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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Arrogant Bastard Clone classification
« on: November 24, 2014, 06:21:43 PM »
Unless it is exactly like arrogant bastard I would not refer to it as a clone. Judges might think they should judge it on how similar it is to the original.

I'd go with American Amber Ale as the base, and special ingredient being that its Imperial.

Yes, while it is very similar, it is not an "exact" clone.  Just a pretty good attempt.  I wasn't going to mention that it was a clone.  It is a good beer though.  I think it is good enough to see what happens in a competition.

Thanks for the recommendations!

General Homebrew Discussion / Arrogant Bastard Clone classification
« on: November 24, 2014, 04:43:37 PM »
I brewed an Arrogant Bastard clone for the Virginia Beer Blitz competition.  Arrogant Bastard is listed as a commercial example in Catagory 23 Specialty Beer.  I have to declare a "base beer" on the entry form.  Should I call it an "American Strong Ale" like beeradvocate does?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: ive gotta ask
« on: November 21, 2014, 07:45:54 AM »
I keep forgetting to mark which one it is, but one of my kegs is bigger on the inside.
Does it resemble the shape of an English call box?
I'm going to label my never ending keg "TARDIS".  LOL  Good one.

Equipment and Software / Re: Gravity Samples
« on: November 18, 2014, 06:07:45 AM »
I used to do shake the wine thief up and down to gather enough wort.  If there is any oxygen uptake, I've never noticed any oxidation from doing it.  I now have a conical fermenter with a ball valve at the bottom that I pull the sample from.  One could argue that I could get oxygen pick-up from that as well, but again, I've never noticed any oxidation off flavor or other ill effects from doing this.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My First Ever Brew
« on: November 17, 2014, 10:11:24 AM »
Great, thanks again for the info guys.  I did look at some photos of exploding beers.  Does not look fun.  I was going to use a bottle of vodka and a tube running from the airlock hole in carboy, but I couldn't get the airlock off. So I decided to leave and hope for the best.  I figure I have enough room (for now) in the carboy, but it's definitely moving up.

I'm engaged, we own a house, and have a Siberian Husky (dog).  If the beer exploded my dog would freak out (then probably drink the beer) and my fiance would take what's left of the beer and move it outside she said.  Then, of course, I'd have to clean it and listen to her yelling in my ear whilst cleaning.  Doesn't sound fun...
Yep. That's why my brewery is now in the garage. 

I was at the Naval Postgraduate School in 2003-4. 

Man, that's a tough tour of duty.   :)

I told myself that every day.  haha.  Someone had to do it though. ;)

I was at the Naval Postgraduate School in 2003-4.  We had a Christmas party and one of my classmates brought homebrew.  He had a Christmas Ale that he had designed the recipe for himself.  I was hooked on the idea of making my own beer.  I didn't have the time to get started on my own homebrewing adventure until 2006, when I wandered into my LBHS and walked out with a basic starter kit and an Irish Red extract kit with some steeping grains.  The rest, as they say, is History.  I made the move to AG about 2 years ago, and now have a shiney Blichmann Top-Tier Brew stand and a DIY RIMS controller. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: diacetyl in a lite american lager
« on: November 04, 2014, 07:01:47 AM »
This is only my third lager attempt, so I need to figure out my fermentation profile.  I'll try it cold (under 50F) for the next one with an extended d-rest.  If that doesn't work, I'll try the slow ramp-up.  Something will work I'm sure.  Also, I had a friend come over and try the beer last night.  He can't taste the diacetyl, so maybe I'm just hyper-sensitive to it.  I'm making a starter of US-05 today, so I'll pitch that at hi-krausen after I warm the beer back up, and let the yeasties have at it.

Yeast and Fermentation / diacetyl in a lite american lager
« on: November 03, 2014, 04:44:59 PM »
Recipe: 5.5 lbs 2 row
1.5 lbs flaked rice
.5 oz hallertau @ 60
.5 oz hallertau @ 20

mashed 1.5 qts/lb at 150F for 90 minutes

boiled 90 minutes down to 1.039 sg. cooled to 50F. pitched 3L stirred starter of WLP840. fermented at 50F until 1.015 and raised temp for diacetyl rest to 65F.  Got to 1.010 (same as forced ferment test) and let it stay there for an extra 4 days.  slowly cooled to 34F (5F per day). I know, this was unnecessary, but I did it anyway.  Been lagering for 2 weeks.  Tastes like buttered popcorn.

