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Messages - skyler

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I start cold (~63º F) and then I ramp up. Usually I let beers I brew with 1968 spend a day at high krausen around (~64º F), then I raise the temp to 66 the following day, then 68 the next, then 70 when it looks about done. I always give my beers a little longer than I think they need, especially with English yeast strains.

Ninkasi, Deschutes (Portland Pub beers, not year-round), Firestone-Walker, and Hopworks are all breweries with non-dry English yeast strains whose IPA's have met her seal of approval (though she also likes plenty of Chico-yeast IPA's). She actually hates Lagunitas (who uses 002, I believe).

This yeast will be harvested from a pale ale I brewed last weekend, in which I pitched some fresh slurry the brewery (Altamont) harvested from their Left Coast Session IPA.

I think I will go with ~149ºF for 60-90 min with no sugar and adjust it if the beer comes out too sweet. Williams has 6oz bags of Simcoe and Chinook pretty cheap right now, so I can just buy another couple of those if I want to try out this beer again soon. There can never be too many kegs of IPA in my home in the summer, as my wife is teacher (summer vacation) and her favorite beverage is IPA.

you might want to include a little sugar if your after that high attenuation with 1968 and a 1.070 OG. could be wrong though. and yeah mash 148 for 90 minutes.

I wouldn't bother with the wheat either but that's just me. you've got a pretty good pallet so if you notice a big dfference from including it go for it.

I had considered a little sugar. I may do that. For some odd reason I am loathe to use sugar in most beers. I have nothing against the practice, but I always seem to avoid it. But this is probably a good example of when sugar can be helpful in a beer recipe.

As for the wheat, I like a little protein in my hoppy beer and I know she does too. A good head really brings out the hoppy aroma. I am not using it for the flavor it imparts, just for the added body and head retention. I actually discussed it a little bit here in more detail:

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: British Yeast Recommendation
« on: May 16, 2013, 11:11:48 AM »
Out of curiousity what would be the effect of pitching at too high but dropping the temp over time? I know this is bad practice. I don't as much control over my beers as I would like right now due to a different location and brewing partner...long story...

Depends on how far it drops. Diacetyl would be my main concern if it was just a few degrees, but if it was a big drop the yeast could stall out early.

Let's say that the yeast was pitched at 70F and over two weeks the temp dropped to 62F. Is this a prime scenario for diacetyl? I am so used to using US05 that I am worried my practices will mess up the beer.

You just described my fermentation practice for the first 2 years I brewed. It's unpredictable how much that temperature swing will mess up your beer. My recommendation would be to just get it cooler before you pitch. If you can't chill the beer further, transfer it into your fermenter, then wait overnight. In the morning, the temperature will have dropped considerably and that is the time to aerate and pitch your yeast.

As for diacetyl with S-04 - I have never had that problem, but I always give my English-yeast beers plenty of extra time to clean up. I recommend you give the beer 2-3 weeks in primary, regardless of whether it appears "done" after 6 days. Basically, just give it a week longer than you would if you were using US-05. If you can't ramp it up to 70º F, at least you can give the yeast a longer amount of time to clean up after itself. In my experience, the extra week or two has caused zero problems, but "rush jobs" have caused me a lot of frustration.

Yeast and Fermentation / 1968 in No-Crystal AIPA (Mash Temp Help)
« on: May 16, 2013, 11:00:37 AM »
I now have a craft brewery source for 1968, and want to use some for my next IPA. Though I usually prefer Chico for such a beer, I have noticed that my wife (a major hophead) tends to prefer IPA made by craft breweries who use English yeast. I am trying to brew "her perfect beer." I have put together a hop bill and malt profile that I think will get me where I want it, but I am curious about the mash temperature I should use because this is a zero-specialty grain IPA. How should I mash this one? I want it dry - something like 75-80% attenuation. My instinct says to mash at 148-150, but I thought I would pass it by the forum and see if anyone has had similar experience.

