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Messages - markpotts

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash temp for RIS
« on: April 29, 2016, 11:40:43 AM »
I would mash at 62 degrees 143-144 in your money.
I would also include 5% of a simple sugar.
Both of these will help with attenuation and prevent the beer being too sweet.
I usually use 2 packs of Nottingham when I brew a RIS.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 4 Englishman walk into a bar....
« on: April 20, 2016, 10:37:24 AM »
For the low/mid gravity ales I would throw WYeast 1469 in to the equation. Great flavour profile for the lower gravity stuff and it doesn't attenuate too far. It is balanced and lets the malt and hop profile through.
I like both Nottingham and SO4, but they do strip some hop character and are fairly neutral taste wise.

I don't think that yeast charachter is so important for the barley wine and on the rare occasions I brew high gravity, I would just use a couple of packets of Nottingham.

Coopers Irish stout is a bit of an institution with UK kit brewers.
Here is a bit of reading for you from one of the UK based forums:

All Grain Brewing / Re: British Caramalt (34.0 SRM) substitute
« on: August 19, 2015, 03:37:51 PM »
Caramalt is a funny one. A very light crystal my taste it is far sweeter than what you would expect of a crystal.

BTW, if anyone is having a hard time finding speciality British malts I would be happy to post some out to folk in the US, but I'm guessing that postage costs would be quite prohibitive and make the malt seem ridiculously expensive. Nevertheless, the offer is there :D

As for a substitute.....difficult to suggest one as it has a very particular taste.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water Profile Importance
« on: August 17, 2015, 03:43:35 PM »
New brewers should concentrate on cleaning and sanitation, mastering yeast management, fermentation control on the way to make good beer. Water chemistry adjustments then can be applied to make excellent beer.

This is good advice, but it is not a mantra for all.
IMO; as a starting point, you have to have water that when mashed with the grist will give you an acceptable mash pH. The tinkering with the detail and fine tuning of mash pH comes a bit further down the line once more understanding is gained.
I am a lover of pale ales (both English and American)....when I started brewing all grain, for the first year or so I had to tip batch after batch and I could not understand why.
I used campden, used tried and tested recipes, my technique, yeast handling and sanitation were all sound.....yet I could not produce beer that was acceptable. In truth, I almost gave up.
It took me a long time to understand that my favoured grists and an alkalinity of 120-130ppm just don't work. Now, had I been brewing stouts my experience would have been a whole lot better.

What I'm saying is that there are certain combinations of water type and malt that will not turn out well. A new brewer should understand this and be aware that it might not be their technique or sanitation that is letting them down.

All Grain Brewing / Re: water profile for special bitter?
« on: August 04, 2015, 11:37:52 AM »
Special Bitter is a sub-section of English Pale Ale and I would treat my water as if I was brewing a pale ale.
I use my tap water and reduce the alkalinity to around 30ppm. At around 11 SRM, there will only be a small amount of crystal / speciality malts. Many English pales/bitters use an all pale malt grist and the colour is derived from kettle darkening, the use of brewers caramel or a tiny amount of black malt.
Mineral content I think is very subjective, I usually look for 200-250ppm sulphate and 60-70ppm chloride; the general consensus being the sulphate will enhance the hoppiness.
That said, there was a big discussion recently on a UK based forum that I frequent regarding Timothy Taylor 'Landlord' ......a classic English pale ale / special bitter that is known for a hoppy character.......and whilst the brewery are very secretive about giving any information on recipes, enough was pieced together to come to the conclusion that their water is probably biased towards chloride.
I hope this is of some help to you.

BTW, what is your intended grist and hopping for the beer?? I would be interested to see your take.
Have you chosen a yeast? The WYeast 1469 is fabulous for this style.   

