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Messages - redzim

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Beer Recipes / Irish Red Ale
« on: September 30, 2013, 07:09:59 PM »
Anyone have a favorite recipe that they like better than the one from BCS?  I've never made one before but like the style, and I'll start with that recipe unless someone has a really better idea...


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: belgian blonde cidery/acetaldehyde aroma
« on: September 16, 2013, 12:07:14 PM »
thanks for helping diagnose the problem... now for the "solution" I guess I wait another couple weeks to see if a cold-conditioning period helps it out? which I'm guessing is a coin-flip seeing as how I screwed up the process...

If you didn't filter then there should still be a little yeast left to help remove the acetaldehyde. I'd recommend bringing the beer up to 68F or so. Give it a few days to a week and check if the acetaldehyde character has diminished. If that's not enough on its own, you can also try adding a bit of priming sugar to the keg to wake up whatever yeast is left in suspension. And if that doesn't work, then you may need to add some yeast.

I did not filter, but I fined with gelatin in the corney keg.  So I should just take the kegs out of the fridge, and let them sit at room temp for a week maybe?  I could agitate them to try to rouse the gelatin/yeast sludge.... 

Also, I don't have CO2 outside of my cold storage: will the kegs be OK off the CO2 lines?  I don't care if they lose a little pressure but I don't want the lids to fall in and have the beer get contaminated...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: belgian blonde cidery/acetaldehyde aroma
« on: September 14, 2013, 02:20:59 PM »
thanks for helping diagnose the problem... now for the "solution" I guess I wait another couple weeks to see if a cold-conditioning period helps it out? which I'm guessing is a coin-flip seeing as how I screwed up the process...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: belgian blonde cidery/acetaldehyde aroma
« on: September 14, 2013, 01:50:57 PM »
I just checked my notes, and I crash cooled it after 8 days in primary; there was no airlock activity for the 48 hours prior to that... so I figured it was done...  incorrect assumption?

(I pitched a pretty large healthy yeast culture and it took off like mad, only about 6 hours lag time)

General Homebrew Discussion / belgian blonde cidery/acetaldehyde aroma
« on: September 14, 2013, 12:30:55 PM »
I brewed Jamil's Belgian Blonde. It went thru primary in about 1 week, then I kegged it and it's been carbing for 2 weeks. I tapped it yesterday and there are ferocious cider and green apple aromas, not so much in the taste, but certainly in the aroma. Some quick reading of Palmer, etc, says that the primary cause is usually too much cane/corn sugar, and too high a fermentation temp.

Well this is exactly what the recipe called for: 1.5# sugar per 5 gals (and I've found a couple sites saying the 1# is general considered the upper limit per 5 gals) and Jamil also says to start the fermentation at 64F and let it rise to 68F, which I did.  The beer went from 1.065 to 1.011,  and I used dry T-58 yeast.

This being my first non-Witbier Belgian attempt, is this normal? Is Jamil's recipe messed up? Should I just keep tasting it every week and see if it dissipates (Palmer suggests that it will...)? Is this (gasp) my first dumper in 6 years?


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: how to long to age a Belgian Blonde Ale?
« on: September 12, 2013, 01:51:27 PM »
so I could tap it today?

General Homebrew Discussion / how to long to age a Belgian Blonde Ale?
« on: September 12, 2013, 01:07:35 PM »
I brewed the Belgian Blonde Ale from BCS in hopes of getting something similar to Leffe Blonde. It fermented nicely from 1.065 to 1.011 and I kegged it about 2 weeks ago, it's been sitting on my cooler at about 33F under 10psi.  When is it ready to drink? I'm unfamiliar with Belgian stuff aside from a yearly Wit batch.  Normally I'd drink an American ale as soon as it's carbonated (about 5 days in my system)....


Beer Recipes / Re: Should I just give up on lagers?
« on: September 03, 2013, 04:00:49 PM »
Water can be a big improvement, and you have to know your water.

My HCO3 is 364, if diluted 50% with RO, that is 184 ppm (assume RO is <1 ppm). That is still way over what you want! Get a water report, it will let you know what you have. Look up the profilesMartin has in Brunwater, and you will see you want low alkalinity for pale beers. I got crisp lagers once I went to all RO and adding appropriate salts. One new small brewery near heard did a Pils that I described as OK, but muddy and dull. They used the local town  ground water with no treatment.

Do you check your mash pH? That is another thing to do to assure a crisp lager.

