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Beer: Good, bad, homebrew, etc.

Old 08-23-07, 02:35 PM
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Beer: Good, bad, homebrew, etc.

Just a general discussion about beer, to stop the threadjack in another post.
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Old 08-23-07, 02:41 PM
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I generally do kits, just for time and effort constraints.

I also don't bottle. I keg it.
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Old 08-23-07, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bluebottle1 View Post
Holy ****! That'd be some powerful stuff. How long do you have to let something like that condition?

Most of the stuff I brew these days (when I actually have time) is all grain. I find it beats the hell out of extract brews, though it is more time consuming.
I don't have the space to do full grain brewing. Small patio at the apartment, so no room to set up a mash burner along with having a big grill out there already. Maybe if the girl and I get a house, I'll look at setting up a brewing shack...

Here's how I made the uber-ale:

Start with a 2 gallon concentrated wort. Around the same poundage of malt that you'd use for a 40 pint batch, but only QS it to 2 or 2.5 gallons. Cool it and pitch it with the usual amount of yeast (WLP001 is a liquid culture, so pitch the whole tube.) Par standard, take a hydro reading, seal it, and let it rip.
When the tank slows its bubbling, open it and take a hydro reading like you were finished. Calculate your first fermentation change percentage.
Make a 3/4 gallon wort with 1/3 of the remaining malt extract. Cool and feed into the fermenter. Take a new hydro reading.

Repeat this process of 3/4 feeds, and treat each one as a new fermentation (regarding the hydro readings.) Final fermentation is when it stops after reaching final volume, and you've aerated it twice. Final alcohol concentration is simply additive percentages from each fermentation reading.

Use a top draw syphon to rack out to your hopping tank because the bottom of the primary tank is going to be an unholy mess.

Dry hop on 1 full ounce of whatever hops you prefer, for 1 full month.

Add your bottling sugar at 3/4 normal volume, condition for 6 months minimum.


Depending on the fermentable sugars profile of the malts you choose, the concentration of the malts, and the relative activity of your culture, WLP001 can ferment up to 25% a.b.v.
Dark malts and a quick trip in a blast chiller before final bottling/kegging (must have a CO2 setup if you blast chill) could produce a bock with a content upwards of 60 proof, if you really tried hard enough.
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Old 08-23-07, 03:23 PM
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Anyone had Dogfish? I had two six pacs, the Brown Ale and something else, last weekend and it was FRIKKIN awesome.
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Old 08-23-07, 03:37 PM
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Dogfish is local here, as is Fordham. Dogfish much more refined. Fordham is good and priced nicely. I traveled to Savannah, GA a bit, and there was a Irish pub on River Street which did a nice traditional Guiness Black and Tan. I use to homebrew alot but since moving I got out of it as I don't have as many conveniences here. Also I have public H2O here and it is not nearly a tasty as the well water I use to use. I use to brew from kits at times but usually just got extracts and followed Papazian's recipes. My favorite, Wise Ass Red. Did an oatmeal stout from a kit and it was awesome. Ah the aroma of bubbling wort is coming back to me.... Hmm with my daughter off to college I could use her tub for sanitizing and holding my fermenter in case the airlock popped off. Fall is approaching...always enjoyed a stout when there was a chill in the air.
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Old 08-23-07, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by asherlighn View Post
Anyone had Dogfish? I had two six pacs, the Brown Ale and something else, last weekend and it was FRIKKIN awesome.
Dogfish is wonderful stuff. Love the Raison d'Etre, and very good IPAs.
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Old 08-23-07, 03:45 PM
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I just finished up with a stout from a kit that my brother got me for my birthday(over a month late )

I need to start looking through some recipes...
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Old 08-23-07, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by asherlighn View Post
Anyone had Dogfish? I had two six pacs, the Brown Ale and something else, last weekend and it was FRIKKIN awesome.
I like most of their beers, their pumpkin ale however, I can't stand. I much prefer Cottonwood's.
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Old 08-23-07, 03:52 PM
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Dogfish Head 90min Imperial IPA is fantastic. Nice and citrus hoppy, so you get that grapefruity undertone to it.

The 60min is pretty good, the 120min... not so much.

Fort is by far their best creation, IMO.
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Old 08-23-07, 04:34 PM
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Beer snobs posting JPEGs of their weird or unknown expensive brews in 3, 2, 1...


I've cut beer out almost entirely, but the last time I had some, and the probably the next time too, it will be Bass
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Old 08-23-07, 04:35 PM
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Woke up to a mess this morning. The lid on my primary fermenter blew off overnight and left sticky beer everywhere, even on the ceiling. I am just glad that i took it out of my closet and put it in the kitchen before i went to bed.

I was under the impression that you only needed a blow-off tube when brewing a wheat beer, and this is a pale ale, but i think i will be using the blow-off tube always in the future to prevent this kind of mistake.

