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Messages - erockrph

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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?

Ingredients / Re: Oats
« on: October 31, 2015, 06:34:18 PM »
I've used flaked, rolled, quick, and instant oats at various times.
After a lot of experimentation, I determined that the quick or instant oats gave the best results (and were easier to use).
But any of these will work. 

I wouldn't use steel cut though.  Save those for cooking with dried fruit for breakfast... or to make Goetta (aka "Cincinatti Scrapple")
Nothing beats steel-cut oatmeal with dried blueberries and some brown sugar. But I agree that they just don't seem worth the hassle for beer. The main benefit for oatmeal is the texture, not the flavor. I can't imagine they'd add anything extra to a beer.

Ingredients / Re: Single-hopped beers 2015 edition
« on: October 31, 2015, 06:30:59 PM »
Is it just the picture, or are those Vic Secret hops really that brown? From the picture, if someone gave me those, I'd assume they're ancient and stored improperly and probably wouldn't use them. Very interesting color.
Good eye! I noticed the exact same thing about the two NZ hops compared to the HBC 438 pellets. The thing is, the aroma was fantastic on those two - every bit as potent as the HBC, if not more so. There seemed to be less grassiness to them as well. I can't help but wonder if there's something going on with the processing on those. I've gotten plenty of import hops from Farmhouse, and they have never disappointed in their potency. I'll have to keep an eye out with other hops to see if I notice a difference.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Halloween beers tonight?
« on: October 31, 2015, 06:24:39 PM »
My buddy brought along a cooler of brews, so I didn't have much of a choice. I had some Yuengling Black & Tan and some Sammy Rebel Rider Session IPA. Good enough for trick or treating roadies, but nothing to write home about. I sent him home with a few more of my IPA's, since he was raving about the first sample I gave him. Better to have a friend drink them fresh than have them sit around too long in my cellar.

Ingredients / Re: Single-hopped beers 2015 edition
« on: October 31, 2015, 11:47:43 AM »
You got some X17!  I hope to brew with mine soon so we can compare notes!
I exchanged a few emails with Pat at Oregon Hophouse, and its obvious how much passion he has for what they're doing over there. I have high hopes for the X-17. They were some really high quality cones.

Ingredients / Re: Single-hopped beers 2015 edition
« on: October 31, 2015, 11:14:39 AM »
Won an "insiders" tour at FX Matt Brewing in Utica (Saranac) from a competition I entered last year.  Got a chance to smell some new experimental hops and the one that stood out the most was Vic Secret.  Loved its aroma, just wish I could've nabbed a few ounces to dry hop a  beer with.
Farmhouse has it in stock from the spring harvest.

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