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Topics - redzim

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46
I've been using this IBU balancing spreadsheet http://www.maltosefalcons.com/tech/ibu-calculator-hop-scheduler-analysis for my last few beers as I find it better than a lot of website calculators and it has FWH which a lot of other calcs don't... I am often scaling 5 gal recipes to 10 or 15 gals....

Does anyone know what IBU formula is being used in there? It seems to give me higher numbers than both Rager and Tinseth, at least as shown on these two sites.... http://www.brew365.com/ibu_calculator.php and http://www.rooftopbrew.net/ibu.php.  In the end, I guess it doesn't matter as long as I consistently use one calculator, but I'm just interested.

-red

47
Beer Recipes / pseudo-Alt with a lager yeast?
« on: February 10, 2012, 07:21:39 AM »
I have a pretty decent recipe for a Dusseldorf Alt-style ale that I make with US-05, fermented pretty cold (59-60) and then lagered about 3 weeks. It comes close to what it should be.  Maybe not quite as fruity as it would be with a German ale yeast, but close.

However in a couple weeks I will have a nice cake of W-34/70 (same as WLP830 and Wyeast 2124, AFAIK) and am wondering if anyone has ideas on how the beer might turn out if I fermented the same Alt-style recipe with that instead. It seems to ferment best around 50-51, in my experience (I've used it for Bo Pils and German Pils, Oktoberfests, Viennas, & Maibocks, all with pretty nice results).  Would I still a get a beer in the Alt style using this lager yeast instead of an ale year? Or would it be too weird?

I'm not going to try to win competitions with this one, just want to know if it is going to be close enough...

-red

48
All Grain Brewing / how to darken up my Bohemian Pils
« on: January 28, 2012, 07:31:57 AM »
My Bohemian Pils recipe is from Jamil's book, and currently stands at 18.0 lbs Best Malz Pilsner and 1.1 lbs Weyermann CaraFoam/CaraPils for a 10gal batch.   I did a Hochkurz double decoction based on Kai's schedule (http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Decoction_Mashing#Hochkurz_Double_Decoction) - doughed-in at 144F (skipping the protein rest as Kai mentions many German brewers do), did a first decoction to get it to 158F, and then a second to get it to 170. Basically hit the curve on Kai's graph pretty closely.  I boiled each decoction about 15 minutes.   

Anyways the beer is clearly too light yellow for a Bo Pils... compared to a Pilsner Urquell it is a couple degrees off.  How do I get it a little more rich golden  and not so pale yellow?  Boil the decoctions longer? Use some kind of caramel malt or Munich/Vienna addition (I can imagine the answer is NO on that but.....)  Any tips would be appreciated.

(One other thing I was thinking about trying on the next batch is to have the first rest around 146, not 144, to get my FG a little higher than the 1.012 my last batch hit. OG was 1.055. Sound reasonable?)

-red

49
Beer Recipes / Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale from Zymurgy Jul/Aug 2011
« on: November 17, 2011, 07:07:18 AM »
Anyone brewed this recipe (it was printed on p. 20). AFAIK it is identical to the one printed in the DFH Book "Extreme Brewing" with the one exception that the book recipe adds 8oz of light choc malt. (Also, the book recipe is extract which Zymurgy is converted to AG but the amt & type of specialty grains is the same with this one exception - the gravities, hops, etc are all identical) 

The rest of the grain bill is as follows: (for 5.5gal)
12lbs pale ale malt [Sam's book shows 7lbs light DME]
10oz amber malt
10oz crystal 60L
2oz roasted barley
[Sam's book add 8oz light chocolate here]

8oz brown sugar added to boil
0.5oz Warrior at 60min
1.0oz Vanguard at flameout

I brewed this, it went from 1.071 to 1.018 which is within the ranges given in both recipes.  Single infusion mash at 152F.

HOWEVER my beer tastes nothing like DFH's.  I did use US-05 and the recipes specs Ringwood;  I can imagine this has some effect but.... my beer is way lighter in color (more like an amber ale, DFH is dark brown), mine tastes thin and finishes thin and sweet, while DFH is roasty-toasty, and more bitter....  perhaps the 8oz of light chocolate would darken it up, but mine is a lot paler and I think it would need more than that.  I was just flat-out dissappointed with the beer I brewed....

