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Messages - morticaixavier

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3556
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Certificates
« on: August 03, 2013, 08:51:33 PM »
Certificates?  We got those after the first round, didn't we?

I got my Final Round scoresheets today, FWIW.

I didn't get certificates after the first round. but I DID get 6 CERTFICATES!

**EDIT TO ADD ACTUAL INFO **
They were downloadable from the competition site for first round. is the same true for finals?

3557
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison Dry Yeast
« on: August 03, 2013, 02:11:19 PM »
Hah!  Thanks Morticai, an interesting illustration.  However, I understand the definition of complex and muddled, I just don't know in recipe design what makes the tipping point.  I am really looking forward to the Grain book that will finish the Yeast, Hops, Water series - at least I hope that corrects the gaps in my understanding about this issue.  In the mean time I ask questions here.

I think complexity comes when you combine subtle characteristics that, by themselves would not make much impact (soft melodic vocal music) and perhaps 1 bold structured characteristic that provides the platform for the rest. Often times people pick big bold flavours that they really like and decide that if they put those together it will be complex. That's when things get muddled.

Take farmhouse style brews. they tend to be very complex in flavour and the recipe itself can look very complex, 1 or even 2 or 3 raw adjuncts, some simple sugars, lots of hops early and late. Add it a very complex and lively yeast character and there is a lot going on.

But raw adjuncts tend to be pretty subtle in the final product, perhaps some mild phenolic spiceyness from rye, creaminess from oats, or tartness from wheat but never to the 'Whoa, Wheat!' level. I do about 24%-25%

I think with farmhouse style the backbone, the one bold, structural component is the yeast. It is spicey all by itself. if you are using a pure strain you get some spice, and fruit, and maybe a touch of tartness (the belle will give you some citric type tartness for sure). If you use a yeast blend like many farmhouse brewers the yeast complexity gets even greater with some brett in there lending farmyard funk.

I like light (10L) munich for adjusting color because it gives a subtle toasty bready sweet note but nothing over the top like a dark crystal. It supports the other players by giving the malt base some weight. i don't actually have a preference between pils and pale for the remainder of my grist although if you like a little perceived sweetness pils can provide that. I go with about 24-25% munich to about 36-37% other base.

the rest of the fermentables should be from simple sugars. I insist still on using something more interesting than table sugar even though I am not convinced it makes any significant difference. But when aiming for complexity sometimes things that are so subtle you aren't even sure you notice them make a big difference. (like when working with nutmeg always add a little cinnamon, you may not notice the cinnamon but it will help make the nutmeg pop) So I like honey, or raw sugar, rapidura, maple syrup (can emulate some wood character if you  are rich enough to use a bunch), coconut sugar.

I have not found a huge need for spices yet. but I haven't experimented with them much either so I could well change my mind about that. They do tend to be easy to over do.

3558
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Aging in 5 gallon Oak Barrel
« on: August 03, 2013, 01:47:59 PM »
Thanks, guys - the sample nail hole is a great idea.  After this batch I will do that.  [...]

apparently you don't have to wait till the barrel is empty. Vinnie as russian river actually recommends doing it while the barrel is full. that way you know you drilled all the way through. If you seal the barrel with a bung while you do it not very much beer will come out before the pressure differential stops it.

3559
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison Dry Yeast
« on: August 03, 2013, 01:44:53 PM »
Thank you for the input on my recipe.  The part of brewing that I am least competent in and which seems very hard to get a handle on, is when complexity turns into a muddle.

I got the basic recipe off of the AHA Recipe site, it is the Saison Du Mont.  I changed the grain bill to drop the OG and add an orange color (hence the Vienna).  Then it was still too light SRM-wise so I added the Honey Malt for color and frankly I like sweet - it turns on my taste buds.

I kept the spices unchanged.

I'm not stating my thinking in order to say I'm right.  I actually hoping to find out where my thinking went off the tracks. 

And I will now mash at 149*, and keep the fermentation temp lower.

Complexity:

Imagine with me. Three or four beautiful people of a sex that complements your tastes singing softly to you as you nestle into a warm soft feather bed. the heavy but comforting duvet surrounding you even as the cool evening air wafts in from the open window, a slight chill of autumn around the edges. The soft melodic voices weave harmonies around you as you drift thankfully off to sleep.

Muddled:
Ten punk rock musicians each with a guitar that has been tuned to a different key wailing away while you are wrapped tightly in space blankets in a 95* room.

Even though punk music, warm rooms, futons, and space blankets are all really nice to have around do you want them all at once?

