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Messages - skyler

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Ingredients / Re: Raw Wheat Berries
« on: April 08, 2010, 11:29:50 AM »
Ok, since I just put the berries in as "flaked wheat," and the yield is far lower for the berries, I ended up with a 1.041 wort. But now it's kegged and carbonated, and it does actually have a certain something that other wits I've made were missing. I made another wit recently with a portion of torrified wheat and a portion of flaked wheat (currently in primary), and I am making another soon with only torrified wheat (and I've used only flaked wheat in the past). From what I can tell, there is a legitimate gain (despite the PITA) in using the berries - a bigger gain than I noticed with using a continental Pils malt instead of GW 2-row.

I had no problems at all with the sparge getting stuck - probably because I used 2 whole pounds of rice hulls. That made it difficult to guage the amount of water to use, though, since I think rice hulls absorb more water per pound than barley or wheat. The next time I try a witbier with the raw berries, I will use more of them to increase the yield. I still haven't found the beersmith numbers for the raw wheat berries, but I think it's around 1.025, based on my expected yield and my actual yield.

The spicing of this beer was a bit odd, too - I clearly overspiced it both on the "orange peel" and the "cardamom" fronts. But the finished beer only barely tastes too spicy. I suspect that using a WHOLE BUNCH of fresh citrus peel (seville sour orange and blood orange in this instance) is a lot less likely to screw up a beer than using too much of the dried peel.

Ingredients / Re: Cardamom?
« on: April 08, 2010, 11:08:42 AM »
Surprisingly, my over-cardamom wit tastes pretty good. I would still use less than I did, but I think as many as 10 pods or so for a 5 gal batch is fine if you're a big cardamom fan.

Every LHBS in Portland is out of Sinamar, so I'm using Carafa II Spezial for my Black IPA. I don't know what to do with the water. My thinking is to treat it like a porter in the mash tun and then treat it like an IPA in the kettle. So I'm planning to add a tablespoon of chalk to the mash and then 2 teaspoons of gypsum to the kettle. Does this sound right to everyone? Also, should I drop the corn sugar? Recipe below.

6 gal (because the hops will absorb so much wort, and I want 5.5 gal in primary)

10 lbs GW 2-row
1.5 lbs Carafa II Spezial
1 lb Munich 10L
1 lb Crystal 60L
1 lb Dextrose

0.5    Summit    pellet 18.5% AA 60 min
1.0    Cascade    leaf   5.7% AA 20 min
1.0    Cascade    leaf    5.7% AA 10 min
1.0    Simcoe    leaf    12.7% AA 10 min
1.0    Summit    pellet 18.5% AA 5 min
1.0    Simcoe    leaf    12.7% AA 5 min
0.5    Cascade    leaf    5.5% AA 0 min
2.0    Simcoe    leaf    12.7% AA 0 min
0.5    Summit    pellet 18.5% 0 min
1.0    Summit    pellet 18.5% Dry Hop
1.0    Simcoe    pellet 12.2% Keg Hop

Pacman Yeast

Mash at 150 for 75 min

~1.074 - ~1.013, SRM ~39, IBU ~72, ABV ~8%

All Grain Brewing / Re: New to using rye and oats in AG recipie
« on: April 02, 2010, 11:45:18 AM »
As far as I'm concerned, Denny's the rye guy, because I rarely like rye beers very much, and his Rye IPA might be the best beer I've made (keg lasted all of five days).

All Grain Brewing / Re: I accidentally created a Sour Pale Ale
« on: April 02, 2010, 11:41:49 AM »
Another thing which may fall in the realm of possibility is the starsan itself. If you used WAY too much starsan, and didn't rinse or dry the bottles, the starsan itself has a very sour taste (similar to vomit). If your palette is very good, you might pick up the acidity left over from the added starsan.

Beer Recipes / Re: sour cherry rochefort brett in oak
« on: April 02, 2010, 11:17:45 AM »
I had not heard of mahlab before.

