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Ask the Experts: Patrick Rue

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duncan:
Nathan asks:
I recently received a copy of a beer recipe from my great-grandfather. One he used during prohibition, and I'm told he used the first washing machine they owned for mashing grains. I am a little confused on one ingredient.

It calls for "dry roasted barley malt" what exactly does this mean in modern brewing? My local homebrew shop said pale 2-row would work, it's the dry roast part that has me perplexed.

Any insight would be a big help.

Thanks and take care,
Nathan

Patrick answers:
I would guess that "dry roasted barley malt" would be in the range of Munich (lighter end of dry roasted), Brown malt (medium end of dry roasted) to Chocolate / Black Patent / Roasted Barley. I'd exclude any malts that caramelization in the malting of that grain (crystal / cara / caramel malts), as they are "wet roasted". Without any info on what the flavor descriptions were of the beer, or what it looked like, it's hard to determine what type of roasted malt would best match what your great grandfather brewed. If I had to take a guess, I'd go with Roasted Barley as the grain is roasted (rather than just toasted), is unmalted, which may have been easier to source during prohibition, and can be easily made in a home oven.

Cheers,
Patrick Rue
The Bruery

duncan:
Stephen asks:
I hope you don't mind answering this question for me. I just brewed my pumpkin brown ale yesterday. I combined three cans of organic pumpkin pie mix w/my wort into my 90 min boil. When I checked my original gravity I made sure everything was mixed very good. My original was 1.082. My question is how can this be accurate? In 10 min I had over two inches of sediment in the bottom of my hydrometer. With the addition of the pumpkin it has no choice but to throw out a high original, right? In the final gravity the trub will be gone, naturally throwing out a lower number. I don't see how this can give an accurate abv. Would it be more accurate to check original after it has settled? I've never read or seen anything telling you to do this. If I'm overthinking this thing (which I tend to do), just tell me. Thanks for your time!

-Stephen

Patrick answers:
The sediment shouldn't have any impact on a gravity reading, unless your hydrometer was sitting directly on top of the sediment, or perhaps if the sediment was floating around, it could have some impact if it was helping to lift the hydrometer. If you're concerned about sediment that is at the bottom of the sample tube, Try putting a half inch of sand or pebbles in a hydrometer tube and fill it up with distilled water. You should get the same reading (1.000 hopefully) as you get without that material in the tube.

Cheers,
Patrick Rue
The Bruery

duncan:
Rick asks:
What are the proper procedures for cultivating yeast?

Thanks so much,
Rick

Patrick answers:
Cultivating yeast is a bit more in depth than I can give you in an email. I'd recommend reading Chris White & Jamil Zainasheff's book Yeast for some great and practical info on culturing yeast at home.

Cheers,
Patrick Rue
The Bruery

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