Whereas soft melodic vocal music I can take or leave. A cool room and a warm duvet are pretty nice but if the bed is too soft it can ruin it. however all together as an experience they merge into something you might well want to do.

3560
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison Dry Yeast
« on: August 02, 2013, 08:08:40 PM »
So I am going to brew a Saison using this yeast tomorrow - mainly because my LHBS dropped the ball and didn't order Wyeast 3724 like they said they would.  But they had this on hand, and after reading this thread, it seems a good route.  My recipe:

4 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 42.3 %
2 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 2 21.2 %
2 lbs Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 3 21.2 %
8.0 oz Honey Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 4 5.3 %
8.0 oz Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 5 5.3 %
1.00 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 18.4 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 7 -
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins) Other 8 -
0.50 oz Nelson Sauvin [12.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 9 4.1 IBUs
2.00 g Seeds of Paradise (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 10 -
0.50 oz Coriander Seed (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 11 -
0.50 oz Orange Peel, Bitter (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 12 -
0.50 oz Tangerine Peel (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 13 -
8.00 oz Honey [Boil for 5 min](1.0 SRM) Sugar 14 4.8 %
0.50 oz Nelson Sauvin [12.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 15 0.0 IBUs

I intend to mash low, 152*.  This should, according to BeerSmith result in:
An OG of 1.047; 22.5 IBU; 5.9 SRM; ABV 5.2.

I intend to pitch at 65*, then after 36 hours bump the temperature up 1* every 12 hours until it sits at 80* a week later.

Thoughts?

My thoughts are, too much going on. The key to saison is the yeast character. All that you have going on there is going to overpower what be yeast bring to the table. My .02.

+1 I would drop the Vienna and honey malts and all the spices. I would actually up the munich to maybe 3 lbs and up the honey (or other simple sugar) by .5 lbs.

other than that it looks good. and obviously it's your beer so do what you want. I really like the nelson with the Belgian yeasts by the way the white wine character really works with fruity esters and spicy phenolics.

3561
Pimp My System / Re: My system needs pimping
« on: August 02, 2013, 01:23:38 PM »
And running the wort through hot is enough to sanitize a pump?  Or, how do you sanitize them?  Anyone use a "Chugger Pump"?  This is what my local guy has http://www.torontobrewing.ca/servlet/the-1367/Chugger-Brew-Pump-with/Detail


I generally recirculate StarSan through it, then boiling wort, but a lot of people I know do only the boiling wort.  The 809 has a kinda tough time with it, but since I upgraded to the 815 impeller it works great.

Boiling water run through the pump should be adequate. I plan to start running boiling water through my chiller as well.


I agree.  But until I did the impeller upgrade, the pump would cavitate if I ran boiling liquid through it.  So I developed the two stage strategy.
Andy Tveekrem at NHC recommended 'wet heat' sanitation. He said 180 for 20 minutes which is probably overkill, but...

An advantage he mentioned is that if there is a clump of something bad in your lines/equipment - Star San will sanitize the surface, but heat will penetrate the whole clump.

I bet not too much overkill. figure It has to heat the whole pump body/housing/impeller plus anything else you are trying to sanitize (chiller etc.) all the way to that 180 point. bet it would take at least 20 minutes.

3562
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
« on: August 02, 2013, 08:50:42 AM »
I wonder if an average homebrew dude changed only his/her yeast if it would change the end product

My experience says yes.   Maybe subtle, but different.

maybe not so subtle. I do this a lot. the same beer with us-05 vs Belgian saison for instance. totally different end product. I've also done California ale vs 1968. huge difference, not as much as the s-05 saison combo but.

Yeah, obviously!  I was thinking more along the lines of comparing similar yeasts, like  05/1056/001.

true. likely much more subtle in that situation.

3563
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Aging in 5 gallon Oak Barrel
« on: August 02, 2013, 07:39:59 AM »
How does it taste? how old is the barrel?

If you are trying to give the beer oak character I would wait longer. Current wisdom seems to be that because of the bigger surface t volume ratio with a smaller barrel you will get too oaky quickly but that is not what my experience has shown. There is a point, about 2-4 weeks in that it tastes too oaky but that settles out over the next 2-4 weeks and things get really nice.

Now if the oak is old and you are more after the effects of micro-oxygenation then you have to go by taste. and it might well happen quicker than you expect given the higher surface to volume ratio and higher o2 permeability of the smaller thinner walled barrel.

