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Messages - morticaixavier

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46
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Reaching FG
« on: December 23, 2015, 08:37:01 AM »
How does it taste? if it tastes good and the gravity is no longer changing just package and enjoy. if it still seems a bit too sweet try rousing and raising the temp again.

if you want to try pitching a big, active, healthy starter at high krausen you MIGHT be able to drop it a couple more points.

47
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Rubbing Alcohol Off Flavor
« on: December 23, 2015, 08:21:05 AM »
If you are really confident about your temp control it could also be a wild yeast infection within your brewery in general. some wild yeasts can throw terrible acetone which as Toby points out could easily be mistaken for rubbing alcohol.

What do you use for sanitizing?

As Mark (S. Cerv.) has pointed out on many occasions StarSan is not a good protection against yeasts/fungi.

If you've been using star san exclusively for any time perhaps try to shock the system with either a bleach/vinegar solution (lookup how to make this because it's potentially dangerous) or maybe just switch to idophor for a while. (or, alternately, if you have been using idophor try star san!)

48
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: composition of 5.2 ph Stabilizer?
« on: December 23, 2015, 08:12:41 AM »
5.2 was created for a particular brewery with a particular water makeup. It works for them and anyone with more or less the same water as they have.

It's just not chemically possible to create a product that can stabilize any water at 5.2.

Download Bru'n water and dig in a little. as you said, your dark beers are good with it. As others have said that's largely because the dark roasted grain cancels out a lot of your alkalinity and leads your mash to be in a good range. The phosphates in the 5.2 might help a bit but you'd be way better off getting your water tested and blending/building to match your desired profile.

Your 'good' beer could be 'great'. or at least 'better'.

49
Ingredients / Re: Single-hopped beers 2015 edition
« on: December 15, 2015, 09:11:58 AM »
Sounds tasty. Glad to hear at least some parts of the industry are focusing on organic breeding.

50
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Playing Favorites
« on: December 14, 2015, 06:19:53 PM »

Its not political.
I'm actually getting 9/10 of my malts from Valley Malt, locally grown and malted and a fair amount of my hops is homegrown. I did think from my own experience growing barley and hops that barley doesn't take much input but hops needs lots of nutrients and has a lot of pests. Any sources for organic or low spray hops?

Seven Bridges Co-Op out of santa cruz sells a decent selection of organic hops from around the world. I'm still looking for a readily available local source but most of the hops grown in VT are snapped up by local breweries pretty quickly. The industry is growing though. Farmers know a good chance as profit when they see one.

51
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Playing Favorites
« on: December 14, 2015, 05:48:21 PM »
I'll preface by saying that I restrict myself mostly to organic ingredients so that limits my selections on most things but...

In order to get an idea of what the more experienced members here have concluded, I'd like to know the following from any or all of you:

List your favorite:
-----------------
Pilsner malt - Weyermann for crackery, great western or gambrinus for grapey
Pale malt - great western
Munich malt/Vienna malt - Wetermann for dry dark toasty, great western or gambrinus for dark fruity
Other Base malts (MO/GP) - rarely use them but I think Thomas Fawcett is available organically
Specialty malt(s) - I use a lot of munich in place of most crystal malts. I order great western or briess specialty malts for roasted and the occasional crystal/cara. I use Weyermann for rye malt because they are the only one doing that organically. usually great western or gambrinus for wheat malt
Bittering hops - I used to like bravo but I don't see it much anymore. Magnum is good, centennial
Aroma hops -  mix it up a lot here because I just don't go a lot of hop forward beers but I like to include an herbal/spicey hop with some fruity/piney hop
Flavor hops - not a real hop head, don't really have favorites. although sterling is nice and hallertaur mitt is a favorite for german beer
Adjuncts - Raw grains come from the local food co-op bulk bins
Sugars - co-op again, or family for honey, neighbors for maple syrup
Jonathan, I try to get organic or otherwise healthy/sustainable ingredients when cooking and brewing when I think there may be an issue with a conventional version of an ingredient. Is there anything about malt that concerns you? it really hasn't been on my radar that malts are a problem but I'm interested in what's out there for research.
Not in particular beyond a general feeling that any time we can leave oil in the ground it's probably for the best. Barley is a pretty low input crop. Hops can be pretty heavily sprayed though. Other than that it's a voting with my dollar situation I guess. I will choose local over organic often because my impression is that the energy used in transport is greater than any fossil agricultural inputs. I don't want to get off on a political tangent though.

Sent from my XT1080 using Tapa

52
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Playing Favorites
« on: December 14, 2015, 11:39:17 AM »
I'll preface by saying that I restrict myself mostly to organic ingredients so that limits my selections on most things but...

