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    Sassafras root bark. Anyone try chewing it? Results?

    I have experienced that with my own sassafras root, and I worry about it about as much as the burn from hot peppers. I assume it's the volatile safrole oil causing that. Eating a hop cone produces a similar effect, but I really wouldn't recommend doing it.
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    Post your "whoops" moments- messes, etc

    Guess blowoffs are a common lesson. I had a dogfish 120 clone that I was fermenting in a pretty large bucket when the airlock jammed. For some reason, instead of blowing the airlock out, it blew the top off of the almost 10 gallon bucket and left a nice blast radius of krausen around the bucket...
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    Hard soda vs rum

    Good point, I was thinking the lactose just as a non-fermentable, but I guess that could cause some problems. This is how I was thinking of adapting the recipe on the package: Sugar - 9lbs Molasses - 3lbs Soda extract Non-fermentable sweetener Low ester yeast Volume - 6.5gallons O.G...
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    Hard soda vs rum

    I had an idea when I saw some rum and bourbon starters (first, I know the rules on distilling and that it's not discussed here). If you were to make a batch of soda, like a ginger beer or cola, then sweetened with lactose, and mix in the appropriate amount of rum ingredients, does anyone know...
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    Open Fire Brewing

    Here's an update on what came from this. It was a wheat beer so fortunately could be spicy, and it was. Nitric acid is pretty prominent in it, think of the the flavor most smoked meats have in common if you're not familiar with it. There's a smokey, spicy, peppercorn flavor that I was expecting...
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    Open Fire Brewing

    I'm not too familiar with pilsner malts, most of my brews fall at least at 10 SRM. What kind of flavors should be developing or driven off with pilsner? I was thinking about 20 minutes uncovered and the remaining part covered though. I saw where DMS is an issue and some recommend a 90 minute...
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    Open Fire Brewing

    Thought I'd post the wood fired boil I did over the weekend. I've seen this question asked a few times but I'm not sure there's been an answer to this extent yet. I've attached a picture, but it was taken before I actually got a boil. In the picture the grates were set up wrong and I was burning...
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    What defines lagering?

    I think this is the right section, I was between posting in here of brew science. I've always been an ale guy and have just started playing with lagers. I've got a rough concept of how it goes and my most recent should be done near mid-june. So my question is if it takes at least 6 weeks to make...
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    Oxidation

    Just re-read the paper I was referencing ( http://hbd.org/discus/messages/40327/Malt_storage_LOX-42066.pdf if anyone is curious). And I stand corrected. Even though conclusions are drawn as to oxygenation reactions during malting, it turns out the products are in fact irrelevant in most cases...
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    Using frozen peaches vs. fresh??

    I've always had bad luck adding fresh fruit to the fermenters. I never had a truly infected batch from it, I just ended up with additional flavors that weren't directly from the fruit juices. Adding them at flame-out and removing them is the best way I've heard of. But if I were stuck with...
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    Bourbon addition started secondary fermentation

    There shouldn't be a lot of fermentables in bourbon, as sugar often looked down on as an addition. What you may have done is caused some of the CO2 in solution to degas. Is it still bubbling?
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    Oxidation

    Your process seems ok, it's what I did for a while. I assume if you're being that careful working with your beer your doing the other things like no splashing when transferring, filling the bottles and buckets from the bottom up, etc. Where is your beer coming from, a kit or mash? Someone else...
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    What does oxidation taste like?

    The chemical taste is probably temperature related. I know that has caused me a lot of trouble. A fermenter doesn't have to spend to much time in the mid 70s before you start to get solvent flavors. The cotton-mouth thing might be part of that, but I would lean more to oxidation. To really get a...
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    When to move to secondary

    I've noticed that secondaries are almost a religous topic too. So my best effort at answering the OP question and explaining why at the same time: Yeast was weak at pitching: Likely secondary (Get off trub) Dry Hopping/Fruit Addition: Sometimes secondary (Don't scrub aroma) High ABV...
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    Do you drink your bad batches?

    I can't speak for everyone, but I never throw out a batch that is even remotely tolerable. I've had 2 go down the drain, but they were barely approachable. But like everyone, I've had my share of sub-par batches. They usually get pushed to the back of my storage area where I find them again...
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    Pouring Question

    I think I can shed some light on this, as my beers end up with a notoriously thick yeast layer in most bottles, often over 1/4". Go all in a single pour, I usually do what whoaru said. I've have noticed as you near the end of your pour if you keep the flow at a trickle toward the last few...
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