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Messages - The Professor

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Other Fermentables / Re: Pectic enzyme - too late
« on: November 10, 2010, 09:46:54 AM »
As long as you haven't 'set' the pectin in the juice by boillng it, you shouldn't need to add pectic enzyme at WILL clear on  its own, as Denny points out.
The juice from which you're making the cider should never be boiled.  I've never used pectic enzyme, but  I believe that it is generally added at the beginning of fermentation...bujt again, never having used it myself, I can't be sure about that.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Root BEER
« on: November 05, 2010, 04:26:37 PM »
I've done rootbeer flavored beer using several different brands of extract.   

The first time I tried it there wasn't enough sweetness left after the ferment, so in order to salvage the project I made a brown sugar syrup and dosed the finished brew with that along with some potassium sorbate to arrest further fermentation.

Second time around, in order to avoid the additive, I backed off on the hops somewhat (but not too much) and used a lot more crystal malt to ensure that there would be enough sweetness.   Came out really nice, sweet but not cloyingly so, and an interesting intermingling of the hop flavors with the flavors that came from the rootbeer extract.   I haven't made the stuff since I've added Honey Malt to the cupboard, but it seems to me that it would be a very good addition to this concoction.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Anchor's 2010 Christmas beer
« on: November 05, 2010, 04:06:33 PM »
I was a big fan of the Anchor's Xmas ales until they started adding spices to it.  It's still a well made beer (as are all of the Anchor products), but I guess I'm just in that minority that just doesn't particularly like spices in my beer.   

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Root beer and kegs
« on: November 04, 2010, 06:08:44 PM »
A simple soak in caustic solution (and inexpensive and simple  replacement of the rubber parts at the same time) will totally eliminate the root beer residues. 
Just be sure to follow good safety practice working with the caustic...such as gloves, and even protective eye gear in case of a splash. 

It's definitely nasty stuff, but perfectly safe with the proper precautions...and it gets the job done fast and thoroughly.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Black Ale recipe
« on: November 04, 2010, 06:02:49 PM »
..What a mess!.   I think one thing is clear: it IS a style that's here to stay. Seems its been around since the mid-eighties; the recent explosion of its popularity is no doubt tied to the very healthy craft-brewing culture we are now blessed with.

With regard to the original topic, I have no recipe to offer other than to just make a dark ale and hop it up.

I'll agree  that Black IPA, India Black Ale (or, god help us, "Cascadian Dark Ale") is here to stay, and certainly popularized by  the current culture of brewing...but all the arguing I've read around the net over who "invented" the "style" just seems quite funny to me, actually...even funnier than the claims by those who say they "invented"  something that probably actually dates back to the 1700's.

Besides, true beer "styles" aren't "invented" anyway...they evolve over time. 

All Things Food / Re: vegemite
« on: November 04, 2010, 05:17:14 PM »
Does anyone have a vegemite recipe?

Are you wanting to make vegemite, or looking for recipes in which to use it as an ingredient?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Shipping single bottles...Tricks?
« on: November 04, 2010, 07:59:37 AM »
I've had a number of single bottles shipped to me for analysis,  sealed in a FoodSaver bag (to prevent messy leakage in case of breakage) and rolled in a good amount of bubblewrap (lightweight and effective).  Every one of them arrived safe and sound.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Dextrose (Corn Sugar) vs. Malt (DME) for Priming
« on: November 03, 2010, 07:39:04 PM »
But can you age a force carbonated bottle of beer just as long as a bottle conditioned beer (5 plus years or more).  I'm under the impression that the yeast from the bottle conditioned beer will scavenge all the oxygen compared to a force carbonated bottle of beer.

Yes you can age force carbonated beer...I've been doing it for many years.  Typical time in bottle for some of my beers  (after a fairly lengthy bulk aging period) is  months to a year.  I have some particularly  strong force carbonated beers that have been in bottle between 3-5 years old, and they are tasting fine.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Washing/rinsing and Re-Using Yeast
« on: November 01, 2010, 06:04:31 PM »
prof: why do you add the other 2/3 to the boiling wort?  for the yeast nutrient?

