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Jan
3
comment Increasing the 'caramel and coffee tones' of my porter
For the caramel flavor what about taking out the first runnings and reducing them down like some people do for Scotch ales. Did this for a recent Scotch ale and it tastes great.
Dec
29
awarded  Yearling
Nov
13
comment How worried should I be about a plastic-wrapped kettle that had to air chill for two days?
Sealing with saran-wrap could seal the container up. And if there was still steam from the boil it could have sterilized the whole business. As Charlie Papazian says relax and have a homebrew. Wait and see it could very likely turn out just fine.
Nov
12
comment How to clean the inside of a blowoff hose
I also started by using blow-off hoses. But now I do as you suggest and use a bigger carboy (6.5gal for 5gal batch and 5gal for 2.5gal batch). This approach is cleaner and works really well even for larger beers with lots of krausen. The potential to suck back sanitizer when using a blow-off hose convinced me that wasn't a really viable option. ;-)
Nov
12
comment Will refrigeration help carbonate my beer?
Yeast should still be active at 60-65, but it will take longer to get them to carbonate. Patience will get you where you are going. But a little heat would speed things up. Putting them next to your furnace or furnace room works pretty well for me.
Nov
8
answered Will bitterness from a flameout coffee addition fade with age?
Sep
28
comment Yeast in Black Dog Ale
I always have good luck with Wyeast. Plus as mdma said your dry yeast is a lagering yeast not an ale yeast.
Sep
28
comment LHBS Got my grain bill wrong. Suggestions?
I say go for it too. It is always fun to experiment. The wheat to barley ratio isn't too far off. And subbing Pale 2-Row for Pilsner is not likely to have too large of an effect.
Sep
19
comment Could non-alkalized cocoa powder cause astringency in a chocolate stout?
With mine I add the cocoa powder 10 minutes to the end of the boil. But I bet it doesn't make that big a difference.
Sep
14
comment Could non-alkalized cocoa powder cause astringency in a chocolate stout?
I agree your partial mash method makes it unlikely that you would get an excess of tannins. But I wouldn't discount the possiblity of a wild yeast strain from the cocoa taking off and producing this off flavor. Apparently cocoa is roasted before being pulverized to powder form, and this could kill all the yeast that were in there originally, but not any that came after processing. From reading some more apparently natural cocoa powder is acidic. So depending on your water and such it could be a reaction that happened in primary. My only suggestion is to try boiling it next time.
Sep
14
answered Could non-alkalized cocoa powder cause astringency in a chocolate stout?
Jul
17
comment Something in the fermentation chamber made my nose hurt
Most likely right. But does anyone else ever get a whiff of SO2 from the fermenter. I have noticed that a few times. Could be a combination of the two.
Jun
11
comment Measuring yeast activity by collecting CO2
What about using thermal readings? If you could get an accurate read on the internal fermenter temperature you could track fermentation by the fact that fermentation gives off heat. So as the fermentation subsides the temperature should return to ambient (or something closer to ambient). Would only require a thermometer that can be read on the outside of the fermenter, and an accurate measurement of ambient temperature.
Jun
11
comment Where to get fresh hops?
Okay. So the deal actually is that Hop Union can't sell to homebrewers, except through BrewCraft or LD Carlson. Talked to Hop Unions northwest sales rep. He was very nice but said basically they contracted out the distribution to homebrewers through those two entities. The good news is that my local homebrew shop will be taking preorders for green hops in July. So a minor set back and now should be getting green hops for a fresh hopped ale. :-)
Jun
8
answered Storing beer bottles horizontally
Jun
8
comment What is the best way to sanitize vanilla pods?
Totally agree. If you can dry hop without sterilizing why would vanilla beans be any different.
Jun
7
accepted Where to get fresh hops?
Jun
6
comment Where to get fresh hops?
Actually they are taking orders for the fall. And they ship them as soon as harvested with the expectation that the brewer on the other side will use them in 24-48 hours of receiving the shipment.
Jun
5
comment Where to get fresh hops?
Hop Union is selling green hops (fresh hops) in 10lb batches and you can get them shipped almost anywhere! Pretty sweet. Not sure it would be worth driving out there to pick them up but shipping in WA seems amenable: hopunion.com/1029_GreenHops.cfm?p3=open
Jun
5
comment Where to get fresh hops?
Good idea and also found out that Hop Union is selling green hops in 10lb increments: hopunion.com/1029_GreenHops.cfm?p3=open