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Topics - dzlater

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Beer Recipes / Flanders Red recipe ingredient question.
« on: December 22, 2010, 07:05:25 AM »
I am thinking about brewing up a Flanders Red and was looking around at recipes.
According to this
"Flanders acid ale brewers toss corn grits — up to 20% — into the mash, first boiled to achieve gelatinization. For homebrewers, flaked maize is a convenient alternative. Corn contributes a smoothness to the wort plus a bit of starch for the eventual microorganisms."

The BJCP site says
"Ingredients: A base of Vienna and/or Munich malts, light to medium cara-malts, and a small amount of Special B are used with up to 20% maize. Low alpha acid continental hops are commonly used (avoid high alpha or distinctive American hops). Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus and Brettanomyces (and acetobacter) contribute to the fermentation and eventual flavor."
It would seem to me if a style calls for up to 20% corn it would be a fairly critical ingredient.
Yet none of the recipes I have seen on line include any corn.
Any one have any thoughts on this?

Equipment and Software / stir plate alternative?
« on: December 01, 2010, 09:50:08 AM »
While watching the BrewMaster teevee show I noticed they had the yeast on these rotating table tops to keep the yeast in suspension. Googling around I found a whole lot of really expensive ones. Something like this seems like it would be easy to build.
A platform mounted on springs on top of a rotating arm. Anyone every tried something like this?
Just thought it was neat idea.
Here is picture I found.

All Grain Brewing / batch sparge water, how much will fit
« on: November 24, 2010, 05:50:42 AM »
I have been figuring the water volumes by inputting a random number for quarts per pound into the brewing software.Then adding up the mash water, and sparge water to get a total amount needed. Take that number and divide by two to get equal amounts for mash and sparge. Then I use a someother software to make sure I can fit the mash water in the tun. If not I adjust it tll it will fit.
But I have been running into the problem of not being able to fit all the sparge water into the mash tun.
Is there a way to figure out the volume of sparge water that will fit after the I drain the first runnings? I know I really just need a bigger mash tun but that isn't in the cards right now.

Yeast and Fermentation / repitching high og to lower og
« on: October 26, 2010, 06:57:21 AM »
I know it is preferred to go from a lower gravity to a higher gravity when reusing yeast.
But would going from a 1.060 to a 1.045, really be that bad?

Yeast and Fermentation / Old Newark Ale Yeast
« on: October 04, 2010, 08:24:59 AM »
Thought some one might find this of interest
I went to the home brew shop on Saturday and found this:

East Coast Yeast
ECY10 Old Newark Ale:  Sourced from a now defunct east coast brewery, this pure strain was identified as their ale pitching yeast. Good for all styles of American and English ales.  Suggested fermentation temp: 60-68°F.   Apparent attenuation : 68-72%  

It's supposedly Ballantine yeast
I googled it and didn't find much
I will be brewing with it soon and post some results


I don't really know much about water chemistry,, but from what I understand
some water is better suited to lighter beers and some towards darker beers.
If my water is better suited for pale ales (I don't know if it is) and I brew a stout with no mineral additions
what would the flavor difference be?

Ingredients / toasting flaked corn?
« on: June 20, 2010, 07:18:07 AM »
I've heard of toasting flaked oats to add some flavor, has anyone ever tried toasting flaked corn?
Any reason not to give it a try?

I brewed a batch of pale ale, the beer is kind of thin
and is lacking in maltiness to counter the hops.
I believe it's because I sparged too fast under shot my
gravity and added DME to adjust.
I know the best idea would to either let it sit a while and hope
time will improve it or too brew another batch and then blend
but I had a thought
could I steep some crystal 80
at around 170f,  boil it,chill, and add the "extract" to the keg
Is this a totally bad idea?
or might it actually work?

Beer Recipes / three differant base malts what can I brew?
« on: May 04, 2010, 07:24:02 AM »
I went to the Big Brew @ Iron Hill in Maple Shade NJ. (had a great time by the way)
Thanks to the Barley Legal Home Brewers
who sponsored the event I came home with:

3 lbs 2 row
3 lbs abbey malt
3 lbs pilsner malt
1 lb cara-pils
1 lb crystal 80L
also some cascade and magnum hops.

