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laripu

Another batch of beer

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Bottled yesterday. Everything is from the net except the text and frame. I draped the sign over his hand. :)

 

39861218515_f969517101.jpg

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Love that label.  Very Victorian and quaint even for that ...  Windmills in Scotland and feet like the hooves of small goats!  Ha ha ha.

 

Short excerpt from Robert Burns Comin' Thro' the Rye

 

Gin a body meet a body
Comin' thro' the rye
Gin a body kiss a body
Need a body cry?

Chorus:
Ilka lassie has her laddie
Nane, they say, hae I
Yet a' the lads they smile at me
When comin' thro' the rye.

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14 minutes ago, bludog said:

Short excerpt from Robert Burns Comin' Thro' the Rye

 

A lovely obscene poem.

 

Oh Jenny 's a' weet poor body 

Jenny 's seldom dry, 

She draigl't a' her petticoatie 

Comin thro' the rye.

 

She meets a guy in the tall grass and gets her underwear wet and bedraggled, while comin'.... through the rye. And she's seldom dry. :)

 

It reminds me of how Shakespeare had Antony and Enobarbus describe Cleopatra.

 

 

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7 hours ago, impartialobserver said:

Homebrewing is one of my primary hobbies. I have since moved on from bottling and exclusively keg now. Only drawback is that it is not portable. 

 

Cool! I've been doing it since 1990. I kegged for a while in 1995 to 97, but when I moved to the US I got rid of my keg stuff, including my keg fridge with taps drilled into the door.

 

I do 4 batches of beer a year, two or three of them all grain. (Depends on how tired I get at work.) Also one batch of mead each year.

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On ‎3‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 12:57 PM, impartialobserver said:

Homebrewing is one of my primary hobbies. I have since moved on from bottling and exclusively keg now. Only drawback is that it is not portable. 

 

I've always been interested in home brewing, I need to get off my ass and make time to give it a try.

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On ‎3‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 6:10 PM, laripu said:

Bottled yesterday. Everything is from the net except the text and frame. I draped the sign over his hand. :)

 

39861218515_f969517101.jpg

 

That's pretty cool....

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7 hours ago, LaughinAtLefty said:

 

I've always been interested in home brewing, I need to get off my ass and make time to give it a try.

My only suggestion or unsolicited advice is start with using malt extract. The taste is not as good as all-grain but its close and you learn the finer points of sanitation and timing.

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10 hours ago, impartialobserver said:

My only suggestion or unsolicited advice is start with using malt extract. The taste is not as good as all-grain but its close and you learn the finer points of sanitation and timing.

 

That's true, and good advice. Do the easier thing first, to learn technique.

 

I'd add:  I recommend that you use dry malt extract (called DME) as opposed to liquid malt extract (LME).

 

DME retains its freshness longer. I also found that LME sometimes gets off flavors from the container, whether that be metal can or plastic.

 

You can also approximate the use of grain by using a little bit of a grain that just needs steeping. Steeping a pound of crushed crystal malt or caramel malt for a 5 or 6 gallon batch really wakes up the flavor. (At 155°F for 30 minutes, then remove. A cheesecloth is a good way to contain it, for easy removal.)

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Brew us some wheat beer. That stuff is great. Beer champagne

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15 hours ago, Zaro said:

Brew us some wheat beer. That stuff is great. Beer champagne

 

The previous batch, Khamsa, used several kinds of wheat: regular wheat malt, ancient wheats kamut and spelt.

 

Beside those it had rye malt, regular malted barley, dates and honey.

 

Not exactly beer champagne, but a very masculine strong beer, due to the fruitiness of the hops and the dates.

 

Wheat beer can be effervescent and champagne-like, but not Bayerische weizen. It's very lightly hopped, but it's estery and also full-bodied. If you really want a champagne-like wheat beer, try a Belgian Wit: lighter bodied, cleaner palate, but slightly more hop expression.

