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Messages - reverseapachemaster

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I normally use RO or distilled water but always add brewing salts to create a water profile suitable for healthy mash, fermentation and flavor. The guys at your shop are right that you don't want to use distilled or RO water on its own because you need some amount of certain minerals in the water. What you don't want is all the chlorine/chloramine in the tap water and even using dechlorinated tap water, it may not be the ideal water supply without further adjustment by adding brewing salts.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Pellicle identification
« on: February 03, 2015, 09:10:47 AM »
The only things you can identify with any accuracy by looking at the pellicle is how well it is covering the top of the beer and whether there is any mold growth on it (which is extremely rare).

Wood/Casks / Re: (Small) Barrel size
« on: February 03, 2015, 09:08:38 AM »
I'd want to know what the barrels are made of and whether they were made for use or ornament. Ornamental barrels often have thinner staves and may not seal watertight. I would probably stay away from those although I wouldn't be afraid of using chestnut barrels.

On a smaller barrel you probably want to seal the outside with wax after swelling it to ensure a good seal. You will certainly get flavor extraction much quicker in a smaller barrel. You'll need to run through several beers in a short period of time to extract a lot of that wood flavor out unless you want very woody sours. You may even want to run distilled water through the barrel several times to try to extract a lot of it out if you don't want gallons and gallons of beer with a new wood flavor.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: optimizing bottle quality
« on: February 03, 2015, 09:03:17 AM »
I wonder if some of the sugar is settling out during the cooling and waiting.

I don't let the priming sugar cool any longer than it takes to finish cleaning/sanitizing equipment and getting everything in place to rack the beer. I also don't stir or do anything to mix the priming sugar after racking into the bottling bucket. The siphoning beer does a good job of creating a current and mixing up the sugar. I don't think I have a particularly great technique; I just haven't had problems following the standard process.

How much water are you using for the priming sugar? Maybe try using a little more water to make the sugar solution less dense and easier to mix.

All Grain Brewing / Re: High gravity efficiency troubles
« on: February 03, 2015, 08:49:53 AM »
The other way to improve efficiency is to use more sparge water and do a longer boil to boil off the extra sparge water.  I have seen comments that English barleywines typically involve a long boil which develops some of their flavor and color.

Typically, I make a first runnings barelywine and a low alcohol second runnings beer when making all malt beers.

I agree with this.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My homebrew smells like vomit
« on: February 03, 2015, 08:41:21 AM »
Also: since ptiching the Brett, the beer has cleared, going from the typical wheat haze to being almost crystal clear now. To me, this suggests that Brett can somehow metabolise wheat proteins as well as all those other things it's renowned for, such as  Sacch's autolysis debris and (du-UH-huh) organic acids. Anyone know anything about this? I'd be very interested in any reading material regarding Sacch & Brett's particular metabolic pathways, but can't seem to find anything readily available.

I believe brett is incapable of fermenting proteins and the clarity you are seeing is the result of time dropping the beer clear. CY talks about brett and proteins in the BN podcast linked earlier in the thread.

The Pub / Re: Shot Across The Bow...
« on: February 03, 2015, 08:33:39 AM »
Elysian actually put out a pumpkin peach ale last fall so I'm sure there are a lot of ruffled feathers over there. There's an interview with Cantwell and the GI CEO who is the ABI domestic head of craft brewing and Cantwell seemed rather upset about the commercial. The Elysian folks are the only ones with a good reason to be mad about the commercial. We've all taken our shots at ABI so we can't be surprised that they are taking a shot back.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Great Weekend
« on: February 02, 2015, 12:19:16 PM »
I brewed a style-absent brown ale on Saturday that I coolshipped and then added dregs from a couple sour beers consumed during the game. It's a one gallon batch made with small amounts of a few specialty malts left over from previous batches along with some pale malt. I'll see how it is in 9-12 months.
What did you use as a coolship? I've though about trying a small batch and using a large cake pan.

