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Messages - erockrph

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931
Ingredients / Re: Pale Ale hops - something different
« on: February 19, 2016, 07:34:47 AM »
Vic Secret, Meridian, Nelson Sauvin, Motueka, Enigma, HBC438, Kohatu and Caliente are all primarily fruit-forward hops that are different than the usual Cascade/Centennial/"C"-hop flavor, and aren't the mango-bomb that Citra usually is. All of them are worth playing with in any combination.

932
A) Thanks for the mention of the gravitational wave discovery. I've been out of the loop when it comes to news and media recently, so I probably wouldn't have found out about this until Neil Tyson did a StarTalk episode on it.

B) I might have mentioned this elsewhere, but your experimental results jive with my own recent experiment in that there is definitely something different with a low-temp whirlpool. I will be experimenting with this a lot more in the future to see if I can nail down how this works within in my own recipes. In particular, I'm going to try this in recipes where I'd typically use a 170F whirlpool to see how the flavor and aroma compares.

C) You should call it the "Outlier, outlier, pants on fire" award for any IGORs who are way outside the rest of the data for an experiment.

933
Other Fermentables / Re: First Mead
« on: February 18, 2016, 06:35:12 PM »

Question on degassing. What's a proper method for mead ? I have wine degassing wand I could use, but not sure how long and how vigorously you should do it.


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I generally make about 1.5 gallons at a time, so my method might not scale up so well. I just keep a long slotted pitcher of Star San nearby. I basically stir the crap out of it until it stops foaming. Then I add my nutrients if it's time for an addition. I do this 2-3 times a day until the foaming slows down when I stir, maybe a week or so. After that I still punch down the cap daily if I'm using whole fruit for another 7-10 days or so.

Ok just asking as I read don't degas and cause foam or to introduce excessive oxygen....although I struggled with how to degas without doing either.

Early in the process, extra oxygen isn't necessarily a bad thing for a big mead. Plus there is so much CO2 coming out of solution that I wouldn't be too worried about letting in too much oxygen. When fermentation slows down, I just lightly press the fruit cap under the surface to submerge it and break it up a bit.

There's no way to avoid foam, just make sure you have plenty of headspace in your primary to prevent explosive foamovers when you degas.

934
The Pub / Wine bottling mishap
« on: February 18, 2016, 06:29:24 PM »
Just saw this posted on Michael Fairbrother's Facebook feed and laughed by butt off:

https://youtu.be/XPIw6eRW_Bg?t=64

935
Other Fermentables / Re: First Mead
« on: February 18, 2016, 04:47:34 PM »
With 71B I pretty much always hit 16-17% ABV if my OG is at 1.140 or less. It might be different on a smaller mead, but mine typically start in the 1.130's and finish in the high single-digits to upper-teens in gravity. With staggered nutrient additions and aeration 2-3 times daily for the first 5-7 days, I always exceed the stated alcohol tolerance for the wine yeasts I'm using.

I think Michael Fairbrother at Moonlight Meadery only uses 71B for his melomels and he has gotten it close to 20% on some of his meads.
I hadn't thought of it in this conversation but I think there is more to it than alcohol tolerance. I'm sure Eric's right that 71b has gone way above 14% but I am also sure that I'm right that 71b has left residual sweetness in every mead I've made as low as maybe 12% despite well managed fermentations. So I stand corrected about alcohol tolerance but still think your mead won't finish too dry. I suspect PH and other factors at play to make the yeast stop at a point well short of complete dryness. I can say the same about RC212. When I want a really dry mead I go with k1v-1116.
Good point Pete. That makes sense to me. I admit that I don't have as much experience at the gravity range you and Ken are talking about. I typically shoot for something close to a Spatlese/Auslese - not syrupy, but with a nice balance of sweetness and acidity.

