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    Where are the good American grains?

    Has anyone else noticed that there are a bunch of great American hops and even some very nice yeasts, but it seems every respected source of brewing information says that American barley is cardboard/flat tasting compared to European malts. We've got more farmland than just about anywhere in...
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    Hop Cones Turning Brown

    I have a second year centennial hop plant in my back yard that looks like it might be ready to harvest soon. This surprises me a bit because it is still so early in the year. Here are a couple pics. The first is the plant, showing some of the hops starting to brown. The second is one of those...
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    Whirlpool vs. Cold Break

    I've noticed quite a few references that say whirlpool hopping for 30-60 minutes is a great way to amp up the hop aromas in an IPA. Does this mean that rapid chilling to get a good cold break is worth sacrificing in an IPA? Maybe any residual flavors or haziness gets overpowered by the hop aroma...
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    CDA Recipe Feedback Needed

    I'd love to hear some constructive feedback on this CDA recipe. For the last two years, I've been brewing and made some good process improvements, but recipe development still seems a bit of a black art. Sure, some of the basics are very useful - American 'C' hops go well together, don't overdo...
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    Mmm, Smoked Barleywine

    I got this crazy idea in my head that I'd like to make a smoked English barleywine. The last few recipes I've done have been low to medium gravity beers with a fairly simply grain bills because I think you can get pretty complex flavors from 3 or 4 ingredients, but I decided to try going all out...
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    Yeast for English IPA

    Hi all. I've got an English IPA planned for this weekend and have been debating among the following yeasts, which are all sitting washed in my fridge: - Safale S-04 - Safale US-05 - Wyeast 1450 Denny's Favorite - Wyeast 1968 London ESB Of these options, I'd prefer to use the US-05 on a...
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    How Important is Residual Alkalinity?

    Bear with me, this is my first real scientific effort to control my brewing water chemistry. I didn't find an answer to this specific question on the site, but I might not have known all the proper terminology to do a good search. Here's a bit of background: I am going to brew an ESB and had...
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    Keep 'em or cut 'em?

    I have two hop plants that I put into the ground this spring. We had a very warm March up here in Chicago so they took off like crazy. Unfortunately April was cooler and these plants, now 5-8 feet tall, had to ride out several nights below freezing. The existing bines seem healthy enough but...
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    Best Caramel Malt for a RIS

    I'm thinking about making a RIS soon so that it will have time to age and be ready by Christmas. After doing some reading of recipes here, I have noticed a wide variety of caramel malts used. For those who have attempted making one of these monsters, what did you use? Did it give the flavor...
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    Found Simcoe, Amarillo and Citra today!

    I've gotten so much good advice here, I thought that I'd give back just a bit. I was out at the Brew & Grow in Roselle, and they had Simcoe, Amarillo and Citra in stock. I picked up a couple ounces of Simcoe and Amarillo, probably should have just cleaned it out! I don't even think all of those...
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    What's your favorite fertilizer?

    I've got a couple hop crowns that I planted earlier this year. They each have 5 bines between 5 and 6.5 feet tall right now. I noticed that my Sterling has started to get a bit of yellow on its leaves, and after doing some research I am pretty sure that it is a nitrogen deficiency. I'm a little...
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    Hopbursted Brown Ale Recipe Critique

    I've thought about a good recipe that will use up some of the ingredients in the house for a while now, and I'd appreciate some feedback. Is the crystal malt level too high, since together the Medium Crystal, CaraPils and Special B total 11% of the malt? Also, I have an ounce of Chinook in the...
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    Hop Schedule for CDA

    It's about time to clean out the cupboard of grain, and if I go pick up a few pounds of pale malt, I should be able to make a decent Cascadian Dark Ale from it. The one question I have is what to do for a hop schedule. After reading a lot of the posts here, I've gotten a feel for percentages of...
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    Kolsch with US-05?

    This past weekend I brewed a kolsch and it is currently fermenting nicely with some US-05 that I had harvested from a yeast cake a few weeks back, because I was looking for a clean profile and because I had some ready to go. Right now it is sitting at about 62 degrees, and in a day or two I will...
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    Trimming Back Shoots

    I bought two hop crowns earlier this year. Both are taking off really well right now, and I am wondering when I should consider trimming back some of the hop shoots. This is the first year I have had these hops, but since they came as crowns, I would say they are closer in growth to a second...
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    Decanting a starter

    Newbie starter maker question: I have read that when you make a starter, you decant the starter wort and add the yeast at the bottom of the starter to the actual batch. Since a starter is only a day old, aren't most of the viable yeast still in suspension? What is the proper way to maximize the...
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    HUGE Hop Crowns

    No questions this time, but I had to share these photos! Yesterday I was traveling through Michigan and since I was in the area, I stopped by Great Lakes Hops to pick up a couple hop crowns - the second picture is the centennial crown and the third picture is the sterling crown. I got there...
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    Dry Hopping and Cold Crashing

    I have an IPA that I added dry hops to Friday, Sunday, and today. My plan is that these are added 7, 5, and 3 days before bottling. When you all dry hop, do you cold crash to aid in clearing before bottling? It so, since the cold temperatures slow down the hop infusion rate, should I add a day...
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    Reducing Sorghum Twang

    I've made a few gluten free beers now, and all of them seem to end up with the same sorghum 'twang'. I was just looking around tonight and saw that someone commented on Midwest Brewer's site that some of that twang can be reduced by adding calcium carbonate. Has anybody ever tried this one...
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    Multiple Yeasts for Complexity

    Okay, so I probably should have asked this before making the beer, but I'll ask now anyways. I made a Belgian beer last weekend and added two different strains of dry yeast (S-33 and T-58), hoping to add one more element of complexity to the beer. My question is, will this actually have any...
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