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Messages - morticaixavier

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison Dry Yeast
« on: July 24, 2013, 07:43:24 AM »
+1 on the citrus notes. I don't have my notes in front of me but I didn't use any particularly citrusy hops in my batch, except some free centennials (Thanks hop union) from NHC*. I get big lemon. It was particularly apparent at the beginning of the keg when I was getting more actual yeast in the beer.

* I was almost certain I was going to open my suit case in California and find a nice little yellow note from the TSA informing me that the brick of dried green plant material had been confiscated. But it was fine. My clothes smelled lovely as well.

Ingredients / Re: maris otter flavor?
« on: July 24, 2013, 07:39:50 AM »
smooth hop bitterness comes with paying attention to your beta acids and choosing a high alpha hop variety so you don't have to use as much.

I have not heard that Beta acids play a role in smoothing hop bitterness.  Can you explain please?

I could well be mistaken or misunderstanding things here but as I understand it the beta acids will also provide bitterness but they tend to be the harsher more astringent bitterness. so if you can get a variety with very high alpha so you don't have to use as much to get your desired bitterness, and low beta you can minimize the harshness or bite.

I am always open to being correct though so if others have a different understanding...

Equipment and Software / Re: Frig in hot utility\ storage room
« on: July 23, 2013, 08:56:31 PM »
sounds like you need to get some ventilation going in there. I bet if you can bring in some outside air and vent the hot air (vent from high up, make up air from low down) it would help some. also make sure your coils are cleaned our regularly.

The Pub / Re: Want to plant a hachiya, can I?
« on: July 23, 2013, 06:59:33 PM »
Hey BFI, long time no post

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Kegged Beer Tastes Boozy
« on: July 23, 2013, 06:57:28 PM »
Any chance the keg froze? you might be getting a concentrated brew. Or you could have a wild yeast infection (tee hee) that is causing fusel alcohols to form.

or the carbonation could be dropping, has it been attached to co2 the whole time?

Ingredients / Re: maris otter flavor?
« on: July 23, 2013, 03:16:38 PM »
Not sure about the RyePa, but the Great divide website does not mention anything about marris otter. it's pretty easy to get big smooth malty-ness from a stout though.

Never underestimate Munich malt and very dark crystal malts for color and malty smoothness. You can reduce possible harsh burnt notes by cold steeping some or all of your roasted grain as well.

You can accentuate malty-ness to some extent with calcium chloride but too much becomes noticeable.

big hop flavor punches come from lots of late hops, last 5 minutes of the boil all the way into the whirlpool. smooth hop bitterness comes with paying attention to your beta acids and choosing a high alpha hop variety so you don't have to use as much. Some varieties will lend a smoother bitterness than others.

The Pub / Re: One more reason to be impressed by Sierra Nevada
« on: July 23, 2013, 02:33:52 PM »
I think it should be called Not-So-Ruthless.  There's just not enough rye there!

but the label is effing amazing.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: And So the Solera Begins
« on: July 23, 2013, 10:41:20 AM »
I don't think you need to top off every time you sample - there's a trade-off there between minimizing head space and introducing oxygen during filling. Since you waxed most of the barrel, there will be considerably less evaporation, so you may not have to top off at all before you pull.

Pull when it tastes great.

Are you using a breathable bung/airlock? Even though you attenuated that far, brett will still metabolize compounds and produce CO2.

I'm excited to hear how this project comes along - sounds fantastic!

I actually need to get a breathable bung. At the moment it's just got the silicon bung that came with the barrel. I might drill it out and stick an airlock in although the breathable bungs seem like a less labor intensive solution I will pull the  bung out tonight to release any pressure that might have built up.

I'm really excited to. the beer already taste pretty great to me but I am trying to remain patient for at least a couple more months.

I'll have to get a bottle to you as your somewhat responsible for this madness!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cold crash or not?
« on: July 23, 2013, 10:38:36 AM »
Blatz, LOL very funny.

