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Messages - skyler

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Strain and Beer Color
« on: January 19, 2017, 06:08:48 PM »
Fwiw, the malt bill was 81% Canadian pilsner malt, 6% carahell, 6% dextrose, and 1% acid malt. The paler beer looks almost bmc gold (~4 SRM) and the other looks more like a standard IPA (~8 SRM).

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Yeast and Fermentation / Yeast Strain and Beer Color
« on: January 19, 2017, 03:49:03 PM »
I made an IPA recently and split the batch into two fermenters, one with US-05 and one with Danstar London ESB. The color difference is startling. On the left is the ESB yeast. On the right, the US-05. How? And, fwiw, the US-05 (darker one) tastes hoppier and fresher, but both are fine beers.

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Looking at all of your tap lists makes me never want to go to your breweries. IMO the best breweries brew a few styles well with the occasional special. Anything past a half dozen is noise and confusion.

Yeah, especially when you're looking at 5 different yeast strains. For example, I have never had a good (or even decent) saison from an American brewery that doesn't make (essentially) nothing but saison. I can count with two fingers the number of good Bavarian-style weissbiers I have had brewed in America. And I only know of one brewery who consistently uses three or more different yeast strains and isn't garbage (and that's Sierra Nevada - who is too big to really compare to).

Honestly, I don't know what percentage of American-made Belgian ales actually taste good, but I reckon it's around 2-3%. And they usually are particularly crappy on tap. I would respect a brewery that made really good lagers, but typically a lager specialist is also brewing 5 terrible beers called some kind of "IPA." Most small breweries that put out lagers aren't putting out good lagers, though. I don't know if any professional brewery on earth makes great lagers, Belgian ales, and hoppy American ales, but the yeast management would be a big hassle for a smallish brewery to manage. I would probably stick to one house yeast with 1-2 batches brewed out of another yeast strain per year. That way the in-house yeast propagation would be just one strain. I'll bet a single pitch of a different strain could be had from another brewery for free or for trade.

There are two directions I would go. If I opened this in my current city (Portland), I would almost certainly attempt to be a British Ale specialist, as no one does that anymore. I would focus on cask ales and ciders and have ONE IPA and ONE pale yellow ale on CO2, along with a guest cider or two on CO2, but the focus would be on cask/nitro. I wouldn't import hops, but would focus on using "cheap" hops and making modern English style ales, as well as one typical 2017 IPA.

That place would go like this:

House yeast would be WLP002 or WLP007

1. Ordinary Bitter (~3.5% and dry-hopped)
2. Golden Bitter (~4.2% and more malt-balanced)
3. Pale Ale (~5.5% and balanced, moderately dry-hopped)
4. Strong Ale (~6.5% ~14 SRM ~50 IBUs and hoppy)
5. Typical Northwestern IPA (on cask and CO2 draft)
6. Porter (~5.5%, on cask and nitro)
7. Local Cider on cask
8. Local cider on keg

If I was doing this literally anywhere but Portland, I would go for a more varied taplist and would probably use WLP007:

1. English Golden/Summer Ale ~4% abv and 25 IBUs (might call it blonde ale or extra pale ale, and it would blend goldings with cascade and be dry-hopped) ALWAYS AVAILABLE ON CASK!

2. Red Ale ~6% abv and 38 IBUs (80% US pale ale malt, ~12% crystal malts 10% Munich or Vienna, moderate dose of fruity whirlpool/hopback hops like Citra) 

3. Flagship IPA ~6.5% abv and 65 IBUs, 90% US pale ale malt, 5% carahell, and 5% wheat malt, hops depending on availability, but ideally Nelson Sauvin, Simcoe, and Chinook or Mosaic, Simcoe, and Chinook)

4. Porter (always on nitro) ~6% abv and 40 IBUs (US pale ale malt, melanoidin malt, UK extra dark and dark crystal, pale chocolate malt, and midnight wheat/blackprinz/carafa, malt-forward with small amount of Willamette or similar late in the boil).

