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Topics - madscientist

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Kegging and Bottling / Head retention
« on: April 09, 2012, 11:06:24 AM »
So the last two batches I brewed (Amber and an Irish Red), I decided to use a priming sugar calculator rather than dump in the whole 5oz package of corn sugar.  Both beers taste great, and I think I like the carb levels much better, but I am thinking the head retention is suffering.  I poured a few and it is either really thin or non existant.  I suppose it could be soap residue in the glasses, but will this improve over the next few weeks?

Beer Recipes / Building my Pale Ale recipe
« on: April 03, 2012, 08:03:56 AM »
So I'm brewing a pale ale this coming weekend with Columbus and Mt. Hood hops.  Grain bill is going to be Munich/Victory/2-Row.  I decided I am not going to use Crystal malt for a change.  I am using Columbus and Mt. Hood hops, and a third, either Citra, Amarillo, or Cascade.  My question is if I should use both the third hop and Mt. Hood late in the boil, or use Mt. Hood exclusively late in the boil and use the third hop for dry hopping?

Ingredients / Columbus and ???
« on: March 15, 2012, 08:18:21 AM »
I am looking for something that plays well with Columbus in a pale ale.  Thinking Citra, Amarillo maybe? 

Beer Recipes / Another irish red
« on: February 26, 2012, 04:41:15 PM »
So i'm making an irish red ale for my brother in law and need some feedback.  I've done a lot of reading and research and think I have a good idea for a recipe, but I don't want to go overboard on specialty malts.  The recipe is a partial mash with a 3gal boil.

2 lb UK Pale Malt (Maybe marris otter)
8 oz Cara Pils/Dextrine
8 oz Crystal 40
2.1 oz Roasted barley
2.1 oz Chocolate Malt
3.3 lb Pale LME

0.80 oz Kent Goldings @ 60min
1 lb light DME (30 min addition)

1.0 oz Willamette @ 15min
0.50 oz Kent Goldings @ 15min

I will probably mash at 1.5qt/lb @154 for 60min.  This recipe gives me about 25 IBU, 15 SRM and an OG of 1049.

Thoughts, suggestions?  Thanks!

Yeast and Fermentation / Finally did a yeast starter
« on: February 21, 2012, 06:31:51 AM »
Why the hell did I wait so long to try this?  Less than 12 hours after pitching my airlock is going crazy.  I guess I put it off so long because I thought I didn't have the proper equipment.  While a stir plate would have made it easier, I used a half gallon growler, and just proceeded to swirl it up every so often. 

Beer Recipes / Single hop beer
« on: February 06, 2012, 08:17:24 AM »
I've been wanting to do some single hop beers for a while.  I want a slightly maltier background I think than just 2-Row and Crystal malt, like i did in my pale ale. I don't want to go overboard on the malts either so Should I keep some crystal in and add munich and vienna, or just munich?  Or do i get rid of the crystal completely?

After doing some searching this is what I am leaning towards for a grain bill:


General Homebrew Discussion / infected beer?
« on: January 23, 2012, 11:51:55 AM »
Dumb question, but what are the effects of an infected beer?  Just bad taste?  Is there anyway you could get really sick from one?  Reason I ask is that I am battling a stomach bug since last night.  Instinct tells me that it's not from the beer, but just wondering for curiosity's sake. 

Commercial Beer Reviews / Sam Adams Spring Seasonal...
« on: January 18, 2012, 08:42:29 PM » not noble pils.  It's called Alpine Spring and it's an unfiltered Lager. Was out to dinner and the waiter said they had the SA Spring Seasonal.  I was surprised it was out so expecting Nobile Pils i said hell yea.  But it's not.  Not sure what to think about it yet.  It's not bad.  Decent... haven't had enough time to let it sink in.  That being said, the SA website says Noble pils is a part of the Brewmasters collection.  So can I now get this all year?  Am I late to the party?

Beer Recipes / What kind of beer?
« on: January 18, 2012, 06:31:28 AM »
So after a few weeks in the fridge, my witbier has turned unusually clear.  It still tastes great, but it leads me to a few questions.  What if I scaled back the wheat malt, increased the pilsner malt, and still fermented it with a wit yeast.  Also what if i removed the corriander and orange peel altogether.  Would this still qualify as a wit? 

Beer Recipes / Blonde ale
« on: January 07, 2012, 08:52:48 AM »
Ive decided to brew a blonde ale for a local competition in march and was thinking of using a perle hops.  From what I've read I shouldn't go too heavy on the late additions but I'm wondering if it would be better to mix the perle with Saaz or hallertauer?  I think all perle would definitely be unique.  Thoughts?

Beer Recipes / Hefe Partial Mash
« on: December 28, 2011, 06:39:47 AM »
So my friend really wants me to do a hefeweizen, and I have been kicking around the idea for a while.  My question is with a partial mash, should I use a step mash or am I ok with a single infusion.  I will be mashing 50% wheat and 50% pils.  The rest of the grain bill will be made up with wheat DME.  I do a single infusion mash for my witbier, and it works, but if step mashing is better I might decide to try it for the witbier.  I've read a lot of different articles about this, and it seems split between yes and no.  So does it really add anything to the beer?   

