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Messages - tony perkins

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1
Ingredients / Re: TT Landlord with extra late hops?
« on: October 02, 2013, 01:05:03 PM »
I say go for it! Willamette should be a fine complementary hop for the style, and should not be too overwhelming.

Thanks for the reply.  After posting, it occurred to me to move the Willamettes to flameout.  I think that's what I'll do.

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Ingredients / TT Landlord with extra late hops?
« on: October 02, 2013, 07:25:25 AM »
I'm going to brew a Landlord best bitter based on the Northern Brewer clone recipe here:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/allgrain/AG-Innkeeper.pdf

I'll stick with the 60/45/5 hop additions in the recipe (Fuggle / EKG / Styrians), but I'm thinking I will also add an ounce of homegrown Willamette flowers at 5 minutes.  My homegrown hops smell nice, but I'm not at the point where I like to rely on them for my sole additions at any stage.  Adding them in this way seems like a good way to use them.

The extra ounce of Willamette should only add a few IBUs at most, but I'm wondering... for those who have brewed this beer before, do you think that 2 ounces of 5 minute hops is too much for the style?

3
Ingredients / Re: Grain for color in a Saison?
« on: August 15, 2013, 07:09:49 AM »
I just bottled a saison that I brewed as an experiment: 1) extract, since I haven't made an extract batch in a couple of years, and 2) adding a 1/2 lb of crystal 40, since I've never tried crystal malt in a saison and wanted to see if I liked the flavor.  Those ingredients got me to about 7 SRM, and with 2 ounces of Midnight Wheat at 550 L, I reached 12 SRM.

The saison attenuated down to 1.010, not terribly shabby.  I can't comment fully on the flavor yet, but I can recommend 2 ounces of Midnight Wheat for an easy color adjustment.  There is virtually no flavor contribution in such a small amount.  Even a saison made from 100% belgian pilsner will reach 10 SRM if you add 2 ounces of Midnight Wheat.

4
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sour question from a beginner
« on: July 05, 2013, 06:40:39 PM »
Just to echo some others, I'd let it sit longer.  I've brewed a few sours and have let some of them sit 12 months or so prior to kegging.  I've always been a little concerned about bottling sours since the bugs are still working and could cause bottle bombs.  I'd recommend thicker bottles for these.

Yep, I've got a ton of Martinelli's sparkling cider bottles lined up for this batch, whenever I end up bottling.

Thanks, everyone, for your help.  You'll be proud of me--I'm drinking a bottle of Rodenbach classic right now.  Wow, it's delicious.  My pale sour isn't quite to the level of sourness I'm tasting in this Rodenbach, but it's not too far off, either.  I'll wait at least another few months before tasting again.

5
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sour question from a beginner
« on: July 05, 2013, 10:37:13 AM »
Thanks for the help, everyone.  I know it must seem strange to brew a style when you don't know what you're shooting for, but I've done the same for at least a few other styles, and with sours it made all the more sense because they're so pricey!  However, I will make sure to experiment with commercial sours, to ground my understanding a bit.

I think I'm a pretty patient brewer, but the fact that this pale sour had been stable at 1.006 for three months, was completely clear, and didn't seem to be developing any more flavor...it just made me wonder.  But if there's a strong likelihood of good things to come, then I'm only too happy to leave the beer alone for another 3-9 months.

Thanks again!

6
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sour question from a beginner
« on: July 04, 2013, 07:49:02 PM »
Yes, ECY01 is BugFarm/BugCounty, and contains ale yeast, sherry yeast, lacto, pedio, and I believe seven strains of brett.  Keep the comments coming, thanks.

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Yeast and Fermentation / Sour question from a beginner
« on: July 04, 2013, 02:38:49 PM »
I have only tasted one beer that contained brett, and that was Orval.  I have never tasted a real sour.

However, I currently have a sour brown ale fermenting in secondary with ECY01, and a pale sour in primary, fermenting with a repitch of the brown ale's yeast and bugs.  My question today deals with the pale sour, which started with a wort of 50/50 pils/wheat, 1.029 OG, and 10 IBU.

The pale sour has been in primary for 94 days, and from about day 14, the gravity has been stable at 1.006.  No change the entire time.  I last took a sample 30 days ago, and again today.  Then and now, I would say that the flavor is only mildly tart.  It's pretty nice, but it doesn't seem to be getting any more sour.

Here's my question, one I know has been asked before: how sour is a sour?  I am prepared to let this pale sour ferment or condition for as long as necessary, but with gravity stable for almost three months, and the flavor pretty much constant, am I crazy for thinking about bottling?  And if I do bottle, might the sourness and funk I've heard about develop in the bottle?  Or is this mild tartness I'm seeing pretty much par for the course?

For what it's worth, ambient fermentation temps for this pale sour have been elevated, anywhere from 70-90 F.  The beer is very clear, but it seems like there is wild yeast active in there, because after I take a sample, a thin pellicle quickly forms.  The brown ale in secondary has a nice bubbly pellicle (though I haven't tasted that beer since it was racked).

I'm happy to answer any particular questions about recipe or process that might be relevant here.  I'd appreciate any insights you have about what might be going on with this beer, and suggestions to help it along.

Thanks, and happy 4th!

8
Thanks once again for your help, RAM.  I have a few gallon jugs, so that is an option.  However, at this point, I think I'm leaning toward increasing my batch volume so that I can end up with ~4.5 gallons in my 5 gallon secondary.

In addition to my two 5 gallon glass carboys, I also have a 5.5 gallon carboy.  I didn't mention it before because as I understood my dilemma, it was to figure our how to step DOWN in volume for secondary fermentation.  I didn't see where the bigger carboy fit in the picture.

