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Messages - mpietropaoli

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Ingredients / Re: Best Way to 'Dry Adjunct'
« on: May 01, 2013, 06:31:31 PM »
There's a risk of some pectin haze but I'd rather risk hazy beer than infected beer.

Not in a wit!  Yay Belgium.

Ingredients / Re: Best Way to 'Dry Adjunct'
« on: May 01, 2013, 10:01:22 AM »
You know it's funny, I did a raspberry tincture and added it at a ratio of about 1/2 tsp to a pint, and I could really taste the booze.  I used ever clear and not vodka tho.

Ingredients / Best Way to 'Dry Adjunct'
« on: April 29, 2013, 05:28:45 PM »
Cross posting on another forum, but there is just some great experience on here, so here goes:

The aroma coming off of my witbier after chilling was absolutely sublime. Citrusy, fruity, little wheaty malt...I wanted to keep this aroma around so bad I ran to a buddy's house to get some fermcap, hoping it would minimize my amazing aromas blowing off. It didn't. My ferm chamber has smelled amazing for the last 5 days, and my beer doesn't.

Was thinking of adding some more chamomile (and maybe more zest, though it seems this is easy to overdo) in a muslin bag. I usually add dry hops during the last third of fermentation to the primary and don't worry about infection since the yeast is so active and the presence of alcohol.

I would be a little uncomfortable adding chamomile and ESPECIALLY citrus zest, since the skin of fruit is so full of nasties. Any recommendations? Maybe just spray them with star-san? add them to boiling water, immediately cover, boil for 1-2 minutes, remove from heat, cool and add the whole thing to the fermenter?

The yeast is still a bit active, as I've raised the temp up from my pitch and initial ferment temp of 66 (up to 70, then 72 today), but I seem to have reached a final gravity (1.011 off of 1.048).  It could also just be off-gassing taking away more of my precious aroma.

90 minute boil probably would have been advisable.  I usually go that long, but was running low on gas and didn't want to risk it.  So instead I decided to risk having vegetable beer. 

Mordecai, H2S is hydrogen sulfide?  Would raising it to 75 for a few days help more than one day?

Regular poster on  here, but found this thread on a google search (I am having a similar problem)...though I was originally trying to turn this beer around in about 9 days for a party...not looking too good right now.  The beer has a real clean, fresh, wheaty, citrusy aroma, but I am getting a weird sulfury, almost papery/cardboardy oxidized aroma.  The taste starts out really bright, but ends with a strange (and slight) farty thing thats somewhere between eggs and paper. 

Not contained in the notes below:
-1L starter, decanted, made additional 1L starter and pitched when active (entire starter with starter beer of 2nd step)--borderline overpitch so the beer would finish quicker
-cold-pitched at 66* (partially due to the fact that I likely pitched about 1.3x the recommended amount), fermented there for 3 days, raised to 68, checked sample, gravity was down to 1.011, ramped to 70 after 5 days (today), might consider going to 72* tomorrow
-15min Protein rest @ 122, 5 min decoction to 155*, sacc rest 65 minutes, decoction to mash out, single batch sparge
-used centennial to try to get some citrus in the beer from another 'angle'
-the wort smelled so amazingly delicious when I pitched (almost like a fruity muffin of some sort), I ran to a buddy's to pick up some distillery-grade fermcap, which I was convinced would help keep some of the post-boil aroma goodness in the beer (it didn't....would love to know how to retain more of the aromas this beer had). 

Even in tasting between today and yesterday, it seems as though the sulfur might have dissipated a bit.  Or maybe it was the silicone fermcap of death that I added that's going to kill me. 

Would love to hear if the OP's sulfur problem subsided...

Wit and Wisdom
16-A Witbier
Author: mcp

Size: 6.0 gal @ 68 °F
Efficiency: 75.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 174.35 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.052 (1.044 - 1.052)
Terminal Gravity: 1.013 (1.008 - 1.012)
Color: 4.58 (2.0 - 4.0)
Alcohol: 5.15% (4.5% - 5.5%)
Bitterness: 13.4 (10.0 - 20.0)

