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Messages - kylekohlmorgen

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Equipment and Software / Re: Stout Tanks vs. Blichmann
« on: March 22, 2013, 05:16:04 AM »
Blichmann are the highest-quality, most versatile fermentation vessels available (less lab-grade yeast propagation equipment). I ask Santa for one every Christmas.

Check out the pictures and a comparison of similar models here:

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison Dry Yeast
« on: March 22, 2013, 05:11:43 AM »
IMO if you are using low alpha hops for buttering you are wasting hops and wort. There's not going to be much flavor left after a 60 minute boil and the amount of wort absorption becomes significant.

I've always had this mindset as well, and I use Apollo/Warrior for bittering in every beer. I was surprised at the harshness in this beer at 40 ibu. If I reduce the Apollo by half, I think I'll be good to go.

In future saisons, I was thinking about using Saaz/Styr Goldings throughout, with good-sized additions at FWH, 30, 15, and after KO.

Going Pro / Re: Filtering
« on: March 21, 2013, 09:30:25 AM »
What sort of waste? Do you anticipate any sort of customer reaction to finding out you're filtering? I have a fair number of people ask if we are (we don't, we currently use a two-part fining regimen).

I hope that filtering is another educational frontier, much like hops or sour/wild beers have been in the past.

I think marketing has convinced consumers that "unfiltered" is a true sign of an artisanal, local, and/or hand-crafted beer. The average craft beer drinker has been conditioned to think of filtering as industrial or artificial. In truth, filtering is an expensive and labor-intensive choice the brewer makes to ensure their beer's quality, consistency, and shelf life.

Hopefully craft brewers can help shed some light on this subject. Bravo to those of you taking on the financial and labor burden of filtering!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison Dry Yeast
« on: March 21, 2013, 05:34:03 AM »
I picked up a pouch of this yeast and will be brewing a more classic saison with it in the next month or so.  In order to define the ester characteristics for this yeast at typical saison ferment temperatures, I will use a rather simple recipe consisting of 95% pilsner malt,  5% wheat malt, 30 IBUs of Saaz.

40BUs is pretty gnarly, but I think part of that is the high-alpha variety. Maybe I'll use Saaz, but you just have to use so damn much of the stuff!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Quick souring method
« on: March 21, 2013, 05:32:12 AM »
pH doesn't matter. Its all about how much acidity you want in the flavor of the beer.

I usually don't take pH readings of my finished beers, just so I don't have any preconceived ideas of what the beer tastes like before I actually taste it.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison Dry Yeast
« on: March 20, 2013, 11:43:30 AM »
An update:

Altogether, this was a good first run. The yeast chewed through the beer in about a week, attenuating to 1.005.

The flavor profile is dominated by clove-like phenols, which may be due to the high wheat content. These flavors (and the high IBUs) overpower orange notes, along with a touch of strawberry and black pepper.

The phenols, bitterness, and flavor of the wheat are the major flaws with this beer, all of which I believe can be improved with recipe/process tweaks (100% barley malt, lower bittering charge, higher pitch temp).

I have one more packet and will try this yeast again, with the proposed changes. I think, for now, this yeast has proven itself as an excellent attenuator and a viable backup to more finicky strains.

Ingredients / Re: Chocolate in a porter?
« on: March 20, 2013, 11:27:17 AM »
Good thinking flavor-wise! You just need the right kind of chocolate.

Any type of fat/oil/soap that gets in your beer, especially in the fermenter/bottle, will kill the head. The suggestions for cocoa nibs, cocoa powder and bakers chocolate have little to no fat or oil content. Adding it at the end of the boil further reduces the risk of it carrying over.

If you want to replace the sugar (which doesn't bring much to the beer besides higher ABV), you can just substitute more DME. Or you could just leave it out!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash-in
« on: March 20, 2013, 06:40:35 AM »
I do a mix of both, mostly just for speed and simplicity.

In my Gott Cooler, I add water about 1" above the copper manifold, then add the grain, then dump the water on top. I think it helps keep dough balls and dry spots from forming in and around the manifold. It also makes picking up the 15-gal kettle (HLT at this point) manageable.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Quick souring method
« on: March 19, 2013, 01:47:46 PM »
The level of sourness won't change during the boil, but boiling will stop the souring. When it tastes sour enough for your liking, boil and ferment as normal.

To kill off all organisms, you can just bring it up to a simmer and then cool it right back down.

I don't think there's a conflict; I think you have some choices based on what the end product tastes like:

Is the beer sour/funky/complex enough to qualify as a fruited lambic? If so - 17F. If you just used a Flanders blend like Roselare, this probably isn't the case.

If the base beer was a really solid stylistic example of an Oud Bruin, and the raspberries add complexity without masking the base style, go with 16E.

If its a well-balanced beer that doesn't neatly fit into either of the above, go with Fruit Beer.

Going Pro / Re: blending beers
« on: March 18, 2013, 10:23:18 AM »
Blending is an art unto itself, one I am completely incompetent about thus far...

I think it takes a lot of practice, just like training your palate for BJCP judging or a Cicerone cert.

I like to blend beers I have on tap in the glass, trying to guess the outcome beforehand. Most of the time the blend isn't something to be desired, but I think going through the process is good practice.

Maybe after doing it for YEARS I'll be able to apply it to entire batches without ruining them.

Ingredients / Re: Hop to complement Citra?
« on: March 14, 2013, 11:08:12 AM »
Isn't Zombie Dust all Citra?

Complement to Citra = MORE CITRA.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: London Ale vs American Ale
« on: March 14, 2013, 10:27:55 AM »
1056 is a super-fast starter for me, but I've always attributed it to the freshness of the culture. Its probably the best seller at my LHBS, so its normally 2-3 weeks old off the shelf.

I also assumed its youth was the reason I can squeeze 1-2 more batches out of a cake than the other yeasts I use.

All Things Food / Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« on: March 13, 2013, 05:27:21 AM »
Its depressing to read The Garden Thread when we're currently getting 2"-3" of snow  :'(

I actually just like the pictures - the wife and I have a hard enough time growing grass and shrubs.

What yeast you use Al?

The pepper beer sounds good.

I made the Vienna lager and then made a light lager and for some reason I didn't set the MrMalty calculator to lager and just pitched a vial of mexi-lager yeast in 3gal of wort.  I figure this one might just be a large starter for the next batch, I'm even debating whether to take it out of the 50F fermentor chamber and let it run hot to get it done faster.  Any hope for this beer being drinkable?

You should be okay - creep up the temp slowly and do a long diacetyl rest. Rack it to a keg and "lager" in your kegorator if you can. That way you keep up the experiment without taking up any fermentor space.

You could also krausen with that next batch of lager if this one needs a bit of cleaning up.

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