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Messages - reverseapachemaster

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Answer to tangential question: Cut tiny corner from dry yeast packet.  Pitch about 1/4 packet.  Fold corner over a couple of times.  Tape shut.  Place back into refrigerator.  Open and repeat up to ~3 years later.

I do the same thing although I am extremely careful about sanitizing the packet, including the interior of the hole, before pouring out more yeast. So far no problems.

I also portion out liquid yeast by pouring about half of the packet in the one gallon batch and pouring the rest into a well-sanitized mason jar with boiled water. Not ideal but I also have not had problems with this approach.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast poll for an unplanned brewday!
« on: October 24, 2014, 07:19:18 AM »

The thing that has taken me completely by surprise is the rise of the 1-gallon all-grain brewer.   On the other hand, it is amazing that it took this long for the concept of brewing 1-gallon of all-grain beer at time to take hold.   It seems so logical considering that it can be accomplished with normal kitchenware.

It shouldn't be too surprising that it took so long for the smaller batch to become popular. Prior to maybe three or four years ago all you heard was about how you would start at five gallons and always go bigger. There was quite a bit of resistance to the idea of going the other direction. Think about how long it took for aluminum pots to become widely accepted.

All Grain Brewing / Shreier two row
« on: October 23, 2014, 10:32:08 AM »
I asked about this in another thread but it was kinda off topic and the thread moved in a different direction so I broke this out into its own thread.

A local shop that specializes in distilling supplies sells shreier two row from cargill at a very cheap price. I've never seen this brand at any other shop and it seems like any discussion in homebrewing circles about it drops off in the early 2000s. It seems to carry a reputation similar to Briess two row. Do you any of you brewers longer in the acrospire have an opinion on this grain?

There will always be a process choice based on batch size. I am unfamiliar with any commercial brewery or homebrewer with a large home set up who batch sparges because it's just easier to fly sparge at those volumes. Similarly, for BIAB there's a volume limit to one's ability to hoist a large bag. The number of people with the physical strength or equipment to lift a bag of wet grain shrinks as the weight of the bag grows. Not to mention the decreasing number of options to find a bag of a sufficiently large size. That doesn't mean you couldn't conceive of a way to BIAB a 3BBL batch but the practicality of that process is limited by resources. I don't think the difference in efficiency is a huge issue, at least not for homebrewers. There is a trend in homebrewing to make increasingly larger batches and at a certain volume, due to those resource limitations, moving from BIAB to batch or continuous sparging becomes a necessity. On the other hand, the last few years has seen brewers scale down and that encourages the use of BIAB for its ease and low resource requirements.

I do not believe batch sparging will be displaced to the extent that batch sparging displaced continuous sparging. For small batches I think BIAB will pretty much dominate that volume of brewing but as you go up in batch size the preference for batch sparging also rises. In that five gallon range I expect to see a fairly balanced mix of preferences. Those who can hoist the bag and those who can't. Those who want to build brewing equipment and those who do not.

I guess I'm pretty much saying the same thing as everybody else.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Had a little oops
« on: October 23, 2014, 10:07:15 AM »
I would not worry.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Making a started (Wort) from grain
« on: October 23, 2014, 08:15:44 AM »
when I'm feeling extra productive on a brew day I'll put an extra gallon or so of water through my main mash after I've collected what I want and boil that down to 1.030-1.040 and pressure can for starter wort. same idea, and it's sugars I would have fed to the chickens otherwise so I call it free!

I do pretty much the same except I boil it down to 1.080 and freeze it in tupperware. When it's time to make a starter I dilute it down to 1.040 and give it a quick boil.

Beer Recipes / Re: PNW American Sour
« on: October 23, 2014, 08:13:01 AM »
I'll need to get 5 gallons worth of champagne bottles and a corker this weekend.

Many of the homebrew shops carry champagne style bottles that accept regular 26mm caps. Don't be afraid to use those over buying a corker (unless you want the corker). I have bottles of brett beer that are hardcore gushers that have been in those bottles for 3.5 years and the caps are just fine.

Beer Recipes / Re: Rye Bourbon barrel aged RIS
« on: October 23, 2014, 08:08:48 AM »
Based on my research and data from Designing Great Beer by Ray Daniels, the IBU:GU for English barleywine and imperial stouts should be around .90. This puts my beer right in the target range. I have not decided yet, but I might back off to 80-85 IBUs to tilt the balance towards the malt.

That might have been en vogue when DGB was written in the 90s but if you take a look at your favorite imperial stouts today they are often less bitter. That is particularly true where 90s recipes had a lot of crystal malt adding sweetness to the beer and you needed extra bitterness to balance it. Even if you look at Stone's recipes, and they are not afraid of some IBUs, the bitterness has come down over the past five years or so as people prefer more malt--but less crystal malt--in their imperial stouts. It's not uncommon to find commercial imperial stouts in the 45-50 IBU range anymore. Even BCBS, which is bourbon barrel aged, is only 60 IBUs. I'm not saying your 90 IBU recipe will be undrinkable but if you have some commercial beers in mind you should take a look at the brewer's specs on the beer and see what the IBU range is.

Pitch brett?

Ugh... I'm going to remember this the next time I judge sours in a competition.... you can't just fix any broken beer by adding Brett.... or can you!?!?  So the question on my mind will always be, was this an intentional Brett beer, or was the brewer simply trying to fix a beer that sucked!?

Yes and no. Some defects brett will fix and turn into a great beer. A high FG is an easy fix for brett if that's the only problem but brett can't fix everything and sometimes the way it "fixes" defects in a beer is not entirely pleasant or needs a long time before it becomes pleasant. I once blended two beers together in which one had brett and the other had a lot of roasted grain. Brett took some of that roasted character and turned it into a burnt rubber flavor. It took about two years for the burnt rubber to phase out. Then it was excellent.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Recycling Plastic Kegs
« on: October 23, 2014, 07:52:15 AM »
Could homebrewers repurpose these as fermentors? If so, then that's going to be an easy way to avoid sending them to the dump.

Rahr two row is the cheapest base malt around my parts but I'm always hesitant to buy it because I'm perplexed by the ph issue with it.

There is a local shop that sells shreier two row at roughly the same price. I don't see a lot of info about shreier after about 2003. Is this stuff that bad? I get the impression it is pretty much on par with briess.

My favorite ale recipe is my mesquite smoked saison although my hatch chile pale is a fan favorite. I have limited lager experience but I really enjoyed my pilsner recipe from this summer.

Beer Recipes / Re: Rye Bourbon barrel aged RIS
« on: October 22, 2014, 07:29:36 AM »
I'm not sure I think 90 IBU is balanced in that beer. I think anything about 70 IBU is going to be more bitter than balanced.

However, if I understand the title of your thread correctly, you plan on barrel aging the beer and you may want a little more bitterness going into the barrel so it comes out of the barrel with some balance. In that case the 90 IBU may not be out of line.

I've typically used munich and crystal 60 but I think some midnight wheat would be a nice addition.

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