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  1. And a voice from the past returns -- Okay, my girlfriend is making a pecan porter. The beer just went into secondary, and she has pecan meal that was given to her. It has been twice roasted and dried now. I think it is roasted enough, however it still seems very oily. I remember long ago, someone did something like this with peanuts. We plan on adding the nuts to secondary. Recommendations? Should we worry about the oil at this point, especially since we are not boiling? And how long do you think it should sit in secondary? Okay, I will try to be more active... life has been crazy. Hi to all, good to be back. David
  2. Hi all -- some time back, someone posted a link to a video a guy had made where he opened a beer from the same batch at one week intervals and commented and demonstrated the differences in aging and carbonation over about a 10 week time span. I would like to show this video to my girlfriend. Anyone got a clue, I can't seem to find it using Google. Thanx!! Brew On!! David
  3. Okay, so even though I have been doing partial mash in addition to MB for quite a while now, I am still absolutely dedicated to my MB equipment, just really like the 2.5 size and convenience. But a friend I have gotten hooked recently went for the standard beginner kit from the lhbs. When we did her brew last night, we put the airlock in (which I have never played with before) and filled it with vodka, which is what I had read. But then we realized we had over filled it. So, we pulled it out to drain the excess, but that (apparently) created a vacuume, and all the vodka got sucked out straight into the fermenting bucket! My friend instantly freaked out, afraid that we had ruined her first batch of beer. I responded that that little shot of vodka in 5 gals of beer could not possibly hurt anything, it may just bump abv by a miniscule amount. Okay, so that is what I told her... but what is the truth? We cannot be the only idiots to ever have done this...is there any real reason to be worried? Is there anything to be done? Thanx all. David
  4. I use lactose a fair amount. I really like it in fruit beers, where I can really punch the fruit flavor, which will ultimately come out tart, then balance it back on the back end with lactose. Have also used it in stouts and some dark ales when I ended up a bit over hopped or acrid...since you can add it at batch prime, it is a great last minute adjuster. 1/4 to 1/2 lb works well for a MB sized batch. Brew On!! David
  5. Yeah, somewhere along the way I totally dumped carapils in favor of Crystal 10. Kills two birds with one stone and makes life better all around. Brew On!! David
  6. Grains -- I gotta say, I am finding it hard to design a rule of thumb that works there. It depends on the grain, the beer, and your personal taste. But overall, I try to keep individual contributions under 1/2 lb, and overall grain additions under 2 lbs. Way under, unless I really think I need it. Having said that though...I would toss in 1/2 lb of Crystal 10 and not blink. Into almost any MB recipe. Just gonna be a little better, IMHO. But if I was making a MB Stout, for instance, I would be VERY cautious about adding much Black Patent, or Crystal 120. Those are powerful tools, gotta be restrained. Mid level crystals as well, and Aromatic in my belgians...it really is very specific. Practice makes perfect, and is a helluva lot of fun. Brew On! David
  7. First off, sorry for the delay, life continues to be very busy. Sugar, Nurishment, and thinning beer. Well, I agree a lot with what BPGreen said; however, I think it is important to keep in mind that the monks were making this beer for a very specific purpose, given the proper context. It was literally liquid bread, because as such, it was allowed for consumption during times of fasting. Therefore, regardless of whether it was yummy or not (which of course it was) they found, through trial and error, I would guess, how to adjust mashing and brewing to create a beer with a ton of non fermentable sugars, ergo higher level and ratio of complex carbs (even though they may not have thought of it as such) that would be filling and lasting and nutritive. Problem was it was also cloying and syrupy. Then they figured out how to fix that without having to mess with the mash, and while saving some coin in the process...add sugar. As for the stout...yeah, I think that is a very valid consideration...brew up the worlds most grained out stout possible, keep your wort temps on the really high side to keep the non-fermentable sugars in the majority, then add sugar to the boil to bring the FG back to earth. Also raises the ABV. Should be killer. Hmmmm..... As to your final questions, it is a bit muddy; Style and Tradition play big into this conversation. The stout I just described would be all wrong based on beer purity laws...so you would have to adjust the mash, and possibly the grain bill, to hit FG, but maybe that is not the stout you want to make. I think you are very close, because you start with a great beer, and then use the sugar to tweak FG, so all other considerations aside, I would say at this point you are using sugar properly. My concern is that normally, new brewers go the other way...they wanna cheap way to make a great beer, and sugar will NOT get you there. Brew On!! David
  8. I used the round Gott style cooler, with grain sack. Marriage made in heaven. Also, I have heard that the square cooler are not as efficient for mashing/sparging. I use the cooler just like it came from the store, but I am strongly considering a ball valve to replace the little spout. Since I use the grain sack, stainless braided line is not needed. David
  9. Okay, quick update on this...the universe is a strange place sometimes. So on a recent foray into Total Wine and Beer, picked up a bottle of St. Peters Cream Stout, and had it the other night. There it is, that exact same flavor...more mellow, more balanced, but right there, and I never even noticed it before. Has to be the challenger hops. Guess I got heavy handed. If that is true, then age may save me here. Gonna give these guys another month, and check them out again. Stay Tuned! David
