Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - svejk

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 13
Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian Dark Strong recipe help
« on: April 08, 2014, 09:47:46 AM »
After brewing several BDS versions over the years, I have settled on a strong preference for recipes that keep the specialty grains to a minimum, or even skip them entirely.  It really comes down to your preference since the category has a lot of latitude for the strengths of different flavors.  One very enlightening test would be to taste St Bernardus 12 and Rochefort 10 side by side.  If you prefer St B, then I'd recommend significantly reducing (or even eliminating) the specialty malts, and if you prefer Rochefort then you could probably leave them as is.

One other thing I'll add is my impression that beers with pronounced speciatly grain contributions will probably score better in competitions, but beers with minimal specialty grains will be much more drinkable on their own.

Equipment and Software / Re: very frustrated with my Barley Crusher
« on: March 17, 2014, 01:39:32 PM »
I had this same problem when I first purchased my JSP Maltmill.  Fortunately I was able to buy the gear drive option which solved it for good (luckily I had the Model A because the gear drive isn't available for other models).  I'm not sure whether Barley Crusher offers a similar option, but if they do I wouldn't hesitate to make the investment.  I'm also not sure if there are other mills that offer the option to drive more than one roller, but if my Maltmill ever needs replacing it will be a requirement for me.

Beer Travel / Re: Köln, Dortmund and Düsseldorf recommendations?
« on: March 11, 2014, 01:28:06 PM »
Brauhaus Bonnsch in Bonn does a very nice unfiltered kolsch style beer and is an easy train ride from Dusseldorf or Koln.  When I was there in Sept 2012 they had an excellent marzen as well.

The Pub / Re: Brandy/Cognac/Armagnac
« on: February 21, 2014, 10:32:20 PM »
They didn't have any Pierre Ferrand 25 at BevMo, so I'll keep looking for it.  I did pick up a bottle of the Pierre Ferrand Amber 10 and in a blind tasting between that and the Kelt VSOP, I thought they were both very nice with a nod toward the PF. I can only imagine how great that 25 must be!

The Pub / Re: Brandy/Cognac/Armagnac
« on: February 21, 2014, 05:29:58 PM »
Thanks for the reply. I'll pick up a bottle of the Raynal VSOP.  I also think I should try some California brandy as well since I haven't tried any from there yet.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Highest OG for all-malt brew
« on: February 20, 2014, 01:58:53 PM »
My highest was 1.137 for an all grain barleywine and it finished about 100 points lower than that.  Even with a high fg, it was amazing after aging an a mini bourbon barrel.  I did mash at 148F for almost 2 hours and needed to pitch an additional slurry from a brewpub to shave off the last few points. 

That said, if I had to guess, I would be very surprised if you would be in any danger of approaching the theoretical OG of 1.170 without extended boiling because first runnings tend to max out at a certain point and you would really having a hard time rinsing additional sugars from the mash if you aren't sparging and the solution is already saturated with sugar.

The Pub / Brandy/Cognac/Armagnac
« on: February 20, 2014, 11:40:20 AM »
I just spent some time reading through the Whiskey thread and really enjoyed seeing the different recommendations.  Over the last year or so, I've picked up a few bottles of brandy (mainly cognac under $100) and the Kelt VSOP is the one I've liked the best.  Any other good brandy recommendations?  I'm not opposed to spending more if it is worth it - I just would have a hard time dropping a bunch of money on the random chance that the price was justified.

Equipment and Software / Re: "Permanently Wet" Coating for containers
« on: January 23, 2014, 02:53:11 PM »
I could see this being very useful for handling honey when making mead.  I usually dip a ladle into the bucket of honey and it is hard to minimize the drips, but if the ladle was coated with this, I would think it would make it considerably easier.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Lbs in a barley much?
« on: January 13, 2014, 09:07:54 AM »
In addition to the great advice already given, here are a couple of points I will add:

1) Be prepared for your efficiency to drop as your OG goes up.  The reason for this is that your first runnings max out at a certain level (usually 1.080's for me), and as you sparge, the gravity decreases thus diluting the wort.  Unless you are planning for a super long boil, it is very difficult to sparge the grain to the level you are used to, so you will end up leaving a fair amount of fermentables in the mash tun.  For this reason, I don't think 17 lbs is enough for a 5 gallon batch.  My biggest barleywine had 33 lbs for 5 gallons at 1.147.

