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FatDragon

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Due to personal and family factors, I'm gonna be taking a hiatus from brewing for an indefinite period. I'd like to go out with a bit better than a whimper, so I'm planning on using up whatever (largely ancient) ingredients I can in the next couple months with 2-3 final brews.

I'm thinking something big to use up a bunch of roasted malts, something big and hoppy to use up a bunch of hops, and maybe one more smaller brew.

Here's what I've got:

Grain + adjuncts:
4 kg 2-row
1 kg Vienna
1 kg rolled oats
~800 g roasted barley
~500 g/per Munich, chocolate, special W, CaraBohemian, unmalted hullless barley, unmalted buckwheat, and lactose
~200 g Black Patent from 2013, lol
* I will almost certainly need to buy some more base malt of some kind or other. I'm totally fine with that. The other grains that are unused will be ground to flour and tossed into bran muffins and the like because why not.

Hops:
150 g/per - Centennial, Golding, German Cascade
50 g/per - Galaxy, Citra, Mandarina Bavaria, Nugget
Maybe 30-40 g Magnum

For yeast, I don't have great temp control these days - too busy to properly maintain a swamp cooler setup and the ferm chamber was permanently commandeered for food storage once we were hit with the OG 'rona epidemic here in Wuhan. Lallemand dried Voss is available, as is Belle Saison. I'm also thinking it might be cool to get some liquid brett from China's upstart liquid yeast supplier Joyferm for one of these. Ambient temps are currently 20-30 C most of the time, but I could probably get away with using AC to keep a room around 18-20 for a few days at the start of fermentation.

I ferment and bottle in a pretty primitive setup, so some cold-side oxygen is inevitable, though I can do my best to minimize it.

I'm thinking a beefy imperial stout to knock out a bunch of the dark and caramalts, a brett barleywine/triple IPA with a billion IBUs and a massive dry hop, and maybe a final run of my Harviestoun Old Engine Oil-inspired oatmeal-buckwheat porter if I can fit it in (and just live with the far-from-ideal fermenting conditions for a beer that's best with low-temp S-04). Any thoughts or advice? I'm rusty as all-hell, so I could use it...
 
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FatDragon

FatDragon

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I’ll be sad to see you go. I always enjoyed reading about your beer journey.
Cheers
Feels like ages ago that I last spent much time here or brewed very regularly. Crazy to think that I *started* less than nine years ago. Hopefully I'll be back one day. Two kids, full time work, and a side gig taking a bunch of time out of my week have made brewing hard to keep up with, and we're moving to a smaller apartment so space will be at a premium too.

Anyway, here are my prospective recipes, with plans to buy 8kg of 2-row and a bit of Magnum to make them happen:

Barleywine IPA
8 kg 2-row
500 g hullless barley
500 g buckwheat
1 kg white sugar (as syrup) in fermenter, day 3-5

50 g Magnum + 50 g Nugget FWH
50 g each Cascade + Cent 15 min.
50 g each Cascade + Cent FO
50 g each Cascade + Cent + Citra + Man. Bav. + Galaxy DH 7 days @7 days

Voss Kveik @ whatever temp I can manage
Brett Lambicus (that's what Joyferm's got) @ day 7
50 g oak chips @ day 7 for 2-4 weeks

Imperial Stout
5 kg 2-row
1 kg Vienna
1 kg Rolled Oats
.5 kg Munich
.5 kg Roasted Barley
.3 kg Choc Malt
.2 kg Spec W
.2 kg CaraBohemian
1 kg homemade dark sugar syrup in fermenter, day 3-5

30 g Magnum + 50 g Goldings @FWH (90-120 min)
50 g Goldings @30 min
50 g Goldings @ 15 min

Voss Kveik @ whatever temp I can manage
50 g whisky soaked oak chips (Talisker Dark Storm? Caol Ila Distiller's Edition? Deanston Virgin Oak? Beam Rye?) @ day 7 for 2-4 weeks

Any obvious red flags or alterations to make before I order the last few items and start to make this happen?
 

IslandLizard

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This a sad chapter for you, and for me and others at HBT too, but I understand. Hope you'll be back for more when things in your life become more manageable and time more on your side. Or when you want some real or homebrew beer again. Maybe another local homebrewer can brew some for you while he's at it. It only takes double the heating and chilling time to double-up a batch.

So it's all-in for these last 2 runs...

I'd pitch that Brett (from a good active starter) at the beginning, a few days before pitching the Kveik (also from a starter). That way you'll get more of her character, while she can multiply amply for the long slow tail end where high alcohol is her biggest impairment. But that's me.

The rest looks fine to me.
 
