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Messages - chumley

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing This Weekend? 2/13/15
« on: March 09, 2015, 08:04:39 AM »
Friday I brewed a stock/Burton ale recipe for 1846 Truman XXXXK, found in Ron Pattinson's book The Homebrewer's Guide to Vintage Ales.

Recipe called for an OG of 1.117. I hit 1.107. So close enough.

5 gallons

17.5 gallons 2 row
10 gallons Maris Otter

Mash in at 145°F for 30 mi. Add boiling water to raise to 152°F for another 60 min.

Lauter and sparge to collect 12 gallons of wort. Boil for 5 hours down to 7 gallons (actually 5 gallons when accounting for the losses to the hops).

4 oz. 10% Northern Brewer (Pellets) 90 min - The receipe called for 8 oz. of EKGs, but I only had 8 ounces in stock.
8 oz. 5% East Kent Goldings (leaf) 30 min

Pitched 3 packets Nottingham yeast. Whacked it with oxygen once I chilled it down to 55° prior to pitching the yeast.

48 hours later.....

25 years of homebrewing, and I still can be an idiot.  Friday night, I chilled the wort, then opened the ball valve to let it drain into the primary.

About a gallon and a half flows into it, and then it is stuck.

How could this be? I have a false bottom over a screened tube.

Here is why I am an idiot.  I bought these giant stainless steel tea balls at the World Market a couple of weeks ago, thinking they would be great to dry hop kegs with. Friday when I am brewing, I needed a pound of EKGs, and only had 8 ounces. So I substituted some Northern Brewer.

Only the Northern Brewer hops were pellets. Instead of using a hop bag, I thought, why not use those tea balls.

Turns out hop pellet particle size is much, much smaller than the mesh of the tea balls.

I let the wort slowly drain into the primary overnight. When I got up Saturday morning to go ice fishing, all five gallons had drained through the hop goo.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: When is a lager an ale
« on: March 03, 2015, 03:21:50 PM »

The only Idaho homebrewing law that I am aware of, is that all homebrewed beer must contain a minimum percentage by weight of 20% potatoes.

From your friendly next door neighbor. :)

Who has a great Irish ale recipe?

I have brewed this several times and love it.  Disclaimer: I am partial to 6-row, corn, and Clusters.

It's about time to think about brewing a beer for a St. Paddy's Day party. How about something different from the usual stout or green beer, something with an American touch? I've made an Irish-American ale that I figure is similar to what was served in Irish neighborhood taverns in the Northeast 100 years ago, although I have no proof. Maybe like McSorley's? It's sort of a red ale with corn, flaked barley, medium crystal and a touch of chocolate. It's a little stronger than a British session beer, a little less than typical US beers (due to higher FG), and certainly less strong than the authentic ales of a century ago, but they didn't have to drive home then. This is popular with Killian's drinkers as well as real ale fans as it has enough interest to hold them. Resist the temptation to up the bitterness as it is inappropriate in this style.

McGinty's Irish-American Ale

5.25 gallons @ 1.044
5.5 lbs 6-row (US 2-row should work, too)
1.75 lbs flaked maize (this is an American brew!)
0.75 lbs flaked barley
0.5 lbs crystal 30L
2 oz. chocolate (this gives dark amber and nice flavor, use 1 oz. if you want red)
This time I mashed 154°F 60 minutes. The first time, I did a 40/60/70C mash (30 minutes at each step) adding the corn at 60C the first time . The 40C rest may have helped break down beta-glucans in the barley, and passing from 40 to 60 over 30 minutes or so effectively gave me a protein rest, which may have made the beer clearer. Irish moss might not hurt. However, this brew has cleared nicely.
Bittering hops - Cluster (I used 3/4 oz for 19 IBU) (any neutral bittering hops will work)

Finishing hops - Golding (Domestic would be fine) (I used 1/2 oz for 15 min. for 4 IBU and another 1/2 oz at knockout) (FWH might be nice here) Target 23 IBU

Irish Ale yeast YeastLab A05 (although I used NCYC1332 this time)

OG 1.044
FG 1.015

- Jeff Renner

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer for Thought...
« on: March 03, 2015, 11:31:00 AM »
So how long do I boil the yeast?

