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Messages - redzim

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Events / Re: Pilsner Urquell Masters Chicago finals
« on: July 28, 2012, 12:19:44 PM »
Very impressive.  Congrats!

Care to share any tips?  I've made a lot of German pilsners but haven't tried a boh pils yet.  Did you go with the ultra-soft water?
Yes, I cut my water with 2/3 distilled water to get close to the source water.
Double decoction, 95% floor-malted Wyerman Pils malt and 5% Vienna, all Saaz hops at about 35 IBU's, 860 Bock yeast.  I had split the batch and used Pils yeast on the other half, which didn't have the malt complexity.

Care to share more details, like a more exact hop schedule??? if not, I understand...


All Grain Brewing / Re: FauxPils Faceoff
« on: July 10, 2012, 05:41:44 PM »
I really appreciate the chance to try so much great homebrew you guys are sending my way. I've been impressed by the beer's I've gotten so far. Red's Helles was especially good.

Thanks for the compliment!  I just emailed you my tasting notes / score sheets.  Looking forward to the conclusions....


All Grain Brewing / Re: FauxPils Faceoff
« on: June 29, 2012, 02:30:47 PM »
I don't think they're a great example of any particular BJCP style. I hesitate to call it something because I don't want to unduly influence your expectations. I'm most interested in comparing and contrasting the different mashing methods, and not in a score, or brewing to style, per se. Do you guys think a defined style is necessary for what we're doing?

I'm cool with that... No style necessary... I'll just compare the samples to each other...


All Grain Brewing / Re: FauxPils Faceoff
« on: June 29, 2012, 11:39:34 AM »
Looking forward to the beers, and will be bottling some of mine this weekend to send back to you....

Just to clarify, I may have missed this point, but what BJCP category are these Pilsners? German or Bohemian? or CAP?


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That German lager flavor
« on: June 26, 2012, 06:32:35 PM »
FWIW, I do a Hockhurz for my N. German Pils, but I do single infusions for every other light continental lager. 

Interesting that I have had similar experiences.   For my Munich Helles (actually Kai's Edel Hell but I've adopted it), an infusion at 153F makes a really great beer, it compares well with Hacker Pschorr, Hofbrau, Paulaner, etc.  But for a hoppy, crisp beer like German Pils, it seems like the decoction does add something.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That German lager flavor
« on: June 25, 2012, 05:47:20 PM »
I was out at the NHC, and had limited internet access, and was having too much fun. Time to put my views on here.

One day I will get to one of those conferences..... sounds like everyone has a lot of fun...


Process: Hochkurz, chill to 45F, pitch a bunch of yeast, O2, ferment cool, I do a D-rest to clean up and blow of SO2, lager for a long time as cold as you can.

Hochkurz decoction, or infusion? Kai's site gives details for both. I've done a Hochkurz decoction for a Boh Pils. Never tried the infusion version but according to Kai it is common and popular in Germany these days.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That German lager flavor
« on: June 23, 2012, 11:47:47 AM »
Chit Malt is essential, it lends that honey like graininess with an amazing head (and NO flaked barley is not the same).

Don't forget proper attenuation, all German beer is dry, with a malty backbone.. Hockurtz can only achieve this for me.

2 Q's:

1) where can I buy chit malt? I've been doing a Jever-style German Pils using about 88% Best Malz pils and 12% Flaked Barley, it's close but not dead on.  I've heard of Chit Malt from some other brewers but never seen it. Where do you get yours?

2) for this beer, and also for my Maibocks and O-fests, I've been doing a rest around 130-133F, then infuse up to my sach rest (anywhere from 149 to 155 depending on the beer), then hitting it with a thinnish mash-out decoction.   You think a Hochkurz double decoction will vastly improve on this?  I've done Hochkurz on my last 2 Bo Pils and loved them, but it does take an extra hour or so....


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That German lager flavor
« on: June 21, 2012, 05:33:50 PM »
I've been interested in this subject for awhile, as my tastes have definitely gravitated toward German lagers over the years.

I can say the same for myself.... interestingly enough this topic was discussed a couple years back in this thread... and I was just perusing that thread to see if anything could be gleaned from it.

I too have spent a couple years chasing that elusive flavor and while I've made some German Pilsners I'm really proud of, that flavor/aroma is lacking.  If any of you (Pawtucket? Dave?) have recipes that are getting close and would like to share them, please PM me, and if you want, I wouldn't mind sharing my recipes and processes FWIW.


