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Messages - brewsumore

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: PBW question
« on: December 17, 2014, 06:38:27 PM »
Well we've got some folks talking about Star San, I'm talking about PWB....same issue with the aluminum?

Also, anymore input on whether or not this is a problem using this fermenter going forward? My OCD is telling me that there is some type of dissolved aluminum that is now stuck on my plastic fermenter.   :o

DO NOT WORRY that the dissolved aluminum will impregnate the inside walls of your spiedel fermenter.  As previously stated, clean and rinse well your Spiedel, avoid aluminum foil + PBW in the future, and all is well for future ferments.  That's a tough thing to deal with any OCD-based inclinations; don't give into that in this case as it would be over-reacting -- the spiedel is perfectly fine!  :> 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: December 14, 2014, 10:16:05 PM »
gonna brew an IPA on Sunday morning instead of sleeping in on my birthday (crazy homebrewers). I think maybe only my third IPA, maybe 4th in 7+ years.

Then Monday I'm going down to SF to brew a 15 bbl batch of my sour farmhouse with cherries at Thirsty Bear.

milage indeed. I'm finally sitting down with a glass of the sour farmhouse with cherries I brewed back on the 20th of January. Got to pick up a sixtel of it yesterday and I just tapped it. pretty tasty. light and easy to drink but with a complex brett and lactic character. The cherries are a bit lacking. more a note in the background than anything else. In that sense it reminds me of the three philosophers from ommegang. of course it's more in the 4% range than the 11% like the  philosophers. But that just makes it more fun to drink a few of.

Wow - awesome!  Obviously an American classic.  In case you've tried it, was it like a more sour version of the old New Belgium brew Transatlantique Kriek?  Or maybe the beer George Washington decided to brew and so chopped down the cherry tree?   :D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: December 13, 2014, 10:27:55 PM »
Finally got a brew in today.  I made 11 gallons (eventually 2 cornies) of Hop-Fu Imperial IPA, the winner for that category in the 2014 National Homebrewers Competition (as printed in Zymurgy a while back).  Thankfully, I nailed the OG and volume.  I used 25.5 oz of pellet hops (well, including 8 oz set aside for dry hops).  So now there's room in my freezer for some more hops.  I normally would have gone with a stout or some such this time of year but wanted to use up some frozen/vacuum-sealed hops.

The hydro sample was amazing.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dry yeast for English styles
« on: September 23, 2014, 09:35:48 PM »
I just used Mangrove Jack's Burton Union Yeast for a premium bitter.  I've only tasted the hydro sample when racking to keg (it's carbing/conditioning), but among the "English" dry yeasts I'd say that it's as close as I've come to the quality of a specialty liquid yeast.

Per Rebel Brewer website:

Suitable for English ales. Ideal for Ordinary Bitter, Extra Special Bitter (ESB), Golden Ale and more.
Mangrove Jack’s Burton Union Yeast M79 is very similar to Wyeast 1275 Thames Valley or White Labs WLP023.

Mangrove Jack's also carries M07 dry yeast, English Ale Yeast, which I have not tried yet:

Per Rebel Brewer website:
Ideal for brewing India Pale Ale, ESB, Porter, Stouts, Barley Wine and more.
Mangrove Jack’s British Ale Yeast M07 is very similar to White Labs WLP007.

I don't care for either Nottingham or S-04.

Ingredients / Re: Is Wet Hopping BS?
« on: September 21, 2014, 03:12:57 PM »
I have 6 lbs of whole cone centennial hops, that were given to me very recently, that I vacuum sealed and froze 12 - 20 hrs after they were picked, and til then kept cold, dry and in the dark in paper bags.  I plan to use them for Sean Terrill's Two Hearted Ale Clone.  After reading this thread, I'm thinking it might be wise to open what I figure I'll need and dry those on a screen prior to using them.  And for the bittering addition I'll use some pelletized centennials I have in the freezer.

Last year I used a bunch of half-dried whole cone cascades for flavor and aroma additions in a beer along with other varieties of pellet hops and it came out great, although higher IBUs than I expected.

I noticed a comment or two in this thread that has me wondering if part of the deal is individual tastebuds rather than science-based failures from using fresh hops.  I mostly have tried commercial versions of "fresh-hopped" beers and typically enjoyed them, and noticed mainly that they had less pronounced bitterness than a standard similar beer, kinda like what you get from FWH with dried hops.

I guess I also experienced a more flowery, fresh, rounded pungency from the wet-hopped beers.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: September 20, 2014, 05:50:27 PM »

I brewed out of Zymurgy last weekend, but the current issue.  I had a full bag of T. Fawcett Golden Promise so from among the many mouth-watering gold-winning recipes, selected Dennis Collins' English Pale Ale.  But it was on a whim so substituted Mangrove Jack Burton Union yeast available at my LHBS, instead of the recipe's WY 1028 (London Ale Yeast), and I "burtonized" my water profile per the Pale Ale profile in Bru'n Water.  Still, it's looking like it will be a very nice beer!