5.5 lb (45.8%) Bohemian Pilsner Malt - added during mash
5 lb (41.7%) Wheat Flaked - added during mash
.5 lb (4.2%) Munich Malt - added during mash
1 lb (8.3%) Oats Flaked - added during mash
.25 oz (50.0%) Centennial (10.0%) - added during boil, boiled 60 m
.25 oz (50.0%) Centennial (10.0%) - added during boil, boiled 30 m
1.5 oz Orange zest - added during boil, boiled 1 m
.4 oz Corriander crushed - added during boil, boiled 1 m
.5 oz Chamomile (dried) - added during boil, boiled 1.0 m
1.0 ea White Labs WLP410 Belgian Wit II Ale

Ambient Air: 70.0 °F
Source Water: 60.0 °F
Elevation: 0.0 m

added chamomile tea and zest in muslin bag at 30 seconds wort smelled great, seems like a lot of aroma blew off with fermentation (though silicone added to cap krausen)

Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.5.24

Meadowfoam.  Honey.  2lbs to a 5g batch after first 2/3 of fermentation.

You'll thank me.

Going Pro / Re: Starting a brewery
« on: April 10, 2013, 07:41:38 PM »
This sounds like it could be a great opportunity, but I don't see any way to be successful without quitting your day job.

or without getting one of those college kids who is an aspiring craft beer nerd to be your apprentice/on-site, on-call help/"hand of the brewer" if you want to get all Game of Thrones. 

I'd like to offer a metaphor, if I may.
So you're out frolfing and you run into that girl from biology class whom you find so attractive. You say,"hey! You're in my biology class. I didn't know you frolfed!" Next thing you know you hit it off. She laughs at your bad jokes and touches your arm. You find out that you have a lot in common. She smiles and tosses her hair. It's as if you're the only 2 people on the frolf course. Then her friend clears her throat. Uh oh! Time to play frolf. Time to get her digits. Suddenly you begin to sweat. You're nervous.  Uncomfortable. You think, "I don't want her to think I'm that guy who picks up women on a frolf course! " So you let her go with,"nice to meet you" and you go home and write a letter professing your love for her and slip it in her locker.  What happens next? Happily ever after? Or really uncomfortable biology class and she ends up marrying some controlling, abusive jerk who doesn't even frolf?
As a future bjcp judge you can make the beer world a better and more delicious place. But you must dough-in while the water is hot.

Gold.  Simply gold.  Though I read through each sentence with baited breath, I'm not sure I can make the metaphoric connection to the topic. 

Must have been something I drank.

unconditioned well water

That could be a huge problem right there. Have they had an analysis done on it? Do they filter it? Put gypsum in the mash at least?

Ummm....I'm guessing.  No.  No they don't to any of the above.  Until they can find out what "US-05" means, I am not entirely sure they know they need water for brewing. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: US-05 at 56F - results?
« on: April 03, 2013, 04:44:43 PM »
I made a version of Jamil's classic american pils with S-05, fermented at 58, then raised to 65 after about 5 days with GREAT results.  Used gelatin and cold conditioned in the keg for about a week, but it was delicious from the start. 

I did it because I hadn't had a CAP before, and wanted to have a 'lower maintenance' version with less of a lagering time commitment.  I can really see how this style would benefit from a slightly sulfury lager yeast and the subtleties that only lagering can create! 

Keep in mind you need almost a lager-sized pitch (you can probably use the 'hybrid' option on the web yeast calculators).

Good luck!

I'm not really surprised that they are ignoring you.  They ask for feedback, but they don't really want it.

Although for the record, a triangle tasting would be totally inappropriate for picking out flaws if you are using someone else's beer.  You could do a triangle with SNPA and FWP31 and pick out the one that is different every single time, but that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with either beer.

I thought of that, but wouldn't the taster have a predisposition to look for flaws in the beer?  My thought was you have 1 flAwed beer (theirs) and one flawless beer (snpa), and it would be a bit more 'blind'.  How would you construct the tasting?

Ingredients / Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« on: April 01, 2013, 05:52:05 PM »
When I was a kid living in central Kentucky, maybe 1965 or so, I pulled up a huge sassafras root by the side of the road.  A couple years ago, almost 50 years later, I put some of this, which is pretty much petrified at his point, into a club project beer.  It is cool that the aroma still comes through.

You might not want to drink that.  Google "toxicity of sassafras"

Of course it's too late now, but I knew of the counter-indications.  There was no vomiting, stupor, lowering of body temperature, exhaustion, tachycardia, spasm, hallucinations, paralysis and collapse.

