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Messages - reverseapachemaster

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Beer Recipes / Re: Original Dubbel
« on: May 08, 2015, 08:29:13 AM »
BLAM notes that Westmalle dubbel has "dark malt for 'aroma'" in addition to caramel malt. It doesn't specify any further but Candy Syrup Inc. has in its clone recipe--using its products of course--Dingemans Mout Roost 900 which is a chocolate malt. Their clone recipes have positive reviews and probably not far off the mark. I'd suspect the recipe has a little more choc malt than what you would use for color adjustment. The Candy Syrup recipe has chocolate malt around 3.5%.

Beer Recipes / Re: First All Brett Beer
« on: May 08, 2015, 08:17:34 AM »
Do you know how much yeast came in the 1BBL starter for brett? My concern is that the lab produced a 1BBL pitch for brett in secondary which would be far less than what you want for primary fermentation.

Ingredients / Re: Great Base malt debate?
« on: May 08, 2015, 07:57:41 AM »
If I had it my way I'd always use regionally consistent base malt or blends of different regional malts. At 50-100% of the grain bill it's tough to make a case that the base malt isn't playing a key role in flavor development in most beers. Unfortunately with rising grain and shipping prices and the unavailability of some grains it's not always easy to do that. Often I am buying what is available at the best value.

Fortunately Avangard is available locally at cheap prices so I've been using that quite a bit recently for my pilsner malt need. German malts are good so I'm happy to use them. For two row I picked up a sack of Schreier domestic malt last year because it was a pretty good deal. So far I've been happy using that as a base malt for several American beers and it's going to go into some sour beers.

Ingredients / Re: Water adjustment approach?
« on: May 08, 2015, 07:41:31 AM »
I use RO or distilled and build from there.

I'd love to be able to use tap water. I don't have an RO filling machine close by which means rather than paying $0.29/gal I'm paying $0.69 at the store. I'd rather pay $0.02 or whatever tap water costs. Unfortunately the water here is all surface water and we go through droughts in dry months so the mineral content varies widely across the year. It's full of bicarbonate and just tastes terrible. I have an inline filter in my fridge for drinking water and a PUR on the kitchen sink and while both get the water to a semi-drinkable place I'd rather spend a few extra dollars when making beer to use the best water I can.

If I wanted to use the local water I'd still have to cut it with a softer water. I brew lots of lighter beers and the bicarbonate in the local water is just too much. I guess I could make extremely minerally water to try to reach a balance but that doesn't seem like the best course of action. It's sad, actually, because there used to be great well water locally. I have the water profile for brewing from a local brewery that existed pre-prohibition that pulled water from artesian wells. The city was so misguided in their belief in the endless water supply underground (like much of Texas at the time) that they implemented no conservation efforts. Unsurprisingly many of the wells dried out and as it turns out there wasn't enough water to satisfy the city and surface water had to be created by damming the cesspools of the Trinity River.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: NOT the way to start a brew day
« on: May 08, 2015, 07:16:07 AM »
Damn that sucks.

One of my local shops uses paper bags and I feel it's only a matter of time before that happens to me too.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Raspberries in a "sour"?
« on: May 07, 2015, 07:33:12 AM »
The majority of the sourness is going to show up when pedio kicks in around 6-8 months after pitching, right about the time brett is really hitting its stride as well. The lacto in Roeselare isn't particularly aggressive so I'm not surprised you aren't seeing much sourness yet. This beer just needs time.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Cold Steeping- AHA Article
« on: May 07, 2015, 07:29:13 AM »
I haven't read the article yet but I'm fairly confident they are cautioning against aerating the beer with a post-fermentation addition, although the risk of aeration in post-fermentation additions is probably far more severe with dry hopping than pouring in a small amount of liquid.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Equation for Bottle CO2 Volumes
« on: May 07, 2015, 07:27:08 AM »
Ultimately, what is the purpose of carbing to volumes > 3?

In BLAM and other texts on Belgian beer you'll see a lot of references about how high carbonation improves drinkability by giving the impression of a lighter body. I can take or leave that explanation. The real benefit, IMO, of the higher carbonation is that it enhances the presence and flavors of the esters in the beer. If you've ever been served a Belgian style beer on gravity or off a beer engine you quickly find the esters are muted and it tastes very different.

Equipment and Software / Re: StPats Service
« on: May 07, 2015, 07:17:24 AM »
St. Pats has a long history of terrible customer service. If you google their name you'll probably come across quite a bit of complaining by pro brewers about trying to place orders through them.

Honestly I'm surprised anybody would refer business to them these days.

« on: May 07, 2015, 07:14:02 AM »
I think you're short half a pound of grain or so to get to 3.8% ABV.

Equipment and Software / Re: A smart-device for brewing
« on: May 06, 2015, 08:47:00 AM »
I could see how the info would be useful over multiple batches to determine where you could tweak processes and equipment to ensure better temperature stability through the process. It would be even better if the device could adjust the temperatures but I think that catapults the device into a much more expensive market.

