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Everything posted by mashani

  1. Yep, it's cheaper until you buy lots of extra shit! It only costs half as much isn't quite true at least until the investment in whatever goodies you buy/build is payed off. Back when I did nothing but AG in my former brewing life, I don't know that I ever brewed enough batches to really break even. If I started doing nothing but AG again, I'd invest or build an EBIAB rig. Not sure how many batches that would take to "break even" but it will be a lot of them, that much I know. For now I'm happy with my mix of all things, I'm making good beer and not having all the weird kinds of issues you were having.
  2. I wouldn't use any crystal malts in a Belgian normally. CaraAntyhing is a crystal malt. Nothing wrong with Pilsner and Wheat if you want a blonde/pale beer. I like Munich very much in Belgians of a darker sort, IE a dubbel or dubbel like substance. You can use a small amount in a blonde, but not half your grain bill, or it will not be blonde. Basically I'd replace the Aromatic with a bit more Munich if you want to use Munich, as Aromatic is basically just Munich with a bit of extra oomph. I never bother with Aromatic or such, I just use Munich. 1/2# of amber candi on top of the Munich/Aromatic and especially if you use CaraWhatnot (I would not) is going to push you way out of blonde territory and well into dubbel like range. In a blonde, clear candi or even just simple cane sugar/dextrose is more appropriate. Anyways, the most important thing I can tell you is that crystal malt sweetness is something that really doesn't belong unless you are making something more like a Bier de Garde. Where the munich malt "malty" sweetness (which is a different animal) is appropriate in dubbel like beers, but maybe not so much in a blonde. I'm not exactly sure what your going for here... What yeast are you going to use? Yeast is really the major driving force in any Belgian. What you build should always be built around the yeast, to compliment it's profile.
  3. If you don't mind moving it, my suggestion would be: Let it ferment down there for a 5-7 days or so, then bring it up to your ManCave beer closet to finish. That should work nicely. If you don't want to do that, then I'm sure it's fine leaving it in the basement.
  4. "philm00x" post=383966 said:Love Chimay. Maybe I'll wait to see how this Golden Strong turns out and decide which to go with from there. No pressure, BlackDuck lol. To be clear, the 1214 will not get as complex fruit character as Ardennes. What you can get is a pretty darn close Chimay profile.
  5. When I don't want to mash Pilsner I use this stuff. I love it. It always makes great beer. http://morebeer.com/products/pilsen-light-malt-extract.html You can get it shipped free if you order $59 worth of stuff. I think it may just be bulk Briess Pilsner extract, but it's the freshest bulk extract I've ever used. I think they get direct deliveries/pickup every week or something. EDIT: 80s is more then you need with the Bella Saison/Wyeast French Saison. Upper 70s is more then enough. Beer I fermented between 72-76 went from 1.050 to 1.003, and it had more then enough yeast flavor. I don't think 80s will cause harm, but you don't need to be that warm for initial primary. Now if you were using Wyeast Belgian Saison, then 80s is a great place to be.
  6. "philm00x" post=383831 said:I am torn between using 3522 Ardennes and 1214 Abbey for this Calypso Belgian Pale Ale I've got lined up. I'm wanting it to taste more fruity and less spicy, but I've read conflicting information. Based on info direct from Wyeast, the Ardennes seems to be the way to go. Do you concur? Do you like Chimay? If so you will like 1214. It tends more towards fruit if you keep it at the higher end of its temp range, it tends more towards spice if you keep it cool.
  7. The NWPA I made over the winter was not that dark. Seemed about right. So I dunno.
  8. My dogs don't care about the noise, but I'd rather they did not get set on fire by some moron.
  9. I've used cluster hops in a steam/common beer before, and I liked the results, but if you are one of those "cat pee" sensitive types, then you might think it smells like "cat pee". By that I mean one of those who thinks various other hops have "cat pee" like aromas. Anyways, IMHO, Cluster Hops were the original "steam beer" / "common beer" hop in these parts, as it's what grew natively back then. Northern Brewer is great in an Anchor clone, but its unlikely what was really used in the "way back" times. That said I do prefer the flavor or Northern Brewer, but it was worth using Cluster once just to see how it would work out.
  10. I've not played with it all by itself, but I used the one I "won" as a second can of extract along with the American Ale and a some hops and it made a pretty tasty APA type of beer. I agree with BigFloyd about temps mostly, but note that I've gotten tons of Acetaldahyde from that yeast fermenting anywhere from 59-62 degrees which took forever to condition out, even if I pitched 2 or even 3 packs of it to try to get it happy... Where anything 64+ has had no issues. So make sure "mid" 60s means exactly that. I would suggest Nottingham or S-05 if you need to keep it in the lower 60s vs. mid/upper.
