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Messages - morticaixavier

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: All grain jump
« on: June 05, 2013, 09:49:36 AM »
[...]Plus, the spent grain makes great chicken food!

+ 1

the chickens LOVE the spent grain. They couldn't care less about the normal chicken food but give them a pile of spent barley and rye and a couple cockroaches and they are happy little birds.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: All grain jump
« on: June 05, 2013, 08:25:57 AM »
1) Basic setup can be as simple as a large fine mesh nylon bag that fits inside your kettle, a kkettle >= 7gallons and a strong back.
2)not really. If you can check the temperature of water and stir porridge you should be all set.
3) I think there is a noticeable difference. If for no other reason than because when you buy extracts some other brewer has decided what's in your beer in terms of crystal malts and base malts. that being said I have had some outstanding extract beers.
4)It's also a lot of fun to serve a beverage you made from a simple pile of grain.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash temp calculation
« on: June 05, 2013, 07:56:23 AM »
Greg Doss from Wyeast presented an experiment at the NHC last year which showed that 153F was the mash temp that led to the most fermentable wort. My only question with his experiment setup was that the mashes were all conducted for a standard time. If the lower temperature mashes were held for a longer time, I still wonder if they would have surpassed the fermentability of the 153F mash.

Personally. I shoot for 153 for the majority of my beers. I'll go as low as 147-148 for really big beers that I want to ferment down as far as I can get them. For session beers I mash in the 160-162F range to leave enough dextrins behind. If I had a beer that I was rebrewing a bunch of times I might try to dial in a specific mash temp, but normally I don't see enough of a difference between 153 and 156ish where I'd bother with that small of a difference in mash temp. I generally try to dial in the other parts of the recipe first before I start with mash temp unless it is grossly off.

FWIW, Lagunitas mashes the majority of their beers at 160F, so it's not like a mash temp in this range means you're doomed to be drinking malt syrup. A lot of brewers seem to have this idea that mash temps above the mid 150's are way too high, but I just don't find that to be the case in my experience.


or rather +162. I like that mash temp for session beers a lot. Even at modest gravities (1.035~) and minimal crystal additions (<.5 lbs/5gallon) you can get a ton of malt character but it's still plenty drinkable.

And with a really big beer like a barley wine or IIPA mash at 148, add simple sugars and you will still have plenty of body to support lots of hops.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Bretta B. and Those crazy Danish guys
« on: June 05, 2013, 07:36:48 AM »
It may or may not get to 1.000. Personally I would prime it as normal. You might get carbonation over 2.4 over time but at 1.001 it's not like there is much residual sugar to create a high risk of explosions.

that's what I'm thinking. There was a lb of honey in the recipe so I guess it MIGHT drop a tad below 1.000 but not too much.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Bretta B. and Those crazy Danish guys
« on: June 04, 2013, 08:44:47 PM »
bump for an update

Just tasted this after three weeks on the bugs and it's amazing. Already so complex and funky. A touch of sour but far from over the top. It's got about 1-2 lb of cherries in it at this point I have been adding slowly as I find them in the kitchen and there is a hint of cherry but not much.


This started at 1.048 and was ~1.004-1.006 or so when it got the bugs. It's down to 1.001 and I am thinking of bottling some of it up. Maybe pulling 1 gallon and replacing the volume with cherries to really up the cherry thing on the rest of it.

Any idea, oh great collective wisdom, if I could safely calculate priming sugar for say 2.4 volumes and bottle at this gravity in normal recycled commercial 12 oz bottles and not live to regret it?

I could have sworn I had one of yours. Huh, there I go misattributing things again.

It's possible. I put one together but stopped sharing it years ago because Kai's was so much better. I didn't realize there were still any copies "in the wild".

well after closer examination it apears to be Kai's after all. Sorry Kai.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bourbon barrel porter
« on: June 04, 2013, 08:19:00 PM »
1. I don't know about minimum, but I've got a couple of jars of chips and bourbon just sitting around waiting.  I also use all of the bourbon they soak in, not just the chips.
2. As long as you enjoy the flavor.  I wouldn't waste top shelf bourbon as that's simply better by itself.  I use a variety of cheaper good tasting bourbons.
3. No worries.
4. I use mason jars.  If the plastic bowl has a lid, that should be OK.  I'd be worried about picking up flavors from the plastic, though.  Perhaps unnecessarily so.
5. I don't think I've gone beyond seven days.  Maybe 10 or so.  I would taste it every couple of days to check. Pull the chips when you hit the flavor you like.

