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Topics - 69franx

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General Homebrew Discussion / Great Weekend
« on: February 01, 2015, 09:35:13 PM »
Hope everyone had a great weekend. I know I did. Friday night movie night in front of the fireplace with my wife and the kids sipping some homebrew. Saturday we celebrated the middle son's 14th birthday with all 5 of us(very rare). We had lunch at Skyline (his favorite) then we went to the range, I had forgotten how much is involved with teaching newbies firearms safety (and having 3 to teach meant not a lot of shooting but everyone had a blast. After the range we checked out some sights in Cincinnati while waiting to go see "Interstellar" at the cheap theater. Everyone came home and crashed after the 2 hours 40+ minute adventure. Sunday was beer day. I brewed 5.5G of English Style Barleywine, missing my OG of 1.103 by 3 points, I'll take that anyday. After the boil, I boiled up some priming sugar for the Special Bitter I needed to harvest yeast from for the Barleywine. Bottled that up during the game, along with a few brews to unwind: brewing and brewing chores from 10am till after 7, with several small breaks in there. Still need to clean up after the range yesterday, guess that will have to wait til tomorrow. :o

All Grain Brewing / Unexpected efficiency
« on: January 18, 2015, 01:19:22 PM »
So today I made an attempt at a standard bitter, essentially as a large, drinkable starter to grow up enough yeast for an attempt at "The Queen's Diamonds" English Barleywine from Denny and Drew's "Experimental Home Brewing." Most of the batches I have been making are in the 1.065 and up range and I have been getting efficiencies in the high 60s-low 70s. I am still trying to dial in a system upgrade with a new larger brew kettle. I knew I would have better efficiency on a 6G batch of 1.038 OG Bitter, so I adjusted my efficiency number in Beersmith up to 74%. This was obviously not high enough. I did boil off an extra quart, but finished with 5.75G at 1.046, calculated at almost 86% efficiency. Needless to say, I am pleased with the efficiency on such a low OG brew, just wish I had planned on it being that high. My "Nothing Special About It" ordinary bitter is now actually in the "Special" range (and I am going to have to change the name,  ;D)   Grist was 7#13oz Crisp MO(first experience with this malt, it is the Glen Eagles Malting I had asked about previously in another post) and 6.7oz of C120. Mashed with 5g of treated RO(targeting 5.4 pH), and sparged with 3.75G treated RO. This was easily my thinnest mash to date, at 2.43qt/# to get in the ball park of equal runnings. With the notes from anther thread about sparge options I believe, maybe this should have been a no sparge batch. Either way, I will update after fermentation about the progress of this batch.The color and clarity in my hydrometer sample are wonderful, will post a pic soon. Really no questions here, just sharing my experience, if you see something that seems out of place though, please let me know.

Ingredients / Water profile for ordinary bitter
« on: January 12, 2015, 09:20:38 PM »
Name kind of says it all. I am planning on an ordinary bitter this weekend essentially as a starter for an English Barleywine. OG 1.034, IBUs between 20-25. I love my AIPA at Pale Ale Profile on Bru'NWater with pH of 5.4, but that cant be what I should looking for for an English ordinary bitter. The profile for Yellow Bitter seems like a better starting place. I have no experience with making British style ales and almost no experience with drinking them. I just thought this might be a good "starter" for the Barleywine from Experimental HomeBrewing. Any thoughts on the water profile or the idea of making an ordinary bitter as a starter for the English Barleywine. I will of course want to drink the bitter once finished so just looking for experienced opinions

General Homebrew Discussion / Great Christmas present
« on: January 07, 2015, 08:50:29 PM »

Christmas present from my best friend! Thanks brother, put the Mr. Beer down and start brewing!

Ingredients / New/Old hops
« on: January 05, 2015, 04:38:57 PM »
So right before Christmas, I took a chance with NikoBrew's grab bag of hops: 4# of hops for $36, the catch was they were 2012 crop, and you would not know what you were getting until you got them. Here's what I got:

1# each of:
German Herkules 15.6AA
German Taurus 16.6AA
El Dorado 15.7AA
Saphir 3.9AA

I have found a little info on them on Hop Union's Hop Wheel, but I am wondering who has used these, in what brews, and what are your thoughts on them? Any tips are appreciated.

