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Topics - morticaixavier

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All Grain Brewing / reverse step mashing
« on: August 31, 2011, 04:42:15 PM »
So as I understand the process in a step mash with a lower sacc rest followed by a higher sacc rest (145 step to 154) you are going for a more fermentable wort but still with some body.

What would happen if you reversed that? mash in at 154 hold for say 15-30 minutes then stir temp down to 145 and hold again for 15-30 minutes. does the beta amylase work on the midlength sugars formed by the alpha amylase? or will you end up with a less fermentable wort as if you just mashed at 154 the whole time?

All Things Food / canning
« on: August 22, 2011, 04:47:04 PM »
I just got a preasure canner! woohoo! gonna order 25 lbs of tomatoes while they are good and can them whole! What else? I like canned peaches but my wife doesn't gonna can starter wort. beans maybe? having canned black beans and refried would make life easier. Salsa would be cool but I can't imagine you can get it to stay really fresh tasting.

how bout y'all?

All Grain Brewing / am I wasting my time?
« on: August 20, 2011, 06:27:50 PM »
So I decided to do an experiment. I want Mild Malt but that is not available to me in an organic brand. I do have some pale alt malt and doing some research and comparisons I see that Mild malt is really just pale malt that has been kilned a little higher (around 230*f as far as I can tell) for a color about 1-2* L higher (around 4-5L) So I grab three quarter pounds of pale malt and split it up.

1) Pale malt as is
2) Pale malt toasted in the over at 170 for 15 minutes and at 200 for 30 minutes (no noticible difference in color but a nice nutty flavour that isn't there in the control)
3) Pale malt toasted in the oven at 170 for 15 minutes, 200 for 30 minutes and 230 for 1 hour. Slight darkening of kernel (Groat? Corn?) resulting with a toastier slightly LESS nutty flavour than #2

So not I know that if I toast the pale malt for 1-2 hours at around 230*f I can get close at least to the color I am after. But what have I done to my enzymes? They denature at 170 ish right? as far as I can tell that is not true with dry malt (perhaps one of you science guys or gals can elucidate) Pale malt is kilned around 95-105*c so I guess not. But just to be sure I am mashing each sample now

Mashed in each sample with 2 cups 161* degree water for a mash temp of 151 or so. I will leave them for 45 minutes now, here is my question (finally) Will I be able to get any information from the OG of these three samples in terms of effect of the toasting on enzyme activity? If they all hit more or less exactly the same OG have I determined that the toasting didn't effect the enzymes? or do I have to then ferment the samples and check FG to get that info?

Any insight is appreciated.

All Grain Brewing / malting your own
« on: July 18, 2011, 07:51:34 PM »
So, as if brewing by itself isn't enough of an obession I have decided to try malting my own. This is the first step on an eventual growing my own project but it is too late in the year to plant hops and too early to plant barley so I will experiment with malting. The eventuall recipe is based on the Barclay Perkins 1839 XXXX as seen on the 'Shut Up About Barclay Perkins' blog. which is 100% Mild malt. from what I can gather this means a base malt kilned a little higher than normal pale malt for a SRM of around 5-6. I have read up on the process of malting and understand the basics;

soak malt 8 hours on 2 hours off until moisture content is around 35-45%
Germinate till 90-95% of grains are fully modified (acrospire full length of kernel)
Kiln back to 10% moisture.

I am planning to get a food dehidrator for the kilning, unless I discover a way to build a more efficient kiln or the weather gets really hot for a while (not impossible here in northern california) but what I cannot find is the temp to kiln at to reach my desired SRM. I can't just toast after drying cause I need enzymes. The only thing I have found so far is that we are looking at 90-105f for pale malt and 'a little higher' for Mild although the site where I found the ' a little higher' advice had typos so the kilning temp given for pale was 95-105c which is WAY to hot as it would denature the enzymes so I am not trusting that much.

This may be kind of out there but if anyone has advice I would love to here it. I hope to begin this project in mid august.

Commercial Beer Reviews / mikkeller 1000 IBU
« on: July 12, 2011, 07:44:22 PM »
So I tried this beer because I have seen in on the shelf a few times and it was on tap at the local bottle shop/tasting room. I know it's gimmicky and you can't go over 100ibu etc. I will say this, this was the Hoppiest most bitter beer I have ever tasted. It was kinda gross at first. Just a huge hoppy slap in the face. But after all the tastebuds responsible for tasting bitter had been wiped out by the first couple of sips there was actually a nice little malty sweetness in the background.

over all I would say that I will NOT be drinking this beer again but it was fun to try. I suggest anyone who feels a beer can't be too hoppy give this one a try and let me know if you still think that.

