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Messages - skyler

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16
Ingredients / Re: Sacchra 50 in a Red IPA
« on: March 17, 2017, 10:05:45 AM »
Denny, would you use the same amount of Sacchra 50 as you would Crystal, or could you realistically use 12-15% without producing a cloying caramel bomb? How have you used it?

17
Ingredients / Sacchra 50 in a Red IPA
« on: March 17, 2017, 05:47:00 AM »
Hi guys, I am looking into this Sacchra 50 grain. I have done some serious digging and I just haven't been able to find enough info to build a recipe with. Supposedly the grain behaves in between a Munich malt and a Crystal malt. It's color is 50L and Great Western claims that it "doesn't get in the way of the hops" and recommends it for a "Red IPA." The tricky thing is that it takes 12-15% to actually make a beer red. If this were a regular crystal malt, that would be an insane amount to add to an IPA. Has anyone brewed anything with just Sacchra 50 and base malt? What percentage should I use?

I was thinking either I'd go 12% in a ~1.066 malt bill with just domestic pale ale malt and sacchra 50 or I'd use ~6% and maybe ~2% carafa/blackprinz for color.

18
Keep temp ramping to encourage it to ferment a bit faster.

My wife and my cats will be very happy with the warmer house temperature. I ferment at ambient in differently-ventilated rooms in the house during the cold months.

19
Ok guys, I delayed my brewday because of a cold one weekend, then a stomach flu the next weekend. Now I have this 1.043 OG English Golden Ale fermenting at ~67º F with a first-generation pitch of Imperial A09 Pub (purportedly the same as 1968). I pitched the yeast at 65º F at 2:30 pm yesterday.

I had active fermentation and a three-quarter-inch layer of krausen this morning. I know this is a fast strain, but what are the chances the beer will be ready to keg Thursday night (in order to force carbonate Friday morning before work)?


20
Ingredients / Re: Hop hash
« on: February 24, 2017, 05:17:36 PM »
I guess I'm not too surprised that people aren't getting great aroma frohop hash.  Based on what I know of where it comes from, it seems like it would be highly oxidized which would affect aroma.

The good news is that it leaves very little hop matter in the wort/beer. I think it's potentially a very nice kettle addition for brewers who dislike losing wort to hops in their IPA. I got a ton of kettle  hop aroma from a 4 oz whirlpool in a 12 gal batch (the only other addition was co2 extract at the beginning of the boil).


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21
Ingredients / Re: Hop hash
« on: February 24, 2017, 07:35:42 AM »
So this was for a 5 gallon batch correct?

12 gallons. So, essentially, I used the same amount of hop hash as I would have used hops in this 1.055 pale ale. I didn't use an IPA amount, but I got an IPA amount of kettle aroma and somewhat less from the dry hop hash.


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23
Ingredients / Re: Hop hash
« on: February 23, 2017, 10:49:03 PM »
It's kegged and carbonated now, but still clearing in the keg. The dry hop quality is less intense than expected. I used 4 oz at 170F whirlpool for 30 mins and 4 oz dry in a 12 oz batch. I think it tastes like I used 6 oz of hops at flameout and maybe 2-3 oz dry (9 days). The hop quality is citrusy and a little piney - pretty much citra blended with something that can't stand up to citra (like a 50/50 citra/cascade blend).

I think this is a decent ingredient for a kettle hop and made for a nice, hoppy beer, but I don't think it's the next big thing. Personally, I got a lot more mileage from it as a kettle hop, but since the character is sorta one-note, I probably wouldn't use it solo. Anyway, it was a fun experiment and it didn't make bad beer, so go ahead and try it out if you're looking to reduce hop solids in your system.

24
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: English yeast for beginners
« on: February 18, 2017, 11:28:16 AM »
That's interesting, I have never heard much about using S-04 that low. I have always advised using it around 64* because I have had better results at those temps than anything higher, but I have never used it near 60* I'm interested to do so, are you pitching extra yeast to use it in the mid to high 50's? What is the character at those temps?

I'll still use one pack for ~5.5 gallons under 1.060 if it's first-generation, but I do tend to pitch a lot of slurry when going 2nd or third generation. But this yeast is perfectly happy around 58F - it's neither slow to start nor finish around 58-62F.


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25
All Grain Brewing / Re: Dark hefeweizen...Huh?
« on: February 17, 2017, 11:31:22 AM »
To begin with, 7 SRM is darker than most hefeweizens, IMO. Your recipe is probably a darker-than-average hefe. Add to that, malt extract will make beers darker than they would otherwise be and not all the calculators have extract entered correctly, for some reason. A 100% Pilsner malt Extract 1.050 OG beer will come out ~7 SRM, IME, where the same beer with 100% Pilsner malt would be ~3 SRM. I don't have much experience with wheat DME, but I would bet that it is darker than the pilsner extract. Personally, I would expect your beer to be ~8-9 SRM, which is orange to amber in color, like a good pale ale and a bit dark for a hefeweizen, but that doesn't mean it won't taste good.

26
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: English yeast for beginners
« on: February 17, 2017, 10:00:57 AM »
One thing about English yeast - it is used in a ton of American beer, too. Firestone Walker and Deschutes are both widely-distributed American breweries that use English yeast as their primary strain. There are countless others. Still, some breweries use "American" yeasts to produce "English" styles of beers. English yeasts typically are less dry and more flocculant than American yeast strains and, when fermented at their best temperature (some like it colder than others), they tend to produce subtle yeast-driven aromas. They may also impact mouthfeel, but this could be from the unfermented sugars.

