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Topics - uisgue

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Yeast and Fermentation / higher alcohols
« on: August 07, 2017, 03:51:38 AM »
To start with, I have no background in organic chemistry.  I have always heard talk of higher alcohols and fusel alcohols.  I am assuming that that means there is a spectrum of alcohols beyond ethanol.  Some of these are said to be dangerous (or at least hang-over inducing). My question is: do these different alcohols have different psychotropic properties?  My latest batch is a disaster recovery project of unknown OG, FG or IBU. (Long story) It was fermented with a lager yeast at uncontrolled, but cool ale temperatures.  At first it tasted quite hot, but either has mellowed out or I have acclimated to it. seems that even with a small amount I seem to feel alcohol effects almost immediately.  However there is no particularly exaggerated hang-over. Any thoughts?

All Grain Brewing / 1st time sour solera type oak barrel question(s)
« on: June 20, 2017, 02:54:28 AM »
My first sour project is just about sour enough to pull a portion from my 15 gallon oak barrel.  I had planned to pull about 5 gallons and replace it with fresh beer.  However, I don't have a batch ready.  What I do have is about 15 pounds of frozen plums from my tree from last season.  I'm thinking about pulling just the volume that I can replace with plums. Does this seem feasible?  I suppose the plum detritus would be in the barrel indefinitely, but I'm not sure that would be a problem.  Any thoughts?

Equipment and Software / Buying a used wine barrel
« on: January 25, 2016, 03:01:37 AM »
I am looking into buying a used wine barrel.  I found a wine classifieds website that seems to be aimed at other vintners.  Some of them mention the conditions under which they are stored such as "Barrels are rinsed thoroughly with 160F water, then ozonated water, and finally treated with sulfur gas before being sealed. Treatment will be repeated monthly until the barrels are sold."  Is this good for beer?

Kegging and Bottling / New Jockey Box
« on: February 18, 2015, 04:16:21 PM »
My tax return gift to myself this year was a 2-tap jockey box.  Does anyone have any tips or hints for a first time user.  I'm guessing that it might need higher pressure than my kegerator.  Does it make any difference whether the kegs are warm or cold? (I have coils, not a plate.) Anything that might surprise me? I want to break it in at the Humboldt Homebrew Festival early April.

Ingredients / Data on Blackprinz
« on: February 14, 2015, 03:53:08 AM »
I need to add Blackprinz to my ProMash database.  Can anyone tell me the potential (SG pppg)?

Ingredients / Smoking my malt
« on: November 23, 2014, 10:03:44 PM »
A local Fish Smokehouse/Restaurant told me that they would smoke some of my pale ale malt.  I am planning to take them a couple of pounds.  What I want to know is how best to do it.  Dry? Wet? Slightly damp?  Any other advice that I should consider?

Ingredients / Aging on non-traditional wood
« on: September 15, 2014, 02:19:49 AM »
Has anyone experimented with aging your brew on any non-traditional woods? We've all heard of Beechwood, Spanish Cedar and of course Oak, but I have been experimenting with toasted Madrone (or Madrona). While oak is said to have notes of vanilla, it seems to me that the madrone imparts a hint of maple.  I don't think there will ever be madrone barrels, so I split up a piece of firewood into kindling size sticks and toast them on my propane grill. Then I add them directly to my cornies.  Since the sticks are longer than the diameter of the keg, they can't just float on top.

Ingredients / Substitute for rice hulls
« on: August 19, 2014, 12:02:56 AM »
I am going to do an adjunct beer and don't have any rice hulls readily available.  I was thinking about using the dropped pine (fir/redwood) needles that abound in my yard instead.  If I don't add them until just before first runnings (batch sparge), do you think I will have issues with excessive acidity?  Flavor? (They are, after all, the dried red dropped needles, not the fresh and green ones.)

Ingredients / Black rice
« on: May 05, 2014, 12:17:03 AM »
I'm thinking about brewing a pale ale kind of brew with 10-15% black rice ("Forbidden Rice"). Do you think the color will carry on into the glass?  It stains every thing it touches a pretty purple when I cook it for dinner. When I tried a red beet beer, all of the color faded in the boil.

General Homebrew Discussion / Dry Hopping
« on: April 06, 2014, 07:48:47 PM »
Do you dry hop in the fermenter before of after cold crashing?  I've always gone before, but I am not sure that that is the preferred method.

Ingredients / Dried Sweet Orange Peel
« on: November 10, 2013, 01:28:34 AM »
Can anybody lend their experience with dried orange peel in a beer? I want a holiday ale with maybe just a little bit more than a hint of flavor. My batch size is 11 gallons and I don't really have even an order of magnitude guess as how much to use. I'm figuring on a 5-minute or flame-out addition. I was thinking an ounce, but that might be crazy (or not)...a couple of grams?...two ounces?

Ingredients / Spiced GIn Flavored Ale
« on: July 20, 2013, 01:22:56 AM »
I am trying to put together a gin-spiced ale.  I think a tincture added post fermentation is probably the way to do it.  I found a list of some of the most used flavorings but haven't found (and probably don't need) them all.  What I have on hand is:
1) dried juniper berries
2) dried bay leaf
3) ground coriander
4) anise seed (not actually on the list)
5) fennel seed
6) ground or fresh ginger
7) dries lavender flowers
8 ) dried lemon and/or Valencia orange peel
What I would like to know is an approximate proportion of these to use (by weight?) I don't know which of the are scary potent and which are relatively mild.

Also, if anyone has any experience with gin flavoring, am I missing a crucial ingredient?
Other items from the list that I haven't found (or bought) yet include Angelica root, Orris root, Cardamom, Cubeb(?), and Grains of Paradise.

Yeast and Fermentation / Old yeast as yeast nutrient?
« on: March 25, 2013, 12:31:14 AM »
I have a six week old, homebrew sized pitch of yeast from a local brewery that didn't get used as quickly as I had planned.  I can get a fresh pitch to use for my next batch, so is there any benefit from adding the old yeast to the boil as a nutrient?

All Grain Brewing / Mashing cystal malts
« on: November 18, 2012, 09:09:32 PM »
I have always understood that using crystal/caramel malts will add non-fermentables to a recipe. I know that the enzymes have been denatured but I have started to wonder if the active enzymes in the two-row will act upon the crystal's long-chain sugars anyway.  I have been ending up with a lower FG than I expected recently.  Should I steep the crystals separately like with extract brewing or maybe add them just before sparging?

Yeast and Fermentation / Feral Yeast (or Yeast Gone Wild)
« on: September 24, 2012, 02:03:10 AM »
 After every batch that I brew, I dump the yeast and trub onto the ground behind my house.  It is mostly redwood and other conifer needles over dirt and moss.  Is it possible for that yeast to survive and maybe even interbreed with other strains of dumped yeast?  In particular, might that be a possible spot for spontaneous fermentation?

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