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Messages - erockrph

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Beer Recipes / Re: American Mild
« on: September 03, 2014, 06:24:49 PM »
Yes. Every beer has it's own balance. But, we have to have a word to describe the concept of IBU/OG ratio so we don't have to write or say IBU/OG ratio.
I guess that I don't equate balance to be the same thing as the BU:GU ratio - that just doesn't tell the whole story to me. A light lager and a Mild may have similar BU's and GU's, but I wouldn't say they have the same balance. The same beer brewed with 2-row or Munich for the base malt may have the same BU:GU, but will have a different balance. Same thing with a 60-IBU beer with a truckload of late hops versus none.

I guess "Balance" just seems like one of those fluff words that gets thrown around a lot and doesn't have a specific enough definition to be useful in a general context. Just a pet peeve of mine  :-\ /soapbox

Beer Recipes / Re: American Mild
« on: September 03, 2014, 04:29:20 PM »
To be honest, "balance" is garbage as a descriptor for beer AFAIC. All beers are supposed to have balance, but you can't compare the balance of a doppelbock to the balance of an IIPA. Unless you're talking about a specific set of guidelines for a defined style, then balance doesn't mean much. For an undefined style "balance" is whatever the brewer decides it should be.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cedar Wood Cubes
« on: September 03, 2014, 03:53:08 PM »
I'd be wary of using Red Cedar wood in beer. Some of the compounds in its resin are toxic.

All Grain Brewing / Re: mash rest
« on: September 03, 2014, 08:59:56 AM »
one of these days I want to try the overnight mash, start at say 150 and just leave it till morning. see if I can get a big 1.090 saison down below 1.000 with no sugar.
I was pretty happy with the results doing a true step-down mash for my last barleywine. I started with half the grist in a BIAB bag and did a 30 minute rest at 156 to let alpha amylase do its thing. Then I pulled the grain bag and added the remaining grains. I rested at 145 for 2 hours after that. Went from 1.142 to 1.024 with Yorkshire Square yeast at 58F. I can only imagine what you could get out of a solid Saison fermentation using that mash schedule.

Regardless, I'd recommend going closer to 145 or even lower, rather than 150. Limit dextrinase starts to denature around 140F, IIRC. I do think that it plays a small role in super low temp mashes.

Other Fermentables / Re: New to homebrew, many mead questions!
« on: September 03, 2014, 05:31:17 AM »
First and foremost, welcome! If you haven't read Curt stock's article on melomels, I highly recommend it. Even if you aren't making fruit meads, there is still a lot of excellent information on meadmaking and SNA in there. If you're making a straight mead, then I'd double the amounts he's using for SNA (since you wouldn't be getting any additional nutrients from fruit).

Here's Curt's article:

One gallon batches are a good start, but you'll still want a larger fermenter for your primary. Mead tens to foam up a lot when making your SNA additions and degassing.

1) You will get more fusel alcohols at warmer fermentation temperatures, which make your mead taste like rocket fuel and can lead to headaches in large amounts. This is why so many people believe mead takes years to age. Try keeping your fermenter in a water bath with some frozen water bottles that you swap out a few times a day. It's a PITA to keep up on, but it will make a big difference in the finished product. You can probably take it out of the ice bath once you get to the point where you don't need to degas anymore (i.e., when you stop getting a lot of foaming when you degas)

2) Read the article I linked above for good info on SNA. There are about a dozen different schedules out there. I take the total amount need for the full batch and divide it by four. The first addition goes in with the must. I usually get my meads started at night, so my second addition goes in with my first degassing the next morning (about 12 hours later), then my final 2 go in on days 2 & 3 with my morning degassing. But tere's a lot of different ways to do it, and all of them give good results. Moonlight Meadery does it on days 1, 2, and 3 like I do, IIRC.

3) I don't worry about pH, but I use acid to adjust to taste in the end (after backsweetening) if needed

4) Dry yeast ships well online. I use 71B, but I think the key is just to pick one yeast and stick with it long enough to learn how it works. It takes a few batches to dial in what OG to start with in order to get your mead to finish at the sweetness level of your liking. If you have easy access to 1118, then I say go with that yeast and stick with it for a while. Don't make any adjustments to the recipe you choose - regardless of your yeast choice you will likely be adjusting post-fermentation for many of your batches.