I haven't used my 5.5 gallon carboy since I went AG and stopped doing partial boil extract batches.  But I think it's time to dust it off.  It probably doesn't make sense for me to buy a 3 gallon better bottle when, apart from this sour, I *never* use a secondary.  I already have the 5.5 gallon carboy and two 5 gallon carboys for primary / secondary, and $4 for a pound of DME completes the picture.

Plus, going up in volume means more beer!

9
I'm thinking about this a bit more, and the panic is subsiding.  I think the answer to my problem may be a lb. of DME, which would help me to maintain gravity while bumping up volume by 1 gallon in my 5 gallon glass secondary.

I'm inclined to add that gallon when racking my sour to secondary.  Is there a compelling reason to add it to primary--i.e., put the DME in the boil on brew day, and dilute to my intended OG in the fermenter?  It seems like there might be considerations to take into account when feeding a mixed fermentation, that wouldn't apply in a clean fermentation.

Any thoughts on any and all of the above questions?  If I just need to RDWHAHB, please let me know.

10
This question is driving me crazy, and although there's a fair amount of general discussion out there on brett/bacteria and head space, I'd really appreciate some input that applies to my situation.

Based on my kettle size and stovetop heat source, all of my brews result in 4 gallons in a 5 gallon fermentor.  I typically lose 1/2 gallon to trub, and net 3.5 gallons in bottles.  Right now, I'm planning to brew a sour brown ale with ECY01.  Based on my experience, I'll have 3.5 gallons eligible to go into secondary for a year's aging.

I only have two fermentors, both glass, both 5 gallons.  If I rack my 3.5 gallons of sour to a 5 gallon carboy, that's a full 1.5 gallons of head space.  Is that too much?  Am I risking vinegar, even if I behave myself and keep the airlock topped off and never take samples?

The alternative doesn't sound very attractive--obtaining a 3 gallon better bottle for secondary, and either having NO head space, or else racking only 2.5 gallons over and losing some precious sour beer.

I'm willing to explore topping off with water or wort, but for the moment, let's discount that option.  If you had to choose between the above two options (5 gallon glass secondary or 3 gallon better bottle) which would you choose, and how much or how little head space would you tolerate?

Thanks 1,000,000.

11
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Tips please: first sour beer with ECY01
« on: March 07, 2013, 11:50:01 AM »
Thanks very much for your guidance.  That sounds like a plan.

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Tips please: first sour beer with ECY01
« on: March 06, 2013, 01:42:34 PM »
Thanks, RAM.  How long do you let your sours sit in secondary?  I understand that I shouldn't bottle until gravity has been stable for over a month, and not above 1.010.  I'm just curious what is typical.

I would be inclined to leave this sour alone for almost a year, and only start drawing samples when I felt that bottling day might be 60 days or so away.  Is there a downside to letting it sour undisturbed for so long?  Would it be better to taste more frequently?

EDIT: I know you said not to over think this.  I'll stop soon.

13
Yeast and Fermentation / Tips please: first sour beer with ECY01
« on: March 05, 2013, 10:44:56 PM »
I have some ECY01 (BugFarm) en route from New Jersey, and I'm in the process of putting together a recipe for my first sour ale.  I'd appreciate any tips you folks can offer.

I envision this as something like a sour Southern English Brown.  When it's ready, I plan to use a few bottles to inoculate the next sour beer, etc. etc.

My thinking in this has been influenced by Michael Tonsmire's "Brewing Sour Beers at Home" post:

http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2009/11/brewing-sour-beer-at-home.html

Here's what I'm planning:

1.045 OG

60% Maris Otter
15% Munich
10% Wheat
10% Crystal 80
3% Flaked Barley
2% Carafa Special II

16 IBU from EKGs at 60 minutes.

I know I'll need to mash high.  Is 156F high enough?  Does the OG and the proportions of wheat, crystal, etc. look right?  Do you have any recommendations for fermentation temperature?  Anything else I should think about?

Thanks in advance!

14
All Grain Brewing / Re: Critique this Pale Mild Recipe?
« on: January 27, 2013, 05:54:52 PM »
Upon reflection, and with the suggestions offered by Martin above, I'm taking this recipe in a different direction.  I am now planning it as follows:

3 lbs Maris Otter (50%)
2 lbs Munich 10 (33%)
0.5 lb Victory (8%)
0.5 lb Crystal 40 (8%)
2 oz Chocolate 350 (2%)

With 78% efficiency, the above grist will give me 1.035 at 5 gallons and will enter the low end of the color scale for an English mild (12 SRM).

I used the Mild Ale profile in Bru'n Water and was able to engineer my calculated additions to hit the numbers almost exactly by reserving the 2 ounces of chocolate malt and adding it at the end of the mash.  (This is all theoretical, of course; I'm not brewing this until next Saturday.)

Bru'n Water tells me that the mash pH raises a tenth or two during the duration of the mash, so hopefully it won't be a problem if my mash begins at 5.2.

Thanks to everyone for your input.

15
All Grain Brewing / Re: Critique this Pale Mild Recipe?
« on: January 27, 2013, 10:08:25 AM »
As you might gather, Mild is a style I've focused on and enjoy.  Packing flavor into a little beer like that is tough, but its worth it.  Enjoy!

PS: This is why there is a Mild water profile in Bru'n Water...I like Milds!

Martin, I'm embarrassed to say that I forgot about the Mild Ale profile.  Am I right in supposing that it's built for a traditional dark mild, in the 12 - 25 SRM range?  I am going for about 9 SRM, but I'll play around with mineral additions to see what fits.

Separate but related: in my initial attempt at constructing a water profile for this mild, I was having trouble getting my calculated mash pH up to 5.4 without adding too much bicarbonate.  I fear I may be putting too much effort into nailing the center of the optimum pH range.  Would you be satisfied with 5.2 or 5.3?

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