  10. Zeke -- really glad you asked this, cuz I totally forgot to say something earlier about the candi sugar. The one exception to "All sugar ultimately is sugar" concept is the dark candi sugar...because it is truly caramelized sugar. You see, all that brown sugar we get in grocery stores...it is not really caramelized sugar. It is sugar with molassas added back to it. Different process, different flavor. So if I was making a darker beer, and wanted the flavor of caramelized sugar, THEN I may actually spring for the belgian candi. Now, I have never made a saison, they are not my thing; but given the above as a guide, you know the color and flavor you want...if you think you may be making something else soon that you might like to lighten up in body while darkening in color (that really is the trick) save the candi for that, use the booster. By the way, while researching the amber part a few minutes ago, I found this link, great reading related to this thread. http://beervana.blogspot.com/2010/09/adjunct-that-dare-not-speak-its-name.html Brew On!! David
  11. I re-read your post this morning...Porters...ya know, I had never thought of that, but that makes a lot of sense. First, when I first began drinking beer seriously, I fell in love with Porters. Didn't know crap then, except I liked them. Now, knowing my tastes and the history of the beers, it makes perfect sense. Porter is (I know I am oversimplifying a touch) a well aged stout blended with a much younger ale. So, if I wanted to make a modern Porter, single batch, making essentially a stout and then adding some sugar to lighten the FG would make perfect sense. Cool! Brew On! David
  12. Dave -- frikkin GREAT response!! :cheer: Okay, there is one element in your summary that I think is missing...specifically, the monks were making beer as liquid nurishment for fasting. Therefore, it was High Gravity beer by design. But, they wanted it to be light and drinkable...hence, as you say, the sugar to lighten the beer. So, if you have a high OG beer, then yes, you are correct...but if you start with a low gravity beer to begin with, then the sugar becomes extraneous overkill. For the amount of booster in a kit to be "just right" by my math would take at least 4 cans of LME, and last I checked, MB doesn't market a 4 can kit yet...although I can say from experience, they should, cuz it makes a kickass brew! :laugh: Now, IPA's...odd you would call that out, since I don't make those, you may very well be right, and I would not know. As for WHAT sugar...ya know, I started with belgian candy sugar, then learned about invert...then learned that to make invert sugar, you cook regular sugar in a slightly acidic solution...and wort is an acidic solution...so, boiling regular sugar in the boil should invert most of it anyway. At this point, I actually us turbinado, as it seems like that is probably the closest I could get to what monks of that age may have really used. And through it all, I cannot say I have noticed a big difference in taste. But these are all fairly refined sugars...not sure about anything else. At this point, I do consider Booster a fair sub for sugar in all my recipes, and I assume it will work about the same but without lightening the body quite as much as normal sugar would...how to quantify that, I really don't know. Brew On!! David
  13. Olorin -- I am in the exact same boat, so I cannot speak to the difference myself. I will say that East Kent Goldings have become my favorite hops, they are very soft and subtle. Just my .02 worth... David
  14. Olorin -- personally, I LOOOOOOOOVE Duvel. I have a recipe I tried for it, it came out very good, but not light enough in color. I will gladly share, do what you will with it, and keep me posted on any results. BeerSmith Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com Recipe: Garden Nectar Brewer: David Gilbert Asst Brewer: Style: Belgian Blond Ale TYPE: Partial Mash Taste: (35.0) Recipe Specifications -------------------------- Batch Size: 2.40 gal Boil Size: 4.00 gal Estimated OG: 1.082 SG Estimated Color: 6.3 SRM Estimated IBU: 20.5 IBU Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 % Boil Time: 60 Minutes Ingredients: ------------ Amount Item Type % or IBU 4.00 lb Pilsner Liquid Extract (3.5 SRM) Extract 72.73 % 0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 9.09 % 0.25 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 4.55 % 0.40 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (45 min) Hops 16.7 IBU 0.30 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (15 min) Hops 3.7 IBU 0.75 lb Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 SRM) Sugar 13.64 % 1 Pkgs SafBrew Specialty Ale (DCL Yeast #T-58) Yeast-Ale Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 0.75 lb ---------------------------- Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge Step Time Name Description Step Temp 45 min Mash In Add 0.94 qt of water at 170.5 F 158.0 F I am pretty sure this is already been tweaked to try and bring the color closer, but as I said, do with it as you will. Good luck and let me know how it goes. Brew On!! David
  15. Wow!! WOW!! I am sitting here as type this with two glasses next to me. In one is Ommegang Abbey Ale, my benchmark for the perfect belgian dubble. In the other is Liquid Manna, my attempt to make such. You cannot...CAN NOT... tell the difference, at all. My wife actually tried, and got it wrong. Color...perfect. Head...perfect. Flavor...perfect. I knew I had done well, but even I am amazed at the actual results. Seriously, if you want a killer f****n belgian dubble, make this recipe. This is the proudest day of my brewing existance. Brew On!! David
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