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Topics - yso191

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1
Commercial Beer Reviews / Deschutes Abyss 3 way
« on: January 30, 2016, 10:06:48 PM »
I secured some regular 2015 Abyss and one bottle each of the Abyss aged in Cognac barrels and Rye Whiskey barrels.  I had two other guys over last night and we split them.  The barrel aged ones were sublime.  Seductive. Smooth.  Until the slight warming occurred in my throat, no indication of the alcohol content.

The regular Abyss was angular and had significantly more flavor punch than the barrel aged ones - which is to be expected.

They were all exceptionally good.  The Cognac was bigger on cherry flavor than the others.  One person said it was almost to the point of cough syrup.  I didn't think so and neither did the third guy. 

The Rye Whiskey seemed to me to have less Whiskey character than I'd like, but the other two guys didn't agree.

The regular Abyss was bigger in molasses than the other two.

All were big on chocolate, vanilla and licorice.  All were great.  The regular could ages for years.  Highly recommend them all.  Yes I had more than a typical buzz by the time they were done.

2
All Grain Brewing / All Grain Starter Wort fail
« on: January 30, 2016, 09:25:37 PM »
Well, not exactly a fail, but...

I got a pressure canner for making starter wort.  I can't see spending $10 on DME when I can spend $2 on malt, so I made a quick recipe in Beersmith.  I put the info into Brun' Water to get the pH right and also added a pinch of yeast nutrient.  I did a BIAB method in the pressure cooker since it had plenty of room.  I was a little high with the water temp but not bad: it was 156* when the temperature settled down with the bag of malt in it.  It got down to 143* after an hour.

Beersmith predicted 1.039 for the recipe.  I got 1.025!

So I added some DME, I boiled it for a while and it ended up at 1.040.  I am writing to ask what your recipes are and maybe if I did something dumb.  Here's what I did:

3 Lbs of pale malt in 3.25 gallons of RO water
I targeted 5.45 pH by adding .6 grams of Gypsum, .3 grams of Calcium Chloride and 1.6 mL of Lactic acid.

I think those are the essential points, thoughts?

3
General Homebrew Discussion / Fuggles anyone?
« on: January 26, 2016, 12:57:14 PM »


These 'pillow' bales arrived today at BSG for pelletizing.  Just thought it was interesting

4
All Things Food / Blue Apron
« on: January 21, 2016, 07:54:06 AM »
I've never posted here, but after last night's meal I'm motivated to.  My wife and I subscribe to a meal delivery service called Blue Apron.  For $60 per week we get three meals for two people.  All the ingredients are there, with no waste.  They takes typically 30 minutes to prepare.

Anyway, last night was a 10.  It was "Korean Tteok & Spicy Pork Ragu."  Wow good.  Spicy with depth of flavor, great texture contrasts...  I could go on.

You know it was good when you're still thinking about it the next morning!

5
Wood/Casks / Barleywine in a Whiskey barrel?
« on: January 10, 2016, 04:36:08 PM »
I'm thinking about doing a Barleywine next, kind of along the lines of Avery's Hog Heaven.  As I'm sure you know, this beer is very hoppy with assertive dry-hopping.  How do you think that will work aging it for a couple of months in my rye whiskey barrel?  I have aged a RIS in it after I got it, so a lot of the whiskey and wood is gone.

I find myself wondering if anyone has tried dry-hopping after barrel aging, or at the end of the aging time in the barrel.  My first negative thought is about oxygenating the beer too much.  Thoughts? 


6
Ingredients / Idaho 7 hops
« on: January 06, 2016, 08:20:59 PM »
Has anyone used this hop or know anything about it?  I just got a couple of pounds from my boss.  The only thing I can find out about it is that Sierra Nevada uses it in one of its Harvest Single Hop beers.  Their words: "Complex fruity aromas of orange and apricot mesh with hints of black tea-like character and a pleasant fresh herbal bouquet."  Apparently it is also now being called: "007: The Golden Hop."  I like Idaho 7 better...

The harvest Alpha was 14.1, so I'm guessing the pelleted is around 12+.  No info on oils.

Can anyone help with further info?

7
Ingredients / HSI
« on: December 14, 2015, 09:43:48 PM »
I've posted elsewhere that I'm working for a while in the lab at BSG (Brewers Supply Group) testing hops for alpha & beta acids, as well as HSI: the Hop Storage Index.

I am frankly surprised at the degradation of alpha acids in hops.  In the 3 months since harvest, the hops I am testing have dropped 1-2 % points in alpha from the harvest alpha.  I'm not experienced enough to know if that will continue at a steady decline or not.  I do know that the variety also influences the rate of decline.

What I am wondering is if we homebrewers are not taking this into account as much as we should - if at all.  All the hops in my freezer are 2014 hops.  They have an alpha acid % listed on the package but I'm not sure how to account for the decline, and they never list the HSI.  It seems to me this would be an important thing to factor in.  Any thoughts?  Do any of you factor in the age of the hops for calculating IBUs?

