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Messages - morticaixavier

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Memorial Day afternoon and I am having the last of the beers that Morticai sent my way.  This one is marked "2012 Maple Barleywine". 
It pours with very low foam, very clear dark amber color with constant effervescence. 
The maple aroma is a bit stronger in this than the newer sample he sent.  There is significant alcohol presence, in aroma, flavor and mouthfeel, but it is not hot or off-putting.  Aroma has a big caramel and dark bread aspect, but also has a fairly strong dark fruit side - plums maybe.  Very low to no hop aroma.  It smells clean and strong and is balanced to malt.
The flavor is similar to the aroma with dark bread and maple, but it is followed by a good dose of fruit, reminding me of brûléed dates or figs.  Hop flavor is strong, but stays in the background behind the malt and esters.  Finish is well balanced with enough hop bitterness to balance the malt sweetness.
Man, what a nice beer.  Thanks for sharing!
glad you enjoyed it! I've been really enjoying the 2012 lately. I think it's approaching it's peak but I'll hang on to a few bottles just to be sure.

I am enjoying another of Morticai's beers.  This one is marked "2 year and 1 year mixed ferment aged in oak".
It poured with little to no head, has a medium copper or dark gold color and is very clear.  Almost no legs or foam.
Aroma is honey and herbal, like an Indian spice, similar to coriander, but hard to pinpoint.
Oak is very apparent in the initial sip, then it kind of reminds me of the flavor of cream soda - not so much the sweetness as much as a honey/birch flavor.  It has a light sour finish, more lactic than acetic, not puckering, but leaving a little slickness in the finish.
More CO2 would definitely change this beer for the better - I think he transferred this from a keg and may have lost some carbonation in the process.
As I said, I am enjoying this beer and I think it would be fantastic with more CO2.

yeah the bottling from the keg is killing me.

Ingredients / Re: Valley Malt
« on: May 20, 2016, 01:33:50 PM »
I would love to join. I think about it every year. course now we have a local maltster here in VT too so maybe I won't have to.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Adjusting IBU's
« on: May 20, 2016, 01:07:55 PM »

just putting this out there as an option  ::)

All Grain Brewing / Re: Adjusting IBU's
« on: May 18, 2016, 05:47:28 PM »
for what it's worth, it wouldn't have actually been 49.9 even if you have hit your numbers exactly. There are too many system assumptions for even complex calculations to be really accurate.

I am finally having the first of Morticai's homebrews, the 2015 Maple Barleywine.
He also sent some homemade maple syrup, so we made savory French toast for dinner, with sliced French bread, cherry wood smoked bacon and some poblano peppers in the mix.  Mmmm, good....
The beer poured with little to no head, but left persistent lacework in the glass, so it wasn't highly carbonated, but had enough CO2 to offset some of the sweetness.
It was a bit cloudy, amber colored.
Maple aroma and flavor was light, but I would expect that since it is a highly fermentable sugar.
This was a very full bodied beer with a strong malt sweetness (mostly caramel with some dark bread flavor) and a noticible alcohol warmth.  It had a significant hop flavor - not citrusy, but more spicy, and a sweet and bitter finish.
Overall impression was of a very fresh American Barleywine and it accompanied the French toast well.
I am looking forward to comparing it to the other version he sent, the 2012 edition.
This was a very big beer, with strong but clean alcohol flavors, high hop flavor and bitterness and strong malt flavor.  Again, I am really looking forward to the older version to see how it aged.

The upfront hop charge in the 2012 might have been lower to start with. I really amped it up this year because so much of the bitterness had dropped out of the early vintages. I am not totally happy with the packaging on the 2015 as I bottled from an unrefridgerated keg and lost a fair amount of carb in the process.

The refractometer correction calculators are all slightly suspect. Sean Terrills is pretty accurate over a wide range but you have to have the wort correction factor to make it work right. this requires measuring OG with a hydrometer and refractometer.

I received Mort's box today, which included not only two large commercial beers and three homebrews, but some homemade maple syrup as well.  Very nice!

glad to hear it made it.

The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: April 29, 2016, 02:09:35 PM »
My wife has gone bananas for Manhattans lately. Been using Mad River Rye. it's a locally produced rye and pretty nice. at <$40 a fifth the prices is reasonable too.

Thanks for sharing your experience Amanda. I have told you before how much I value your contributions here.
I do read the occasional comment here that is clearly sexist and I hope this makes people think twice before posting. I hope woman feel comfortable here.


For me, the concept is just a quick brain fart.  I understand about the problems with yeast functioning properly at higher pressures - especially in stronger brews.  I thought a lower pressure might prevent the alcohol from forcing itself so greatly on the yeast walls and thus penetrating and "stupefying" the yeast.

Wonder if they ever experimented on this stuff in the ISS way up above us.

as I understand it, osmotic pressure and atmospheric pressure are two different animals.

Osmotic pressure is caused by higher concentrations of various compounds one one side of a permeable membrane, this forces too much/not enough sugar/salt/alcohol to cross the membrane which can hurt the yeast, especially at various points in their life cycle.

Atmospheric pressure can also hurt the yeast but for different, more mechanical reasons, just too much stuff pressing in on them from all directions.

Bigger brewers ferment under some positive pressure because it inhibits certain yeast character expressions, primarily ester formation, so you can ferment warmer without getting ester bombs. warmer fermentation temps lead to faster attenuation.

Brewers also choose open fermentation to reduce the atmospheric pressure on the yeast to encourage yeast expression. This is done by Sierra Nevada for Bigfoot and Anchor Steam across the board. Also many british brewers.

it's an intriguing question and if you have the time and inclination I'd have at it. It would probably be worth your time though to review the literature that already exists in the trade to see what others have done around this already. not to say you shouldn't do it if someone has already tried it but just so you have all the info you can going in.

I would be nervous using glass containers for this experiment myself but that's up to you.

I brewed a CAP yesterday with 80% Rahr 6-row and 20% Quaker Grits.  I did a cereal mash and used Clusters for bittering, Sterling for first wort hops and German Hallertauer at knock out.  It seems to be fermenting nicely with half the batch on 2308 and half on 34/70.

My last CAP with 2308 came out great. A bit strong at 6.2%, but I'm not complaining.  I think the 3# of flaked maize provided me with better efficiency than expected.

It was tasty.

I actually managed to get a brew day in this weekend. It's a first draft.

Classic American Pilsner with maple Syrup. Kind of imperialized it with the added sugars.

4 kg pils
2 kg corn meal
1 kg homemade grade B Dark maple syrup.

Had a stuck sparge, I think do to equipment failure in my mash tun more than anything else.
pitched two packets of S-189 into ~4 gallons.
No idea how it's going to turn out.

That sounds really interesting.  Talk about traditional North American ingredients.

that's the idea. I love working with maple and it is a very subtle ingredient in most of the things I've had or made with it. I'm hoping in the lighter flavored base beer more of the maple character will come through.

Ingredients / Re: Dry hopping a beer that'll be aged...pointless?
« on: April 11, 2016, 10:59:35 PM »
If you want the dry hop character AND the aged character why not bulk age and then dry hop in a year before packaging? best of both worlds

I actually managed to get a brew day in this weekend. It's a first draft.

Classic American Pilsner with maple Syrup. Kind of imperialized it with the added sugars.

4 kg pils
2 kg corn meal
1 kg homemade grade B Dark maple syrup.

Had a stuck sparge, I think do to equipment failure in my mash tun more than anything else.
pitched two packets of S-189 into ~4 gallons.
No idea how it's going to turn out.

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