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Messages - hopfenundmalz

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31
Years ago I tried a few brews where I did a "quiet" hot side to see if there was anything to the HSA concern.  Then Charlie Bamforth basically said pretty much that it only affects shelf life, so most Homebrewers were in the clear.  I did not notice a taste difference back then, but this debate has me re-thinking the best exercise.  I don't have a way of grinding grain in an oxygen free environment, but I am going to try underletting my mash with pre boiled water and gently stirring, then using a CO2 blanket and Saran Wrap mash cap, gentle underletting to the boil kettle and O2 addition only after fully chilled.  That seems to be a closer approximation of the suggested process than my typical approach and I will see for myself if it marks any discernible improvement in my lagers.  I think these guys may be on to something - whether it is worth the effort to me is something for me to gauge, of course. 

It has been an enjoyable thread in any event.  I take nothing personally as an affront to me if someone disagrees here - I love the hobby and incremental improvements in process and product are always worth trying.  I have ruled out certain products and processes over the years that didn't work well for me - but if they work well for others, then that is great for them.  The low dissolved oxygen process sounds interesting and worth pursuing, but how it is done is open to many approaches, solutions and (perhaps) products.  I can't wait to hear more about the Brewtan B, but I wonder if it also requires the Brewtan C and F to be optimally effective?

Underlet CO2 before the water under let, that will force up the O2 in the grains, and then blanket the grains and mash until you apply the Saran Wrap.

32
Beer Recipes / Re: British Ordinary Bitter critique & suggestions
« on: May 14, 2016, 07:33:43 AM »
ESB is not a British style.  ESB is an offering by Fullers.  In the UK, one will see the adjectives "standard" and "best" used in front of the word bitter.   Any brewer who is basing British ale on what he/she has received in bottles on this side of the pond is making a major mistake.   


Good to know. I always took ESB to mean 'extra strong bitter' or 'extra special bitter' as a heirarchal designation of the third strongest of the bitters. Is 'English Pale Ale' then just a catch all phrase or does it designate a sub-style?

I would say English pale ale is a catch-all for bitter and mild (but we don't really tend to refer to beers as "ales" here, a bit like Germans not calling beers "lager"). Best/special/IPA are all slightly stronger varieties of bitter. The boundaries are very blurred. Some IPAs are as weak as standard bitter. American IPAs are a very different beast.

A couple more oddities in the BJCP style guides are southern English brown and northern English brown. I'm not sure they really exist as styles here, though if you hunted far and wide you might find enough obscure beers to justify the categories. The only widespread brown ale is Newcastle Brown.

A new category that you might see a lot in English pubs is golden ale, which is basically bitter without caramel malt. Often has US style hops. American pale ales and the best English bitters or golden ales are pretty close in my opinion, though APAs lean towards hop flavour more than yeast. Lots of UK English bitter drinkers love APAs, me included.
The 2015 guidelines have Brown Ale, the distinction from North to South has been dropped. There is a Historic London Brown guideline with two examples.

The Golden ale is in the 2015 guidelines, and is when up much as you describe it. Several years back I had an Oakham JHB, and became aware of the style.

Fuller's ESB is trademarked in the UK, noted in the 2015 guidelines.  Not every brewery has the range Bitter, Best Bitter, Strong Bitter. Fuller's has Chiswick (3.5%), London Pride (4.1%), and ESB (5.5%). Another Strong Bitter would be Gales' HSB at 4.8%, which is now brewed by Fullers after the purchase of Gales. There are many commercial examples listed for Strong Bitter.

Since I had to study for the BJCP exam last Saturday, I was aware of these changes. Just saying.


33
Beer Recipes / Re: British Ordinary Bitter critique & suggestions
« on: May 13, 2016, 09:10:36 PM »
ESB is not a British style.  ESB is an offering by Fullers.  In the UK, one will see the adjectives "standard" and "best" used in front of the word bitter.   Any brewer who is basing British ale on what he/she has received in bottles on this side of the pond is making a major mistake.   

I do not know if anyone has picked up on it, but charles1968 is British.  My experience with a few non-Thames Valley Brewlab strains and Alan Pugsley's comments on Ringwood being considered a neutral strain in the UK bear witness to charles1968's comments.  I remember the first time that I used Brewlab's Somerset 1.  I stressed the yeast cells, and they treated me to a level of ethyl heptanoate that I have never witnessed with any of the strains that we can obtain in the United States.  One of my children commented that the beer smelled like cheap wine (yes, the batch was a dumper).  A lot British strains are POF+ (phenolic off-flavor positive) as well, which is something that we normally associate with Belgian strains.  I used the Devon 1 strain from Brewlab exactly one time because it threw phenolic spice, banana, and sulfur. 

