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Messages - claponsie

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Ingredients / Re: Brewing with cabbage (say what?)
« on: August 10, 2014, 12:23:39 PM »
Here's the picture:

However, after tasting the water again this morning, I am abandoning the idea.  I think this idea would make an interesting looking beer, but cabbage tea just has an awful taste.  Bitter, buttery, salty, and sulfur in the aroma.  This would not make a good beer.  I guess my hopes were that I could extract the color without too much of the flavor components.

So I'm brewing a blonde ale today.  Any recommendations on how I can turn it purple prior to kegging?  The beat idea was pretty cool, but I'm behind schedule on that.

Ingredients / Brewing with cabbage (say what?)
« on: August 10, 2014, 04:37:43 AM »
I know cabbage flavors in beer are typically associated with DMS.  I am experimenting with natural dye in beer.  I'm hoping to take a beer that would typically be light in color, and give it a purple tint.  A friend of mine is a cancer survivor and has a life-long story of battling cancer with friends and loved ones.  She is part of a Relay for Life team, which is a charity for cancer research.  I want to support that, and their "thing" is purple.  So...

Red cabbage makes a fine purple dye, but what does it do to beer?  I took 5.7 lbs of chopped red cabbage and boiled it in 15 gallons of water for 20 minutes.  This was the result.  I intend to use this as my mash water.  What do you guys think?  What should I look out for?  Can you think of other natural ways I can add a purple hue to the beer?  I'm brewing tomorrow morning and looking to get some input.  I figure, if this fails (which it probably will!), I can just brew a normal beer with purple food coloring... but that wouldn't be very fun, would it?

I found that the mixture comes out blue with the pH level that my water supply is, but with a couple drops of lactic acid, the solution turns a beautiful shade of purple.
My intention is to mash with this solution.  The taste of the cabbage definitely comes through, but I wonder how it will play with the malty-grain bill I've chosen.  I'm not very optimistic after tasting the water... but it might work.  Thoughts?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Slow Fermentation
« on: August 20, 2013, 02:28:57 PM »
You should be aiming to use enough yeast to wrap fermentation up in a week to 10 days - use the yeast pitching calc at to make sure you are pitching enough yeast. 3 weeks is too long. Make sure you are aerating the cold wort properly before pitching. Make sure the wort is cooled below 70 before pitching. Preferably you don't want the temp of the fermenting beer to rise over 70 degrees for the first 2 or 3 days, but on your system that may not be possible, though it is certainly ideal.

I'd recommend harvesting yeast not long after fermentation is actually finished and keep the generation from 6-9 or less. Don't use yeast from higher gravity fermentation (not much higher than 1.065). Make sure your water has at least 50 ppms of calcium or you can have sluggish fermentations.

Fresh, healthy yeast and plenty of it. Aeration, yeast nutrients (I like the wyeast nutrient), and temp control are your keys to healthy fermentations.

Thanks, these are all good tips.  What do you think the chances are that I didn't pitch enough yeast if I reused the entire yeast slurry from the previous batch?  I'd like to get a microscope soon so that I can do some basic cell counting and pitch more accurate and consistent amounts.  We don't oxygenate our wort yet so that could be part of the problem.  I don't think the fermentation temps were the problem because they rarely fluctuate and every time I check the chamber temperature, we are at 69 degrees.  I've almost finished building my BrewPi though, so that will help with that.  We probably collected the yeast too late as the beer had been sitting on it for about 3 weeks when we collected it.  Thanks for the tips, they are much appreciated.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Slow Fermentation
« on: August 20, 2013, 02:25:10 PM »
Just curious, why did you decide to start reusing yeast?

