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Messages - skyler

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Honey for Priming
« on: February 02, 2010, 03:28:19 PM »
Priming is the trickiest part of brewing, in my opinion. There is luck and magic involved. I would advise against priming with anything but cane sugar or corn sugar. Honey will take too long to carbonate, and it may not impart any noticeable flavor. I would just go with plain corn sugar and maybe add an ounce or two of orange blossom water (can be purchased from Asian, Middle Eastern, or Indian/Pakistani grocery stores) to give you a floral, honey-like quality, if you are hell bent on it.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Controlled Temp. Fermentation Equipment
« on: February 02, 2010, 03:24:10 PM »
I did this recently - got a chest freezer that fits 1 carboy/bucket with airlock and one without (so I use a breathable silicone bung for secondary), along with 1 keg and a bunch of beer. If I wanted to do secondary in kegs, I could fit 4 kegs (w/airlocks) and a 5 gal carboy (w/ silicone bung) in there at once. Actually, my plan is to get a bigger chest freezer for fermenting and turn this one into a 4-keg kegerator in the future. The shelf is easily big enough to fit a big C02 tank and a nitro/beer gas tank as well (so one of my taps could be a nitro tap). I'm not sure if I'm going to go the collar route or the tower route, as both have obvious advantages.

The bottom line: buy for expansion, because you will likely need it. On the other hand, any model that can be used for a standard kegerator (with a sankey keg) would be just about the right size for a single bucket or carboy.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast alcohol tolerance concern
« on: February 02, 2010, 12:05:16 PM »
I'd recommend brewing a mid 40s gravity batch first and using the entire slurry from that.

So in the absence of a batch of slurry what are your thoughts?  My plan was to make a 2 quart starter today, then add another quart of starter wort to the original to give me a gallon starter.

 How much yeast should I add at bottling?

What he is saying is that you should brew a whole mid-40s (1.043-1.047) beer. You could do something along the lines of a Kölsch, a dry stout, or even an American Wheat beer.... Then pitch your Imperial Stout on top of that slurry. I would even go as far as brewing something in the low 50s, like a 1.052 pale ale, before pitching the full slurry.

As for the yeast to add at bottling, just pitch a pack (or maybe 2 in this case) of US-05 a day or two before you bottle. Some people recommend bottling with Champagne yeast in a beer that big, but I have never done that.

Beer Recipes / Re: Anyone have a Spaten Oktoberfest recipe?
« on: January 28, 2010, 05:44:59 PM »
I've only ever had it skunked, which is sad because Märzens/Oktoberfests are the only style of lager I enjoy regularly.

So, 2 or 3 beers from now, I will be brewing a beer inspired by Speakeasy's Untouchable Pale Ale. I was just wondering if A) this seems like it might be similar to the original, or B) it looks like an easy-drinking pale ale.

This recipe assumes 80% efficiency.

Unspeakable Pale Ale

7 lb Great Western 2-Row
1 lb Red Wheat Malt
1 lb Munich 10L
4 oz Crystal 60L

.5 oz Cascade (5.7% AA) FWH
.5 oz Willamette (5.6% AA) FWH
.33 oz CTZ (16.0% AA) 60 min
.5 oz Cascade (5.7% AA) 5 min
.5 oz Willamette (5.6% AA) 5 min
.5 oz Mt. Hood (4.6% AA) 5 min
1 oz Cascade (5.7% AA) 0 min
1 oz Mt. Hood (5.7% AA) 0 min
1 oz Cascade (5.7% AA) dry hop

Wyeast 1272 American Ale II or WLP051 California V Ale

Mash at 151F for 60 min
OG 1.052, FG ~1.013
~38 IBU

Does this look about right? I imagine Speakeasy doesn't FWH, but I like FWH more than a standard 20 min addition... Am I crazy with adding the 5 min additions?

Beer Travel / Where to Go (and stay) in Austin, TX?
« on: January 27, 2010, 04:49:00 PM »
Gonna take a 4-day trip to Austin in March (Spring break). It will be my first time in Texas, besides several layovers in Texan airports. I would like to know any cool bars, breweries, bbq places, and even some hotel options. Budget is severely limited - would like to stay in as cheap and as central of a place as possible (planning not to rent a car if at all possible).

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Filling Corney Keg @ Microbrewery
« on: January 26, 2010, 06:08:46 PM »

Other Fermentables / Re: When and How to Keg Cider?
« on: January 26, 2010, 05:53:27 PM »
I asked because I read somewhere that carbonated wine began tasting like beer while kegged alongside beer with a single regulator.

Other Fermentables / When and How to Keg Cider?
« on: January 26, 2010, 05:22:08 PM »
I made a cider with Wyeast Cider yeast and 5.25 gallons of fresh, unpasteurized apple juice from a local farm. This was in September. I left it in primary the whole time, and it has shown no activity for months. I realize that most people put their ciders into secondary, but I thought it seemed like fun to let it age on lees (also, I do not feel the need or desire to get the cider cloudy. I was planning on putting this cider, as is, in a keg, and tapping it. I have a couple questions:

Do I need to let this cider age in the carboy for much longer before it would be good to keg?

