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Messages - kylekohlmorgen

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Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Founders Reds Rye PA
« on: July 25, 2012, 12:09:16 PM »
LOVE this beer. Enough bitterness to satisfy my hophead nature, refreshing through the summer, and the citrus hops and spicy rye work VERY nicely.

Tempts me to add a few handfulls of rye in my IPA.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« on: July 25, 2012, 12:05:27 PM »
As I recall, the book "Wild Brews" suggests not racking the beer at all for either lambic or Flanders reds to give the Brett something to eat over the course of the 1 - 2 year fermentation. My latest attempt scored pretty well in a recent competition and I just pitched a pack of Wyeast Roselare blend right at the beginning and let it go. After 15 months I racked it, not to get rid of the yeast, but because I wanted to clear out that carboy for a different beer and I wanted to add some heavy toast oak chips for the last 7 months.

Leaving it on the trub is normally a lambic procedure, where Brett is a much more dominant component. Lambic is conditioned much longer, and the trub/yeast cake aids the Brett in continuing to produce esters and reduce diacetyl produced by Pedio. Since Flanders beers are primarily soured with Lacto, the conditioning period can be shorter and does not rely on a Pedio/Brett combo.

That being said - if you like a Funky and more acidic Flanders, GO FOR IT.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« on: July 25, 2012, 07:13:26 AM »
You can refill that primary with a simple wort to make another wild beer. Maybe pitch dregs from a few bottles.

Those chips will harbor the bugs for future batches - AND you'll have more wild beer! (eventually)

Beer Recipes / Re: ESB recipe
« on: July 25, 2012, 07:04:42 AM »

If you still have your training wheels on, focus on making solid beer before you worry about making solid to-style beer.  It's a skill you'll always need.

Writing that one down...

I think I'll always have training wheels on in one way or another.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Fermentation Temps
« on: July 24, 2012, 12:13:05 PM »
There's definitely a difference in controlling at higher than normal temps and letting the fermentation temp freely rise (and consequently fall) without temp. control.

You can use the heat from fermentation to slowly raise the temp over the course of a few days. I usually do a degree or two per day as the fermentation hits high krausen.

Letting the temp swing up and then down by several degrees (5F or more) can shock the yeast, causing them to give off phenols/higher alcohols and then stop fermentation early.

Beer Recipes / Re: ESB recipe
« on: July 24, 2012, 08:17:33 AM »
The biggest problem I had when I started all-grain brewing was deciphering what each base and specialty malt brought to each beer. This was mostly because I never started with one base, tasted it, and adjusted with one specialty malt at a time.

Now I try to do this every time I start brewing a new style. ESB is PERFECT for this exercise. A 100% Maris Otter ESB is a great beer, especially with a solid amount of EKG flavor/aroma. Brew this first, taste it, bottle a few (for side-by-side comparisons), and decide what malt flavors you want more of. Then layer on one flavor at a time in future brews. They may not be your EXACT target, but they will be pretty good and you can never have enough ESB.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Kegerator/Lager Fermentation Chamber?
« on: July 24, 2012, 08:10:09 AM »
+1 - test with the controller first. You'll need one, anyway. Great investment.

Remember you don't just need to control the air temp, you need to control the wort temp as it heats up during log phase. Some yeasts can put off a lot of heat, so try a kolsch at 62F and see if you can keep it under control first.

You may just be getting that low because your fridge is turning itself off. If its accessible, pull the thermister out of the inside of the fridge so you're controlling the cycles, not the fridge.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« on: July 24, 2012, 08:03:50 AM »
1. Rack it to secondary before tucking it away. Lambic is really the only fermentation profile that benefits from autolyzed and trub.

When you add oak chips it depends on your preference for oak flavors in the style. I really like the vanilla character in mine, so I add cubes when I rack to secondary. I use 0.25 oz or so since it will still sit on them a long time, but so I dont have to pull a lot of samples to taste for oak when I know the beer isn't nearly ready. A little goes a long way for a Flanders, and it isn't necessarily traditional to have a lot of oak character, so judges can ding you for it.

I always err on the side of keeping as much O2 out as I can through conditioning. Acetic WILL develop over time, so don't worry about an oak stopper. Use a rubber stopper w/ filled airlock since you will get some gas evolution over time.

If the beer is ready and it doesnt have enough acetic for your liking, you can doctor it with actual vinegar (or older flanders as you brew more).

If its for a competition, judges are many times over-sensitive to acetic. I doubt a judge will comment "boy, this could SURE use some more vinegar!"

Limit samples. I don't even touch it for 6 months.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sour Worting
« on: July 24, 2012, 07:47:59 AM »
The technique is to keep the wort in the kettle holding the temp somewhere between 100 F and 120 F and innoculating with a Lacto culture from Wyeast.   Once he reaches his desired sourness he boils the wort and ferments it. 

How long was he (and are you) tying up your kettle to get the desired sourness?

For a commercial brewery, that sounds like a really big drain on production time. Especially since they are already buying lactic cultures (not just relying on culturing lacto from the grain).

Ingredients / Re: Big 'old hops
« on: July 24, 2012, 07:41:53 AM »
Unfortunately, my newly-planted rhizomes didn't take off at all this year. The cascade came up about 3" out of the ground, and the centennials didn't pop out.

I was going to take a pic, but just imagine a bare dirt pile...

Maybe they're just getting HUGE root balls underground for next year?

Ingredients / Re: Rauch Malt vs Heavy Toast Oak
« on: July 24, 2012, 07:39:12 AM »
dee / majorvices - Can you go right into the mash after smoking malt, or do you have to let the smoked malt "rest"?

Probably a dumb question, but I know Randy Mosher suggests waiting before using home-toasted oats. I also know these are completely different processes, but I wanted to make sure I didn't get any rough flavors fresh off the smoker.

Good read dave, thanks.  I got a carton of em on the way and could try this easily.
I am going more for the hot water slurry mode that just sounds betta.

Tried ordering the ECY last time - trigger finger just wasnt fast enough. Hopefully next time!

I did a raisin puree with hot wort and added at the end of the boil. Good stuff. Its how DFH adds raisins to Raison D'etre.

Kyle - I'm sure pros do it. I'm sure pros make good beer. I'm also sure I'm just not as good at brewing as they are.

The only difference is we don't brew EVERY day, so we're shorter on experience. It will take you or I a LOT longer to figure out what works for us. Speaking of which:

I'm planning on doing some Weizen trials with over/under-pitching, so I'm not totally biased against underpitching,

I want to tinker with this as well, so if you get there first - post results! That way I can do one of the 500 other experiments I've thought about but not executed.

I've made a lot of Belgian beers the "low-pitch, hot-ferment" method, and none of them were anywhere near as good as that oaked BDS was. YMMV, but I haven't found underpitching to do anything but make my beer worse.

I've kinda been wondering if this is an either-or situation. I.e., if you underpitch can you get away with lower fermentation temps, but still retain the phenol character? And if so, do you gain any other benefits (i.e., can you get more phenol with less fusel)?

I think you're best off tweaking one variable at a time. Stressing the yeast one way may yield positive results, but its a balancing act. Too much stress will inevitably make bad beer.

I also err on the lower side of ferm temp for most beers (or at least starting low with a controlled ramp-up). When I work on the higher end, I have a difficult time controlling to a setpoint during the peak of heat generation.

Either way, under-pitching and under-oxygenating are methods commonly used by pro's to make excellent beer. It may or may not work in your brewhouse, but its worth investigating.

and fill 'em REALLLLL SLOWWWW.

Patience pays off - esp when bottling high-carb beers or hoppy beers.

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