I just hope that my beer is not contaminated...
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Old 08-23-07, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Jerseysbest View Post
Beer snobs posting JPEGs of their weird or unknown expensive brews in 3, 2, 1...


I've cut beer out almost entirely, but the last time I had some, and the probably the next time too, it will be Bass
Not me. I pride myself on the fact that all my weird and unknown brews are dirt cheap. I brew up 5 gallons for about $30.00 average per batch.
128oz x 5 = 640oz
640 / 12 = 53 longnecks
53 / 6 = ~9

30 / 9 = 3 and a third bucks a six pack.
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Old 08-23-07, 05:49 PM
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Homebrew: Big bottle of Dr. Pepper with the conical top, Cheap whisky (the cheaper the better), box of nerds.

Drain out cone of DP bottle, fill remainder with whiskey, crush the nerds and put them in. cap prior to explosion. Tastes best if made a day or two in advance and allowed to sit around at room temp.

All other homebrews are just trickery.
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Old 08-23-07, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bluebottle1 View Post
Dogfish is wonderful stuff. Love the Raison d'Etre, and very good IPAs.
I know this is going against the current trend but...

There is no such thing as a "very good IPA." Folks, they put all those hops in there to cover up the taste of poorly made beer and then try to convince the gullible that hops are what beer is about.

Know why they started using hops in beer? To mask the taste of cheaply made beer.

Hop heads think they have sophisticated taste buds because they have developed a tolerance for hoppy beer. Drink Guinness or Newcastle. Even Budweiser is preferable to IPA.

Right now I'm sipping on a Sam Adams Honey Porter.
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Old 08-23-07, 07:36 PM
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Beer is good! Bier is better! Homebrew (wholegrain) is even more better! (B)(B)
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Old 08-23-07, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Olebiker View Post
...There is no such thing as a "very good IPA." Folks, they put all those hops in there to cover up the taste of poorly made beer and then try to convince the gullible that hops are what beer is about.

Know why they started using hops in beer? To mask the taste of cheaply made beer...

Like you I do not enjoy the fine taste of an IPA. But the hops were not put in so heavy to mask bad beer. Hops were massed upon beer so it could be preserved for much longer than traditional beers. It needed to be so the Brits could get it to their troops in India (hence the name IPA...India Pale Ale). This was before the Suez Canal was in place, so they had to transport the beer around the Horn of Africa. Bad beer is bad stuff...hops preserves it...the Tommies got thier beloved beer and all were happy ever after.
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Old 08-23-07, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
I don't have the space to do full grain brewing. Small patio at the apartment, so no room to set up a mash burner along with having a big grill out there already. Maybe if the girl and I get a house, I'll look at setting up a brewing shack...
Google 'Brew in a bag' or BIAB or got to Aussie HOme Brewer and search there. You can brew all grain in an apartment. (i do)
Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
Here's how I made the uber-ale:

Start with a 2 gallon concentrated wort. Around the same poundage of malt that you'd use for a 40 pint batch, but only QS it to 2 or 2.5 gallons. Cool it and pitch it with the usual amount of yeast (WLP001 is a liquid culture, so pitch the whole tube.) Par standard, take a hydro reading, seal it, and let it rip.
When the tank slows its bubbling, open it and take a hydro reading like you were finished. Calculate your first fermentation change percentage.
Make a 3/4 gallon wort with 1/3 of the remaining malt extract. Cool and feed into the fermenter. Take a new hydro reading.

Repeat this process of 3/4 feeds, and treat each one as a new fermentation (regarding the hydro readings.) Final fermentation is when it stops after reaching final volume, and you've aerated it twice. Final alcohol concentration is simply additive percentages from each fermentation reading.

Use a top draw syphon to rack out to your hopping tank because the bottom of the primary tank is going to be an unholy mess.

Dry hop on 1 full ounce of whatever hops you prefer, for 1 full month.

Add your bottling sugar at 3/4 normal volume, condition for 6 months minimum.


Depending on the fermentable sugars profile of the malts you choose, the concentration of the malts, and the relative activity of your culture, WLP001 can ferment up to 25% a.b.v.
Dark malts and a quick trip in a blast chiller before final bottling/kegging (must have a CO2 setup if you blast chill) could produce a bock with a content upwards of 60 proof, if you really tried hard enough.
I don't know how to make this sound helpful and not snarky, but here goes - my point is to help, not to be a know it all.
That process looks like it's ripe for infection problems - playing with primary like that is asking for it.
Also, aeration after the yeast has gone to work causes a whole bunch of problems, not least of which is oxidised beer, which causes all sort of off flavours.
If you are going for a barley wine or Belgian strong or whatever, you might be better served by simply making a single really strong wort with extra malt extract and up to 30% table sugar. You won't get cidery flavours from that (the Belgians do it, and not many people complain of cidery flavour from their beers). Sugar will lighten the body though.
If i was after a strong ale like that - i'd be making a single strong wort, with candi sugar to up the alc%. I'd hop it to about 45 IBU, i'd make a huge yeast starter too - it really helps get fermentation going, and it reduces the chances of off flavour from fermentation by-products. I wouldn't touch it for 4 weeks, then i'd be transfering straight to a keg. Leaving it on the yeast for that long is fine - the best homebrewer in the states does it, and he wins with his beers every year (Jamil Zainasheff)
Anyway, i hope that wasn't coming across badly or anything - hope it helps, cos i love to see people making beer.

