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The_Professor

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Posts posted by The_Professor


  1. I agree. The IPA story is mostly myth. Beer didn't need to be strong to survive the journey to India, and IPAs were not particularly strong for the time: they were only about 6% to 6.5% ABV. Certainly by the 1760s brewers were being told that it was “absolutely necessary” to add extra hops to beer if it was being sent to somewhere warm. But this was not limited to India. Here's a good article on the truth about the origin of IPAs:

    http://www.beerconnoisseur.com/the-origins-of-ipa

    I dug these up a few months ago:

     

    The British Trade Journal and Export World, Volume 19 (  c. 1881)
    Pale ale, or, as it was first termed, "India Pale Ale"...
    The fact is indisputable and undisputed that the inventor of the healthy and invigorating drink once known as "India Pale Ale" was a Mr. Hodgson...and at one time no other malt liquor was drunk...in Calcutta.
     
    All the year round (A Weekly Journal conducted by Charles Dickens   c. 1890)
    The cause of all the commotion...was East India Pale Ale, and many strange tales have been told of it's origin...a consignment of beer sent out in a cloudy
    condition, which, after travelling round the world, came back...in a condition
    so excellent, bright, and sparkling...
     
    The Law Reports: Chancery Division, and on appeal therefrom in ..., Volume 18 (  c. 1880)
    ...to sell to them only a kind of bitter ale, known in the trade as "I.P.A.", ...This beer was retailed by publicans as "Pale Ale"...
     
    Household Words, Volume 7 (conducted by Charles Dickens   c. 1858)
    ...ordered his butler to bring a bottle of India Ale which had been to India and back..."There, sir," conculded Sir John. "That's the true legend of pale ale..."

  2. Adjuncts have their place and you just need to know what you are in for.

     

    My favorite example would be Belgian style beers that use adjuncts to kick a 5ABV beer up to 6, or a 6ABV beer to 7, etc. By adding the adjunct rather than malt you do get a bit more kick without making the beer maltier. Maybe I have this wrong but I don't think of the adjunct as "thinning" the beer, I think it is the malt body kicked up by the adjunct. Now, as brewmaster, you need to decide if you want to add more malt or some adjunct to your brew.

     

    Never add rice, corn, or sugar to your beer or it will be bad, is nonsense. But so is, can I just dump a bunch of sugar in my beer to make it really strong?

     

    I made a number of the older Mr. Beer refills with one pound of DME and one package of booster and they were good. In theory adding either or both to a newer refill should be fine according to your taste. Ferment in the mid 60s rather than anywhere in the 70s (per a stick on thermometer, not room temp).

    • Like 3

  3. The Aztec refill is pretty low hop (13 IBU) - you could brew that as a lager and add in a pale LME, or even a pack of booster. The booster will give it more body/head but keep the flavor light.. I think most Mexican beers are usually lagers.

     

    Surprisingly, they are.  It's so hot there!

     

    There's a German influence (tending towards lagers) in many countries Mexico, China, USA, etc.


  4. As far as going "mad scientist", brewing is a bit like cooking.

    Say you are making hamburgers. You could choose your own beef cuts, grind them yourself for just the right beef/fat/flavor content. Or even mix hamburger and quinoa to make everyone healthier. Maybe mix hamburger with chili peppers, or garlic? And, of course in dreaming these up, you ask yourself "what would I like". And if you're cooking for a crowd you ask "what would they like". Same for brewing.

     

    A nice fruit beer has it's place, and an American wheat is a really good base for this.

     

    I do think a new brewer should make a "beer" before getting too wild. Just to know, okay I made a beer, and it tastes like a beer. Then you become the brewmaster and make the beers that you like.

     

    Here's a link to a well seasoned brewer fooling with a Mr. Beer kit he got from Target recently:

    http://www.mrbeerfans.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/344137/Improving_the_Classic_American.html#Post344137

    • Like 1

  5. From what I've read, carb'ing at 55F will be incredibly slow yet this recipe specifically says to do so.

    Any comments?

    I have done a few lagers. My usual process now is 1-2 week in primary, transfer to secondary (to get off the yeast cake) and lager in the fridge for 2-4 weeks. Then I bottle it by batch priming and carb, ideally in the high 60s. I get a nice clean lager doing this.

     

    So I am not real sure what the reasoning is to carbing that low. Perhaps it takes the place of laggering before bottling. I do have to test the carbonation of my bottles as it can take longer than usual sometimes after the lager phase.


  6.      what recipe  or refill for bud ?  bud has 5% abv  some refills have only 3.7% thanks.

    Doing the Classic American Light Deluxe refill (it's 2 for 1 right now) as a lager might get you in the ballpark. That would mean fermenting in the low 50s with something like the Saflager 34/70 yeast. Using Nottingham yeast in the low 60s would be an alternative for a pseudo-lager.


  7. You don't give much info on the particular beer, PunkyBrewer.

    The first lager I made had tons of diacetyl because I under pitched and then raised the temp when I realized there was not much activity after a number of days. I did not find it undrinkable but it was pretty weird. Aging did help some.

    I have had a bit of diacetyl fermenting with an ale yeast that went below the low 60s I intended into the 50s. I think I did a "diacetyl rest" with that one since I was forewarned.

     

    Very recently I brewed an "Olde Style Steam Beer" using a regular lager yeast in the low 60s. I actually expected a bit of diacetyl and there is a slight butterscotch in the background. For this beer I think it just adds character.

     

    Yeah, aging a month or two should help.


  8. A darker beer will often have a "harsher" flavor before it is aged than a lighter beer. The darker roasted malts can take a while to smooth out and often need at a minimum a few months aging. For your first batches feel free to taste occasionally. When you have tasted your fresh and aged beers you won't need to ask what all this talk about aging means. Some beers are fine or great young, most are better with some aging, some need aging. Darker and higher alcohol  beers would be prime candidates for longer aging.

    I would guess RickBeer is on target with making sure the beer is fully fermented and fully carbonated before putting it in the fridge as well as the possibility of stirring up the trub while you are bottling.


  9. Check the dropdown boxes. Barley, Millet, Oats, Spelt, and 3 kinds of Wheat all come in larger volumes. The barley comes in 25, 30, and 50 lbs. 

    I don't know much about different barleys. There is a type (or types) that are considered better for malting and brewing. I'll guess that is not what is available from the link.

    I malt using a kitchen pot (covered with a large splatter screen) for soaking (the screen helps strain off the water as well as keep bugs out), sprout in large terra cotta plates (like for holding planters--sanitized between batches), and dry/roast in my oven in aluminum pans. I can do 3-4 lbs at a time like this.


  10. It would be rude of me to just make comments about your efforts without offering any of my own for comment.

    This would be months away while I malt and otherwise prepare barley...

    Per the Damerow publication on your site; the ingredients for "Dark Beer" and the grains mentioned in the "Hymn to Ninkasi" are similar. Again per that paper; bappir is an ingredient of other beers that are not dark. Another odd phrase in that paper is "the one who waters the earth covered malt" which is written "malt set on the ground" elsewhere. Wet earth covered barley (preferably in some sort of container) would get you sour malt.

    I would assume:

    Bappir - malt mixed with some yeast cake to which sweet aromatics (humulus lupulus-hallertau) are mixed in.

    Some sour malt, some dried malt, some crystal malt.

    Amounts would be based on "You are the one who...puts in order the piles of...grain" (measure and divide), "...you are the one who holds with both hands the great sweetwort", along with the cross between an elephant and a rhino.

     

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