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Messages - redzim

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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"!)


Beer Recipes / Re: The Maibock
« on: January 10, 2012, 01:26:24 PM »
I'm a little late, but my 2010 and 2011 Maibocks were brewed with S-189. I was pleased with the results.  The 2010 version took silver at New York State Fair in July 2010.

Although this does not answer your question of hop substitutions, the 2010 had only Magnums at 60 min.  For 2011 I added a little Hallertau at 10 min.  This will be brewed again ASAP.  Dang, it's already almost half-way thru January!


Ingredients / Re: Bohemian Pilsner Water question
« on: January 02, 2012, 02:46:20 PM »
Do you use acidulated malt, or just 100% pilsner?

Ingredients / Re: Bohemian Pilsner Water question
« on: January 02, 2012, 12:56:38 PM »
On Monday we brewed a Bohemian Pils. 100% RO water was used.  CaCL2 was added to get 50 ppm of Ca into the mash and sparge water. 

Care to share your final water chemistry numbers, in ppm?  For my last Boh Pils (the one I sent you, Jeff), I added gypsum, epsom, and CaCl2 to distilled water to get  40ppm Ca, 2ppm Mg, zero Na, 13ppm sulfates, 67ppm chlorides.  RA computed to -30.

Mash pH was 5.2 (I had added 1% of total grist as acidulated malt, might skip that next time to increase pH a little)


Ingredients / Re: Dry hopping using pellets
« on: December 29, 2011, 09:35:20 AM »
I use a stainless tea ball strainer in the secondary. It keeps the particles in and sinks to the bottom. The bigger the strainer ball the better. Those pellets can really expand.

How much do they expand?  I'm just about ready to dry hop for the first time, and bought a couple of these  to dry hop in the keg.  They are about 2.5" in diameter.... how many hop pellets can I fit in there?  Do they double in size? Triple in size? 

The Pub / Re: Hallelujah Chorus
« on: December 22, 2011, 02:32:51 PM »
nice!  this time of year, i play that trumpet part 2 or 3 times for our community church choir.... but we don't look anything like that!  :)


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.


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?

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 ( 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, 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 ....?

Thanks Gordon, that makes sense now. I think I'll give it a shot.

I agree on the worn out slurry.  The yeasties were worn out from the big IPA and got lazy in 1.051 gravity.  Also agree that if you tried to purposely get O2 in the fermenter at 1.018 after pitching the US-05, you probably did and oxydized the beer creating off-flavors.  You technically may not have under-pitched, just pitched too much worn out yeast......

If it's oxydized, there is not much to be done.....

I should mention that I only shook the closed fermenter after adding the new dry yeast; I did not shake or stir with the lid off - so I can't see how too much O2 would have been available to get into the beer - but maybe it doesn't take very much for oxidization?

Cidery and yeasty seems to indicate that it needs more fining and/or conditioning.  Is it pouring bright?  The beer sounds green (young).

It is pouring bright - I kegged with gelatin and dumped the first cup... I can try to dump another pint or so and taste it again, there may be more trub / hop matter / dead yeasties in there than usual.

If it smells sulfury, try purging it with CO2.  Chill and force carbonate the beer, let it warm up, shake some of the CO2 out, vent it.  Repeat.

Well since it is already chilled and force-carbonated, you're saying I should warm it up for like 6 hours or so, then just shake and release CO2 through the relief valve in the corny lid?  Then repeat the whole chill & warm up cycle, or just the shaking and releasing of CO2?

I would avoid repitching yeast from batches with strong flavors that don't belong in the new beer. 

Definitely going to become a more prominent part of my yeast re-use philosophy! thanks

So we think the culprit (or at least a big factor) is under-pitching, which I can certainly fix for future batches - but what can I do to this batch? anything?

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