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Skimbleshanks

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About Skimbleshanks

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  1. Also 3.8 lbs should put you at an OG of right around 1.070 for 2 gallons. That gravity with brand spankin' new yeast would need about 96 Billion cells according to the calcs. So I'd go ahead and pitch the whole wyeast pack (100 billion cells). Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
  2. Bottled it up a little over two weeks ago - FG'd at 1.010 from 1.050. So far so good - tried a sampler bottle. Great colors, not too hazy. Good flavors, smells, and barely cidery on the end which will continue to condition out. Decent foamy head - looks to be a great brew for this spring and summer. Quite nice! Sorry for the dim picture. It was very very late and everyone was asleep. (Except for daddy who was up late playing video games.)
  3. That sounds like an extremely good idea - especially with the Weihenstephan. Those smack packs where I'm at are $8 a go. Since it's summer, that yeast is gonna be hard to get a hold of out here (everyone doing wheats - especially here in Kansas.) Sounds like another fun activity I can play with! Thanks!
  4. Well, the Weizenbock turned out so awesome that I decided to brew it again. I finally got up to the brew shop today and started grabbing up grains and such - slightly modified recipe from before. HOWEVER, after I had milled all my grains, picked out the hops, I went to the fridge to get the yeast - they were all sold out of the Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan - oh noes! So I figured what the heck, and browsed through the slim pickings. I decided upon Wyeast 1214 Belgian Abbey. Reason being - esters. I love me some esters + some great flocculation. Because it's a different yeast, I am not quite sure what to call this delicious beast (which is cookin' up as we speak.) Help me out on a name! BIAB 3lb Munich 3lb Red Wheat 3/4lb Vienna 4oz Chocolate Malt 1oz Hallertau @ 30mins 1214 Belgian Abbey - 1 smackpack. Very curious on how this comes out.
  5. Oh my good golly Moses. I've already consumed a few other crafties tonight - a porter, weizenbock, hefe, etc.. and so I decided to try one of the Weizenbocks I made. (Only a little over a week conditioning) I poured and the photo below is what I got. (I know, it's a crappy glass, but all my other good ones are in the dishwasher.) It poured with a good head, a few fingers thick that lasted nearly 5 mins. The smell was wonderful, a nice roasty aroma. My biggest fear was that it would taste burnt.. like a crummy porter. I took a swig. Unbelievable. It was so incredibly smooth and delicious. The flavor was like drinking an alcoholic chocolate icecream malt or shake with yummy roasty flavors to follow. The banana and clove flavors are there just enough - and a hint of those Hallertau hops to finish. Unbelievably awesome brew. Better than any I have ever bought in this style. My second batch ever created - all grain. I am shocked I am getting such quality a little over a week into bottling. I CANNOT wait until a few more weeks from now - can't imagine how much better this can get. I will happily be brewing this again soon. As soon as one of the 4 LBK's are done with their respective batches. Extremely extremely happy here. I just want to share it with everyone I see. Phenomenal.
  6. About to brew up the American Porter. I've read that it's a bit thin, so I'm adding the Robust LME to give it that extra malt and some SRM's (37). So it comes down to yeasts. I've got WB-06, US-05, S-04, and of course Mr. Beer packs. Right now I am probably going to use the S-04, the maltyness, breadiness, and potential fruitiness (at a higher temp) added into the coffee and roastytoasty flavors sounds very good to me - not to mention it's wondrous flocculation properties.. It might not be as clean as the US-05, but in this "porter" I doubt it'll matter much. I'm guessing the OG is only going to call for a little over half the 11.5 pack for pitching, but I'll probably give it a sprinkle more. Ambient is high 60's so I know it's going to get into low 70's, so hopefully it won't get too many off flavors. I won't be making any hop additions. At 41 IBU's I think that's enough - and the S-04 would overtake any anyway. Or maybe I should just use good ol' Mr B Yeast.
  7. Good thing I waited a little longer. I just bottled and got a bottomed out FG reading of a whopping 1.014 (just under) for an ABV of around 7.5%. The taste was nice, roasty, toasty, and wheaty. Smell was of course wonderful. Time to see what conditioning will do.
