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Messages - erockrph

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2926
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Nov/Dec Zymurgy
« on: October 29, 2014, 01:00:50 PM »
Jim, I think one of the main reasons to bring the thick part of the mash to a boil is that the enzymes are dissolved in the liquid by that point. If you boil your liquid, then you're denaturing a lot of your enzymes. If you boil what is largely husk material, then you are denaturing a lot less of your enzymes.

I'm very happy with my lagers without doing a decoction, and it's hard enough to find time to brew as it is. Maybe I'll play around with it when I retire.

2927
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: How Yeast Affects Beer
« on: October 29, 2014, 12:29:41 AM »
Are there any breweries that have a distinct "house flavor" that is present in most of their beers to you? For me, Unibroue is a prime example. I can pick out their house character in pretty much all their beers. Sam Smith is another, and Harpoon as well (for at least a few of their beers) for me. That "house character" is almost always from their yeast strain. On the highest level, that is how I put yeast into context from a flavor standpoint.

Now, you can affect the amount and/or balance of certain flavors produced by the yeast by adjusting various factors. Fermentation temperature is the biggest thing, followed closely by pitching rate, oxygenation and wort gravity. Each yeast strain responds differently or in different degrees to these factors, but the underlying signature is almost always there. For example, when I brew with Wyeast 3864 (Canadian/Belgian - the Unibroue strain), my beers have that unmistakeable "Unibroue" character.

As far as which strain does what, I'd read some of the descriptions on the yeast labs' websites. In general, you want to select a strain similar to the beer you want to brew (English Ale strain for an English Ale, German Lager strain for a German lager, etc). I encourage you to experiment. Try splitting a batch into a few smaller fermenters and pitch different yeast strains in each to compare and contrast. Another good idea is to take one strain and brew several different beers with it so you can learn how it responds to different variables.

2928
All Grain Brewing / Re: Wee Heavy extended boil time?
« on: October 29, 2014, 12:11:21 AM »
And are boiling first running a and main boil at same time
I brew in my kitchen, so I have my main boil going in a 5-gallon kettle on one burner and my side boil going in a 2-gallon pot on another burner. In my experience, the side boil is generally ready about halfway through my main boil, give or take.

2929
I think a lot of the confusion comes from using the phrase "American hefeweizen", which (in my opinion) should never be used. A hefeweizen is a cloudy wheat beer of German origin which contains a considerable amount of ester and phenolic fermentation character. An American wheat beer is nothing like a hefeweizen other than containing a substantial portion of wheat malt. It is generally crisp, clear and cleanly fermented.

OK, I'll get off the soapbox now...

2930
I agree with Keith. I just kegged a 5 gal batch of pale ale that I fermented with a packet of S-05 that was just pitched in dry. It did ferment out well (FG = 1.010), but it did not seem to have the same vigor as when I normally rehydrate that dry yeast in sterile RO water. I can now say that it does appear that it is better to rehydrate than pitch dry.
Yeah, but how does the beer taste?

2931
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Questions: My First Lager fermentation
« on: October 27, 2014, 06:28:48 PM »
When you all say that you cold-crash, do you lower the temp gradually over a period of days?  Or do you set the temp controller to say 32-34F and cool it down in a matter of hours?  I read somewhere to not cool it down more than 5F per day, or you will shock the yeast. 

I just did my second lager, and I cooled it gradually.  I'm just wondering if I'm wasting time for nothing.

If you perform a d-rest and you had a healthy fermentation then your lagering is not really about letting the yeast clean up the beer at cool temperature over a long period of time but just getting the beer to drop clear. In that case it doesn't matter how fast you cold crash. On the other hand, if you are relying upon the traditional lagering approach then you would want to adopt a slower schedule for chilling to 32F.
Bingo. Plus, I've tried it both ways and I can't discern a difference. If the yeast are producing any compounds due to thermal shock from the rapid cold crash, they are below my flavor threshold. I figure if you can cold crash an ale that is fully fermented without producing off-flavors, then you can do the same with a fully-fermented lager.

