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Messages - erockrph

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Low FG, any fix?
« on: September 14, 2014, 05:46:01 PM »
What's it taste like? Generally a few points in either direction is not noticeable enough to need to be "fixed".

Beer Recipes / Re: Pale Ale grist thoughts
« on: September 14, 2014, 02:08:05 PM »
Since you using a saison yeast I would do the second one. Bouncing off the discussion on caramel malts in another thread, I really do not care for caramel malt and saison yeast. I would also ask what you are looking for in the grist composition with a saison yeast? That yeast is going to throw out a lot of character. I would also caution the amount of ibu's you put in with this yeast.

Good advice.         BrodyR - I'm just trying to figure out what you're shooting for here. I see 'pale ale', Maris otter, and saison yeast. I personally only use Maris Otter in British styles (though some use it in American ales). I agree with kmccaf to watch IBUs and limit crystal in saison. Was there a style or specific beer you were wanting to emulate ? Not being critical - I like to brew to style usually for the challenge, but there's a place for experimentation too. Just curious.
+2 to all of this. If you're looking to try out a Saison yeast, then you probably want to brew a Saison to start. If your temps are too high to brew a Pale Ale, then I think you're better off holding off until you're able to do it properly.

Ingredients / Re: Advice on using Maple Syrup
« on: September 14, 2014, 01:51:12 PM »
I don't have any real feedback on the recipe - but where did you get the Grade C syrup?

I am sorry to disappoint you, but it's a personal preference.  Crystal malt screams "artificially flavored" to my taste buds.  It's the craft beer equivalent of using caramel coloring in American Dark Lager.
What about using it in English Ales? I know it's used in Old Peculier, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that it's fairly common practice across the pond.

I've been lucky to come into the hobby in recent years. Most of the problems with lack of quality ingredients just aren't a problem any more. Unfortunately, a lot of the information that is pervasive in the hobby is just as stale as that pack of Munton's yeast taped to the old school extract kits. I think the opinions on Crystal malt are one of these issues.

When I first started brewing, the recipes and kits I used always included Crystal malts. When I started working on my own recipes, I started operating on the premise "A lot of commercial beers are too sweet for my tastes. Crystal malt makes beer sweet. Crystal malt is the enemy and I must keep it out of my beer at any cost." And as a steeped malt that may certainly be the case.

Then I started brewing a lot of session beers and English ales. And I realized that crystal malts aren't making my beers cloyingly sweet. I really think that if you mash Crystal malt, then the amount of sweetness they add is a lot less than is commonly attributed to them. I really think that a lot of overly sweet beers are more from attenuation and fermentation issues than Crystal malts themselves. If you leave some residual sweetness in the beer, then that crystal malt character is going to jump right out. But in a fully attenuated beer, that crystal character doesn't seem all that sweet to me.

TL;DR - I've come full circle on Crystal malt. I don't necessarily feel the need to add it to everything, but I'm not afraid of it. I particularly enjoy the European Crystal malts (UK Crystal, and Belgian and German Cara- malts).

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Books About Hops
« on: September 14, 2014, 12:28:32 PM »
I just finished reading For the Love of Hops. It was a great read with many interesting stories about the history, who grows them, and how the pros use them. There are some useful technical details, but not to the extent you find in the yeast and water books of the Brewers Elements series.

I am looking for recommendations for books about hops that cover the more technical details like the major compounds, effects on fermentation, recipe formulation, biology, etc.


Frankly, I don't think you're going to find anything with greater technical details outside of Stan's book unless you start reading through journal articles. A lot of Stan's info is based on very recent research. And there is still a whole lot of research that is ongoing, which is probably why there's no real consensus on things like recipe formulation and so on.

For the Love of Hops is the best book on Hops that I've seen so far.