General Homebrew Discussion / Hot Side Aeration and Coffee
« on: July 07, 2011, 08:51:56 PM »
So I know there is a lot of disargreement around HSA and I am not a sophisticated enough brewer to really worry about it. I don't stir my hot wort with a mix stir but I don't coddle it either as it cools.

But I have been making ice coffee in the morning for the afternoon as the temps here in NorCal start to rise and I noticed an interesting phenomenon. I brew my coffee with one of those low tech cones that just sits on top of my termal mug. about 2.25 cups of water that was boiling and then poured into a pyrex measuring cup before being poured through about a cup of grounds (medium roast if anyone cares) I like my coffee strong. I also stir the grounds in the cone while it is draining to squeeze every last drop of goodness out of them. I was then pouring the finished coffee into a glass jar and lidding it immedietly with very little headspace. And in the afternoon I kept noticing that there was a cardboardy flavour to the coffee. So I starting thinking about HSA. This morning I did everything the same as above except while pouring into the glass jar I was very careful and slow so as to minimize splashing and low and behold my coffee this afternoon has no cardboardy taste!

Is this proof of the effects of hot side aeration even on a very small scale? I don't know what do you all think? Am I completely obsessed? (My wife thinks so, everytime I say 'I wonder what a beer with x would be like')

I don't imagine it's going to change my brewing techniques but as I said I already don't splash things around till they are cool.

Beer Recipes / Hefeweizen
« on: July 03, 2011, 06:05:04 AM »
Looking for comments, suggestions on this hefe recipe. First a little background. My wife wants to brew a beer and this is the style she has chosen, I have never done a decoction and now is not the time to try it. We just tried three different hefes to get a feel for what we are looking to achieve. We sat down with a Blue Star from North Coast brewing, a Weihenstephaner to see if we wanted to use the WL300 or if it would be to bananaee. and the Ayinger as a comparison in the Bavarian realm. My opinions are what they are (the blue star was boring, as is most american wheat beer, the Weihenstephaner tasted a little like nail polish remover, the Ayinger was pretty good though) But it's my wife's opinion that matters this time around. She liked the Weihenstephaner but thought it was a little harsh and hot. She liked the Blue star but didn't think it was what she was after, she wanted more of the Bavarian character. So finally to my recipe... after this one question.

If I control the temp to 62ish on the WL300 but under pitch (2 vials to 11 gallons) will I be able to maintain the spicy clove character without the nail polish remover?

Okay here is the recipe

All malts are Weyermann organic,

10.5 Lbs Pale Wheat Malt (60%)
6.5 Lbs Pilsner (37.14%)
.5 Lbs Vienna (2.86%) (this is here because I am not going to do my first decoction as my wife's first brew so I am trying to simulate that result, I also have access to Munich and caramunich if one of those would be better)

1.25 oz Hallertauer at 60 Min.

Mash at 150 for 60 minutes, batch sparge.

A couple other questions

Would using some raw wheat gain me anything in this recipe? If so what? or rather what would adding some raw wheat do to the flavour of this beer?

I can not find organic rice hulls, I don't want a stuck sparge but I am also fairly adamant about using organic ingredients where ever possible. I am using a 72 qt coleman extreme (blue in case you are wondering) with braid the length of the cooler. am I going to struggle with stuck sparges with this much wheat if I don't use rice hulls?

My wife really liked the 'buttery' mouthfeel in the Blue Star, this got me thinking and I wonder if it would be crazy to add a little bit of oats to get something like that.


All Things Food / vegetarian eats
« on: June 20, 2011, 06:07:14 PM »
So there is always lots of talk about dead critters on here so I though I would start a thread for those of us who forgo the flesh.

One of the favorite meals I have ever made is

Squash blossems tempura

Tri-color soup (white bean, roasted chili and black bean each cooked on it's own and served layered)

Cilantro and Lime sorbetto

Spinach, asiago and walnut raviolli in wild mushroom ragu.

figs stuffed with marscapone and walnuts drizzled with honey and sprinkled with mint leaves.