Mort, I refridgerated a gallon once for three days, it did not carbonate before three weeks time, at which point they were all gone. The rest of that batch was carbonated fully  at about day 5. It was a 1.063 ale with us-05.

well that's the beauty of this hobby every day is an adventure. It certainly doesn't hurt to sprinkle a little extra yeast in at bottling time anyway.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cold crash or not?
« on: July 23, 2013, 08:59:16 AM »
Will there still be enough viable yeast in solution to ensure carbonization?

sure - unless you filter it out, there will still be enough.  bear in mind, you will need to let the bottled beer sit at room temp in order to carbonate though.

good luck!

No, you will need to add yeast back to the beer. 2-3 days at 38 should drop most all of the yeast out of suspension, this works great for filtering out yeast and "clearing" the beer.  If you bottle from this vessel you could rouse the yeast back into suspension while mixing in the sugar, but I don't know how well this would work at 38 degrees.

I have never had a beer not carbonate after cold crashing added yeast or no. There is still plenty of yeast in suspension after 48 hours cold time.

All Things Food / Re: Pickles and other fermented foods
« on: July 23, 2013, 07:24:56 AM »
The next frontier for me is vinegar. Does malt vinegar make good pickles?

you can add some for taste or use it for quick pickles but without knowing the actual analysis of the vinegar it's not really safe to use it for the primary acid source in canning.

although I suppose you could use a pH meter on the final product before sealing and be pretty safe. But Don't quote me on that.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What Are You Drinking Tonight?
« on: July 23, 2013, 07:21:39 AM »
This beer F-ing ROCKS!

Tried a bomber, then went back and bought a case of bombers.  Lucky thing my local beer store has 20% off on Fridays!

hey cool.

My boss just got back from a couple days in ft bragg and brought me back a 750 of this. Looking forward to it even more now!

**EDIT** I just took a second look at the above label and it didn't appear to be quite the same. Turns out the bottle I have is brewed at North Coast. it looks slightly different in that the text is blue and the northcoast logo is in the middle.

Well I had the North Coast version of this last night and I must say it's really really nice. Reminds me of a big foot with a couple years on it. It's not actually quite that bitter even and the malt is nice and present but not overwhelming to the hops. really well done simple barley wine.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: And So the Solera Begins
« on: July 23, 2013, 07:20:11 AM »
Allagash has a nail (stainless I'm sure) in the head of every barrel. They pull the nail to sample and hammer it back in.

I've seen that. wine makers and distillers do that as well. makes me nervous to breach the head of the barrel though. I'll keep it in mind

General Homebrew Discussion / And So the Solera Begins
« on: July 22, 2013, 12:35:54 PM »

I did it. not sure what I was thinking but I let that monkey climb right up on my back and grab a good solid hold I'm afraid.

last weekend I coated my 20 liter balcones rumble barrel in bees wax over all surfaces except the heads. This weekend I transferred a batch of farmhouse style fermented with Almanac Brewers Reserve #1 dregs and topped it off with a gallon or so of A similar recipe brewed with the belle saison.

Took some gravity readings while I was at it and was blown away.

The Belle Saison batch, just yeast, not bugs. 1.000 down from only 1.045 but still.

The Sour batch has gone from 1.048 to 0.98. woof.

Both taste pretty good all by themselves but the sour portion was starting to get really really nice. I would highly recommend this beer as a dregs starter for a sour project.

The Almanac beer has tremendous mouth feel for such a low gravity.

So finally to the questions, if anyone is still reading.

1) I topped the barrel off to the tippy top, till beer started to overflow a bit. Is this right? do I want any air space? as I sample (not often) should I re-top off?
2) I am planning to let this ride for another 4 months so the original almanac brew will be 6 months old, draw off 2-3 gallons and replace with something similar. Does this seem right? after than I will go with a 6 - 12 month cycle until I am totally sick of it or the barrel goes way way south.

Ingredients / Re: Sourcing Dried Bergamot Peels (not extract)
« on: July 22, 2013, 10:13:33 AM »
Seven bridges has dried bitter orange peel that is organic. not really the same as bergamot peel though.

Do you have a co-op, wholefoods, Other health food store type place near you? they will often have bergamot peel in the bulk herb/tea section.

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