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Messages - erockrph

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Wort Split: Single + Czech Pils
« on: November 04, 2015, 11:16:26 AM »
Do you know specifically which Czech lager strain it is? Budvar is the only one I've used that I think wouldn't make a good German Pils. 2124 and 2278 will make a fine German Pils if managed appropriately.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: There's Gold In Davis, California
« on: November 04, 2015, 08:58:28 AM »
Really cool post, Mark! Do you have any information on how the lay person can obtain cultures from these banks? I have some starters stepping up with my WLP??? cultures that I got from a comtaminated agar plate. If all turns out well with that experiment, I think I'd be up for delving a little deeper into the dark arts of yeast culturing.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: extract Belgian Pale Ale recipe?
« on: November 04, 2015, 07:37:51 AM »
This is an extract version of my all-grain recipe. I whirlpool the flameout hops for about 10 minutes, so that's where the IBU's are coming from on them. I like WY3864 when it's available, but yeast choice is up to you. You can also probably skip the CaraMunich if you're looking for a drier version of the style.

Title: BPA (Extract)

Brew Method: Extract
Style Name: Belgian Pale Ale
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 5 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 4 gallons

Original Gravity: 1.057
Final Gravity: 1.012
ABV (standard): 5.9%
IBU (tinseth): 29.75
SRM (morey): 12.5

3.3 lb - Liquid Malt Extract - Munich (39.8%)
3 lb - Dry Malt Extract - Pilsen - (late addition)  (36.1%)
1 lb - Belgian Candi Syrup - D-45 - (late addition)  (12%)

0.5 lb - German - CaraMunich I (6%)
0.5 lb - Belgian - Aromatic (6%)

1 oz - Styrian Goldings, Type: Pellet, AA: 5.5, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 25.06
0.5 oz - Cascade, Type: Pellet, AA: 5, Use: Boil for 0 min, IBU: 2.23
0.5 oz - Styrian Goldings, Type: Pellet, AA: 5.5, Use: Boil for 0 min, IBU: 2.45

Wyeast - Canadian/Belgian Ale 3864

I usually use dry yeast, so my list is pretty short.

3864 (Seasonal)


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: kegerator
« on: November 03, 2015, 08:31:39 AM »

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Swap-toberfest '15
« on: November 02, 2015, 09:56:04 PM »
I used about 10% Pils malt because I wanted the beer to dry out, but then I ended up undershooting my FG by quite a bit and needed to add DME to boost the FG a bit. I think it was Light DME rather than Extra Light and that's where the caramel note is likely coming from.

Hops were 33 IBU of Mandarina at 60 minutes, and 2.5 oz Mandarina and 1.5 oz of Apollo whirlpooled at 170F for 30 minutes. I didn't dry hop, and I do think the hop character dropped out quite a bit during lagering.

For a 3 gallon batch I added 3g gypsum, and 0.5g each of CaCl2 and Kosher Salt to my well water, targeting 70ppm Calcium, 25ppm Sodium, 40ppm Chloride and 100ppm Sulfate. Also added Lactic acid to target 5.3 mash pH. Mashed at 149F for 80 minutes.

I brewed this for tailgating with some coworkers, so I didn't push the hops as much as I typically would if I was brewing for myself. I was still very happy with the balance with this one. I wanted to make sure it finished plenty dry and crisp, but not sharply bitter. I don't know how much the 2278 contributed to the dryness, but I was quite happy with my results using it.

Equipment and Software / Re: BIAB. Please share ideas, pros/cons, methods.
« on: November 02, 2015, 05:34:31 PM »
I'm confused.  I thought that BIAB was supposed to be LOWER efficiency than batch sparge.  I assume because you don't rinse out the residual sugars in the sparge step.
In BIAB you are essentially including all your sparge water in the mash as well. You end up mashing so thin that there is very little sugar behind to rinse off the grain. My efficiency is right around 84-86%, depending on how lazy I get about squeezing my grain bag. And that is another efficiency boost with BIAB - there is zero dead space to account for, and you can really minimize grain absorption bu squeezing your bag out.

I wouldn't say BIAB is inherently more or less efficient than batch sparging. The specifics will depend on your own system within each method.

