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Topics - redzim

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Ingredients / does rye malt always have a gray-blueish tint to it?
« on: March 14, 2012, 01:08:47 PM »
Brewing with rye malt for only the second time, and it seems like it has a blue-ish gray-ish powdery tint to it, looks almost like a mold, but it doesn't really flake off or dust off; it seems integral to the grain. I can't remember seeing this before, but I only used rye last summer for the first time and may have missed it?

A quick Google image search shows some pictures with this stuff on the grain, and some without... the grain smells fine and tastes fine so I think it IS fine.... but any more knowledge on this situation would be appreciated.

BTW it is Canada Malting Rye Malt, from Rebel Brewer, got it shipped in about 2 weeks ago.


Ingredients / water for Dortmunder
« on: March 10, 2012, 01:49:42 PM »
I've never brewed this style before and I'm looking for suggestions on water recipe. I found Blatz's which is this: Ca 107, Mg 4, Na 21, Cl 70, SO4 115, HCO3 67, RA 3 (all in ppm).

This seems really hard to me...   I can almost get there using Kai's water calculator, starting with distilled water and adding gypsum, epsom, table salt, CaCl2, baking soda, and chalk... by playing with all of those I can get a water that is Ca 83, Mg 4, Na 19, Cl 60, SO4 116, HCO3 72, and RA of -3.....  I can't seem to get all of them to line up with Blatz's numbers....

there must be a simpler way to do this, it anyways seems counterproductive to be adding gypsum/epsom/CaCl2 to a mash at the same time as baking soda and chalk, seems kind of like they are going to be fighting each other...

so bottom line is, does anyone have a good water recipe for a Dortmunder???

tx all

Beer Recipes / recommendations for first Dortmunder
« on: March 01, 2012, 07:18:46 PM »
Been wanting to try a Dortmunder for a few years now,  think I'll give it try in the next few months now that I have some of my Pilsner techniques down (or at least improving)...  any recommendations for a recipe?  I found Blatz's here which I would assume is a good one... anyone (besides Blatz) brewed it? Or have another suggestion?


The Pub / Slate article
« on: February 24, 2012, 12:45:43 PM »

Ingredients / using up for melanoidin and victory malts
« on: February 16, 2012, 08:58:15 PM »
I have about 4-5# each of Weyerman Melanoidin and Breiss Victory Malt that I got for recipes that I don't plan to brew again... what styles of beers could I "hide" 8oz or a pound of these in... could I, for instance, replace 8 oz of pale malt with 8oz of melanoidin in a red ale or amber ale.... or slip some victory into a brown ale?  Any other suggestions?

I've been using this IBU balancing spreadsheet 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.... and  In the end, I guess it doesn't matter as long as I consistently use one calculator, but I'm just interested.


Beer Recipes / pseudo-Alt with a lager yeast?
« on: February 10, 2012, 02:21:39 PM »
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...


All Grain Brewing / how to darken up my Bohemian Pils
« on: January 28, 2012, 02:31:57 PM »
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 ( - 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?)


Beer Recipes / Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale from Zymurgy Jul/Aug 2011
« on: November 17, 2011, 02:07:18 PM »
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.


Zymurgy / Pilsner Urqell homebrewers contest
« on: October 26, 2011, 06:08:37 PM »
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?

Beer Recipes / good recipe for first Doppelbock
« on: October 26, 2011, 06:02:35 PM »
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 ( 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?


The Pub / Kaiser?
« on: October 21, 2011, 01:06:04 PM »
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 ....?

Yeast and Fermentation / just tasted possibly my worst beer ever - HELP!
« on: October 04, 2011, 12:03:52 AM »
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


All Grain Brewing / FWH questions
« on: September 02, 2011, 12:02:26 AM »
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...


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