Besides the reasons others have mentioned, because it is const effective.  You don't consider the cost of a $7 vial of yeast when you brew 5 gallons, but when you brew 35 gallons it gets pretty costly.  We don't propagate our own yeast.  We purchase our yeast directly from WhiteLabs and it has been appropriately propagated for pitching into out 1bbl batches.  You can either propagate your own yeast for every batch, or you can reuse yeast from the previous batch.  Purchasing pre-propagated yeast for each batch is expensive.  They are essentially the same options with the same kinds of risks.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Slow Fermentation
« on: August 18, 2013, 11:03:43 PM »
Thanks for the replies everyone.

The strain is WLP001.  The fermentation temp is 69, + or - a few degrees but never lower than 65 or higher than 75.  Pitched the entire yeast slurry from the previous batch.

Yeast and Fermentation / Slow Fermentation
« on: August 18, 2013, 10:12:47 PM »
Hey guys,

I'm having a bit of a dilemma.  My dad and I are running a nano-brewery and have had some really good success selling kegs of beer made on our 1 barrel system to local bars.  We're just getting into reusing yeast, and I wanted to see what you guys think about this issue.  We recently brewed a batch of 1.048 SG beer on 7-29-13.  We pitched yeast from our previous batch, basically from the cone to the top of the next fermentor.  We transferred the yeast with a sanitized mason jar.  The beer has been fermenting for 3 weeks now and has only dropped to 1.022 SG.  Our fermentation is typically complete within 3 weeks.

The SG is still dropping, but very slowly.  The samples are very cloudy and there is a thick krausen on top of the beer yet.  At first, I thought that maybe the beer was contaminated because it had some funky tastes going on (it tasted like baby food early on).  I think that odd flavor was from all the yeast that hasn't flocculated yet.  I sampled the beer today.  The gravity was 1.022 and was slightly tart with some apple/acetaldehyde flavors.  It didn't taste contaminated to me.  It tasted the way beer often tastes within the first week of fermentation.

When we brewed this batch, I ran into a dilemma where I noticed the wort wasn't evaporating the way it usually does during the boil.  We weren't gaining the SG that I would have expected, and then I realized the boil was a little a bit soft.  I tried to catch the boil up but I don't think we got a good rolling boil for 90 minutes like we usually do.  I originally thought the off flavors I noticed early on were from DMS due to a lack of a strong boil.

What do you guys think?  Are these symptoms normal when reususing yeast?  Would you recommend doing anything differently?

Events / Re: 2014 NHC is in Grand Rapids MI
« on: January 28, 2013, 12:53:40 AM »
Awesome!  I grew up in GR, and it's only about 30 minute drive from where I live now.  Yes!

Beer Recipes / Re: Thoughts on IPA
« on: January 28, 2013, 12:24:05 AM »
Thanks for the welcome, guys.  Is there a difference between a 0 minute addition and a hopback?  I assume probably not a huge difference.

Beer Recipes / Thoughts on IPA
« on: January 27, 2013, 04:10:01 PM »
I'm getting ready to brew an IPA today.  Just got a hopback and it will be my first time using it.  Before I get started, any thoughts/opinions on the recipe are greatly appreciated.  Also, this is my first post on the board  :).

Batch size: 15
Boil size: 19.8

Preboil SG: 1.058
Expected OG: 1.065
Expected IBU: 72

Grain Bill:
37 lb Briess 2-row (93%)
3 lb Briess Caramel Malt 40L (7%)

Mashing at around 155. hoping to preserve some dextrins for mouthfeel and some residual sweetness in finished beer.

Hop Bill:
3 oz Centennial Pellets  8.6% AA @ 20 minutes = 20.16 IBU
4 oz Centennial Pellets  8.6% AA @ 15 minutes = 21.22 IBU
3 oz Centennial Pellets  8.6% AA @ 10 minutes = 15.92 IBU
7 oz Centennial Pellets 8.6% AA @ 5 minutes = 14.85 IBU

Hopback: 8 oz Citra
Fermenting in 3 different buckets with Safale US-05, WLP001, and WYeast London ESB.
Each bucket will dry hop with 1 oz of amarillo and 1 oz of cascade.

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