 

This is the Khamsa label. I probably have 15 or 20 of these beers left. Bloody lovely.

 

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16 hours ago, Zaro said:

Beer has a lot of calories. 

In the past, when work was mostly physical, that was the point. Along with the fact that water was often fouled and unhealthy, while beer had been boiled, and naturally preserved due to hops.

 

Some calorie-laden are worth it. Black Forest cake, beef, beer, and cheese...

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33 minutes ago, laripu said:

A nice afternoon pint.😊

 

Complete with Jewish Tartan and macLaripu (of clan Maccabee) !   Looks like Guinness Black Lager.  How much of it is oats and how do they become part of the ale?

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3 hours ago, bludog said:

 

Complete with Jewish Tartan and macLaripu (of clan Maccabee) !   Looks like Guinness Black Lager.  How much of it is oats and how do they become part of the ale?

 

Here's a simplified explanation:

 

Barley that is allowed to slightly sprout develops enzymes. If it's then dried under low heat, the enzymes remain without having fulfilled their natural purpose. That purpose is primarily to convert starches to sugars and to degrade proteins into amino acids to allow the plant to grow. This is called "malted barley" or malt for short.

 

The mashing process, in its simplest form, raises crushed malted barley and water to 150°F to rapidly convert grain starches to sugars (mostly maltose). By rapidly, I mean an hour instead of a month. After the liquid is drained from the mash, with more water to dissolve more of the sugars, that liquid is boiled with hops to extract bitterness, then fermented by brewers yeast. Yeast eats, i.e. ferments sugar and makes alcohol. Some longer and therefore unfermentable sugar-type molecules remain. They're called dextrins, and add subtle sweetness to the beer.

 

There are actually more enzymes available than is needed to convert the barley's starches. Therefore you can add other sources of starch to be converted.

 

Big breweries typically want to reduce costs because malted barley is expensive. So they might add rice (which is flavorless) or corn (low in flavor and cheap). The result has the same alcohol with a lower level of dextrin. The more delicate flavor achieved, less sugar to balance with hop bitterness, means the same alcohol level at a lower price: the marketing triumph of dry beer and "lite beer". They give you less, and you pay more.

 

Starch sources that are not a malted grain (wheat malt is often also used) are called adjuncts. They're cheaper. They're not all bad and they have their place. Relative quantity is important. Low-flavor adjuncts in American light lagers may be up to 40% of the mash. They should never be more than 20% unless there's a flavor reason.

 

Oats are often used in traditional Scotch ales because that was a plentiful adjunct there. Looking at my recipe, I used 1/2 lb of cheap quick rolled oats, 4 oz of roasted wheat malt (for dark colour) and 8 lbs of American pilsener-type malt and 1 lb of American 6-row malted barley. The latter is an inexpensive malt that is high in protein and enzymes. (I chose it for the high enzyme content.)

 

The oats were chosen partly for flavor and partly for the nice protein-y mouthfeel they offer, and the firm head on the beer.

 

The hops were Cascade variety from the Pacific Northwest. The yeast was German, from Köln, called Kölsch yeast.

 

Knowing how mostly American ingredients and German yeast add up to Scotch ale ... well, a baby could do that ... with 20 years of experience. 😆😉

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Just to add, about the big US brewers...  their brewing scientists are top-notch. They could brew anything they want to. Just the fact that Budweiser always tastes exactly the same, despite ingredients sourced from different places and dependent on availability and price, despite variances in water ... just that is a technical triumph.

 

But they're there to make money by making beer. Not to make astoundingly good beer. The latter may not make money.

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I homebrewed in my twenties in Alaska and ended up selling all my stuff after we had kids.  Too time consuming unfortunately.  I never got super pedantic/scientific about it, but was able to execute a few really good stouts.

 

Funny thing, my mash tun was just a stainless pot that I put on a sleeping pad and buried in down sleeping bags.  Amazingly it never lost more than a couple degrees in an hour, and no paranoia about using coolers with plastic that the manufacturer advises not putting hot liquid in....

