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Messages - erockrph

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lager yeast starter at 50 degrees
« on: December 07, 2014, 03:37:41 PM »
I'll chime in with WY2633 (Octoberfest lager blend). It's fantastic in O'fests (unsurprisingly), but it has become my house yeast for any malty lager,

All Things Food / Re: How to Chill a Drink in 1 Minute
« on: December 07, 2014, 02:44:51 PM »
~10 % for 20 degree drop.
So about 100 grams per liter. More, if you take into account for ice melting into solution and diluting it. And you need quite a bit of ice to be able to effectively drop the temperature of the brine.

But yes the video is bunk
Agreed, for reasons above :)

All Things Food / Re: How to Chill a Drink in 1 Minute
« on: December 07, 2014, 01:01:28 PM »
So the video is bad. However, isn't the theory correct? Lots of ice and water is very cold now add salt which lowers the freezing point of the water so the energy is not wasted in a state change but rather to cool the beverage with water that is now able to stay liquid at a lower temperature. Same theory as the old time ice cream makers we churned by hand during the summer. At least that's what I remember from school   

Yes, but you need a lot of ice and a lot of salt to get a significant enough freezing point depression where you'd notice a difference over just plain ice water.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Blending Brews
« on: December 07, 2014, 12:10:24 PM »
I don't know why I've never tried this. Maybe because I bottle conditioned for so long and rarely have more than one beer at a time. I definitely want to play with this a bit.

I have a cider and a doppelbock on tap right now. I might have to try making an impromptu graff tonight for the game.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: diacetyl rest
« on: December 07, 2014, 09:37:45 AM »
Just curious - how do you perceive it to be?  I have heard from others that it is buttery tasting, or slick in the mouthfeel or even perceived as a bit of soap in the there a commercial example where it is prevalent to be able to know what I should be tasting or feeling?  I honestly think that I may be "blind" to it and wonder if there is a way to overcome the blind spot.  I am starting a BJCP class next week so I hope that I can make it through the various faults with enough sense to actually evaluate the beers to be judged.

drink a redhook, and there you go.
+1 - If you really want to taste it, it stands out the most in their pilsner. At least it did years ago when I had about 3 or 4 sips before dumping out the rest.

Beer Recipes / Re: AIPA, IRA and RIS
« on: December 07, 2014, 09:31:59 AM »
Have you brewed any of these before? That's a lot of crystal malt for an American IPA. I'd drop the Carapils, and cut the CaraMunich in half (or even get rid of it entirely).

Your hop schedule looks fine, but if you want to really kick up the hop flavor, I'd use all of your late hops in a hop stand instead. If it were me, I'd double the 60 minute addition to supply all my IBU's. After the boil, chill to 170F (77C), and add in all those hops that were going in between 15 and 5 minutes. Stir them in and let them steep at that temp for about 30-45 minutes.

I'll let someone with more experience with the other styles comment on those recipes.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How are you brewing?
« on: December 07, 2014, 08:55:48 AM »
I checked both, but it's primarily all-grain for me. I use extract for test batches, or if I don't have much time to brew and I'm jonesing to get a quick batch in.

Equipment and Software / Re: Bucket heater for stovetop brewing
« on: December 06, 2014, 10:12:05 PM »
Jeff, no sign of scorching at all. I pulled the stick out of the wort and put it right into a pitcher of warm water to rinse it off. There was a small bit of hop residue at the top that wiped off easily. If it got pretty gross I'd probably give it a PBW soak. Its only 1000 watts. I could see a bigger element potentially being a higher risk for scorching.

Jimmy, it goes in a normal 120V outlet. I just plug it into the GFI outlet next to my stove top. If you can manage it, you could always use a second heater to double your output. At under 40 bucks apiece it's a manageable investment.

Beer Recipes / Re: citra saison
« on: December 06, 2014, 09:47:46 PM »
OK, with the French Saison I'll stay under 75. Anything else I can do to make this beer shine?
I like to target a lower pH (mash pH 5.3) to help accentuate the acidity from the 3711. That's a matter of personal preference, though. It comes out a bit tart that way.

