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Topics - morticaixavier

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Commercial Beer Reviews / Jolly Pumpkin Bouldelaire Saison
« on: May 02, 2011, 10:49:20 AM »
Just had this on saturday. A saison brewed with hibiscus, rose hips and rose pettles. first off YUM.

Pours a deep red with a slightly pink tinge to the head. good stable head that sticks around for a while. very pretty.

Classic barn yard funkiness lightened up by a citrus tang (from the hibiscus? Rose hips? Both?) very light and easy to drink as  a saison should be not to heavy at 6.8% so you can finish a 750ml by yourself but also nice to share. If it didn't cost 15 bucks I would buy this again over and over. I probably still will buy it again at least occasionally.

overall, another hit from Jolly Pumpkin!

Kegging and Bottling / Getting started with kegging
« on: April 21, 2011, 12:57:26 PM »
Does this seem like a reasonably good deal to start with? I need kegs in time for a wedding on June 25th

Beer Travel / Boulder
« on: April 12, 2011, 10:51:28 AM »
So I will be spending a night or two in boulder in Late july. What are the top one or two places I can get some exciting local brew and decent food (Something vegetarian)

Ingredients / Pineapple flavor
« on: March 04, 2011, 08:05:05 PM »
I am sitting here sipping at the gravity sample from my maple barley wine that has been fermenting for the last 11 days and it smells and tastes exactly like pineapple juice. Never experienced this before.

The recipe
25 lbs Gambrinus organic pale malt
1.25 lbs grade A dark amber maple syrup (Vermont)
1 oz organic Ivanhoe at 8% alpha FWH
1 oz ivanhoe at 30 m
1 oz ivanhoe at 15 m
1 oz ivanhoe at 10 m
1 oz ivenhoe at 5 m

added the maple syrup at the end of the boil.

Pitched 90% of a yeast cake of Wyeast 1968 from an IPA. temp was 62 and then dropped down to the upper fifties and has been fairly stable between 64-68 with one brush with 70 for the whole fermentation.

I partigyled this brew and the first runnings plus a little of the second runnings got me my 7 ish gallons pre boil volume while I got 3.5 gallons of small beer at 1.032 hopped with a little left over cascade. The barley wine ended up at 1.097.

There are lots of yeast still in suspension and the gravity is still dropping (the BW down to 1.016 the small beer 1.002!)

but man it's like drinking Pineapple juice. The mouth feel is even thick and rich kind of like pineapple juice and rum.

Any ideas? is this an infection? Just the hops or yeast?

General Homebrew Discussion / First brew new mash tun
« on: February 22, 2011, 12:09:56 AM »
Okay it is in the carboy and the homebrew is being had. (Well actually it's lagunitas gnarly wine but...) So my planned 1.111 maple barley wine ended up a 1.096 maple barley wine and a 1.032 small beer.

I realized that the amount of water Beer smith wanted me to mash in with was more or less everything I needed for my pre-boil volume for the barley wine. so I decided that I would use up some cascade I had in the freezer and stop the second runnings when I had my 7 gallons. I managed another 2-3 gallons afterwards and boiled them both up. I had to dilute the 1.75 gallons of 'second runnings' to make the small beer.

So I am putting my numbers into Beer Smith to see what kind of efficiency I got with my new (blue) coleman extreme 70 qt and found only 54%. But the I remembered the small beer and used the dilution tool to do the math and....

80% effiecieny!

woo hoo. Best I had managed since going all grain was 63 and with high gravity I was getting crappy (45) numbers. but I am going good now. and an extra 3.5 gallons of beer to boot.

I think I might add another pound of maple syrup after fermentation has settled down a little though. there is 1.25 lbs in there now to 25 lbs of gambrinus pale malt. so I am not worried about to much simple sugar.

All Grain Brewing / Is my math all wrong?
« on: February 21, 2011, 02:07:51 PM »
So I am heating my mash water for a 1.111 barley wine (25 lbs 2 row with a little maple syrup to bump the gravity and flavour) And according to Beer Smith at 1.33 quarts per lb that is 33.25 quarts of water. that's 8.31 gallons less 2.5 for absorbtion is 5.81 gallons just from my first runnings. Leaving only about .8 gallons for sparging to get to my full 90 minute boil volume (6.62).

So am I crazy? should I be planning a partigyle here? and bump up to 1.5 quarts per lb so I get my entire boil volume from the first runnings and then sparge with 6 gallons for a small beer?

also am I going to end up with 5.5 gallons of huge 1.3 wort to start with?

okay so I guess if I use the .12 gallons per lb absorption number is't a little better, leaving 1.3 gallons for sparging.

anyway ideas?

Equipment and Software / New mashtun
« on: February 19, 2011, 11:30:57 PM »
Woo Hoo! just tested my new 70 quart Coleman Extreme mash tun. I ended up going super cheap and easy as the money never lasts as long as I would hope. So I took a 3 foot length of 5/8 OD plastic tubing and, after heating it up a little in hot water, forced it through the existing drain. Fits like it's made for it! Hose clamp the 1 inch hot water heater SS braid to the inside bit and we are good to go. I just stick the outside end of the tube in the handle to hold it above the liquid level and viola. maybe someday I will get a valve or something. Just in time to mash 25 lbs of 2 row for my maple barley wine!