  8. Alrighty, I've got some questions. I brewed this up the other night, didn't quite get the high OG as I'd hoped but it was just over 1.070. Fermentation seemed very slow/quiet. Earlier today (about 40 hours after pitching) the fermentation seemed to be going strong. There was a delightful smell of bananas and alcohol in my basement (about 69F ambient). I just went down to check on it, when I noticed that nearly all the Krausen was gone (only had about a half inch that I ever saw of VERY thick creamy Krausen - looked like bubbling pancake batter on a griddle.) Bubbling appears to have stopped almost completely at 48 hours in. I took a gravity reading - came out to 1.020 which was the estimated final gravity. I'll wait another day or two to see if it changes any further. Is it possible that fermentation could have been completed so quickly? If so, why? I tasted the gravity sample - had a pleasant odor and tasted very nice. It had a lot of warmth to it with the ABV content. Before pitching The mash Will keep updated
  9. Thanks for the replies! Foothiller, thank you again for originally posting your recipe. AG and PM recipes for LBK's seem to elude me. I took out half a pound of wheat and left out the melanoiden - which contributed to the lower ABV. The only brew shop I've been able to find within a hundred miles reminds me of someone's garage or a hoarder's bedroom with a little shelf of pre-measured specialty grains and very limited stock on anything else. (Why I couldn't find melanoiden.) Following recipes like yours helps me learn about different grains and what they are doing to my brews. They are just hard to find, and I'm not bold enough yet to take 5 gallon ones and batch-size-change them. I do have Beersmith 2 and qbrew. I think this sort of thing will keep me happy for quite awhile - then once I've got all these LBK's out of my system I'll start moving up. Sam, I'm excited to see what a yeast like this does.. should be fun to watch - might even do a time lapse video of it for youtube. I'll be brewing this up tomorrow at some point and will post many pictures. Thank you all again! See you tomorrow with detailed updates!
  10. I'm going to shoot for an All Grain Weizenbock (using inspirations from a few recipes I saw on here (thank you Foothiller)) in my LBK. I'm going to shoot for the following: 3lbs Wheat Malt (Using Red) 2.5lbs of Munich Malt 10.5oz of Vienna Malt 4oz Chocolate Malt 1oz Hallertau @ 30mins 1 Pack of Weihenstephan Weizen (Wyeast Labs #3068) Est OG - 1.076 22.9 IBU 22.6 SRM 7.8% ABV It'll be a BIAB. Going to start with 2-gallons of water and mash for a little under 90 mins. Followed by a sparge to bring it back over 2 gallons (~2.5). Boiled 60 mins. Hallertau at 30mins - 4.5%. My questions start with the yeast. It's a liquid pack and 100 billion cells. Using the estimated OG, the yeast calcs I've checked still say a lil over 100 billion needed. However, on a bunch of recipes and youtube videos it's saying that the packs can handle over 5-gal batches. Is this too much yeast to pitch it all? Will my LBK be overflowing? I'm going to be fermenting in my basement laboratory in the high 60's (degrees F). Anything I should change? If all goes according to plan I'll be testing this out in a day or two. Feedback is appreciated! Thanks!
  11. I checked this morning and the yeasts are dancing away! Image: You can see the color was quite lovely.
  12. Well, I talked myself back into it, but with some changes. I took out the LME, I rested it for 90 mins instead of 60. After sparging and the 60 min boil - I removed from heat and HME'd like normal (Dunno why I originally thought to do otherwise). I have also decided to do a side-by-side brew using the other Patriot Lager and a second LBK (which will be using the LME and a Booster Pack) to see if there is any difference in using fresh ingredients, or any other noticeable difference.) As for my above comments, I could see why what I said might come across as originally wrong, IE: "I am not picky when it comes to beer - any beer is good beer." What I meant by that, and should have said is "any beer I make is good beer," even if it came out badly - It was MY beer that I made, and with the experience and fun, and entertainment that comes with it, makes it a good thing - even if it's undrinkable. As far as being scared away - NEVER! I had a total blast last night tending my temps and making sure everything was perfect. Even if a batch went wrong I still had fun making it and felt very proud of my new brew. I feel I've awakened a monster now - one my wife is going to start rolling her eyes at - haha! As far as my partial mash went last night - It went wonderfully. The wife helped me out and I babied the heck out of it for the hours it yummified on the stove. The smell was GREAT, the extract was nice and sweet. Using the Borg's advice - I bought a hydrometer. I actually found a brew shop within 100 miles of me so I was able to get my supplies at half the cost that it would have been online. My OG was 1.050 which is right about on target. The hydro says potential ABV (which I am not chasing) at ~6.2% and the wort came out with a beautiful dark golden brown - see pics below. Thank you all for your help, encouragement, and critique! I'll keep ya'll updated! Image: Starting the 60-min boil Wonderful color. Checked the LBK this morning and it is all starting to dance - it's a party in there.
