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Messages - kylekohlmorgen

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Plate Chiller or Whirlpool
« on: June 25, 2012, 12:27:35 PM »
For a 5 - 10 gallon batch I think the IC chiller works best. Much easier to sanitize (just drop in boil last 10-20 minutes), and you can start cooling immediately at flame out.


My LHBS owner actually talked me out of a plate chiller because she said it was more hassle than improvement for batches < 10 gal.

I do 5-10 gal batches with a homemade IC on an ice water loop (submersible pond pump in an mash tun of ice water). This will get me to pitch temps in ~ 40 min. I'll run tap water through until I get to ~ 110F and then switch over to chilled water. I use the warm outlet tap water to wash down my equipment.

I can cut this time in half if I recirc the wort with my March pump, but its not necessary.

Beer Recipes / Re: Imperial Pilsner - advice/suggestions?
« on: June 25, 2012, 05:51:31 AM »
I wouldn't use plain table sugar b/c unlike a IIPA you don't have the hops to hide the cidery "twang" (think malt liquor). You could try flaked corn, rice syrup/solids, etc. You could also use some 6-row malt for additional diastatic power. Mash low.

DME will probably give you too much unfermentable sugars for the dryness you're looking for in an imperial pils.

Dryhop with something noble. I love that character in big pilsners!

"Designing Great Beers" gives a BU:GU ratio of 0.75-0.85, so bumping up that IBU to 60 or so will get you in that range for a 1.075 OG. Soft water and noble hops will give clean and soft bitterness, so don't be shy with the bittering hops - my favorite part of a pils is that snap.

Yeast and Fermentation / Lost O2 Sintered Stone in Bucket
« on: June 25, 2012, 04:46:11 AM »
I was oxygenating a 1.115 OG Imperial Stout this morning and the sintered stone came off the hose.

The right decision was NOT to dig around with my hand to get it, right?

Gave it O2 for 2-3 minutes last night when I pitched - got less than 30 secs before it flew off. Finished up without the stone, but I don't know that I got much dissolved.

Already getting some good krausen - should I just RDWHAHB and let 'er go?

Ingredients / Re: Citra, Amarillo & Simcoe
« on: June 21, 2012, 08:33:28 AM »
I think I must be one of the few homebrewers who doesn't really care for Citra.  Just too weirdly fruity for my tastes.  I know of least a couple commercial brewers who fell the same way.

I tried it in a single hop APA and didn't care for it, but I like in mixed with piney C hops or amarillo

I think Citra overwhelms other hops flavor and (esp) aroma contributions, much like Nelson. I throttle the amount of Citra back when using it in combination with other hops.

LOVE it for dryhopping and FWH, when in moderation.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: where is my brett b?
« on: June 21, 2012, 08:26:05 AM »
The Zymurgy article from Chad Yakobsen is a GREAT primer for 100% brett-fermented beers.

If you want to REALLY geek out - his Master's Dissertation is posted here:

GREAT read if you're really interested in wild beers. I had to read it over a few times (and still do), but I've learned a lot from that man.

Beer Recipes / Re: Panama Red American Wheat
« on: June 21, 2012, 08:10:54 AM »
I disagree. I think Cara Red makes a very red beer. You do have to use a lot of it, but it seems to be more fermentable than other crystal malts. But in a good portion it gives a deep red color. I don't have my recipes right now in front of me or I would give you the percentage.

+1 on the CaraRed

A little body will help this beer stand out as something unique rather than a hoppy wheat beer with coloring. It will offset the spiciness of the rye and the citrus punch of the hops.

From a malt flavor standpoint, you don't stand to gain much from the Melanoidin in this recipe. A better bet would be to split the base malt with Pale and Munich. This will make the malt profile less "muddy" and allow it to simply complement the hops, wheat, and rye.

Sounds like a great concept! Let us know how it turns out!

Its RIS weekend!

Tweaking my recipe from last year, plus padding the efficiency/yield numbers a bit to have enough for splitting and aging on fruit/oak.

Hopefully kegging/tasting a split batch of English mild. Testing 1469/1968 for future batches of cask ale.

I like dried peppers (anchos, chipotles) because you get a lot of flavor (plus a little smokiness) without a lot of heat.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Ringwood Strain
« on: June 20, 2012, 12:32:40 PM »
I used to use it for my IPAs (because "Extreme Brewing" says DFH uses it for 60 Min).

It IS a pain to work with, and I don't believe makes a beer "maltier" or "more English-like" than 007 or 002.

I thought Arcadia used an offshoot of the Fuller's strain?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lacto Culture Experiment
« on: June 19, 2012, 09:59:39 AM »
Conclusion of Experiments:

The "Sour Starter" created a highly objectionable nail-polish/solvent odor after ~4 days and was tossed.

The lacto starter with 2nd runnings smelled/tasted of lemon with a pleasant acidity after ~ 7 days, increasing in acidity up to ~ 14 days. However, I also detected some solventy character in this sample as well.

I am somewhat confused as how the solvent flavors were produced in the starters. The compound normally responsible is ethyl acetate, phenols, or longer-chain alcohols, all of which requiring ethanol fermentation to produce their respective reactants.

As close as the soured wort was to being a viable starter, I believe a few procedural tweaks will create a usable product:

 - Controlling the starter temp at 100F
 - Monitoring the pH (I do not have a pH meter) and using starter at optimal pH
 - Significantly reducing O2 uptake (lots of head space in flask; took several samples) to ward off growth of acetobacter

Milling the grain myself may also help reduce unwanted flora on the grist. Currently, my LHBS mills my grain.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: No fermentation temp control
« on: June 19, 2012, 09:11:17 AM »
However, I have noticed an improvement in all my beers with the temp control.


A few times I've gotten lucky fermenting without temp control, but too often it means unwanted phenolic flavors or premature end to fermentation (low attenuation, diacetyl).

The Pub / Re: screw the thermapen, Here's my fathers day present!
« on: June 13, 2012, 06:38:26 AM »
Are you thinking of making your own diesel?

I've never done it - but I've read/been told German diesels (VW, BMW, Benz) are all great candidates for conversion.

Beer Recipes / Re: Old Ale
« on: June 12, 2012, 10:57:40 AM »
Technically, when the BJCP says a unique flavor contributor "is acceptable", it shouldn't ever push the beer out of style. I think this is more often the case, especially in a style that varies in interpretation (saison, American IPA, strong ale).

If this is for a competition, I'd stay away from a blend (at least at first). You may get too much brett character, which will lead judges to believe the beer has off flavors or was crafted to have too thin mouthfeel, high carbonation, or an infection.

You can bottle up a bunch in 12 oz and drop brett in a few to try it out. If you like it, add it to your bottling bucket next time.

Actually, if you REALLY like it, the hell with the judges  ;D

All Grain Brewing / Re: Is my water any good for all-grain brewing?
« on: June 12, 2012, 07:22:07 AM »
Throw it in to Bru'n Water and see what you get! You can always dilute and doctor w/ salts.

WORD OF CAUTION: In many areas of the US (and especially mine), the municipal water quality can vary quarterly, monthly, even weekly in some cases. I wouldn't blindly trust one report without comparing it to other homebrewers' from the same area taken at different times in the year. The best way is to have a sample analyzed quarterly.

This is a good club project - have everyone take water samples at different times in the year and then map the data.

If you want some help charting your water data, let me know. I used to do water quality presentations for my company when I worked in Utilities.

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