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Messages - DaveR

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46
Ingredients / Re: hops aroma while drying not there
« on: September 16, 2011, 11:27:03 AM »
as with all agricultural crops there will be variations from year to year.

Quite true. They can also vary from location to location within the same year.

Last spring I planted some hops about 30 miles apart. The hops from one location had much stronger aroma than hops from the second location. That was true of both varieties. (I planted Cascade and Galena rhizomes at both places. Centennials too, but they never took off.).

The hops from the second location were bigger and appeared healthier. But they smelled grassy. Hops from the first location were smaller, but they had stronger hop aroma. This held true for both varieties, so I don't think it was a varietal issue. It was an environmental issue.

Conditions varied from one location to the other. One had regular water from drip irrigation. The other depended on rain water, and my occasional hand watering. I used different fertilizer at each location. One location had some afternoon shade. I'm sure the soil types were different.

It may take me a while to learn to grow hops well. Maybe a long while since there is only one growing season per year. I grew up farming so I know little things can make a difference. No different from brewing beer in that respect.    :-\

47
Ingredients / Re: Substitute for Simcoe
« on: July 31, 2011, 02:52:35 PM »
...It's funny you guys can still get Citra. I can't get it anywhere.

I found it at The Beverage People in Santa Rosa, CA. www.thebeveragepeople.com  The staff acted as though it was not in short supply.

Some months back I heard that Simco was getting scarce. I went to LHBS. The staff didn't seem concerned about supply. I could have bought several pounds. I only bought 8 oz.   I went back a week later to get more. They were out.  :(

I've have close to a pound each of Centennial, Citra, and Amarillo still in the freezer. I've been subbing Cascade for the harder to get varieties. It finally dawned on me that's crazy. Hops are for brewing. Can't enjoy them in the freezer!

48
Beer Recipes / Re: Adding dry hops timing advice needed
« on: July 19, 2011, 12:31:05 PM »
I never use a secondary any more. If I dry hop I'll add hops after 2 to 4 weeks in the primary. Around 21 days is the norm. I normally dry hop for 1 to 2 weeks. Sometimes I go longer. 

Generally, I rack to kegs 4 to 6 weeks after brewing. I may age for several months in the keg before drinking, or I may not age at all. Usually more aging is better than less. At least that's been my experience. It helps to have plenty of corny kegs.


49
Ingredients / Re: Show us your Hops 2011!
« on: July 10, 2011, 11:17:01 AM »

Here's a Cascade


Update on previous post, as of July 7 they're busting out.




50
Ingredients / Re: Show us your Hops 2011!
« on: June 26, 2011, 06:11:43 AM »
I planted 10 rhizomes at several locations back in March. Magums and Centennials showed early growth but didn't make it. Cascades are doing well. One Galena is doing well. 

Here's a Cascade and a Galena


As of late June the two bines above already have some cones and look like they'll have a lot more soon.


I tried potting one cascade. It's growing well, but no cones yet.


I have several others but they aren't doing well and aren't worth showing.

51
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lager yeast slow to act
« on: October 22, 2010, 06:58:41 PM »
Thanks everyone for your great feedback. I was afraid that I may have under pitched. I'll give this batch plenty of time in the fermenter. I'll monitor gravity and do a diaceytl rest. When I do another lager I'll be sure and go big on the starter.

One great thing about home brewing is there's a lesson -- or two, or three -- in every batch. My brother-in-law got me started brewing earlier this year. Now I can't get enough of it. Again, I really appreciate the wealth of knowledge on the forum.

Dave 

52
Yeast and Fermentation / Lager yeast slow to act
« on: October 22, 2010, 11:31:40 AM »
After 8 batches of ales I decided to try a lager. I began a starter of WLP830 5 days prior to brew day. I made 1 liter of 1.040 wort (just over a half cup of DME in a liter). I used a pinch of White Labs yeast nutrient. I stepped up using a second liter after 48 hours. I cold crashed everything at 96 hours. The starter didn't look too active. I smelled it and there was a hint of butterscotch aroma. I figured something was going on (whether good or bad, I don't know)..

Twenty four hours after cold crash only the very top (about 1 inch) of the starter cleared. There appeared to be about 1/4 inch of yeast at the bottom of the flask. I'm new to this and still learning but it seems that a lot of yeast remained in suspension.

I used the Top Drop Pilser receipe from "Joy of Home Brewing" as my first lager recipe. The OG came out at 1.052. I cooled the wort to 62 degrees F and warmed the starter to just over 55 degrees F.  I pitched all the entire starter. I should have used glass but I used a plastic bucket. I set my kegerator/refrigerator to 48 degrees. The wort stabilized at 50 degrees F.

After 4 days there was still no activity in the airlock. I was getting worried. I searched the forum to weight my options. I was about to pitch some ale yeast and I noticed activity in the airlock. I'm happy to say that now on the 5th day fermentation is finally going strong (although not "ale" strong).

Is this type of delay abnormal?. The yeast was close to expiration, but not over. I don't know how well it had been stored since I bought it from LHBS just two weeks ago. I think if I had to do it over again I'd make a larger starter, like a gallon,  and I'd start it 8-10 days in advance. Or maybe I'll just stick with Ales (unless this batch turns out great! What should I hope for?).

Dave. 


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