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Messages - erockrph

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Batch sparging: stir mash midway?
« on: May 18, 2014, 09:00:54 PM »
I only brew 3 gallon batches, so I have even less thermal buffering capacity than most other brewers. I typically lose 2-3 degrees over the course of a 75-minute mash. I tried stirring mid-mash on a couple of occasions, and ended up losing 6-7 degrees. I stopped stirring after that :)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cacao nibs and dogs
« on: May 18, 2014, 08:55:41 PM »
Glad the prognosis for your pooch is good. I've spent many a night in the hospital with my kids (both fur and flesh) over the years, so I can certainly empathize.

While we're on the discussion of things that are toxic to pets, I just recently learned that hops are toxic to cats as well. I've always known about dogs, but I never knew that cats get very ill from them as well. Thankfully my cat has never gotten into them, but I will certainly make sure to keep them out of reach from here on in.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop Burst Ideas
« on: May 18, 2014, 08:48:54 PM »
OK boys, for my next trick I just added the rest of last year's harvest.  3.4 oz of Cascade, 1.6 oz of Chinook and .6 oz of Tetnanger.  The tets smelled amazing I must add.  Put them in 5G so good experiment versus the non-dry hopped 5G.  You guys should seriously consider a trip to Philly to taste this one!   :)


Throw in a "Whiz wit" from Pat's and I may be convinced :)

Beer Recipes / Re: Smoked Ham on Rye with Mustard Beer
« on: May 16, 2014, 09:11:06 PM »
Trust me, I'm all for experimentation. I do it all the time - that's one of the main reasons I got into homebrewing in the first place (I will brew that truffle/saffron beer I've been planning one day). I have learned through much experience, that you are much better off starting on the low end of all the specialty ingredients the first time you brew something experimental. It's far easier to taste something and say "I could use a little more of "X", and a lot more of "Y", and "Z" isn't really doing anything at all", than to drink something that is just a loud shouting match between different ingredients. A) Because it will more than likely be drinkable and B) if there's way too much of an ingredient it's going to be hard to tell how much less to use, if there's not enough it's a lot easier to ballpark how much more you need.

I know you aren't looking for anything to be subtle, but you're much better off easing up to it. Nothing wrong with a bold beer, but you're still going to want some balance if you intend to choke down more than a few gulps. I'd say keep the cherry smoked malt in the 15-20% range, skip the turmeric, and go easy on the mustard (rye should be fine as it is). If you use caraway, keep that low as well.

Of course, if you know you're only going to brew this once, are fully expecting to dump the batch, and just want to roll the dice, then give it your best guess. Tell us how it works out. I doubt I want to taste it, but I certainly want to hear about it. :)

Beer Recipes / Re: Dopplebock feedback
« on: May 16, 2014, 08:50:19 PM »
Bumping an old thread. I finally got around to brewing this a couple of days ago. Based on some recent doppelbock discussion I decided to add 2oz of Carafa III to try to get a bit of that roast note I pick up in Celebrator. Wort tasted great - can't wait till the fall/winter to start drinking this.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Clone recipe objectives
« on: May 16, 2014, 08:42:03 PM »
So Jonathan, the three AG batches I have done so far have all been mashed at 148 or 152. What differences will I see in a beer that is mashed at 154?

Compared to 152, next to nothing. Compared to 148, you might see a little extra body by mashing at 154. Even that is a maybe, honestly. I don't really see much more body until you hit the 158ish range. And to really get the extra attenuation/lower body from a mash in the 140's, you need to hold it there longer as well.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Alpine nelson
« on: May 16, 2014, 03:52:52 PM »
It's a relatively conservative WC-IPA
that tastes good, but not something that will make you say WOW.

Water closet IPA? Does that taste like man-pee instead of cat pee? I'm waiting for a new hop to come out that smells like asparagus pee. :)

The Pub / Re: Help name some barrels
« on: May 16, 2014, 10:44:59 AM »
Boris, Bela, Lon & Claude?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Clone recipe objectives
« on: May 16, 2014, 10:31:03 AM »
The yeast and your fermentation practices determine the FG, not your software :)

After adjusting the grain bill for your efficiency, I would just follow the recipe to the letter. There's no way to 100% calibrate a recipe to your system until you brew it yourself. Better off to follow it exactly the first time around then you can adjust one or two variables when you rebrew (if needed).