5. Rotating IPA: (always something different, like Rye IPA, Black IPA, or Session IPA).

6. Seasonal Ale: Regular rotating seasonal ales (Summer Belgian Ale - possibly just the English Golden Ale fermented with a different yeast and not dry-hopped, Fall American Brown Ale, Winter American Strong Ale - maybe a bulked up version of the Red Ale, Spring Pale Ale - probably a 35 IBU "single hop" beer brewed with a similar base as the Flagship IPA, but at a lower gravity.[/li][/list]

7. Experimental Beer: something different, brewed in a pilot system OR one of the standard beers with something extra (e.g., coffee porter, Dry-Hopped Red, etc), or where leftover seasonals get poured till they are done.

8. Extra Nitro Tap (Porter will always be available on nitro and off, and another beer will be rotate on nitro)

9. Extra Cask Ale (EGA will always be on cask and regular, but another beer will also be served on cask - the cask ales will be kept in a different fridge at a warmer temperature than the other beers, but will have a CO2 mechanism purging any air out of the firkins).

Ingredients / Re: Hibiscus beer
« on: January 17, 2017, 09:37:29 PM »
I brewed up a Hibiscus Wit a few years back. It worked very well. Just brew a super-concentrated liter and add it to the keg or at bottling. It gave my beer a pleasant pink color.

Ingredients / Re: Red X pH
« on: January 17, 2017, 10:12:10 AM »
Well I'm trying it again at 90/10 - Red/Wheat malt. Likely next weekend.

I'll bet it gets better results under 1.050 and without much in the way of aroma hops.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: BRY97 vs. S-05
« on: January 10, 2017, 02:33:27 PM »
Both strains work better 2nd generation, IMO. And both produce pretty similar beer fermented at around 62º F - with US-05 being somewhat more powdery and higher-attenuating than BRY-97.

The biggest difference, IMO, is that BRY-97 is much more temperature-sensitive. I have successfully fermented with 1st-generation US-05 as low as 52º F, and I usually ferment with US-05 around 58º F - 62º F. BRY-97 WILL ferment at 58º, but I have been unable to take it cooler than that. Typically, I find BRY-97 is happy and best from 62º F - 66º F. Any colder and the fermentation is slow and lag is unacceptable. Any warmer and the esters are too much for my taste. US-05, by contrast, can ferment pretty effectively from 56º F - 68º F. As such, I consider US-05 more versatile and user-friendly, especially when fermenting at ambient during cooler months (sometimes I will brew too much for my fermentation freezer to handle around March/April).

I use both quite frequently, as well as Imperial Joystick (purportedly Pacman), which is very cold-tolerant and fairly flocculant.

Ingredients / Re: Calypso and Citra for a Pale Ale
« on: January 10, 2017, 02:17:03 PM »
Calypso ranks as one of my least favorite new world hops for an APA/IPA. As a sole hop, it makes beers smell estery (instead of hoppy), as the aromatic character I get from pure Calypso doesn't immediately register as "hoppy" to me. That said, Citra is pretty bold and pretty upfront in its "IPA-ness," so I would probably try something like 2-1 Calypso to Citra, or maybe schedule Calypso earlier in the boil (Like FWH Calypso, 5 min Calypso, Whirlpool 2:1 w/Calypso and Citra, dry 2:1 with Calypso and Citra). I have had similar issues with El Dorado, and I found that I just like using El Dorado in beers that don't require an IPA-like hop character (like in a stout or malt-balanced brown ale).

Ingredients / Re: complimentary hops with Ekuanot/Equinox/366
« on: January 10, 2017, 02:05:36 PM »
I'm planning to do two beers with my pound of ekuanot (13 gal batches give me enough beer for two kegs with a kittle wiggle room for dry hops). My thoughts were a single(ish) hop pale ale (bittering with CO² extract) using 9 oz of Ekuanot, split between whirlpool and dry-hopping; then 7 oz in an IPA blended 1:1 with chinook (understanding that Ekuanot will dominate the hop character). Here I would bitter with CO² extract, then drop 2 oz of hops at 5 min, 6 oz whirlpool, and 6 oz dry. Both beers would have fairly dry/neutral malt profiles, with CaraHell or perhaps CaraBlonde as the sole specialty grain (though some wheat malt and acidulated malt may be added for body/pH). And both would be fermented with a neutral American yeast (probably BRY-97 or Imperial Joystick).