The problem is that I don't see how this product is an improvement on the status quo. For those of us without electric brewing systems there are far cheaper ways to monitor mash temperatures with thermometers and temperature probes. I guess it would be nice to have that data logged but I can't see how knowing how fast the temperature is lowering during the mash is much more useful than knowing the final mash temp. Similarly for fermentation I can set a digital temperature controller and control the temperature without needing the data of how much the temperature is fluctuating. I know the controller lets the beer fluctuate X degrees before correcting it. There are also other products on the market that can monitor and record temperatures in the fermentation chamber. I'm not sure why I need to know the bottling temperature or why I need a separate device over the temperature controller on my fermentation chamber. I suppose for those who do not have temperature-controlled fermentation this gives them some useful data but for $100 I'd suggest people first buy some temperature controlling equipment.

There is another product that just came on the market recently that monitors a number of fermentation factors at once and logs the data. I believe it is at your price point. I'm not sure why somebody would pay a similar price just for the temperature data.

Does anyone believe that we will eventually reach a point where there will be specialized certification within the beer categories?

I think for some categories we will have to and specifically for brett/sour. They have to be judged differently (e.g. what is a flaw in many styles is desired in these beers) and many judges are either inexperienced or recalcitrant to judge them. Having another certification available for the group of styles would encourage the development of a curriculum and adequate training. As it is now there is no chance I waste bottles of two year old brett beer to get back judging sheets marking down the beer for lacking acidity or being too phenolic.

I could see merit in developing specialized certifications in other groupings, like regional/national style groupings, but I don't think that as critical to the goal of objective judging.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Screwed up my big black IPA
« on: May 06, 2015, 08:16:21 AM »
Even at a high mash ph I find carafa special still spits out that ashy flavor even if the acridness is gone. IMO that is the culprit of the flavor. If you are also getting acrid bitterness then that is a combination of mash ph and lots of roasted malt. Midnight wheat is fairly smooth and although 10% is probably too much in that beer it is probably not the cause of the acrid/ashtray with this beer. It might not be helping but it isn't the primary problem.

I suspect the brewery gave you the specialty malts and hops and assumed you knew to use pale malt as a base. The info they gave sounds very little like a black IPA and more like some kind of weird American dunkel fusion. Although with an FG at 1018, maybe not. Hard to say without having tried to beer you attempted to clone.

I don't think there is an easy solution for you. You can't dry out that much munich malt by adding a different kind of yeast. Brett will only do so much with munich but there is no way I would advise you to mix brett and anything with that ashtray off-flavor unless you consider beer that tastes like burnt rubber to be an improvement on your current situation.

I think your only two remedies here are either (1) wait and see how the beer develops or (2) blend. The acridness will smooth, partially, over time but the ashtray flavor won't really go away. I don't think waiting it out will develop anything you will be very excited to drink. Blending is a much better option. If you are going to blend you to reduce your existing batch to half or less than half of the total blend to get to something or recognizable as a black IPA. That means at best you end up with 24 (or more) gallons of this beer. At worst you brew more beer to blend and then find out the blend still sucks and now you're dumping twice as much beer.

Beer Recipes / Re: First All Brett Beer
« on: May 05, 2015, 07:55:28 AM »
You aren't going to get the usual brett funk out of a brett primary. Instead you'll get a pile of fruity esters. It won't be over the top estery like a Belgian strain and it can be a different set of fruit flavors. With enough age the beer will start to develop the leather/earthy brett character you are familiar with. What you won't see is much in the way of phenolics because brett lacks the ability to develop a significant volume of the precursors necessary to form those flavor compounds. It needs sacc to make those precursors in meaningful volumes. 

Like most expressive yeast strains, aeration and temperature will play a role in the fermentation character. I'd do some aeration and ferment closer to 70F and possibly think about fermenting even warmer. With your pitching rate and a little oxygen you should see fermentation start in max two days but probably just as fast as a regular sacc fermentation and generally fermentation will end about the same time as a sacc fermentation. There is some disagreement whether all brett beers reach terminal gravity after the typical sacc fermentation schedule or if there is a long and slow tail before FG is reached that stretches fermentation out to 1-2 months. Both Cilurzo and Yakobson agree that there is some extended fermentation but you'll probably see around a 1P drop. Maybe you account for that during packaging or let it ride out in a tank until that happens.

Ingredients / Re: Malt Flavor: American vs. Belgian
« on: May 05, 2015, 07:29:40 AM »
I'm in the same boat as far as brewing small batches. Many shops don't sell at increments under one pound and when I find a store that sells by the ounce it's usually ridiculously expensive compared to a pound. When I end up with too many partial pounds of specialty malts then it's time to piece together a recipe to trim down.

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