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Messages - erockrph

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Equipment and Software / Re: Synec
« on: February 17, 2015, 08:31:38 AM »
For the o2 it states there is a special fill valve

All I have to go on is the email they sent us, which says to fill the bags from the bottom using a tube just like one would a growler. It does seem like they've contracted with some large breweries to fill the bags using a proprietary sealed header, so this could be a great way to get fresh beer from Sierra Nevada et al.
Yeah, it seems like this is more suited towards growler sales than homebrewers. It kind of reminds me of the Heineken mini-keg dispenser that Krupps used to sell. At $350, I might as well spend the extra cash for a real-deal kegerator. And I have a hard time imagining that the whole "Synek-bag instead of growlers" movement is going to reach critical mass at that price point.

Still, if the price was on par with a Keurig (like in the $150 or under range), I'd snap one up in a heartbeat. But that's only because I don't have a full-time kegerator at the moment. It's a great idea, but I think it is very price-sensitive. If there's not enough demand, then brewers aren't going to use them. And if I can only find Red Hook ESB at my local store in the Synec pack, then I'm not going to want to buy a machine.

The Pub / Re: Ordered a nuc and hive
« on: February 17, 2015, 08:10:38 AM »
Fermenting seems obvious since you're here, but it's certainly an option.
You could sell some. Honey can fetch over $5/lb here. Or give it to friends and family. It would make great presents.
I'd love to pay $5 a pound. I'm looking at $7-8 in my neck of the woods.
Eric, have you looked for local apiaries that sell in bulk? I can't produce enough honey for meadmaking so we buy 60 pound buckets for $205, so 3 something a pound from I guy we know. Comes with free beekeeping advice too. He sells the Same honey in little jars in Boston and NY for silly high prices.
I only brew 3 or 4 small batches of mead a year. I'm typically looking at 5-8 pounds of honey per batch. So buying in bulk isn't necessarily the best option for me. I was able to get a 5-lb jar of good, local wildflower honey at my local dairy/bakery for $32 just a couple of years ago, but now it's up to $40. I'm kind of stuck in that middle ground between buying in bulk and the "honey bear bottle" customer.

Ingredients / Re: Best Vienna?
« on: February 17, 2015, 06:17:22 AM »
Me too, Jeff! Wish it was easier to find and a bit cheaper. $20 for a half oz is pretty steep!
I love hops and all, but at that price, even I would think twice!

Assume you mean half a pound? Right now Farmhouse Brewing Supply has 2013 crop on sale for $21 a pound. Not a great price, but better than what you're saying.

All Grain Brewing / Re: First BIAB advice
« on: February 17, 2015, 06:04:49 AM »
If your kettle is large enough you add all the water for mashing. Using BIAB is supposed to make things simpler.
+1 - BIAB was developed to be a one-vessel process using the full volume of mash water in one step. A sparge is not necessary if your vessel can handle the full volume of mash liquor.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Temp/Thickness Taste Perception
« on: February 17, 2015, 06:02:24 AM »
Maybe this should be moved to another thread, but something I considered to be VERY important to all grain brewing seems rather insignificant to the final product now. So if you line up 10 brewers that have the same exact ingredients, same equipment, etc. etc. who is going to make the best beer and why?

Does it really go back to fermentation, sanitation, etc. the tenants of brewing?
Mastering the basics will have you making B-B+ level beer regularly, with the occasional A. From there, the incremental stuff does come in to play to get you to the steady A-A+ range. The biggest thing there is being able to brew the same recipe repeatably, and being able to dial it in to get the results you want.

So, in general, the fine details like mash temps aren't going to make or break a beer. But for a specific recipe it may turn out to be the right tool for the job when you're trying to take it from a B to an A.

The Pub / Re: Ordered a nuc and hive
« on: February 16, 2015, 07:25:51 PM »
Fermenting seems obvious since you're here, but it's certainly an option.
You could sell some. Honey can fetch over $5/lb here. Or give it to friends and family. It would make great presents.
I'd love to pay $5 a pound. I'm looking at $7-8 in my neck of the woods.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Temp/Thickness Taste Perception
« on: February 16, 2015, 07:18:03 PM »
I will qualify this by saying that I rarely use NA Pale 2-row as my base malt. I am most commonly using either Maris Otter, or some combination of Pils/Munich/Vienna. So even with less "hot" base malts, enzymatically speaking, I still end up mashing at 162 or 147 (sometimes as low as 145) if I want to see a noticeable difference in fermentability compared to my typical beers.

