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Messages - brewmonk

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Ideal temperatures on fermentation
« on: February 21, 2011, 03:38:20 PM »
No, I haven't racked yet.  It is still fermenting, but the smell coming from the bubbler is green apple.  I plan to let it sit for about a month total, but confirm with multiple gravity readings.

Like I said, I'm a noobie, so I have yet to let "Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew" sink in yet.  ;)  I guess I just don't quite know what to expect when fermenting, as this is only my second batch ever.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Ideal temperatures on fermentation
« on: February 21, 2011, 03:20:10 PM »
Could that be why there is a green apple smell, because I am fermenting a bit higher? or is that just natural with Denny's Fav? (I pray I don't have bacteria).

The recipe is:
50 g cracked crystal malt
100 g of cracked chocolate malt (both steeped 30 min at about 70° C in 1 gallon of water)
added 2 more gallons of water after steeping and brought to boil
1 can of coopers lager liquid malt kit (added at boil)
1.5 kg (about 3 lbs) of light dry malt extract (added at boil)
boil time of 20 min
20 g Hallertaur Hersbrucker (added in last 10 min of boil)
topped off to a total of 5 gallons
yeast: Denny’s Favorite 50
OG was 1.060

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Ideal temperatures on fermentation
« on: February 21, 2011, 01:45:47 PM »
Geeze, do I feel foolish.  When in doubt read the instructions.  WYeast had no conflicting information.  The higher temperature was the pitching temperature, then the last step "adjust to desired fermentation temperature."

So, forgive my false accusation of WYeast.  Their package was accurate.

Still, I have mistakenly been fermenting a bit higher (around 22 C), will this cause problems?


Yeast and Fermentation / Ideal temperatures on fermentation
« on: February 21, 2011, 08:34:07 AM »
[EDIT: I didn't read the packet close enough. WYeast is not putting out contradictory information.  I humbly apologize for the confusion  :-[ ]

I'm finally getting around to my 2nd batch, and am using Denny's Favorite 50.  The WYeast package it came in has on the package a range of 21-24 degrees C, but when I look on the WYeast website it says 15-21 degrees C.  I'm assuming if I've been fermenting at the higher temps according to the package it won't make much of a difference, but I find the conflicting information odd given they are both from WYeast
Admittedly, the package looks like a generic WYeast package with "Denny's Favorite 50" stamped on it.  I'm in Italy, so I assume there's a WYeast lab affiliate here in Europe somewhere.  Would they have less accurate packaging procedures though?
Since I'm a noobie, I don't know how big the margin of error is on certain things yet.

I want to see Iron Chef type brewing. That would be cool - secret ingredient - make a beer and time lapse fast forward to serving time for the judges. Every gadget available; essence extractors, steam imfusion mashes, randalls, etc...

Some of the Dallas brew clubs do something like this.  It's called the Iron Mash, and they have a special ingredient the "teams" have to use.  I don't think there are any specialty brewers like the Iron Chefs, or grandiose brew set ups like the kitchen stadium, but the teams have to come up with a brew with a certain amount of time.  I hear there are sometimes some pretty interesting results.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer in the Bible
« on: October 20, 2010, 11:47:18 AM »
Yeah, I know they aren't quite what we're looking for ::) but ... in the RSV translation you have:

Numbers  21:16
And from there they continued to Beer; that is the well of which the LORD said to Moses, "Gather the people together, and I will give them water."


Judges 9:21
And Jotham ran away and fled, and went to Beer and dwelt there, for fear of Abim'elech his brother.

Sorry, couldn't resist.  ;D

So, I'm assuming all these ancient beers would have been rather sweet, or was there some type of bittering agent used other than hops?  I've never studied ancient beer recipes.

General Homebrew Discussion / Iodophor: BTF vs Vinoferm
« on: September 30, 2010, 03:29:23 PM »
Does anyone have any experience with or knowledge of the Vinoferm brand of Iodophor (I think it is from a French company) ... specifically concentration?
I have heard all the things about the BTF brand from national chemicals and to use only 1 TBS per 5 gallons.  But since I am in Italy, the only thing I can easily get is the Vinoferm version, which basically says to add 5 ml per 10 liters (which is about the equivalent of 2 tsp to 5 gallons).  I've tried searching the web (although I'm not sure how well) to find if Vinoferm is just more concentrated, but can't really find anything.  I'm assuming that the difference wouldn't make that much of a difference if it was more concentrated and would not affect the beer in the big picture.  However, I was just wanting to see if anyone might know the differences.

Beer Recipes / Re: Newbie dark pseudo-bock
« on: August 20, 2010, 11:24:10 AM »
All right, I had a chance to go back through the brewing notes from many years ago... Assuming the Coopers Lager Extract can is the same I used back then...

My Notes
The can is pre-hopped, so no bitterness hop addition is needed.
The can is 1.7Kg or 3.75Lb.
To make 5 gallons (18.9L) I add about 3Lb or 1.36Kg of Dried Malt Extract.

If you are making around 3 to 4 gallons then the single can with 1Lb Dried Malt Extract you should be OK. If you are going up tp 5 gallons, I would add another 1 to 2 Lb Dried Malt extract.

Essentially, if you do not have enough Malt then the beer is going to be thin and watery. 

Also, steeping the grains below 75C is a very good practice (as you know from Palmer's Book)

I encourage you to try your recipe, and if after you taste it (and it will taste good by the way!!!) you think Hmm too hoppy, or not Hoppy enough, or I wish this had just a little more body... you now have some tools to make those changes in your next back. 

