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Messages - skyler

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Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian IPA Critique Please
« on: December 18, 2012, 12:05:48 PM »
I think I go a wholly different direction with my Belgian IPAs than most people, but my way of doing it is basically just brewing a very basic IPA - something like 95% 2-row, 5% crystal, and a simple hop bill with a big flameout dose, a big dry hop addition, and no more than 2 varieties - then I just swap out the yeast for something Belgian. I got the idea from Double Mountain's India Red Ale, which is basically a crystal-heavy IPA bittered with brewer's gold, and then dosed with simcoe throughout the boil and after. I like the results and so have most people who have tasted my BIPA's, but they taste NOTHING like Belgo, if that's what you're going for.

Ingredients / Re: Maris Otter Floor Malted Malt?
« on: December 18, 2012, 01:51:35 AM »
It was SF Brewcraft

Save yourself a headache and don't bother with Brewcraft. Just make the trip to MoreBeer in Concord or Oak Barrel in Berkeley. Both are better stores with more reliable info and advice. And Williams Brewing is a good online option in the bay area - super fast shipping.

Beer Recipes / Re: West Coast Winter Ale (Winter IPA?)
« on: December 12, 2012, 01:36:52 PM »
I have brewed with this batch of summit and several other batches and have never perceived any onion. I also know Summit is the primary bittering hop for some of my favorite beers, including Ninkasi's Believer and Total Domination.

I actually think the "onion" that some people pick up comes from aggressive late-kettle use of summit. I personally have tried beers I was told were very oniony/garlicky from Summit (Oskar Blues Gubna is the only commercially-available one), and I did not detect anything unpleasant. It may be that I just can't taste/smell the "onion" compound or that I read it as "dank" or "hoppy." Either way, I am unconcerned with the use of summit in any way in any beer where American-style hops are appropriate and it is among my favorite bittering hops for most domestic style ales.

Beer Recipes / West Coast Winter Ale (Winter IPA?)
« on: December 12, 2012, 12:11:45 PM »
I have noticed a trend here in California/Oregon (I go back to Portland several times a year) that winter seasonals are no longer barleywines and spiced dark ales, but hoppy red-brown beers with a good bit of caramel sweetness and dark-fruit malt flavor. In a sense, I think that Sierra Nevada Celebration and Deschutes Jubelale are the originators, but some of these "winter ales" are maltier than jubelale and hoppier than celebration. One beer that fits this bill, but is not sold as a winter seasonal is Ninkasi's Believer Double Red Ale, but even their Sleigh'r Double Alt (winter seasonal) essentially meets the same criteria.

I have brewed double red ales before, where I essentially brewed an IPA with 10% medium-dark crystal malt and a pinch of carafa. But in keeping with my desire to make this a "Winter Ale," I am brewing my next one with a more idiosyncratic malt profile. What I am wondering about is the hop rate I should use (I am settled on the hop varieties), as well as whether or not I should dry hop. As for whether or not I dry hop - I know that I can make this determination after fermentation is complete, based upon whether I feel like it needs MOAR HOPS or has the right balance already. But I am wondering how I ought to hop this in the kettle. My usual method for an IPA is either FWH-60-10-0-Dry or 60-30-10-0-Dry (occasionally 60-15-5-0 Dry). But I also do my IPA's super dry and typically in the 1.062-1.065 OG-range and give them 70-75 IBUs. In keeping with this winter ale as a more balanced beer, I have wondered if the 10 min addition is the right place to pull back to let the rich malt flavor shine, or if I should reduce the 30 min addition to make room for a 2-oz dump of Amarillo or Summit at 10 min?

Any ideas?

This is what I have so far:

13 lbs US 2-row
1 lb Carafoam
1 lb Special B
8 oz Golden Naked Oats (Light Crystal Oat Malt)

20 g CTZ at 60 min (21.5 IBUs)
40 g Summit at 30 min (41.3 IBUs)
90 g Amarillo at flameout/whirlpool (0 IBUs)

30 g Amarillo Dry
10 g CTZ Dry
10 g Summit Dry

Beer Recipes / Re: 100% Vienna Malt Recipe Ideas
« on: December 01, 2012, 12:12:23 AM »
I brewed it today. I originally decided to brew a vaguely out-of-style bitter featuring glacier and domestic tettnanger. The plan was to hit about 1.044 with a 152 mash temperature, get the bitterness from Glacier (an excellent bittering hop for bitters, IME), and FWH with an ounce of the Domestic Tettnanger, then drop a full ounce each of Glacier and US Tettnanger at flameout for a more robust hop character (and because the glacier just smelled so good while I was measuring out the bittering hops). Everything went fine, except that I forgot my hydrometer (I brewed this while visiting my mom for the day), so I couldn't check the pre-boil gravity, and I accidentally boiled off a 1/2 gallon more than planned. And when I came home, the gravity read 1.050. I somehow got a 4% efficiency boost on top of the extra evaporated 1/2 gallon. So I have a fairly hoppy 1.050 bitter with 37 calculated IBUs. ESB I suppose. I may add some water to the fermenter tonight to drop it down to 1.044-1.046, but probably not.

Beer Recipes / Re: 100% Vienna Malt Recipe Ideas
« on: November 28, 2012, 05:28:49 PM »
You up in portland skyler? though you were in berkeley

Actually I live in Oakland now, but I went back up to Portland for Thanksgiving.

Beer Recipes / Re: 100% Vienna Malt Recipe Ideas
« on: November 28, 2012, 02:43:21 PM »
Personally, I would do a vienna lager with just a dash of carafa for color adjustment. Otherwise, I vote for Cascade APA.

