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Messages - redzim

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All Grain Brewing / Re: how to darken up my Bohemian Pils
« on: February 08, 2012, 12:45:08 PM »
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, 04:24:14 PM »

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, 03:38:51 PM »
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, 01:26:10 PM »
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, 06:04:32 PM »
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, 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?)


All Grain Brewing / Re: Measuring mash pH
« on: January 23, 2012, 02:15:27 PM »

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, 08:26:24 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, 09:46:20 PM »
Do you use acidulated malt, or just 100% pilsner?

Ingredients / Re: Bohemian Pilsner Water question
« on: January 02, 2012, 07:56:38 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, 04:35:20 PM »
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, 09:32:51 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, 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?

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