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Messages - skyler

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All Grain Brewing / Direct heat step mash - info for first-timer.
« on: August 10, 2010, 02:15:53 PM »
Since I am moving by a buddy who also brews, and has a nice keggle, I thought we could probably use my 8 gal brew pot as a mash tun. This would allow us to do a step mash fairly easily, I think (we each have a burner). Is there anything more to it than just heating and stirring gently until I get to the target temp, then turning the burner off when the temp is right, waiting, and heating to the next step? Should I still use about half the water in the mash and the other half as sparge water? What styles would benefit from this? My guess is that this would be most beneficial for a lager or a wheat beer. Does anyone have any tips for brewing this way? I have previously just done the denny-tun method of brewing.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Cloudy Beers with Bitter Bite
« on: August 07, 2010, 11:56:40 PM »
It can be the yeast and the hops.  The bittering compounds and resins are attracted to the yeast and stick there.  Some yeasts are known for doing this more than others. 

The most extreme case I had of this problem was in a hopbursted APA made with 1272 that didn't get my usual month-long secondary at 32F, but did get crashed at 32F for a day or two before I transferred it from the primary to the keg. I am currently having this issue with 1028 (a black IPA that has more hops in it than any beer I've yet brewed.

Kegging and Bottling / Cloudy Beers with Bitter Bite
« on: August 07, 2010, 03:22:44 PM »
I have deduced that, despite what people say, the flavor of most beers are greatly improved by fining and a reduction of yeast and other gunk. I have found, with my own beers, that the first week or so in a keg I get a cloudier beer that often has a small "yeast bite," like a sharp, almost astringent kind of bitterness. This typically only happens when I use a low-flocculating yeast, but it happens even when I cold crash at 32F for a week or two. I will find that, after some time in the keg (drinking the cloudier and imperfect beer from the keg) that the beer will magically get clear and beautiful (and taste significantly cleaner and better).

Not all of my cloudier beers have this problem, but the majority do, particularly when the beers are also very hoppy. What could this be? Is it yeast? Hop particles?

I understand that water chemistry can combat this... and I am moving again soon to a place where the tap water is so bad, even for drinking, that I plan to use RO water for all my brewing. Is there any "rule of thumb" way to keep the right chemistry with straw, amber, brown, and black beers?

Beer Recipes / Re: Maple Porter
« on: August 06, 2010, 05:54:06 PM »
Have used maple syrup multiple times, and my preference was to add it 2 min before flameout. Regardless. I gave up because it is too expensive for a small amount of maple flavor and aroma. I would be interested in trying the maple sap as brewing water method, but, alas, I live in California.

I tried to get maple flavor by using some fenugreek seed in a witbier. Worst idea ever.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
« on: August 03, 2010, 10:28:53 PM »

complex malt/toast = vienna/marzen

but not breadlike or strong.  

Bread crusts fall into a dunkel profile.

To be fair, a märzen/oktoberfest is a fair amount stronger than, say, bud light. i have known people who drink PBR when they want something "strong" because it is higher in alcohol than coors light.

I also think of a märzen as rather creamy for a lager... i would say he should shoot for a 1.055ish Oktoberfest... or maybe just something similar with an ale yeast.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Big beer ideas for s-04
« on: July 26, 2010, 06:21:52 AM »
With those ingredients in mind, I would lean toward a barleywine or old ale.

How does one go about brewing an old ale? I have never tried to make one.

Yeast and Fermentation / Big beer ideas for s-04
« on: July 25, 2010, 10:40:43 AM »
I have a nice cake of s-04 developing beneath a 1.045 bitter. I would like to make something big with it. I have a black IPA and a big stout in secondary, so preferably something pale. Maybe an English-style IPA (I have loads of Willamette). Maybe a barleywine. Either way I would like to pump it full of willamette, since I have so much of it ($6/lb at hops direct).

Right now I was thinking maybe something like 80% MO, 10% crystal, 5% wheat malt, and 5% dextrose to about 1.062 and about 60 IBU with about 30 coming from later additions.

But I am also considering a balls-out hoppy barley wine with a ton of CTZ, cascade, and a little Willamette for good measure. Something around 1.090 and just MO and crystal.

What would you make? An EIPA, a barley wine, or something else?

Beer Travel / Hoegaarden MUCH better in NYC than west coast
« on: July 24, 2010, 03:56:27 PM »
I fell in love with hoegaarden in Europe, a few years before wit biers took off in the USA. The last several times I have had one I thought that it was very good, but not worth the price and not any better than many of my home-brewed wits. Here I am on the east coast (love this city) and it is so much fresher and more vibrant and spicily complex. It is really insane how different this beer is fresh. It is even a lighter shade of pale than It is back home (Ive had it all over the west coast from Portland down to San Diego and it is always just very good).

All Things Food / Re: Malted Barley Ice Cream
« on: July 20, 2010, 12:37:36 AM »
Mashing in warm milk might work, but you'd save yourself trouble and expense by simply making regular ice cream but replace some of the sugar with malt extract.  If you mash in cream, you will waste a lot of the cream that gets soaked up in the grain, unrecoverable -- if it will even mash at all.

no, i wouldn't mash in cream, i would steep in cream (and still add plenty of sugar).

Homebrew Clubs / Re: Location ideas for homebrew club meetings
« on: July 18, 2010, 02:11:48 PM »
See if you can use some local public school space, maybe a u of o facility or some portion of a community college. Since it is summer, a high school or grammar school might be an option.

Ivve used MO many times before, but I recently moved, and the LHBSs here in the east bay carry different malts and fewer varieties of hops than the place I used to frequent in Portland. I believe I used to use TF MO before, but I will give Baird a try, since that shop is more convenient for me to get to than more beer, which is a PITA to drive to. My preference is actually Optic, fwiw, but I have only ever had that mail ordered.

Looks like I will be using Baird crystal in this one, too - I have only used Simpsons and TF.

Also found out another lhbs that I haven't been to before sells Hugh Baird MO (the Crisp pale at more beer is a blend of some sort). Based on price and convenience, I think I may check out the Hugh Baird MO.

Ingredients / Crisp Pale or Golden Promise for a Bitter (4.6% abv)
« on: July 17, 2010, 11:38:04 AM »
Making a pretty simple bitter (little hopper than usual). LHBS only has these two malts, in addition to domestic, German, and Belgian malts. Which should I pick?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Apple ESB
« on: July 12, 2010, 08:53:11 PM »
just toss an ipod in with the whirlfloc at 15 min.  ;)

All Things Food / Malted Barley Ice Cream
« on: July 12, 2010, 08:44:11 PM »
I have had two odd ice cream flavor ideas recently. One involved soaking a cigar in heated cream, then straining it out and proceeding to make ice cream with the tobacco cream.

The other less toxic idea was to "mash" some malted barley (Chocolate Malt or Crystal, Probably) in some hot cream, then strain it out and proceed to make an ice cream with the cream. I figure that I could either flavor additionally with something like chocolate or vanilla (maybe a chocolate-chocolate malt gelato?) or just add sugar to taste (Maltose Ice Cream). Does this sound crazy?

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