936
Other Fermentables / Re: First Mead
« on: February 18, 2016, 04:39:15 PM »
Question on degassing. What's a proper method for mead ? I have wine degassing wand I could use, but not sure how long and how vigorously you should do it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I generally make about 1.5 gallons at a time, so my method might not scale up so well. I just keep a long slotted pitcher of Star San nearby. I basically stir the crap out of it until it stops foaming. Then I add my nutrients if it's time for an addition. I do this 2-3 times a day until the foaming slows down when I stir, maybe a week or so. After that I still punch down the cap daily if I'm using whole fruit for another 7-10 days or so.

937
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: AHA Yeast Starter Video
« on: February 18, 2016, 04:27:36 PM »
Heck, I don't even boil my starters...

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Are you using malta Goya straight out of the bottle like the guys in my local club?   ;D ;D
I've thought of trying it for fun. :)

I just add the DME to a sanitized jug and top it off with filtered water. Shake to dissolve, pitch yeast, then shake until it's all foam. Cover with foil and I'm done. The longest part of the process is cleaning up the inevitable DME all over the kitchen that happens every time I open a bag no matter how careful I am.

I will boil for situations like waking bottle dregs where I am starting with an exceptionally low cell count. But DME is not an infection risk when pitching a full smack pack or vial of healthy yeast, AFAIC.

938
All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mash For Kolsch...
« on: February 18, 2016, 04:18:29 PM »

Now that makes me want to step mash my next Kolsch. Agreed and well put. I have friends suck down batches that I would rather dump. Going to be 63 here tomorrow. I might just step mash my challenge beer! 


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The challenge beer is extract, no?

Maybe you can do a mental step mash?



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I keep seeing differing responses to that. Some have said that DME just has to be an ingredient.

I have two different plans based on which rule interpretation is correct. If some form of mashing is allowed, I'm planning to decoct a pound or two of grain, then get the remainder of my sugars from DME.
Not to take this too far off on a tangent, but the challenge rules for the spring swap have been narrowed down to A) MUST use DME and dry yeast and B) CANNOT mash or mini-mash. Everything else is fair game.

Back on topic, I had recently made up my mind to experiment with the Hochkurz mash a bit right before this thread went up. It won't add any extra time to my usual process, so I figure why not. I have an Uerige-esque Alt planned for next month, so I'll be trying it out then.

939
Other Fermentables / Re: First Mead
« on: February 18, 2016, 11:12:34 AM »
With 71B I pretty much always hit 16-17% ABV if my OG is at 1.140 or less. It might be different on a smaller mead, but mine typically start in the 1.130's and finish in the high single-digits to upper-teens in gravity. With staggered nutrient additions and aeration 2-3 times daily for the first 5-7 days, I always exceed the stated alcohol tolerance for the wine yeasts I'm using.

I think Michael Fairbrother at Moonlight Meadery only uses 71B for his melomels and he has gotten it close to 20% on some of his meads.

940
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Rube Goldberg Part Two
« on: February 18, 2016, 10:45:14 AM »
I've had a similar experience with WY2633, where I split a starter into two batches. One was a 1.048 Dunkel, and the other was a slightly bigger Octoberfest. At my first D-check the 'fest was clean and the Dunkel still had a hint of the D. I thought it was strange that the bigger beer was cleaned up first.

941
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 02 level in wort
« on: February 18, 2016, 10:40:06 AM »
I went form an O2 system to a MixStir to nothing special now.  Once I started pumping the wort to the fermenter, I found I was getting so much foam that I didn't need to do anything else.  And the results prove it.
Yeah something like this. I run my wort off through a filter into a bucket. Then I dump from that bucket into a fermenting bucket or carboy. I get plenty of oxygenation in most beers. Some bigger styles might get an extra stir.
Same here. I pour my kettle through a series of filters into my fermentation bucket. That seems to be more than enough aeration for my needs. I will occasionally break out the O2 setup for somehing big like a barleywine or a doppelbock, but I'm not convinced that even those need it. For meads, all I use is the whisk attachment on my stick blender. If that's enough for an 18% mead, then it should be fine for a 12% beer, IMO.