Will the cider taste like beer if I keg it alongside a beer (I have a single regulator on my 2-keg kegerator)?

What do I do? (my thoughts are to keg the cider now alongside a keg of water, giving me cider and seltzer on tap)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's your Favorite Style of Beer?
« on: January 26, 2010, 12:13:38 PM »
There's not really a name for it, as it is one of those beers that crosses BJCP categories, but hoppy amber/red ales like Red Tail Ale, Red Seal Ale, and Speakeasy Prohibition.... I love that style of APA/AAA as much as I love dubbels.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing This Weekend - 1/22
« on: January 26, 2010, 11:51:07 AM »
I brewed a hoppy Belgian Blonde, vaguely in the vein of Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor - we'll see how it tastes. It was around 1.060 (forgot to buy a new hydrometer before the brew session, so that is a guess), and around 40 IBU, with lots of late additions. Long story short, it has both WLP530 and Wyeast 1762 in it, and I don't really know which will take over, though I highly suspect it will be the WLP530.

11.5 lbs Weyermann Pils
.5 lb Briess 20L (HBS was out of Caravienne)

.5 oz Willamette (5.6 AA) FWH
.5 oz Mt. Hood (4.6 AA) FWH
1 oz Willamette (5.6 AA) 60 min
.75 oz Mt. Hood (4.6 AA) 60 min
1.25 oz Tettnanger (3.2 AA) 5 min
1 oz Willamette (5.6 AA) 0 min
1 oz Mt. Hood (4.6 AA) 0 min
1 oz Tettnanger (3.2 AA) 0 min

pitched a problematic 3L starter of WLP530, in addition to an unnecessary smack pack of Wyeast 1762 (24hrs later, just as krausen was beginning to form!).

mashed at 149F for 60 min
Fermenting now at 70F

Probably brewing nothing next week, followed by a Robust Porter and a Belgian Golden Strong in the near future.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
« on: January 25, 2010, 01:36:43 PM »
I remember someone on one of the forums (I think NB) considering doing a Kolsch with a touch of Nelson Sauvin in addition to the standard noble hops. Has anyone done this?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 1450
« on: January 22, 2010, 02:37:30 PM »

have you made this IPA before with another strain? 

the reason I ask is that while I love Amarillos, I really don't like them as a single IPA for the fact that their bitterness and flavor come across as 'soft'.  they work well taming down some of the more aggresive ones, and are wonderful as aroma hops, but they can't seem to give you that enamel scraping hop goodness like some of the others.  I made an all Amarillo IPA once and had similar comments to yours.  JMO.

I made a similar IPA recipe with all-summit and S-04 just before I made the Amarillo IPA. Of course there were fewer hops in the Summit one (because of the higher AA percentage). And I used English malt in the Amarillo IPA (Crisp MO and Simpson's Medium Crystal), and American malt in the Summit IPA (Briess Pale and Briess 60L). The beers were the same SRM, IBU (on paper), OG and FG. I mashed both at 150. There were 4 oz hops in the Summit IPA and 6 oz in the Amarillo IPA.

It is possible that what you say about Amarillo is true, that they are a "character actor" in the hop world (I have had great experience using Amarillo with Centennial). But what is really lacking in my beer isn't "bitterness" or "harshness" but hop flavor and aroma. It's all there, just hidden under a deeper malt character than expected. I will have to try another IPA with 1450... I have no shortage of Cascade, Summit, Simcoe, Willamette, or Nelson Sauvin at the moment... Maybe a Summit/Cascade/Simcoe IPA?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 1450
« on: January 22, 2010, 01:12:58 PM »
Same's my go to yeast for every APA or AIPA that I make.  Remember, this yeast became my favorite by using it in Rye IPA.

Having just tapped Denny's Rye IPA last night (brewed exactly to his specifications - no substitutions), I think I overstated my point earlier, because Rye IPA with 1450 is pretty spectacular. But 1450 still isn't my favorite strain when it comes to dry, hoppy beers of the west coast variety - my Amarillo IPA came out rather McMenamins-esque with regards to hop character. But 1450 is my favorite strain for American-style ales of the more balanced persuasion.

Though I haven't tried it, yet, I agree that it screams "stout."

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation
« on: January 22, 2010, 12:55:03 PM »
I guess that, since I have been brewing ales so long, that I have thought there was some sort of voodoo to lagers, like that the oxidation which would occur from taking a sample might disturb the resting spirits of centuries-old Bavarian braumeisters, or perhaps that lagering for less than 2 months would turn my cat into a dragon... the usual brew voodoo ;). Being a complete lager noob (I barely even drink lagers), I suppose I have been overly cautious at my beer's expense. I'll give her a taste this weekend, though I may not have kegerator space for her for a month or so (unless my girlfriend's birthday party tonight goes through more than 10 gallons of homebrew) :o.

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