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Messages - erockrph

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: First sour - planning stage
« on: June 18, 2013, 07:48:56 AM »
Sacc provides a lot of available flavor components so I suggest brewing with a more expressive yeast like a Belgian strain. Brett will play with the available esters to develop more complex flavors.

My other thought instead of US-05 was to use WY3711 as I will be brewing with it a lot this summer and I've really grown to like it a lot. My only fear is that wouldn't leave a lot for lacto to chew on, and I like my sours seriously tart. Any thoughts on that?

Ingredients / Re: Hop stand bitterness
« on: June 18, 2013, 07:40:17 AM »
There are a couple of good threads on the Northern Brewer forum about hop stands from someone who has done a bunch of hop stand-only IPA's. I'll try to track down links to these threads later on if I can. I don't remember off the top of my head whether he calculated it as an addition equal to 1/4 or 1/2 the length of his hop stand, but I think that is the right range and it will vary depending on your particular system.

I use Brewers Friend as my brewing software, and it has a feature for No Chill brewers to calculate extra hop utilization by entering an extended boil time. I use this feature and add 1/3 of my hop stand time, which has been a good ballpark on my system for adjusting IBU's for beers I do a true flameout hop stand.

If I'm brewing a beer where I don't want too much of an additional IBU contribution from the hop stand I will wait until my wort gets to about 190F then add my hop stand hops. I may still get some utilization, but it is minimal and I still get a hell of a lot of aroma and flavor. Basically, IPA's and APA's start their hop stand at flameout and other styles start around 190 for me. IPA's stand for 90 minutes, APA's for 60 and others for 30.

Beer Recipes / Re: Bourbon barrel porter recipe formulated
« on: June 18, 2013, 05:47:07 AM »
Special B is also great in a porter.

Thank you for my "why didn't I think of that" moment of the day. Special B is definitely going in my next porter rebrew.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Re: Covering the Boil
« on: June 18, 2013, 04:54:37 AM »
Seems to me that once you've started smelling those aromas, they won't go back into the beer simply by putting a lid on the kettle. Hard to reverse that chemical process.

Evaporation is a physical process, not a chemical one, and you could theoretically recapture some of those oils if they condense on your lid and fall back into the kettle.

From a practical standpoint I think you would get a much greater effect by simply moving your aroma additions closer to flameout or doing a hop stand, etc.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: First sour - planning stage
« on: June 17, 2013, 08:51:09 PM »
Thanks for the tips. I'd definitely take your suggestion to brew a bigger batch if I had the means to do it. I'm a 3-gallon brewer as it is, so 4 gallons is already going to require dilution post-boil. Plus, this just means I'll have to follow up with another batch of sour beer shortly thereafter. I was greedy and bought all but 1 bottle of the Red Poppy they had on sale. I'm thinking of doing an Oud Bruin followed by a Flanders Red using Roselaire + Red Poppy dregs.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Green beer - pellets?
« on: June 17, 2013, 12:26:11 PM »
+1.  I not only use fine mesh paint strainer bags to dry hop, I also use one wrapped around the end of my racking cane (with a rubber band) as a second "filter".  I think it helps remove just a little more of the hop particulate, which I feel is the main offender. +1 to cold crashing as well.

I line my bottling bucket with a paint strainer bag when I rack, but either the hop load or not allowing enough contact time for more of the hops to drop clear in certain batches have let more matter through to my bottled beer. The strainer catches a lot, but it wasn't enough in those batches.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Green beer - pellets?
« on: June 17, 2013, 11:00:25 AM »
I've had issues with this is a few beers. They have had a couple of things in common. They have all had a crapload of dry hops (> 1 oz/gallon) and had 3 days or less of contact time with the last dry hop addition prior to bottling. They all did use pellets (although some had both pellets and whole cone hops). I'm not sure what the major factor was in giving the grassy/muddy/green flavors, but some cold conditioning time in the bottle did clear out those off flavors after some time.

Yeast and Fermentation / First sour - planning stage
« on: June 17, 2013, 08:18:05 AM »
With my recent acquisition of several bottles of Red Poppy, I'm finally ready to make the jump into brewing sour beer. I've decided to start planning for gueuze-blending right off the bat. I'm hoping some of the more experienced sour brewers can weigh in on what I'm planning and let me know if anything sounds like it won't work.

I've already chosen the dregs I want to build my house blend from (Gueuze Girardin, Gueuze Fond Tradition and Red Poppy). My plan is to brew 4 gallons of 1.045ish wort using 60% Pils and 40% torrified wheat, mashed really high (162-164 range). I'm thinking of using US-05 for my primary yeast unless someone has a convincing reason otherwise. Then, starting on brew night I'll be drinking the bottles I want the dregs from and pitching the dregs. I'm planning on using two bottles from each, so by the 6th night all the dregs will be in primary.