Any suggestions?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Questions: My First Lager fermentation
« on: October 27, 2014, 05:45:59 AM »
There are a lot of different ways to handle lagers. I honestly believe that if you pitch enough yeast, and pitch it into cool enough wort, then everything else will take care of itself. But Jim made the best point - let the yeast set the schedule. Don't rack or start lagering until the beer is fully fermented and has no diacetyl.

Personally, I chill down to 45F, then set my thermostat to 50F, pitch and let it sit for about 5-7 days. From there, I bump the temp 2 degrees every couple of days. I D-rest for 2-3 days at ambient (but at least 60F). It's not often needed by the time I get my fermentation temp ramped up, but a diacetyl rest gives me peace of mind. I also dry hop at D-rest temps if I'm dry-hopping a lager.

After the D-rest, I cold-crash in the fermenter for a couple of weeks. then I rack to keg and finish lagering under pressure. For a big beer like a doppelbock, I'll lager for maybe 4-6 weeks, then finish aging at cellar temps.

When you all say that you cold-crash, do you lower the temp gradually over a period of days?  Or do you set the temp controller to say 32-34F and cool it down in a matter of hours?  I read somewhere to not cool it down more than 5F per day, or you will shock the yeast. 

I just did my second lager, and I cooled it gradually.  I'm just wondering if I'm wasting time for nothing.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: CO2 Tank Size
« on: October 09, 2014, 12:11:17 PM »
Two fivers here. One in the two tap kegerator, the other dedicated for beer gun use, fast force carbing and as a backup for the other.

Same here.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Alternative to lactic acid
« on: October 09, 2014, 08:55:30 AM »
If you can get your pH 5.4 without the lactic then you don't need the lactic anyway! so that's a plus.

Thanks. Yeah I need to make the mash more alkaline. My waters ph is 7.74. Don't I want to acidifying my sparge water between 5.5 and 6?

are you batch or fly spargeing? and what's your water like? 7.74 for a relatively soft water may not be a big deal. water with lot's of alkalinity and a pH that high might be.

If you are batch spargeing it's less of a problem but it still comes down to the alkalinity rather than the pH.

I'm dumb, so I'll ask.  Is it because when you are fly sparging the pH starts to rise near the end (and therefore cause unwanted tannin extraction)?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Unusual amount of blowoff
« on: October 08, 2014, 12:19:38 PM »
I used 2 lbs of canned pumpkin that was roasted and then mashed into my recipe. I'll have to look it up tonight but it did add some to my OG. Going through other forums and looking, it just seems like it's hit/miss on how much pumpkin you actually convert to sugar.

Anyways, I would think your excessive blowoff was due in some part to the pumpkin. Or maybe you just had really healthy yeast. But regardless, is a large blowoff really a bad thing?  ;) For me it's always a good sign of things to come.

I got my brew into a keg last weekend.  After transferring over, I noticed quite a bit of orange gunk mixed in with the yeast.  I'm guessing that some of the pumpkin bits carried over from the mash.  I'm going to guess that contributed to the vigorous fermentation somehow.  I'm not overly concerned about any of this, but I had just never seen that much activity before from WLP001.  It smells and tastes pretty good pre-carbonation.  I fined with some gelatin so I'll have to wait until this weekend to see how the final product turns out.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Best vessel to dry hop in?
« on: October 04, 2014, 02:47:25 PM »
I have also begun to reuse and wash my yeast, so it is easier to wash the yeast and not worry about separating hop gunk if I dry hop in the keg.

Rinsing yeast with boiled water is not a sound brewing practice.  All you need to do to repitch yeast is crop and pitch.  It's that simple.

Amazing how many people think that doing more work will result in a better outcome, isn't it?
Wow! So I'm supposed to pop out of the Mother Homebrewer's womb knowing everything that the rest of you have already tried and discarded?  How stupid of me to experiment and explore like you all did in the past. Next time please remind me to consult the forum before I try anything new(to me anyway).

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Best vessel to dry hop in?
« on: October 03, 2014, 11:27:35 AM »
I've just dipped my toe into dry hopping in the keg.  I used to dry hop in my fermenter (stainless steel bucket) but I have also begun to reuse and wash my yeast, so it is easier to wash the yeast and not worry about separating hop gunk if I dry hop in the keg.

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