That tip came many years ago from someone at Fuller's. 
Don't know if it actually helps...but it doesn't hurt!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Washing/rinsing and Re-Using Yeast
« on: November 01, 2010, 12:46:36 PM »
I've brewed with both simply repitched yeast and with washed yeast. 
Over quite a few batches for comparison, I found no advantage to one procedure over the other so now I just continue what I have been doing for the last 20+years:  I save the cake from the ferment, reptich 1/3 to 1/2 of it into a subsequent brew, and either save the rest for another brew (if it's scheduled to happen within a few days)...or else just dump the remaining 2/3 into the boiling wort. 

That said, if I were taking my repitched yeast beyond my usual 7 or 10 generations, I would consider washing it.  As it stands, I have seen no good reason to go through the trouble or to worry about calculating exactly how much to pitch:  the quantities I've stated have never failed me,  keeping things worry free, and always producing good beer for me. 
After reaching my self imposed re-use limit, I just culture up a new crop and begin the cycle again.

After brewing for so many years and worrying about, trying, and doing  complicated procedures at times,  experimentation revealed in the end that very often the most simplified procedure produces the very same result with less work and less worry and fussing.

I suggest just experimenting to determine what works best for your situation.  And, as b-hoppy pointed out, when in doubt, make a starter.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Capping for the long haul
« on: November 01, 2010, 07:36:37 AM »
I personally am not a fan of the Oxygen barrier caps. They activate as soon as they are wet. This means that you either do not use a liquid sanitizer or you will lose most of their absorbing power.
It doesn't happen that fast, you have hours to days before the O2 absorbing capacity of the caps is gone.   ;)

Right.  I use a lot of o2 absorbing  caps and have yet to have a problem caused by getting them wet.
Since my stronger beers go into bottle after a long period of bulk aging,  I generally put some water in a small pan and when it comes to a boil, toss in the quanitity of caps I need for the session, and start bottling right away. 
But many brewers don't sanitize the caps at all before applying them, and they report no problems.

Equipment and Software / Re: 15 gal Kettle for 5-6 gallon batches
« on: October 26, 2010, 12:11:36 PM »
I do it all the time. No issues, no worries about boil overs either. homemade electric keggle is 15 gal, and the majority of my batches have been 5 gal.
No worries.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Old Newark Ale Yeast
« on: October 25, 2010, 12:53:46 PM »
I wondered if there was a difference.  Many times it has been said that the Chico yeast is from Ballantine.  Ken Grossman has stated that he really does not know the original brewery, as it came from Siebel.  It could have Ballantine as the origin, but has adapted to the SN brewery, and the large cylindrical tanks (does not take long from what was stated in "Yeast").

Thanks for the reply.

Yeah, I'd heard for years that the yeasts sold as "Chico" were the Ballantine strain, and the flavor and fermentation profiles seem similar based on my past experience...except that having worked before with what I knew with good certainty was the original Ballantine strain, I always thought it odd that the "Chico" didn't flocculate nearly the same way.

I haven't met Al B. (East Coast Yeast's 'ranch foreman') even though he lives probably no more than 5 miles from me,  but in conversations with Joe Bair (Princeton Homebrew), apparently Al B.  is of the opinion that the Old Newark is different enough that it likely isn't even related to the Chico  (maybe ninab can corroborate that?).

I've already done a couple of batches of my take on BIPA using the yeast,  and so far the beer is tasting mighty fine, but since the authentic BIPA recipe calls for 8-12 months of aging, I'll wait for pronouncement of my final result.  I feel good enough about it though that I have already planned for several more double batches in the coming month or two to ensure there is plenty to age properly, since I expect that some of what I've already made will be consumed a bit younger.   
I can sometimes be impatient as anyone.  ;D

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Old Newark Ale Yeast
« on: October 25, 2010, 08:27:22 AM »
How do you find if different from the Chico yeast? 

It seems to floc out much more thoroughly than the Chico yeast. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Old Newark Ale Yeast
« on: October 24, 2010, 08:55:21 PM »
The beer I brewed with the Old Newark came out really well.
I hadn't brewed the recipe before so I can't really compare it
too well against other yeasts. I guess I would call it "clean
I don't know if the yeast had anything to do with it but I got a really
nice hop flavor. I have a batch of brown ale I pitched with the washed
yeast from the first batch fermenting away now. I am hoping to do a third batch
reusing the yeast from that batch.

I've had similar great results.  I'm already into my fifth repitch of the yeast (in beers of various stregths and colors) and I fully expect to do at least 5 more subsequent repitches.  I haven't even washed the yeast before re-using.

This product seems to behave exactly like the pure Newark strain I had many years ago.   
I am very happy indeed with this stuff.

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