  11. I made it with 1oz of Nelson Sauvon 1/2 as a late addition and 1/2 as a hob stand. It has very intense hop flavor, but Nelson is pretty intense, most places warn you to be careful with them. EDIT: It tastes like I took Anchor Humming and mixed it with Fantome Blanche.
  12. How simple? Extract? HME? Steep/PM? Hoppy or not? Saisons are pretty wide open. As a basic concept: You can't go wrong with about 70% pilsner, 20% wheat, and a bit of munich or Vienna or carawhatnot, or rye, or whatever you like for the rest, candi sugar too..., use Kent Goldings, Styrian Goldings, Saaz or German Noble hops, or French hops like stresselspalt. You can make it 1.04ish for a session beer, or much stronger if you like. You can use lots of late hops and/or dry hop it (in a 5 gallon batch 2oz or more of late hops is not too much even in a session strength saison, as long as they are not extreme flavored American hops), or you can not do this at all and let the yeast stand out all alone (best if you ferment at the high end and/or if you use spices), and it's still a saison. It can be somewhat bitter, but not so much it wipes out the yeast flavors, think 20-30 IBUs. 20-30 IBUs might not sound like a lot, but when your yeast ferments out 96% and provides some level of tartness of it's own, then you will be glad you didn't bitter it more then that. The Bella Saison is just like Wyeast French Saison... took my 1.050 beer down to 1.003, and it was extract + candi syrup, I didn't even mash it low. If it was PM/Mash and mashed low it would have gone to 1.000 or even less. (yes this is possible).
  13. Carb too high, if you used the normal amount of sugar you normally do, likely means that it wasn't really done fermenting... Maybe T-58 just doesn't like it much for some reason, although I've never had personal issues with T-58, but I tend to ramp up temps after 3 days and/or add sugar feedings in my Belgians. Mine got to 1.014ish range vs. the 1.020 some folks got. I didn't expect T-58 to ferment out much more then that, for this OG if it got to 1.012 it would have been surprising without sugar or mashing low IMHO. That said, using 1 pack of Bella Saison (which is the same strain as Wyeast 3711 I am convinced) split between a 2 lbk batch in my modded saison version I went from 1.050 to about 1.003ish in less then 3 weeks fermenting at 72-76 degrees... so I'd say the can of stuff can ferment out quite well if the yeast likes it. That yeast is particularly beastly however, it tends to like to eat everything and then some. So, I would really suggest anyone who wants to dry there second can out goes with Bella Saison or 3711 instead of T-58. That will get you much drier more bitter seeming beer, even if it doesn't get quite as low as I did above. The flavor profile is similar, just a bit more complex/intense. (I use T-58 as a 3711 sub and add more sugar to dry the beer out for my pseudo-saisons when I don't have true saison temps).
  14. I often do 2.3 or 2.4 gallons per LBK. Its fine except for when using true top cropping yeasts, those make a mess if you overfill. You can do a 5 gallon batch 2 as separate batches as long as you can divide up all the ingredients equally. This can be tricky if the kit includes pre-ground specialty grains that are all mixed together. No guarantee the proportions are equal if you split it. That doesn't mean it will make bad beer, but it may not be the same as intended, or the same across batches.
  15. FWIW, In my experience to get a lot of banana out of WB-06 you need to ferment 76-78ish... yes, I know that's out of spec, but if you can keep it below 80, your still good.
  16. "russki" post=382679 said: "Knightmare" post=382629 said:This is getting put on my to brew list. I find my self doing a lot of Belgian styles lately. They take a while to mature. But they are so worth it. I'm drinking a Belgium Blonde right now that borders on the edge of a Strong Ale. It's pretty delicious! Plus I didn't have to pay out the cornhole for it like I would a commercial example. But I really want to create a Belgium that can be enjoyed as a session beer that will keep me upright for a while. I think this might do it. This one is pretty quick to mature - maybe a month in the bottle until it gets really good; and if you target low-mid 1.040s for gravity, it's a nice session beer at around 5%/abv. I mash it really low (147-148F), and it finishes around 1.004-1.006, but it's far from watery, just gives it crispness and a nice dry finish, but you get all the lovely malt and yeast flavors on the front end. Mmm... it better speed up and ferment already; I'm getting thirsty!I find that these tend to have more pronounced flavors then a regular blonde too. The light body/low residual sugar and low alcohol spiceyness really lets the yeast flavors stand out. Most of my patersbiers have been good at 3-4 weeks, and even though they are low gravity they still last 6+ months in the bottle without any issues. Although they usually don't last that long.