I have 5 gallons of  a sour beer in an oak barrel now. It was used twice at the distillery and three times by me then soaked several times with water before being filled. I need to install a sample port (drill a hole in the head of the barrel and plug it with a SS nail) so I don't have to disturb the pellicle. something to think about. I also sealed the staves of my barrel with beeswax to reduce o2 permeability a bit.

3564
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
« on: August 02, 2013, 07:26:58 AM »
I wonder if an average homebrew dude changed only his/her yeast if it would change the end product

My experience says yes.   Maybe subtle, but different.

maybe not so subtle. I do this a lot. the same beer with us-05 vs Belgian saison for instance. totally different end product. I've also done California ale vs 1968. huge difference, not as much as the s-05 saison combo but.

3565
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Happy National IPA day!
« on: August 01, 2013, 03:12:20 PM »
Happy International IPA Day!  4 taps always flowing and they are all IPA's.  The hops listed on the sign are the dry hops.  I brew 10+ gallon batches and separate into 6.5 gallon carboys with different yeasts and dry-hops - it is amazing how much different an IPA can taste with just a few variables!  Long live the hop!



That's the spirit!!!!!

Does IPA really need a day?

I mean all the hop heads and tough guys are going to go all berserk and hop heady regardless so why the designation? is there a national American Amber Ale day? How about a National Saison day?

It's also world breastfeeding week...

gotta say, I think breastfeeding awareness is far more deserving of a designated time period than IPA.

Answer me this would any of you NOT had an IPA tonight if it WASN'T NIPAD?

3566
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Happy National IPA day!
« on: August 01, 2013, 02:22:41 PM »
Does IPA really need a day?

I mean all the hop heads and tough guys are going to go all berserk and hop heady regardless so why the designation? is there a national American Amber Ale day? How about a National Saison day?

3567
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
« on: August 01, 2013, 10:22:03 AM »
James Spencer of Basic Brewing Radio/Video did some unhopped worts with dry yeast and they came out sour.  I believe the conclusion was dry yeasts have small amounts of bacteria that the hops either mask or prevent from working.  I understand liquid yeasts are pure and don't have that problem.

Also, I always had longer lag times when I was using dry yeast .  Granted, I went all grain and did a starter  of liquid yeast for the first time on the same batch.   I have improved my process since the last time I used dry yeast so the long lag times I experienced may have been due to some other variable.

I have done a number of un-hopped brews and they almost always go sour anyway. We don't always appreciate the full value of hops until we have tried to go without. not sure I would blame it on the yeast. not without side by side comparisons including controls and wort stability tests

3568
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sourdough beer
« on: August 01, 2013, 07:38:03 AM »
Are you concerned about the acetic character taking over and becoming unpleasant?

I am, yes. However I am reserving judgement because a) no hops in the starter, b)pretty well aerated and over pitched, and c) My palette is notorious for mistaking acetic for other acids and vice versa.

So since it'll only be a gallon and I can probably get that just by sparging a little bit on my next batch it doesn't seem like much of a risk.

If the acetic character does immediately take over and overwhelm everything else, I will try something I read on another sourdough thread on here. According to that account the liquid portion of the starter is supposed to favor lactic while the solid favors acetic. I have no idea if this is sound science but I will let the starter rest for a while and separate and try again with just the liquid portion.

I have also been thinking about manipulating the temp during step up phases to encourage some organisms over others. We'll see.

3569
Beer Recipes / Re: Partial Mash English IPA
« on: August 01, 2013, 07:32:24 AM »
Thanks for the input.  I wasn't really focused on the mash PH and the water make up.  I figured that the LME would rectify any water hardness issues and I pretty much hit my expected mash efficiency.  Sounds like Morticai and Kramer, you both are recommending I should look at doing a full up BIAB vs partial mash by getting rid of the sparge step, which sounds like a good idea.  I've read that not sparging in BIAB doesn't take anything away from the final beer.  I need to research the PH issues a bit more.  Thanks again.

you can sparge. but a 1qt/lb mash thickness is still pretty thick. I do no sparge and I am over 2 qt/lb by the end. but if it's working for you go for it. The pH comment was more because you are pushing the limit on sparge temp if you are not being careful with your pH. Could be fine but if both sparge temp and pH are too high you can get some unpleasant astringency.

3570
Ingredients / Re: Quality of Canadian Malt
« on: July 31, 2013, 03:14:22 PM »
I use gambrinus organic malts and they are great. no problems with them at all.

Would you know how well the Gambrinus ESB malt compares to something like Maris Otter?.  Looking to switch all my base malts to organic, if not 100% for all hops and malts.

haven't tried that one. you can get organic MO though. it's pricy. Check out breworganic.com

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