Awe shucks! ;)

Its really a bummer that stuff is so bad for you.  My brother has a sassafras tree (I think) growing on his property and we pulled some bark off.  It smelled so.  frigging.  good.  I wanted to use it in a beer.  So we ground it up with the dremel, and I put some in a simple syrup and added to soda.  It was really really really good. 

So, while in my head trying to think of what styles it would work well in (saison, belgian pale ale), I googled it, and found a lot of the toxicity stuff.  Maybe it was just front of mind, but I did feel pretty dizzy and weird, even if from just a half tsp or so. 

I would love to get the extract with the harmful oil removed, but it would have been cool to use it in a beer, just for the 'terroire' effect!

aaaand the response.

I won't be visiting their brewery and frolf course.  The flavors they have are not from water or fresh hops.  What those customers are in love with is the experience of being at a farm brewery.  I tried. 

Mike ,
Thank You for your input. Our ales do have a distinct flavor since we use unconditioned well water and our own hops.
There are times when our crew taste the different ales and feel that there might be a problem with some of our brew and then a few customers come in and fall in love with it.
Thank you again for the input.

This is what I ended up sending:


We met a few weeks back when you came to the meeting at Cross Street Irregulars homebrew club.  I really enjoyed meeting you and your son and wanted to tell you I am really impressed with your brewery's story.  Further, I think you guys have a great brand and from what is sounds like, a really special brewery and farm. 

At the risk of giving an unsolicited opinion, I wanted to give some feedback on the beer itself, and didn't think the brew club meeting was the best venue.  I didn't take specific notes, but was picking up some pretty significant off-flavors, most of which seemed to be from either yeast pitch rate, yeast health, or fermentation temperature. 

Not having the beer to taste, I cannot specifically recall what compounds are present, nor what processes in the brewhouse might have caused them, but I seem to recall diacetyl and potentially some acetaldehyde.  However, you might want to consider putting a small tasting panel together and doing a blind triangle tasting (one sample with your beer, the other two with another commercially-made example of the same beer style, such as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale next to your Tavern Pale Ale, assuming the latter is an American-style Pale Ale).  After the tasting notes are complete and compared, you may be able to trace it back to a process. 

You could probably solicit some local homebrew clubs to see if they have any judges available who would be willing to assist.  I do have my BJCP certification, but am awaiting my final score on my written exam to see if I achieved a score high enough for 'National' level.  Further, I am moving out of the area in about 6 weeks for work, so will likely be quite busy! 

In any event, I debated whether to send this email and give you guys feedback, but thought I would offer my opinion.  Worst-case, you can completely ignore me and hopefully be no worse off.  Maybe you are already doing quality control or are aware of the problem.  Maybe you just don't want any feedback, which, again, is understandable. 

Best of luck to you all-

Going Pro / Re: Starting a brewery
« on: March 27, 2013, 04:34:03 PM »
Debt is cheaper on paper than equity.  However debt has its dangers too. . .  Banks (despite their ad campaigns) are NOT your business partner.  They are banks and they need to protect their depositors' dollars. 

Let's say you have very little money to invest, like many of the other posters here. You get investors to fund 90%+ of the brewery. You run the brewery. The brewery doesn't do well under your leadership. How long will your business partners keep you in charge of the brewery, before they force you out?

The craft brewing industry in the US is mature. Sam Calagione and Larry Bell were like Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak in the '70s. There was no personal computing industry, so they made one. In a nascent industry you can start in your garage. In a mature industry, the barriers to entry are much higher and the potential profits are much smaller.

If you really want to start a craft brewery on the cheap, I'd look at doing it in a dynamic economy with a lot of room to grow, but not much of a craft beer industry, like Brazil. I've seen a few guys on the German homebrew forums do that, because the liquor laws there are very friendly to start-ups, and $20k USD goes a long way.

I agree with your point about dilution.  If you have nothing other than passion to bring, you have to be the guy that is the spirit and heart of the business.  When the other partners want to know what you bring, it is converting that Miller Lite drinker at a local bar to try your beer.  And getting that drinker to like you.  And tell his friends about you. 

Re: Wozniak.  I agree.  However, Google was not the first search engine.  Altavista.  Webcrawler.  YAHOO.  Why did Google win?  Because they were more creative, innovative, and could execute better than the competition. 

BTW, just got back from Italy.  Craft beer is on fire over there.  Not sure about regs/raw mat pricing/lease rates, etc.  But if you opened a REALLY cool place in one of the college towns (Florence, maybe Siena), and executed well, you could absolutely kill it.

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