Anyone brewed a decent Indian Brown ale from either of these recipes, or is there a better recipe out there?  it's a nice beer and I'd love to get one brewed up decent for the winter.

-red




51
Zymurgy / Pilsner Urqell homebrewers contest
« on: October 26, 2011, 11:08:37 AM »
Just got Zymurgy Nov/Dec 2011 today with a sidebar about the Urquell Homebrewers contest.  Anyone know if the winner's recipes will be (or have been) posted anywhere? Would love to take a look at them....

Or maybe one of the 3 winners is on the boards and wants to chime in himself?

52
Beer Recipes / good recipe for first Doppelbock
« on: October 26, 2011, 11:02:35 AM »
So I'm currently fermenting a North German Pils (thanks for the recipe, HopfenUndMalz!) and planning a nice yeast harvest when it's done, and thought it might be time to try my first Doppelbock, which could be ready around Lent....

I'd like input on a good recipe... so far the ones I have that I would trust are the one on Kaiser's site (http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Imperator) and Jamil's from BCS.  Main different between the two is that Kai's is roughly 75% dark Munich, and Jamil's is about 2/3rds light Munich, with the balance of both being Pils and some caramels.   I'm leaning towards Jamil because I have plenty of light Munich on hand and won't have to lay out anything to brew this one... but if 90% of you say "it sucks... make Kai's!" then I will reconsider.

Or who has a better recipe than either of these two?

thanks
red



53
The Pub / Kaiser?
« on: October 21, 2011, 06:06:04 AM »
anyone know Kaiser's where-abouts or status? Haven't seen him on the boards for about 6 months, it seems.... did I miss him saying he was going somewhere or ....?

54
Yeast and Fermentation / just tasted possibly my worst beer ever - HELP!
« on: October 03, 2011, 05:03:52 PM »
By this I mean, the worst beer I have brewed - I've tasted a lot worse from the BMC's of the world.... actually probably my first extract beers were this bad, but nothing in the last 3 years I've been doing AG comes close...

Anyways, what we have here is a Mocktoberfest (Jamil's Oktoberfest recipe, just brewed with a US-05 slurry instead of lager yeast).  OG was 1.051, and I used a slurry from a big IPA that was taken out of primary the day before I pitched it into the Mock. I usually collect my slurries pretty thin and keep them in the fridge for 3 or 4 days to get a hard pack cake, then decant the liquid and pitch a nice thick slurry.  Anyway of course the IPA slurry is damn hoppy which I sort of forgot to take into account, and also after just an overnight in the fridge it hadn't really settled out and was still thinner than usual.

So I make 20 gals of wort, pitch about 250mL of this slurry into each 5gal fermenter, which is reasonable based on Mr Malty for slurry that is even a week old... but fermentation does not take off like a rocket, (it usually does when I pitch a fresh slurry, even at 60F which I was fermenting at)  I have a pretty good idea of what my airlocks should look like for different recipes (I've done this Mock before, same mash sched, etc etc... so wort fermentability is not an issue here)  anyways the fermentation never really gets going. After 10 days the gravity is only 1.018.  So I warm it up to 65F and toss in about 5grams of fresh dry US-05 to each 5 gal ferm, trying to shake each ferm enough to get a little O2 in there. Probably futile, I know.  After 3 days of no airlock activity, gravity is still 1.018 so I say screw it and keg it anyways. It did not taste too bad at that point, just a little sweeter than I would like.

Well that was 2 weeks ago - I tapped 2 of the 4 kegs this afternoon for a taste (I keg with gelatin, carbonate at 34F, and always dump the first cup out of each keg) - it had horrendous sulfury smell, kind of cidery and yeasty, and tasted astringent and dry - not sweetish like I was expecting from a 1.018 beer.   After 10 mins in the glass, the smell dissipated but the taste remained.  It is not UNdrinkable but it is not good beer.

