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Messages - el_capitan

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Other Fermentables / Re: Sauerkraut
« on: October 20, 2014, 06:03:06 PM »
I would be cool with fermenting in a bucket, with a big plate as a follower to keep the cabbage under the liquid.  My wife is not down with plastic in ferments though, so we've used the 1-gallon glass jars.  I think one of the new big mouth bubblers would be perfect for a large batch, and the Ziplock bag full o' water method would work fine in that case. 

In my experience, there is a considerable volume gain when the ferment really gets going, so plan on leaving some head space in whatever container you use.  I'm thinking about fermenting a small batch in my classroom this year, up on my desk so students can watch the activity.  Then I'll gross them all out when I take a bite.    :o

The other day I told a girl that she was eating billions of living bacteria as she ate her yogurt.  She was so grossed out she threw it away!  Kids these days, sheesh...

Other Fermentables / Re: Cider Making 2014
« on: October 17, 2014, 06:22:57 PM »
Well sorry to leave you hangin' here, fellas.  I was so busy running the gear that I only had time to pose for one picture, and I'm sure I looked like a total goon.  We were really just juicing the apples my sister and her husband had gathered.  I was hoping to juice mine this weekend, but it looks like we'll be focusing on sauce and rings. 

Next weekend will be the grand ciderfest, and I'll be sure to take some shots and post them.  Cheers.

Other Fermentables / Cider Making 2014
« on: October 12, 2014, 08:14:12 AM »
Well I'm blowing the dust off my 'apple scratter' and fruit press today and making a batch of cider with my sister and her husband.  They brought a bunch of apples with them so they'll take all the juice with them.  I have a ton of apples just waiting to be processed - I'll end up doing mine on Thursday of this week. 

The last time I made cider (2008), I fermented 30 gallons with 6 different yeasts, and I'm just now drinking the last of it.  It has held up really well over 6 years in the bottle!  I'll post some pics of our setup later on.  Fall weather, full colors, and fresh cider.  Perfect!

The Pub / Re: Huge news from The Weaze
« on: October 10, 2014, 04:58:26 PM »
No. Sigh.... she made promise not to wear it on wedding day. I respectfully agreed.

Possible loophole - the tuxedo briefs.  I was going to post a picture, but nobody really wants to see that, do they?   :o

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Spilt Batch Pilsner Experiment
« on: October 08, 2014, 10:00:53 PM »
Did the WY2001 take longer to completely ferment? That yeast has been really slow for me in the past. But a good performer. Clean and crisp as you describe.

I didn't take gravity readings along the way, so I can't say for sure.  Both were at terminal gravity after the primary ferment, going into D-rest. 

I just pulled another sample of each, and the Munich Lager strain has a really intense bready finish.  I like it - but it's not what I'm looking for in my Bo Pils. 

I'm finally getting into lager brewing after about 10 years of homebrewing.  I've wanted to brew a pilsner for YEARS!!  I have some close relatives who brew, and they totally poo-poo lagers.  "We have no interest in brewing lagers."  Ok... that's a pretty close-minded approach.  They claim that all lagers are lacking in flavor.  There's a point where you just kind of throw up your hands and quit trying to talk reasonably to those folks.

Thanks for the recommendations on some versatile lager strains.  I may bounce back for some suggestions as I plan to brew more lagers this winter.  Cheers! 

The Pub / Re: New hobby
« on: October 06, 2014, 08:30:14 PM »
A getting stopped with a new didgerido from guitar center in the car is a sure way to get searched, I would think. Unless you are in Washington or Colorado
Yes, a didgeridoo that is in plain sight surely constitutes reasonable suspicion to conduct a vehicle search. If the search turns up Frisbee golf discs they don't even have to find the pot to get a conviction.

 ;D  Good one!

The Pub / Re: Huge news from The Weaze
« on: October 06, 2014, 08:24:22 PM »
Have you spent some time shopping around the interwebs for really special wedding kilt?   ;D

Hop Growing / Re: Crown removal
« on: October 06, 2014, 08:18:48 PM »
I was planning to dig up and spread out 10 established hop crowns this summer.  Somehow, I just couldn't muster the courage.  Next year maybe.

Yeast and Fermentation / Spilt Batch Pilsner Experiment
« on: October 06, 2014, 08:15:01 PM »
Hey guys - I recently brewed a batch of pilsner lager and split it to compare yeast strains.

