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Messages - el_capitan

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Beer Recipes / Re: Sierra Nevada Celebration
« on: Today at 05:58:51 PM »
I shoot for about half of the Bru'nWater "pale ale" profile.

You mean you were using water with less than 150 ppm sulfate to brew an IPA? I'm not surprised the beer was lacking.

I experimented with lower sulfate content in a pale ale a few years ago and used 100 ppm sulfate. The beer was fine, but it lingered too long on the palate and it certainly had muted hop character. From that experience, I can assure anyone that 150 ppm sulfate would be the lowest I'd ever consider in a pale ale or IPA. But for the best flavor and character (to me), I still use the full 300 ppm sulfate as noted in the Pale Ale profile in Bru'n Water.

On my last three batches of IPA, I've been toggling between going for the full 300 ppm sulfate, and half those targets (about 150 ppm sulfate).  I think I prefer something closer to the full 300 ppm, but the beer starts out very sharp and needs to mellow in the keg just a touch.  The 150 ppm level is more of an approachable IPA for those who aren't mega hop heads or bitterness lovers.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Brewing a Belgian Witbier
« on: Today at 05:38:08 PM »
Yeah I noticed in Brewing Classic Styles, Jamil’s recipe calls for 43g orange zest which seems extreme - that’s the zest of 4 oranges!

Thanks for the response - I’ll try adding zest from half an orange at the end of the boil and see how I go...

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

My wife loves witbier, so I make Jamil's recipe quite often using the 43 grams of zest which is the same as three good sized oranges. The orange flavor is subdued but blended nicely with the coriander. I boil both for the last five minutes in the kettle. Good stuff!

+1.  I've done that recipe a couple times too, and it's not too much orange character at all.  If anything, I'd increase it even more. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Racking techniques
« on: November 17, 2017, 05:50:28 AM »
I highly recommend that you pick up an autosiphon with the clip that grabs on to the lip of the fermenter.  That makes it really easy to hold the siphon at your desired height and drop it down as the liquid level drops.  Plus, there is a cap on the end which stops sediment from being racked along with your beverage.  You probably didn't want to hear "more equipment" as your answer, but in my opinion, an autosiphon is indispensable.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: vanilla bean question
« on: November 17, 2017, 05:39:24 AM »
 I picked some up at Costco for a decent price, but has some good deals too.

Beer Recipes / Re: Sierra Nevada Celebration
« on: November 16, 2017, 07:49:52 PM »
Last year when I brewed this, we did a triangle test and mine was also lacking in hops sharpness.  I am using homegrown hops throughout though.  Which water profile are you guys using?  I'm considering amping up the sulfate level on this weekend's batch.  I shoot for about half of the Bru'nWater "pale ale" profile. 

Homebrewer Bios / Re: Brewmeisters - Southeast Iowa
« on: November 16, 2017, 07:46:57 PM »
Welcome, guys!  It's cool that you have a brewing partnership, so you have somebody to share in the learning journey.  My poor wife has listened to me ramble on about brewing for the last 14 years or so... She doesn't drink but could probably brew a pretty good beer at this point!

Don't feel shy about asking "entry level" questions.  We have a civil forum with a lot of experienced brewers.  Of course, the search function will turn up lots of good answers too.  Cheers!

Wood/Casks / Re: How Early to Add Oak?
« on: November 16, 2017, 07:30:42 PM »
Good question - I don't have an answer for you, but I wonder if the extra yeast in suspension would gum up the pores in the wood and thereby decrease the extraction of oak character?  Are you one to reuse your cubes, or do you toss them after a batch?  I have not oaked many beers, and when I have, it has been in secondary. 

Sorry if I contributed to thread drift.  I didn't mean any disrespect with my question about your motivation to brew with shorter boils.  It's just something I've never done in my 14 years of brewing, and I wondered what the motivation was.  I appreciate learning from the experience of others on this forum, and part of that is feeling free to ask questions. 

I'm glad shorter boils are working for you, but did you consider this?  If you did longer boils, you would have more time to up your post count with the Song Titles thread.  Sweet.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Hops calculation w/homegrown cones
« on: November 16, 2017, 07:16:35 PM »
I'm brewing Dean Larson's Celebration Ale clone this weekend, using all homegrown hops.  Looking forward to it!  I do think that Chinook tends to shift character when grown in the Midwest though.  Somebody on here was talking about reclassifying Midwestern Chinook with a new name.  Mine is much more grapefruity than piney. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: vanilla bean question
« on: November 16, 2017, 07:11:50 PM »
I just racked my BVIP onto the vanilla beans... my fingers smell delicious!  I wish I could grow some of my own,  but I understand that's pretty much impossible. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Been gone for about 10 years...
« on: November 16, 2017, 07:08:51 PM »
Still wanna know who the BIG Beer brewer was in Michigan though.... kinda wanting to go that direction... at least a good portion of it I think.

I believe Fred Bonjour is the guy you're remembering.

Could it be MullerBrau?  I'm not sure where he's at, but he brews a lot of big beers too.

Beer Recipes / Re: Sierra Nevada Celebration
« on: November 15, 2017, 04:27:11 PM »
You guys have just convinced me to go pick some up, and also bust out the homegrowns and brew a batch!  Thanks.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: vanilla bean question
« on: November 15, 2017, 04:23:53 PM »
I don't do anything but split them, scrape them and dump them in.  Not necessary to sanitize.

+1 (Not that it's needed!)  When I brewed this with a buddy, he goofed up and threw away all the "gunk" inside.  It was severely lacking in vanilla character with just the pods.  Make sure to add the internal gunk and the bean casings cut into chunks.  Gunk and chunks?  Sounds delicious, eh?   :o

As I noted in reply 5 (above), I got the answers to my original questions.  The use of those results is coming out better than hoped for a first attempt.   

In the off chance that my replies (below) will spark something useful (to me), I'll offer some short answers to the questions raised.  Apologies in advance if they come across as terse (which is not my intent).

What's the motivation for the short boils? 

Is the extra half an hour of time worth using double the hops? 
I currently am in a position where I can 'optimize' my homebrewing hobby for enjoyment (curiosity, good results, ...), and not have to make time / cost trade-off when I brew.

There's still all the time of getting it up to a boil, as well as chilling.  I use the boil time to sanitize my fermenter and clean up my other gear.
After seeing Brewing When You Have No Time (Getting More out of Your Limited Brewing Time) by Sachin “Chino” Darji at HomeBrewCon this past summer, I'm pretty comfortable with how I use my time during my brew sessions.

Sure, man.  Brew what you like, however you like to brew it.  Sorry for questioning your motivations.  Peace out, homey.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Best of both worlds
« on: November 13, 2017, 04:49:43 PM »
I never replied to your basic point, Denny.  I like your idea of busting out two batches using both systems.  I might have to give that a shot!  The only part I'm shying away from is somehow lugging a bunch of hot wort up the stairs to the garage!  Our new house will be a single-level dwelling with my brewing room attached to the garage, so I can see that working really well.  Thanks for the idea. 

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