What the hell happened? I've just been googling autolysis and underpitching and getting more confused. Seems like the 2 weeks on yeast cake is not really long enough for autolysis to occur? What sort of flavors will underpitching give me? I know it's probably a little early to serve this beer but the taste is bad enough to make me wonder if another week or two in the keg will help at all.    I kind of need this beer for a oktoberbash this weekend.... guess it's a good lesson in hubris vs. humility, etc etc but if anyone knows what I can do, let me know.

what with this and the steelers sucking this past weekend, things can only get better, knock on wood

-red

55
All Grain Brewing / FWH questions
« on: September 01, 2011, 05:02:26 PM »
I want to try FWH one of these days. Some noob questions:

1) Do you add the hops to the 1st runoff of wort, or only when you start the sparge? I assume the 1st runoff (duh) but want to make sure cause one website I saw mentioned adding them "when you sparge" which I assume they actually mean the 1st runoff....

2) How long is too long for the hops to sit in that wort before you begin boiling? 30 mins? 1 hr?  Is there a minimum time? Just trying to plan a brew day around it...

thanks

56
Ingredients / mocktoberfest hops
« on: August 30, 2011, 12:52:29 PM »
I'm brewing up 20gals of Mocktoberfest for a bash in Oktober - will use 14.5# Pils, 11.5# Munich, 9.5# Vienna, and 3# CaraMunich III. Target OG to 1.052 or so.   I have done this recipe before with Hallertauer hops - 5.5oz at 60 min and 1.75oz at 20min.

However I can't get my hands on that much Hallertau at a reasonable price.  Is Vanguard a decent sub? I can get that cheap from Midwest and it seems close in characteristics...

Remember this is a "Mocktoberfest" which will be fermented at 60F using US-05 and then lagered in kegs for only about a month, I've done this before and it is "good enough" to keep the masses happy (you know, the ones who loooooove Sam Adams Octoberfest already)

57
Ingredients / hops direct stock
« on: August 29, 2011, 10:51:41 AM »
And I'm not talking 'bout an IPO (but maybe an IPA)

Does anyone know when/if HopsDirect will start getting new supplies of imported hops (I'm looking at you, Hallertauer and Saaz).

thanks

58
All Grain Brewing / fix my Bohemian Pilsner
« on: August 12, 2011, 05:17:42 PM »
I am having trouble brewing a Bo Pils that tastes anything like a Pilsner Urquell. 

My darker lagers (Vienna Lagers, Oktoberfests, Schwarzbiers) have worked well, & taste close to what they should, and have placed (and won)  in some local contests. Even my most recent Helles (brewed to Kai’s Edel Hell recipe) was very nice and quite close to Hacker-Pschorr Munich Gold in a side-by-side tasting.

So I think my process is good for lagers in general, but obviously I’m missing something, because I can’t get a nice crisp Urquell-ish beer.  Urquell has way better hop aroma, flavor and bitterness. It just tastes like it has more “pop and zing”. Mine is a nice smooth lager but lacks the bite of the Urquell. Mine actually tastes pretty close to a canned Heineken, oddly enough.   Mine is also a lighter pale yellow compared to Urquell’s rich gold.  My buddies all love it (reminds them of Heineken, I guess ) but it disappoints me.

Here is my 10 gallon recipe: (scaled from Jamil’s book)

18.80 lbs Best Malz Pils
1.15 lbs Weyermann CaraPils
0.20 lbs Acidulated Malt (this is 1% of the total grain bill)

Single infusion mash at 155F for 90mins.  For mash and sparge, I used 100% distilled water with additions of gypsum, Epsom salts, and CaCl2 to get the following profile: 58ppm Ca, 8ppm Mg, 0ppm Na, 89ppm SO4, 63ppm Cl, RA of -47.

My mash pH was 5.2 to 5.3 (I was still figuring out my new Milwaukee meter but I am confident this is a decent reading). Collected 16gals to boil down to 11gals.

Did a 60min boil with Saaz additions at 60min (2.20oz), 30min (3.00oz), 10min (1.50oz) and flameout (1.50oz).  60min addition was 5.5% AA, the rest were 4.0% AA.  Hops were all pellets, tossed loose into the boil.

