always order one. I'd rather be able to sample 4-6 of the beers being offered than be limited to the 2 or 3 I would typically get over the course of a meal.

Plus, I get a taste of beers I'd rarely order a full pint of, but am interested in tasting. For example, I'm not generally inclined to order a fruit beer or a blonde ale, but I'm generally the one my non-beer nerd friends turn to for recommendations. I like to steer them in the right direction. Also, something like a light lager or a blonde ale is a pretty good indication of a well-run brewhouse when done correctly.

Beer Recipes / Re: All grain to extract ABV question
« on: February 15, 2014, 08:15:43 AM »
Just an update on I don't mind that there is a small shift in ABV, what is confusing is how different the grain bill percentages are...The all grain recipe's grain bill are;
~50% Pale 2 row
~45% White Wheat Malt
~4% Caravienne Malt
~2% Acid Malt
When converted to extract the bill goes to;
98% Wheat LME
1.4% Pale LME
.6% Caravienne Malt
No Acid Malt
Also, it doesn't seem to matter what I select as my base malt. If for instance I select Pale DME, it won't even include this in the new recipe.

I don't use BeerSmith, so I can't comment specifically on the functionality you're working with. But AFAIK, wheat extracts are typically made from a 50-50 mix of wheat and pale malt. I have to assume that is why you are seeing so much Wheat LME in the final recipe.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: % of IBUs from bittering addition?
« on: February 15, 2014, 06:03:59 AM »
Just curious, what formula do you use for FWH IBU?  I currently have ProMash set to calc FWH as -50% utilization, which is effectively the same IBU as a 15 min addition.

Currently, I treat it like a 20 minute addition. This is what Brewer's Friend calculates it as, so that's convenient for me.

But I'm starting to waffle a bit on this. There is definitely a difference between "amount" and "quality" of bitterness. A FWH or hopstand addition definitely has a smoother quality to the bitterness, and that is why treating FWH as a 20-minute addition makes sense. But the amount of bitterness is still there. In the end I think you're better off thinking in the mindset of "X IBU's from a FWH plus Y IBU's from a bittering addition plus Z IBU's from my finishing hops are going to give me what I'm looking for in this beer", because they're not all equivalent. Simply adding together the IBU's from all your additions isn't necessarily going to give you the same results.

Here's what really cemented my thinking on this: I brewed an IPA over the summer using nothing but flameout hops with a long hopstand and dry hops. I sent it to a lab and it measured 98 IBU's. It only tasted like 60 IBU's to me, and it was a really smooth bitterness (similar to what I get from FWH). It was super drinkable, like an amped up APA. But I typically drink beer at the end of the night (i.e., not with a meal). The first time I had one of these IPA's with food I instantly tasted every one of those 98 IBU's. It was a bizarre experience. So, while the bitterness was far from enamel-stripping, it still totally blew out my palate for food. My new philosophy is "Not all IBU's are created equal".

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