5) I generally try to adjust for back sweetening after I've racked to secondary. Backsweetening with honey does leave a bit of a raw honey flavor (as opposed to a fermented honey flavor), and I try to let that age out a bit. But as long as your mead is stable (either stabilized with sulfite/sorbate, or the yeast has finished completely because it has hit it's ABV limit), then you can backsweeten at any point, really.

Good luck and welcome to the hobby!

I have tried adding soy milk to coffee in the past and it does curdle in a very unpleasant way. It doesn't do that when cooked in a wok (while making Thai food). I'm not sure what the difference is but adding soy milk in the brewing process seems much more like adding soy milk to hot coffee than cooking it in a wok so I would expect it to curdle.
Gypsum is commonly used as a coagulant for making tofu. I'm thinking IPA is probably not a wise choice for adding soy milk to.

All Grain Brewing / Re: mash rest
« on: September 02, 2014, 07:57:09 PM »
Ok, I just woke up so cut me some slack. If you mash arount 145 you get short chain, highly fermentable sugars, right? 155 you get long chain, less fermentable, right. (I know there's some overlap too) So, let's suppose you mash at 145 long enough to get near 100% conversion. Then raise the temp to 155. Its not going to put the short chains back together is it? At least in my mind it doesn't seem likely, so I quit worrying about mash out. The only time I would mash out is if I were trying to get a wort that was not very fermentable,  like for a lambic. Then the mash out might stop conversion,  if I was using a low DP malt that converts slowly enough to actually pull that off.

the missing piece of the puzzle is that the beta amylase only works on one particular linkage on the sugar. when the alpha amylase goes to work it breaks the chain in a different place that actually makes more linkages available to the beta amylase. so a long 145 rest will allow the beta amylase to cleave everything it can BUT moving to a solid alpha rest will actually make even more sugars available to the beta to cleave.

at least that is my understanding.
Right, but I'd add that there is a point of diminishing returns. As you increase the temperature up towards peak Alpha activity you begin to denature the Beta amylase rather quickly. That's why I think a long, low Beta rest works just as well (if not better) than a step mash. Alpha amylase is active at those lower temps, but at a much slower rate. By giving enough time, then alpha slowly gets to chip away and feed more pieces to the beta amylase. Also, at really low beta rests you may get some limit dextrinase activity as well, which can even start to chew some of the dextrins that neither alpha nor beta amylase can digest.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Cascadian Dark Ale Questions (pH & grist)
« on: August 29, 2014, 10:29:01 AM »
If you add the Carafa late, then it will still lower the pH of your wort. It won't affect converstion, but it will affect flavor. I'd recommend using a calculator like Brun'water, and include the Carafa in the mash. I would treat it just like any other roasted grain.

I've never brewed a CDA, but I tend to like the commercial examples that have a touch of roast. I don't think 5% of something like Carafa special or Midnight Wheat would be a problem at all.

Other Fermentables / Re: Plums in a stout
« on: August 29, 2014, 06:44:27 AM »
Would I be able to get the recipe for your hoppy Belgian dark ale? It sounds delicious!
Here you go. I went through a phase a couple of years ago where I brewed a bunch of beers that were essentially crosses between an APA and some other style. Most of them were "meh" at best, but the APA-meets-dubbel was one of my biggest successes. I use the Unibroue strain whenever I can, but 1762 would be a good substitute. I ferment in the 63-64F range.

