MiniYoda

The not-so-famous CAL experiment

67 posts in this topic

All 80 bottles are in the conditioning cabinet.  Not counting the trub bottles.  I think I wore the <CUSS WORD> out of my bottle crimper.  And considering I just spent slightly more than 14 hours washing/sanitizing/filling four LBKs, I'm a wee bit on the tired side of life.  Time for a bourbon and cola.

 

Sad that I have four empty LBKs, but such as it is now that the brewery is about to close (still have one Beauty and the Yeast, and one 5.5 gallon Chug-a-Lugger fermenting for two more weeks).

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17 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

Cannot use refractometer once fermentation starts...

 

I'm going to have to research your comment.  Not challenging it, just need to research it. 

 

I've only used a refractometer.  I take a Brix OG and FG measurement, and using online calculators, I figure out what is the approximate ABV.  There's adjustments on the FG due to alcohol, and I'm aware of that, but I'm going with "approximate" ABV, not exact.

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still kinda sorta confused by your comment..........

 

I take a refractometer reading before I pitch the yeast, and another one 3 week later just before I bottle.  Not sure why you said "once fermentation starts". 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

still kinda sorta confused by your comment..........

 

I take a refractometer reading before I pitch the yeast, and another one 3 week later just before I bottle.  Not sure why you said "once fermentation starts". 

 

 

Reading before pitching, yes. As soon as you pitch your yeast alcohol can now be present thus making your refractometer useless without an online calculator, which youre using thus making the way youre doing things perfectly legit. Keep on keeping on.

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not doubting you @Creeps McLane  Just wondering how this conversation started.  Never suggested that I took a reading during fermentation.  my readings have always been before pitching yeast and just before bottling.  just wondering why @rickbeer thought otherwise

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36 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

not doubting you @Creeps McLane  Just wondering how this conversation started.  Never suggested that I took a reading during fermentation.  my readings have always been before pitching yeast and just before bottling.  just wondering why @rickbeer thought otherwise

Because ideally you would use your refractometer before pitching and hydrometer before bottling. Rick was prob assuming you were not aware you need a converter during and after fermentation. Im assuming.  He wants to make sure people know things

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I am doing same as miniYoda. I can't deal with hydrometers even though I have 2.

I figure if you also know the target ABV you can back into the FG BRIX using the online calcs to see when you are done. ((not 100% accurate but).

 

Recently I found the Baltic Porter was not done fermenting after 23 weeks. I had issues with that before making over carbonated bottle and S-05 is supposed to be OK at low 60s. Now, 3 days later after warming to ~70 deg and shaking it a bit, it is closer to target endpoint but I will give it a bit more since is still low.

2 Other brews are also making progress but not there yet. Not all of them like the 60s. Maybe I need to play Beatles records at them or something.

Does yeast care what genre of music you play at it?

 

Of course with summer coming on the AC is making the basement cold. SO I will have to brew lagers now.

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Nickfixit said:

 

 

 

2 Other brews are also making progress but not there yet. Not all of them like the 60s. Maybe I need to play Beatles records at them or something.

Does yeast care what genre of music you play at it?

 

 

 

 

 

I find that Lager yeast like long, slow music like 40's/50 big band/crooner music  As for Ale, it varies between late 60's classic rock to 80's MTV music.  Haven't yet found yeast that likes disco.

 

 

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1 hour ago, MiniYoda said:

 

I find that Lager yeast like long, slow music like 40's/50 big band/crooner music  As for Ale, it varies between late 60's classic rock to 80's MTV music.  Haven't yet found yeast that likes disco.

 

 

Probably California Common yeast would like that.

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On ‎5‎/‎19‎/‎2017 at 9:48 PM, RickBeer said:

Cannot use refractometer once fermentation starts...

 

@RickBeer, Doveryai, no proveryai

 

:D

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Unfortunately, no, but ironically, some of it will happen this weekend.  I put one of each bottle in the fridge last night, so that tomorrow (Saturday), I'll have them in for the normal 2 days.  I will also sample another set after just a few hours in the fridge.  Reason is because to me, the colder the beer, the less malty it tastes (and I don't have a good sense of taste).  Tonight I will be taking with me another set to the friends I am meeting at the game, who have helped me evaluate my beers in the past.  I still need to get a set to the guy with the pool (and the 16 year old, which started a set of posts on this thread).  I have about 20-21 bottles of each, so I'll have enough to go around.

 

I'll report back on my tasting Saturday, and again if/when I get it from the couple I'm meeting tonight.

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On ‎5‎/‎18‎/‎2017 at 10:17 AM, BDawg62 said:

Blindfold the tasters.  I am thinking there won't be much of a difference in the pale and smooth but the robust and golden should be noticable.

 

Reviewing the comments made on this thread as I type up the results.  @BDawg62, you are correct.  Not much difference between P and S as I drank them.  Final results soon.

 

 

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Typed up a long <CENSORED> novel of my opinion on the four beers, then threw it out.  Discovered that it could be done with a summary than excessive detail.

