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Messages - erockrph

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+1 to the spray bottle suggestion. Either fill it from a batch you made, or just make it in the bottle. 1.5 mL of Star San concentrate makes a 1 quart batch of spray.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: LHBS
« on: May 25, 2013, 10:47:35 AM »
My two LHBS's aren't convenient to me in terms of hours and location. Neither carries Wyeast, either. I use them if I have to in a pinch, but I generally order online for the bulk of my ingredients.

My local hardware store carries a decent stock of things like DME, a few pre-crushed/pre-packed grains, dry yeast packets, plus cleaning supplies and hardware. I try to use them for all my odds & ends because they are local, and I want them to keep stocking the stuff.

I keep a bucket of premixed Star San around (can generally get 3-5 batches out of it). I use this to sanitize my spoons/thieves/funnels/paint strainer bags/etc. I just rack a gallon or so into my bucket or carboy, shake well to coat the inside, then dump it back into the bucket. Using your hand is probably fine to cover the opening (I've done this on many occasions with no issues). Better would to be wearing gloves when you do that (disposable vinyl exam gloves are what I use). Or you could put your bung and airlock in to cover the hole so they get sanitized as well.

I really gotta make a purple IPA sometime to demonstrate how stupid it is to have a "style" based on color alone.
<cough> Schwartzbier?

A) I agree that color alone isn't sufficient to define a style, despite the whole "we taste with our eyes too" argument.

B) The Schwarzbiers I enjoy have enough roast character to differentiate them from something like a Dunkel.

C) The BIPA/CDA/whatever-you-want-to-call-them I enjoy are hoppier than a Robust Porter, but still have a noticeable roast character to them. I can accept "Black IPA" as a sufficient descriptor for those beers. But I've really got no use for an IPA that is simply dyed black (or red) with Sinamar.

Beer Recipes / Re: Low gravity saison
« on: May 25, 2013, 05:56:25 AM »
So I've been drinking this for the past week now and it came out great. I did decide to drop the Special B. My final grain bill was simply 3lb of Pils, 8 oz of Wheat and 4 oz of Aromatic (boiloff was a bit high, so I only ended up with 2.4 gallons in the fermenter). I mashed at 158F - OG was 1.043, FG was 1.005. I am amazed at how much body the 3711 leaves behind even when it finishes so dry.

The finished beer is dry, spicy and juicy with some nice malt flavor in the finish. It drinks like the beer equivalent of a dry Gewurz or Viogner. I need to get another batch going soon, because this won't last very far into the summer.

Equipment and Software / Troubleshooting my ColorpHast technique
« on: May 25, 2013, 05:19:03 AM »
Ever since I started brewing All-Grain I was only using calculators (either BrunWater and/or Kai's calculator on Brewer's Friend) to determine my water adjustments and never measured pH. The only beer that has had a water issue was my first porter, which was too acidic. I used a higher mash pH for a rebrew (again - based solely on what the calculators were telling me), and nailed it. Every other beer seems to be doing exactly what I want it to do from a pH standpoint.

I recently picked up some colorpHast strips and started using them a few batches ago to check my mash pH. I'm not trying to diagnose any problems (I don't feel like I have any right now), but I just want a quality control check. I shoot for pH in the 5.3-5.4 range for most of my brews, but I have been getting readings between 4.8-5.1. I know the colorpHast strips read a bit low, but when I'm reading 4.8 on a beer that I'm targeting 5.4 something seems off. All the beers have tasted fine, so I think the issue is in my use of the strips rather than in my actual pH.

I have been waiting until about 20-30 minutes into the mash, then drain about 1/2 an ounce into a Red Solo Cup. I let it sit until it comes to room temp, then dip my strip for 10 seconds or so. My first thought is that I may be getting enough evaporation to concentrate my wort, and therefore decreasing the pH a bit. Any other thoughts or suggestions?

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: English brown ale
« on: May 24, 2013, 08:28:58 PM »
But it could also be the recipe, dark crystal comes across as dried fruit too.

+1 - especially the darker English crystal malts. Personally, that plummy/toffee note is a flavor I really enjoy. I'm always sneaking some Extra Dark English Crystal into my malty English beers whenever I can (including my browns).

All Things Food / Re: Hop chocolate bar
« on: May 24, 2013, 08:20:04 PM »
So I just gave this a try. The ingredients list hop oil and malt syrup as ingredients, and the label specifically mentions Cascade as the hop variety. Tastes just like wort that was highly hopped with Cascade (albeit with considerably less bitterness). Pretty "meh" overall. For a non-brewer it may taste like a novel idea, but to me it just tastes like it needs to be fermented.

Ingredients / Re: How long for flameout hops?
« on: May 24, 2013, 06:43:26 PM »
If its just a flameout addition I add them as soon as the boil stops then start chilling. But I use a cold water bath, so YMMV with a chiller.

A hop stand is when you let your flameout hops steep hot before starting your chilling. It can add a significant amount of IBUs, since alpha acids will continue to isomerize (albeit at a slower rate than at full boil). I generally stand for 30-90 minutes for hoppy styles. It adds a lot of hop flavor and aroma.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dry-hopping with Saaz
« on: May 23, 2013, 08:04:31 AM »
I've never been much of a dry-hopper, but IME 3 ounces hasn't been overpowering with other varieties in other styles.

And in a hoppy style, 3 oz is definitely a good amount for dry hops (with the right variety). For something like a blonde where you don't have enough bitterness to back it up it may I could see how it might get overpowering.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dry-hopping with Saaz
« on: May 23, 2013, 06:01:07 AM »
+1 to giving it time. You can also try cold-conditioning it for a month or so. That has helped me on beers that I've over-dryhopped in the past.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Over Attenuation?
« on: May 23, 2013, 05:52:21 AM »
So a buddy and I were having a conversation about final gravity. I have several recipes that have finished below 1.010. Around 1.005-1.008 to be exact. He mentioned getting that low usually means wild yeast was introduced somewhere. I've only been brewing for a year and typically US-05 is my go-to yeast. What do you think of this hypothesis?

I think it's completely off the mark unless the beers taste like they're infected.

+1 - much more likely is a hydrometer that isn't calibrated properly, or not adjusting for temp or something along those lines. If the beer doesn't taste infected and you aren't getting gushers or anything like that, then I doubt it is an infection.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: SS Bottles
« on: May 23, 2013, 05:31:39 AM »
You can get them for $34.25 @ Deep Wood Brew Products....and the bottles are bare (nothing printed on them).

Thanks for the link. Still pricy, but a lot more reasonable. And If I'm going to pay that kind of price for a bottle (not that I think I would), I don't want someone else's dorky logo/writing all over it.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water to Grist Ratio
« on: May 22, 2013, 09:28:21 PM »
I BIAB/No-Sparge. While I don't have enough data points to make an across-the-board generalization, I have brewed a couple of smaller beers recently and I'm seeing a decrease in efficiency when my mash gets thinner than about 3 qt/lb. I'm kind of curious if anyone else who mashes this thin has noticed a dropoff once you hit a certain point.

Beer Recipes / Re: suggestions - summer ale?
« on: May 22, 2013, 10:11:54 AM »
Damn S04 does work fast. Had full krausen the next morning and it completely dropped out over the next two days. I may keg this one a bit sooner than normal.

Don't know if this should actually be called a "summer ale" but I am not sure what category it would fit into.

If the keg lasts until June 21st then you can safely call it a summer ale. Otherwise you can call it a "didn't last until summer" ale :)

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