Beer Recipes / Troubleshooting my pale ale
« on: December 24, 2011, 12:34:49 PM »
So back on 11-11-11 I brewed a pale ale.  It's been just over 2 weeks in the bottle, and it's good... but it's missing something.  The best way I can describe it is that it's a little "thin."  It has great head and carbonation, but to me it just tastes like something is missing.

The recipe is as follows (Partial Mash)
5 gal batch
3 gal boil

2.5 lb American 2-Row
0.5 lb Crystal 40
3 lb light DME
1 lb light DME @ (Late addition, 30 min)

Mashed at 154-155 for 60min at a ratio of 1.8 qt/lb
Towards the end of the mash i noticed the temp slipping down below 150 so I added a few cups of hot water to get it back up.
Batch sparged with 0.51gal and 1.50 gal at 168.  (Not sure how exact I was with the temperature here. 

0.5 oz Simcoe @ 60 min
0.3 Amarillo @ 20 min
0.3 Cascade @ 20 min
0.3 Amarillo @ 10 min
0.3 Cascade @ 10 min
0.3 Simcoe @ 10 min
0.5 Amarillo @ 5 min
0.5 Cascade @ 5 min
0.5 Simcoe @ 5min
0.5 Amarillo @ 0 min
0.5 Cascade @ 0 min
0.5 Simcoe @ 0 min

Chilled wort to ~ 60 deg and pitched 1 bottle of East Coast Yeast (ECY 10) Old Newark Ale
Primary: 10 days (Temp roughly 68-72).  Tried to keep it down with a swamp cooler... may have gone down to 63 at one point.  I kept it up around 70-72 towards the end of fermentation.
Secondary: 10 Days (Temp probably around 70-72).
Dry Hopped for 7 days with 1.4 oz Amarillo, 1.4oz cascade, and 0.7 oz simcoe.

OG: Measured was around 1.03, but I got a low reading because I neglected to really mix up the wort and top off water really well before pitching.  I topped up to 5 gallons.
Anticipated OG was 1.050.
FG: 1.012 at bottling time.

Carbonation: 5oz corn sugar (it has now been in bottles for roughly 3 weeks).

So I think I did everything ok... the thing that concerns me is maybe my temperature control.  Everything is always cleaned with oxyclean and then sanitized.  I was concerned about the low OG reading, but I've read a lot where if you don't mix up the wort really well, then you can get a low reading.  Even if I removed the grains, my OG should still be 1.03. 

The hop flavor/profile is great.  But I still think it's missing something.  Based on the process what would people recommend?  Add another malt?  (Victory or munich or something else), increase the amount of crystal?  What would cause this beer to have such a "thin" taste to it.  I really hope it didn't get infected because I have given some out as christmas gifts.  I don't think infection is the issue personally, because it's still a decent beer, just not what I expected.  Then again, my level of expectations for my beers are 100x higher than anyone I would give it to. 

Thanks and Merry Christmas.

Beer Recipes / Amber Ale feedback
« on: November 27, 2011, 12:17:08 PM »
So I want to get away from using the typical hops (Cascade, Centennial), so I came up with this Amber Ale recipe that's loosely based on what I've read regarding North Coast Red Seal Ale.  Was looking for feedback mainly on the grain bill, but am open to suggestions.  Also I want to get away from the typical hops I've been using for my Amber Ale.  (Previously it was Centennial/Cascade which is excellent, but I'm looking to make it different than my Pale Ale and IPA which I eventually plan on brewing).

Partial Mash
Batch Size: 5gal
Boil: 3gal
Est OG: 1.052
Color: 12.2
IBU: 33

2 lbs. American 2-Row
0.5 lbs Crystal 080
0.5 lb Victory
0.25 lb Wheat Malt
3 lbs. Amber Dry Extract
1 lb. Amber Dry Extract (Late addition 30 min)

1 oz Cluster @ 60 min
0.7oz Liberty @ 20 min
1 oz Liberty @ 10 min
1 oz Liberty @ 0 min

Wyeast 1056 or WLP 001

Dry Hop 7 days with something... maybe Centennial. 

Thoughts, suggestions?

Kegging and Bottling / Gelatin Q's
« on: November 21, 2011, 06:41:34 AM »
So I picked up a box of the Knox unflavored gelatin and was thinking of using it with my pale ale in effort to get clearer beer.  I've done some searches and figured out the when and how, but there's a few things I'm unclear on.

1. Do I understand correctly, that gelatin percipitates out the protiens that cause chill haze?  I have read a few things that say it doesn't combat chill haze at all and i'm confused.

2. Does it adversely affect bottle conditioning? 


Beer Recipes / Pale Ale
« on: November 04, 2011, 10:09:04 AM »
For an APA with Simcoe and Cascade (and either amarillo or ahtanum) would a simple grain bill of American 2-Row and Crystal 40 suffice?

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