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Neomalthusian said:

I homebrewed in my twenties in Alaska and ended up selling all my stuff after we had kids.  Too time consuming unfortunately.  I never got super pedantic/scientific about it, but was able to execute a few really good stouts.

 

Funny thing, my mash tun was just a stainless pot that I put on a sleeping pad and buried in down sleeping bags.  Amazingly it never lost more than a couple degrees in an hour, and no paranoia about using coolers with plastic that the manufacturer advises not putting hot liquid in....

 

Right. No need for crazy expensive equipment. You could always put a stainless steel pot into a large enough cooler too, if the sleeping bags bothered you.

 

Understanding some of the science helps you make decisions.  Just like baking. But it isn't necessary if all you want to do is follow recipes. You can make lots of good beer just following recipes and there are hundreds, maybe thousands of recipes on line. (See Cat's Meow, Among many others.)

 

One thing I refuse to do is buy super expensive stuff like temperature controlled mashing systems or cylindroconical fermenters, like those below.

 

The difference between those and insulated mashing + glass fermenters is the stage at which your labor is. One way is simple equipment, and you need to give it attention. The other way doesn't need much attention at the corresponding times, but much more fiddling with parts, and cleaning those parts.

 

I've been brewing with much the same stuff since 1990. My main glass fermenter was given to me by a former manager in 1991. It had been his father's, who brewed with it in the 60s.

 

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19 minutes ago, laripu said:

 

Right. No need for crazy expensive equipment. You could always put a stainless steel pot into a large enough cooler too, if the sleeping bags bothered you.

 

That's a good point, hadn't thought of that.

 

19 minutes ago, laripu said:

Understanding some of the science helps you make decisions.  Just like baking. But it isn't necessary if all you want to do is follow recipes. You can make lots of good beer just following recipes and there are hundreds, maybe thousands of recipes on line. (See Cat's Meow, Among many others.)

 

One thing I refuse to do is buy super expensive stuff like temperature controlled mashing systems or cylindroconical fermenters, like those below.

 

The difference between those and insulated mashing + glass fermenters is the stage at which your labor is. One way is simple equipment, and you need to give it attention. The other way doesn't need much attention at the corresponding times, but much more fiddling with parts, and cleaning those parts.

 

I've been brewing with much the same stuff since 1990. My main glass fermenter was given to me by a former manager in 1991. It had been his father's, who brewed with it in the 60s.

 

I respect those who put in the time and focus to understand the science and get specific, it just wasn't the way I rolled.  Living in a pretty remote place meant cutting corners with recipes and ingredients anyway, so I tried to pay close attention to the basics (sanitation, aeration, temperature) but never got really dialed with anything, never tested/measured (gravity, etc.).  

 

I ended up developing a major intolerance to sulfur compounds found in some vegetables and (whaddya know) Star San, which meant rinsing with boiled water to sanitize, which added a significant step and time to the process right at a time when I had newborns and toddlers to also look after, so it got to be too much and my ingredients started going stale during long periods between brewing.  At that point you know it's time to let someone else take up the hobby.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Neomalthusian said:

I ended up developing a major intolerance to sulfur compounds found in some vegetables and (whaddya know) Star San, which meant rinsing with boiled water to sanitize, which added a significant step and time to the process 

 

The old school sanitizer is a weak solution of unscented bleach in water. I've been using that since 1990. Of course, you have to rinse very carefully after sanitizing, so your equipment will have the same level of bacteria as your tap water. That has never been a problem for me. I've never had an infected beer.

 

One thing you can't do is to leave bleach solution standing in a plastic bucket for an extended period. The lactic is permeable, so bleach solution will enter and then come it until the beer. That isn't a problem for glass carboys.

 

Someone could argue that bleach is bad for the environment, but my wife uses way more for laundry. And this being Florida, we have a swimming pool, which, in quantity, blows away both homebrew (5 batches/year) and laundry (once a week).

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