I am wondering what kind of beer I could make using these ingredients?
I am not to concerned about brewing "to style" just want something tasty.
I was thinking maybe some sort of amber?
I am not sure if mixing the three different base malts is a good idea.
Any ideas would be appreciated.

Yeast and Fermentation / first time using brett.
« on: May 02, 2010, 05:38:20 AM »
 I brewed a saison on March 2nd. The OG was 1.067 and it fermented down to 1.014 by the 30th. On a whim I pitched the dregs from an Orval when I racked to the secondary. Didn't see much happening so I pitched some more dregs on April 15.
   It developed a oily sheen and now it's starting to develop some white foam around the edges of the carboy.
The SG is down to 1.012.
   Just wondering what now? How long should I or can I leave it in the carboy? I only have 2 kegs so I don't want to dedicate one for long term conditioning.   

I've been  reading Designing Great Beers, and it gives some formulas for hitting
your target OG by either adjusting your final volume or adding extract, or top off water.
I can follow the math in the book but was wondering if there was an on line
calculator type thing or maybe a spreadsheet to make this easier.
Or maybe a website that lays the math out in a way that's easier to use.
Anyone ever use this Beer Recipe Calculator
If it does what I want it to, I might buy it if I can find at one of my local shops.

Yeast and Fermentation / harvested yeast question (brewing today)
« on: March 21, 2010, 06:41:09 AM »
I took this yeast from the carboy on the 11th of March.
I swirled the yeast cake with some boiled and cooled water
and dumped into sanitized jar, and put it in the fridge. I did not
do any other rinsing of the yeast. It is WLP 007 Dry English.
I was planning on making a small starter to get it activated.
Looking at this sample you can see a small thin layer on top.
Is that the yeast and the rest all trub? If that thin layer is the
yeast it won't be enough and I'll have to use my back up dry
yeast pack.


Yeast and Fermentation / WLP 565 Saison fermenting temp question
« on: March 13, 2010, 07:27:21 AM »
I brewed a Saison from last Mays Zymurgy Magazine

Pilsner (2 Row) Bel Grain 6.250 lb   
    Wheat Malt, Ger Grain 6.250 lb   
         Aromatic Malt Grain 8.000 oz   
                     cara 8 Grain 8.000 oz   
 Sugar, Table  Sugar 1.000 lb   

 I know now that ideally one would start off fermenting in high 60's
and slowly raise it up into the 80's. Basically I want to know if fluctuating higher temps are better
them consistent lower temps?
  I don't have real efficient way to ramp up the temps of my fermentor.
The ferment started off real well but has now slowed to a crawl, or stopped all together
It's been about 10 days @ around 68. Went from 1.067 og down to 1.022.
I know I should try and get the temp up into the 80's.
  I have it sitting in a cooler in a water bath.
 If put some warmer water in the cooler
to try and raise the temp it likely will not hold the the temp for vary
long. So the temps will be going up and down,
Am I better off leaving it alone and seeing what happens
I also know about ferm wraps, heating pads and aquarium heaters
I am just trying to avoid buying any of them.

All Grain Brewing / figuring out grain bill %'s
« on: February 24, 2010, 05:24:22 PM »
  I know the percentages of grain I want,
but have to adjust them for efficiency.
  I tried using the method in Designing Great Beers to figure out
my grain bill. What this did was screw up my percents by weight.
I believe the book is giving me %'s by gravity per lb. ?
  So what I did was use the gravity per lb of the base malt
for all the other grains, so the weight %'s would stay constant.
  This seemed to work but I'm not sure it's the correct way to
go about it. Are there any easier way to scale grain bills for efficiency?

I can put all #'s up if any one cares???


General Homebrew Discussion / First Wort Hopping ?
« on: February 08, 2010, 06:09:56 AM »
I brewed a batch that called for first wort hopping.
Do you remove the first wort hops or leave them in
for the whole boil ? ( I left them in)

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