2932
Do any of these sites offer Under Armour-style, wicking polyester?

2933
All Things Food / Re: Smoked, fermented hot sauce
« on: October 27, 2014, 04:24:11 AM »
I'm really interested in this.  Seems so easy.  I can't get yogurt culture at LHBS.  I can get kefir cultures and cheese cultures.  Does anyone know how these would perform?
Something like Creme Fraiche or Chevre culture would probably give you close enough results. I have a few packets of Chevre culture in the freezer and I'm thinking of giving this a try myself.

2934
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That's a first
« on: October 26, 2014, 04:58:28 PM »
Been there, done that, cleaned the sink, got the Tshirt. Thankfully jugs are cheap enough.

I get around this now by not heating my starters. Room temperature DME goes into a sanitized jug with filtered water out of my fridge and a pinch of nutrient. I'm sure my risk of contamination goes up a bit, but I haven't had a problem yet. I do boil my starters when I'm growing up bottle dregs or very old yeast as an extra precaution, but if I'm pitching a healthy pack of yeast to a starter then I figure that DME and my water supply are sanitary enough for my purposes.

2935
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Questions: My First Lager fermentation
« on: October 26, 2014, 02:39:56 PM »
There are a lot of different ways to handle lagers. I honestly believe that if you pitch enough yeast, and pitch it into cool enough wort, then everything else will take care of itself. But Jim made the best point - let the yeast set the schedule. Don't rack or start lagering until the beer is fully fermented and has no diacetyl.

Personally, I chill down to 45F, then set my thermostat to 50F, pitch and let it sit for about 5-7 days. From there, I bump the temp 2 degrees every couple of days. I D-rest for 2-3 days at ambient (but at least 60F). It's not often needed by the time I get my fermentation temp ramped up, but a diacetyl rest gives me peace of mind. I also dry hop at D-rest temps if I'm dry-hopping a lager.

After the D-rest, I cold-crash in the fermenter for a couple of weeks. then I rack to keg and finish lagering under pressure. For a big beer like a doppelbock, I'll lager for maybe 4-6 weeks, then finish aging at cellar temps.

2936
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Off flavor? Help with dubbel.
« on: October 26, 2014, 03:40:48 AM »
Pils malt? How long/vigorous was your boil?

2937
Beer Recipes / Re: Advice please. Dark Ale with American style hops.
« on: October 25, 2014, 03:15:13 PM »
If you're going for a Black IPA I'd stay away from any dark-colored malt extract. You will likely end up with a beer that is too full and sweet for a Black IPA.

If you don't overdo it, a robust porter with a healthy dose of late hops is actually a pretty nice brew. I might skip the Citra in that case. Bitter with Galena or Magnum, and add the Cascade and Amarillo near the end of the boil. Something like an ounce or two of Amarillo in the 10-15 minute range and another ounce or two of Cascade in the 0-5 minute range.

2939
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Corking Belgian Bottles
« on: October 25, 2014, 03:05:26 PM »
Hello,
Are there simply no larger crown/crimp caps that will fit the large Chimay bottles.  Seems like the best solution in the end.

I haven't used them, so I don't know which bottles they will fit and which they won't, but there are larger ones available that fit bottles like The Bruery uses.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/29mm-gold-crowns-100-ct-large-european-size.html

2940
I brew the same ingredients in the spring and summer and get an ale, then in the fall I change mash temp and yeast and brew it as a lager.
Basic recipe from memory, the hops may change a little depending on what I have in the freezer:
10 gallons
20 pounds 2 row, 2 pounds toasted at 350F for 20 minutes
1 pound Carapils or wheat
Mash about an hour at 154F for ale, 148F for lager
Hops:
2 or 3(depending on AA's)ozs Hallertau or Tettnanger for 60 minutes, 2 ozs at 20, 2 ozs at flameout.(sometimes Goldings, Mt. Hood or combos of these), but the idea is to keep it simple.
Ferment with WLP 005 or Nottingham for ale, WLP 830 for lager.
I've been brewing this basci recipe for 15 years now, it's always a crowd pleaser, sepecially with my non beer geek friends.
This is a brilliant idea. And the recipe sounds damn tasty, too.

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