Equipment and Software / Bucket heater for stovetop brewing
« on: December 06, 2014, 12:56:51 PM »
I'm an indoor brewer who brews 3 gallon batches on the stovetop. One of my only frustrations with my current setup is how long it takes to get 4+ gallons to a boil on my stove, and maintain a strong enough boil at that size.

I had started to look into electric heat sticks, but most of the info out there was for DIY stuff. I know enough about electricity to know that "DIY" and electricity aren't something I want to mess with. At least nothing in the kilowatt-plus size.

So the other day I ran across one of these. I decided that the price was right, so I gave it a whirl. While it's not exactly "how did I ever live without this" good, it's certainly well worth the money.

My stove generally takes 40-50 minutes to get 4 gallons of wort from mash temps up to a boil. With the heat stick helping out, I hit a boil in 25 minutes. I was able to maintain a healthy (but not explosive) rolling boil without having to do the "lid half on" trick. This is completely subjective, but I felt like I got a better hot break using the stick as well. It could also help cut into your time to hit strike temps if you're starting from room temp water (I use hot tap water from my sink, so that's not an issue for me).

As a test, I used the stick alone to heat 3 gallons of water in my kettle. I got it from 60F to 160F in 35 minutes. So you could even potentially heat your strike water right in your mash tun with one or two of these. Overall, if you're brewing more than a gallon or two on a stovetop I'd really recommend one of these.

I'll add that to me biscuit malt is kinda like the flavor of maris otter only intensified. Kinda like melenoidin malt is to Munich.
That's exactly how I think of it:
Biscuit and Victory = amped up MO
Melanoiden and Aromatic = amped up Munich

Beer Recipes / Re: citra saison
« on: December 06, 2014, 12:07:39 PM »
Unlike DuPont, 3711 is about as robust a yeast strain as you will find. I usually just let it go at ambient in my basement, which is only about 62F (~17C) in the spring/summer when I brew my saisons. After a week, I put on my Brew belt to raise the temp. I usually allow about a week longer than a normal ale to finish up. I find that it takes its time to finish up the last point or two of fermentation. I get a bit of tartness, but not as much pepper/spice as Dupont at that fermentation temp.

The great thing about 3711 is the mouthfeel. Even though it finishes bone dry, it has a nice juicy/full mouthfeel. It makes a simple saison that really reminds me of a dry white wine. It's a fantastic lawnmower beer, and the juiciness and acidity are perfect for a hop like Citra.

Ingredients / Re: Golden shroomy
« on: December 06, 2014, 11:57:13 AM »
OK.  Then I guess we'll try them in a beef stew or such.  The beer flavor should be good in something like that.  Or a meatloaf.  hmmmmmm.
Yeah, beef stew is exactly what I was thinking, too. Or maybe a rich veggie stew.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Used kegs
« on: December 06, 2014, 08:35:45 AM »
Man, used kegs are getting pricey. At this point, I'm buying all new.

I am only purchasing new kegs as well.
If you can wait out for sales at AiH, there's really no reason at all to be messing around with used kegs. Their sale prices on new kegs are incredible. And it seems like they run their sales every few months.

Even better (for me at least) is that they carry the smaller 2.5 gallon kegs and have great sales on that size as well.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Help with English yeasts not fully attenuating
« on: December 05, 2014, 12:37:58 PM »
I'd suggest the OP mash a full 90 minutes and definitely recalibrate the thermometer. I've had attenuation issues with English yeasts as well. But I think that was mainly because the fermentation temperature wasn't as warm as it needed to be for long enough. It would reach 68 during peak of fermentation, but drop down as fermentation was winding down. I think this hurts attenuation. I try not to brew with English yeasts during the colder months when I don't have a way to keep the beer warm.
Maybe I'm the English yeast whisperer or something, but I've never had a problem with flocculant English yeasts at low temps. I tried to cold crash a starter of 1968 after about 20 hours a few months ago and I couldn't get it to drop even at 45F in the fridge. Last winter I had the Yorkshire Square strain (which is so flocculant it makes 1968 look like a weizen yeast) take an all-malt barleywine from 1.142 down to 1.024. It was fermented at 58F for the first week before bringing it to the mid-60's to clean itself up.

Other thoughts (although just grasping at straws, mainly)
Try bigger starters to see if that helps.
Try pitching your starter at high krausen (or shortly thereafter).
Repitch and see if things improve on a further generation.

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