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Messages - SecondRow_Sean

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Hop Growing / Aphid Problem
« on: April 28, 2014, 08:05:12 AM »
My two potted plants, magnum and columbus, are taking off pretty well. But something, I think aphids, are eating through them. Any tried and true solutions to this? The local nursery gave me an insecticide, but with a dog and a newborn I don't want to keep using that and would prefer something more benign if possible. I ordered some ladybugs off Amazon which should be here soon, so any suggestions are welcome. Thanks!

Equipment and Software / Re: All Grain setup
« on: January 31, 2014, 05:42:13 PM »
From the description:

"All Grain systems don't have to be expensive..."

Cost: $329.99

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Interesting Judging Phenomenon
« on: January 31, 2014, 05:27:34 PM »
I'm currently enrolled in the CraftBrewers Apprenticeship through the American Brewers Guild, and just went through a whole lecture on sensory evaluation. It was some pretty interesting stuff, about the difference between sensory analysts (trained evaluators) versus organoleptic tasters (untrained, emotional tasters) and how they attempted to quantify the evaluations as much as possible. They also talked about sensory biases and how they affected the evaluations.

In short, there's a WHOLE LOT of factors that can influence beer judging- many of which are outside the control of the brewer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Pre-boil gravity issue
« on: January 27, 2014, 04:25:59 PM »
I don't think you're doing anything wrong, just low efficiency. Based on that grain bill your estimations are wrong. On average base malts give you roughly 36/ppg (points per pound per gallon).

So 20lbs * 36ppg = 720 + 34 (estimating the crystal malt) = 754
Divide that by your pre-boil volume (8.5 gallons) = 88.7
So your pre-boil gravity at 100% is 1.089 or 1.088 depending whether you round up or down
Given your measured pre-boil gravity, your efficiency was roughly 59% (According to beersmith 55%)

Forgot to mention the 1lb of D90 in the recipe, which would bump up the post-boil OG. I just wonder why my efficiency is so low.

Have you brewed beer at this OG before? High gravity mashes tend to be less efficient anyway.

- Sent by Tapatalk TARDIS Edition

I haven't, this was the first time I brewed something over 80ish.

Quality of crush is always a good place to start followed by how well you doughed in. Also, how well did you stir the mash prior to first runnings and again at sparge, you really need to stir like hell to knock all the sugars loose.

Then there would be the mash pH to consider as well for proper conversion

I ran the grain through the mill twice, and got what I thought was a good crush. I didn't stir prior to the first runnings, maybe that's part of the problem? Prior to the second runnings I stirred pretty well, and for the pH I followed the additions per Bru'n water but I didn't measure.

All Grain Brewing / Pre-boil gravity issue
« on: January 27, 2014, 03:23:14 PM »
I brewed up a quad today, completely missed my pre-boil SG/volume and am trying to figure out where I went wrong. Info is below, and I wound up hitting my targeted OG with an extended boil/addition of roughly .75lbs of DME. I'd appreciate any help you guys can give, a few of my recent brews were a bit lower than expected and I'm trying to understand what I'm doing wrong.

16lbs Belgian Pale
4lbs Maris Otter
1lb Special B

Mash ratio: 1.25qt/lb

Mash at 154f for 75minutes w/27.25qt (I hit 154f exactly on this)
Batch sparge w/15.5qt
First runnings= 1.083 (hydrometer was calibrated/verified immediately prior to reading)
Second runnings= 1.040
Pre-boil OG= 1.064 (Targeted was 1.090)
Boil volume= roughly 8.5 gallons (targeted was 7.48 gallons)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Turning RDWAHAH up to 11
« on: January 25, 2014, 07:29:30 AM »
*Wal Mart sells carboys?

No, Wal Mart sells 5 gallon water jugs that this jackass uses as a fermentor and then returns without cleaning.

Take 3 or 4 gravity readings over the same number of days, that will tell you if the beer is done, not what's written on the recipe/instructions.

Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian-ish Barleywine Feedback
« on: January 15, 2014, 04:37:04 AM »
+3. If you are going make a belgian barley wine make a barley wine and use a belgian ale yeast. Adding special B and dark candi is exactly what is going to make it taste just like a quad. I'd go 95% maris otter and 5% sugar and try to hit the gravity you want. Or, if quad is what you want brew that.