I keep WY2308 Munich Lager in my yeast bank as a versatile German lager strain.  I've used it for Vienna lager, Munich Helles, and Munich Dunkel.  I'm also planning to pitch it into a Schwarzbier this winter.  So far, I've enjoyed all of these batches immensely.

So I wanted to see how it performed in a Bo Pils.  I pitched WY2001 Urquell Lager into the other fermenter.  Identical fermentation conditions and timetables were maintained - 3 weeks in primary @ 50 degrees, 1 week D-rest, then 2 weeks lagering in the keg fridge so far.

I sampled the two this weekend, and I have to say I'm really surprised at how different they are.  I know they will benefit from more conditioning time, but both beers are very good already.  However, the WY2308 Munich Lager has a much more malty, rounded character.  The WY2001 Urquell Lager has a slight sulfur note up front, but overall is much cleaner and crisper, accenting the hop character.  The hops got lost in the Munich Lager beer. 

I'll reflect on this more as the beer ages, but I wanted to share my impressions.  I was hoping that the 2308 would be just as good or better, so I could maintain just one lager yeast.  But it appears that in this case, the yeast strain really makes a difference.   One thing that comes to mind is that although I built both starters up in identical steps, I can't be sure how many cells I had in each culture at the start.  I factored this in and erred on the side of overpitching, but that's the one variable I can think of that could have had an effect. 

Other Fermentables / Re: Sauerkraut
« on: September 26, 2014, 07:10:26 PM »
The true ratio of salt to cabbage is 3 Tbsp/ 5 lb of cabbage.  Make sure you use non-iodized salt, as that will inhibit the fermentation.  The optimum fermentation temp is 68-72 degrees, and it's recommended that you let it ferment for at least 10-12 weeks prior to eating.  I couldn't find the source of that info again, but here is an interesting chart that shows how the different bacterial strains operate in a kraut ferment:

Here is the source page for the above graphic. 

Other Fermentables / Re: Fermented Salsa
« on: September 26, 2014, 07:00:15 PM »
We didn't use a starter culture, since all of the veggies were organic and right from our garden.  Really high-quality stuff, I was pretty selective of which veggies I chose since it was going to be fermented rather than heat-processed.

It came out really tasty, with a lactic tang that almost gives the impression of slight carbonation.  It was really watery though.  I'm making a second batch tonight and this time I'll drain the tomatoes.  I left out the jalapenos so mine came out pretty close to pico de gallo. 

Other Fermentables / Re: Anybody try kombucha
« on: September 12, 2014, 06:37:41 PM »
I've had good luck culturing a kombucha SCOBY from a bottle of GT Kombucha from the grocery store.  It's a good idea to step up the batch size until your SCOBY gets to full size, much like culturing yeast from a bottled brew.  I went with the original, and it worked for me.  YMMV.

Other Fermentables / Fermented Salsa
« on: September 12, 2014, 06:33:18 PM »
We lucked out with an extended growing season in MN last year, but this year it looks like we're getting an early first frost tonight.  So I did a quick pick and now I'm going to make some fermented salsa. 

Here's a link to the recipe (scroll down on the page past the annoying pickl-it propaganda).  My wife and I made some of our own pickl-it style jars last year by buying 1 gallon bail-top jars with gaskets, then having the lids drilled to accept a rubber stopper and airlock.  Truly excluding oxygen with a tightly-sealed jar majorly improved our results.  Now I'm thinking about using a big-mouth bubbler as a fermenter for sauerkraut and other large-batch veggie ferments.

The veggie ferments last year turned out great.  This will be our first time doing fermented salsa.  Hope it's good! 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Vienna/Octoberfest Maltiness
« on: September 10, 2014, 06:23:55 PM »
I have not done this personally but I know a guy who did.

After Dave posted about this a while back, I brewed a Vienna Centennial SMASH last winter that was great.  Most of it was consumed during maple syrup season, while cooking down sap.  Good stuff!

The Pub / Re: Best Album of All Time
« on: September 01, 2014, 09:12:21 PM »
No vinyl.  Where is this going.  I need proof to like Ween and own their Cd's?

CD's aren't albums.

I own Chocolate and Cheese on vinyl, which is obviously better than The Mollusk anyway.  Cheers!

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