Equipment and Software / Re: BIAB. Please share ideas, pros/cons, methods.
« on: November 02, 2015, 11:28:36 AM »
I love BIAB for 2.5-3 gallon batches. I can come home after work and start a batch at 5:30 and be cleaned up by 8:30 and eat supper during the mash. I have good efficiency and not much more trub. My bag is very fine.

I love batch sparge for 5+ gallons.

EDIT: I would add that they are both so cheap that its no problem to get the equipment for both. Storage wise biab is obviously better but you can also store equipment in a cooler MT.
I split the difference and BIAB in a cooler to hold my mash temps. I brew 3 gallon batches (ending kettle volume), and this hits the sweet spot for me. I agree that managing the wet grain would potentially become an issue in larger batches, but this system works great for my purposes.

Beer Recipes / Re: Marzen
« on: November 02, 2015, 09:35:53 AM »
A small % of dark munich malt (15L or so) is also a nice addition to a good ofest/marzen to bump up the malty background.
Aromatic malt works well in this regard also. My Maerzen is essentially the BCS recipe with the CaraMunich replaced by half as much Aromatic.
Sounds a bit like Saranac's Dark-toberfest. I have always been of fan of that beer. They use Munich, Dark Munich, CaraMunich and Pilsner.
That sounds like it's approaching Bock territory. I like my Maerzens malty, but not so rich. I use Pils, Vienna, Light Munich and a splash of Aromatic.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Sour Beer Tastings
« on: November 02, 2015, 07:12:14 AM »
Allagash's Brett beers are great, but I often wish there was more Brett character to them. I think it may have something to do with being a 100% Brett beer without a Sacc primary - less fermentation byproducts for the Brett to work on. Still, I have a hard time walking past a bottle of Confluence (their dry-hopped sour) without feeling extreme temptation to throw it in my cart.

I get a lot of pineapple/cherry pie in Confluence - reminds me a bit of Orval. I wonder if it's a similar strain.

Beer Recipes / Re: Marzen
« on: November 02, 2015, 07:00:56 AM »
A small % of dark munich malt (15L or so) is also a nice addition to a good ofest/marzen to bump up the malty background.
Aromatic malt works well in this regard also. My Maerzen is essentially the BCS recipe with the CaraMunich replaced by half as much Aromatic.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Shaking
« on: November 01, 2015, 07:02:17 PM »
Couldn't you just run some Idofor or Star-San (sorry Mark :)) solution through the stone when you're done and again before use?

That's not a good idea unless one likes to use multi-strain cultures. :)
Is there some room temp solution that one could run through a SS stone that would kill most of the yeast and bacteria?
Ethanol, ideally in the 70% range, but anything above 50% will likely be sufficient. I've started using 151 proof rum in a spray bottle for a spray sanitizer. Everclear and overproof vodka (100 proof or higher) are probably as good of a choice, if not better. (Bacardi 151 has a stronger rum flavor/aroma than I recall from my college years, so I reserve it for things that won't carry over flavor like starter vessels, yeast packets, etc.)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Water help
« on: November 01, 2015, 06:18:23 PM »
It sounds like we found the culprit, but I'd thought I'd chime in to say that hops are another potential source of metallic flavors. I'll pick it up from Nugget hopped beers from time to time.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Swap-toberfest '15
« on: October 31, 2015, 08:05:36 PM »
Sounds great. Eric, I assume that's the saison with Gewurstraminer must ?  Still need to make mine with muscat must.
Indeed it is! It had much more hop presence initially, but it turned out a lot hotter than I had planned initially. I was shooting for 7% so I started at 1.069. Of course, this is 3711 so the beer ended up at 1.003 and ended up a lot stronger than planned. I let it age at cellar temp in the keg for a few months and all the heat went away. Unfortunately, the hops went with it.

Jim, I'm glad you liked it. It has really mellowed into a nice beer.

I still have half a bag of must in my keezer. I'll have to rebrew this over the winter so the next batch hits its prime for the summer.

Beer Recipes / Re: recipe formulation with nugget/cascade/
« on: October 31, 2015, 06:40:23 PM »
I would not automatically assume that the hops you received have a lower AA rating than commercial hops.  I had one of the varieties that I grew last year tested, and it came in at 16.4% AA.  That's a good AA rating for well-grown commercial hops.

The 1.81% hop oil content is nothing to sneeze at, either. What cultivar was this from?

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