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Topics - fmader

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Ingredients / Cinnamon Rolls?!?!
« on: August 11, 2014, 03:44:43 PM »
I'm trying to figure out the last beer for my Christmas tap line up. So far I have a breakfast stout, raspberry ale, and spruce ale. For the last beer, I want to brew a winter warmer of sort but go completely outside the box with it. Would it be completely idiotic of me to bake up a few cans of cinnamon rolls (icing and everything), put in a bag, and toss them in for the last 5 minutes of the boil?

Commercial Beer Reviews / Beer Camp Across America
« on: July 31, 2014, 05:38:17 PM »
I just scored a case of Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp Across America. I'm excited about trying these collaboration beers!

Ingredients / Fresh (Wet) Hops
« on: July 14, 2014, 11:30:02 AM »
With a lot of cones on the bines, I want to do a couple fresh hopped ales probably next month. I've never used fresh hops in a brew before. For those of you who have, approximately how many ounces of fresh hops would equal an ounce of dried hops as far as alpha acids and bittering goes? I'm assuming that there is some sort of conversion factor here.

Hop Growing / Second Year Hops!
« on: July 14, 2014, 11:25:59 AM »
My second year hops are doing very well this year even after a very harsh winter. Like last year, we've had a lot of rain in northeast Ohio in April, May, June, and into July. From left to right I have Magnum, Nugget, Zeus, Chinook, Cascade, two Centennials (third year), Golding, Willamette, Mt. Hood, and Perle. The Chinook plant is growing the most obnoxiously. It was over the roof, but it's full of cones and has fallen down some. I had the most cones on the Zeus last year, but it's not as strong this year. Something dug the mulch up around it at some point during the winter. But everything is looking pretty good!

General Homebrew Discussion / Talking with a brewer
« on: April 24, 2014, 05:59:53 PM »
I mean, I talk with you guys all the time but...

While out on the road for work this week, I found a local micro/potential nano brewery. Catawba Island Brewery in Port Clinton, Ohio. They had a very nice tasting room with very nice people. They also had 9 of their beers on tap. I had the privilege to speak with the assistant brewer while there. I've never had such opportunity. We shared a few ideas and techniques.

The great thing about the visit is that they had a mango/habanero hefe on tap since I am planning on a hab/mango pale ale in June. I got some insight about the habanero addition. I was not a huge fan of the clashing flavor of the habs in the hefe yeast. He agreed that a pale ale could be a more favorable environment for these flavors.

Anyways... This is a good place to stop by if in the area. There were several guys there that had just gotten off Lake Erie from Walleye fishing. They didn't know much about beer. But they had their own beer for the BMC drinkers too called.... "Intentionally Sh!&#*y Lager." I didn't have it, but I thought that was unique.

Ingredients / Experimental grapefruit hops
« on: April 19, 2014, 08:39:26 AM »
I know these have been posted before within the year, but I couldn't find the thread. Did anybody ever get them and are they good?

Equipment and Software / CO2 To Go
« on: March 14, 2014, 10:52:21 AM »
I'm thinking about purchasing on of these....

Of course I won't be priming with this, but I would be using it to charge beer for pouring at a picnic or whatnot.

For those of you who have used them... A. Do they work well? and B. Will one cartridge last an entire keg? If no, how many would get them through the keg?

Just curious whether this purchase would be worth the while, or should I just carry around my 5 pounder.

Beer Recipes / Habanero/Mango Pale Ale
« on: March 09, 2014, 05:10:23 PM »
So I've been kicking around this idea in my head for about a month now, so I figured to put a rough draft down in writing and get some feedback. I'm looking for a noticeable, but not overbearing mango flavor. I also want more of the habanero flavor rather than heat in this beer. Some heats ok, but I don't want to have to give out a t-shirt every time sombody finishes one lol...

I'm thinking about an OG between 1.055 and 1.060. Maybe a grain bill of 80% two row, 15% Munich, and 5% carapils (for body). This very well could be single hopped with Citra. If not, I'll use a neutral bittering hop and finish with Citra.

For the habanero, I'll de-vein and seed probably just one habanero, bag it, and add it to the boil for the last 5 minutes. Then let it steep for a 30 minute hop stand with the 0 minute hops.

After primary fermentation, it'll get racked onto 5 lbs of fresh mangoes. Once the secondary fermentation is complete, I'll taste it for habanero flavor. If I feel there needs to be more, I'll gut a couple more, bag and drop into the secondary until I get the desired taste.

Ready, set, criticize!

Yeast and Fermentation / WLP 002
« on: March 05, 2014, 04:42:50 AM »
This is the first time using 002. I put it in a 2 quart starter at 1.040 Monday night. So far I don't have any visuble fermentation. No krausen or anything. I don't use a stir plate, I I give my starters a nice swirl whenever I walk past them. Is this normal for this yeast, or did I buy a bad vial?

