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Messages - hopfenundmalz

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3121
All Grain Brewing / Re: Sparging Water Volume
« on: January 05, 2015, 10:49:13 AM »
Look, I know this is kinda a radical suggestion, but why not try batch sparging to possibly \alleviate those problems?  At least to me, it seems so obvious.
Jeff, you raise an ominous specter. Now I'm going to have to do some cross-checking on my refractometer too. As mentioned, this may be more reason to end the runoff earlier.

Extra testing for the next brew.

You did point out a little astringency on my German Pilsner that got a Bronze at the 2011 NHC. It was noticed when I sat down and read the scoring. I have been chasing it for a long time, maybe now I have a clue!

Jeff- do you also fly sparge?

For this beer I was doing a step mash using the direct fired kettle, following the Devil's Backbone recipe from this year's NHC.

Denny, for your personal gratification, I now have a Blue 70qt. coleman extreme for single infusions. More volume for big beers. Someday I might try bumping the temp on that using a grant (5 gallon kettle with a ball valve, pump back in to the mash).

I don't have astringency problems on big beers in the kettle, as the gravity does not get that low.

It had to be something giving the astringency, maybe I have now found it.

3122
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Malt shortage ahead?
« on: January 05, 2015, 08:15:58 AM »
Not much panic yet, unlike the hop shortage from a few years back when crops failed in the England, and Germany, while the US had an average crop. There are stores of 2013 barley to fill in the gap. How were the crops in other barley producing regions? If Europe is in good shape along with other parts of the world, then prices would go up a little due to shipping, but not through the roof.

Found this.
http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/malt-barley-woes-are-bad-news-for-beer/article_69cbde3c-3faa-5b91-818e-4bdaf83d94ba.html

3123
All Grain Brewing / Re: Sparging Water Volume
« on: January 04, 2015, 06:43:25 PM »
Jeff, you raise an ominous specter. Now I'm going to have to do some cross-checking on my refractometer too. As mentioned, this may be more reason to end the runoff earlier.

Extra testing for the next brew.

You did point out a little astringency on my German Pilsner that got a Bronze at the 2011 NHC. It was noticed when I sat down and read the scoring. I have been chasing it for a long time, maybe now I have a clue!

3124
All Grain Brewing / Re: Sparging Water Volume
« on: January 04, 2015, 06:40:53 PM »
Jeff, you raise an ominous specter. Now I'm going to have to do some cross-checking on my refractometer too. As mentioned, this may be more reason to end the runoff earlier.

Extra testing for the next brew.

Once you calibrate the refract and know its reading correctly. I also test it against my hydrometer at the proper temp and they are usually spot on. Good luck!1

Have you done a serial dilution of a known Brix to make sure it is linear at low Brix? The old one had been dropped and abused several times, but last I checked was fine at 15 Brix. Didn't take it down to 1 to 4 Brix.

Some will say putting water on and setting to zero is calibrating. That is zeroing, but what about slope and linearity?

3125
All Grain Brewing / Re: Sparging Water Volume
« on: January 04, 2015, 06:40:24 PM »
Jeff, you raise an ominous specter. Now I'm going to have to do some cross-checking on my refractometer too. As mentioned, this may be more reason to end the runoff earlier.

Extra testing for the next brew.

Once you calibrate the refract and know its reading correctly. I also test it against my hydrometer at the proper temp and they are usually spot on. Good luck!1

Have you done a serial dilution of a known Brix to make sure it is linear at low Brix? The old one had been dropped and abused several times, but last I checked was fine at 15 Brix. Didn't take it down to 1 to 4 Brix.

Some will say putting water on and setting to zero is calibrating. That is zeroing, but what about slope and linearity?

3126
All Grain Brewing / Re: Sparging Water Volume
« on: January 04, 2015, 03:51:24 PM »
On Friday a Vienna was brewed, most things went well and I cut the sparge at 3 Brix. Tasted the runnings and those had tannins! I acidify my RO sparge water to 5.5 (about 2 drops of phosphoric), temperature was not too high. I recently bought a new refractometer, not sure how accurate it is as I have not calibrated it. The new refractometer measured 1 Brix!

I think this is why I have had some low level tannins going on for a long time, the gravity was lower than indicated on the last runnings.