I find that yeast tend to be a bit more attenuative than software suggests, at least with my setup. I wouldn't be surprised if you find yourself closer to 5% than 4.5%. For example, my software lists US-05 with a 72% attenuation, but I generally get in the upper 70's to 80ish.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lowering ph level
« on: May 16, 2014, 10:20:59 AM »
I definitely like bru'n water. At first it seems a bit difficult to understand everything that it covers but you quickly learn the interplay of all adjustments and how they interact with all the phases of mashing and sparging. FWIW, I will take my water, which is high in bicarbonate, and I dilute it down with distilled to my target alkilinity, then I add either Gyrpsum or Calcium chloride depending on my recipe and goals to get my calcium, chloride and sulfate levels where I want them then I will acidify my mash water until I get it to the PH I'm targeting.  But as the others have eluded to, adding one thing often times affects something else and you end up changing and balancing your additions to dial in the target profile. for me this would be impossible without the spreadsheet. I'm kinda new to the whole water adjustment thing so I don't really know if this is the long way to get it done,  but it has worked for me so far. :D  hope this helps

Right, the biggest part of the learning curve is figuring out the best set of steps to get to your target mineral and pH profile without having to go back and forth with a bazillion tweaks because every time you make a change it changes something else.

It sounds like you follow the same steps as I do; i.e., set your flavor ions first, then adjust pH. That almost always works out to be the easiest course of action. The Brewer's Friend calculator has a nice function where you can tell it what form and concentration of acid you're using, your target pH, and then it gives you the volume of acid to add. This way you really only need to tweak a couple of mineral additions once you have your water and grist inputted.

Hop Growing / Re: 2014 hop gardens
« on: May 16, 2014, 10:09:41 AM »
My centennial died. Cascade was slow but coming along. Willamette doing great.


None of my 3 plants made it through the winter. They're in containers and I suspect it's because I didn't pull them under the deck/against the house when we had our extended, brutal cold snap this winter. I'm honestly not sure if I will replant again. I was growing them as a trial run to see whether it was going to be worth my while to do something a bit more permanent with them, but they never did as well as I had hoped. And since I have about 20 pounds and 30-40 varieties of hops in my freezer at any given time, it's not like I was ever going to become self-sufficient on my hops addiction...

In the meantime, I will brew some kickass IPA in their memory.

Other Fermentables / Re: aging mead
« on: May 16, 2014, 08:14:02 AM »
I made a maple wine a while back that stalled out at 1.058. I tried everything I could think of to get it to keep fermenting. Finally I made a small starter using maple syrup and champagne yeast. I pitched it at peak activity, then set the whole thing in my up stairs closet (ambient ranges from 68-75). 10 months later I came back and it had dropped to 1.051. It is still quite sweet, but it's a lot better than it was at 1.058.

So maybe a honey/champagne yeast starter might help you out a bit. If this is a Cyser, then you could also think of adding a few quarts of apple juice when you pitch the champagne yeast. That might dilute your abv enough to keep the yeast active longer and chew down to a more reasonable level.

Also, 6 weeks is pretty early to give up on a sweet mead. I think 10 weeks is the earliest I'd even think about my first racking. Those last few points come down really slowly.

I must say that I'm glad I waited a year to package my maple wine. A seven gravity point drop could lead to some serious carbonation.

Beer Recipes / Re: Kolsch grain bill
« on: May 16, 2014, 06:19:02 AM »
The recipe you have will make a fine kolsch (assuming you use hops, too).

It would probably make a decent Koelsch as well.  ;D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lowering ph level
« on: May 15, 2014, 08:18:41 PM »
+1 to BrunWater. The calculator on Brewer's Friend is excellent as well (

Basically, there's a lot more to it than simply making a generalization. Your grist and starting water profile are vitally important in order to determine what type of mineral and/or acid additions you need to hot your target mash pH.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: IPA dry hop survey
« on: May 15, 2014, 08:12:29 PM »
I've read much about this subject and experimented, but thought it would be nice to get some concise data from all you experts.

For dry hopping your IPA:

1. How much?  (Oz/gal)

2.  At what temp?

3.  How long?

4.  Where?  (Primary, secondary, keg)

5.  Do you whirlpool?

6.  How much aroma and are you happy with amount of added aroma and taste?


1) about 1.5 oz/gallon
2) Fermentation temp (mid 60's)
3) about a week
4) Primary, about 7-10 days after pitching, while the yeast is still actively fermenting
5) Does a bear crap in the woods?  ;D
6) Massive aroma, and I am quite happy with my IPA's

I will say that my IPA's are really over-the-top with hop flavor and aroma. I won't even pretend that they're balanced, it's really like drinking hop juice. If I were trying to be a more sane IPA, then I'd actually use more dry hops (like 2 oz/gallon). That's because I use so much hops in my hop stand right now (~3.5 oz/gallon) that I get more than enough aroma there. If I backed off on my flameout/hopstand hops I'd probably increase the dry hops to compensate.

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