942
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: New dry yeasts
« on: February 17, 2016, 08:20:57 PM »
Erock, I'd be really interested to hear how your beer turns out, or if you've pulled any samples to date.    I was planning on brewing a hybrid beer on my 5 gallon to grow up yeast for a 1/2 bbl helles, then a 1/2 bbl maibock.  Was planning on using 2206 or 830, but would be real interested in this as an alternative for this run of beers.  Tia
I'll keep you posted. Need to clear up some space in the freezer and refill my CO2 tank before I can get around to kegging this. I'll probably do a quick D check in the next couple of days.

943
Other Fermentables / Re: First Mead
« on: February 17, 2016, 07:41:18 PM »

Semi dry. Good alone or with food.

That's what I will be shooting for.

Ken, the toughest part of meadmaking (in my experience) is figuring out where your yeast is going to quit ahead of time. My first meads finished much drier than anticipated. I then tried to compensate for that by starting at a higher OG, and ended up stalling out at 1.050 a couple of times.

Since then, I've decided to err on the side of caution and plan to finish a bit lower than I'd like. It is much easier to backsweeten a bit than it is to fix an overly sweet mead. If my yeast decides to give out a bit early, then I'm still going to be OK. I only brew 1-2 meads a year, and the ingredients are expensive, so I'd rather not take too much of a chance.

I have FG 1.005 plugged in my plan with 1.11 OG. guess all I can do is see what happens. Would you recommend something else?


Nope, that's as good a starting point as any.. You may end up lower, but you can certainly backsweeten if needed.

FYI - I find that the semi-dry range for a mead is in the 1.010-1.020 range. It's a lot different than your typical beer.

944
The Pub / Re: Beer Experiments
« on: February 17, 2016, 06:59:00 PM »
I can think of a few reasons why the results aren't as black and white as we'd (ideally) like to see:

A) You have multiple tasters all giving their own responses to the experiment. That's like trying to weigh a series of items using a different scale each time. You will likely see a trend appear over time, but since none are calibrated to each other you won't hit an ideal level of precision across the board. A bowling ball will read fine on a bathroom scale or a fruit scale, but will max out a gram scale. An aspirin would be fine on the gram scale, but not the larger ones.

B) Each experiment tries to hold as many variables the same, and tests a specific variable. So the results from that experiment are only applicable within those specific variables. The whirlpool temp experiment may give different results in a blond ale vs a stout vs an IPA. Maybe different varieties of hops give different results. Maybe different yeast strains would have an effect, or base malt, or fermentation profile, etc. Basically, you have to view each experiment as a starting point, or a few data points, and then add that in to your own experience to decide how it is going to impact your brewing.

C) By nature, these experiments have a relatively small sample size. As you add more and more data, trends start to become clearer. Denny and Drew have taken an approach to get more data points, but at the expense of less control over the testing because of the crowdsourcing aspect. We've already seen some potential issues in the first two experiments. I applaud them for taking the right approach and calling suspect data into question, and analyzing the numbers both with and without the outliers.

I was fortunate enough to have done a test of the 120F whirlpool before the most recent XB podcast was posted. I feel that I have gotten some good results from this, and the recent IGOR experiment gave me some confidence that there is at least something to this technique. That makes me want to explore it further to see how I want to apply it to my own brewing. That's all I could want and more out of an experiment like this.

945
All Grain Brewing / Re: Water salts mass to volume equivalent chart
« on: February 17, 2016, 06:32:33 PM »
FWIW: This also illustrates why it's preferable to use weights and not volumes when baking. Two different cups of flour can have very different weights.

Another example is kosher salt vs. regular table salt. Those who have used both will likely know that kosher salt is far less salty compared to an equal volume of table salt. Weigh out the two, and the saltiness is the same.
For the kosher salt, it is because of the size of the crystals. I wouldn't be surprised if this had something to do with the discrepancies we're seeing with the brewing salts as well.

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