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Messages - erockrph

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Distilled Water, salt additions and PH
« on: October 16, 2015, 05:01:57 AM »
I made a beer that contained a rounded quarter cup of Epsom salt back when I was just starting to brew.  I did not know anyone who brewed, and I did not have access to a sub ounce scale.  However, I did have several thirsty friends.  The beer was not very good, but it was strong enough that we did not care after a few bottles.  Between the large helping of Epsom salt and GI tracts that were not used to drinking beer that contained live yeast, the telephone calls that I received the next day were interesting to say the least.  ;D
I bet that beer made a killer bunion soak  ;)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The Hop You Hate
« on: October 16, 2015, 04:53:19 AM »
I'll also throw a lot of you into fits by naming EKG as low on my list, too.  It usually comes across to me like Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts or Asparagus. 
Interesting. Do you get that from any noble hops like Hallertau? I do get some herbal qualities from EKG, but it's never been overtly vegetal. I'm wondering if that's a sensitivity thing. I usually pick it up closer to black tea. I also get a great anise note from it that seems custom-fit to match the esters of so many English yeast strains.

Beer Recipes / Re: London Calling?
« on: October 15, 2015, 06:50:26 PM »
Devils advocate ....why not under pitch English yeast and use temp to control/ drive ester profile.?
I do that too, along with the open ferment. If they all work, why not do all of them?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The Hop You Hate
« on: October 15, 2015, 06:49:08 PM »
Put me in the fuggle-loving camp as well, to me it reminds me of a pipe-tobacco earthiness.

As for least favorite hop, so far it's mosaic. Perhaps it's the beers that I've had that feature it, but it just comes as abrasive. Really resinous in a bad way.

That being said, I recently had a beer that tasted strongly of cat piss. Still trying to work out what hop caused that.
It must be that new proprietary hop... Mr Bigglesworth

I've never picked up cat pee from a hop or a beer. I'm guessing that I just detect it as something different, blackcurrant possibly.

The Pub / Re: I need a good GPS app for Android
« on: October 15, 2015, 05:29:21 PM »
I use AlpineQuest for hunting. I haven't really used it heavily, but it does what I need it to do. It can run offline if you cache or download maps in advance. It can also attach pictures to waypoints. I'm not exactly a GPS power user, so there may be more there as well.

The interface isn't the most intuitive to me, but I'm able to trudge through OK for marking sign, trails, stand locations, etc.

Other Fermentables / Re: zombie killer type of cyser
« on: October 15, 2015, 05:19:33 PM »
I recommend D-47 for cyser. I find it leaves more flavor in mead made with low acidic fruits like apple, pear, and peach. It also makes super compact lees that are easy to rack off of and a crystal clear result especially if you bulk age in a cellar. 71-b is great for more acidic fruits like berries.
Thanks for the tip, Pete. I've been using 71B for my ciders lately. I think I'll try out D47 for my next batch.

Beer Recipes / Re: London Calling?
« on: October 15, 2015, 05:16:08 PM »
Edit: by the way, mark has talked me into trying the open fermentation on this one. Woo, scary

It's almost Halloween - allow yourself to get spooked!  ;) I'm almost certain you won't be disappointed by the results. I'm a believer in open bucket fermentation now for almost all the British ales I make.
I may get there too. Mark tells me that it helps bring out the Englishness. My words not his. And thats what im looking for. A good pale ale that you aren't left wondering if its English or what. We shall see
I started doing this a couple of years ago, and your assessment is pretty close. I should really do a side-by-side with a closed fermenter sometime, but I do think it helps bring out some of the esters a bit better.

Equipment and Software / Re: hop blast aroma tool?
« on: October 15, 2015, 05:13:43 PM »
Hmm, this one smells like fresh-cut grass *throws away*
Hmm, this one smells like fresh-cut grass *throws away*
Hmm, this one...

I'm sorry, but I have zero use for this product. It doesn't even make sense to me.

Other Fermentables / Re: zombie killer type of cyser
« on: October 15, 2015, 12:19:23 PM »
I use Lalvin 71B for all my meads, but only out of familiarity. Basically, I plan on letting the initial ferment go to completion, then sulfite/sorbate, then backsweeten. If you're sweetening with honey, then just target the FG you want from the initial fermentation and add honey to taste.

If you're planning on backsweetening with fruit, then a little math planning is needed. You need to know your target FG and the gravity of the juice you're using. Then you can calculate how much juice you're going to use as a ratio of the final mead. Your initial ferment will be diluted by the same amount, and the ABV will be diluted as well.