Yeah, after all the feedback I realized it's really just a quad that I want...

Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian-ish Barleywine Feedback
« on: January 14, 2014, 08:55:16 AM »
I didn't realize the Unibroue strain was available again. I may have to give that a try, I love love love their ales.

You can always culture it up from their bottles.

I tried that a couple of times, but it didn't seem to work. User error, I'm sure.

Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian-ish Barleywine Feedback
« on: January 14, 2014, 07:49:50 AM »
Overall, it looks pretty good to me. I'll agree with the recommendations about the sugar. Clear Candi Syrup is a waste of $$$, IMO. You get no real flavor contribution from it at all. I'd use plain table sugar if you're not looking for any flavor from your syrup addition. But I'd encourage you to use some Dark Candi Syrup (I like a pound each of D-90 and D-180 for some added complexity) if you really want to highlight that awesome plum/dried cherry note from the Special B and 1762.

If you're going for more of a Barleywine with Belgian accents, then ferment really cool. Like 60-62F. That will keep the banana esters real low, but you'll still get some of the fruit that you're looking for from the 1762.

One other option for yeast is WY3864 (Canadian-Belgian, i.e., Unibroue), which is currently available as a Private Collection strain through March. When fermented cool it is in the same ballpark as 1762, but will ferment a tad drier. It's more plums than dried cherries to me, and has a bit more spice. It also lets a lot of malt flavor through. It's probably my favorite Belgian strain, and I really wish it was available year-round.

Awesome, thanks for the advice. I'll switch to dark candi syrup, and I didn't realize the Unibroue strain was available again. I may have to give that a try, I love love love their ales.

Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian-ish Barleywine Feedback
« on: January 13, 2014, 04:02:04 PM »
Just to be clear, are you intending this as a quad, or as a loosely Belgian - type barleywine ?

More of a Belgiany-ish barleywine.

Beer Recipes / Belgian-ish Barleywine Feedback
« on: January 13, 2014, 03:02:21 PM »
I'm looking to make a belgian-ish barleywine for my brother's wedding, and I'd like to hear some feedback. I've never done a bw before, so this is mostly a shot in the dark.

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 7.48 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.18 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal   
Bottling Volume: 5.20 gal
Estimated OG: 1.113 SG
Estimated Color: 18.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 63.1 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 76.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 83.3 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
16 lbs                Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM)          Grain         1        72.7 %       
4 lbs                 Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM)         Grain         2        18.2 %       
1 lbs                 Special B Malt (180.0 SRM)               Grain         3        4.5 %         
3.00 oz               Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] - First Wort 6 Hop           4        39.0 IBUs     
1 lbs                 Candi Sugar, Clear (0.5 SRM)             Sugar         5        4.5 %         
2.00 oz               Tradition [6.00 %] - Boil 45.0 min       Hop           6        24.1 IBUs     
2.00 oz               Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] - Aroma Steep  Hop           7        0.0 IBUs     
1.0 pkg               Belgian Abbey II (Wyeast Labs #1762) [12 Yeast         8        -             

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 22 lbs
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 27.00 qt of water at 161.1 F        150.0 F       90 min       

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun, , 3.86gal) of 168.0 F water

Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian Barleywine
« on: January 07, 2014, 05:27:14 PM »
Sorry to revive a dead thread, but how did this come out? I'm looking at doing something similar as a gift for my brother's upcoming wedding, and I've never done a bw before. Thanks!

Actually, thanks for the post. I completely forgot about this beer. I'll crack into one tonight to refresh my memory and post more details.

Awesome, let me know.

Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian Barleywine
« on: January 06, 2014, 08:32:45 PM »
Sorry to revive a dead thread, but how did this come out? I'm looking at doing something similar as a gift for my brother's upcoming wedding, and I've never done a bw before. Thanks!

Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian Amber Strong Ale
« on: October 07, 2013, 09:56:14 AM »
Is 3864 still available anywhere? Can't believe I'm just finding out about this now... I'd love to try it.

It's easily cultured from the bottle if you can't find it anywhere else.

Well, now I know what I'm doing this week. Thanks!

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