This has made the biggest improvement in my Pilsners as well: start with distilled water and add salts according to BrunWater.  Some of my Pils are still not quite where I want them to be (and I am in agreement with Martin when he says it is very hard to nail down exactly what is missing or slightly wrong) but fixing my water has made a huge difference.

Also decoction (sometimes single, sometimes Hochkurz or enhanced double) has improved them, but I know a lot of you don't necessarily see that the added work & time has benefits.  I enjoy the decoctions when I have the time (the smell is heavenly), but water was probably more important.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« on: August 22, 2013, 07:43:25 PM »

With this style, the biggest contributor to that distinct Czech pils flavor is time.  The flavor from the saaz hops changes pretty drastically at about the 6--8 week point.   

I find I like my Bo Pils a lot better when it is closer to 8 weeks lagered than 4 weeks (which is when I am quite happy with most of my other continental lagers)

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« on: August 21, 2013, 06:53:42 PM »
Last time I made a good Czech pils I used the promash water profile for Pilzn and added a percentage of distilled water to my well water to match it as closely as possible.  Turns out I can get close with 2/3 distilled water to 1/3 well water.  If you have a water report on your brewing water you could try calculating that.

Does that give you enough calcium, etc for yeast health? That profile doesn't have much of anything in it....

And when folks talk of using "enough acidulated malt" what does that mean? I am comfortable in BrunWater; should I just add acidulated malt in the malt bill until the projected mash pH drops to something like 5.3?

All Grain Brewing / Re: how do you add your salts?
« on: August 21, 2013, 12:42:42 PM »
I  definitely use the pearl CaCl2, it's an LD Carlson product... so not sure where my problems are coming from. I'll try to narrow it down next time I brew, maybe dissolve each mineral separately in a little water and see if it really is the calcium....

thanks for the other various suggestions....

All Grain Brewing / how do you add your salts?
« on: August 19, 2013, 05:32:01 PM »
I'm relying a lot more on BrunWater for my lighter-than-amber beers, and finding that just about every beer calls for some combination of CaCl2, gypsum, and epsom.  Here's my current SOP:I read somewhere that gypsum dissolves better in cooler water, so I've been heating my strike water in a kettle, while dissolving the salts separately in a small beaker of ~1 cup cool water. Then I put strike water and salt solution into cooler box mash tun, and wait until it drops to strike temp, then slowly stir in the grain.

The problem I'm running into is that the CaCl2 does not dissolve very much. (I think it's the CaCl2, because I've never see this problem with some brews that just called for gypsum & epsom.)  It stays all flaky in the beaker; I've tried dissolving it in 2-3 cups water; no dice. When I add that "solution" to the mash tun, the flaky white calcium just drops to the bottom. I'm assuming that it is doing no good, since it's not in solution...

So is this a problem? if not, I'm fine. But if so, how do you dissolve all your CaCl2?


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Experience with Saflager 34/70?
« on: August 14, 2013, 12:14:22 PM »
I use it extensively & find it is excellent for the maltier German styles: Maibock, Oktoberfest, Vienna, Schwarz, even Helles.  It makes a pretty decent Pilsner too.

Long long lag time when you pitch it the first time. Like 48 hrs or more. Start it in a beer under 1.055. I usually do a Helles or Schwarz at around 1.048-1.050 to get it going. Then I usually re-use 4 times, it takes off like a rocket then. 

I'm on pace for 199 gallons


Funny, that's what I do too

Ingredients / Re: Amarillo
« on: July 28, 2013, 03:33:18 PM »
Just tasted the batch I made with Amarillo.

Recipe for 10 gals: 24# pale malt, 2# Crystal 40L. 

1.5 oz Magnum 14.1% @ 60 min
2.5 oz Amarillo 6.9% @ 20 min
5.0 oz Amarillo 6.9% @ 5 min
2.0 oz Amarillo 6.9% @ dry hop into keg (1oz per corny)

Gotta say, it's really nice. I might even like it better than an all-Centennial I did last fall, with the same grain bill and basically the same IBUs at the same times, just all Cent (even bittering).  I definitely get grapefruit and maybe a little pineapple out of Amarillo (although that may be because I just had a pineapple for breakfast), and even though the beer is attenuated pretty well (OG 1.058, FG 1.010) I almost think the Amarillo is adding some sweetness or at least fruitiness back in there and the whole thing just works. Highly recommended to anyone who hasn't tried one.


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