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Messages - erockrph

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Other Fermentables / Re: sima Finnish fermented lemonade
« on: April 14, 2016, 01:50:34 PM »
Has anyone ever tried to make sima? - with the brown sugar, the non-descript yeast and the procedure itself it looks like a brewer's nightmare...
I remember this stuff, but it was spelled with a Z instead of an S and it sucked...

But seriously, it just sounds like homemade ginger ale to me. More like a soda than a brew.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: most common off-flavors
« on: April 14, 2016, 01:40:27 PM »
Maybe brewers who fill out Brulosopher surveys are by definition better than average?

That exact thought is going through my mind as well!  Marshall says it's impossible; I do not.
Yeah, the whole article rubs me the wrong way. You can't apply a very specific analysis to intentionally vague questions.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Methyl anthranilate (Grape Ester)
« on: April 12, 2016, 11:05:45 PM »
A smart birdy landed on my shoulder this morning and whispered some sage information to me.

It turns out that malt contains a precursor to this ester. Its an alkyl aldehyde called heptanal. There are journal articles that show that the heptanal content of barley is dependent upon the cultivar. I would also have to assume that it's concentration might change during malting and kilning. I see that the Kovats retention index for that compound is fairly low, so it is likely to be driven off to some degree during kilning. Paler malts are therefore more likely to contain this precursor.

Heptanal is converted to ethyl heptanoate through the metabolic action of yeast. Ale yeasts are most prone to this metabolic action. Interestingly, this Helles I'm referring to was fermented with US-05 at 52F. So it is possible that this is the source of that ester in my beer.

Thanks, Mark!
Wow, US-05 at 52F? Dang. And that ain't no helles! ;)

Thanks for posting that info, Martin.
Call it a lollipop blonde? ;)

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Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: New Coopes Kits
« on: April 12, 2016, 11:03:36 PM »
I bought a Mr Beer kit on clearance after the holidays because I wanted the fermenter for my smaller batches. I brewed the "American Lite" kit that came with it, making a few tweaks, and was happily surprised with the end result.

If the other Cooper's kits are of the same quality, I'd say you should be fine with whatever you choose. The only thing I'd suggest is using a pack of Fermentis yeast instead of the included one if the kit is stored at room temp for any significant length of time.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Split batch different dry hops
« on: April 12, 2016, 10:55:52 PM »
I am constantly tinkering with my late additions. I don't think you can match the intensity of hop flavor from a whirlpool in dry hops, but the character is definitely different. I also don't think you can match the intensity of hop aroma that you get from dry hops in the whirlpool. For me I am going with more whirlpool and less dry hops for simplicity sake, but when you want intense hop aroma and flavor, you really need both.

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Beer Recipes / Re: Hoppy IPA question
« on: April 12, 2016, 04:06:45 PM »
Please define "hoppy".  Bitter?  Hop flavor?  Hop aroma?  Some combo of those?

Mainly hop flavor, not so much bitter.

Whirlpool, whirlpool, whirlpool.

Keep your entire recipe as-is, but add 5-10 ounces of additional hops once you have chilled your wort down to about 170F. Give them a good, hard stir every 5 minutes or so for an hour. Then finish chilling the rest of the way and follow your recipe as you usually would. That will give you the hop flavor that you are shooting for.

Ingredients / Re: (R) Hops
« on: April 12, 2016, 04:01:03 PM »
To me, I prefer to buy these hops. I look at it as rewarding innovation. I'm always up for a new, interesting hop variety to play with, and I will support the hop breeders that are out there looking for the next big thing.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Upper (dulute) limit on Mash Thickness
« on: April 11, 2016, 03:00:32 PM »
I BIAB and notice a dropoff in efficiency as I approach 4 qt/lb. So now if the full volume would be much thinner than 3-3.5ish qt/lb for the mash, I will stop there and top off with the remaining water in the kettle.