Kegging and Bottling / Re: conditioning time in keg
« on: June 15, 2012, 02:40:12 PM »
OK it seems my times are a little faster than most of you, I seem to be able to get my lagers down very close to FG in about 10-12 days, then I warm it up for a few days for a diacetyl/maturation rest, then crash cool and keg usually with 16 days of brewing. This is based off some info from Kai's site.  Specifically, very similar to Schedule F here:

Seems to be working for me, but the question is... you guys who leave lagers in primary for 3-4 weeks, how does this affect the viability of the yeast cake for re-use? I can't imagine your yeast is bubbling away for 4 weeks, and I always thought that (based on Mr Malty's calc) that the viability of yeast drops precipitously within a couple weeks... obviously you can build up a starter again, but I prefer having a yeast cake that I can get out of the primary and re-use within a couple days... would this be possible if the beer was in primary for 4 weeks instead of just 10-14 days like I'm used to?


All Grain Brewing / protein rest... 122F or 133F?
« on: May 26, 2012, 10:44:09 PM »
I've had good success with my last few pilsners (German and Bohemian) by following Kai's single decoction time and temp curve as shown here: .  This calls for a protein rest at 133F. However in prepping for a first bash at a Dortmunder style, I ran across this procedure at Maltose Falcons  which calls for a rest at 122F... Googling that temp seems to show that 122F is also a protein rest...  what's up with that?   or does a protein rest have a wide range that includes 122F and 133F??? 


All Grain Brewing / Re: canning salt or table salt?
« on: May 25, 2012, 07:19:58 PM »
I like sea salt, noniodized and a little more complex.

oh yeah, a little hint of fleur de sel would surely take a gold at the NHC  ;)

All Grain Brewing / canning salt or table salt?
« on: May 25, 2012, 06:11:23 PM »
Getting ready to brew my first Dortmunder, and working with Kai and Martin's water spreadsheets.  Kai's sheet says "table salt" and Martin's says "canning salt."   Which is it? I know table salt is iodized and canning salt is pure NaCl. So I assume I would probably use canning salt... is that correct?

( I have it on hand, as pickle season is not far off...)


Ingredients / difference between US and German Tettnanger?
« on: May 24, 2012, 01:27:38 PM »
Looking to order another years supply of hop pellets today, found out both North Country (at least in Champlain NY) and HopsDirect are out of German Tetts (at least in 1 pounders).  So I orders the US Tetts from HopsDirect (grown right at their farm apparently).  Will I be able to even tell the difference? I can't imagine I'll notice it, but just want to make sure.  I mostly use Tetts as a flavor or aroma hop, in Vienna lagers, Alts, a Jever-style Pils (sometimes Hallertauer Mittlefruh in that one), Bocks, etc.


All Grain Brewing / Re: how long is too long for FWH?
« on: May 10, 2012, 07:46:50 PM »

As long as they weren't boiled (isomerized) while sitting. They'll be good to go.

No boiling, just sitting in warm wort... so I should be fine.....

Equipment and Software / Re: How to use a pH meter
« on: May 10, 2012, 01:33:00 PM »
Did they try replacing the probe?  I have the MW 102 and haven't really had any problems with it.  When you see the hour glass go away, you should be able to take a reading.  It may drift a little after that, but not by as much as you're seeing.  You should be moving the probe around slowly as you take the reading;  otherwise, diffusion from the probe can affect the sample directly in contact with it.

I pulled mine out of the storage solution after a month and the 4.01 solution reading was dead on, and the 7.01 read around 6.98.

I got to Milwaukee tech support again today and they agree that my meter seems flaky. They are going to replace it free of charge so we'll see if that helps.

I have to give a big +1 to Milwaukee on this one; after a lot of tech calls they agreed to replace the entire meter and probes for free. I must have had a lemon, because the replacement I got has been much more solid; it calibrates a lot quicker (2-3min vs 8-10min) and hardly drifts at all in samples (maybe 0.1pH over a couple minutes max). Also holds its calibration nicely, when I haven't used it for a few weeks I check it in a 4.01 buffer before recalibrating and it is always between 3.98 and 4.04. Which my old meter never was....  so although Milwaukee's QA on their product line might not be the best, their customer service is nice.

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