Oh and olebike - IPA is a british style that is actually balanced, just like a bitter. Everything is turned up a notch, not just the hops. American IPA is something different - i like it, but only in small doses. It is still difficult to make an IPA that is good, just as hard as any other style of beer.
If you don't like hops, that's cool. Check out wit bier, very little hopping in that style.
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Old 08-24-07, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Gus Riley View Post
Like you I do not enjoy the fine taste of an IPA. But the hops were not put in so heavy to mask bad beer. Hops were massed upon beer so it could be preserved for much longer than traditional beers. It needed to be so the Brits could get it to their troops in India (hence the name IPA...India Pale Ale). This was before the Suez Canal was in place, so they had to transport the beer around the Horn of Africa. Bad beer is bad stuff...hops preserves it...the Tommies got thier beloved beer and all were happy ever after.
Right. But call me unsophisticated, I rather like hoppy beer.
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Old 08-24-07, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by trsidn View Post
Right. But call me unsophisticated, I rather like hoppy beer.
To each their own. I'm not fond of the bite that a heavy hopped beer gives. Many of my fellow brewers are though. It's good to have so many choices. We all enjoy a mug or three together regardless of the beer style each is drinking at the time.
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Old 08-24-07, 10:22 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Gusboh View Post
I don't know how to make this sound helpful and not snarky, but here goes - my point is to help, not to be a know it all.

<buncha stuff cut to save space>

Anyway, i hope that wasn't coming across badly or anything - hope it helps, cos i love to see people making beer.
Don't sweat it, you didn't come across as snarky at all. I know that some brewers are really tempermental about any advice on how to improve their process, and that's where the trepidation comes from.
I'm not all touchy about my process, so don't worry. Now, to address your concerns:
Contamination would be an issue if I wasn't working in the type of environment that I do. I set things up very clean, sterilize all my equipment, and even drape off my workspace like a mini-clean room when I'm doing a re-feed batch. My background is with running industrial microbial fermentors for 8 years in a production laboratory, and I've worked in a Class 10 clean-room facility.
Aeration is problematic in creating Skunkenbrau if you don't watch the balance on your headspace gasses. A top-fermenting anaerobe like ale yeast can benefit at higher alcohol concentrations from minute changes to the CO2 balance. A mild bubbling through a dispersion filter at the bottom will help circulate unfermented materials and maintain a growth conducive pH balance. It's tricky not to run too much air and push things to a facultative state where opportunistic contaminants could take over.
The reason I don't ramp a giant starter culture and make a single batch strong wort is because you change the flavour profile with a rapid fermentation. The slow-growth from a single starter pitch allows for greater adaptation to the changing alcohol profile so you get a more complete fermentation, and by allowing lower culture volumes to digest sugars slowly you get less of the initially produced volatile microbial by-products from rapid fermentation (think about what a batch tastes like when the fermentor is 3 degrees too hot) which can offset the pH of the culture within the first 18-24 hours and kill off a lot of the yeast (which releases all sorts of horrible tasting chemicals.)
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Old 08-24-07, 10:46 AM
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i like beer
beer, beer beer
beer is good
yah beer
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Old 08-24-07, 11:26 AM
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I've never tried making my own, but I do like beer. When I was in Washington just over a month ago I had Moose Drool beer, dam it was goooooooood!!
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Old 11-22-07, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
I don't have the space to do full grain brewing. Small patio at the apartment, so no room to set up a mash burner along with having a big grill out there already. Maybe if the girl and I get a house, I'll look at setting up a brewing shack...

:
You can do it all in the kitchen with what you have now. A big cooler for mashing is the only extra thing you need.
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Old 11-22-07, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Olebiker View Post
I know this is going against the current trend but...

There is no such thing as a "very good IPA." Folks, they put all those hops in there to cover up the taste of poorly made beer and then try to convince the gullible that hops are what beer is about.

Know why they started using hops in beer? To mask the taste of cheaply made beer.

Hop heads think they have sophisticated taste buds because they have developed a tolerance for hoppy beer. Drink Guinness or Newcastle. Even Budweiser is preferable to IPA.

Right now I'm sipping on a Sam Adams Honey Porter.
Ok, You don't like IPA. But you must be joking !!
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Old 11-23-07, 12:48 AM
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The Alaskan Brewing Company is a quick 10 minute drive from my house - I let them handle all my brewing chores!
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