Neither had I, and I'm 1/2 Iranian. I have learned that some spices have 2 names, though. What my mom calls, "Hell" (more like "Jel" in Spanish, actually, because it's a throaty "H" sound - I call cardamom. Mahlab might have a number of different names, depending on the primary ethnicity of the Market you go to. On the west coast, those markets nearly always have a decidedly Persian (Iranian/Afghani) or South Asian (Indian/Pakistani/Bengladeshi) feel.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Brass or Chrome Faucets?
« on: April 01, 2010, 11:36:26 PM »
I have the cheapo chrome faucets and I hate them. But I have been wondering if I should get new perlicks or the expensive Euro-style faucets that purportedly have a back-pressure regulator to reduce foaming issues. Has anyone else bought the Euro-style faucets?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Homebrew - It all tastes the same
« on: March 29, 2010, 02:54:29 PM »
If a starter is too much of a pain in the butt, use dry yeast. Do a longer primary (3-6 weeks) and a long secondary (2-4 months). Then, add fresh dry yeast to your bottling bucket when you get ready to bottle. This will help age out a lot of the protein/gunk in your beer.

And make sure you only use the freshest extract - I would stick to nothing but Light or Extra Light (Pilsen) Dry Malt Extract.

Ingredients / Re: Cardamom?
« on: March 20, 2010, 06:40:15 PM »
I tried an aggressive amount of cardamom in a wit I brewed today - .33 oz at 5 min - definitely too much, at least from a pre-fermentation taste. Assuming it doesn't dissipate, I doubt I would use more than .1 oz again in the future, and I love cardamom.

Ingredients / Re: Raw Wheat Berries
« on: March 20, 2010, 04:45:59 PM »
Ended up being forced to do a longer protein rest ~40 min, because it took longer than 30 min to heat up enough water to raise the temp of the mash to 150F (well, I wanted to heat up more than I thought I would need, to be safe). Based on the preboil gravity reading, I got 73% efficiency, which is 9% less than I have been getting lately, but I was expecting a similar drop in efficiency, so I now expect my OG at pitching to be 1.048 - perfectly acceptable for me (I was shooting for 1.049-1.050). I noticed the color of the runnings to be significantly darker than I am used to with this kind of wort when I use flaked wheat - I suspect this beer will look more like St. Bernardus Wit than Hoegaarden, which does not make me particularly happy. In the future, I think I will just use flaked wheat, unless the flavor benefits outweigh the PITA of the protein rest and the darker color. We'll see.

Ingredients / Re: Raw Wheat Berries
« on: March 20, 2010, 11:51:11 AM »
Ok, I am brewing it up today with a 30 min rest. I am using a crapload of rice hulls, so that should help me some with sparging, anyway. I will post my experience.

Ingredients / Cardamom
« on: March 20, 2010, 02:48:58 AM »
First of all, I love this spice in food. My favorite dessert is Indian rice pudding. I love it equally in sweet and savory dishes, and the aroma is probably my all-time favorite food scent. I have used cardamom sparingly in the past, where is only was a smallish supporting actor - never more than 5 pods in a 5 gal batch. This time I'm giving Cardamom more of a strong supporting role - the Han Solo of the spring's first witbier, if you will. I'm trying a third of an ounce of cardamom pods (coursely ground with 3/4 oz of coriander in a coffee grinder). These spices, along with fresh bitter orange peel and fresh sweet orange peel, will go in at 5 min. I know this is an aggressive amount of cardamom, but I want it to stand out this time, because of how much I love the spice. Has anyone overdone it with this spice? Is there any reason why what I am preparing to do is crazy?

Beer Recipes / Re: Red Ale
« on: March 20, 2010, 01:29:36 AM »
It's likely to end up kinda sweet with a lb. each of carapils and crystal.  I'd either cut the carapils in 1/2 or leave it out altogether.  The best way I've found to make a red beer is with about 15-20% carared malt.

Another good way is with a couple lbs of munich and a pinch of dark crystal. I personally don't like the roasted barley route of making a beer red. Then again, that could just be personal taste. Irish Red Ale is just about my least favorite beer style - but I love a good hoppy West Coast-style APA/AAA.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: mini kegs
« on: March 18, 2010, 07:23:38 PM »
I would stick to bottling until you make the move into all-grain, or you're brewing more than once a month, or in some other determine that you are not going to leave the hobby. Basic kegging (no kegerator, just a keg or 2 and a 5lb co2 tank), is reasonably cheap, and you can always just chill the kegs when you need them, if space is your problem.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: bottling after 2ndary 'shrooming
« on: March 18, 2010, 07:13:39 PM »
Wait, is psilocybin soluble in beer? Not that I would try it if it was - my hallucinogen days are far behind me.

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