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Messages - skyler

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The Pub / Re: Ginger or Maryanne?
« on: April 20, 2010, 06:16:38 PM »
My girlfriend went to high school with a (now retired) porn star whose pseudonym is Mary Anne. However, in her first porn performance, she used the name "Ginger." Presumably, she learned that "ginger" is another way of saying "redhead" (she's blonde).

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The Correct Way to Use Polyclar?
« on: April 20, 2010, 02:23:07 PM »
Thanks, I will try that on the next beer that I want to get clear (an ESB I'm planning on brewing on Saturday).

General Homebrew Discussion / The Correct Way to Use Polyclar?
« on: April 20, 2010, 11:41:21 AM »
Now that I keg, I have gotten more interested in working to get my beers *very* clear. Of course I fine with whirlfloc and I do a 90 min boil. I don't own a counterflow chiller or a plate chiller, and I don't expect to buy one real soon, and my kettle is such that whirlpooling isn't really a viable option (eventually I will ket a keggle, but not until I have a back yard to brew in). I have looked to post-fermentation fining, cold crashing (sometimes I lager my ales for a month at 32F before kegging, but this doesn't work if I dry-hop).

My girlfriend is vegetarian, as are many of my friends. As such, I can't use any finings that are made from dead animals, like gelatin. It seems like Polyclar is the only non-animal post-fermentation fining that is commonly used by homebrewers, but the version sold at my LHBS appears to have incorrect instructions. For a 5 gallon batch, how much should I add, and when. My instructions say 2 tsp disolved in a pint. Is that right? I have been told that it is 2oz (or the whole package) that needs to be disolved, and that boiled water is fine to use. Before I try this again (presumably when I keg my next batch), I would like to get my method down.

Also, let me know if these facts are true:

1. Polyclar requires I force carb (not a problem)
2. I need to wait 2 weeks after adding the polyclar to start drinking the beer
3. My first pint or two will be filled with plastic and trub-like gunk
4. If I use too much, Polyclar strips good flavor from my beer
5. I can still keg-hop when I use polyclar
6. The beer or water I use for the Polyclar to dissolve into before I put it in my beer needs to be room temperature

Thanks ahead of time.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Brewhouse efficiency 'stuck' near 60%
« on: April 14, 2010, 08:39:55 AM »
Yeah, you really ought to do a full boil - it effects more than just your efficiency. I would get a 10 gal pot (my 8 gal is just barely big enough), but you could also just do smaller batches.

The Pub / Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
« on: April 09, 2010, 02:34:25 AM »
It gets way too damn hot in the south, too. Way too damn hot. My only real complaint besides red necks. But you find them everywhere.

Not Berkeley. But I'd trade the homeless for rednecks, any day. Belligerent bums are a serious problem in Berkeley.

The Pub / Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
« on: April 09, 2010, 02:29:09 AM »
I have lived in the following places:

In California: Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Berkeley, Davis (near Sacramento), an Oakland suburb

New York City (Greenwich Village)

Bethlehem, PA

Portland, OR (currently)

London, UK (the old Borough of Clerkenwell)

Siena, Italy

Santander, Spain

Nice, France

I would not hesitate to tell you my favorite was London and my next favorite was NYC. Besides New York City, I'm not crazy about the east coast, really. I like California more than the PNW. Also, the job market in Portland is remarkably bad. Texas has a strong economy, at the moment. I like the bay area slightly more than southern California. I actually really like San Diego, but I've never lived there. And I think Oakland, CA is very underrated - a really great place to live in/around. However, Sacramento is near skiing and all that, but a fraction of the cost of living in the bay area. But I'm not crazy about Sacramento. Santa Barbara is great if you don't mind a slow place, but I like more excitement than that sleepy, beautiful town can offer. If you're a hippy, I recommend Santa Cruz - I have family there, and I enjoy it immensely.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Gambrinus Pale Malt?
« on: April 08, 2010, 05:10:09 PM »
One of my favorite PNW breweries, Double Mountain in Hood River, OR; uses Gambrinus Pils as their base malt in nearly everything they brew. I find it to be a nice alternative to European Pils malt, since I try to keep things local as much as possible when it isn't too much of a hassle. I'm guessing you have gambrinus pale, not pils, which is, IMHO, fairly similar to Briess Pale, though I rarely use it since GW 2-row is much cheaper for me.

Don't worry about being out of the Sinamar, Carafa does as well or better.  The trick is to cold sparge the black malt.  Many breweries are adding it directly to the mash tun after they start sparging.  Drop your sparge temperature to 155 to 165, the lower being better. 

On water treatments, think of this as an IPA, if you treat your IPA, treat this beer also.  Good luck

So you're saying I should not add the carafa until I have drained the first runnings? And then I should sparge colder than usual (I batch sparge). Would this amount of carafa still do it?

Without knowing what your water looks like, it sounds like a good guess.

I'm brewing this in Portland, so the water is low in just about everything. I don't have the specs on me right now, but it isn't all that different from the Pilsen specs on BeerAlchemy and BeerSmith.

Ingredients / Re: German Hops
« on: April 08, 2010, 11:40:23 AM »
I think of Mt. Hood as a multi-use hop. I use it in English, American, Belgian, and German styles; and it seems to do all those jobs nicely.

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.

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