  13. Brewed it up. I had a little trouble maintaining temp on my crummy stove - next time I'll do the oven method to make it easier so I don't have to baby it. I ended up mashing for 90 mins. This pic was just at the beginning of the boil. The wort smelled wonderful, and had a good sweetness to it. I just pitched the yeast a lil bit ago - so we'll see tomorrow how we're doing. OG reading was at 1.050 so I'm hoping for high-fives in ABV. The color was also quite lovely, a dark golden brown - very excited. I'll keep it updated. I should also mention this is my FIRST home brew. Got the kit on Valentine's Day and just got the ingredients for my tweaked recipe. Should be fun.
  14. After some scrutiny, I've decided to make a Partial Mash using Patriot Lager HME in a LBK. Simultaneously, I'll be brewing a standard Patriot Lager HME with a booster pack in another LBK. Here is my battle plan for the PM: 2lbs of 2 Row (milled) 4oz of 60L Crystal (milled) .5oz of Cascade hops 1 grain bag 1 hop bag 1 Patriot Lager HME Half-a-Pack of Safale US-05 Yeast Heat 3-Quarts of filtered water to 160F Add my bag of mixed grains to the water Maintain temp at ~155F and mash for 60-mins (up to around 90 mins to be sure) Heat 2-quarts of filtered water at 170F (for sparging) After mash, put grain bag into colander and sparge with the two quarts of water into wort pot. Boil wort for 60 mins At T-5 mins, add my bag-o-hops and finish boil (then remove) Remove from heat and stir in the HME I will then be using an ice bath to bring the wort pot to a roomy temp Add 4-quarts of spring wah-wah to the LBK Add in the wort to the LBK, top off with extra water to the 2.25 Gal Mark and stir vigorously Ensure temp is good and roomy then pitch half a pack of US-05 and give a lil' stir. Take readings and go. My questions are: For the grains, should I bother using a paint filter as a pot liner instead of a bag to give the grain more breathing room? When sparging, I've seen people steep in a separate pot for 10 mins rather than pouring over the grain - does it matter? When I pitch the yeast, should I give it a stir? Or just let it stay sprinkled on top and let it take over? If I pitch a little over half of the pack is it going to be too much and cause problems? Does anything in this recipe scream that it's going to have a blow-out? Also, the pack where I got the Patriot Lagers came with the LME/UME Pale packet - I saw a lot of PM's using similar with recipes close to mine. Would it cause issues? Worth tossing in? Too much malt? More likely to cause a blow-out? etc.. Thanks!!
  15. Thank you RickBeer (you too Foothiller). I'm glad I got talked out of trying it. I guess it was just a big waste - especially with an inexperienced brew-child such as myself. I'll just stick with standard refills, and I guess if I'm feeling saucy again someday I'll come back to the forum for advice. I think I've been scared out of trying anything beyond that now, lol. All I was reading was: "NOT to do" .. "You have no idea".. "you have no idea".. "you have no idea what you're doing".. "This is the worst way" .. "NO. Do NOT" .. "no reason" .. "I'd recommend not".. "quitting brewing".. "wrong hobby for you." - I about wanted to cry, cancel my orders for supplies and set fire to what I had. After reading a quadrillion of your posts Sir RickBeer - You know what you are doing. I shall heed your master advice and just go slow, hold back my tears, and just keep it simple and safe. Thank you both for putting me on track.
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