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Messages - The Professor

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Starter Glitch with Corn Sugar?
« on: May 30, 2010, 06:34:36 PM »
I ran out of Dried Malt Extract and need to make a yeast starter.  My local homebrew shop is not open until after Monday.  Can I make a yeast starter with Corn sugar?  I have a stir plate, Yeast Hulls, Yeast Nutrients, Servomyces, DAP, Go-ferm, and Fermaid-K, but no DME.

If it were me, I'd just wait till I could get some extract.  The sugar will probably start it up, but  I think that the yeasties like to be started up on the food they'll ultimately be eating...malt.  If you start them up with dextrose, they may not be quite as healthy (kind of like the apparent effect of dextrose on people).

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Imperial?
« on: May 29, 2010, 05:22:19 PM »
To add to this conversation, on another thread I read someone attempting to brew an Imperial Pilsner.  I wondered about the Imperial and thought, isn't that just a Bond Bock, or a Helles.  I have never heard of an Imperial Pilsner, is this just a fancy term used to stimulate curiosity?
Exactly right.  The term Imperial has really just been reduced to being a marketing gimmick by the micro industry (and even the bigs are starting to use it too).
"Double" (as in DIPA) is another overused one that never fails to make me chuckle.   

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Porter won't carbonate
« on: May 26, 2010, 03:51:03 PM »
I made a porter using the Beer Smith app which is pretty much a standard porter recipe. I used 6 oz of cane for a 5 gal batch. I aged it for a month. It's pretty carbonated at room temp, but when I chill it it looses it carb. It tastes great but lacks the fizzle. Any suggestions

How did you prime it,  and with what type and quantity of priming sugars?   

Ingredients / Re: Weyermann Pale Ale vs Maris Otter
« on: May 24, 2010, 07:38:33 AM »
Does anyone have any experience with Weyermann Pale Ale Malt?  My supplier is selling it for $45 a bag which is substantially cheaper than Maris Otter and about what I pay for Briess two-row.  I'd like to sub it for Maris Otter in my English beers.

I've used it quite a bit and have gotten consistently great results with it as a sub for the Maris in any of the ales I make regularly.   

Zymurgy / Re: Brewing with vintage malt extracts
« on: May 21, 2010, 10:10:06 PM »
I could be wrong, but it seems to me that the very process of canning the extract would take care of any spores.

Outside of that, it's been quite some time since I brewed from extract but do remember doing a batch many years ago using extract that was past it's prime.  I'm still here to tell about it.  The resulting beer, however, was definitely sub par.  Safe to say that old extract may not kill you, but will almost guarantee a finished beer with some off flavors.

Beer Recipes / Re: Old Ale?
« on: May 18, 2010, 05:41:16 PM »
As I said, I'm looking to ferment with S-05.  I'm not sure what the OG will come out to, but if my efficiency is okay, it'll be around 1.068 for 5 gallons.  I'm planning to only add a bittering addition--enough Challenger to get me up to about 35-40 IBUs.

Sounds pretty good...though I would agree with the suggestion to up the base malt some.  It's always open to individual interpretation, but for me, 'old ale' screams malt, and a very slight sour tang (which would come from extended aging).  The 05 should do a fine job with this beer, especially with a bit more malt presence.

After so many years of mega hoppy IPA, 'old ale' has become a favorite style along with other maltier styles.
Be sure to report back on the results.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Little Kings
« on: May 14, 2010, 07:09:08 AM »
...The Kings are nice but ho hum. Not so mind-blowing as they were back in the day. ;) It's just me...

It's not just you.  And it's not totally the phenomenon of becoming accustomed to 'bigger' brews (though that certainly comes into play).

 Like so many brands that have gone from one owner to another, Little Kings lost something in the move.  I would agree that perhaps it was never what anyone would consider world class, but it did have some character that seems, for whatever reason,  to have gotten lost since the original brewery sold.

All Things Food / Re: Noodles & Pasta
« on: May 12, 2010, 10:05:24 PM »
As far as the wonton pasta I'm willing to bet it has a good portion of rice flour in with the wheat.
Actually, no it doesn't. 
You may find other Asian noodle types made from rice, but not the Wonton...
Wonton wrappers can be just flour and water OR made with depends on the regional style.  There's usually some cornstarch involved as ell to keep the wraps from sticking together after they're cut.

And Hong Kong style noodles, wontons, and dumplings actually use some lye water in the dough gives the dough a remarkably nice texture.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Questions after first all grain
« on: May 06, 2010, 09:24:47 AM »
efficiency smischiency.  let me know how it tastes.
that said. probably reasonable job.

exactly...that's the main issue. 

As you dial in your methods & procedures by brewing more, you'll get a better idea of what your own brewhouse efficiency is and you'll be able to formulate beers and achieve desired gravities just by eyeballing it.  A gravity reading before the boil helps to determine if the boil needs to be slightly longer or shorter (based on the initial volume and your evaporation rate) just takes a couple of batches to get a feel for that. 