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Methyl anthranilate (Grape Ester)
« on: April 10, 2016, 10:05:43 PM »
I don't know if this is the same one. Methyl anthranilate is the flavoring in grape Koolaid. There's not a lot of info about this ester's presence in beer, at least within the limits of my Google-fu. Anthranilic acid is a precursor of amino acids, so I'd guess that this is coming from the malt. There's no sulfur in it, so it's hard to picture the chemistry of how DMS could form it.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Fermenter Capacity
« on: April 10, 2016, 07:03:02 PM »
What you are proposing sounds perfectly reasonable. I typically ferment 2-3 gallons in a 6.5 gallon bucket without any issues.

I've done it plenty of times and have never had an issue. I used to use store-bought RO water all the time for things like meads and extract brews, and never boiled it once.

The Pub / Re: Brewers Association Top 50
« on: April 09, 2016, 06:55:01 PM »
Quote from: erockrph
The main issue is mainly local politics. The owners brought back the Narragansett brand and keep pushing the local RI connection, but contract brew all their beer in NY. That hasn't sat well with a lot of Rhode Islanders.

I remember that Cottrell's (about 1/2 mile down the same street as above mentioned CC O'Brien's) used to contract brew Narragansett's beers, at least around 2011. I remember going to a homebrew club meeting at Cottrell's and sampling some.  The porter was pretty decent, as far as I can remember, but I haven't had any since then.
I think the stuff that was brewed at Cottrell's is now brewed at Buzzard's Bay, and most of their beer comes from Gennessee. Hopefully at least some of that will change soon, and we can get them brewing back in the state.

Hop Growing / Re: 2016 hop growning season
« on: April 09, 2016, 06:40:50 PM »
Finally got my new rhizomes/plants into the ground today. I have a rhizome each of Sterling and Sorachi Ace, and a crown of Pacific Gem started in pots under my deck. When I went to throw away what I thought was an empty shipping box afterwards, I noticed it was heavier than expected. I reached under the packing material and pulled out an extra bag. The tag inside read "Lucky: bonus hops!". I didn't have a spot in the yard, so I now have a Perle crown planted among some small birches at the southern edge of the woods by my yard.

Shout out to Great Lakes Hops ( for making my day. Shipping was quick and well-packaged, the crowns look great, and little surprises like this are the type of customer service that make me want to pay it forward and share my experience. It will be interesting to see how the crowns do side-by-side with rhizomes this year.

Other Fermentables / Re: Degassing
« on: April 09, 2016, 01:48:02 PM »
I do taper off. I do it twice a day for a few days then maybe once a day then a couple times over the second week or so. My thinking is as fermentation slows down I'm getting less benefit from releasing CO2 and more chance of introducing oxygen. So I'm using common sense based on experience. I think it's good to follow instructions the first time through but I think meadmaking protocols tend to be a bit pendantic. I think that this is because meadmaking doesn't yet have the numbers of people doing it and there are only a handful of authorities out there so there hasn't been a lot of push back on the authorities and not a lot of new authorities with different ideas like beer brewing. Not a knock on current authorities or methods, I just think that as more people make Mead there will be more people who say "you know what, I did it a different way and it came out great".

Agreed to all of this. I don't necessarily taper off per se, but I do still punch the cap down twice a day through day 10 or so and once a day through day 15-20ish. It's not a vigorous degassing, but I'm sure it helps let some extra CO2 out.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Can't Decide What Brew Next
« on: April 09, 2016, 01:43:24 PM »
I'm really curious how a pale American lager might be if made with quality ingredients, as opposed to cheap ingredients.
It's called Helles/Pils/Dort. If you want flavor, then you're outside the boundaries of the style already.

Having said that, I've had the same idea myself in the past - an "improved" Pale American-Style lager (although I never brewed it). I guess you need to pick what element of the style you want to keep. For me, it's the crispness and ultra-high attenuation. I'd probably go 60% German Pils, 20% Munich, and 20% Rice, mashed long and low. About 18 IBU's of noble hops. Shoot for 1.046 OG, 1.006 FG. You could use WY2007 if you want, although I'd be tempted to use a German lager yeast for a bit more flavor.

Eric, I like this idea a lot and may get to it someday
I gotta admit, the Mr Beer "American Lite" kit that I souped up a bit and fermented with 34/70 turned out way better than expected. It has me wanting to take a crack at a more flavorful version like this.

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