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Messages - erockrph

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The Hop Chronicles | Armadillo
« on: December 17, 2015, 10:31:57 AM »
I have my Armadillo beer chilling in the fridge to taste in the next day or two. It will be interesting to compare notes on this one.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: John Cougar Mellencamp
« on: December 16, 2015, 12:32:10 PM »
I'm in the love spicy food, don't like spicy drinks camp. Spicy food + regular beer is great though, in fact in general I don't drink beer with food because it fills me up and interferes with the taste, but the exception is Indian, Mexican, Thai etc.
I'm in the same camp on the spicy beverages front. I lump spicy beer in with things like Rauchbier and Summit hops - heat, smoke and garlic are things I enjoy in abundance in food, but turn me off in a beverage. I could appreciate a few sips in a festival situation, but could never finish a pint.

Beer Recipes / Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« on: December 16, 2015, 12:26:53 PM »
- the maltster makes a big difference.  I've done smash beers from multiple maltsters, cultivars and malting processes.  They all taste like pilsner malt but are subtly different, with some tasting more "german" than others.  They are all delicious, so enjoy the journey even if they don't produce the unique character you are chasing for your perfect Helles.


- carbonation is often ignored.  A 2-3 psi variance in the keg at 32-34F makes a big difference.  Backing off just a touch tends to make the malts softer and produce more delicate notes.  I think this ties in with both overall pH effects and carbonic bite, which masks subtle malt notes as pain receptors on your tongue are overly stimulated.  I think you can see the difference by taking your helles and pouring one with the glass tilted so as not to off-gas CO2, and one using the traditional 7-minute pour where carbonation is driven off.  They taste like two different beers.  (Try this with a Kolsch too for that creamy mouthfeel.)  .
I know you mention that maltster is a matter of personal taste, but are there any that you prefer that get you closest to the Helles quality you're after?

I'm also glad you mentioned carbonation. I recently rediscovered this style after finding some fresh, cold Paulaner helles at a local store and the softer carbonation jumped out at me immediately.

Lots of good info in your post - thanks for sharing!

Ingredients / Re: Single-hopped beers 2015 edition
« on: December 16, 2015, 12:03:20 PM »
I kegged my X-17 APA a couple weeks ago.  I get orange, tangerine, lemon and lime from it.  I bittered a 1.056 beer to about 60-65 IBU, but it doesn't come across as that bitter.  I also didn't do anything extreme with water for it..I used a balanced profile because I didn't want to artificially exaggerate the hops.  I really like these hops and hope they make it into commercial production.
Same here! Pat had mentioned that he had 60 plants last year and will be up to an acre of production this year. I think this hop has a lot of potential.

All Grain Brewing / Re: My Brew Day
« on: December 15, 2015, 11:51:56 PM »
My brew days are limited to when I have a day off while my wife is working. She can't stand the smell, with the exception of bottling days for my hoppy beers - that is the rare time when I get a "what smells so good in here?".

As a matter of fact, I'm working 3rd shift right now and my wife will be at work when I get home. I'm already trying to figure out how much sleep I can get by with to see if I can squeeze in a brewday.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Hitting you mash pH
« on: December 15, 2015, 11:45:54 PM »
I use a water calculator like Brun'water or Brewer's Friend's advanced calculator to determine the mineral additions I need to hit the ion profile that I'm targeting for a particular brew. At that point, I use the same calculator to determine how much acid or baking soda I need to hit my mash pH. The calculators get me close enough to where I want to be pretty reliably. Everything goes in my strike water, and I don't generally muck around with anything after that.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pics of recent brews?
« on: December 15, 2015, 11:34:26 PM »
Oh you guys are drinking tonight too? :)

A saison dosed with dregs from a 5 year vertical of Boulevard's Saison-Brett, our "KCBM Board Brew" of 2015. :)  What a great brew day that was.
I love your custom glassware, Amanda!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Playing Favorites
« on: December 15, 2015, 11:29:50 PM »

Pilsner malt - Weyermann but no preference
Pale malt - Maris Otter, usually Warminster but no preference
Munich malt/Vienna malt - Weyermann but no pref. Think their flavour contribution is overestimated. Pointless at under 25% of grain bill.
Other Base malts (MO/GP) - haven't used many others
Specialty malt(s) - Dingeman's Aromatic. Wow!
Bittering hops - Magnum
Aroma hops - Citra & Mosaic for ales, Hallertau Mittelfruh & Saaz for lager/Belgian. Love Cascade but never really captured it in a bottle.
Flavor hops - see aroma hops
Adjuncts - no favourite. Happy to try anything new or weird - porridge oats, polenta, pudding rice, whatever.
Sugars - home made brewers invert syrup

Crystal malt - usually Caramalt.

I love Dingemans Aromatic. I do respectfully disagree on the Munich flavor contribution though. I like it in Belgian Dubbels and dark strongs.

I don't use Vienna enough to comment there, but I agree with Derek that Munich contributes a noticeable flavor at lower than 25% of the grist. I can pick up on the toastiness at 10-15% of the grist. At 25% you start to hit the point where Munich starts to overpower other ingredients (hops in particular).