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FatDragon

FatDragon

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This a sad chapter for you, and for me and others at HBT too, but I understand. Hope you'll be back for more when things in your life become more manageable and time more on your side. Or when you want some real or homebrew beer again. Maybe another local homebrewer can brew some for you while he's at it. It only takes double the heating and chilling time to double-up a batch.

So it's all-in for these last 2 runs...

I'd pitch that Brett (from a good active starter) at the beginning, a few days before pitching the Kveik (also from a starter). That way you'll get more of her character, while she can multiply amply for the long slow tail end where high alcohol is her biggest impairment. But that's me.

The rest looks fine to me.
I swear I'm not hovering, but I just came in from some housework right as you posted.

What I read on their description is that Lambicus actually gives more character pitched as a secondary yeast. If that's not the case, I'll drop an extra $15 for a bigger pitch and some DME and pitch it first as you suggest.

Is COVID + inflation + shipping troubles hitting the homebrew community hard stateside, or is there other stuff causing troubles for you and others? For me, I can say that I'm blessed that COVID isn't the issue, just family, healthier living, and ramping up the earning potential while I can in our indeterminate time remaining here, since the gravy train is likely to stop real fast the minute we step back on US soil unless I can pivot to something more profitable than teaching.
 

IslandLizard

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What I read on their description is that Lambicus actually gives more character pitched as a secondary yeast. If that's not the case, I'll drop an extra $15 for a bigger pitch and some DME and pitch it first as you suggest.
Yes, you'll get more leathery, horse blanket, and such notes when using Brett in the secondary, while she yields fruitiness when used as a primary yeast. But in this case, you're only using her for a few (2-4) days to grow, then pitch the Kveik to do the bulk of fermentation.

Much notorious Brett character is generated when she has time to slowly chew on fermentation byproducts from early on, as well as previous yeasts', even cannibalizing them. But we're looking at least 1-2 years down the road for that to happen.

Some good reading here on use of Brett as primary fermentor:
 

bwible

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Is COVID + inflation + shipping troubles hitting the homebrew community hard stateside, or is there other stuff causing troubles for you and others? For me, I can say that I'm blessed that COVID isn't the issue, just family, healthier living, and ramping up the earning potential while I can in our indeterminate time remaining here, since the gravy train is likely to stop real fast the minute we step back on US soil unless I can pivot to something more profitable than teaching.
We’re seeing supply side shortages for some things but I haven’t noticed it for homebrew stuff - yet. The biggest thing I’m having a problem with is canned cat food. Walmart hasn’t had it in stock for probably 8 months. Supermarkets are all wiped out of it. I hear different stories, mostly blaming an aluminum shortage which people are putting the blame for on the beer, wine, and hard seltzer industries using more cans and monopolizing the market.

We are seeing big spikes in the price of everything, mostly to do with the price of gas being more than double what it was 18 months ago.
 

monkeymath

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Bummer to see you leaving us, at least (hopefully only) temporarily!

I hope your personal affairs will be sorted out soon and you will find some time for yourself - whether you then devote that time to brewing, eh, we'll see ;)
 
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FatDragon

FatDragon

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Got the second brew logged this morning, both recipes close to the above.

For the barleywine:
Pitched the Brett Lambicus first and it worked diligently. Added Lallemand Voss day 7, 1 kg lightly-cooked sugar syrup day 8, and 50g oak chips day 9 after almost two weeks soaking in vodka (withheld the vodka). I'll chuck the dry hop in soon and let it sit for a week or two before bottle conditioning. I know many people are afraid of long dry hops, but I've done it with long-term brews like this and I liked the result.

For the imp. stout:
Laid it down today. Starter was primarily Voss from local liquid yeast purveyor Joyferm, but I added a bit of krausen residue from the barleywine to give it a bit of brett. 50g oak chips have been in Deanston Virgin Oak single malt for a couple weeks. I'll add them to the fermenter in another week or two and let it ride another month or so before it's time to bottle.

Like most of my brews for the last several years, both of these were very much pantsed; no water chem, no recipe builder, no hydrometer readings, trust the strike temp calculator for mash temps and feel for chill temps, high-temp tolerant yeasts without temp control for fermentation... That's part of the reason I'm giving it up for a while, to be fair - it's fun to brew by the seat of your pants with motley equipment and ingredients, but it's pretty hit-or-miss in the end.

The good news is that there's domestic LME here now. $3.50/kilo versus the old $8/pound for imported LME. At that price, I'll be able to play around with 2.5 gallon batches in disposable 13 liter water jugs with nothing more than standard kitchen gear and some flip tops. Who knows, that might be all it takes to get me back up to speed...
 
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