I did that one for 12 people, maybe the biggest dinner I have personally cooked.

another was desert for dinner with chocolate and marscapone raviolli (chocolate pasta filled with marscapone, honey and walnuts) with a coffee creme englais sauce. that one was just my wife and I.

let's here some of yours!

Okay, so the first time I tried this beer it was my third of the night (that's a lot for me) after the california common and the weizenbock (more on that later) and I honestly was not impressed. It well balanced, you wouldn't spot it for an 8 percenter, but that's really the best I could say for it from first impressions.

To highlight this, I poured the last half a glass out before going to bed, just couldn't get through it. So the next night I cracked another one as I would hate to short change a beer on first impressions (here that all you ladies who turned up your nose at me over all those years?) but anyway, I cracked another one open and poured it and gave it a sniff and sip. First off, this is very definitively a BLACK ale, as dark and opaque as a stout but with a thinner body and slightly (very slightly) less roast. I don't know if it's the roast or the juniper or whether there is smoked malt in there but I get a strong smoke character from this beer. not unpleasant just smoky. I don't get a huge juniper presence. There is a slight bitterness that is different from what you would expect to get from the roast or the hops but I don't get a lot of pungency which is what I think of when I think of juniper.

Overall not a bad beer. but It's a once a night kinda beer for sure. it kind of curbs the appetite for any other beers as well. That being said I did have another of the Cali commons after this beer and it was a nice refresher after the big black beast.

First let me say, I have the best wife in the world. I got home from work today and looked in the fridge to find a SN best of beer camp mix pack with a sign on it saying happy fathers day.

Just had the California common. at first I was not terribly impressed, but as the beer warmed up just a little the maltiness came through in a nice way. A little bready. definite 'lager' character but good solid mouthfeel. Hops are balanced if a little sharp when the beer is cold.

I will be happy to drink this one at least 2 more times (12 beers, 4 varieties)

Ingredients / Distillery Malt
« on: June 12, 2011, 11:00:52 PM »
So I have been searching for Organic Malted Rye with little or no luck until today I came across this

From weyermann. But it is described as distillery malt.

So my question is what's the diff? Is distillery malt malted differently that the stuff we are used to useing? is it less well modified? Overall can I use it to make beer? If yes but... what's the but... do I have to do a protein rest?

**EDIT** and, after reading the website a little more closely, anyone want to go in on 16 25 kilo sacks of organic malted rye?

So I have just started kegging, (Getting to the bottom of my first 5 gallons, yum)

I have a 10 lb CO2 tank with which I have

1) carbed and served the better part of one 5 gallon keg
2) mostly carbed two more 5 gallon kegs
3) will be carbing 2 MORE 5 gallon kegs
4) serving those 4 kegs in June.

My question is, am I going to run out of CO2?

I don't appear to have any leaks in the system so far. so basically how many kegs can a single 10 lb tank of CO2 carb and push?

General Homebrew Discussion / Longer fermenation v longer aging
« on: June 06, 2011, 05:43:55 PM »
I have 10 gallons of cali common I brewed yesterday, Pitched onto the yeast cakes from another 10 gallons of the same recipe. It is destined for a wedding on June 25th so here is my questions

WOuld it be better, assuming fermentation completes in a week or so, to leave it on the yeast for two weeks and then keg and carb and cold condition for 1 week or keg after 1 week and cold condition for 2 weeks. I will not rush the fermentation so if it takes two weeks to complete so it goes but I suspect with that much yeast it will not be suprising to see it 'done' after one week. it's only 1.051 OG and I mashed at 156 so I am expecting around 1.014 FG

which is better?

two week ferm 1 week cold condition


one week ferm 2 week cold condition?

Ingredients / RO water
« on: June 04, 2011, 09:49:19 PM »
Hey all,

I just moved to a town with terrible water for brewing and I have to brew 10 gallons of cali common tomorrow.

So I just bought 15 gallons of RO water but I realize now that I don't have anything to add to that water to adjust it. What is the bare minimum that I can get away with adding? recipe is as follows

for 11 gallons (All orgainic)
17.5 lbs gambrinus pale ale
2.5 lbs great western crystal 60L

1.5 oz cascade at 9.2%  60 min
2.0 oz cascade at 15
3.0 oz cascade at 0

Thanks in advance!

Ingredients / Rye, Malted v. flaked
« on: June 03, 2011, 04:19:39 PM »
Hey all, I posted this question as part of another thread but I would love more in depth info on it.

What's the difference? Flavour wise, body, fermentability etc.?

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