Used a huge immersion chiller to get all 11 gals of wort below 100F in 3.5mins. So I’m confident I shut down pretty much all DMS/SMM stuff (not sure I have all the acronyms correct) and captured that late hop flavor and aroma.  Entire batch chilled to 48F in 11mins.  OG of 1.059.  Possibly I boiled it down a little too hard here, 1.055 was what I was shooting for.

Pitched 22 grams of dry S-189 yeast into each 5 gal fermenter at 48F.  Fermentation was active within 28hrs (good airlock activity). Fermented at 48F-50F for 23 days. Then raised temp to 65F for 48hrs (a maturation or diacetyl rest), then crash cooled at 34F for 48hrs, then racked into kegs, and lagered under 10psi CO2 for 5wks, at 34F.   FG of 1.014.

One possible thing is that I was travelling between day 10 and day 23 of fermentation, and there was no visible airlock activity  when I got back, so it’s possible that the yeast was done prior to that, and that the maturation rest didn’t really do anything if the yeast was done…

Any obvious flaws in this thing?  Or subtle hints for next time?

Thanks (and sorry for the long post)
Red

59
All Grain Brewing / first Witbier
« on: August 09, 2011, 05:17:09 AM »
Hello,

Planning my first witbier tomorrow (all grain). Going to use Jamil's BCS recipe, at least as a starting point.  2 questions though:

1) fermentation temp.  he says to start at 68F and then slowly ramp to 72F for the last third of fermentation.  now I'm generally of the opinion that the ale ferm temps in BCS are a little high (for lagers he's good) ... often he specs 65-68 and I prefer to use 60 or 62 for APAs, ambers, IPAs, etc. But in this case, using T-58 dry belgian yeast, should I go with this high temp to get the esters going? or should I still shoot lower, maybe 64 or 65?  i've never used T-58 before so any help would be nice

2) mashing. most of Jamil's recipes just call for a single infusion mash which i'm comfortable with.  but for this belgian he says hold at 122F for 15 mins, then ramp up to 154F over 15min, then hold until "conversion is complete".  can I just do this by starting my mash (in a cooler chest of course) at 122F, and have it thick, like 1.25qts/lbs, and then after 15mins start adding boiling water a couple quarts at a time until I hit 154? I figure that will get me to about 2.0qts/lbs when I'm done.  and then how long should I hold at 154?   I do most single infusion mashes for 90mins and get 85% to 90% efficiency. so should I hold at 154F for 60mins, to get my 90min total?

thanks in advance
-red

60
Equipment and Software / Milwaukee pH meter issues
« on: July 26, 2011, 07:29:55 AM »
Anyone with a Milwaukee MW102 or similar, have you experienced the following, which I have on the 4 or 5 mashes I've used this meter for(bought it in the spring):

I calibrate it with 7.01 and 4.01 solutions, Hanna brand (recommended to me by a Milwaukee tech on the phone) then test my sample at around 75F. The little hourglass shows on the screen for a minute or two, then disappears. I take my reading (in the case of an Oktoberfest this morning, 5.25.)  However as I stand and watch the meter, the pH climbs to 5.49 over 2 or 3 minutes, then stabilizes.... but this increase from 5.25 to 5.49 was all with the hourglass off. What is my correct reading?  Same thing happened with a Schwarzbier mash a few weeks back; the hourglass went off and the meter read 5.50, but it climbed up to 5.61 before it finally stabilized.

I know this is a bit nit-picky perhaps, because all the numbers are in a good range for the mash (this meter has ATC, but I always cool my samples into the 70s anyways) but I like to know what is going on.  I called Milwaukee and the tech was frankly not very helpful.  He said he thought the reading was valid when the hourglass went away, but  also said some drift in readings is unavoidable.  I am not stirring or shaking the sample, which he said is apparently a no-no, and I store the probe in Hanna storage solution all the time.... 

Any help from blatz, denny, or kai, or anyone else, would be appreciated....

thanks
Red

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