I was thinking of leaving it in primary for a few weeks to a month to give the dregs time to grow and start doing their thing, then racking to 4 separate 1-gallon jugs for long-term aging. The first year I plan on bottling 2 gallons, brewing 3 more gallons and pitching the dregs into that. Year 2 I'll bottle a blend of year 1 and year 2's brew's and for Year 3 I'll be able to get my gueuze on.

So, does this sound like it should work out OK? And how vital is oak in this process? I'm on the fence about whether I want to add some oak chips that have been boiled in a couple changes of water to mellow them out a bit. Any other insight is always appreciated. Thanks!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dads Day Brew?
« on: June 16, 2013, 08:06:10 AM »
No brewing today for me. Our Father's Day tradition is strawberry picking and we scored big time today. I'll keep a pound or two in the fridge for snacking and the rest is going in the freezer for a mead later this summer.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Re: Stir Bar Tip
« on: June 15, 2013, 09:58:33 PM »
I feel like the only one without a stir plate...maybe that'll be the next upgrade.

nah, I don't have one either. I don't have flasks either. I use 1 qt mason jars or .5 gallon ones if I need a big starter

For lagers it's usually a 1 gallon jug for me. Otherwise it's one of my fermenters with about 2.5-3 gallons of "starter". Those are much tastier without a stir bar ;D

Beer Recipes / Re: Galaxy and Cascade APA
« on: June 15, 2013, 08:34:59 AM »
I haven't used that specific combo, but I can see that working quite well. Any of the citrusy US hops would pair quite well with Galaxy.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Soapy Flavor in New Zealand Hopped IPA
« on: June 13, 2013, 08:13:20 PM »
I have used enough Nelson and Motueka to rule those out as the culprits (unless they are part of an ill-fated combo that produces that flavor). Wish I could be more help otherwise.

The Pub / Re: OnTap Liquid Beer Enchancer - WTF?
« on: June 13, 2013, 08:11:08 PM »
OK, I just got my On Tap "Pale Ale" Liquid Beer Enhancer in the mail today and gave it a try. Basically it comes in a "Mio" style container. The ingredients are: Water, Propylene Glycol, Natural & Artificial Flavors, FD&C Yellow #6, FD&C Red #40, FD&C Blue #1. So my first guess that it used caramel coloring was off. Unfortunately, my second guess that it used hop extract appears to be off as well...

So I decided to give it a try just diluted in water to get an idea what it is. There is no specific dilution instructions on the package other then "Adjust to taste" and "always dilute in a glass of beer". The serving size on the "Nutrition facts" was listed as 2mL, so I used 1/4 tsp in 6oz of water to give the approximate concentration that would be added to a bottle can of beer. The resulting solution was maybe 4ish SRM, somewhere in the color range of a light apple juice.

Speaking of apple juice, the moment of truth was when I stuck my nose in the glass... and was hit with a distinct aroma of apple jolly ranchers. There was a hint of caramel in there as well, but that's it. Nothing remotely hoppy in the nose at all. I took a sip and it was slightly bitter followed by more of the apple jolly rancher flavor. It was slightly sweet, and pretty weak-flavored at the recommended dosage. There was also a touch of vegetal/herbal flavor, but it was almost medicinal and not pleasant at all.

So I proceeded to add the same amount to 6 ounces of PBR. It looks like it added maybe 1-2 SRM of color at most. The nose was more of the apple jolly rancher plus caramel, which overwhelmed the clean 2-row PBR aroma. The flavor was like you were drinking Pabst from an empty can of apple juice concentrate that wasn't rinsed out too well. In short, it ruined an otherwise OK beer.

So, needless to say I cannot endorse Ot Tap's product in the slightest, unless you are practicing for the BJCP test and need a stand-in for acetaldehyde. I have a funny feeling that's the major flavoring component in here. Makes me wonder if the "American Ale" version turns your beer into buttered popcorn. You will have to find that one out for yourself, as I will not be wasting yet another $8 bucks to test that one out.

If you're just looking for a little twang, you could just add some lactic acid to taste at bottling.

Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian Red Ale?
« on: June 13, 2013, 03:30:43 PM »
Depending on how "Belgian" you want it to taste vs. how much you want it to taste like a red ale, I'd use Special B and/or dark Candi Syrup to get your red color from instead of the roast barley. I brewed a small dubbel with lots of late hops over the winter that was one of my best brews ever.

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