  17. Just so you know what you should potentially expect for FGs with the included yeast, this is what it did to my 1.050 wheat Saison: [attachment=14018]P1080703_2013-06-29.jpg[/attachment] In other words, don't assume it's done at 75 or 80, or 85, or even 90% attenuation. It's not done until it's done munching and it likes to munch. That level of attenuation is not crazy, I get that with Wyeast 3711 often, and the Bella Saison is the same strain I believe. That was fermented between 72 and 76 degrees - which is where you should be with this yeast, don't try to keep it cool like you would some other yeast.
  18. It's in the bottle. Both of them tasted the same, which was kind of disappointing, as I was hoping the Brett had something to chew on and made some flavor. But brett is slow, so who knows with age what will happen. That said they tasted good, if perhaps a bit too bitter with lots of lemon/orange like tartness, and peppery spice, and hints of cinnamon and mystery spice and a bit of plantain like flavor (no sweetness to it like banana) and some nutty/hay/earthy like flavors. Maybe the brett will chew on some of the bottling sugar and a bit more fermentables in the bottle and give me some more flavors later. But it doesn't really have much to work with besides the bottling sugar... If anyone wonders what Bella Saison (or Wyeast French Saison) can do to a 1.050 batch... (extract no less, and even including an extract that was giving people fits, with just a bit of sugar added) then behold the 96%ish attenuation. This was fermented mostly between 72 and 76 degrees. [attachment=14017]P1080703.jpg[/attachment]
  19. Look up "Darth Patersbier", I made that with the idea of making a table version (1.048 or around there) of a dubbel/strong dark like substance. I did it as a PM of some Munich and Carapils and then added 1/2# of D-180L and a late addition of Pilsner LME. I used Northern Brewer for bittering and some Saaz for flavor/aroma, but less then I'd have used for a blonde patersbier. I used WLP530, but that's basically the same yeast as 3787. I'd normally have used Hallertauar for bittering that but I was out, and I've found that I like the results using Perle or Northern Brewer too in a pinch. I let it free rise into the upper 70s. I will be cracking a bottle next week, but what I tasted out of the fermenter was awesome. I bottled some in 12ozers, and might submit to a comp as a Belgian Specialty ale if it tastes as good after conditioning as it did out of the kegs.
  20. Came back from a trip, and perved. Based on the pellicle that formed in one of my kegs, it looks to me like one of my 2 kegs got infected with my "House Brett Strain", as in the Brett that lives in my house somewhere. I believe in my AC somewhere, or else in the compressor thing in my yard (or just local wild yeast that it sucks in perhaps) because I never get it without the AC on, and this was the first batch I brewed since the AC was on this year. I am getting the impression that it just floats around my house when the AC is on and if I'm lucky/unlucky? it lands in my cooled wort or into my keg when the lid is off. So based on experience of 3 previous batches infected with this stuff over the last 2 years, this keg is going to get some pinapple and hay like funky flavors. It seems to be a Brett C like strain, it doesn't make the beer noticeably sour, just funky. The good news is that this actually isn't totally inappropriate here. But I will end up with two different beers, unless I decide to blend them. Which I may, when I pull a hydro sample and give it a taste I will decide.
  21. The Bella Saison is more like 3711 (French Saison). It doesn't give you the same profile as the Belgian Saison you had trouble with, but it's a lot less finicky. It doesn't need super high temps, if you keep it in the 70s its pretty happy.
  22. IMHO, the Muntons Gold "Old English Bitter" makes better beer then those other kits. Comes in 2 3.3# cans, use 1 can in an LBK and overfill to 2.4 gallons (bottom of Q) and you have great beer. S-04 is a good yeast choice for the second can, use the whole pack of included yeast for the first can. Or if you can find the Woodforde Wherry Bitter kit or the Woodforde Nelsons Revenge (also made by Muntons, in the same style as the Gold kits, but based on recipies from the Woodforde brewery) those are also excellent. Best canned kit beers I've ever made are the Woodforde kits. Again 1 of the 2 included cans per LBK, and you get beer as good if not better then any of the Seasonals.
  23. Hey, your turning into me LOL. I'm in the process of brewing 10+ gallons of the stuff, although they are all going to be slightly different.
  24. Honestly, if I have some laying around, I'll put some Munich in anything. Anything! It's always better that way, style or not.
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