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Topics - Joe Sr.

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Rallies / Revolution Brewing AHA Rally
« on: June 25, 2014, 02:17:02 PM »
Anyone going?

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / IBU Calculation
« on: May 29, 2014, 10:41:01 AM »
Another post related to my Old Rasputin "clone."

I followed the recipe since I've never brewed this one before. Zymurgy, July/August 2007.

The recipe says 92 IBUs, but Beersmith calcs something like 28.  The warm and uncarbonated sample I had last night did not taste nearly hoppy enough to be close to Old Rasputin.

The recipe calls for 2 oz of Cluster for 60 minutes, 1 oz of Northern Brewer at 2 minutes, and 1 oz of Centennial at 2 minutes.  I've seen a couple other recipes (BYO) that take the Cluster up to nearly 4 oz, but even then I'm not getting 92 IBUs.

I've never been a numbers guy so I don't usually pay all that much attention to IBUs. And I know Beersmith is only a tool.  But what am I missing here?

Is there anything you can do to increase body/mouthfeel after the beer is fermented?

I did a "clone" of Old Rasputin following an old Zymurgy recipe and it came out pretty thin.  It finished 10 points lower than the expected FG from the recipe and the hydrometer sample leaves me feeling that it just won't have the body I had hoped for.

Equipment and Software / window AC for cold room
« on: May 25, 2014, 11:41:17 AM »
Got a new (to me) AC for my cold room today.  The old one was just too small, I think.

Anyway, tore the new one open and it has two temp sensors.  One in the duct for the cold air (to the room) and one attached to the coils.

I don't recall a two sensor thermostat on the other ACs I've opened.

I'm going to go ahead and put the cold air thermostat into the can with the light bulb to make it think the room is warmer, but curious about the other stat.

It is, of course, a unit with digital controls unlike my old unit.

Anyone familiar with AC units?

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Low mash pH
« on: May 17, 2014, 09:29:09 PM »
I finally bought pH strips to check my mash pH.

Today, one batch was right on and one appeared to be low.  The batch that was right on was a stout, the low batch was an IPA.

What would be the impact of low pH in the mash?

I've had comments on score sheets that my beers need more body.  Would pH affect body?  Of course, those comments have been on everything from a light saison to an imperial stout.

My last batch came in low.  It's sitting in the fermenter right now.

I know I can add sugar to bring the gravity up to where I want it.

Can I add DME to the fermenter?

I've added sugar straight in and am thinking of doing the same with DME.


Kegging and Bottling / Pin lock to ball lock conversion
« on: May 13, 2014, 09:34:03 AM »
Just bought four pin-locks.  Looking for opinions as I can't decide.

Is it worth converting the posts? has conversion kits for like $11. 

Otherwise, I just buy a couple disconnects and go to town.  Those will run me under $20 all in.  So half price, or thereabouts, vs. the conversion.

PRVs are for a different day.

Ingredients / Brown Malt
« on: May 13, 2014, 09:02:20 AM »
Planning to brew the Old Rasputin recipe from July/August 2007 Zymurgy.

It calls for 0.5lb Brown Malt.  I've never used brown malt that I can recall and the LHBS does not list it on their website.

I understand brown malt can impart roast flavors.

What could/should I sub?

It's a relatively small amount of grain in a strong dark beer, so I'm assuming there's a lot of latitude.  But not knowing what brown malt brings to the party I'm not sure.

Yeast will be a neutral ale yeast, probably US-05.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Hop Extract
« on: May 07, 2014, 10:58:51 AM »
I need to brew an IPA for an upcoming celebration.  I don't typically brew IPAs, but I've been asked for one.

I thought I might do a Pliny clone, but some of the recipes I've seen call for hop extract which I've never used.

For those of you who have, is it necessary?  Can I brew something close without it?

I may go with something a bit smaller than Pliny or I may do two batches.  Not sure.  Still thinking.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Victory Swing - Session Saison
« on: April 17, 2014, 10:13:51 AM »
Ew.  I really wanted this to be good.  It is not.

Almost no aroma.  Almost no flavor other than "soapy" followed by a lingering hop bitterness.

If I brewed this, I would be disappointed.  And it actually reminds me of a light lager that I brewed a number of years ago that I dumped.

I gave the glass to my wife, she said "it tastes like soap."  I poured it out. I have five in the fridge for anyone who wants them.

The Pub / Fat Tuesday
« on: March 04, 2014, 08:57:02 PM »
Have I missed a thread?

It's Fat Tuesday, people!

Happy Mardi Gras!

Tomorrow I have to give up something. Still gotta figure that part out.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Causes of astringency
« on: March 01, 2014, 05:09:04 PM »
Got some score sheets back and one of the comments on one of the beers was "astringent."  Tasting the beer again, I can see what the judge was tasting.

I popped open a stout, and there's that same dryness of finish.  Almost chalky.

I'm doing in a partial mash in a grain bag, rinsed with about at most a gallon for sparging.  I usually do a half gallon but there's some batches I've rinsed more.  I don't squeeze everything out of the bag.

Just curious as to what could be causing this.  I know over sparging will extract tannins, but I don't think I'm doing that.  Any other things I should be watching?

For extract, I use Briess Pilsen.  I know Martin has said they have high sodium (IIRC) in their water when their making the extract.  Could that be an issue at play here?

Kegging and Bottling / New Kegs - Manufactured in India
« on: February 21, 2014, 03:12:50 PM »
Anybody bought/used the new kegs that are manufactured in India?

Just curious if there's a quality difference compared to the Italian kegs.

I don't need more kegs, but maybe I do.

Kegging and Bottling / Carbonation and perceived bitterness
« on: February 10, 2014, 10:48:51 AM »
I took a hydrometer sample over the weekend while kegging my lastest bitter and it was delicious.  My wife loved it.  It was balanced and smooth.

I pulled a half-liter off while kegging and carbed it up in a soda bottle.  All of a sudden the beer was much hoppier.  Too hoppy for the wife.

I never noticed such an impact before but it makes some sense that carbonation could increase perceived bitterness.

Just wondering if I'm crazy or if this is, in fact, what happened.

Ingredients / Dry hopping an Old Ale
« on: January 06, 2014, 09:19:28 AM »
I don't dry hop much, but I have an Old Ale I think I'd like to dry hop.

The recipe was 100% Centennial (inspired by Bell's Third Coast Old Ale).

I have more Centennial.  I have Cascade, Willamette, Fuggle, Goldings, Strissesplat, Northdown, Hallertau, maybe Saaz.  Others, but I don't have them all in front of me to be sure.

Any advice on what might go well with the Centennial?  Stick with it?  Or go a different route?

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