I really like your hops selection for you AIPA - sounds really good.

Thanks!  I think you picked a nice one. Golden Promise is such an underrated malt. Report back how it comes out!

I kegged today and both buckets came out with a terminal gravity of 1.011, right on the nose -- mashed at 152 but there's a bunch of crystal malt in this recipe.  Hydro samples tasted phenomenal.  With this MGJ Burton Union yeast, there were scattered tiny bits of yeast on the surface, so I should have cold crashed first but still, the remainder of the yeast flocculated very well so no biggy.  Big THANK YOU to Martin Brungard for his wonderful software plus numerous forum contributions that make it so much easier to make great beer custom fit to numerous beer styles, with chemistry..., water chemistry that is!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: September 12, 2014, 08:33:30 PM »

I brewed out of Zymurgy last weekend, but the current issue.  I had a full bag of T. Fawcett Golden Promise so from among the many mouth-watering gold-winning recipes, selected Dennis Collins' English Pale Ale.  But it was on a whim so substituted Mangrove Jack Burton Union yeast available at my LHBS, instead of the recipe's WY 1028 (London Ale Yeast), and I "burtonized" my water profile per the Pale Ale profile in Bru'n Water.  Still, it's looking like it will be a very nice beer!

I really like your hops selection for you AIPA - sounds really good.

I brewed an all-citra IPA today, and it went well -- 52 IBU's calculated + a 40-min hop stand at wort temp as is covered after flameout (10 gal batch).  Should get me into a decent IPA bittering range for a 1.062 beer... maybe a little bit on the low end of the range for hoppiness.  Was shooting for 1.065, but got a little extra volume into fermenters so still hit my 77% efficiency target.  Wort tasted great!  11.5 oz pellet hops spread across FWH (2 oz), 15 (2 oz), 10 (2.5 oz), 5 (2.5 oz), and 1 (2.5 oz).  I ordered more citra for 3 oz dry hops per corny.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Mangrove Jack's Dry Yeast
« on: August 23, 2014, 09:41:29 AM »
My Blind Pig IPA came out great using it, and the beer was much clearer when racking from primary to keg due to very good flocculation.  I'm using it a second time tomorrow when I brew an all-citra IPA.  It was surprisingly clean given the long lag phase.  I wouldn't be surprised if its clean profile has partly to do with the slow ferment time.  I know that slower ferments yield a cleaner fruit wine with more aromatics than a hotter, faster ferment.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New guy
« on: August 12, 2014, 08:19:46 PM »
Welcome!  I visited that Athens HBS this past spring when my wife and I visited our daughter (grad student) in Athens - it had just moved from the main drag out to a dirty old warehouse and its future seemed to have been set by those conditions.  Hopefully you can find an alternate LHBS or order online - I try to do both, but prefer to keep my local guy as a priority.

As to the Mountaineers - you gotta like that Jerry West guy - he's still the NBA logo after all these years!

Once, in between careers and an architect friend got me a one-day job locally in western Montana helping move stuff from house to barn prior to new construction for one of the founding owners of Ticketmaster (in the country), he was out at the barn and the phone rang.  I almost answered it for him but let it go to voicemail, and heard the message being left.  It was from his good friend Jerry West.  Wanted to kick myself for not having talked to him, but I just would have sputtered and offered some lame sentiment of appreciation anyway.  Anyway, the client decided that the amount of time spent in the barn would lead to rat molestation, so he gave me two beds and a couch, all great condition furniture.  Eleven years later, the couch still sits in my living room.  A memorable day working for a generous guy.

By the way, WELCOME to the FORUM!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Water
« on: August 06, 2014, 06:55:05 PM »
Assuming you can succeed at all or most of the other brewing and fermenting practices through study and practice, carefully adjusting your mash and sparge water often is the difference between ending up with a good beer or a great beer.  A lot of the work has been done for you if you have good desired final water profiles as part of your water treatment software to choose from to match the style you are brewing.  Then, if you have the necessary various salts, etc. on hand, the rest can be as simple as tinkering with your input, until you closely match the profile, hopefully a day or more before brew day.  Until I really learned what salts work best for my water and the styles I like to brew, I just bought some of all of the various salts / additives.  If I don't use them, its nice to have them on hand in case sometime I do need them!

I always suggest that with few exceptions, people avoid using distilled water as your base water.  You can add mineral-rich nutrients to provide the minerals that you need for a healthy ferment, but why not instead start with tap, well, spring or RO water that comes with those necessary minerals not found in the standard water treatment additives.  And of those, tap water is the best since once you have that water tested, you have a constant or relatively constant existing water profile needed to then adjust to hit your desired final water profile.  That is, you need to know your starting point!