FWIW, I like the flavors of the darker oak chips.
So you are saying the chips themselves never go into the beer? I just use them to flavor the bourbon then pour that in?

nope use both. just make sure to use the bourbon too cause it's got lots o' goodness

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Gelatin fining and FC Question
« on: June 04, 2013, 03:14:37 PM »
Recently did  a 10 gallon Gratzer (Oak-smoked wheat beer) and fined with gelatin. i was gonna force carb by setting the pressure on a 28* corney and rolling it around on the floor. Will this cloud the beer up again? Or will the finings drop back out after a few days?

Yes it will redistribute all of the "stuff" you dropped out of solution with the gelatin.

I doubt it will re-clear because the gelatin has already been introduced and congealed. If you take a jello mold and shake the s*** out of it, it wont set back up in the mold; it will be water on top, jello on bottom. So you'll have some "chunks" of stuff fall out, but it will redistribute some of the haze.

If this is the case, can he clear with gelatin, pull the gunk out and then force carb by shaking?

he could jumper to a clean keg, and pull bright beer off the sediment/fining/gunk, then force carb in the clean keg.

alternately you can download Sean Terrill's batch sparge simulator

I think you mean Kai's. That would definitely be my suggestion. If you're only using the first runnings estimating gravity becomes pretty simple.

I could have sworn I had one of yours. Huh, there I go misattributing things again.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bourbon barrel porter
« on: June 04, 2013, 01:02:49 PM »
I'm just gonna answer one of the questions cause that's how I roll.

5. There was an interesting article in Zymurgy a couple issues back about wood ageing and one of the big takeaways for me was that, while early on you get a lot of flavor extraction and it can get overwhelming to the beer quickly, longer contact also adds complexity assuming you then have time to age the beer to soften the harsher edges of the wood flavor.

just a thought.

Oh, and I like Joe Sr.'s idea of keeping a couple jars of wood chips soaking in booze around. You know, just in case you suddenly and without warning NEED to oak a stout.

First runnings partigyle around 53% sounds pretty close to what I get and my 'normal' no-sparge efficiency is around 68% (brewhouse). I think you get pretty close to the same efficiency if you calculate the whole (first and second runnings - or entire) recipe.

so if you are planning 5.5 gallons RIS and 5.5 gallons brown ale or porter calculate the recipe as 11 gallons of middling gravity ale. Say 1st beer is 1.100 and second beer is 1.040 calculate at 11 gallons of 1.070ish.

alternately you can download Sean Terrill's batch sparge simulator or the BT partigyle tables and mess around till you figure it out.

Ingredients / Just gloating a bit ala Carl
« on: June 04, 2013, 11:53:07 AM »
Sometimes I really enjoy living in Northern California. I am working on a local beer project (nothing organized, just trying to build a recipe or set of recipes based on local ingredients) and I decided a list of possible ingredients that are produced commercially in the county I live in would be a good place to start.

Found the UC Davis extension service website with a handy county by county alphabetical list of ag crops for Yolo county.

Just a quick scan delivers 34 different things that I think would might be a tasty addition to a local beer from Almonds to Cucumbers to sugar beets. the list doesn't even include strawberries cause I think they are kind of gross except fresh or as jam.

Add to that all the herbs and spices, specialty woods, super small scale farmers and ingredients I can grow myself in my little backyard garden and I have more options than I know what to do with.

I can even get my barley locally grown.

Okay gloat over.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: FC Temp/Pressure for bottling
« on: June 04, 2013, 11:01:46 AM »
I think the colder the beer when you bottle the better. I am not sure that it matters so much what temp you force carb at though.

Equipment and Software / Re: Hydrometer Conspiracy
« on: June 04, 2013, 08:05:35 AM »
I always wonder when the subject of dropped hydros turns to buying refractometers, what happens when you drop a refractometer?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lagering Time
« on: June 04, 2013, 08:04:40 AM »
What I took to doing years ago is to brew a quicker maturing "quaffer" beer to enjoy while time works it's magic on a heftier brew.  It'm a good excuse to brew more often (not that I really need an excuse). ;)

This is a great practice. Generally every 4th or 5th batch I brew is a "cellar" batch. Instead of making a starter I generally brew a lower gravity brew. This gives me something ready to drink fairly soon, and then I get a "bonus brewday" a little bit later for the big beer.

You've gotta keep a queue of cellar beers going - its the only I can stay patient and allow them to finish!

+1, I only recently managed to start building up a 'cellar' of my brews. (actually just the most central interior closet in my house which, at least according to the cat, who sleeps right next to the door when it's hot, is slightly cooler than the rest of the house.

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