Those beers look awesome!

After my 50 year old fridge that served as my lager fermentation chamber finally passed on to its great reward (see picture below with me dropping it off at the transfer station) in July, I have moped around and haven't brewed any lagers for six months.  Until my employer decided to buy me a new small chest freezer that holds two 6.5 gallon fermentors, as a reward for brewing beer for the client Christmas open house.  Woo hoo!

Back in the saddle again.  Bohemian pils is fermenting in there now, Vienna next, Mai-Bock for the third and final pitching.

Yesterday. after several hours of ice fishing, I went to the bar for lunch and had a Reuben sandwich with fries, washed down with three pints of PBR.  The bill was $17.50. I was happy.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Kick starting a stuck doppelbock
« on: February 26, 2015, 08:42:29 AM »
Yes, I have roused it several times, and it has been out of the fermentation chamber, sitting in the low 60s for a couple of weeks.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Who Has Experienced BRY-97 Slow Start?
« on: February 24, 2015, 05:24:23 PM »
I have not experienced that, and have had good luck with BRY-97 fermentations so far, but one never knows what the dried package went through before you got it.  When things are slow for the ales, a backup plan is always good.  I have brewed several IPAs where I used BRY-97 as the backup plan (e.g., add it, rehydrated, to the primary after a couple of days of slow start), and it has always worked out well.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Kick starting a stuck doppelbock
« on: February 24, 2015, 05:21:09 PM »
Thanks.  I am well aware of that strain, having used it 10 years ago to finish a stuck agave nectar mead (and an absolute fantastic job it did as well).  I thought I would start off with the lager yeast option, before proceeding with Option 2.  Believe me, that is being considered.

Yeast and Fermentation / Kick starting a stuck doppelbock
« on: February 24, 2015, 03:32:56 PM »
I brewed a 1.090 doppelbock 5 weeks ago, using WLP810 San Francisco lager yeast, and after three weeks of no activity, I have concluded that it is stuck at 1.032.  I would like to get it down another 4-6 points if I could.

Nine days ago, I brewed a 1.052 pilsner, and split the batch between WLP833 German Bock and WLP940 Mexican lager yeast.  Both are in a temperature controlled freezer set at 50°F.  The 833 is still chugging away, but the 940 is done.

I also have available a half gallon (growler full) of unfermented bock wort.  I grabbed it the day after I brewed, from the bit under the false bottom.  My thought is to boil up that half gallon of wort to ensure it is sanitized, adding a pint of water to knock the gravity down from 1.090 so it wouldn't shock the yeast.  Then I would rack the pils, aerate the wort, then add it to the now empty primary with 940 yeast cake.  After a day, when it gets back to high krausen, I would add that to the stuck beer and swirl that in gently, in hopes to restart.

I am welcome to suggestions to improve my proposed plan.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 13th annual Best Beers in America survey
« on: February 23, 2015, 11:45:45 AM »
I am going use my incredible powers of prognostication and predict that the winner will be......PLINY THE ELDER!!!!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Light American Lager guidelines
« on: February 20, 2015, 09:55:13 AM »
If its a touch and pleasant, you're likely to find judges that agree. However, you'll also find judges who believe that less is always better in that category. If it's well made and the sulfur is very light, it's likely to be the best beer on the light American lager table in many competitions. I've never judged that category, but I'd guess there are many entries with medium to strong flaws.

Not just homebrewed version, but the commecial examples.  Busch Light tastes like lemons, Old Milwaukee tastes like dishwater.  Only PBR is squeaky clean and delicious.

Beer Travel / Re: Beercation to Richmond VA
« on: February 16, 2015, 05:05:35 PM »
I went to a conference there 5-6 years ago, and there was a great British pub.  Had several killer Brit beers on tap, including Chiswick bitter.

I have a couple of tap handles that my local bartender gave me.  He took me to the bar's office, where there were about a dozen.  He said they were left by the distributors.  Most distributors are good about taking them back, but every now and them, they just leave them and say, "keep them."  Maybe they have lost the brewery as a client?  Who knows?  But I wouldn't assume theft by a customer or bartender, I would look first at the distributor....including the distributor's employees, who may not be the swiftest sails in the water.

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