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Messages - beerrat

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Ingredients / Substitute for Special "B"?
« on: January 16, 2011, 09:24:55 AM »
I'm working on a robust porter recipe that calls for special B about 3% of the grain bill.  I'm not familiar with this grain, and don't have it on hand.  Is there another grain I can substitute for this for flavor that it may add, say in the crystal family?  looks like it ads color too, which I can get from crystal 120.

I have done some google searches, and most discuss color, not flavor.



Equipment and Software / Re: Filter Advice
« on: December 28, 2010, 04:30:53 PM »
I've never filtered, nor used fining agents in beer, other the irish moss during he boil. 

I have had same issues of disturbed yeast in keg transported.  What do now is a day before the event, pour off a couple glasses to get the loose yeast out of the current keg.  Once pretty good, transferred the current keg to new one via each keg's beer-in connections, and venting off pressure on the new keg to enable transfer (old keg had about 5psi in the gas-in connection).

So now you have bright (clean) beer in the new keg with enough time to allow for replacing any carbonation lost.  Since little yeast in bottom to disturb, no worries about shake up in transport.

Equipment and Software / Re: Copper boil kettle - taste impact?
« on: December 28, 2010, 04:21:37 PM »
BTW, I am not Richard Wagner ...great guy, but I am the "other" historic brewer from PA  ;D

My bad! I figured either Rich or Bethlehem's "John Goundie Brewer".   Thanks for the wonderful information.  Love the cat in the kettle, the period costume, and contribution to Bethlehem's brewing heritage.

1. Brewing with original recipes with modern malt, hops and yeast ..most successful final product.
 2. Same modern ingredients, however a replication of old style equipment for process, second best.
 3.  Total recreations of field grown malt, hops and forensic fermentational yeast cultures on period equipment, outside of the scope and resources of most recreational brewers. 

My goal is to understand the flavor impacts of the circa 1900 techniques and capture those with modern equipment and ingredients, modified if needed to emulate the flavors.  So my question about copper is what flavors did it impart if any.  Seems like little other then debate as a yeast nutrient.  Your point about caramelization and flavor impact of copper kettle and coal/wood fired is something I need to consider.  I think given steam used, caramelization would be little, and wood nor coal would not impact wort flavor, but the kilning process for hops and malt would have flavoring from those fuels.  Thoughts?

I'm working on my period costume for the historical society ;-)

Happy New Year

Equipment and Software / Re: Copper boil kettle - taste impact?
« on: December 26, 2010, 06:43:41 AM »
Is it me, is the reply by Richard Wagner(?) now missing (the one with the brew pot photo)? 

Beer Recipes / Re: Please don't hate me: Heileman's Old Style clone recipe?
« on: December 23, 2010, 03:35:43 PM »
I'm a Cubs fan and have enjoyed an Old Style at Wrigley, albeit in 2006, as I am in Pennsylvania .  I'd be interested on the final recipe you settle on to replicate the beer.

Equipment and Software / Re: Copper boil kettle - taste impact?
« on: December 23, 2010, 03:31:36 PM »
Thanks everyone!

Kai - thanks for the info, and thanks for a fine history of German brewing on your  web site.  I'm finding this very helpful in my research as the brewers that I am trying to replicate (Robinon's, Scranton, PA) trained in Worms Bavaria around 1860-1870. They came back to Scranton and build a "state of the art" brewery in 1876. 

For my historic brew, I'll keep the immersion chiller in the pot for bout 30 minute before end of boil to help replicate a copper kettle when using my my stainless brew pot.

I'll be posting more question/updates on this research project, already have a lot of question on replicating ingredients and methods.  May need a historic brewing section of this forum. ;-)

Equipment and Software / Re: Copper boil kettle - taste impact?
« on: December 22, 2010, 09:27:15 AM »
Thanks for the replies.  I understand the history and why copper used - interested in the taste aspect.

I'm wondering if it makes a taste difference in final beer - either from personal experience, or able to cite any reference as I have found none.

If there is a difference, I may be able to get same effect by placing my copper immersion chiller  in the kettle with the wort before boil.

I'll do a small batch experiment with and without copper to see.

Equipment and Software / Copper boil kettle - taste impact?
« on: December 22, 2010, 07:22:25 AM »
Can anyone can cite a source, or even from personal experience if boiling wort in a copper vs stainless steel vs aluminum brew pot impacts final taste of a beer.  I'm thinking if any, maybe lagers could be impacted.

I'm interested in historical brewing, specifically 1890-1910,  and from what I understand, boil kettles were made of copper then.

Wondering if I need a copper kettle to replicate taste. I have a stainless one now. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: An alternate-historical style
« on: December 22, 2010, 06:33:12 AM »
The label is great. Love the concept of an alt history beer.

For the scifi/fantasy folk, I've stumbled across this web site

Discussions of what an alien race would be drinking, or middle earth dwarfs session beers.  Fun stuff.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pouring home brew at a beer event?
« on: December 15, 2010, 07:41:46 AM »
From what I understand is it can't be sold, and if public, the place needs to be licensed to serve alcohol. Other then that, not aware why it would be illegal.

Split Rock resort hosts a beer festival in PA every year, and in the past the local home brew club served their home brew for tasting.

Ingredients / Re: can I turn crystal 40 into crystal 80?
« on: December 12, 2010, 11:28:33 AM »
Gordon,  Good point, in this recipe I don't think its going to matter.  I actually have crystal 45 for a oatmeal stout which called for 80. Since I'm going to make it a chocolate stout, I'm not looking for color, just some body and mouth feel and given only 1/2 pound for a 5gal batch, but given a choc stout, not sure it matters.  Otherwise assume may lose some carmel flavor.

Using this as my reference:

As always, thank you all for the advice.  Gotta love this forum!

Ingredients / can I turn crystal 40 into crystal 80?
« on: December 10, 2010, 06:56:47 PM »
Have a recipe that calls for crystal 80, but have only 40L on hand.  Can I roast crystal in oven for x time to make 40 into 80?

Been looking on web, but found no info. 

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Chocolate Cherry Stout
« on: December 10, 2010, 11:25:08 AM »
Well despite following the recipe in Brewing Classic styles, - using the puree/cocoa powder, I got very little chocolate or  cherry flavo.  I added more cocoa powder and 3.3# of puree in secondary.  Nothing.  So have a fruit fortified, good for our health porter.  Not bad, and I won't get scurvy!.

I'm going to play around with some choc/cherry extracts, but leery as they can make stuff taste like cough syrup.

FolkI know used maraschino cherry juice, grenadine, and creme de cocoa to get both elements in their stout.

I'm doing a re-brew after some experimenting and will report back in.

Pimp My System / Re: Portable Irish Coffin Box
« on: December 10, 2010, 11:14:23 AM »
Fantastic!!!  What are dimensions of the box?

Other Fermentables / Re: Mead Aging Question
« on: December 10, 2010, 11:11:15 AM »
At the advice of some folk on this forum, I've begun to age my meads in stainless kegs, as I was having an issue with evaporation.  The dehumidifer drinks my meads in carboys. ;-)

The layer of CO2 under a little pressure to seal the keg protects from O2 also.

After primary fermentation, I rack off the the lees, into the keg.  Store in cellar with temp ranges from 59-90F during the year.  At some point I'll add clarifiers, like super kleer, wait per directions plus whatever time I feel like, and then rack to new keg for more aging or bottling.

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