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Messages - redzim

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Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: SN Ruthless Rye IPA
« on: February 11, 2012, 06:26:37 PM »
Cool thanks Denny. I am going to give it a try.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: SN Ruthless Rye IPA
« on: February 11, 2012, 04:28:21 PM »
I admit to being underwhelmed.  

I can see that, particularly if you are looking for a big rye character.  Certainly, if you compare it to your recipe, its lacking.  The rye that is there seems to add a twist that is subtle and not overbearing.  I like that.  And then the hop flavor and aroma is excellent.

Its just a good IPA in general, IMO.

Had it today for the first time. I liked it... what can I say? It was nicely different from any beer I've ever had, and that is good.  But I've never had or made Denny's RIPA.    

So you're saying if I make Denny's, I'll be even more pleased?  I think I just changed my spring brew schedule to fit that in.

Just quickly Googling Denny's recipe... I have Columbus on hand, but not Mt Hood. What can I sub to get it close?  Denny: a Tett or Hallertauer type?  Or something American like Amarillo or Centennial or Cascade or Willamette? I have all those on hand.


EDIT: oh crap  ;D just noticed on some other forum where denny says "brew it just like this: no hop subs, no yeast subs..."  I guess I am ordering me some Mt Hoods then

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Sam Adams Spring Seasonal...
« on: February 11, 2012, 04:22:02 PM »
had this today for the first and last time. grabbed the Sam's Spring Mix pack. this (the Alpine Spring) is not good. (haven't tried the others yet) it's weirdly unbalanced. did not like the aftertaste of what I assume is the "honey malt" mentioned on the label. why is it unfiltered? it does not need to be... marketing gimmick I guess.

I hope I can still find the Noble Pils around here (didn't see it today...)


Equipment and Software / Re: How's your Thermapen?
« on: February 11, 2012, 09:57:16 AM »
I guess the only complaint I have is the orientation. The design appears to be for a left handed individual? Meaning one needs to hold it in their right hand to use and read and if they are to use the other hand at the same time it gets awkward if they are a righty.

My preference would be to hold it in my left hand, or have the probe swivel the 340 degrees and the read out flip so it can be read that way if needed.

So there's room for improvement.

Thermapens are awesome.... but I have the same issue with the "handedness" of them. A buddy of mine who runs a small food processing facility got me on to Thermoworks stuff a couple years ago... he once called them and asked them to make a mirror image one... I forget what their answer was but it obviously hasn't happened yet.

I'll plug one more thing from them... the mini Thermocouple...  costs $43 and accepts any K-type probe.  It's not quite as fast as the Thermapen but it works for my applications, and it's more versatile.

I got one of these and a 6ft heavy duty wire probe that I can snake into my mashing cooler and get constant temps... I also drape this around my whirlpool IC before adding wort to kettle for the boil, then during chilling I have realtime temp feedback. Real slick.  Of course they sell a million other K-probes of which I have 3 or 4 more for use in cooking, etc. 


Beer Recipes / Re: pseudo-Alt with a lager yeast?
« on: February 10, 2012, 12:45:49 PM »
Well I'm going to give it shot with the lager yeast, and will report back.  Anyone have any idea which "real" Alts are imported into the USA?  Of course I'm sure each state is different... just so I can get a feel for something other than Diebels.

Beer Recipes / Re: pseudo-Alt with a lager yeast?
« on: February 10, 2012, 08:20:14 AM »
Having lost a few afternoons in Duesseldorf drinking altbier, fuity esters are something I don't remember in those beers. 

Funny, I have long associated alts with just the faintest hint of something raisiny in the aroma... however my stints in Deutschland were almost completely in the former East, and the only alt available was Diebels, bottled of course... I've never had the experience of enjoying it fresh from the tap in Dusseldorf. (One day!)  So when I think of alts I'm really just thinking Diebels - which may or may not be the best example...


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...


All Grain Brewing / Re: how to darken up my Bohemian Pils
« on: February 08, 2012, 02:09:01 PM »
Well the yeast is pitched and fingers are crossed. Everything went smoothly, it was only my 5th decoction mash but I feel like it was probably went the best of them all, I think I understand what I'm doing now and it's starting to feel "normal" to decoct...  next time I do a quick 60 min infusion mash it's going to seem weird!  Of course I won't know for sure until about Aprils Fools Day or thereabouts, then the beer will be "tested"...