In England most of the top breweries aren't making super-yeast-driven peach-bubblegum-banana bombs. That homebrew we all made when we started that was 1.060+ OG, amber, opaque, and tasted like banana bread had about as much in common with the "ESB" style that we were shooting for as a contemporary India Pale Ale has with Kingfisher Beer.

That said, should you choose an English yeast strain, read what the yeast company says about the fermentation temperature and start at the low end of their recommendation or even a little lower, as the yeast-driven flavors can be exaggerated at the homebrew level. For S-04, Fermentis recommends 59-68F and I would strongly recommend 56-62F. Every time I taste a nasty English beer where someone blames S-04, I ask them and they indicate that they did not keep the fermentation temperature under 64F. Usually these brewers are used to fermenting US-05 or Nottingham at ~68 F and having "no problem," so they assume that S-04 has the same requirements when it doesn't. I am a major S-04 advocate as I like very much that I can ferment with it as cold as 54F and that no D-rest is needed when fermented in the high 50's to low 60's. Many yeast strains (Ringwood) need both a cool fermentation and a warm D-rest to produce great beer.

Additionally, if you are choosing a known low-attenuating strain, try using 5% simple sugar - I usually use dextrose, but plain table sugar works fine. I understand the temptation to mash super low (~148F) instead, but sugar is what the English use and it is more reliable, IME, than ultra-low-temperature mashing.


27
All Grain Brewing / Re: Out of my comfort zone
« on: February 13, 2017, 02:39:13 PM »
Did you adjust your bittering hops to balance it for the lower gravity? I mean, I assume dropping down to ~35 IBUs would give you a pretty nice session beer.

28
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: "Rack on to" secondary
« on: February 13, 2017, 02:31:24 PM »
Don't rack it again - that is unlikely to be any help. Bottle it ASAP.

The "sour" note could be a few things. (1) it could be an infection, which would mean the beer has caught a microbe like lactobacillus and that it will keep getting more and more sour, so you should drink it ASAP (assuming it tastes okay). (2) it could be that you used old extract - old extract has a distinct sour taste that I notice in a lot of novice homebrew - this can usually be avoided by sticking to just dry malt extract and grain, or by switching to a better homebrew supply store. (3) dark malts are acidic and you probably didn'y do anything to combat that acidity with your water - it could be that the pH is low because of your water chemistry and grist - next time try using reverse osmosis water from the grocery store and reading up on water chemistry in brewing. (4) some yeast strains naturally produce more acidic-tasting beer. Did you use Nottingham? That makes every beer a little tart, IME.

If I were you, I would just bottle now and check on it in 2 weeks. If it tastes okay/is carbonated, chill almost all of the bottles (your potential souring microbe will be slowed down by the fridge). Leave at least 1-2 bottles at room temperature for 3 months or so to see how they develop. You will know it if they are infected because they will get super carbonated and very very sour. If it's an infection, throw away all the plastic that touched the beer.

In the future, I recommend against doing too much with a recipe. Cocoa, raisins, bourbon, vanilla, and cinnamon are a lot to add to a beer as a novice. You will get better at brewing quicker if your beer isn't "hiding" behind all those competing flavors. If you want a stout, try a plain stout recipe. You can always add vanilla-infused bourbon to half of it when you're bottling. But it's your beer. I know I sure tried to make every beer over 7% ABV and I put fruit and spices and chocolate in about half of my first 10-20 batches, so I get the appeal. My beer got better when I started doing less. Now, if I want to brew a complex flavored stout, I know what (almost) every ingredient does and what each different technique will give me, so my beers are a lot more consistent.

29
Yeast and Fermentation / Dry Yeast for Bohemian Dark Lager
« on: February 13, 2017, 01:54:27 PM »
Hey guys, which dry yeast would you recommend for a Bohemian Dark Lager? My instinct is to just go with W-34/70, as it is reliable and pretty good with malt-forward lagers, but I have read positive remarks about about S-189 and I know Mangrove Jack's Bohemian Lager purports to be an authentic Bohemian Lager strain (and it is available at my LHBS).

MY favorite beer in Prague last summer (by far) was Kozel Cerny. And, pretty consistently, I found the fresh dark lagers of Prague (especially the unpasteurized "tank beer") to be superior to both the other Czech beer offerings (pale lagers of varying strengths and amateurish American-style IPA offshoots, with few exceptions) and to other regional dark lagers I have had.

Having done some research, I am determined to brew something similar, though I rarely brew lagers. I know I can get liquid forms of some of the legitimate Czech yeast strains, but I would prefer to use a dry yeast, as I find building a giant starter annoying.


30
Ingredients / Re: Your favorite malt and hop of the year.
« on: January 30, 2017, 02:08:11 PM »
CaraHell and Mosaic

In 2016, I really became enamored with CaraHell. I use it alone, with CaraFoam/carapils, and/or with wheat malt to make pale ales and IPAs. I really like it in a hop-forward beer. I find it subtler than other light crystals.

Mosaic has recently overtaken Simcoe as my favorite hop that I can readily get. I still think I prefer Nelson Sauvin, but I haven't been able to buy a fresh pound of Nelson Sauvin in a long time, so I just enjoy it in beers that I drink. I really like that, unlike Simcoe, Mosaic works equally as well on its own as it does in a blend.

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