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Messages - el_capitan

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1
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: SNS Starter Fail
« on: June 05, 2017, 04:32:33 PM »
I tried it again without the Fermcap, and it was mighty frothy.  Talk about an easy way to make a starter.  I wish I hadn't wasted all that time making my double stirplate! 

2
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Favorite Yeast for Dark Mild?
« on: May 29, 2017, 09:06:33 PM »
It's hard to beat Palmer's Elevenses with 1469.  I've done it twice, and I'll do it again!! 

3
Yeast and Fermentation / SNS Starter Fail
« on: May 29, 2017, 09:03:52 PM »
So there I was, just shakin' that gallon jug like mad, waiting for that big foamy froth to rise up... and nothing.  Shook it even harder... nothing.  Then I thought, "Oh... Fermcap in the starter.  Whoops."  So I fired up the stir plate this time, and I'll give SNS a shot next time. 

Don't put Fermcap in your SNS starters!  Should have been obvious, but hindsight is 20/20.

4
Looks to be a light, easy-drinking ale.  Hopefully that melon flavor will come through for you.  I have a couple questions though - what is the purpose of the 6-row?  That's one malt that I haven't ever used in 13 years of brewing.  You shouldn't have a problem with converting the wheat malt.  I wouldn't think the flaked maize would be a problem either. 

This grain bill doesn't look like any style per se, but in general I would expect it to be a lighter, easy-drinking ale with a restrained hop character that should (hopefully) let your watermelon shine through. 

I would consider switching out the Columbus hops for something smoother, such as Magnum.  Unless that's what you're limited to for on-hand ingredients.  Let's see what the rest of the hooligans have to say.  Welcome to the forum!

5
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: IPAs and Me
« on: April 25, 2017, 05:02:18 PM »
Living a couple hours from Yakima, we get our share of IPAs up here. No, MORE than our share.  And I love IPAs. But, I'm just tired of them.  It sucks to walk down the aisle at the grocery store, and see a wall of BMC swill on one side, and a wall of IPAs on the other. Take out the Goose Island, 10 Barrel, and Elysian (I refuse to pay money to AB-InBev), and its even more sparse.

Sure you can find 1 or 2 porters or stouts, or a few witbiers.  Once in a while, there's a Kolsch.  But most of the beers in the stores here are just alcohol and iso-alpha-acid delivery vehicles.

So, I'm back to homebrewing because that's about the only way to get the beer I want to drink.

That's exactly why I've always been focused on drinking mostly my own beer.  I  buy commercial beer only when I somehow run out of homebrew, or when I want to sample a new style or offering.  Other than that, it's all homebrew all the time. 

Also, I'm pretty sure this whole trend toward session beers and away from hop-bombs was predicted years ago by Gary Glass.  Session ales and lighter German beers was the prediction, IIRC.  So the whole LODO Munich Helles fixation was not a huge surprise to me. 

Like you guys, I moved past IPAs a couple years ago and have been exploring some fringe styles like Grödziskie and more sessionable European styles.  I still brew a couple IPAs each year when I crave them, like right around New Year's.  Really just when the mood strikes me. 

6
Kegging and Bottling / Re: What to do with a spare 1/2 gallon?
« on: April 18, 2017, 09:44:47 PM »
What about the caps that have ball lock connectors and screw on to 20 fl oz and 2 L pop bottles?

That's how I roll.  I call it "rescue beer."  I get to sample some of the beer right away and let the rest of it carb up properly.  I have no complaints about mine, other than the initial expense. 

7
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: omega hot head yeast
« on: April 12, 2017, 08:09:58 PM »
Not to be rude, but putting a carboy full of beer in the sun would be the LAST thing I would do.  I did a skunking experiment once, with cream ale in Corona bottles.  They were noticeably skunked after about 7 minutes, and it got considerably worse with samples exposed in various amounts up to about 45 min.  I wish I could post you the pictures of this trial, but the NB forum has purged a ton of its core content.    :'(

8
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Is Yeast Too Old?
« on: April 12, 2017, 07:51:20 PM »
I think if you make a 1Q SNS starter like Denny suggests and you get a krausen the next day you are good.  If after 24 hours you don't see any signs of life you may want to report back.

My experience is yeast  lasts a lot longer than calculators predict.

I second that!  Yeast are pretty resilient. 

9
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast washing
« on: April 04, 2017, 09:33:20 PM »
I'm drinking a Belgian witbier that is amazing right now.  I revived an 18 month old jar of clean slurry stored under beer.  I started with a 1L stirred starter with nutrient, which took a while to wake up and ferment.  Then I ran it through a .5 gal apple juice starter (unstirred) as a step-up batch.  I crashed it in the fridge for a week or so, then brewed with it.  It did ferment out drier than expected, finishing at 1.004, but it's a great beer. 

So, long-term yeast ranching can be done, but I don't wash my yeast either.  I just swirl up the beer and yeast after racking, then fill sterilized jars and store under the shelf in my keg fridge. 

10
All Grain Brewing / Re: Looking to upgrade
« on: April 04, 2017, 09:10:59 PM »
The ultimate upgrade includes a catwalk and a brewing monkey.   ;)

11
The Pub / Re: How did you pick your forum name?
« on: March 29, 2017, 08:55:26 PM »
My name is Morgan, and I did a lot of college radio back in the day as "Captain Morgan."  I like linguistics, and Spanish kind of came naturally to me.  Sometimes I even dream in Spanish.  Weird, because I'm 100% Norwegian.  Anyway, "El Capitan" it is.  Cheers, amigos.

12
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: omega hot head yeast
« on: March 29, 2017, 08:49:45 PM »
This really sounds to me like the lazy man's treasure.  I built a MOFC (Mother of Fermentation Chiller) years ago, and it has worked great for ales and even lagers.  Life is getting busier now with three sons and a hobby farm in the works, so Hot Head sounds really tempting to me.  I'm headed to NB this weekend and may pick up a pack if I can find a freshie.  Thanks for sharing your impressions.

13
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Apple Juice Yeast Starter?
« on: March 29, 2017, 08:47:29 PM »
Well, I know you all thought I was crazy, but I'm back to report that the witbier turned out to be an excellent beer.  Very light color, lots of aromatics, and a nice tart character from the yeast.  One strange thing is that it fermented down to 1.004.  I pick up a nice clove aromatic, but not really a flavor, which is great.  I appreciate a subtle clove, but I'm not a huge fan. 

This method worked well and I'd do it again.  The key is to provide yeast nutrients, of course. 

14
Ingredients / Re: New Hops Oils Composition Chart View
« on: March 29, 2017, 07:57:07 PM »
Yeah, this is pretty cool.  I shared it with some buddies of mine who just opened a brewpub in town.  I think it will be really helpful as we keep moving forward with recipes.  Thanks!

15
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Well, I'm an idiot.
« on: March 29, 2017, 07:40:59 PM »
Yeah, why not just vent the keg, remove the "out" post, then pull the dip tube way up.  Add a small sanitized nylon stocking over the end of the dip tube with a zip tie or some dental floss.  Drop 'er back in and let it rip.  What does hibiscus wine taste like?

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