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Everything posted by Zebediah

  1. Ryno344 wrote: Curious how this turned out. Update please! This turned out to be a very nice beer. I'm not very good at describing beer characteristics, but here it goes. The beer has enough bitterness to give a little mouth bite, similar in bitterness magnitude to Sam Adams Boston Lager, but it's far from overpowering. The color turned out a bit darker than the typical amber ale, closer to a brown ale. Not very much head retention or lacing, but I also went fairly light on the CO2. Everyone that has tried this has said to me "Wow, you made this? It's really good!" so I'll probably revisit it without too many changes. EDIT: I just wish I had kept track of the amount of sugar used in batch priming so I could duplicate. Not too much, not too little.
  2. I went with the original recipe, and hit 1.057 OG. It's krausening out of control, I had to loosen the lid this morning to prevent an explosion. Smells amazing, will let you know how it turns out in 6 weeks or so.
  3. I just moved to a new house, and wanted to use up my old beer ingredients before placing another order. Here's what I was thinking: 2.4 Gallon Batch 2 lb Briess Traditional Dark DME (1.043) 1 lb Briess Sparkling Amber DME (1.043) .5 lb Carapils, Steeped Yeast harvested from Bell's Oberon (Same yeast as their Amber Ale, Best Brown Ale, and Two-Hearted Ale I believe), stepped up using stir plate. 60 minutes 0.5 oz Northern Brewer pellets 8.0% AA 45 minutes 0.25 oz Cascade pellets 5.0% AA 30 minutes 0.25 oz Cascade pellets 5.0% AA 15 minutes 0.25 oz Cascade pellets 5.0% AA 0 minutes 0.25 oz Cascade pellets 5.0% AA QBrew gives me the following info: IBU 52 SRM 14 OG 1.056 FG 1.014 ABV 5.5% The other option would be to leave out the Northern Brewer hops and go for a more malty, less hoppy beer, but I'd probably also have to modify boil times. EDIT: I also have 1 oz of Hallertauer 4.6% AA that could be thrown into the mix
  4. Tested again today, 1.010, into the bottle it goes.
  5. After fermenting for 15 days at 68F, the gravity measures 1.010. I drank the tester sample, it's very good, but maybe just a touch more hoppy than I was shooting for. I'll probably bottle it tomorrow, since I'm leaving town Wednesday for several days. I've never used Amarillo hops, but I swear this beer has a bit of strawberry flavor and after taste, even though I used no fruit. I'm really looking forward to tasting this after 4-6 weeks in a bottle.
  6. d3EP wrote: When you split the pack into multiple jars, do you add nutrients, or just some wort. Do you just instantly put into the fridge or wait til you see activity then put in the fridge? I just make a starter wort with a ratio of 10ml water to 1g DME (so in a 1L starter I use 100g of DME). I haven't tried yeast nutrients yet - I suppose with larger batches it may be more important, but I haven't had any trouble yet with the small Mr. Beer size batches.As for splitting the smack pack, I followed Dr. Dink's Method with good results.
  7. Someone else pointed out that it's far cheaper to prime with table or corn sugar than with DME, and you don't really get any flavor difference between the three methods since it's such a small amount of sugar. I haven't tried it myself, so I can't say for certain, but their advice was to just go with sugar and save the DME for starters or other brews.
  8. I've noticed some of my yeast harvests don't produce much of a krausen, but they've still worked quite well in the keg. Do you see yeast sediment on the bottom of the container? In my experience, sediment + gas = viable yeast. So far I've harvested two batches from Bell's (Oberon and Best Brown Ale), as well as splitting smack packs into smaller jars and then using them in a starter.
  9. Beer Daddy wrote: Zeb, I didn't read back far enough to see how you did it, but when and how did you add the orange? Thanks In this instance, I boiled it for a few minutes in a small amount water first to sterilize it, then added the water to the wort in the keg. I'm not sure if that was necessary, but the result has turned out nicely.
  10. d3EP wrote: But FYI if you want to boil your hops, it wouldn't hurt to boil them with water and a spoon of the HME. Interesting, never heard that before. I've been doing full hops boils the past few batches w/ DME, so I'll generally have DME on hand from here on out.
  11. Cracked open a 12oz bottle today... Wow, I made this? This is a legit brew. It's like an Orange IPA almost. Doesn't have that Mr. Beer twang that my first two batches had, which is a relief. It's been carbing/conditioning in my basement at about 56 degrees for 19 days (yes, I know I broke the 2/2/2 rule, but it was in the keg for about 3 weeks). I'm glad I tried it when I did, it has the perfect amount of orange taste.
  12. Dr. Dink posted his method for splitting smack packs in this thread (click). I've done it myself now with great success, you just need to make a starter to step up the yeast quantity. I now have 2 strains of yeast in my fridge that I've done this with, and I'm currently harvesting yeast from a bottle of Bell's Oberon, which I plan on splitting and putting in the fridge as well. In one of the threads around here, I read that yeast will keep for up to a year in the fridge using this method. For me, it makes sense to do this for yeasts I know I'm going to use in the next few months, but if I was doing a specialty brew using a strange yeast strain, I'd probably just pitch the whole pack and be done with it.
  13. If we had the space I'd consider getting a big bag of a light DME rather than buying it 3 lbs at a time. A lot of darker beers that I like (i.e. dubbels) start with a light malt and add color through other grains and adjuncts. As for grains to keep on hand, I see a lot of recipes that call for steeped carapils, but other than that it seems to be all over the board. I've only used carapils myself, but my next recipe will use a 60L and Chocolate malt.