In my opinion, drinking the beer is only half the fun!  The other half is dissecting what I would or would not change about every beer I have made, and change the recipe or brewing process to make that flavor change happen. 

It is really a lot of fun!!!   Good luck!   
Yes my can is the same.  After considering it, I think I will add about another 500g (1lb) of DME just to get a bit more body and bump the gravity up a bit.  Would you believe that the original recipe also calls for this to make 6 gallons?  I think I'll go for a five gallon batch though.

Wow, this has been quite a good learning experience in the research alone, but it is also getting me psyched about this next batch.

Thanks again for all the help.

I'll post the results ASAP, although I probably won't get a brewday in the near future.  Arrgggg the wait!!!  ;)

Beer Recipes / Re: Newbie dark pseudo-bock
« on: August 19, 2010, 11:59:54 AM »

Did you come up with this recipe on your own, or is it one that someone has done before?  If it's someone else's recipe I would just follow it and see what happens.  If you came up with it on your own . . . well, you're not adding so much to it in the way of grains/extract that I think you really need to worry about the bitterness, so just follow it and see what happens. :)

Let me sum up: don't worry about it, brew it as you have it written and let us know how it goes.

It is someone else's recipe but I have modified it a bit because they say to put the grains in the water and bring it to a boil and let the grains sit in the boil for 20 minutes, which I hear creates tannins.  I am changing it to be more like what John Palmer recommends in his book for steeping grains.  Otherwise I have stuck with the ingredients as the recipe said (with the exception of a different hop because I can't get Mt. Hood, and of trying a better yeast than the dried packet that comes with the can).

Thanks to everyone for the advice though.  It really helps.

Beer Recipes / Re: Newbie dark pseudo-bock
« on: August 19, 2010, 05:21:09 AM »
It depends on if they expect you to add more sugar or not.  If they think you'll use it as is, adding unhopped extract will make it seem less bitter than it already is.  Still, I would probably leave out any bittering addition this time around and see how it turns out.

Hmmm, I didn't consider that.  I can't tell from the recipe if it assumes you will add additional sugar (following the directions on the can) or if the dry malt extract and grains in this recipe makes up for that. My guess is that the grains and dry malt extract replace the sugar you would use if you were just brewing the kit as is.  If I added more sugar, would that just increase the gravity and therefore the alcohol content, or would that make the beer too sweet?  ???

Beer Recipes / Re: Newbie dark pseudo-bock
« on: August 18, 2010, 05:59:18 PM »
Yes, the hop question is a bit confusing too.  The can of liquid exctract is pre-hopped.  So I am assuming all I need are finishing hops.  The recipe only called for that one addition of hops near the end, so I am assuming the pre-hopped extract makes up for the lack of bittering hops. ??? But any help on that aspect would be greatly appreciated too.

Beer Recipes / Re: sour cherry rochefort brett in oak
« on: August 18, 2010, 10:32:54 AM »
Wow! Sounds like a lot of work, but it also sounds like it is definitely worth it.  Wish I could sample some.  I think you're in for a pretty merry Christmas ;D .  Cheers!

Beer Recipes / Newbie dark pseudo-bock
« on: August 18, 2010, 10:22:00 AM »
I hope I'm not going out of my league for my second brew ever, but I wanted to get a bit more complex.  This may be more a question of yeast though.  This recipe started with me looking for something with which to get rid of my "lager" extract kit that came with my fermenter kit.

Rocky Mountain American Dark
This is a Bock-Like lager made with added chocolate malt.
The American Mount Hood hops add fine flavour and aroma.

1 can Coopers Lager extract kit

50g Cracked Crystal Malt

100g Cracked Chocolate Malt

500g Light Dry Malt Extract

20g Mount Hood Hop Pellets (Hallertaur Hersbruker as substitute, since I can't get Mt. Hood here in Italy)

(Possible yeast substitute: White labs American ale yeast blend)

I plan to just steep the grains according to John J. Palmer's "How to Brew", then do the usual extract kit thing, and add the hops with about 10 minutes left.  Since I don't have the ability to lager, I was going to try to use a substitute ale yeast (not the dry yeast that comes with the kit) of the White labs American ale yeast blend.

Does anything seem glaringly wrong in this recipe?  I'm not really sure what to expect, but it sounds interesting.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Corking Champagne bottles
« on: August 12, 2010, 05:17:04 AM »
Here in Italy, all the fancy beers (microbrewed beers) come in 75cl champagne bottles, eg  They are usually capped with bottle caps, but just take note that champagne bottles have a slightly bigger opening, so a standard bottle cap probably won't work.  I think champagne bottles are about 3mm larger at the opening.  Usually regular bottles are about 26mm and champagne bottles are 29mm.  I'm not sure if it is the same in the States though.
I don't think you can cap them with a standard hand capper.  You will probably need the tabletop type.  I would think your LHBS would know and have the caps you need.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Missing bottle sediment?
« on: August 11, 2010, 04:03:26 PM »
Celebrate! Sounds great!
+1 Sounds like you did a great job siphoning during your bottling process. 
Did you mention how is the carbonation level is?
The carbonation seems fine.  The pour has a good but not annoying head.  Only one bottle has overflowed upon opening (which may have been due to jostling).  It isn't carbonated like a Guinness (creamy finely bubbled head), but I am not expecting that with a simple extract kit and bottle conditioning.  It might be slightly under-carbonated, but that may be due to the fact that I was a bit worried about over-carbonating and was conservative with the priming sugar.

Thanks for the encouragement.

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