I target a mash temp of 153F for everything but session beers (162F), or beers I want to finish super dry (147). If I end up hitting within a 2-3 degree window of that, then I don't mess with it.

Personally, I do use ice if I need to drop the mash temp quickly if I overshoot by a lot. I just stir hard until it's all dissolved, which is a matter of seconds. This way there's less dilution.

Ingredients / Re: hop combo
« on: February 16, 2015, 07:14:50 AM »
here's my general concern with mosaic-Im not a big fan of pine beer. what i dont want to do is add too much that the pine dominates. im looking for some of the other attributes like citrus, floral, tropical, stone fruit, spicy(really hoping garlic or onion does not show its face) to compliment the mandarina.

Ken, I honestly think with that high ratio of Mandarina:Mosaic (and the small amount of Mosaic) you won't have a 'piney' beer. Mosaic definitely has some pine character, but it's also even more fruity. I think you'll like the beer.
Agreed. I also think that dry hop additions tend to give proportionally more fruit/herbal than pine/resin/dank. Maybe move some boil additions of Mosaic to dry hops?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottle Bombs
« on: February 15, 2015, 06:47:29 PM »
I would not bottle until I had stable gravity, thus not expecting further drop on the bottle. Until it stops dropping, you only know where you think it will finish. If it could actually go lower than anyicipated, you won't know where you wind up or if you are safe
This.  It doesn't matter as much for kegging.  You aren't going to blow one up.  That said I wait for the fermentation to stop and the beer to clear before I keg, because there's no point in transferring all that yeast in suspension to my keg when I can just wait another week.
Plus, your yeast is still cleaning up stuff like diacetyl and acetaldehyde as fermentation is tapering off. By racking off the bulk of your yeast you may end up making it tougher to clear up those off flavors.

All Things Food / Re: The Flavor Bible
« on: February 15, 2015, 04:49:25 PM »
I have it too. Don't really use it actively for cooking, but I browse in it regularly just for fun, and let the ideas sink down to my culinary subconsciousnessdom.
Yea, I do that with cookbooks in general. Pour a beer or glass of scotch and browse through a great cookbook on the couch in the evening= relaxation.
EDIT: and late night snacking...
I could use a night like that. Good beer, good cheese, and flipping through the Flavor Bible during commercials while watching Good Eats reruns.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lager Success Finally
« on: February 15, 2015, 04:43:13 PM »
The raisin/dried fruit thing could also be some oxidation depending on how old the bottle is.
This is what I'm thinking, too. The dark Munich malt plus some caramelly oxidation notes could give some raisin/fig character.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottle Bombs
« on: February 15, 2015, 04:38:28 PM »
Each gravity point adds about 0.5 volumes when fermented. Typical longnecks are pretty safe until 3 volumes, and possibly can handle 3.5 if they're in good shape. Typically you're at about 1 volume after fermentation, so 3 points would lead to normal carbonation levels, 4 would be OK for Belgians and hefes, and 5+ would have me calling the bomb squad.

All Things Food / Re: The Flavor Bible
« on: February 15, 2015, 11:05:41 AM »
I got it recently myself for the same reasons. Most of the time I'm throwing stuff together in my kitchen "Iron Chef" style, and this looks like it's going to be a fantastic reference.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Ipa water addition help
« on: February 15, 2015, 11:02:08 AM »
Ph,  from what I have found searching on the clone of heady the alchemist mashes at 5.4 so I'm 2 points high but would adding stabilizer help with that?
You're much better off using something like lactic acid or phosphoric acid. There's no way of telling what the stabilizer is adding to your mash, what pH it's going to hit, and what the flavor impact is going to be.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Question about high final gravity
« on: February 15, 2015, 10:55:45 AM »
The first week in the fermenter, I kept the temp at 70 and have dropped it down to 65 for the last two weeks. The krausen dropped after 2 days.

This is pretty much the exact opposite of what I would do.   Rather than start at 70 then drop to 65 after a week, you will probably have better results if you started at 65 then ramped up to 70 after a few days to finish fermentation. 

Starting cool then raising the temp after a few days helps control esters and encourages the yeast to clean up diacetyl precursors at the end of fermentation.
Starting relatively warm then dropping the temp 5 degrees is a good way to get your yeast to drop out early and leave a lot of diacetyl behind, especially with an Irish strain.
+1 - I ruined my first batch of homebrew doing this. Complete butterbomb.

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