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Messages - beer_crafter

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I have a Munich Dunkel on tap right now which I think is exactly what I was targeting in every way except one-- the head retention on the beer is poor.

The beer is well carbonated and pours with a perfect head.  But the head dissipates quite quickly, so quickly in fact that you can hear the bubbles popping (kind of like when you pour a soda, although not *that* quickly).
I do not have this problem with other beers BUT most of my other beers are highly hopped.

Obviously adding more hops is not an option for a malty style such as a Dunkel.

My malt bill was 
95% Wyermann Munich I malt.
2% Aromatic
2% Caramunich
1% Carafa Special II

I mashed at 152-154F for 90 minutes.  I added some chalk to the water to bring up the RA, and batch sparged.

Adding more Cara malts is not something I want to do as a solution.  Is there something I can do with my mash schedule to improve head retention?


The ""One-quarter ounce of whole hops contrast with three ounces of hop pellets" is a caption of a photo illustrating the APPEARANCE of pellet hops vs leaf.  By weight, pellets are slightly more efficient (10%).

Equipment and Software / Re: where can I get a decent 5 Liter cask
« on: May 14, 2010, 03:39:24 PM »
As someone who has a 5L oak barrel, I'd say if you want to just add oak to your barleywine, you should use oak cubes or chips.  The barrel is a lot of maintenance and unpredictability.  The only advantage to the barrel is that you can serve out of it, if you desire.  I would say in every other way, cubes or chips are superior when it comes to oak aging (not necessarily the case for barrel aging or spirit/wine aging)

Was overseas recently and discovered Schenk Stroop (translated as Sugar Syrup).. this stuff:

When I tried it, I thought it tasted a lot like the Belgian "D" candi syrup I've used in my dubbels.  I brought back 3 bottles of it.  Has anyone ever tried this stuff in a beer?  Does anyone know what it is, and is it similar to the candi syrup from belgium? 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Too green! Dry hop question
« on: April 19, 2010, 07:54:32 PM »
To add, I find the MOST grassy time for dry hopping is in the first few days-- leave those babies in for another week or so and the grassiness fades and the desirable hop character appears.  This is especially noticable when dry hopping at serving temps.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Best yeast for "American" Tripel
« on: March 24, 2010, 08:30:27 PM »
I brewed a beer with 510 and found it to be extremely clean for a belgian yeast.  It was fermented in the low 60s.

Beer Recipes / Looking for feedback on Belgian Dark Strong malt bill
« on: March 16, 2010, 12:26:23 AM »
Brewing a Belgian Dark Strong on Friday, have a starter of Wyeast Abbey II (1762) already getting stepped up.

Just realized my pack of D2 Candi Syrup is only 1lb, not 1.5 lbs like the bottles used to be.....  Anyway, looking for feedback on my recipe:

Amount Item Type % or IBU
9.75 lb Pilsner (Weyermann) (1.7 SRM) Grain 54.93 %
3.00 lb Munich I (Weyermann) (7.1 SRM) Grain 16.90 %
1.00 lb Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 5.63 %
1.00 lb Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 5.63 %
0.50 lb Caramunich II (Weyermann) (63.0 SRM) Grain 2.82 %
1.50 lb Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 8.45 %
1.00 lb D2 Syrup (160.0 SRM) Sugar 5.63 %

2.00 oz Styrian Goldings [4.20 %] (60 min) Hops 27.5 IBU

Plan is to mash at about 150. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dry Hop temerature?
« on: March 08, 2010, 12:44:32 AM »
In the past I've always dryhopped the day I kegged and it went into the cold, but I've never been happy with it.  After reading some of this and thinking about it, I'm going to try transfering from the fermenter to a Co2 flooded keg, add my hops and seal it for a couple of days before carbonating it in the cold.  Maybe it will be more of what I'm looking for.   8)

After years of trial and error, my latest way of doing this is:
- Primary until fermentation is complete, let the yeast drop
- Rack to a keg containing a sure screen.   Dry hop in the keg with leaf hops loose or pellet hops in a nylon bag.  Purge the headspace with CO2 and add enough head pressure to seal the keg.
- Store this keg at cellar temps for 10-14 days.
- Do a keg-to-keg transfer to my serving keg.  Carbonate and serve. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dry Hop temerature?
« on: March 07, 2010, 01:03:09 PM »
I like to dry hop in a keg (either the serving keg, or a "Bright beer" keg that functions as a secondary).  I used to put the beer in my kegerator right after adding the hops and found that it took a long time to get it where I wanted it-- it was either too grassy or woody or just not hoppy enough, for a week to several weeks.

Since then I have started keeping the dry hop vessel at cellar temps and noticed a much more pleasant hoppiness.  I am interested to see if this improves when my cellar gets into the mid 60s in the summer.  Right now it's at 56.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Best yeast for "American" Tripel
« on: March 03, 2010, 10:31:50 PM »
I have lots of 3787 around (it's my dubbel yeast) and I was going to try to use something new....but I think I'm convinced to stick with it.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Best yeast for "American" Tripel
« on: March 02, 2010, 02:19:48 PM »
Should be WLP 530. Check out Can You Brew it on The Brewing Network, they interview Scott Vacarro from Captain Lawrence and he was generous enough to paint a good picture of how to brew it.
Good luck, that is a great brew to brew. Just be sure to make a big starter ;)

Awesome.  Scott Vaccaro is one of the really nice guys in an industry full of nice guys.   

Yeast and Fermentation / Best yeast for "American" Tripel
« on: March 01, 2010, 05:00:45 PM »
Planning on making a Tripel in the next few months, but using American hops.  Similar to Captain Lawrence Xtra Gold.  Not a Belgian IPA-- but a properly balanced Tripel using Amarillo hops instead of noble. 

Can anyone suggest a good belgian yeast strain that would play nicely with the peach and tangerine flavors from the Amarillo?

Beer Recipes / Re: Let's see some dunkel recipes
« on: February 16, 2010, 03:16:16 PM »
I use a lighter Munich (Weyermann Munich I) without any Pils.
91.25% Munich I
5% Caramunich
3.75% Carafa Special II
I tend to use "american noble" type hops-- Liberty, Mt Hood,  or Vanguard.

FYI after brewing this again, I think 3+% is too much Carafa Special.

Beer Recipes / Re: Let's see some dunkel recipes
« on: January 25, 2010, 02:03:53 AM »
I use a lighter Munich (Weyermann Munich I) without any Pils.
91.25% Munich I
5% Caramunich
3.75% Carafa Special II
I tend to use "american noble" type hops-- Liberty, Mt Hood,  or Vanguard.

Some of the newer east coast IPAs stand up to the West Coast.  I would put Ithaca's Flower Power up against anything  from the west in terms of sheer hoppiness.  Captain Lawrence Double IPA, if you blindly tasted it, tastes like something from northern cali.  Nugget Nectar is no slouch too.

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