It may be easier to talk through an example

Say you're making a Zombie Killer style mead and will be using a 1.056 OG apple juice to backsweeten. You've decided to target an FG of ~1.012 and assume that the initial fermentation will finish at 0.998. That means you want to add 14 gravity points to the finished mead. So 14/56=0.25 - you will want a quarter of your finished volume to be juice, and 3/4 to be your initial ferment. If you're targeting 6% ABV, then the initial ferment should end up at about 8% (4/3 * 6). That's about 1.060 for your OG, if you plan on stopping at 0.998

Now all those details will need to be dialed in, or adjusted on the fly. But basically, plan on the fermentation finishing just under 1.000. The target backsweetening level will vary depending on your tastes and the recipe, but figure 1.012-1.020 to be a good starting range. Use your palate as a guide, but take notes to be able to refine your process for future batches.

I taste that apple ester. Never had until people kept taking about it. Now I can't ignore it.
I don't know if I quite pick it up as apple, but it is certainly distinct. I definitely pick up the same character when using WY2007 as well.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The Hop You Hate
« on: October 15, 2015, 10:17:37 AM »
Add me to the Summit list. And I really want to like it. That tangerine character is phenomenal. But I get a note of onion/garlic/parmesan that is not just off-putting, but quite savory as well. It's like taking a slug of pureed onion rings. It is not enjoyable to me whatsoever. It does make a decent beer to cook with, though.

There aren't any other hops I hate, but a few that I don't have much use for. I know a lot of brewers seem to like Calypso, but I didn't get too much out of it. Belma is another one that has very little flavor to it. El Dorado is OK, but a bit too sweet and monotone for me. I'm sure it's good in a blend, but I have enough other favorites that I don't see myself reaching for it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The Hop Chronicles | Delta
« on: October 15, 2015, 09:58:25 AM »
Interesting how your descriptors seem far off from the typical descriptions for this hop. I have found that in several of my single-hopped trial beers as well. I think growing and harvest conditions make a much bigger difference in hops than we give credit for. As homebrewers we have no input in the selection process, and the hops we get can vary substantially from supplier to supplier and year to year.

I also think that hopping rates make a big difference in how a hop is perceived. If a hop was intended for use in lagers, then it may never have been trialed in large amounts as a late hop. Sterling is a good example of this. In low amounts it is very noble-ish. But if you push the hopping rates you can get a nice citrusy/lemonade note from it.

The Pub / Re: Android battery suddenly dropping...
« on: October 14, 2015, 10:30:19 PM »
An old example but along the same lines.  I had a Droid Maxx that had amazing battery life until I got the last System OS update Verizon supplied for that model.  Overnight my phone went from being able to go 3 days without recharging to needing to be charged every night to almost make it through a day.

Most new phones are coming out with integrated batteries that cannot be replaced by the user.  I don't understand why manufacturers are doing this.

My Maxx has been having battery and charging issues since the spring, too. Sometimes I'll connect a charger and it won't charge until I reboot. I'm hoping I can hold out until the Turbo 2 comes out, otherwise I'll be getting a Turbo as soon as I'm up for a new phone in a few more weeks.

The Pub / Re: it returns this time of year
« on: October 14, 2015, 10:25:58 PM »
Same here in Maine.
We also get hundreds of what look like ladybugs but, I'm told, are actually Japanese Bean Beetles.
Both of them hang around all fall and winter and are gone in the spring.
I get those starting in July - Mexican Bean Beetles, aka Spotted Cucumber Beetle. They do a number on my cukes, beans and squash, and they spread disease like wildfire along with it. the first time I saw one in the garden I thought "Oh cool, a brown ladybug!". And within days all my cukes had leaves that looked like cobwebs. followed by rotten leaves and powdery mildew. I hate them bastards.

Other Fermentables / Re: zombie killer type of cyser
« on: October 14, 2015, 10:22:04 PM »
I am working on that style of mead right now (sessionable, fruit-forward and fizzy - like a wine cooler, but better). What has worked for me with ciders in a similar style is to stabilize, backsweeten with juice, and force-carbonate. You want to have an idea what your target ABV is, and plan to dilute down to that level with your juice. Another option is to brew to your target ABV and backsweeten with honey. But that method may end up a bit more honey-forward than fruit-forward.

Side note - have you had any of their other meads in this line? They are all really solid, but Black Fang is the runaway winner for me. I could pound that by the case.

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