General Homebrew Discussion / Bock attenuation problem
« on: January 04, 2015, 03:16:03 PM »
Hey all, I'm back from Florida. I just checked my Bock brewed on 12/7/14 and it is down to 1.025 from 1.072, or 65% attenuation with WLP833, pitched around 540B cells estimated when Beersmith called for 552B. When I left town, I gave it the last 2 degree bump to get it to 65DF and it was at 1.029 (60% attenuation at that point) it has been resting at 65 for 10 days and has only gone down another 4 points. My grist was 50/50 Munich I&II with 3 oz carafa II to get the color right. Mashed at 155, projection of 1.02 FG, really not even close right now. Its my first attempt at a Bock and the sample tastes good, if a bit sweet. The only yeast I have on hand currently is a pack of S04. Not sure if it is just done high due to mash temp? Or if I can get a couple more points out of it. Its roughly 6.2% ABV right now, a little low but drinkable. Any suggestions?

General Homebrew Discussion / BVIP
« on: December 26, 2014, 08:57:06 PM »
Ok, probably no big surprise here for anyone who has made or tasted this brew from the one and only Denny Conn, there is a new favorite home brew in the household. On vacation, chilled 2 bottles down to try out after 11 days in the bottle. Still some carbing to do, but already delicious. Loved by SWMBO, my parents, and myself. This will be regularly scheduled. If you have not tried it yet, you can find the recipe in the wiki here under specialty beer. Thank you again Denny.

General Homebrew Discussion / D rest fpr my Bock
« on: December 24, 2014, 09:34:45 PM »
My Bock has been progressing well and I have been following the accelerated lager ferment schedule discussed here recently. Here is my question: I have been slowly bringing it up to 65 for a D rest, whether it needs it or not, I just bumped it up from 62-65(set the controller that is) but I am leaving town for 10 days tomorrow. Are there any issues leaving it at 65 for 10 days rather than a standard 3 days? Or should I just crash it back down to lager temps?

Ingredients / Crisp Maris Otter
« on: December 09, 2014, 01:10:53 PM »
So I have some questions, go figure. I ordered a 55# sack of Crisp Maris otter(my first foray into Maris Otter) from my LHBS. I just picked it up and am confused. I see a lot of great comments on this forum about this malt and I want to make sure that I got the real deal. I ordered Crisp Maris Otter, the sack I just picked up says "Gleneagles Maris Otter" and has a batch info sticker on it that does reference for any questions. The sticker on the bag does have a batch number on it which I assume I could reference for malt analysis, but I cannot figure out where to go for that. I will attach a photo shortly.
When I visit, I see no place to enter a batch number, but I can find a downloadable pdf of a "Typical Analysis and Product Description," will this be close enough?
This typical analysis is for Finest Maris Otter Ale malt, rather than the Extra Pale Maris Otter Malt that is also listed. If I did not specify, would I likely have been shipped the "Finest?"
This sack is going into a SMASH bitter, re-pitch into "The Queen's Diamonds" from Experimental Homebrewing, and also into Jamil's Evil Twin.
Another question, is all MO floor malted? What does floor malting ring to the table.
I know there are a lot of questions here, but anything anyone can tell me would help set my mind at ease. I have no fears of being "Hoodwinked " by my LHBS, just that maybe I did not order correctly, not knowing all the specifics

Yeast and Fermentation / Slurry pitch for BCS Bock
« on: November 16, 2014, 09:28:55 AM »
One of my next brews will a BCS Bock. I would like to pitch slurry from my BCS Dunkel. I have a couple questions about this, as I have not harvested yeast before. The Dunkel is already lagering, still on the yeast cake, am I correct in assuming this yeast will still be viable for the next batch, or do I need to get it rolling again via a starter. When I plug my numbers into Mr. Malty calc, 6G of 1.071 lager wort, what viability should I be entering? At the default settings for yeast thickness and non yeast %, it yields 337 mL of slurry at 80% viability, and if viability is only 10%, it calls for almost 3L of slurry, a pretty wide spread. So I guess the main question is, what is the rough viability of my slurry after lagering for 2-3 weeks at 34F? Should I rack off the yeast and then warm the yeast up, create a starter, or buy a new vial/pack of yeast? So much to learn...

