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Messages - redzim

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Couldn't wait for May 1st, so had to crack Rob_F's Helles Bock on the last day of April, Saturday afternoon.  His label says 1.068-1.019 (= 6.8% ABV) and bottled on 12/22/15. (That aging is great planning ahead; I only managed to get my Maibock in the keg in later March this year.)

It's a nice light amber color, not super clear but clear enough for me (Rob: was this bottled conditioned? if so, there was basically no sludge in the bottom - or was it bottled from keg?). Good chunky head that lasted pretty good. Malty aroma with a little tangy pop, maybe from the yeast? or the water chemistry? Basically no hop aroma but that's the style. Taste is firm malt right up front, sweet w/o being cloying, again few if any hops but I wasn't looking for them. This beer finished with a dry malt taste (as opposed to a dry hop bitterness) that leaves you wanting that next sip. The finish has a hint of hops but not enough for me to really place them; there's also a hint of sulfury tang in the foretaste but it blends nicely with the chewy malt. I'm not a BJCP taster but IMHO this is a great Maibock and I wish I had another couple for May.  Excellent job, Rob, and thank you. Got two more of yours to try still.

(I took a pic but can't get it off my phone right now.)


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2016 Spring Swap - Official Thread
« on: April 27, 2016, 05:12:02 PM »

Got the goods from fmader. What a haul! Thanks, man.

@redzim - UPS says yours was delivered this morning as well.

Sent from my VS986 using Tapatalk

Rob - I just opened the box and put them in the fridge. Everything in one piece - yours look fantastic as do the 3 from DC brewpubs. Can't wait to try them all!


All Grain Brewing / Re: First lager!
« on: April 21, 2016, 12:24:14 AM »
This is the way I do it all the time. Right now I have two 6 gallon batches in the same chest, temp probe on one of them. They are relatively same gravity, one is 1.048 the other 1.055. Both lagers. Both chilled to 48F and oxygenated. Both pitched with 1L oxygenated non-stir active starters. Works like a charm every time.

Cool, I might try that then. Maybe a Dunkel and a Boh Pils?

Boh pils is something I've been thinking about for a while. I'd like to do an all pils malt one, then use decoction to darken the color a bit. Don't want to do a protein rest, so I'm thinking something along the lines of Hochkurz, rests at mid 140s, decoct to upper 150s, then decoct again to 170.

Can't answer all your questions but as far as a style goes, I'd just say that IMHO the Pilsners (German & Czech) have been the hardest to get "right."  I don't know if it is something about the real simple grain bill, the hopping, the water - I've made good Pils but not great yet, in my 10 years brewing. But something tilted more to the malt side of things... they seem to be a little more forgiving. I'd recommend Kai's Helles (you've had my version of it), a Vienna, a Dunkel, or a Schwarz as a "first lager."

Grains: I've been happy with Best over the years but have started brewing with Avangard the last few months. Can't say if it's better or worse, it seems to work for me. Either one has always been cheaper than Weyermann, for me, so I go with that.

Temp Control: I have two Johnson A419's that have run pretty much all the time for 10 years. Bear in mind that while there are now newer fancier looking temp controls targeted to the homebrewer market the Johnsons are built for industrial factory-level control systems and will not let you down. (I'm not trying to impugn other controllers but you won't see them on a factory floor or assembly line most likely.)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2016 Spring Swap - Official Thread
« on: April 20, 2016, 12:39:02 PM »

redzim's Bourbon Barrel Porter


The most apparent aroma is that of the bourbon, followed closely by that oaky smell characteristic to me of wood aged beers. There isn't enough of this to overpower a roasty steel though, and there are some hops detectable as well.


Again, the bourbon and wood are the most prominent players here. These give way to a smooth roasty/caramel/toffee malt backbone. This toffee flavor is certainly not diacetyl, as I don't detect any slickness in the mouthfeel. The beer however is very smooth, with a firm but soft bitterness. Again there are flits of hops, but not enough to hone in on what they might be.

Recipe details FWIW: this is just NB's St Paul Porter kit recipe, scaled up. I used Cascade hops, and Evan Williams Bourbon.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2016 Spring Swap - Official Thread
« on: April 20, 2016, 12:36:53 PM »

redzim's Bourbon Barrel Porter


This beer is excellent. I really enjoy barrel aged beers, but more and more breweries seem to be overdoing the aging these days. This leads to beers that are overwhelmed by the barrel flavors, and these beers suffer for that. redzim has managed to keep everything balanced though, and this beer shines because of that. My wife really enjoyed this beer as well.


Thanks for the kind review. It's always nice when a beer I think is solid, is liked by others...  and regarding the image, I though for this kind of beer I had to use either Sutton, or one of the Duck Dynasty guys!  (I'm not worried about any copyright issues as it's just homebrew...)


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2016 Spring Swap - Official Thread
« on: April 09, 2016, 12:31:33 AM »
The beer looks great. What's the details on the recipe and process....kegged, bottled?

Also interested to know. Looks commercial by the bottle but could also be something like Kai's recipe:

You got it... I started with Kai's recipe 5 or 6 batches ago, have tweaked the hopping up a hair, and played with the acid levels to get the right mash pH. Water is Martin's Yellow Malty profile built on top of RO. Otherwise, single infusion Denny-style batch sparge at 153F for 90min, 13 day ferment with dry W-34/70, force carbed in kegs and bottled from keg.  This batch was lagered at 33F for a good 7 weeks before I bottled.

I get my labels designed by a friend who is professional graphic designer and accepts growlers as payment  :)

Thanks for the great review Phil - this is my first swap and I'm looking forward to trying the beers I get...