For a 3-gallon batch:

Title: Belgian Dark Ale

Brew Method: BIAB
Style Name: Belgian Specialty Ale
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 3 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 3.5 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.041
Efficiency: 80% (brew house)

Original Gravity: 1.051
Final Gravity: 1.010
ABV (standard): 5.38%
IBU (tinseth): 36.89
SRM (morey): 16.32

4 lb - Belgian - Pale Ale (78.7%)
0.5 lb - German - Munich Light (9.8%)
0.33 lb - Belgian Candi Syrup - D2 - (late addition)  (6.5%)
0.25 lb - Belgian - Special B (4.9%)

0.4 oz - Centennial, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 10.2, Use: First Wort, IBU: 15.44
0.25 oz - Motueka, Type: Pellet, AA: 7.2, Use: Boil for 15 min, IBU: 6.14
0.25 oz - Centennial, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 10.2, Use: Boil for 10 min, IBU: 5.78
0.5 oz - Caliente, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 15.3, Use: Boil for 5 min, IBU: 9.53
0.5 oz - Caliente, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 15.3, Use: Boil for 0 min
1 oz - Caliente, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 15.3, Use: Dry Hop for 7 days
0.33 oz - Centennial, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 10.2, Use: Dry Hop for 7 days
0.33 oz - Motueka, Type: Pellet, AA: 7.4, Use: Dry Hop for 7 days

1) Infusion, Temp: 156 F, Time: 60 min, Amount: 18 qt, Sacc Rest

Wyeast - WY3864 (Canadian/Belgian)

Profile Name: Hoppy Bitter Profile
Ca2: 110
Mg2: 10
Na: 20
Cl: 20
SO4: 250
HCO3: 55

Ingredients / Re: Please stop me!
« on: August 28, 2014, 08:28:52 PM »
Using tweezers for this would be rather labor intensive. With hops being a cousin of cannabis and with your desired end result being essentially hop-hashish, I would just Google how to make hashish. Good luck, mon!

Its on www.hashishrecipe.dea/gov. You enter your home address and they bring you the stuff you need.

Fixed that link for you, Jim

Ingredients / Re: Please stop me!
« on: August 28, 2014, 08:25:15 PM »
Fresh hop ales are becoming more and more common. I'd honestly try that first. If you do find too much grassiness for your liking, then by all means proceed with your diabolical plan. It should work.

The key thing here is freshness. Fresh hops are a lot like fresh peas or corn - their window for peak freshness is quite small. Ideally, you want to be picking your hops during the mash/boil and dump them all in in the last few minutes or at flameout. That may be the real challenge of your experiment - being able to collect enough lupulin in a short enough window where it is still quite fresh by the time you use it. Good luck!

Other Fermentables / Re: Plums in a stout
« on: August 28, 2014, 07:56:47 PM »
Plums contain a fair amount of sorbitol which is not fermentable but is sweet.
Hmmm... that certainly explains the whole prune thing

Other Fermentables / Re: Plums in a stout
« on: August 28, 2014, 05:17:07 PM »
+1 to just brewing a dark Belgian instead of a stout. I've never been a big fan of Belgian stouts - I've always found the flavors to clash. A Dubbel or Quad, however, is a perfect fit for plums. WY1762 in a dubbel with some D-180 and a touch of Special B would be amazing with plums.

Another option would be an English Barleywine, which you can also use WY1762 in to good effect.

As far as amounts go, I've never used them, but I'd be willing to bet you need a lot. Like 2-3 pounds per gallon.

One other thought - Caliente hops have a great Red plum aroma to them. An ounce at flameout in something like a stout may help reinforce the aromatics a bit. I brew a hoppy Belgian dark ale using them and it's a serious plum bomb.

Equipment and Software / Re: Fermenter head space
« on: August 28, 2014, 10:19:12 AM »
I ferment 2-3 gallons in 6.5 gallon buckets all the time. Extra headspace isn't a problem.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Choosing a house yeast
« on: August 28, 2014, 10:13:44 AM »
I thought that Wyeast 1768 was a reserve collection strain, but it is not:

I have not tried the Roquefort strain, but could be convinced if others think highly of it! I can compare it to the new Abbaye Ale dry yeast that I have going in primary on a Belgian Golden Strong presently...
I'd stay away from the Roquefort strain, as well as the Stilton, Munster and Camembert strains.  ;)

Now Rochefort, that is second only to the Unibroue strain (WY3864 - sadly only a seasonal strain) for my favorite Belgian yeast.

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