 

Upfront, I realized a week ago that I made a massive mistake on this experiment.  If I were a true scientist, I would be banned from being a scientist.  I didn't make a control.  Had I done this experiment *correctly*, I would have made a fifth LBK, one with just a can of CAL and enough booster to equate the alcohol effect of the LME.  That way I would have the control to know what the CAL should taste like, and each bottle of the LME to tell the difference.

 

That said, all four beers came out as expected with two problems.  Mr. Beer's site describes the LMEs and what to expect.  I read the pages for each LME, and the flavor/aroma were spot on with their description.  By doing this experiment, no only did I learn about the LMEs themselves, but I also learned two mistakes that I made. 

 

First, I over carbonated these beers.  The mouthfeel had a bit too much carbonation to it.  Why?  I was putting a full sugar cube in each bottle.  Not a huge problem, but something I need to work on when the brewery opens in late September/early October.  Until then, I will read, read, read on carbonating bottles with regular sugar instead of sugar cubes, and how to determine the proper amount of sugar per recipe.  The second problem was the SRM.  They all four came out darker than expected.  Not much, but they were darker.  I noticed this on a lot of my other batches.  I'm going research why a beer is darker than expected, but I'm open to comments on this one. Could it be boil time/temp?  Fermenting temp?  Conditioning time/temp?

 

Overall, to me, Golden is a great wheat LME.  It was a bit tart as expected, and that would be perfect for wheat beers with tart fruits such as tart cherries, raspberries or fresh cranberries.  Robust is definitely great for coffee based beers.....just that I don't drink coffee, but the chocolate taste was there too.  I will experiment with it when doing porters and stouts.  Smooth was good, but again I'm not a coffee person, so I need to look into this one more.  My winner, Mr. Pale.  Think your favorite over-produced American light beer, then add *flavor* to it.  That's how that beer came out.  Very good.  If I want to make a light beer, then add more malt flavor, that's the one to pick.

 

I going to try another round with less time in the fridge, to bring out more malt flavor.  Also hopefully will get results from my baseball friends who have one of each.  They are both die-hard Miller Lite drinkers, so not sure if they will enjoy any of these, but all I asked was that they gave their opinion of the malt enhancement.  I do welcome others to try this experiment, and post their results.

 

Mr. Green Thing.

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Ya know @MiniYoda .... dont discredit your findings based on methods just yet. The title of this thread says it all... it is an experiment. Results are results, even if the parameters were a bit different from what was laid out in the theory phase. What you have done is a series of tests and trials with different materials in order to find out what each one truly does/how it reacts within a set of parameters. You did learn several things from this as you admitted to... you learned about the LMEs...... such as tastes, how each one tastes and which styles you want to put which one with. You also learned which one you thought tasted the best for your palate. You learned you need to adjust sugar amounts when using different delivery methods (loose vs cube vs type of sugar) to achieve the carbonation amount you wish to have for each style/recipe you brew. By what you have said, there are still results to yet come in from your buddies as well as more testing with refrigeration length in terms of obtaining the malt flavor you wish to have and if it will have any effect on the malt flavor at all. You good sir are doing what any good scientist does. I commend you and raise my pint to you! Keep up the experimenting until you find what you seek. 

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Thanks, @hotrod3539  While it was meant to be an experiment in taste, it also turn out to be lesson in what I was doing wrong.  Don't get me wrong, the beers were good tasting, and I am not going to toss them out.  I did learn that

 

1)  Four LBKs in one day is a LOT of work.  Doing a fifth LBK as a control.....I have respect for those who all-grain all-day

2)  Mr. Beer's LME's aren't bad.  Had another Pale, and still liked it, although not "chilled" enough

3)  With just a Mr. Beer's CAL, you can make a fairly drinkable beer

4)  Study, and learn, and next year's beers will be better

 

MiniYoda......."See You, In September"

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On 7/7/2017 at 2:25 PM, MiniYoda said:

Unfortunately, no, but ironically, some of it will happen this weekend.  I put one of each bottle in the fridge last night, so that tomorrow (Saturday), I'll have them in for the normal 2 days.  I will also sample another set after just a few hours in the fridge.  Reason is because to me, the colder the beer, the less malty it tastes (and I don't have a good sense of taste).  Tonight I will be taking with me another set to the friends I am meeting at the game, who have helped me evaluate my beers in the past.  I still need to get a set to the guy with the pool (and the 16 year old, which started a set of posts on this thread).  I have about 20-21 bottles of each, so I'll have enough to go around.

 

I'll report back on my tasting Saturday, and again if/when I get it from the couple I'm meeting tonight.

 

You should put your beer in the frig for 3 days.  Then, if you wan to drink it warmer than refrigerator temp (say 45 - 50 degrees), let it sit on the counter, unopened, for 20 minutes or so.  Then, open and pour it.  3 days is required for the beer to be properly carbonated.

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