The Pub / Re: commercial examples of helles lager
« on: March 31, 2016, 07:54:14 PM »
I just had Southern Tier's Helles offering a few weeks ago. Tasted it alongside mine and a Paulaner. I found it to be a little more hop-forward than the typical German Helles but it had no major flaws. (I have no idea how widely distributed ST is, but it's all over New York State.)   Otherwise I prefer Weihenstephan and Paulaner over Hacker, for sure.

Ingredients / Re: light vs dark Munich malts subsitution
« on: March 01, 2016, 11:48:03 PM »
IMO melanoidin has nothing to do with decoction.

I can't argue with your vast wisdom Denny! But I know from my tastebuds, and having done a lot of decoctions of beers where I want a solid maltiness (alts, bocks, dunkels mostly) that when I do single infusions instead of decoctions (keeping as many other variables the same) I seem to lose something of that, and when I add 3-4%  melanoidin in the recipe, I get that "thing" back.  Is it exactly the same as decoctions? Probably/possibly not, but it works for me.   

Don't want to devolve this thread into a decoction discussion, though. aren't there about 30 of those on the forum already?  ;) ;)

Ingredients / Re: light vs dark Munich malts subsitution
« on: March 01, 2016, 08:16:26 PM »
Hey Red, good to see your post.

Hi Jeff - Been brewing steadily, just not a lot of posting - still lurk here every week and continue to learn a lot...  we ought to trade some more beers like we did a few years back...

I would do some calculations and see how much Pils would cut the Munich II down to Munich I color. It won't be the exactly the same, but that is the expedient thing to do.

I put the original recipe into Brewer's Friend and it gives me 14 SRM for final color. To get the same, with only 50lbs light munich I have to split the remaining 30lbs into 10lbs dark Mun and 20lbs Pils. (with 30lbs dark munich it only goes up to 16 SRM.) so I might try a 15/15 split.  I'm sure it won't be bad beer...

Ingredients / Re: light vs dark Munich malts subsitution
« on: March 01, 2016, 08:08:20 PM »
good point but I'd still be short 30# of light Munich called for in the recipe...

I was more thinking you'd just use 40 lb of the dark munich and drop or reduce the melanoiden and.or caramunich

OK, I can see your thinking. that might work out.

Ingredients / Re: light vs dark Munich malts subsitution
« on: March 01, 2016, 07:52:04 PM »
good point but I'd still be short 30# of light Munich called for in the recipe...

Ingredients / light vs dark Munich malts subsitution
« on: March 01, 2016, 07:46:42 PM »
Some friends and I are going all-in together with a 50 gal batch of Altbier this weekend. In collecting the ingredients I messed up and got 1 bag of Weyerman Type 2 (dark) instead of Type 1 (light).  For this batch, we'll be using the following recipe (based on Kai's, but with some melanoidin subbed in since we can't decoct this enormous volume):

Munich I - 80 lbs - 82%
CaraMunich I - 10 lbs - 11%
Carafa II  Special - 1 lbs - 1%
Melanoidin - 6 lbs - 6%

I have 50lbs of Munich I (light) on hand so I'm just short 30 lbs. Can I just use the darker Munich in place of that, and just end up with a little darker beer? Or should I split that 30lbs between Vienna and the dark Munich? Or split it Pils and the dark Munich? (I have enough Pils and Vienna on hand) We're not planning to enter this in a comp, and we don't care if we're a little darker than style, but we also don't want it coming out too malty or full like a Dunkel (I love Kai's dunkel recipe, which is 99% dark Munich and 1% Carafa II). 

Any tips?


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Suggest an experiment!
« on: February 18, 2016, 09:22:54 PM »
Bittering lagers with noble varieties vs Magnum (or other neutral)

I like this idea, especially for the reasonably hopped lagers, like helles or O'fest

my choice, from all the ideas in this thread.

Kegging and Bottling / shelf life
« on: August 19, 2014, 09:19:39 PM »
What is the shelf life, at room temp, of bottles filled from carbed kegs...  I am wondering, because I have some leftover bottles I filled for comps, and would like to keep them a while to compare to future batches of the same recipe... do I need to keep them refrigerated, or is 60F or so fine for them?  My beers are pretty fully attenuated and force carbed as well as fined in the keg with Biofine so I am pretty sure there is no viable yeast in there. 

I imagine that careful filling with a counterpressure filler and CO2 purging would extend the shelf life and prevent oxidation, but these bottles are just filled from a keg with a piece of hose stuck over a pony tap.

All Grain Brewing / Re: RO system design
« on: July 24, 2014, 08:45:01 PM »
Less than around 50 ppm TDS is a decent starting point. As an example, Pilsen water typically has a TDS of around 30 ppm. So ultra low TDS is definitely not necessary or desirable. In most cases, a home RO system will produce much lower TDS than that. An important factor for success is occasionally monitoring the TDS content of your system to tell when the membrane is going south.

With regard to treated water quality from a system, its unnecessary to seek zero on any of them. Even with the single digit value you can obtain for most ions in a RO system, you are likely to want more of some ions in a quest to improve the flavor of the water and the resulting beer.

Say NO to zero...when it comes to brewing water quality.

We're going forward on this and getting firm quotes on RO systems...  so Martin, if I spec something like <50ppm TDS, and single digits on all ions like Ca, Na, Mg, Cl, SO4, etc, that would be reasonable?

And what about alkalinity and bicarbs?

And what about pH, do I need to worry that the pH of RO water is slightly acidic?


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