Purrbox IPA(Yes, a cat-related name to please the wife)
11 lbs 8 oz GW 2-row
3 lbs Gambrinus Vienna
1 lb Castle Wheat Malt
8 oz Rice Hulls

12g Summit     15%AA     60 min
30g Columbus  14.6%AA   30 min
90g Amarillo     8%AA      10 min
60g Simcoe      13%AA      0 min
60g Chinook     11%AA      0 min
20g Columbus  14.6%AA    dry
20g Amarillo     8%AA       dry
20g Simcoe      13%AA      dry
20g Chinook     11%AA      dry

OG ~1.070
IBU ~70
1968 Fermented at ~63º F

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beers for the non-craft drinker
« on: May 15, 2013, 10:34:37 PM »

older people (40+)

HEY!!!!  40+ isn't "older"!

Kolsch for my BMC friends.

I didn't mean to imply that people over 40 are OLD, just oldER than my wife (26) and me (29) and most of our friends.

And I don't in any way mean to say that people older than me don't know beer. Of course people over 40 are just as capable of knowing good beer (in many cases more capable, especially if they have had the opportunity to travel). I wasn't making that generalization, I was just discussing the people in my extended family and acquaintance circle over 40 and it came out wrong.

By the time I drank beer (college), there was a ton of craft beer of plenty of varieties at every bar in the town where I lived (Davis, CA). If I were 10-15 years older, there would have just been BMC, and maybe Bass Ale, Guinness, Heineken bottles, or Sam Adams or SNPA or maybe a domestic Hefeweizen in a good bar. It took being a real beer lover to get to know about great beer then and do develop that palate. I was lucky. My cousin (~45) still doesn't know that a stout is an ale.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beers for the non-craft drinker
« on: May 14, 2013, 02:10:36 PM »
I have a lot of friends who simultaneously don't actually like flavorful beer very much and know enough about beer geekery to turn down ambers, blonds, bitters, wits, and wheat beers. They typically drink tecate or PBR or really any BMC-like beer that doesn't explicitly say "Bud," "Miller," or "Coors" on the label. Yes, the bay area really is that pretentious.

I find that Altbier, Oktoberfest, "Red Ale" (which is just what I call Amber Ale for them), and lighter-bodied and less hoppy American Pale Ales are popular with them.

Sometimes older people (40+) and non-beer-drinkers will dislike hop bitterness, but not know what that means, and assume that "light" in color means "light" in bitterness. On occasion, I can get them to try my porter, which is awesome and balanced and not particularly roasty. They usually love it and say "did you put chocolate/coffee in this?" and  "it doesn't taste like dark beer."

That said, the majority of the people I know who taste my beer are pretty sophisticated beer-drinkers and tend to prefer my IPAs, Black IPAs, Porters, and Trappist Styles. It is fairly rare for anyone to find my Kölsch, Altbier, Bitter, or Amber Ale offensive, as well.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Mangrove Jack's Dry Yeast
« on: May 14, 2013, 01:52:15 PM »
I noticed the instructions say it will do 6.6 gallons up to 1.050. Above that you are supposed to double pitch. I wonder if one package is enough for 5.5 gallons up to 1.060.

6.6 gallons of 1.050 beer has more "gravity points" than 5.5 gallons of 1.060 beer, so I would assume so. IME, 1 sachet of Danstar or Fermentis is plenty for a 5.5 gal batch of 1.065 IPA - at least in that it isn't worth it to open a second back.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: British Yeast Recommendation
« on: May 14, 2013, 01:46:45 PM »
WLP002/WY1968 is a really outstanding yeast strain and is probably overlooked by some brewers due to the diacetyl warning and the absurdly low attenuation listed on the yeast companies' websites. IME, the diacetyl production isn't all that severe (better than most lager strains, anyway), and if you follow the homebrewers' British Ale rule of thumb by giving it an extra few days at ambient after it looks finished, the diacetyl will be pretty much cleaned up. Cold crashing too quickly will give you yeast that poops out on you with almost any beer. In the case of 002/1968, that does mean diacetyl. I have never had detectable diacetyl from 002/1968, and I ferment them cool (63-65º F), but I do ramp it up as krausen begins to shrink. That said, if you are trying to get diactyl production (why?), then the thing to do is to use ringwood (005/1187) and cold crash as soon as the yeast drops.

