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About tayclem

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  1. I had been working on a little experiment for a spring/summer beer: spearmint and citrus Bavarian weiss. I wasn't planning on bottling until at least this coming Wednesday (2/12), but I had a bit of an emergency. I'm not sure what happened, but when I drew a sample Thursday night to check progress, there was an overpowering musty vegetable taste/aroma. I sanitized some tongs and pulled out the sack I had my mint and peels in. When I opened it up, the peels were really smushy (practically disintegrating when touched) and the mint was brown and slimy. It had only been in the keg for about a week (I waited a few days until the initial fermentation settled down and had planned on either removing it altogether after day 7 or replacing it with fresh). I bottled the beer then cleaned and sanitized my LBK. I was already planning on letting the beer condition until May Day, but now I'm definitely not touching it at least until then. Do you think that it will condition out? Or should I chalk it up as a loss, but still a learning experience?
  2. So I had to bottle a little earlier than I planned. I drew a sample to check how everything was going, and I'm a little worried. All I could taste was menthol and an overpowering hot/wet/vegetable flavor. I don't know what exactly caused it...maybe I left the mint and peels in a little too long. I sanitized some tongs and started to pull out the sack everything was in, and it felt WAY too squishy. I cut it open to find that the mint had browned and shriveled a bit, and the peels/zest were slimy and disintegrated as soon as I touched them. I got the beer bottled and stored for conditioning. I'm DEFINITELY waiting until at least May Day to crack one open. I hope it conditions out so the beer is at least drinkable.
  3. Personally, I like using regular sugar instead of the carbonation drops. I think it does a better job. I used the drops with my first batch (Classic American Light) and regular sugar with the second (St. Patrick's Irish Stout). The stout seemed to carbonate more quickly and have a stronger level of carbonation. Almost like a soda; which probably doesn't fit the style, but I liked it.
  4. I saw several threads for Central/Southern Ohio brewers, but, alas, I live too far away. I live smack in between Toledo and Cleveland. Are there any others from the northern half? Valhalla Brew Hall In Primary: Idunn Citrus Mint Weiss On Tap: Baldur's Winter Stout Previous: Midgard Light Lager Next: Mjolnir IPA, Ragnarok Imperial IPA
  5. The only thing I'm disappointed with so far is that my mint is Spearmint, rather than Peppermint. It's a broader, squishier mint taste (if that makes sense). I prefer the sharper, cleaner taste of Peppermint. Either way, the flavors I want are developing nicely. I'm gonna bottle on the 9th and let it condition for a while. My plan is to crack open the first one on May Day (5/1/14), and officially welcome Spring.
  6. Thanks for the tips guys! I had browsed through here for hours looking for an LME storage topic. But I only found DME solutions.
  7. How full was the bottle? Chances are, it was just the CO2 gas contracting due to the temp. change. The less full the bottle is, the more likely that is to happen.
  8. I've been looking at different LME/DME brewing kits at my LHBS. Problem: every one makes 5 gal. batches, and I only have one LBK so far. Is there any way i can store LME so it won't go bad or lose flavor? (max storage 2-3 weeks; enough time to free up my fermenter) Ziploc bags or tupperware in the fridge? Or maybe my pantry (it's dark and kind of cool in there)
  9. Update: It's been fermenting for about a week now, and the beer doesn't seem very flocculant at all. There's trub at the bottom of the LBK, so I know it's fermenting. I'm just a little stumped. Is it not foamy because the weiss style normally isn't, or could it be the fruit? I took a small sample yesterday to check progress. The mint flavor is very prevalent, but not to the point of being overwhelming. The citrus didn't come through much, so I added more blood orange juice and more fresh peel (after a dip in some vodka to sanitize). I hope that everything equalizes during the lagering.
  10. Mead is traditionally made with honey (usually a whopping 8 pounds of it). Personally, I've never heard of anyone using grains or hops to flavor it...mainly fruit additions are used. One problem with mead is that it takes a long, long time to age. Maybe you could make it as a Christmas gift for your buddy? Also, since honey is a natural anti-microbial substance, you need a yeast starter and a nutrient. Dry mead (the kind only made with honey and water) can be up to 18% ABV. Here's a basic recipe: 6 lb. honey (clover or orange blossom) 3 Tbsp Citric acid 5 tsp Yeast nutrient 5 tablets of Campden Potassium Metabisulphite Add the honey and citric acid to 1 gallon of water. Heat to 180F and hold between 175 and 180F. DO NOT BOIL (boiling causes the honey to scorch and burn. Some styles actually require that, but it results in a bitter flavor [if you've ever made candy at home, you know what I'm talking about]) Cool must (unfermented mead) and transfer to clean and sanitized fermenter. ferment at room temp for 3 weeks. transfer to clean, sanitized carboy. add 3 crushed campden tablet. Add enough water to bring volume to 3 US gallons. Rack for 30-45 days, or until clear. transfer to yet another clean, sanitized carboy. Add 2 crushed campden tablets. Rack for another 30-45 days. Bottle, adding 1/2 tsp of honey or sugar to make it sparkling if desired. Lager 5-6 months. I haven't tried a mead recipe yet, because it looks about as intensive as an all-grain boil. I'm not quite confident enough
  11. Try adding a pack of LME or DME. To me, the CAL tastes really weak and watery, so any help it gets is a vast improvement. Maybe you could get a little crystal malt grain to steep with the HME. As for an IPA flavor, a few ounces of Simcoe and Fuggles hops added to the boil (and dry hopped as well) would give you a decent end product, I think.
  12. While I don't know about using the plant itself, I know you can buy hemp seeds. True hemp, not marijuana. I see them on organic sites sometimes for use in granolas. I suppose you could steep them.
  13. Call me overambitious, but I have dozens of ideas for home brews. Drawing from culinary experience, I was wondering if there were certain flavors that won't work in a beer? I had an idea to do a light lager with hibiscus flowers or hibiscus tea infusions. Another one I came up with would use Chinese 5 spice. I already learned a hard lesson in flavor development with my winter stout. I steeped a cinnamon stick in my wort water, and added some ground cinnamon to the keg because I didn't pick up on the flavor. After carbonating for 2 weeks and conditioning for another 3, the cinnamon flavor has overtaken just about everything else. It's still drinkable, but now I know less really is more. I was just wondering if there were additives that would be too strong or subtle to add to a beer.
  14. Alrighty. Thanks a bunch! All these "dead yeast" posts had me a little worried about my future batches.
  15. At the moment, I only have one LBK and many, many beer ideas. I've got some cans of HME that I've ordered, and I've also read a lot of posts on here about people having problems with yeast not holding up in storage. I was wondering if I can do what my mother does with her baker's yeast and toss my brewer's packets in the freezer to keep for a few weeks; reviving in some warm water when I'm ready to pitch. Will the cold kill the yeast since it's a different strain?
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