The software solutions can be helpful at times, but I think the mistake a lot of brewers make is to take the data output by the programs (or a printed recipe for that matter) as some kind of definitive goal.  Besides, missing target numbers generated by a piece of software (which can only calculate based on educated guesses as to interpreting the data you input)   doesn't constitute failure or a lesser brew. 
The bottom line is ALWAYS "how does it drink". 

A  few gravity points are not all that significant anyway, really.   Such variations occur in commercial brewery operations of every size, every day,


Beer Recipes / Re: three differant base malts what can I brew?
« on: May 04, 2010, 12:53:25 PM »
You can make a damned fine beer with these ingredients.

Like others who've weighed in, I'd vote for IPA as well, but using only  about 1/3 (or no more than 1/2)  of the 80L crystal.  I certainly would  want both flavor and color contribution from crystal  (to me the ideal IPA is deep amber/copper color and very hoppy but not bone dry)

 If it were me I'd also  add a pound of white or brown sugar as well to goose it up a bit.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Sam Adams Long Shot Six Pack
« on: May 02, 2010, 10:28:57 AM »
...Really?  I find age brings out the sweetness more as the hops fade.  The level of sweetness has more to do with how balanced the BU-GU levels are.  Also the amount of dextrins and crystal malt used.  If the hops aren't in balance to begin with it will only get more cloying with age...

Well maybe... but not always.
In my own experience with making barleywines, I've had many of them a year or more old and even the less hopped renditions didn't get sweeter with age; the sweetness faded (not in a bad way) into what I can only describe as a deep, richness of malt, with some residual sweetness.

To a large degree, it boils down to one's individual perception  and also as you pointed out,   the methods used to make it.

The Pub / Re: Lets get to know each other!
« on: May 01, 2010, 06:23:09 PM »
I'm Al...and I'm a home brewer.

I started brewing in summer of 1971 during the college years  and have pretty much continued since then, most especially after moving to all grain in the mid 1980's.  I've been in show-bizzz  throughout all of my adolescence and adult life, working variously as an actor, a voiceover guy, a puppeteer/puppetmaker, a standup comic, and a musician/composer. 

Oh...And very briefly, as a pizza chef.   
(In other words, anything for a buck...ya does what ya gots to do...)
I've always been a fan of good beer and have always sought it out, right from the beginning (the first sixpacks I bought for myself 42 or 43 years ago were  a bock beer and an IPA). 
And although I came to the forums rather late, I've enjoyed them a great deal and am delighted to still be picking up little gems of information to make brewing better and easier.   
You really never stop learning.

My favorite beers are on exact opposite ends of the flavor spectrum:   IPA and Wee Heavy.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Force Carbonation and Volumes CO2
« on: May 01, 2010, 04:48:05 PM »
I built a little pressure gauge to help monitor my kegs during carbonation. I chill the beer down then hit the keg with CO2. I generally crank the pressure up as high as it will go. This makes sure the keg seals as well. I then check the pressure gauge every 12 hours. I hit the keg with CO2 if needed. I stop adding CO2 when the pressure stabilizes at my desired PSI for the specific temperature. I generally only have to add CO2 twice over a 24 hour period if the keg is sealed well. The beer always comes out carbonated perfectly.

Here is the gauge I made.

Yes, a great solution. Very nice indeed.

I always am concerned with over-carbonation rather than under...I hate overly fizzy beer (and overly chilled beer)  in general.  I'll generally connect a finished brew at 30 PSI for a few days and start monitoring after that until it gets to the tickle I like. 

If I decide to bottle some off, I'll get it to just under freezing,  and goose it with a bit more bubble than I usually prefer to allow for what may be lost in the bottling process  going into freezer stored bottles.  That way I manage to deliver slightly higher carbonated bottles to give to friends who might expect a bit more bubble in their brew.  If I need to, I'll bleed off the excess afterwards and atabilize it to the levels I like.

Gotta say though...may have to build me one of these...

Pimp My System / Re: I pimped my carboys
« on: May 01, 2010, 04:37:23 PM »
Far nicer than the similar (but decidedly "meatball")  job I did on mine with epoxy based spray paint and some stencils.

I'm jealous.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Brewing IIPA
« on: May 01, 2010, 04:35:18 PM »
Well I brewed it the other night. It tasted pretty good. I did add a couple pounds of Lyle's Golden Syrup at the end of the boil. My O.G. was a little lower than I expected. My target was 1.090 and I got 1.090. I don't quite have 5 gallons. But I was going for gravity over quantity.

Sounds like you'll be fine.  The Lyle's will definitely help to keep it from getting too sweet.
At  1.090 you're probably closer to Barleywine than any IPA (though with all the weird variants popping up who can say)...either way, I'll bet you'll have one fine brew there.  Be sure to set some aside to age so you can assess the affect (usually quite positive) that age will have on it.

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