Yeast and Fermentation / To starter or not to starter
« on: February 19, 2011, 07:29:47 PM »
I have, in my refrigerator, about 1.5 quarts of thick yeast slurry from an IPA that I am about (Tomorrow to the next day) to pitch into a 1.111 or there abouts barley wine. It has been in my fridge for about 2 weeks. I have a one gallon jug and I was thinking I could take about a pint of the wort, before or after boiling, and diluting it with water to an appropriate O.G. This would be chilled to pitching temp the night I do my boil. The bulk of the wort would be chilled to and put in the carboy to cool the rest of the way overnight. (I have trouble getting to pitching temp with my IC but that is another post) So the night of the boil I would chill my 'starter' wort and pitch the slurry into it before pitching the whole thing into the total wort the next day.

What do you think of this plan? am I wasting my time and 1.5 quarts of slurry is enough all by itself?

General Homebrew Discussion / Dry hopping questions
« on: January 29, 2011, 12:42:52 PM »
So, I know that the whole secondary vs not secondary question has been done to death on here but...

I have an IPA that is ready for dry hops. I want to use the yeast cake for a barley wine.

should I;

1) Go ahead and add loose hops (Whole) to the primary and not worry about it as I am planning on wash or rinse (Which ever one does not involve acid) the yeast anyway
2) add hops to the primary in a hop sack
3) rack to secondary on top of hops. I have a 5 gallon carboy so there won't be a lot of headspace but I don't have CO2 to purge the carboy.

what to do?

Commercial Beer Reviews / Fuller's Vintage 2008
« on: January 20, 2011, 11:49:12 AM »
So it was my 35th bday last night and my last name is Fuller so when I saw this at the BevMo I thought 'That's appropriate, a vintage Fuller's for a vintage Fuller'.

It was very nice. All the dark fruit/caramely flavors you would expect from 3 year old strong ale but also this amazing sweet apple cider note in the nose and to a lesser extent in the flavor. It wasn't the tart green apple flavor I associate with off flavors but a rich flavor like apples that are just about to go bad. Paired it with first course (Three bean parfait with plantain chips and crustini) and desert (Carrot cake with cream sheese frosting) and it went really well with both.

Beer Recipes / BIG barley wine recipe for LONG aging
« on: January 19, 2011, 05:17:28 PM »
I am thinking about a barley wine recipe that I will be able to age for more than a decade so I can share it with my son who was just born. Right now this is where I am starting for a 5 gallon batch

25lb 2 row (maybe Marris otter, or maybe even munich)
3lb maple syrup added near the end of the boil and a little more used for bottle priming.(This because I am a vermonter displaced from my home state right now and want to include a note of home)

California Ivanhoe hops spread evenly through out a 90 minute boil (This hop because it sounds interesting and is available in organic form from Seven Bridges. It is a Cluster hop with citrusy notes according to the description)

1 oz at 90
1 oz at 60
1 oz at 30
1 oz at 15
1 oz at 10
1 oz at 5
1 oz at flameout
1 oz dry hopped.

I will mash low and long to get maximum fermentability, aiming for around 12%

I Have no idea what yeast to use for this, was thinking of maybe using Denny's favorite or the old ale blend. Even considered the Ballantine yeast from east coast yeast that I have heard so much about.

So does any of this seem ridiculously nasty? am I wasting late addition hops in a beer that I hope to age for 20 years? any other comments? Would munich make for too much sweetness?

Kegging and Bottling / priming a keg and pushing with air
« on: January 04, 2011, 01:39:58 PM »
I am brewing 20 gallons of a cali common for a friends wedding this summer. I normally bottle as I have no money or room for a kegging system but bottling 20 gallons will take so many bottles and time that I thought I would try to get some kegs and prime with sugar so I don't have to lay hands on a CO2 system. so my question is can one get a 20 gallon keg? and is it reasonable to do this and push with air? I know this will mean that we have to drink up all the beer so perhaps 4 5 gallon kegs would be better. opinions? Also in another post someone mentioned a little CO2 system that is just used to push the beer out might that work even better?

Commercial Beer Reviews / 2010 Goose Island Pere Jaques
« on: November 16, 2010, 08:52:25 AM »
Just had this one again the other night and man is it tasty! rich dark fruits and caramel with hardly any noticable alchohol (Although its there for sure) gentle belgian character but not thin at all. YUM

Ingredients / Persimmons
« on: November 08, 2010, 03:06:53 PM »
So I have a persimmon tree outside my new place with a lot (Perhaps even a buttload) of persimmons on it. I don't think I will get to it this year but next year perhaps. I was wondering if they could be used in a fermentation some how. I suppose a wine would work or a mead. any ideas out there? Of course they are awfully good just to eat.

Yeast and Fermentation / reusing yeast cake
« on: November 05, 2010, 07:39:52 AM »
Hey all, I have a saison that is about to go into bottles this weekend (Hopefully). I want to reuse the yeast cake for a strong belgian christmas ale but I won't have the ingredients till sometime next week. what is the best way to keep that yeast happy until then? can I just leave it in the carboy until I am ready to pitch onto it? or should I transfer it to some sanitized mason jars? any point in trying to minimize the trub transfer?

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