Big Sarge

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Big Sarge last won the day on September 28 2016

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About Big Sarge

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    Brewmaster in Training

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  1. I'm sure Rick will offer up some additional pointers as well.
  2. I wouldn't add water after fermentation because of the potential to contaminate the beer. I believe you can get a solid 4.5 total gallons into 2 LBKs, leaving enough headspace. I don't believe that would affect the beer much. If you're still insistent on diluting after fermentation, buy a 5-gallon bottling bucket, transfer both LBKs to it, batch prime, and bottle. This process exposes a large potential for aeration and contamination. I'd just rather have beer that's a little stronger.
  3. And no, I would fill it just over 2 gallons in order to leave a modest amount of headspace for krausen buildup. It won't make much of a difference in the end.
  4. Why exactly are you adding 1/2 gallon after fermentation?
  5. It has been done quite a few times over, most often by our very own Mr. @RickBeer. You fill both up to a comfortable level, maintain temps to avoid overflows, and voilà.
  6. @MRB Josh R The once-local shop here (which has since closed up) used to host local homebrew competitions, which is great for promotion and expands interest in the craft.
  7. I'm still torn... I'm leaning towards doing both at 5 and dry hopping both. If not, I'll do the Saaz at 5 and dry hop the Hallertau, to see if that isolates the flavors any.
  8. I don't have near the mileage on the one that gives me fits during leak testing. Usually a lot of cussing and reseating does the trick though!
  9. I believe that 5 is the Hoppy Standard.
  10. I'd advise against it; add one at the most. It'll boost the ABV but take away from the body of the beer.
  11. I agree with you 100% @RickBeer. I am an advocate for starting with the basics and building upon them. In this case, I don't feel like I'm going too far off of the beaten path I've stayed on. I've had the Czech Pilsner straight up and with LME. While we know that Mr. Beer keeps their proprietary ingredients a secret (particularly the hops in the HME), it's no secret that the Pilsner uses the Saaz hops. In this case I'm merely adding the Hallertau Mittlefreu. The steeping grains are in line with the base malt and merely being leveraged to reduce the extract twang, something I find more prominent in the lighter colored beers. I've done the due diligence in researching the hops and I'm confident in the pairing. I feel that the recipe I've outlined stands in the threshold between a good beer and a great beer. If I swing and miss, I'll still have a good beer. I'll reserve the individual hop explorations for non-HME batches, so as to have a clean background to isolate them against.
  12. I'm still pretty torn, as this was the original plan. There are obviously great pairings of hops for aroma, as evidenced by some pretty complex IPA aromas. The Hallertau and Saaz are different enough, but will also pair well. The problem is, in which combination. I haven't compared 5-minute boils to dry hopping, although I'm guessing there's a subtle difference. Do I want one to stand out more than the other? If so, which one? I think they'd be pretty good in combination both at 5 minutes and dry hopped. My original recipe included the Saaz hops alone for the Pilsner, which was easier. I picked up the mittlefreu at a not-so-L-HBS and used a half ounce in the Helles Bock, so I still have the other half to use up. I appreciate all of the feedback and will likely keep juggling it until I actually brew it. I'm still open to other's experiences.
  13. Thanks for the input, gents. I think I'll do the half and half additions as recommended by @BDawg62. As far as the DME, it's a light Pilsner DME that I want to add just a touch of for some body. I also have some Pilsen malt to do a PM, which will help the body. I like your yeast and fermentation temp recommendation @Nickfixit. I may hold off on the hybrid yeast since I don't have the lager yeast to spare. Yes, I could split the satchet that I have, but it will be awhile until I use the other half and I don't want to store it that long.
  14. Got it... but you ignored the question