Obviously not all tap or well water is good as a base water, but I honestly believe that many people who buy bulk / bottled water to brew with could instead do what is way easier, namely use their tap water with some minor adjustments, once they learned with the help of good software, what to add to hit their desired profile and pH.

I have stirred in potassium metabisulfite (or crushed campden tablets) to cool uncovered tap water containing chlorine or chloramines, and at the right dosage it makes the water ready for brewing in a matter of a few minutes.  As I recall, one campden tablet will treat up to 20 gallons of water.  IMHO, doubling the minimum needed is just good insurance and won't hurt your final product one iota.  Of course, you can instead carbon filter chlorinated tap water but it is more costly, work-intensive, and time consuming.  My thought is that if an easier path exists that works satisfactorily, I will use it!


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Water
« on: August 02, 2014, 10:27:57 AM »
Spokane Valley water
Sodium 6
Potassium 2
Calcium 35
Magnesium 12
Total Hardness 138
Nitrate 1.5 (SAFE)
Sulfate 4
Chloride 7
Carbonate < 1
Bicarbonate 151
Total Alkalinity 124

My city water supply has fairly high bicarbonate level, but it is still low enough to be acidified using 70% or 85% phosporic acid when required without causing off flavors.  Also, this water does not contain chlorine or chloramines, so I usually brew straight from the tap.  Hoppy, light colored beers typically get gypsum, calcium chloride and the phosphoric acid, dark beers might get a little pickling lime rather than phosphoric acid.

I do 50/50 with bulk purchased RO water for beers calling for soft water, such as Czech pilsner.

And I also use the paid version of Bru'n Water  ;D.  I haven't lab tested my tap water different times of the year, but have talked with the water district who've told me it varies little throughout the year, which has been confirmed by my experience of hitting my pH year round based on the single water profile I use in Bru'n Water.  I always check my mash pH with ColorpHast strips, estimating the actual pH as .3 higher than indicated per Kai's and others' tests.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Air lock trouble
« on: July 28, 2014, 04:48:53 PM »
Another reason that I use a blowoff tube at least the first few days of the ferment, and quite often thru the entire ferment.  With the large amount of outgassing of co2 these first 96 hrs, you should be fine.  Otherwise, krauesen reaches and then plugs the airlock, gas builds up, and pop goes the airlock.  At least this is what I'm guessing happened to you.

I've tried various approaches for specifically "hopstand" PAs and IPAs, and most of them have tasted just fine!

If I'm going for more hop flavor/less bitterness I'll go primarily with FWH, maybe a tad of 60 min, and then 1 min plus 0 min to hit my IBUs, with a minimum 45-minute steep for an estimated 10% increase of calculated IBUs.

I've been happy with just adding the 0 min hops ~10 seconds prior to shutting off the gas (or just after), no additional chilling, and stirring every 3 minutes or so for the duration of the hopstand.  As pointed out, immediately chilling to 180 - 170F will reduce the degree of additional isomerization.

I sometimes add a 5 min addition, occasionally even along with a 10 min hop addition along with the 0 min if I want a hop bomb beer, but always use a healthy amount of 0 min hops.  IIRC, traditional brewing literature still indicates  =/> 5 minute additions as "aroma" additions, which plus a hopstand = flavor + aroma. 

I also always dry hop PAs and IPAs, in the keg typically, with 2 oz, but sometimes more.  My recent Blind Pig IPA clone got 4 oz dry hops per keg, although it wasn't a hopstand beer.

These hopstand beers are wonderful, and are a huge hit for friends tasting them, who are more used to the standard commercial approach that includes a pretty big hit of back end bitterness.

My buddy told me over the weekend that he was a 'supertaster' which I have never heard of. Maybe he can taste cat piss in things that I cannot...

Have him try this....

Are You a Supertaster?
Roughly 35 percent of women and 15 percent of men are supertasters. These folks have been given a special skill. No,
they can’t fight crime. Their palates are much more sensitive to a number of flavors, especially bitter. You can test to see
if you’re one of the lucky ducks with a bit of food coloring, a hole reinforcement label (the things you put on a punched
paper to prevent it from ripping out of a binder), and a good camera.
Douse a cotton swab with blue food coloring. Paint the front of your tongue with dye.
Carefully place a reinforcement label on your tongue in the colored section.
Take a photo of your tongue and zoom in on the hole. Count the number of pink dots inside the circle. These are the
papillae that house your taste buds.
If you count more than thirty-five, you’re probably a supertaster and have a legitimate reason for hating broccoli.
Below fifteen? Oh boy, you’re a nontaster. If you’re in the middle, welcome to being perfectly average!

Amazing!  Now you have me curious as to where I'm at.  I'm thinking that if I do the test it will help me identify to what extent my affinity for food and beverages is related to my tastebuds density!

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