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Messages - stlaleman

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Only 1-2 beers for the winter
« on: October 07, 2010, 03:25:56 PM »
A barleywine or a well aged old ale, the best for sitting by the fire!

Other Fermentables / Re: First cider
« on: October 01, 2010, 02:37:18 AM »
Use a cider yeast, you'll be happy with the results. The right yeast for the right job!

Equipment and Software / Re: Brewpots
« on: September 30, 2010, 10:58:05 AM »
Would it be better to use the water in the pot for sparge water, drain off into the bucket, then siphon the wort back into the kettle for boil?

I've seen the brew in a bag but I already have most of the materials for the cooler mashtun and would rather utilize it.

This is how I do it also.

Other Fermentables / Re: Pressing apples and yeast selection
« on: September 27, 2010, 03:54:51 PM »
A cider yeast will work best, blending the crab apple cider in will definately add acid and tannins. One of the best sweet ciders I ever had was a blend of Wealthy apples and Whitney crabapples, both mid-late summer varieties.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Haze, Flakes and clumbs
« on: September 22, 2010, 01:23:04 PM »
Are you bottle conditioning? If so it might be your pour, as with bottle conditioning, a yeast/sediment layer always forms. If its proteins, using Irish Moss during the bottling would help.

Other Fermentables / still, petillant, or sparkling
« on: September 11, 2010, 03:48:50 AM »
Can some one in the "know" put some numbers on these terms. At how many volumes does petillant become sparkling?

Other Fermentables / Re: Where does wine flavor come from?
« on: September 09, 2010, 05:31:34 AM »
While not a wine maker, I do make wine, cider and perry (all sort of wines?). Do not discount the flavor additions from the yeast. These can and do alter the flavors as much as beer yeasts do. It wasn't just the region's grapes, but the yeast that lived on the grapes that made areas famous. If you want a blend of wine and beer, blend wine and beer, if you want fruit beer, make fruit beer, but it won't be the same.
That being said, good luck!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keggerator Anchor!
« on: September 08, 2010, 11:10:52 AM »
I had this problem in my converted freezer also. I found that the tempeture varied greatly with the distance from the bottom of the freezer. Placing a small fan on the compressor hump equalized the temperature from top to bottom, so now my beer flows nicely as soon as the faucet cools down (about a third glass of foam, subsiquent pours don't have this problem).
One other thing it could be is a dirty faucet, bit of hops stuck in there.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing This Weekend - 9/10 Edition
« on: September 08, 2010, 10:55:57 AM »
I'm doing an English Barleywine and a dry stout on Saturday.

The Pub / Re: Home Brewing Limit
« on: August 20, 2010, 06:06:32 AM »
of course growing your own barley can keep that off the grid as can the small hop farm on the side of my house.  and how about those adjuncts.  corn, rice, pumpkin, apple juice for cider.  oh the ins and outs and the hidden sugars.  makes my head swim. of course you could just "leave"  a full corny on the porch when the tax man cometh... 8)
Its my understanding that wine is covered under a different statute so we get to make an additional 200 gallons of wine (mead and cider are legally wine) in addition to our 200 gallons of beer. Is this correct?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Your Homebrew Name
« on: August 17, 2010, 08:59:42 AM »
Mine is the Penrose Picobrewery, can be seen at

Equipment and Software / Immersion Chillers
« on: August 17, 2010, 04:53:49 AM »
Which works better, cold coming in at the bottom or cold in at top?

Beer Recipes / Re: Critique my stout recipe?
« on: June 17, 2010, 04:38:48 AM »

Thanks for clarifying the batch volume.  What you currently have might be fine for a RIS, but if you're trying to emphasize the "chocolate" in chocolate stout, I stand by my advice:  I'd dial the roast grains down to around 1 lb (or less) total per 5 gallons or cold-steep the amount you are using.

I recently did a 10 gallon batch version of JZ's Black Forest Stout (Brewing Classic Styles, pg 282-283).

JZ's 5 gallon batch version called for 0.75 lbs Black Roasted Barley (500 L), 10 oz. Crystal 40, 10 oz  Crystal 80, and 0.5 lb Chocolate Malt (420 L) for the darker grains.  British Pale malt completes the grain bill.

My adaptation used 0.67 lbs each of Crystal 40, 60, and 80; and 0.5 lbs each of Chocolate Malt (350 L), dehusked Carafa I (337 L), II (412 L), and III (525 L).  I was hoping to reduce some of the bitterness/astringency associated with the use of Black Patent malt usage.  Pale malt completed the grain bill (along with 1 lb of melanoiden malt).  I mashed all the grains together at 158 F x 45min.  1 lb total of cocoa powder and 4 oz. cocoa nibs were added in secondary and left for 4 wks/2wks respectively.  Black Cherry Juice (RW Knudsen, Just Black Cherry) was added at bottling [64 oz/10 gallons].

There is no mistaking the roast character of the stout when I (or others) judge it.  Is the astringency less than it would be with the use of Black Patent malt?  Maybe.  I still think it would be "smoother tasting" if the dark grains had been cold-steeped.  The roast still nearly overpowers the cocoa flavor and aroma.  The cocoa nibs likely add bitterness of their own (taste one yourself).  The feedback I get tells me the stout base was fine, the chocolate flavor was OK, but the bitterness/astringency and the cocoa aroma was too high, and the body was too thin (probably due to dilution by the cherry juice--I did not have access to good cherry puree).  That tells me to cut back on my dark grains significantly if I am going to use the cocoa nibs again.  The temp has to be above 50 F to even pick up the cocoa or cherry flavors.  The roast predominates otherwise.

Just my 2 cents.  Good luck with your recipe.

The origanal recipe called for roasted barley, a non-malted grain. The taste is different from Black Patent, more roasty coffee than acrid bitter. I think if you would have stayed with the origanal roasted grain bill you would have been fine, You substited 2 pounds of roasted grains for what should have been 1.25 pounds.

There is a company in St Louis that makes a half barrel (holds a total of 20 gallons) stainless conical for under 400. One was donated to the STL Microfest Homebrew Competition for BOS. For a brochure call 888-207-8802 and ask to speak to a Brewhemoth rep.

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