OH!  Color is definitely improved with addition of Munich, I'll have to see how it compares in the glass down the road... I don't think I'd want to add any more Munich than I did, though...


All Grain Brewing / Re: how to darken up my Bohemian Pils
« on: February 08, 2012, 05:45:08 AM »
Not to be contrary, but why do you want to darken it up?

It's tough to get a light golden beer using a typical HB set-up and pale gold color is acceptable for the style per the BJCP guidelines. I always consider a homebrewer's ability to get a light gold beer to be a mark of skill. Not every Bo Pils has to look like crusty old Czechvar.

But, if you do want it a shade darker, I'll jump on the bandwagon and say decoction or a tiny bit of CaraMunich and/or 40-60 *L crystal.

Well Bo Pils is my favorite style and thus it's a bit of a holy grail for me to try to replicate Pilsner Urquell, as I gather it is for a number of other homebrewers. And when comparing my brew with the original, of course the first mismatch is in color... so why not try to match that along with matching aroma, flavor, etc etc? I know it's only cosmetics but.... why not?

I'm about to start mashing it in about half an hour... 17# Best Malz Pils, 1# Best Munich, 1# CaraPils for 10 gals, Hochkurz double decoction. (Last batch was 18# Pils and 1# CaraPils) Wish me luck!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: S-189 for a schwarzbier?
« on: January 31, 2012, 09:24:14 AM »

Redzim, what temps did you ferment at?

Chilled to 48F, pitched yeast, kept stable at 49-50F for 11 days, raised to 62F for 3 more days. Then crash cooled and kegged. Lagered in keg 4 weeks before serving.


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: S-189 for a schwarzbier?
« on: January 31, 2012, 08:38:51 AM »
yes. last summer. I liked it a lot - pitched the dry yeast into a vienna lager, then re-pitched that slurry into the schwarz. took it from 1.046 to 1.010.  compared very well to a Kostritzer in informal tastings. i would recommend giving it a try and seeing if you like it.

for my autumn 2010 schwarz, i used dry W-34/70. just looking back at my notes, I did not like that beer as much, it went from 1.054 to 1.015, which is not quite as good attenuation, although it might have been better if the OG had been lower.


Kegging and Bottling / Re: gelatin fining in keg
« on: January 30, 2012, 06:26:10 AM »
I don't think you want to boil it, just pasteurize it.  I heat my mixed solution to about 160 and add it to the cold beer in the keg.  It will clear in the time it takes for the hot liquid on top to reach the same temp as the cold beer and then settle to the bottom.  I usually get a glass of gummy stuff and then nice, clear beer.  I don't transfer to another keg unless I need to move it or take it to an event.

+1 This is pretty much what I do.  Works great. Beer is clear after about 8oz of sludgy stuff. BUT it seems like a ot of that sludge clings to the side/bottom of the keg, so be aware that whenever you move or disturb the keg you'll loosen some of it up and get another cloudy glass the next time you pour one.

All Grain Brewing / Re: how to darken up my Bohemian Pils
« on: January 29, 2012, 11:04:32 AM »
So it looks like a consensus is building...

I'll try by adding 1# of Munich to my 10gal batch (I guess this would replace 1# of the Pils malt?) 

I'll also boil the 2 decoctions for 25-30 mins, instead of 10-15 mins. 

I'm already doing a 90 min boil, so I'll leave that rather than bump to 120 min. Don't want to change to many things all at once.

Sound like a plan?

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 ( - 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?)


All Grain Brewing / Re: Measuring mash pH
« on: January 23, 2012, 07:15:27 AM »

With my tap water I could only brew good stouts and porters.  I have had to do more to brew good German Pilsners.  The water stuff has paid off.  If you are lucky you might be able to brew good Amber to Brown beers with your water, and that might be what you like to brew!

+1 to that, and to Martin's comments as well.  I can make anything darker than a Pale Ale with my water, but for Pilsners, Kolsch, Cream Ale, etc I had a heck of time getting something I like. It was only after I started messing with building my own water in the last year that I am getting results I like.   Other people have the reverse problem (they need to mod their water for dark beers.)

In either case, learn about your water and tweak it if you are serious about accurately brewing a wide range of styles. This definitely involves getting a pH meter and learning how to use it, and for what.  And I cannot understate how helpful both Martin's and Kai's spreadsheets have been in learning to tweak/build water.  Various other people on this forum have also been extremely helpful in educating me in this field. (big props to "HopfenUndMalz"!)


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