8
Yeast and Fermentation / New Yeast starter procedure
« on: November 29, 2015, 09:02:38 AM »
I just yesterday tried the new starter procedure that Mark introduced us all to.  I should have started with a strain I was more familiar with.  Now I'm not sure if something is wrong or not.

Yesterday I started the brew day by making 1 liter of 1.040 wort from DME.  When it was cool, I shook the bejesus out of it, and pitched one smack pack of Wyeast  1728, Scottish Ale into it, shaking it again just to mix it.  That was 20 hours ago.  Still nothing that could be described as 'high krausen.'  So now I'm wondering if 1728 just doesn't do much that way.  The date on the yeast was 9/10/15, but was not swollen.  What do you think?

http://i787.photobucket.com/albums/yy153/yso191/AHA/154A02CF-8B6B-4F5E-AC7E-44113B3DE5A3_zpsoff1dd3b.jpg



9
General Homebrew Discussion / Scottish ale question
« on: November 28, 2015, 04:15:02 PM »
This is my second attempt at brewing a Scottish ale.  I am currently boiling a gallon of first runnings, intending to reduce it to a pint or so, so that I can get some actual carmelization. 

My question is, is there an issue with adding back the amount that is boiled off to the main boil kettle so that my volumes would be equal to what I would have if I didn't reduce the gallon of first runnings?  I would be adding RO water.

10
All Grain Brewing / High gravity brewing manipulations
« on: November 24, 2015, 12:48:10 PM »
I am playing around with my Stout recipe.  I have mentioned in other posts that I seldom hit my OG target when brewing a beer in the neighborhood of 1.100.  I have learned that some of that is due to lower efficiency in the mash, so I have adjusted the recipe to account for a ~64% efficiency. 

I'm also thinking I need a thinner mash to help the conversion.  But the sparge volumes get so small that I think the conclusion is to do a 'no sparge' mash.  If I do that will I encounter any unforeseen issues or is it as simple as just not sparging, and putting all your water in for the mash.

And then I start thinking of a Parti-gyle mash, and using the second runnings for canning starter wort.  So then I wonder how to estimate the OG of the second runnings so I can hit the target of 1.040.

And finally, given my mash tun size of 15 gallons, and the above factors, I still am limited to an OG of about 1.095.  So then I start thinking about adding DME/LME to bump the gravity.  Unfortunately I have only ever done whole-grain brewing.  What color of malt extract would be best for a stout?  Is LME superior to DME?  At this point since DME is more available I'd go with that, but I don't like how it clumps when I have done starters with it. 

That is a lot, but what do you think?  Am I on the right track?

11
General Homebrew Discussion / Passed the BJCP Written exam
« on: November 22, 2015, 08:19:47 AM »
I finally took the test.  I've been studying for it for a while, supposedly leading up to a July tasting exam.  The organizer of that exam had to change the day to a Sunday and *poof*, I was out.  Discouraged, I just dropped the whole thing from my mind.

Yesterday, on kind of a spur of the moment decision, I bought 3 tests (how's that for confidence), but passed it on the first try.  It feels really good to be back at it.  Now for the tasting exam!  And now that I am free on the weekends it should be much easier to connect with one.

12
Beer Recipes / Brun' Watrer profile for Scottish?
« on: November 19, 2015, 07:25:26 AM »
I'm going to brew a Scottish 80/ over the Thanksgiving weekend.  What Brun' Water profile would be best?

13
Equipment and Software / pH meters
« on: November 15, 2015, 02:28:08 PM »
I am being bombarded by family members for Christmas gift ideas.  One of the things I have been interested in is a good pH meter.  But every time I get close to getting one I am stopped by one thing: What difference will it make?

As I understand it, it takes about 30 minutes for the mash pH to stabilize.  If an adjustment is made at that point (particularly given the sample cool-down requirement)  it will just swing into the correct pH about the time to lauter.  So I think, 'What's the point?'

I have got to be wrong on that though since the pros (I assume) check pH.  So:

1. Tell me how I am wrong.
2. Tell me what pH meter to buy. 

FYI, I like to buy the right thing first, rather than go cheap and then get disgusted and go out and buy the right thing later.

14
The Pub / Just a great brew day
« on: November 14, 2015, 08:30:34 PM »
My schedule has been crazy for a couple of months and I haven't been able to brew.  Today I brewed an IPA.  Everything went perfectly.  I thought I might be rusty, but no issues at all.  And I love my new stainless insulated mash tun!  It worked perfectly, only dropping 2 degrees over the hour.  It just felt so good I had to post about it.

15
All Things Food / A first: hops in a recipe
« on: October 15, 2015, 05:53:23 PM »
My wife and I have a subscription to a company called Blue Apron.  For $60 a week they send three meals for two people (for the math challenged that is $10 per meal per person).  We like it because there is no waste and the recipes are outstanding.

Why am I posting?  I just unpacked this week's meals and one of them entitled "Oktoberfest Pork Chops" has hops as an ingredient!  I have never seen that before.  There are three dishes in the meal: the pork chops, German potato salad, and hops-braised cabbage.

They do not say what hop variety.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

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