Equipment and Software / Grain Mill
« on: November 14, 2014, 09:40:06 PM »
I know this topic has been covered over and over here and elsewhere, but I still want to know... I brew 1-2 batches per month at 10-18# per batch, and occasionally 25# batches. Where is my money best spent: JSP malt mill, Barley Crusher, Cereal Killer, Monster Mill 2/3. By moving to all grain and buying in bulk, my per pound grain savings almost pay for any of these options. I just really dont want to pay for more than I need. I wont necessarily be moving up to much larger batches until I get something to help me(pump, or other automation), so where is my money best spent? I have read up on all of these options, just not sure what the best fit for me is. As stated, I am currently brewing 1-2 batches per month using 12-15# per batch and may brew the occasional  9G batches to split (but then I am sure my brewing frequency would fall.) As I said above, my bulk savings will pay for any of these options, I just dont want to buy bigger than I need(not looking to leap into profitable production volumes on this scale). In recent purchases, I have easily saved about $145 in bulk grain buying, with no end in sight for bulk purchases. I can add a drill easily to any mill purchase I make, but am not necessarily making that leap right away. What are your mill thoughts and why? Barley Crusher is on sale at 20% off, but is that a better choice for me than the cereal killer at less than half the cost? I just dont know. It is time for me to buy a mill, as I have been buying base malt in bulk, help me decide which mill i the mill for me. I am a relative newbie, with temp control, just looking for the next step in consistency without a lot of automation. I think I am looking for your thoughts on hand cranking these weights, versus drill powered milling of the same type poundages. All thoughts welcome, anything I dont spend on a mill will likely go into other equipment or ingredients, so help me figure out where to put my $$$$$!

Beer Recipes / "Germerican IPA"
« on: November 05, 2014, 12:31:02 PM »
I received an email from Label Peelers that they are offering a new IPA. Their description roughly says it is in tribute to first known hop cultivation in Germany many years ago. The story is not all that important, so facts be damned. I think the general idea sounds good: American IPA with German influence. Their kit calls for American extract plus German specialty malts(nothing named specifically) and newish German hops: Mandarina Bavaria and Hull Melon(both named). I would like to try to put something like this together but in all grain, so I was thinking:
American 2 Row 68%
Dark Munich 20%
Victory 5.5%
Vienna 5.5%
Weyerman Chocolate Rye 1%(mainly for color)
I have not used these hops before but have read about them here on the forum, but I can make a RWAG about using them. I was wondering about a good German bittering hop that might fit in here?
Their recipe calls for 42-46 IBUs, I'd likely go a little higher, close to 1:1 IBU/GU factor, and the grist is just a slight variation on what I already like in my IPA, with a little more German flourish
This is another brew for "someday" so no big rush. What are your experiences with anything along these lines, or your thoughts about the idea in general? Anything you would change drastically? Tell me if you hate it or love it and why
I suppose this appeals to me because of my love of IPA, and the little German heritage I have.

Hope I'm not stepping on any copyright issues by using the dealer's name or the name of their offering

Equipment and Software / Refrigeration Space
« on: November 03, 2014, 07:45:51 PM »
Not sure if this should be in equipment or not, but it is equipment related. I have a 7.2cf chest freezer with Johnson digital controllers for managing the freezer and a fermwrap. I have my Dunkel in the freezer now at 8 days and have started to slowly raise the temp. When I checked it, it had gone from 1.054 down to 1.02, or 68.5% attenuation thus far roughly. Trying to mimic the modified lager schedule that was discussed on my post "My first lager" I plan on raising it a couple degrees a day (3) till I hit 65, leave for 3 days or until no diacetyl and FG has been reached. My question is this, I also store my finished beers in this chest freezer. What will happen if these go from the 50 they have been sitting at, slowly up to 65, then slowly back down to 35? The beers in question are a little of my Split open and Melt RIS from Big Brew, a couple Double Hazelnut Browns, a Märzen or 2, and assorted store bought beers. Do I need to find another way? My basement has been in the mid fifties the last 5 days or so, so I could just pull them, leave them out in basement and hope temp does not spike up? What are your thoughts?
Edit for typo

Beer Recipes / Next batch
« on: October 28, 2014, 08:59:08 PM »
So I think my next batch will be 11/9/14 and I plan on trying out Denny's BVIP, with the recipe from the wiki here. Any thoughts, tips, or tweaks any of you have made? I know everyone raves about this brew, so I want to make it, just looking for any insight other than what is listed in the wiki

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