Do these sound like reasonable approaches to get the most out of this pound and get to know Ekuanot better?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lallemand London ESB Premium Yeast
« on: December 13, 2016, 02:15:51 PM »
Well, things may have worked out well for me with this yeast by luck. I missed this forum post and assumed that this was a dry version of 1968 from the description. I opted for 6.8% dextrose in my recipe and I mashed at 152 (75% pils, 10% wheat malt, 6.5% CaraHell, 6.5% Dextrose, and 2% acidulated malt).

I think I might try it next split with S-04 or maybe 1968 in a bitter that's mostly golden promise and a little dextrose with some Willamette and Yakima Goldings.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Recent use of US05
« on: December 13, 2016, 09:35:10 AM »
58°f is a very low fermentation temperature for US-05.  US-05 and WY 1056 also seem to produce a noticeable peach flavor in some beer styles below 65°F.

This has not been the case, in my experience. In the 20+ times I have used first generation US-05, I almost always ferment (or at least begin fermentation) in the high 50's and have never had a problem or gotten any peachy aroma from this process. I know this is not typical, but I like the character this yeast gives at that temperature more than what I get at 64º F and it usually ferments quite quickly at that temp, too.

In fact, I have only gotten peach from US-05 when fermenting over 72º F. Once I fermented at ambient during a heat wave - ambient was 78º F and the beer tasted like hoppy peach pie - ever since then it has been my experience that beers with that unpleasant cooked-peach ester have been fermented at ambient in 72º+ rooms by new brewers who haven't learned that "fermentation temperature" isn't the same as the temperature you see on your thermostat. I have tasted it from US-05, WLP001, and WY1056 and usually from Californians who brewed in the summer.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Recent use of US05
« on: December 12, 2016, 02:34:53 PM »
BTW, I just had a very slow fermentation from a pack of US-05. For one thing, I did underpitch somewhat - this was a 1.064 beer (6% dextrose) and I used a single pack. Fermentation was very slow at 58º F (ambient was 52º F), then I brought it up to 72º F (ambient was 66º F) after three days of slow chugging. It took 3 more days at 72º F to finish. In my experience, this beer would have typically been a powerhouse at 58º and would have finished in a day at 72º after 3 days at that temp. I noticed the "use by" date was January 2017. So maybe the stuff just isn't great when it nears its expiration date.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Recent use of US05
« on: November 30, 2016, 01:53:19 PM »
IME, 1st generation US-05 can be slow to finish when I ferment very cool (under ~62F). Second generation US-05 is faster, more reliable, and more flocculant, IME - even when it is a month-old unwashed pitch stored in a sanitized mason jar in the fridge.

BRY-97 takes FOREVER to start and to finish, FWIW, even later generations of it. And it practically doesn't work at all when I try to ferment cooler than 62º F, IME. When I am in a hurry, I go with an English yeast and ferment in the low 60's, then ramp up to ambient when it hits high krausen.

The Pub / Re: Whole Foods
« on: November 22, 2016, 09:50:15 AM »
When in Belgium, I found Westmalle dubbel to be the "go to" beer if the place didn't have a printed menu and wasn't particularly beer-centric. I knew without fail that I could easily order it and it would be great and would go well with almost any Belgian food I ate (their food is heavy and sweet). If I am slowly drinking 5 beers in an evening out (I am not usually a fast drinker), Westmalle dubbel and trippel are not too bold for me to continue enjoying and the high alcohol allows me to get somewhat intoxicated through slow drinking.

The bigger trappist beers that I enjoy so deeply like Rochefort 10 and St. Bernardus 12 are too rich to have more than one of, usually. Orval is a very specific beer. I actually far prefer it fresh over aged, so I don't really drink it outside of Belgium. Achel is okay, but clearly inferior to the others, aside from Koningshoeven. I think Koningshoeven sucks - like it is genuinely not very good beer and well below average in any beer bar in Belgium (yes I know it's Dutch). Westvleteren was very good, but not worth the hassle/$$$ - unless you can drink the blonde fresh.

The Pub / Re: What's the Weather Like Where You Are?
« on: November 22, 2016, 09:33:12 AM »
It's damp and rainy and only about half of the Californian transplants are wearing winter hats and ski jackets.

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