  14. Headnodic wrote: Am I supposed to put the boiled hop sack, AND the unboiled cascade hops into the fermenter? Or do I only put the unboiled cascade hops into the fermentor? Just speaking from personal experience, I always put all the boiled hop sacks into the fermenter, wouldn't want to lose out on fermenting any of the wort sugars that may get trapped in the hop sack. I'd be interested to hear reasons for not including boiled hop sacks in the fermenter.
  15. Brian1179 wrote: me i dont get it...hop are not that expensive EDIT: or is it just me? :dry: Every little bit helps stretch the brewing budget. I've been splitting smack packs so I don't have to spend $6.50 on yeast each brew. The only reason I don't think I'll try this french press idea is that I rarely use more than 1 oz of hops in a batch, and once the packet is open I don't want to re-freeze it.
  16. harpdog wrote: Thanks all. Looks like a handy container. I picked one up last month for batch priming, and after just one time, I'll never go back to bottle priming.
  17. BugLaden wrote: I'm just starting to expand out from US-05 and S-04, so I can't comment on your yeast choice. I'm curious on your opinion how this yeast would add to the recipe! I had a dubbel that had fantastic this fantastic caramelly / dried fruit flavors, and after reading about some of the belgian ale yeasts, I've come to believe this is at least partially due to the esters produced by the yeast. After reading you chocolate porter recipe, I thought I could kick up the great chocolate taste with raisin/plum/dried cherry/fig/prune notes by using Wyeast 1214 or 1762.I don't know what "style" this would officially be, but I bet it'd be tasty. Plus I'd be able to split the smack-pack and save some yeast for later uses using Dr. Dink's method, which I've modified a bit for my own purposes. Edit: Chatted w/ someone at Northern Brewer, and he recommended the Wyeast 1968 London ESB, or a new NB-proprietary Neo Britannia from Wyeast if the goal was to stick w/ a more traditional porter style. He said the Abbey II wouldn't be a terrible choice, if the goal is some more of the esters present in a dubbel.
  18. I'm putting together my shopping list to make a chocolate porter - wondering if you'd make any changes to this recipe, having brewed it once. I plan on using Ghana Cacao Nibs instead of cocoa powder. I'm brewing it for my girlfriend, so chocolatey/fruity is a good thing. I was thinking about using Wyeast 1214 Belgian Abbey, which I also want to use in a Dubbel recipe I'm planning - not sure how that'd turn out though.
  19. Bottled this one today, batch priming with 51 grams of sugar on an estimated 2.25 gallons of beer which will put my volume of CO2 at about 2.5. Measured OG was 1.072 (overshot projected value of 1.066) Measured FG was 1.015 (projected value of 1.018) If I measured correctly, this would put this brew right around 7.5% ABV. The brew is much darker than I expected, as seen during batch priming. Perhaps this will lighten up in the bottle. Now, to plan my next batch...
  20. So should I wait until the yeast drops before I bottle? Is that a reliable sign that fermentation is complete? (I will take hydrometer readings as well, just wondering if this will be a visual queue).
  21. Brewed it up today... undershot the OG a bit. Ended up w/ 1.053 instead of the projected 1.058. Pitched the yeast I harvested from Bell's Best Brown Ale... this one should be good.
  22. I did a brew w/ similar malt quantities. When it got to the boil, I did 1 gallon w/ 1 lb of DME, boiled to hot break and then proceed w/ hops boil as scheduled. Concurrently, I boiled the second lb of DME with another gallon of water, and after hot break just turned the flame off. My reason for splitting up the boils was because I didn't want the wort to be too dark (I've heard long boils darken the wort), and I didn't have a pot big enough for a 2 gallon boil. Just my experience, YMMV.
  23. Zebediah wrote: QBrew estimated the OG to be 1.066, my measured OG was 1.072. If it gets to a FG of 1.018, it will be almost 7%, which is a bit higher than I expected. Just took a sample, 1.021. Slow-going, but I've kept it around 57* F, so I expected it to take a little longer. Taste-wise, this beer is seriously delicious - so good that I want to drink it straight out of the fermenter. I'll give it another week or so before I take another measurement. The kolsch yeast is described as a top cropping yeast, and there is still a huge foamy goop floating on the top of the keg, so that must be the yeast. Does anyone know - do these top cropping yeasts ever fall to the bottom?
  24. oly wrote: In Zebediah's case, what he actually is doing is a yeast culture; trying to propogate enough viable yeast from a commercial bottle to be able to use in a new fermentation. Exactly. I'm too cheap to buy liquid yeast for every batch ($5-10 for the yeast, plus shipping). I've had fantastic luck so far w/ the mason jar starter method, and this one is with the dregs of just 2 bottles of beer.This was the first time I noticed distinct little white clumps of bubbles, so I wondered if it was flocculation, but the consensus seems to be that it's just bubbles.
  25. Sham Addams wrote: This might be worth a read Zebediah. That article is actually the reason I posted the question. Wikipedia says "In the case of "top-fermenting" ale yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), the yeast creates a "crust" on the top of the liquid, unlike with "bottom-fermenting" lager yeast (Saccharomyces uvarum) where the yeast falls to the bottom of the brewing vessel" So, since it's an ale yeast, I thought the bubble clumps may actually be yeast flocculating on the surface like wikipedia says they may.Between wikipedia's definition of yeast flocculation, as well as this discussion thread, I am still a bit unclear on the difference between flocculation, krausen, and trub. Edit: Pics would help if anyone has good examples
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