With that said, anyone who is seriously interested in learning how to brew British-style ale should pick up a copy of the CAMRA book entitled "Brew Your Own British Real Ale" (http://www.amazon.com/CAMRAs-Brew-Your-British-Real/dp/1852493194/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1463188187&sr=1-1&keywords=%22Brew+Your+Own+British+Real+Ale%22).  I purchased an older copy of the book in the late nineties (the edition with the white cover), and it was an eye opening experience.  That's where I picked up the technique of using colored malt instead of crystal malt to color a bitter.  I understand that Graham Wheeler has improved the accuracy of the recipes in the later editions.  American home brewers need to go into this process with an open mind. British brewers use sugar and non-malted adjuncts like flaked maize and torrified wheat (I picked up the use of torrified wheat from a defunct Peter Austin designed/Alan Pugsley installed microbrewery called Wild Goose).  Beers that you thought were all malt are often not.  Many British brewing practices are the result of taxation.

The overuse of crystal malt is the number one mistake that Americans make when attempting to create British-style ale, and that mistake is the result of drinking old bottled British ale.  BJCP judges often make the mistake of stating that a beer needs more caramel malt when judging Category 8 because of lack of easy access to fresh authenticate British-style bitter. 

Here's part of a review from Amazon:

"I originally purchased this book because I have been making more of an attempt to brew more sessionable low gravity ales, and no one does it better than the British. I mainly purchased this for recipe related inspiration, and in this respect the book is great - there are over 100 different recipes that are claimed to be clones of commercially available beers, presented in primarily all-grain recipes, but they have extract equivalents as well. I have yet to try any of the recipes, so I cannot vouch for their authenticity or accuracy - personally, most seemed to be very low on Crystal malt usage, but without actually trying them, it is difficult to judge fairly."
After having Fuller's London Pride and ESB in bottles in the US, then having on cask in the UK, I don't have the bottles anymore as they are stale oxidized messes.

34
Beer Recipes / Re: British Ordinary Bitter critique & suggestions
« on: May 12, 2016, 07:39:40 PM »
I rarely use much in the way of crystal malt over 8L in my British-style ales.  I use 1 to 2% pale chocolate for color and a unique flavor addition.  I also use a lot of torrified wheat.

A lot of the stuff that we get in a bottle on this side of the pond is old; therefore, the hops have diminished and the beer takes on a caramelly aroma and flavor.   For those who are planning to attend HomebrewCon, the Pratt Street Ale House is a brewpub across the street from the convention center (see http://www.prattstreetalehouse.com and http://www.prattstreetalehouse.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/OD-Bev-Menu-2016.pdf).  This brewpub started out with a Peter Austin designed brewhouse that was shipped to Baltimore from the UK and installed by Alan Pugsley.  From what I understand, Oliver Brewing Company (the brewing side of the brewpub) still uses the true-blue multi-strain Ringwood culture in the the new larger brewery that they built offsite (see http://oliverbrewingco.com/about).  Some of Oliver's beers are served on cask using beer engines at Pratt Street Ale House.  The head brewer Steve Jones is English, so the beer there is about as authentic as one is going to get on this side of the pond.
I have been using torrified wheat and like it. Some Golden syrup is nice. I need to make my own invert 2 and 3 to play with.

We will try that brewpub you recommend!

35
Ingredients / Re: Brewtan B
« on: May 12, 2016, 07:36:54 PM »
It looks like only the odd numbered pages are showing up in that link.

Thank you for posting.

Wow, it definitely looks wacky today.
Ya see, now Denny is withholding information!!! It's all a gawd damned conspiracy! Beer doesn't exist, life is a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here's Tom with the weather... what happened to Tom?
He opened a brewery.

36
Beer Recipes / Re: British Ordinary Bitter critique & suggestions
« on: May 12, 2016, 10:02:49 AM »
You want the water to have some SO4. The yeast needs to give esters, I have been just pitching from the package, no starter, and just pump the wort into the fermenter, which gives it plenty of air (no pure O2). Ferment warmer too.

All of these things. An ordinary bitter recipe should be anything but complex. Another route to go would be to skip the crystal all together and go with 98-99% MO + 1-2% pale chocolate malt for a touch of color and complexity (maybe some torrified wheat for a bit of body, too). Yeast drives this style of beer so go with the advice above - underpitch, let it run warmer than you think it should and open ferment if you're courageous.

I agree that so4, simple grainbill, warm-side fermentation, balanced british hop character, and yeast ester production are the keys to a good ordinary bitter.  The only point I would like to mention is on ester production from yeast.

It's widely accepted in homebrewing that underpitching is supposed to promote ester production.  Contrary to this "common knowledge", Neva Parker from White Labs has mentioned a few times over the years that ester production is actually enhanced with higher pitching rates because the yeast compound Acetyl CoA is directed towards ester formation, instead of yeast growth.  After having played a few times with drastically low pitching rates in hopes of achieving significant ester formation in British beers, and failing to achieve my goal, I am under the impression that Neva may be correct (who'd a thunk it?).  Couple an elevated pitching rate with low-end aeration (shaking only) and I think you have a recipe for reasonable ester formation.

Neva's mention of this at discussion at NB a few years back: https://youtu.be/2vELwUsBmWQ?t=1110

As for recipes I've made, and been proud of:
85% MO
5% Wheat Malt
10% Invert #2
Fuggles @60 for 26ibu
Golding @15 for 7ibu
Golding @5 for 2 ibu
OG 1.047
IBU 35
Wyest 1187 (the scary old Ringwood ;) )
Neva's boss has said the opposite.