The Pub / Beer Trade
« on: September 13, 2014, 09:34:43 PM »
I set this trade up after a buddy of mine from VT posted on facebook that he can pick up Heady Topper from the store across the street from him. This is like the Babe Ruth trade of beer, since I gave up a bottle of Westy XII

I gave:
1 Westy XII
1 Red Poppy 2013
1 Zombie Killer
1 Harpoon Leviathan BW 2011
3 assorted homebrews

In return I got:

A very nice assortment of stuff that would be hard-to-impossible to get outside of VT. Most notably five cans of Heady Topper. It was tough giving up the Westy, but in the end I think I got the better end of the deal.

The Pub / Re: Lady brewers
« on: September 13, 2014, 09:21:39 PM »
Welcome! I got started brewing with my best friend and his wife. Between you and me, I like her tastes in beer better :) While I don't know too many woman brewers, I do find that my female friends are more likely to be into flavorful beers like IPAs and sours than their male counterparts. I think that might be because men tend to be groomed on mass-market lagers at a young age, while women are more likely to be approaching beer with a more open mind and unbiased palate.

As far as meads go, definitely do some reading and ask some questions here, but I highly recommend just diving right in with some smaller batches. It takes a little while to get your mead pipeline started up, so the sooner you start the better.

The Pub / Re: What's the Weather Like Where You Are?
« on: September 13, 2014, 09:10:58 PM »
66° and overcast with a light breeze, and I'm loving every second.
Yeah, we had a stretch last week that was hotter and certainly more humid than most of July and August. I was outside last night looking for auroras around midnight and it was definitely autumn. Slept like a baby. Now its time to drag my feet on my girlfriends requests to get out the bigger comforter.
I remember that stretch well. That's the week my central air died.  :-\

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Duvel Tripel Hop
« on: September 13, 2014, 09:09:32 PM »
I haven't had Tripel Hop in a few years, but to this day it's the only Belgian IPA I've ever wanted to put down in mass quantity. I don't remember the head retention issue. My tasting notes from 2011 mention "creamy white head", so I'm not sure what's happening there.

It's good to hear that this year's hop combo works well. I've heard some mixed reviews from when they were using Sorachi. The year they used Saaz/Styrian Goldings/Amarillo was amazing.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Alchemist Heady Topper
« on: September 13, 2014, 09:03:17 PM »
First and foremost - heavily hyped beers rarely live up to the hype, but Heady Topper is definitely one of the best commercial IPA's I've ever tried.

Aroma is like burying your face in a bag of hops. There's plenty of fruit, but there's also this great hop cone/lupulin on your fingers smell that rarely makes it all the way into the finished beer. The flavor has some citrus, but is more skewed to the piny/herbal side. Bitterness is nice and firm on the middle of the tongue, but not harsh or abrasive. The hop aroma and flavor are clearly more the focus than the bitterness. The finish has plenty of hop flavor continuing on for a good while.

What I really like about Heady Topper is that the bitterness doesn't feel harsh or raw, and it doesn't feel like someone just painted hop resin on your tongue that's never going to wash off. As much as I enjoy beers like "Go To" and "Enjoy By", or my own IPA's for that matter, I get some bitterness character that's a bit rough (almost like raw hops) when trying to push the hop flavor envelope. Whatever they're doing at Alchemist, they really have it dialed in.

The Pub / Re: What's the Weather Like Where You Are?
« on: September 13, 2014, 12:06:22 PM »
66° and overcast with a light breeze, and I'm loving every second.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Can I save my under carbed beer?
« on: September 13, 2014, 12:00:17 PM »

On bottle conditioned beers I find sometimes you get great carbonation after a week, but sometimes it takes a month.
+1 - 2 weeks just isn't enough time to call it undercarbonated. My bottled beers are typically drinkably carbonated at 10-14 days, but are still finishing carbonating 3-4 weeks after bottling. Give it some more time.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: CONGRATS JONATHON FULLER!!!
« on: September 13, 2014, 11:55:44 AM »
Awesome! Congrats!

Beer Recipes / Re: Skeleton Helles
« on: September 12, 2014, 06:05:52 PM »
I'm not sure you will be able to find Munich DME. I've only seen it as LME. I'd suggest you use some Pilsner DME and mash the Munich instead.

If you do have a source for Munich DME, please let us know. I'd love to get my hands on some.

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