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Messages - erockrph

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931
Equipment and Software / Super cheap pH meter
« on: August 16, 2014, 04:55:03 AM »
I just ordered one of these and thought I'd share. Right now this pH meter is selling for $7.42 with free shipping. The reviews seem decent as well.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0087LOWIA/

A pH meter has always been one of those things that I've wanted, but the price point has been too high for me to justify pulling the trigger on one. I've never had any major issues that I would attribute to my water. I've always used either Brun'water or Kai's calculator on Brewer's Friend and spot-checks with colorpHast strips have always been what I was expecting to see.

Even if it's a throwaway meter after a handful of uses, that's perfectly fine with me. I'm just looking to spot-check a few of my usual recipes to verify that the water calculators are accurate enough for me.

932
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Happening On Friday ?
« on: August 15, 2014, 09:00:31 PM »
I made my first melomel today. 15 lbs of Orange Blossom Honey and 15 lbs of mixed fruit (dark cherries, sour cherries, blueberries, rasberries, and strawberries).

Man, that sounds really good.
I was really inspired after drinking some of Ken Schram's meads at NHC this year. He also gave a great seminar that really got me thinking. I hope it turns out good because I dumped a lot of money into this batch.
The great thing about mead is that as long as you handle your fermentation well (SNA, cap management, ferm temp control, etc), you have a lot of room to adjust post-fermentation to tweak it to your liking.

933
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brewing calendar
« on: August 15, 2014, 08:55:02 PM »
The Calendar has begun... needs more beers though. Thanks for the inspiration so far.I will try and remember to share the rough draft. Still dont know what to brew in early sept to have for fall/ early winter though... I can keg for fast drinking if needed. anybody?

What do you like drinking in the winter? You have time to brew nearly anything and have it ready for consumption. Even a big beer could be ready, especially if you have a healthy fermentation.

Well I know Im gonna be brewing a stout of some sort for winter but I was thinking about something to bridge the gap and I have settled on a balanced  copper colored ale copper of some sort. Better make up my mind before brew day…
Altbier is a good choice for that

934
Kegging and Bottling / Re: forgot to prime???
« on: August 15, 2014, 10:06:52 AM »
I know this sounds like alot of work but worse case scnario and they are all flat- can I dose them and re-cap?
Say maybee with prime dose or something? I would rather do that work than drink it flat or toss it.

you can. I've not used any of the pre-measured priming tabs but you could try them. I mix up a syrup of known gravity (sugar and water by weight) so that say .5 tsp is how much one 12 oz bottle needs when I am doing just a couple bottles. This should work here too. Ideally you would have a syringe with measurement marks. pop each cap, add sugar, recap and turn gently to distribute sugar and yeast.

+1 - I use the Coopers carb drops all the time to prime my 1-gallon batches. I have also used my gram scale to weigh out priming sugar on a dose-by-dose basis, but I like Jonathan's idea about making a syrup better.

935
Equipment and Software / Re: Makes me want a plastic big moiuth
« on: August 15, 2014, 08:24:58 AM »
Every time I see this product I can't help but wonder "why not just use a bucket?"

Me too.


One of the biggest pro's in my opinion is that it is transparent. I like to watch the yeast dance. They are also narrower by an inch. In my freezer this would allow me to have a third vessel without a collar. Better bottles and buckets are just hair too big for this.


Another plus is the threaded lid. I guess that could also be a con as the threads could harbor grime and spoiling organisms.
I completely understand the freezer situation. I have to use a 4.5-gallon bucket if I'm brewing 2-lagers at once.

I don't see the threaded lid as a plus, though, unless there is a gasket that fits super-tight inside to make a seal.

936
Equipment and Software / Re: Upgrade decision. Advice needed
« on: August 15, 2014, 08:10:09 AM »
If you want to dabble in all-grain, BIAB is a great way to get your feet wet. When I made the jump to all-grain, I kept my extract gear and scaled my batch size down to 3 gallons. The only thing you need to get started is a bag.

I'm in a similar boat with my current setup. I have a chest freezer and controller that serves double duty as my lager fermentation chamber and my kegerator. Fortunately, I have a basement that is perfect for ale fermentation pretty much year-round. But now that I have the ability to brew lagers year-round, I have been. Which means my kegerator isn't always available for serving. Personally, my next major beer purchase will probably be a dedicated kegerator.

937
Equipment and Software / Re: Makes me want a plastic big moiuth
« on: August 15, 2014, 07:14:50 AM »
Every time I see this product I can't help but wonder "why not just use a bucket?"

