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Messages - erockrph

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Equipment and Software / Re: Mini Tun
« on: September 23, 2014, 06:40:32 AM »
Caught one hell of a cold right after posting this. My oven only gets down to 170. Won't a oven set at 170 raise a 150 degree mash? It must only raise the temp slightly over an hour?
Preheat to 170F. Turn it off before you start the mash, it takes some time to mix and adjust the temp if you are a little off. It takes some time to measure and adjust pH if you are one of those pH guys like me. Then when you are done, put it in the oven, which will be less than 170F. You could have an oven thermometer in there to tell you when the temp is 150F or a 150F +.
Plus, the air in the oven isn't going to do much versus the thermal mass of your entire mash. Just think of it as being super-effective insulation.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: It stopped bubbling! Did I kill it?
« on: September 23, 2014, 06:35:11 AM »
Does the opposite stand true? If so that explains the extra bubbles in the hot tub
You got one of those newfangled "sulfur springs" hot tubs?

I wonder how much gypsum it would take to produce the "Burton snatch" in someone's hot tub...

Special B isn't exactly the malt I'd choose if I wanted to evaluate my impressions on Crystal malt in general. I love the stuff, but it's a distinct flavor that I wouldn't necessarily equate with other Crystal malts.

My recommendation for giving Crystal a good taste test would be:
93% UK Pale Ale malt of your preference
7% Dark English Crystal
35 IBU's and ~1 oz late hops of the UK hops of your choice
dry hop with EKG

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: It stopped bubbling! Did I kill it?
« on: September 22, 2014, 06:59:38 PM »
Cold air exerts less pressure. By cooling your fermenter it will take more CO2 production to build up enough pressure to push through the airlock. You're fine. RDWHAHB

I usually backsweeten and adjust for acidity early in secondary. That allows the raw honey flavor to mellow out a bit and integrate while the mead is aging. I'll give it a few weeks in secondary, then add finings as I rack a second time. From there it ages until I'm ready to bottle. Sometimes its a few months and sometimes it's over a year before I bottle. But that's more of a function of my schedule than the mead's.

As far as aging temp goes, I just keep mine at cellar temp. It may help to cold crash prior to rackings, though.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: AIPA yeast: Fruity Esters or Clean & Crisp?
« on: September 22, 2014, 11:48:38 AM »
My AIPA's are all about the hops. The yeast is solely there to convert the malt sugars to alcohol.

I use 1968 in hoppy beers all the time, but they're typically ESB's.

Ingredients / Re: Belgian yeast
« on: September 22, 2014, 11:35:05 AM »
When you venture into dark Belgian territory, I think WY1762 is a good beginner's choice. It's not necessarily super clean, but the ester profile meshes well with things like Dark Candi Syrup and Special B.

Ingredients / Re: Fresh cranberries
« on: September 22, 2014, 10:49:46 AM »
I have never used them, so I cannot comment on process. However, I have drank a few beers with cranberries in there, and one thing I noticed is that cranberries have a lot of tannin in their skins. It can really overpower a light/dry beer. I would plan the grain bill to leave some extra residual sweetness in the beer to balance that out.
That's why I'd only want to use them in a Saison (specifically using 3711) or maybe a sour when it comes to beer. In those beers the tannins have some tartness to balance them out. The tannins can really compliment the lighter mouthfeel as well.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dry yeast for English styles
« on: September 22, 2014, 10:45:49 AM »
My favorite dry yeast for English styles, hands down, is Munton's Gold. It's the closest dry yeast to Fuller's yeast that I have ever used.
You serious? I've never tried Munton's because I can't say I've ever heard anything good about it. If it's really that close to Fullers I'd definitely give it a shot. My biggest complaint about dry English strains is that the ones I want aren't available.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: September 22, 2014, 09:27:37 AM »
Brewed a Session IPA on Saturday with Cascade and Centennial (FWH, 15 and 0 additions) that I'm going to split into 5 1 gallon jugs and dry hop with different combinations of hops (Citra, Amarillo, Simcoe, etc).

You may want to dry hop each with one hop variety, then blend the resulting beers, if you're looking to taste-test different hop combos.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: color contributions from dark yeast slurry
« on: September 22, 2014, 09:25:25 AM »
Not to cop out, but I think it's a lot of "It depends". I'd try to leave as little of the beer as possible from the initial batch. Maybe even rack off some of the top layer that you'd normally leave behind to a waste bucket, to try to clear off the cake as much as possible.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Suggestions for wild yeast
« on: September 22, 2014, 08:11:56 AM »
I'm in a similar boat. I made a small 1.020ish starter and threw in a few of my black currants to see what I'd grow up. My plan is to step it up to a liter or so of normal starter. If that one doesn't taste noticeably sour, then I'll try two basic 1-gallon extract pale ales. One gets the wild bugs in the primary, and one gets a primary of US-05 and the wild critters in secondary.

If it is sour, then I'll give it a go in some lambic-ish wort and check in on it in 4-6 months. I'll probably do one gallon on its own and one mixed with my house sour culture or just some woken-up Girardin dregs.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dunkelweizen fermentation
« on: September 22, 2014, 06:28:14 AM »
Great. Is there a great chance of it stalling before hitting its FG, though?
Just how small was your starter? Unless you're pitching an 8-month old pack directly into 15 gallons, I doubt you've underpitched to the point that you'll have to worry about attenuation. The lag phase may be a bit longer than you're accustomed to, but I wouldn't be too worried. It can't hurt to rouse and bump the temp after the initial krausen drops just to give it the best chance of finishing out, though.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dunkelweizen fermentation
« on: September 22, 2014, 06:13:24 AM »
Personally, I prefer a bit of an underpitch on my Dunkelweizens. At this point I don't think you can "make up" for the underpitch - the majority of the fermentation flavor profile has been generated already. Just let it ride - I bet you'll like the results.

Ingredients / Fresh cranberries
« on: September 21, 2014, 01:24:43 PM »
My cranberries are just about ready to pick. I'm going to reserve a bunch for making a few batches of cranberry sauce over the fall, but I should have quite a bit left over afterwards. I was thinking of using them in either a Saison or a cider.

My question is how to use them? My usual approach with fruit is to freeze and thaw them then add them to secondary. But cranberries don't really break down too much after freezing. For sauce, you usually boil them until they pop to get the juice out. But since they have so much pectin I think that's just asking for haze.

Has anyone out there used whole cranberries successfully? Is there a way to boil them but keep the pectin from setting? Or should I just mash or puree them? And any idea how much to use per gallon?

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