There are a few reasons why it can't be a Vienna lager, namely that I want to build up some of this yeast for a 10 gal batch of RIS, that I need this beer bottle-conditioned and ready by X-mas, and that I do not like Vienna Lager. Also I want to do 100% Vienna malt in part because I would like to actually see the color produced from doing so.

Beer Recipes / 100% Vienna Malt Recipe Ideas
« on: November 28, 2012, 02:07:52 PM »
So I have decided to brew a 100% Vienna Malt beer because I still have never brewed one and I have a good bit of Vienna malt from a sack I purchased a fairly long time ago. I also just got some yeast slurry from Hopworks Urban Brewery in Portland, OR and am eager to use it. They use Wyeast 1318 as their house yeast, but mostly brew American-style ales with it. My first instinct was to use up my 2011 US Tettnanger supply and brew a bitter. Then I considered going a majorly different direction and brewing up a "Session IPA" (the next beer style whose name we will all argue about), which would be about 1.045 and probably 50 IBUs. But I also have plenty of 2011 Cascade, Glacier, and Crystal hops, and could very well brew something a little more "to style" with any of them. What do you all think?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: using gelatin when bottling
« on: November 16, 2012, 01:02:31 PM »
I think that, in theory, the fear is that the gelatin would pull the suspended yeast out of suspension, thus giving you flat beer. But I don't think that gelatin pulls out 100% of yeast - and it is only really effective at cold temperatures anyway. I know British brewers add priming sugar and isinglass at the same time to carbonate and clear their kegs - I suspect the same would work fine with gelatin. That said, I have never tried it. I would sooner use gelatin in the fermenter (along with a cold crash) and then bottle.

Ingredients / Re: 2012 Hop Crop?
« on: November 13, 2012, 02:35:27 PM »
You know, in the past that when the hops I wanted weren't available, I took my bad luck as an opportunity to try out different hop varieties. A few years back during the hop crisis (was it 2008?), there wasn't as much demand for Nelson Sauvin, and I was pretty happy with the beers it made. Two years ago, I wasn't able to get any Simcoe, so I bought a pound of Apollo and was surprised by how bold and interesting the flavor and aroma was (I still consider it to be the #1 most underrated hop). So I say, try out some varieties you aren't familiar with. I know that, despite the "onion/garlic" thing many people get from Summit, I love that hop, and it is usually pretty readily available. And for every wonderful Simcoe/Amarillo IPA out there, there are plenty of delicious Summit/Apollo beers waiting to be brewed.

Ingredients / Kiln-Coffee Malt, a Paler Pale Chocolate Malt?
« on: November 13, 2012, 02:13:12 PM »
I recently moved and no longer live easy walking distance from the LHBS, and so have taken to sometimes ordering online and sometimes going to any of a variety of LHBSes in the bay area, usually coupling the shopping with an errand near one of several local shops.

As a result, I am seeing malts that I haven't used in years, as well as different maltsters' versions of the malts I do regularly use.

For example, I had never used any Crisp specialty malts before and their chocolate and pale chocolate malts are each darker than the fawcett and simpson's I am familiar with. And then there is Kiln-Coffee malt, which I used fairly often years ago, but which I hadn't used in 3 years. I decided to try some in my porter, and noticed the malt description sounds a lot like the description of pale chocolate malt, except that it is even paler. So I got to thinking, what if I directly subbed out the pale chocolate malt for kiln-coffee malt?

I was wondering if this is the right track, or if this malt will give a markedly different flavor? 

Going Pro / Re: Some figures for opening a pub.
« on: October 24, 2012, 08:57:40 AM »
I eat very spicy food quite regularly and have a high tolerance for capsaicin, but for me hops have little to do with it. I find higher-alcohol beers to be the best for helping my tongue manage capsaicin. If that beer is hoppy, fine, but a tripel wil help as well as a big IPA for me.

Beer Travel / Re: San Francisco
« on: October 13, 2012, 12:03:34 PM »
I have visited Drake's many times. It is a great spot, but in an absurdly inconvenient location. That said, if they have the aroma coma on tap (check online), then it is probably worth the hassle.

In SF the places I recommend are Speakeasy (only open Friday 4-10 and Saturdays, I think), and maybe 21st Amendment (I don't like their beer, though). But about every bar in town has good beer and there is no reason to look for a "beer bar" because almost every bar will have a nice taplist (10-12 craft beers on tap is normal in SF). If you go to Zeitgeist (not what it once was) and there is a scary old lady selling tamales out of her cooler, BUY ONE! I recommend the cheese, but the pork is also very good.

Oakland and Berkeley are better beer destinations and BART will take you about everywhere you would need to see in Oakland and Berkeley. A list with the appropriate BART station: Triple Rock (Downtown Berkeley), Jupiter (Downtown Berkeley), Barclay's (Rockridge), Ben and Nick's (Rockridge), Beer Revolution (12th St Oakland), the Trappist (12th St Oakland), and Cato's Ale House (MacArthur - but you have to walk a half mile to get to Piedmont Ave.) are all decent spots.

If you go to Berkeley, I would eat at Jupiter and separately get beers at Triple Rock. Jupiter has better food - especially the pizza - and a really nice patio (and the guest beers are better than the housemade ones). But Triple Rock is iconic and their beer is a lot better than it was 5-10 years ago. They brew on the same system they have been using since they opened in the early 80's an you can see it all through a glass wall in the pub - it is interesting and very much like a scaled-up homebrew setup.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Red Hoptober
« on: October 11, 2012, 01:45:40 AM »
biscuit bomb. not a fan.

+1 for dumping the chocolate malt. I use 1-1.5 lbs of carafa special II (added at sparge) and that adds plenty of roasty flavor for me. This isn't a hoppy porter, it is a black IPA.

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