938
Beer Recipes / Re: American Sweet Stout
« on: August 15, 2014, 07:01:40 AM »
Making the coffee is different. I'd think you'd get a coffee pot on the Warner plate flavor from that.

I would also might mash higher.

My thought on masing that low is that I will already have a ton of sweetness from the lactose.
Mashing higher won't really give you more sweetness, just more body. At 49 IBU you won't have to worry about it being too sweet. Higher IBU's to make it 'American' will also hide some of the lactose sweetness.
 
But all that is just options - I'm sure the recipe will make tasty beer as is.

+1 on the mashing higher leading to more body rather than sweetness. Even though you'll end up with a higher FG, what is left behind is unfermentable dextrins (which aren't sweet) as opposed to sugar.

And if you really wanted to go "American" on the hops, then an ounce or two of Centennial at flameout would be the 'merican thing to do.

939
Of course there are always exceptions to the rule. But ive found that if you look at a hipster's high school yearbook, you'll often see that he was an Emo, with a skateboard and listening to the Misfits on his walkman. He grew up to be a hipster driving an 86 volvo and hanging out at the farmer's market selling cambucha

That's a bit of an anachronism there. There was no such thing as Emo back when walkmans existed. And Emo kids probably have no clue who Glenn Danzig is. If you said "dress like the Misfits and listening to Jimmy Eat World on their iPod", then you're on to something.

940
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Roeselare Blend
« on: August 15, 2014, 06:32:46 AM »
Served a near 100% lacto BW at the last homebrew meeting without syrup. Too sour for some, not too sour for others.  I would monitor the lacto ferment for the Flemish Red so it doesn't go off the charts.

I have yet to have a Flanders Red that was too sour. Too acetic, yes; too sour, no.

941
Ingredients / Re: Flaked oats
« on: August 15, 2014, 05:09:55 AM »
According to how to brew, flaked oats are the same thing as instant oatmeal oats.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section2/chapter12-2.html

+1.  I've used Quaker in oatmeal stout many times.
+2 - Bob's Red Mill Instant Rolled Oats for me

942
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Reusing yeast cake, pros and cons
« on: August 15, 2014, 04:59:15 AM »
Thanks everybody. Never had any issues reusing a yeast cake, but always done styles that are very forgiving when it comes to off-flavors. Looking for a nice clean lager flavor on this one.

To be honest, I do this for lagers more than ales. If your sanitation is good, then I don't think there's much to worry about.

943
Actually, less attenuative strains like 1968 often (not always) drop clearer quicker than more attenuative, powdery ones that stay in solution until they finally finish their job and settle out. IMO the very easiest way to avoid yeast absorbing more of your hop character is to remove as much of the yeast from your beer as possible before dry hopping. As in :   1/   Leaving the beer in primary for say 2 - 3 weeks, rack to secondary or keg and dry hop , or
2/   After fermentation is verified done, cold crash the yeast ~ 32F for a few days, then rack to secondary or keg and dry hop.
Either way, you've effectively separated your beer from a lot of yeast. I've done this with 1056, not a terribly flocculent strain, many,many times.

I'll be dry hopping this beer in a few days and I had a question about my racking to secondary. Does it matter if you rack at low temps as opposed to fermentation temps? Are you more likely to suffer oxydation when the beer is cold vs ferm temp? or is it a matter of indifference.
Since oxygen is more soluble at lower temperatures, I'm sure there's some hypothetical, miniscule increase in risk at colder temperatures. I think in reality that the difference is likely so small that you would have no need for concern. Proper technique (i.e., minimizing aeration, CO2 flushing if possible, etc) will have much more impact on the final product.

944
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brewing calendar
« on: August 14, 2014, 09:37:12 PM »
The Calendar has begun... needs more beers though. Thanks for the inspiration so far.I will try and remember to share the rough draft. Still dont know what to brew in early sept to have for fall/ early winter though... I can keg for fast drinking if needed. anybody?

Oatmeal stout? That's a favorite early winter style for me.

945
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Safbrew Abbaye Ale
« on: August 14, 2014, 01:00:30 PM »
I'm kinda worried about the description saying Belgian styles and IIPA.  Does that mean Belgian beers with a "Belgian profile" or IIPA that tastes Belgian?  They seem to be more concerned with alcohol tolerance than anything else.
My thought exactly. I also thought maybe it is something similar to the Rochefort strain which is lower on esters and phenols compared to other Belgian strains.

Rochefort?  As in WY1762?    Never struck me as being particularly low on esters.

I get a lot of plummy esters in big Belgian Darks, but I don't get anywhere near as much banana as other Belgian strains with WY1762. Wyeast does bill it as a relatively clean Belgian strain, and I can say it makes a great English BW.

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