It depends on many things, but I have found for typical British ale yeasts under pitching gets the esters I want.

37
Beer Recipes / Re: British Ordinary Bitter critique & suggestions
« on: May 12, 2016, 05:12:24 AM »
You want the water to have some SO4. The yeast needs to give esters, I have been just pitching from the package, no starter, and just pump the wort into the fermenter, which gives it plenty of air (no pure O2). Ferment warmer too.

38
The wife's brother has been in Brownsville for over 40 years, and we have been there often. We also know Austin as one niece lives there. Home is Michigan, but we do get around a little.
Next time you're headed to Austin PM me. Maybe we can meet up for a pint.
Last trip we meet a couple guys at Live Oak, had a good time there. Will let you know next time.

39
I wish the nicer HEB down in Brownsville had that selection. You must be near one of the major cities.
Yes, I'm in Austin. I didn't realize you were in TX as well.

We shop at the HEB in Port Isabel a few times every summer when we head down to Padre Island for vacation. I usually have to stock up on craft beer before we leave Austin, as I haven't been able to find much selection down there. That said, those places are a good place to find rare treasures like overlooked bottles of Bourbon County Stout, etc.
The wife's brother has been in Brownsville for over 40 years, and we have been there often. We also know Austin as one niece lives there. Home is Michigan, but we do get around a little.

40
During my conversation with Joe, he did tell me to add the brewtan before other finings. In the kettle, I only use Irish Moss at 15 min left in the boil. I suppose I'll add the brewtan at about 20 min before the end.

Dare ya to try adding 4g polyclar (hydrated) and a half tab of whirlfloc @ 10m to KO.   
Can you explain the dare? Never used polyclar in the boil.

41
There's lots of interesting beer happening near me, but I still have to travel to a big liquor store to get it. My local store is small and has a few locals and my grocery store still has most of its space devoted to the big boys and the craft brands they distribute, none of which are local.
Next time I'm there I'll take a picture of the beer section at my neighborhood HEB and post it. They have about 4x the cooler space dedicated to craft as they do to BMC. They've always had a strong beer and wine section, but within the last 7 years the beer section has gone from 70% BMC / 30% craft to now about 20% BMC / 80% craft.

When I go back home to the tiny town where I grew up this is not the case. Most of that grocery store is still filled with BMC flagships, but they have started putting Blue Moon and other more flavorful beers from the same companies in the lineup (and their share of shelf is growing). I think this means that even in the biggest beer deserts tastes and minds are changing. Now it's just a matter of time....

I wish the nicer HEB down in Brownsville had that selection. You must be near one of the major cities.

42
Equipment and Software / Re: pH meter ?
« on: May 11, 2016, 06:44:34 AM »
I suggest that anyone interested in purchasing and using a pH meter in brewing should review the discussions on Bru'n Water's Facebook page. You will have to scroll through dozens of articles, but you will find interesting stuff on equipment and usage recommendations.

A meter is a good double check on our brewing, but is not absolutely required.
Thermometers and hydrometers are not required either. Historic Brewers brew that way, seen it done. I use instruments.  :D

43
Beer Recipes / Re: Mexican Vienna
« on: May 11, 2016, 05:14:01 AM »
Put me in the "I love to use corn in my grist" club!   I have use it in lagers and British ales.


+2. Can't make a cream ale or CAP without it.
Or a Ballantines IPA recreation.

I use corn in mine. Cut it in half this year and upped the maltiness. It's great. Consider using the WL940 yeast. It's killer!

Pilsner (1.5 SRM) 49.9 %
Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) 24.3 %
Munich I (Ger) (7.0 SRM) 10.8 %
Corn, Flaked (1.3 SRM) 5.4 %
Aromatic (19.0 SRM) 4.0 %
Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) 4.0 %
Acidulated Malt (1.8 SRM) 1.3 %
Black Malt, De-Bittered (550.0 SRM) 0.2 %
.375 oz Warrior [15.30 %] - Boil 60.0 min 19.7 IBUs
.50 oz Crystal [6.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min 5.1 IBUs
.50 oz Crystal [4.20 %] - Boil 0.0 min 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Mexican Lager (White Labs #WLP940)


WLP-940 makes the cleanest lagers in my experience. Too clean for beers like a CAP, it was too one dimensional, 833 produced a better beer. 940 would be perfect in your beer - nice ingredient selection.

44
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Methyl anthranilate (Grape Ester)
« on: May 11, 2016, 05:07:31 AM »
I've had a "grape" flavor noted at the AHA comp. for Kolsch made with WLP029.  Do people think this is the same flavor?  Is WLP029 (or other Kolsch strains) known for this compound?
It may be the same, but I perceive it as white wine, in other beers I have gotten a Welches grape juice flavor. Are those the same? IDK.

45
Ingredients / Re: interesting hop to pair with cascade
« on: May 10, 2016, 07:08:38 PM »
Mandarina Bavaria. Had an IPA in Germany that was bitte red with Herkules, then Cascade and MB in the kettle later, dry hopped with MB, Cascade, and a little Simcoe.

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