I am also going to plug a couple other yeast strains. I like 1318 a lot because it is basically 002 with less fruit (therefore great for American-style ales as well as bitters and porters and whatnot). And S-04 is also a great and underrated yeast strain. I think people who don't like S-04 ferment too warm with it. I find it produces excellent beers anywhere from 60º F to 68º F, but it gets a little breadier at the cooler end (58º-62º F) and can be a little too ester-forward warmer than about 66º-68º F. My usual fermentation plan with that one is to pitch at 62º and keep the fermentation chamber set to 58º to get fermentation in the 64º-66º F "sweet spot." I know most homebrewers in my clubs tend to ferment most of their beers 4º-6º warmer than I do, and many still just use the ambient temperature of their closets (not a lot of basements here in Oakland). That may cause much of the discomfort some people have with S-04.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: beer line formula???
« on: April 22, 2013, 03:46:04 PM »
IME, 8' is the shortest you can have with any consistency. Some beers are foamier than others and need more back-pressure to pour right. My kegerator came with 5' lines and everything was foamy-poured for almost 2 years. Once I switched to 8' lines, I was finally able to consistently pour moderately-carbonated beer.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout
« on: April 22, 2013, 03:28:32 PM »
I would not worry about bottle bombs with the champagne yeast. particularly with champagne bottles. those bottles can hold like 5 volumes can't they?

The "bombs" I was referring to were the bombs of messiness when you open a bottle and it foams all over the counter, not the actual glass-breaking kind of bottle bomb, which I have never encountered and consider to be a "homebrew myth." I think I may just go with the Champagne yeast due to its known consistency and the fact that it is 50¢. IME, if I use no additional yeast, it may take months to carbonate (this if from 4+ years ago when I tried to bottle-condition a ~1.070 chocolate stout that I had put considerable effort and expense into). I would rather use something that costs 50¢ and works than something that costs $4 and works.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Fixing underprimed/undercarbed bottles
« on: April 22, 2013, 11:34:59 AM »
I find a single munton's carb tab is a little easier than adding sugar. I do this when I am bottling certain styles for competition. My tripel isn't super-carbonated on tap because then it would pour nothing but foam, so I added a carb tab to each bottle that I filled for competition. It was messy and difficult, but it worked.

Kegging and Bottling / Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout
« on: April 22, 2013, 11:31:13 AM »
Sorry for the newbesque question, but I haven't bottle-conditioned a high gravity beer in 4+ years. I have a 1.086 OG imperial stout fermenting that was specifically brewed with bottle conditioning in mind (the idea is to bottle them in pretty champagne bottles or something, then give most of them to friends/family as presents).

My plan has been to ferment it to completion, then rack it to secondary and bulk age for a month or two (maybe with oak or something) before bottling it with champagne yeast and priming sugar to ensure carbonation. The primary yeast is BRY-97 (Danstar's American Ale yeast), fwiw. As I understood it, the champagne yeast would survive the ~9% alcohol, eat the priming sugar, and not continue to eat anything else in the beer. But my brewing partner is concerned that champagne yeast would continue to ferment other sugars in the beer, resulting in a bottle bomb. Should I be concerned?

Ingredients / Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« on: March 16, 2013, 01:38:51 AM »
I have tasted made with berkeley starters have been amazing.

I left Berkeley, but kept my Berkelian starter. It is a real workhorse. Great.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cold Steeping Dark Grains
« on: December 18, 2012, 12:18:54 PM »
Some roasty flavor definitely still comes through in a cold steep, but it is less bitter and somewhat muted.

Beer Recipes / Re: 100% Vienna Malt Recipe Ideas
« on: December 18, 2012, 12:10:57 PM »
So I now think my hydrometer is just wrong (it was reading everything 4-6 points too high). Anyway, I just bottled the batch today - I decided to give it a 25 g of crystal dry hops for 4 days before doing so. This is going to be an x-mas present beer, but I am very happy with how it turned out. I even think I may brew up a full-sized Vienna ESB in the near future with a similar hop bill, depending on how the beer tastes carbonated.

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