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Messages - narvin

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Ingredients / Re: Green tea Saison
« on: September 05, 2013, 11:33:20 AM »
I knew pro brewers couldn't homebrew.  ;D

The Pub / Re: Let the Games Begin!
« on: September 05, 2013, 10:55:56 AM »

Beer Recipes / Re: Should I just give up on lagers?
« on: September 03, 2013, 09:27:07 AM »
Don't give up... if you have temperature control and can make a yeast starter, you can brew a lager.  Water adjustments make a big difference for a lager, so I'd suggest you look into that.  A lower kettle pH gives you that crisp mouthfeel and smooth bitterness that a lager has.  Get a water report and adjust from there.  Even with relatively soft water, 2-3% acid malt is a good starting point for a light lager.

I will say that even with the right water, ingredients, and process, it's still hard to get that special lager "something" that's hard to quantify.  Kai suggests that it might be some product of oxidation and aging, but it can definitely be elusive even when you do everything right.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dry hopping sours
« on: August 30, 2013, 08:55:06 AM »
Wort acidity in the boil lowers the bitterness (or the expression of bitterness?) extracted from hops. However, I don't know if it affects the aroma and other oils and compounds that would be extracted from dry hopping.  Could be that the sour is also overwhelming hop flavor.

Ingredients / Re: Cubic inches wood per 5 gallons of beer
« on: August 30, 2013, 08:52:52 AM »
Not exactly apples to apples, but it is a starting point.
With whiskey and rum the rule of thumb is one "domino" per liter.

Oak add-ins

From my experience, you need to be careful with chips.  They work fast and if left too long they make a harsh oak flavor.  Dominoes mo bettah!

Wow, cool site.  It looks like the cubes are smaller than I thought (with a higher surface area to volume ratio), so it would be more like 8 ounces per 5 gallons.  The dominoes have a lot more volume and are actually very close to my initial approximation.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Cooler for all grain
« on: August 30, 2013, 08:22:52 AM »
The rectangular coolers are much more economical.  Coleman has sizes from 52 qt all the way up to 150 qt that can fit most any homebrew batch size.  You can build a manifold if you want to fly sparge in one, but I suggest starting out with batch sparging since it's an easier build.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why didn't anyone tell me?
« on: August 30, 2013, 08:18:13 AM »
They sound like a bunch of bratty n00bs.  I always encourage people to go all grain because some think it's harder than it actually is, but there are space/money/time limitations that you need to prioritize.  Sounds like you're already well on your way to it, and are already brewing great beer.

Ingredients / Re: Cubic inches wood per 5 gallons of beer
« on: August 30, 2013, 08:00:42 AM »
I think you're either looking for square inches (surface area) or weight, which would be based on the shape of the wood and the surface area of it.  Chips are more surface area than cubes, so you get more flavor per ounce.  But I've heard it's a more superficial character since it's mostly toast without any deep wood penetration (heh).  Cubes need longer aging, which may not be desired for a beer.

The NB site sez about a 4 ounce bag of chips: "Used in the Whiskey Barrel Stout kit. Very pleased with the deep, rich flavor. While above directions use it in 25 gallons of wine, the kit uses the packet in 5 gallons of beer. " Now, that sounds like a lot of oak to me, but it depends what you're going for.

From the mathematical standpoint, you can approximate a 53 gallon bourbon barrel as a cylinder of ID 22" and inside height 32".  The surface area of this is pi*22*32 + 2*(pi*11^2), which is almost 3000 square inches, or about 56 square inches per gallon. 

Now, if a cube is on average 1" on a side (totally guessing here), you have 6 square inches of surface area per cube.  The density of american white oak, according to the internet, is 47 lb/ft^3, or 0.44 oz/in^3.  So you need ~ 9 cubes/ gallon, or 20 oz of cubes per 5 gallons.  Holy s$#%!  I guess the moral of the story is, this is why bourbon is so damn oaky.  Unless you want to replicate the flavor or a bourbon, do not use this much newly toasted oak in your beer.

This totally useless post has been brought to you by too much coffee.

Edit: I guess you could boil/pre-soak the cubes in vodka to mimick used barrels and throw them in for extended aging.  This would be an interesting experiment as opposed to using fewer new chips for a short period of time.

The Pub / Re: Old story but still interesting.
« on: August 30, 2013, 06:38:32 AM »
Boom boom boom... bust?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Benny Hill English Brown?
« on: August 25, 2013, 12:20:51 PM »
Maybe put some melons in there...

Equipment and Software / Re: Colorphast strips
« on: August 23, 2013, 04:34:59 PM »
I don't trust the strips these days... I find that they're in the ballpark for light colored beers after Kai's correction of .3, but they still underestimated pH for dark beers.  This leads to the worst possible "remedy", adding extra alkalinity.  Plus, estimates aren't that helpful.  I either want an accurate reading for a new recipe to make adjustments or I'm going to let it ride.

All Things Food / Re: Be There or Be Square!
« on: August 22, 2013, 09:25:46 AM »
Be there and be round!

Ingredients / Re: ginger and hops
« on: August 21, 2013, 10:28:00 AM »
I think some spicy, earthy noble and noble-like hops could also work, and wouldn't overpower the ginger like some of the more citrusy hops.  Saaz, Styrian Goldings, maybe Crystal.  Dial back the ginger first, though.  4-6g is a good starting point.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast starter looks strange--advice needed
« on: August 21, 2013, 05:32:45 AM »
It's fine, that's what more flocculant yeasts look like.  You're probably just using a British ale yeast.   :)

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