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Messages - morticaixavier

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4126
Ingredients / Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« on: March 18, 2013, 08:17:22 AM »
One that jumps out at me is sumac

My wife is doing some test batches for a local one-man brewery (Blank Slate, Cincinnati, OH, http://www.blankslatebeer.com/index.shtml), and sumac is one of the things they're about to test. They're going to start by making some teas and blending them into a Belgian Blond to see what they get.

sumac is also sometimes called lemonade berry, or at least some varieties are. If you get a big bunch of the fresh berries that havn't been rained on and soak them in cold water then strain the water off and drink. tastes like lemonade... sorta. maybe dryberrying?

4127
Ingredients / Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« on: March 15, 2013, 07:36:23 PM »
So bugs from Berkley automatically are awesome? Hmmm

Oh yes! every sourdough I have tasted made with berkeley starters have been amazing. It's weird because when I lived in Oakland, the next town over I made some sourdough starter and it was good the first batch but then turned to nail polish remover fairly quickly. I live in the north bay now and the same thing happens here.

4128
How is the carbonation?

There is nothing in that recipe that would cause an overly watery beer but if the carbonation is not up to snuff it can seem watery.

4129
Ingredients / Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« on: March 15, 2013, 03:54:01 PM »
Never heard of Persian mulberries.  What did they taste like and what did you do with them?

I racked about  gallon of a very tart wit beer I brewed with saison yeast and dried lemon slices. The mulberries had been frozen but apparently were still crawling with wild yeast and bacteria. ended up really good actually. it was an amazing red cranberry color with a really complex funk to it after about a month. I think I will do it again actually. the mulberries came from Berkeley so they had great bugs on them. I only had about 1-1.5 lbs last time. maybe I can score 5 or so pounds for the next one.

4130
Ingredients / Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« on: March 15, 2013, 02:05:18 PM »
I've used persian mulberries. not very strange but somewhat unusual I think.

I've used wild black sage leaves and flowers, rosemary, propolis and royal jelly in a mead

4131
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Imperial Side Car
« on: March 14, 2013, 01:53:24 PM »
sure,  lots of commercial breweries ferment under partial pressure. it supposedly allows them to ferment warmer while supressesing the ester and higher alchahol formation normally associated with higher temp fermentations. It also does as you suggest and partially carbonates the beer during fermentation. The pressure setting I have heard about is 15psi but check that out for yourself.

You say half barrels I assume you mean you ferment in kegs? I would think that would be ideal

4132
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Imperial Side Car
« on: March 14, 2013, 11:17:08 AM »
well it's hard to say. is this all grain or extract? what makes you think that the target FG is 1.026?

The only really safe way would be to perform a forced (or fast) ferment test where you take a sample and warm it up, put it on a stir plate, do everything you can do to make those yeast eat every bit of sugar they are able to metabolize. that FG is the real possible final FG. then figure out how much sugar you want remaining to get your target carbonation level and rack at that gravity.

I suppose alternatly you could rig up a pressure release valvle on the growler that can be set to the desired PSI for the level of carbonation you want. then as the beer ferments it will simply retain the correct level of disolved co2.

4133
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Pitching Rate for Pliny the Elder Clone
« on: March 14, 2013, 10:49:48 AM »
let it cool to blood temp (under 100*f) and pitch two vials of yeast into it. shake again. and then leave it somewhere where you can swirl it whenever you notice it.

Might want to at least loosen the lid after you shake it, else you may see explosive results...

good catch. although with mason jars they are designed to keep a vacuum inside. they aren't actually very good at holding positive pressure in. excess pressue slowly slips past the seal. still not a good idea to seal them with active yeast and yeast food inside.

4134
fill the keg with sanitizer to the very tippy top brim, put the lid on and force that all out (into the next keg, a bucket or other storage device). result, sanitized, very nearly perfectly purged keg.

but yeah fill with co2, release and repeat a couple of times will get you pretty close.

I was recently schooled on this here on the forum. so as I understand it with the empty keg and/or headspace purge like this you are dilluting the air with pur c02 alot. so that each time you release the pressure there is many times less 'air' and many times more co2 left behind.

4135
All Things Food / Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« on: March 14, 2013, 07:45:00 AM »
potatos started poking up above ground, this years potatos that is, last years started poking out about a month ago.

Got corn seed in the ground and a few strawberry starts planted.

4136
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Bigfoot 2013
« on: March 13, 2013, 03:11:34 PM »
I like it fresh. Its always good but this year seems better (maybe because I did not get any last year).

hey if you've got a bottle of 2008 hanging around I'll trade you 2 2012 bottles

4137
The Pub / Re: Making Grumpy Cat Happy
« on: March 13, 2013, 10:46:03 AM »
Is that a shark with a friggin laser?

funny

4138
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Advice on teaching someone to brew.
« on: March 13, 2013, 10:45:01 AM »
I think it's really going to be up to him in terms of how much up front help he wants.

I recently tought a friend to brew and I asked him how he wanted to go about it.

So we started with a session just talking over the basic process and all the things to watch out for that I have come across so far. Then he asked questions and I attempted to give good answers.

then he built the recipe (he is a bit of a DIYer but a kit removes this step) and asked questions about this as he did. I looked over the recipe as he finished and asked if he wanted critique he did so we went over what I thought of the recipe. In this step it's important to remember that it's his beer and your advice should be couched in a 'This is what I would do because x...' format. Let him decide on his own if he wants to do it.

Then the brew day and I just hung out with him. helped lift heavy things and kept an eye on the brew day as it progressed so I could catch steps he might have missed.

Most important is to help your friend RDWHAHB (bring some of yours to this first brew day)

Don't get frustrated if he doesn't take all your advice and resist giving critique unless he asks for it.

after it's done sit down and drink a couple with him and see if he wants to go over the final product and ideas you have for changes/improvements.

4139
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hops are coming up
« on: March 13, 2013, 07:51:56 AM »
I have this greenhouse that's attached to the front of my house.  It's not very large but during the winter it can get to over 90 degrees in there during the day (I know because there's a fan that turns on at 90 degrees). 

I'm curious if I could grow hops year round in there?  Another problem would be space to let them climb and grow, but I think I can solve that.

hops are very dependent on day light. you could keep them alive even above ground but I don't know that you would gain anything from it. they will only produce a harvest when the light/dark balance is correct (hence their dependence on latitude) but they can be above ground perennial. But they MIGHT only flower on new lateral growth (not sure about the new part, sure about the lateral part) in which case keeping the above ground portion alive year round would probably end up takeing resources away from new lateral growth.

4140
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Pitching Rate for Pliny the Elder Clone
« on: March 13, 2013, 07:48:11 AM »
+1 to amandak

starters are easy though. get a .5 gallon mason jar and put 100 grams of Dried Malt extract in the jar. add water to the 1 liter line, close up with the dome and band that came with the jar, Shake the beejeesus out of it until it's all combined, and put it in a pot of water so the water comes up to near the level of the liquid inside the jar and boil until you see good boiling action inside the jar.

One hint, if you shake for a while and then put it in the water for a while and then take it out and shake some more it's much easier to get everything to combine.

anyway, when that is done you have a very nearly sterile jar or starter wort at just about esaclty 1.037 perfect.

let it cool to blood temp (under 100*f) and pitch two vials of yeast into it. shake again. and then leave it somewhere where you can swirl it whenever you notice it.

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