Ingredients / Re: HSI
« on: December 15, 2015, 12:09:06 AM »
Your IBUs are going to max out around 100, so there's no harm in way overshooting just to be sure that you max it out. Shoot for 200+ IBU's of Polaris as your bittering hop and go from there.

Ingredients / Re: Single-hopped beers 2015 edition
« on: December 14, 2015, 11:05:38 PM »
I finally tasted my first beer from this round of brews. I'll probably get to the rest at the end of the week, since this one could have used a bit more carbonation. I hate to cut and paste straight from my blog, but I have a lot of respect for what Pat is doing over at the Oregon Hophouse and thought a lot of the brewers here would be interested. I figured I'd share in full detail here as well:

The first hop that I'll be tasting from this batch of trials is X-17. X-17 is an experimental hop cultivar bred by The Oregon Hophouse. The Oregon Hophouse is a certified organic hop farm, and their hop breeding program is targeted at developing pest resistant hop cultivars. I had the pleasure of exchanging a few emails with Pat, who runs the farm where X-17 is under development. Even through a few short emails, it was quite clear to me that Pat is passionate about what they're doing on their farm.

Downy mildew is a serious concern in the Willamette Valley where Pat's farm is located, and a major barrier for organic crop production in the region. X-17 was bred for its tolerance of downy mildew. Not only does this allow for reduced fungicide use, which is a worthy benefit on its own, but it also allows more options for cover crops to help fix nitrogen in the soil. This type of "big picture" thinking is refreshing, and is the sign of a farmer who truly understands the barriers and benefits of organic farming.

Developing cultivars that thrive under organic farming practices is certainly a noble goal. I know I struggle with pests and disease just in my small home garden, so I can only imagine how challenging it must be on a commercial scale. But to me the most important feature in any food, organic or not, is flavor. So let's get to my tasting notes.

The aroma of the beer had a distinct orange and lemon zest aroma. The hop aroma was moderate in strength and did allow some of the toasty Munich malt aromas to peek through as well.

On the palate, the flavor followed the aroma very closely. Orange and lemon peel were the main flavors I was getting. Again, the hop presence was moderate and allowed the malt to show through as well. Also of note, I didn't pick up any significant pine or dank flavors that many C-hops bring along with their citrus character. Bitterness was crisp, but smooth, leaving a touch of resin on the finish.

I am really liking the X17. It's probably not bold enough to carry an IPA by itself, but it would certainly work as part of a blend - comparable to hops like Motueka or Mandarina Bavaria. It definitely makes one hell of a pale ale. X-17 also seems like the perfect hop for a wit, or maybe even a White IPA. It will probably be amazing paired with EKGs or other English hops in an ESB. I think it would make a great dry-hopped sour as well. The flavor profile of this hop makes it extremely versatile. To be honest, it's hard to think of a style that X-17 wouldn't be good in.

The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: December 14, 2015, 10:54:59 PM »
I bought a Pierre Ferrand 25 year cognac for my father in law in his waning years.  As much as I know I indulged him at the time, the price of  replacement bottle, to be kept in memoriam, was $80+.  There's no way I dropped that much 5 or so years ago.  No way.  I can't believe how some of the prices have jumped.
Makes me wish that my dad was into something other than wine. I bought him a bottle of Opus One for his 60th a few months ago. That one hit the wallet pretty good.

Ingredients / Re: HSI
« on: December 14, 2015, 10:52:35 PM »
I dont worry about that. 99% of the time I dont even change my hop calculator to the actual AA on the package. If I were a large commercial brewer I would probably be far more attentive.
Same here. The vast majority of my beers are one-offs. If I were trying to recreate the same beer over and over, then this is certainly something I would be better off paying closer attention to.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Low temp whirlpool
« on: December 14, 2015, 10:44:17 PM »
I'm going to give this a try tomorrow after I get my Helles Exportbier in the fermenter. Second brew is going to be my attempt at a beer that Eric sent me for Swaptoberfest.

Märzen meets AAA
85% Red X
15% Pils
35 IBUs German Magnum @ 60
56 g Mandarina Bavaria 170F hold for 30
56 g Mandarina Bavaria 120 no hold
Wyeast 2352 Munich II at 52F till 50% ADF then 68F

How exciting!
I'll be interested to hear how this one turns out. If you can pick up an aroma boost using this technique in a malty lager, then that would certainly be a good sign that there's some real benefit to this technique. Subjectively speaking, of course  ;)

The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: December 14, 2015, 06:13:55 PM »
I agree Jon after just one short tasting. Won't regularly be stocked at home, but when I am on the mood. The sales guy tried to push the Balvenie Double wood 17 year when I go to the counter. Steep jump from $63-$149! Maybe next time around but not likely
Yeah, big jump.  Ouch.
When I acquired my bottle of Portwood 21-year it only cost $39. It is by far my favorite non-Islay single malt, but I've been reluctant to finish that last pour because I don't know if I could justify the replacement cost nowadays.

The Pub / Re: Woodchucks
« on: December 14, 2015, 06:04:55 PM »

did you grow up in VT, because that is very close to what we did too.

No, but close.  I grew up in RI.  Must have been a NE thing.
We only did it during the cold weather.
I do have some fond memories of playing the "All the Who's in Whoville" drinking game with a few bottles of Boone's back in my dorm at URI.

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