Ingredients / Re: Best way to reduce Ph
« on: July 22, 2015, 12:58:16 PM »
For me it depends on the beer I'm making.
For hop forward pale ales (95% of what I make) I use sulphuric acid (33%)....the sulphate liberated is useful.
For darker beers I tend to use hydrochloric acid.
I have brewed a few batches using phosphoric acid (then used gypsum to increase sulphate) and found the flavour of the finished beer a little dull.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dryhopping with Galaxy
« on: July 07, 2015, 04:23:06 PM »
Galaxy & Nelson Sauvin are fabulous dry hops. In fact they are both great all round hops.
Both have a very distinctive flavour for sure, but they are generally loved by those who like hops.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sulphurous / Egg Smell In Starter
« on: June 01, 2015, 08:29:29 AM »
Thanks for the input guys and the reassurance.
I didn't get a chance to brew this weekend......but the sulphur smell in the step up starter has gone.
Appreciate the shout on the lower gravity starter s.cerevisiae :)

Yeast and Fermentation / Sulphurous / Egg Smell In Starter
« on: May 29, 2015, 02:27:25 PM »
Just looking for a few opinions.
I usually use a vial of White Labs or a WYeast smack pack to make a 1 litre starter and then pitch this in to my wort or split it in to 3 parts for storage. I will then use the splits to make more starters when I have a brew on.

This week I used the dregs of a bottle of my HB to make a small 200ml starter (1040 wort made with DME) and it absolutely stinks of sulphur (eggs). The yeast is Wyeast 1469 and the beer has been bottled for around 5 months. The beer tastes as off flavours or infection.

I stepped the 200ml up to 1 litre and whilst the smell is still present it is much reduced.

I'm just looking for some reassurance that the starter is okay to use?
I crash cool and on brewday decant off the liquid and then suspend the yeast in a small amount of the wort I've just made before pitching in to the full batch.

I'm assuming that the sulphur is present due to the small quantity of viable yeast left in the beer and therefore stress put upon it during fermentation of the small starter??

Any further thoughts would be appreciated......thanks 8)

Pimp My System / Re: HopHouse Brewery & Taproom
« on: May 19, 2015, 11:20:00 AM »
That looks fabulous.....anyone who combines brewing, pints and darts is good in my book :D
Great job HopSlick.

Beer Recipes / Re: Piney pale ale feedback
« on: May 18, 2015, 03:17:06 PM »
Goldings is a fabulous hop that blends well with bolder varieties.
I would agree with what others have said though in that it will not produce an earthy character....though there are some tasting notes that suggest they do.
Fuggles are a known for their earthiness and another one to consider is bramling cross; though sometimes I do pick up some blackcurrant from these.
The hop schedule is very similar to one I use for an ale I brew 4 or 5 times a year; though I chuck in my heap of goldings at 20 rather than 30 minutes.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Can't miss in London
« on: May 18, 2015, 01:34:42 PM »
Hi there,
I'm from the UK, but not big on London.....I've heard good things about the 'Holborn Whippet' and the 'Euston Tap'.
I would definitely see if I could get round to see the Kernel Brewery....the pales this guy is knocking out are incredible. I'd also have Meantime on the list.
Hope you have a good trip enjoying some nice, traditional hand pulled English ales :D

All Grain Brewing / Re: What causes a metallic taste?
« on: May 06, 2015, 09:23:45 AM »
What is the alkalinity of your liquor and are you treating it correctly for your grist?
I had big metallic flavours in the first few pale beers I brewed.....this was before I had an understanding of alkalinity and hitting the right mash pH. My water was too high in alkalinity for pale beers and this reflected in harsh, metallic tastes in the final beers.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Screwed up my big black IPA
« on: May 06, 2015, 08:59:15 AM »
Any thoughts/comments on Munich as a base malt? Has anyone ever done this with 60-70% Munich?

I have just brewed an ale containing 70% munich malt (for a competition beer with the only guideline being the beer should be below 2.8% abv).
I didn't have any issues with conversion and I love the flavour profile the beer has. The other components were 25% maris otter and 5% caramalt.
The apparent attenuation (wyeast 1469) was 60.7% (OG 1031, FG 1012)......but I mashed at a very high temperature (159 in your money :) ) and only for 40 minutes to stop the beer drying out.

Quite a different scenario to yours jmpdx, but I hope you find my info useful. 

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