Hop Growing / 2014 Planting?
« on: February 27, 2014, 07:04:09 PM »
The day I got my rhizomes in the mail last year it was 63 degrees and I planted them on March 9th. I ordered a couple of centennial rhizomes to plant this year. I just got noticed that they'll probably be shipped next week. Well, they're calling for a foot of snow Sunday and Monday followed by bitter cold temps. There's no way that I'm getting a shovel into the ground anytime soon. When these come, I'll check and see if they're moist and in a ziplock (they arrived this way last year) and toss in the fridge. If they are dry, I'll dampen a paper towel and wrap around the rhizome, bag and toss in the fridge. I'll get them in the ground ASAP. Is this the best method of storing rhizomes?

I really don't want to put in a pot and start indoors. I did this two years ago, and they didn't grow hearty. I lost seven out of ten plants.

General Homebrew Discussion / Heat Wave!
« on: February 22, 2014, 10:46:08 AM »
Finally! I mashed in at 41 degrees this morning an hour earlier than I mashed in two weeks ago.... When it was 4 degrees out. Other than the Gail force winds going on, today might be the ideal brewing temp. It's currently 48!

Beer Recipes / Cherry Wheat
« on: February 17, 2014, 04:19:42 PM »
Welp.... Here's my first draft of a cherry wheat... What do ya think?

Batch = 5.5
OG = 1.050
60 minute mash @ 152
Batch Sparge @ 185

50% White Wheat = 5 lb
40% Pils Malt = 4 lb
10% Munich = 1 lb
Rice Hulls

60 minute = 1 oz Willamette
30 minute = ½ oz Willamette

WLP 320 American Hefeweizen Yeast

Add 32 oz of Cherry Bay Orchards Tart Juice Concentrate to the secondary

Ingredients / Cherries
« on: February 17, 2014, 01:13:27 PM »
I'm working on a recipe for a cherry wheat. OG will be around 1.050. I plan on adding cherries to the secondary. I usually use fresh fruit for brewing, but cherries certainly aren't in season now. So, I'm looking at Oregon cherries. I'm thinking about blending tart and sweet cherries. I am thinking three 14.5 oz cans of tart cherries and two 14.5 oz cans of sweet cherries. I want a solid cherry presence, but at the same time, I don't want it overbearing. Is this a good amount? Also, should these cherries be in water or heavy syrup?

Equipment and Software / Bubbler Carboys
« on: February 15, 2014, 11:23:38 AM »
Anybody ever use this brand of plastic carboy? If so, how do they hold up compared to Better Bottles.

All Grain Brewing / Mash Efficiency in Big Beers
« on: February 15, 2014, 07:54:53 AM »
As long as my yeast is ready, I'll be brewing my first barleywine next weekend. I'm targeting a minimal OG of 1.100. One of the concerns that I'm learning about with a beer this big is efficiency and that many first time barleywiners fall short of the target gravity. So I've been doing a lot of note studying of my past beers (bigger ones) and came to this realization and question. For my 10.5 gallon batch of my Good Morning Stout, I used about 9.5 gallons of mash water and about 31 pounds of grain. 70% efficiency was calculated when creating the recipe. I overshot my target gravity of 1.078 and hit 1.082. My volumes were correct. With my stouts, my dark grains are cold steeped, so that water gets added to the boil to bring my volume up to where it needs to be. Here's my recipe for that...
Batch = 10.5
OG = 1.078

24 hour cold steep (room temp) in 3.5 gallons of water
Chocolate malt = 4 lb
Roasted Barley = 3 lb
Black Patent Malt = 1 lb

60 minute mash @ 155
Mash Water = 9.5 Gallons
Sparge Water = 4.75 Gallons
Total Mash/Sparge Water = 14.25
Total Water = 17.75 Gallons

80% Two Row Pale = 23 lb 10 oz
18% Flaked Oats = 6 lb 5 oz
2% Caramel/Crystal 120L = 11 oz

Here is my barleywine mash and grain schedule....
Batch = 5.5
OG = 1.100
90 minute mash @ 148 (Strike 166)
Mash Water = 9.5
Sparge Water = 3 (185)
Total Water = 12.5
2 gallon of boil off and 1.5 gallons of mash/hop loss accounted for

***Assuming 60% Efficiency***

38% Two-Row Pale – 10 lbs
38% Maris Otter – 10 lbs
20% Munich – 5.5 lbs
4% Victory – 1 lb

120 minute boil

My question is this... Except for the final volume, these beers are very similar in amount of grain and water used in the mash. Why should I expect a major drop in efficiency in brewing a beer this big? Is there more chemistry in this than I'm seeing?

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