In this case I just stuck the kettle outside with the lid off. It was a one gallon batch in a five gallon kettle so there was a good amount of surface to cool and catch whatever was floating around in that storm we had.

The last time I coolshipped a beer was a year ago and it was a larger batch. I ended up using several cake pans along with the kettle. It was ridiculously windy and cold that day. The beer was freezing after being outside for an hour or so. It's a very interesting beer right now. There's islands of yeast floating on the surface. They are hard and bubbly like misshapen saltine crackers. No pellicle though, which is surprising. The ph is in the mid-4 range and it tastes like a really weird hefeweizen. I don't think I got a good mixture of yeast and bacteria due to having to pull the beer back inside so quickly but the flavor is evolving so I'm just going to let it hang out and see what happens. I would not have a problem using cake pans again but I would do it on a night when it was in the 40s or 50s.

Beer Recipes / Re: Belma in a HellesBock?
« on: February 02, 2015, 11:15:01 AM »
The only time I've gotten good flavors out of Belma by itself is using it as a dry hop in brett beers. The gentle fruit flavors stand out better in the drier beer against all the brett barnyard flavors.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Stalling Fermentation
« on: February 02, 2015, 11:04:43 AM »
If you're getting similar results with multiple yeast strains then the problem certainly isn't the choice of yeast. It also doesn't sound like your issues are related to your fermentation technique. You're pitching a good amount of yeast and aerating. To the extent that there is an issue with your beers, it would likely be a problem somewhere in the grain bill or mash procedures.

However, I'm not sure I understand how you reached the conclusion that the beers are supposed to hit a 1010-12 FG.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Smaller Batches
« on: February 02, 2015, 10:55:58 AM »
The difference in time between bottling five gallons and one gallon really isn't that significant. You're still spending the same amount of time cleaning and sanitizing equipment. The actual difference in time racking the additional gallons and bottling them isn't substantial. In my experience the difference is maybe twenty minutes between bottling a one gallon and a five gallon batch.

You'll see some variance in your beers as you learn to brew on a smaller scale, particularly if you acquire different equipment to accommodate the smaller batches. However, once you get past that learning phase your beers should be substantially similar at any size. I've brewed recipes at one gallon and five gallons and they are pretty much the same.

If the issue is that you don't think the beers you are brewing are great then it might be time to work on your process before you get into brewing more beer.

The Pub / Re: Super Bowl
« on: February 02, 2015, 10:39:31 AM »
ha! thats a good one! i think the most surprised face was Brady's as he sat dejected facing almost certain defeat-and then the pick. he looked like he might soil himself he was so shocked and excited.

I can't believe they gave Brady the MVP for the game. His interceptions were a major reason why they almost lost that game. Seattle had terrible game plans on both sides of the ball but without those interceptions the game probably would have been a blowout at 42-14.

Carroll really deserves the MVP for the Patriots win. That play should never have been called as a pass play and if a pass play had to be called there's no way on earth it makes sense to throw it in the middle of the field against a goal line defense.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Great Weekend
« on: February 02, 2015, 10:34:51 AM »
I brewed a style-absent brown ale on Saturday that I coolshipped and then added dregs from a couple sour beers consumed during the game. It's a one gallon batch made with small amounts of a few specialty malts left over from previous batches along with some pale malt. I'll see how it is in 9-12 months.

Beer Recipes / Re: Belma in a HellesBock?
« on: February 01, 2015, 10:09:20 AM »
I would have no problem using it to bitter. I have used it to bitter all sorts of styles. Nice clean bitterness.

For flavor additions it's hard to find. It has some melon and strawberry flavor but you need a lot for the flavor to stand out. It seems more evident in blends with other hops where it rounds out flavors.

The Pub / Re: Super Bowl
« on: February 01, 2015, 10:06:54 AM »
As a Jets fan I have to support the seahawks.

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