2) Yeast choice is super important.  I prefer Wyeast 1728 Scottish because it is a workhorse that has high tolerance for alcohol.  With big beers like this, you also need to pitch a lot of yeast, so I prefer to make a small beer like a Scottish 60 and then use the yeast cake from that beer to ferment the barleywine.  It also doesn't hurt to give the beer a second shot of oxygen about 12 hours after pitching to make sure your yeast are given every advantage to finish out the beer.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Idea for siphoning to keg?
« on: January 09, 2014, 12:08:15 PM »
I prefer the autosiphon myself, but one way you could create a vacuum in the keg would be to slosh around some boiling water in it to heat it up.  Dump out the water and seal the lid.  As it cools, a vacuum will develop as the air inside cools and contracts.  You'll want to have your racking cane already in the beer, and once you hook up the liquid out post to the keg, it should start a siphon.  You would need to vent the keg after the siphon slows down since it will eventually stop pulling, but I think this would work.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: barrel aging question...
« on: December 31, 2013, 08:57:16 AM »
I've never heard of anybody trying to carbonate in a small barrel before, but I suppose you could do it by putting a strap around the barrel to hold the bung in place.  That said, my suggestion is to fill the barrel with whiskey and brew a full 5 gallon batch of imperial stout.  Rack the beer to a secondary and let it bulk age for a few months or so until it is tasting great.  At that point, the barrel will be well infused with the whiskey flavor, so you can rack the whiskey out and put the beer in. 

As mentioned above, the beer will be infused with the barrel flavor very quickly so you should taste it every week or so to see when it should be pulled.  If you find that you overshoot your target for the barrel flavor, you can blend it back with some of the base beer to hit your target.  The great part about this plan is that you can give the barrel a rinse and put the whiskey back in it to get ready for the next batch. 

I've done this myself with a 2.5g oak barrel and it has worked very well.  I do find that using kegs makes that whole process much easier, so if you don't have a kegging system it might not be practical.

One other thing I wanted to mention is that if you do plan to rack pre-carbonated beer into the barrel, you may end up with excessive foaming (think mentos and diet coke), so you'll want to plan accordingly.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Big Gravity Brew - Bottling
« on: December 30, 2013, 09:55:08 AM »
Sounds like you are on the right track - I always add yeast at bottling for big beers as insurance against flat batches.  That said, since you've already made the jump to kegging, a counter-pressure bottle filler might be worth considering since you could then completely eliminate the chance of a flat batch and it is a nice tool to have around for doing small bottle runs of other batches for competitions, gifts, etc.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Grain Mills
« on: December 26, 2013, 10:50:47 AM »
I personally have a JSP maltmill that I'm really happy with, but I also believe that just about every homebrewwer who has a mill loves it - whatever it may be.  The thing about mills is that they are one of the very few pieces of equipment that you can buy that will pay for itself many times over.  It is very satisfying to buy a 55 lb bag of grain for much less than what you would pay by the pound, so each bag you use offsets whatever you paid for the mill.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: One of my favorite things on brewday.
« on: December 26, 2013, 10:34:00 AM »
One of my favorite things on brew day is having a hot scotchy (although I usually use bourbon):

I normally hold off any drinking until the beer is in the fermenter, but I do make an exception for this.  If you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend it - it is especially memorable with the first runnings of a big barleywine.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: What Commercial Beers Do You Have Aging?
« on: November 18, 2013, 02:46:53 PM »
My favorite commercial beer for aging is St Bernardus 12.  A friend asked me about beer aging so I shared a 750ml bottle that was at least 5 years old (I'm not sure of the year, but it still had a $6.99 price tag on it) and we compared it to a fresh one.  While the fresh bottle was nice, the aged one was truly spectacular.

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 13