What to do? Make a solution of water and sugar, do a serial dilution and plot the curves for the 2 refractometers and the hydrometer, indicated Brix/SG vs actual. I might have to break down and get a finishing hydrometer for the lower Brix readings.

3127
Beer Recipes / Re: Thoughts on a barley wine... Need advice
« on: January 04, 2015, 03:27:55 PM »
Simpson's GP has a malty sweet taste as it is about 2.0L. Thomas Fawcett GP is around 3.5L and has a little more of the toasty malty taste.

I think GP and MO work well together in an English Barleywine. The one that I brewed last June used those, along with a little NA 2 row, as I was a little low on the MO and GP.

3128
The Pub / Re: Drama at Balcones
« on: January 04, 2015, 07:07:36 AM »
This one came out a while back. Similar stories are told in the Craft beer industry.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/28/business/how-dreams-and-money-didnt-mix-at-a-texas-distillery.html?_r=0

Edit - same article.

3129
Events / Re: NHC 2015 San Diego. Changes to Registration
« on: January 03, 2015, 08:09:58 PM »
How many people have attended in previous years?

I'm hesitant to book a flight if there is a chance I won't be allowed to attend...

This will be number 10 for me.

The conference did not sell out last year (2014). This year in San Diego, who knows?

You will see many with tickets for sale on this forum as it get near to the conference, as life happens and some will not be able to make it.

3130
Ingredients / Re: Boil time for all late hopped beer
« on: January 03, 2015, 08:18:40 AM »
I have done lid on and lid off, no difference as far as I can tell. The temp is allowed to drop, but for a 10 gallon batch it does not drop too much as far as i am concerned.

3131
Ingredients / Re: Boil time for all late hopped beer
« on: January 03, 2015, 07:53:48 AM »
Has anyone experienced DMS as a result of a hop stand?  If not, why?  Any theories?

None detected and I am sensitive to it. A rolling long boil is used to drive it off.

3132
The Pub / Re: Beer brewers vs beer "architects" in Belgium
« on: January 03, 2015, 07:38:47 AM »

Why does it matter? Unless I'm missing something, house brand and contract produced food doesn't need to be labeled with where it was made. What makes beer different?
Probably close to why food has nutritional information and ingredients on the label, not true for beer.
Beer is under TTB regulations, food is the FDA.
But that doesn't answer why the labeling is needed. I don't care where Trader Joes has their orange chicken made, why should I car where they have their beer made.

Good question, the answer maybe something from a long time ago.

3133
All Grain Brewing / Re: Water options
« on: January 03, 2015, 07:37:00 AM »
I had my softened water tested and its only 65 ppm sodium. That's fine for almost everything. I don't have anywhere nearby that has RO water and distilled only by the gallon. So I add back what brun water recommends for the beer I'm making.

This is a good point, know what is in the water. Maine has some pretty good water to begin with, so not much ion exchange would happen between Ca-Mg and Na. My soft water would probably be very high in Na, as the hardness is very high.

The blanket statement on not using soft water may not be absolute.

3134
The Pub / Re: Beer brewers vs beer "architects" in Belgium
« on: January 03, 2015, 07:32:06 AM »
Why does it matter? Unless I'm missing something, house brand and contract produced food doesn't need to be labeled with where it was made. What makes beer different?
Probably close to why food has nutritional information and ingredients on the label, not true for beer.
Beer is under TTB regulations, food is the FDA.

3135
Ingredients / Re: Cluster and Onion
« on: January 02, 2015, 05:50:08 PM »
I have to agree with Jon on this one.  Terroir and growing season play a huge role when it comes to growing Cluster.  I am drinking a British-style IPA that I made with 100% 2014 Puterbaugh Farms (the farm that owns Hops Direct) whole Cluster (bittering charge and sub-180F hopstand), TF Pearl, a dash of Cara Munich, and a mystery British ale strain that I acquired from U.C. Davis.  It is a delightful pint. 

With that said, I have received Cluster in the past from other brokers that was pure litter box.  I have not received any Cluster that reeked of onion, which leads me to believe that you may have a Cluster/native hybrid.  The only way to know for certain is to have the cones analyzed.

Fresh Cluster is a fine hop, and Hopsdirect may have the best that homebrewers can get. The catty aroma and flavor come in when old.

Most things I have seen say that the onion/garlic is harvest time related. The hybrid thing is a possibility.

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