In order to get an idea of what the more experienced members here have concluded, I'd like to know the following from any or all of you:

List your favorite:
-----------------
Pilsner malt - Weyermann for crackery, great western or gambrinus for grapey
Pale malt - great western
Munich malt/Vienna malt - Wetermann for dry dark toasty, great western or gambrinus for dark fruity
Other Base malts (MO/GP) - rarely use them but I think Thomas Fawcett is available organically
Specialty malt(s) - I use a lot of munich in place of most crystal malts. I order great western or briess specialty malts for roasted and the occasional crystal/cara. I use Weyermann for rye malt because they are the only one doing that organically. usually great western or gambrinus for wheat malt
Bittering hops - I used to like bravo but I don't see it much anymore. Magnum is good, centennial
Aroma hops -  mix it up a lot here because I just don't go a lot of hop forward beers but I like to include an herbal/spicey hop with some fruity/piney hop
Flavor hops - not a real hop head, don't really have favorites. although sterling is nice and hallertaur mitt is a favorite for german beer
Adjuncts - Raw grains come from the local food co-op bulk bins
Sugars - co-op again, or family for honey, neighbors for maple syrup

53
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Swap-toberfest '15
« on: December 14, 2015, 11:30:04 AM »
What SRM did that work out to?  I thought the color was perfect.

according to beersmith it was 15.9. I suspect it was a couple/few tenths darker than that.

54
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Swap-toberfest '15
« on: December 14, 2015, 07:36:46 AM »
Having Jonathan/morticaixavier's   Scotch ale .

Beautiful dark plum body, clear with garnet highlights when held to the light.  Hints of dark dried fruit in the aroma, no hop.  Richly malty.

The aromas carry into the flavor - rich chewy malt but not cloying.  Almost a hint of cherry in the finish.  Enough bitterness to keep it from falling over the malt cliff.   Slight warming but not alcoholic. 

My god, I can only hop my wee heavy scheduled to brew in January turns out anything like this - I am cherishing the remainder of my snifter.

Would love the recipe.

82% weyermann Munich II
11% weyermann Pils
5% C60
2% flaked wheat

hopped with ~13 IBU centennial and ~10 IBU Challenger at 90 minutes

WYeast 1728

I only made ~2.5 gallons and boiled the first half gallon of runnings down to about a pint. it was syrupy.

This was the recipe that took 1st in Strong Scotch and 2nd in Malty division in the BrewUnited comp. It did turn out well. Kind of wish I had made a full batch.

55
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hydrating a wooden barrel
« on: December 09, 2015, 06:44:10 AM »
I suspect that a newly coopered barrel is tighter than that same barrel after being filled, emptied, and sitting dry for some time. Once the wood is soaked it will dry again and there will be changes in the shape of the staves that allow leaks to develop where they weren't when it was first made.

56
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lacto strains
« on: December 04, 2015, 09:34:09 AM »
It doesn't seem likely that you'll find a lacto strain that produces CO2 and lactic acid but not alcohol.  Here's why:

C6H12O6 -> 2 C3H6O3  -> 2C2H6O  + 2 CO2
glucose        lactic acid        ethanol      carbon dioxide

My background is chemical engineering, not microbiology, but production of CO2 from sugar by fermentation requires production of ethanol.  Perhaps there are other pathways to produce CO2.

If you find something, please let us know.

I think you are right. This time around I'm going to force carb in the keg and transfer to bottles from there. I just like the lacto flavor.

57
Yeast and Fermentation / Lacto strains
« on: December 03, 2015, 05:48:49 PM »
I'm going to make some lacto fermented soda for the holidays as I've got a bunch of non-gluten, non-alcohol loving friends. I know some strains produce some alcohol and co2 along with lactic acid but I can't quite figure out which is which.

Originally I was going to use one of the strains that produce co2 but it seems to come along with alcohol, which makes sense given the process that produces the co2. So now I'm going to force carb after getting the tartness I want. Might even pasteurize  first.

anybody got favorite non-alcohol producing strains of lacto that they've worked with?

58
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Swap-toberfest '15
« on: December 02, 2015, 10:24:16 AM »
Finally broke into the final offering from HeavyDeadLifts last night and I guess I was saving the best for last. Belgian Dark Strong. 12% ABV according to the label. Didn't drink like that. It was obviously a sipper but no hot alcohol to speak of. no sign of chlorophenol here either. Fruity, a bit spicey, nice warming sensation. very well done.

59
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: New Yeast starter procedure
« on: November 30, 2015, 04:13:14 PM »
I just yesterday tried the new starter procedure that Mark introduced us all to. 

Is this the "vitality" method that Marshall shared from Colin K?

perhaps. We were introduced to the idea by Mark (S.Cerv) here on the forum.

60
Ingredients / Re: Stupid Mushrooms
« on: November 20, 2015, 12:28:36 PM »
You got censored Jonathan. Your opinions don't matter here.

I guess they're not worth.... mushrooms.

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