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Grtechguy
Grtechguy UltimaDork
9/10/15 8:32 a.m.

Hand picked and smashed concord grapes in the initial fermentation stage.

Beer Baron
Beer Baron UltimaDork
9/10/15 8:57 a.m.

New pilot batch today. A coffee shop is opening up in a side room of our building, and they wanted to do a German-inspired coffee beer in collaboration. Rather than the more common coffee-stout that you normally see, I'm going for a full bodied, but not roasty, base beer. The coffee flavor will be all from the coffee. If I've built my base beer right, it should give a bit of a hazelnut like impression to go with the coffee. Hazelnus un kaffee ist ser Deutshe.

Pilsener malt base
Very healthy amount of Victory malt for nuttiness
Solid (though lesser) amount of Special B for character and fruity-caramelness
Little bit of Chocolate malt for color, but with a milder flavor that will blend in better than a black malt
Fermented with our house Alt yeast strain
I will add a healthy dose of whole espresso roasted beans (espresso roast has more oil) when we hit terminal gravity, and then expect 2-3 days infusion time.

Rusted_Busted_Spit
Rusted_Busted_Spit UberDork
9/10/15 11:08 a.m.

In reply to Beer Baron:

Let us know when it is ready.

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill SuperDork
9/11/15 8:23 p.m.
bgkast wrote: Ok brewmasters. Critique my recipe for a Lebkuchen beer for my annual holiday batch: Lebkuchen beer US-05 yeast 7.5 lbs English Maris Otter 0.25 lbs. English Chocolate Malt 0.25 lbs. Briess Caramel 120 0.25 lbs. Belgian Biscuit 0.25 lbs. Briess Special Roast magnum hops 0.5 oz 13.4% at 60 minutes (22 IBU) 6-8 oz molasses (half if blackstrap) at end of boil Cinnamon 2-4 sticks in fermenter Cloves-2 or 3 whole cloves at 5 minutes Allspice ½ tsp at 5 min Nutmeg ¼ tsp at 10 minutes The base beer is the recipe for Northen Brewer's Brown Ale. The molasses and spices are based on a traditional Lebkuchen recipe and my best research/guess into how much to use and when to add them in the process. I plan to make test tea with spices, and adjust them based on how that goes.

hmmm. Not experienced enough with recipes to critique. If you sent me a sample keg, I'd gladly let you know what I think

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill SuperDork
9/11/15 8:24 p.m.
Grtechguy wrote: Hand picked and smashed concord grapes in the initial fermentation stage.

I've done lots of fruit wines, but never a grape wine. (is that strange?) Have you done this recipe before? If so, how's it turn out?

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic UltimaDork
9/11/15 11:17 p.m.

Siphoned off my apple wine yesterday, ended up bottling it back into the plastic containers the apple juice came in, should be fine in the fridge (I bleached and rinsed the hell out of everything until it didn't smell like bleach and then some). Had a rocks glass worth, the stuff definitely fermented out to the promised 14+%! Not bad for something I made either, very drinkable cold and research indicates it should improve with time. I'll save that second, full, bottle for a few weeks and try it then, first one will probably go get consumed at some point in the nearer future.

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill SuperDork
9/12/15 9:00 a.m.

Awesome!!! As a general rule, your last bottle is the best

I stopped by the wine store to grab all the goodies I needed for the Skeeter-Pee. (potassium sorbate, sparkoloid, etc). I know it's not exactly the hot weather skeeter-pee was recommended for, but I'm kind of anxious.

Beer Baron
Beer Baron UltimaDork
9/12/15 9:32 a.m.
bgkast wrote: Ok brewmasters. Critique my recipe for a Lebkuchen beer for my annual holiday batch: Lebkuchen beer US-05 yeast 7.5 lbs English Maris Otter 0.25 lbs. English Chocolate Malt 0.25 lbs. Briess Caramel 120 0.25 lbs. Belgian Biscuit 0.25 lbs. Briess Special Roast magnum hops 0.5 oz 13.4% at 60 minutes (22 IBU) 6-8 oz molasses (half if blackstrap) at end of boil Cinnamon 2-4 sticks in fermenter Cloves-2 or 3 whole cloves at 5 minutes Allspice ½ tsp at 5 min Nutmeg ¼ tsp at 10 minutes The base beer is the recipe for Northen Brewer's Brown Ale. The molasses and spices are based on a traditional Lebkuchen recipe and my best research/guess into how much to use and when to add them in the process. I plan to make test tea with spices, and adjust them based on how that goes.

I don't know enough about using molasses. I've never done it. I suspect you want to add it at pre-boil.

It really depends on what the nature of the sugars in molasses are. You want invert sugars (if starting with sucrose, the bond between the glucose and fructose is split). If the yeast has to produce an invertase enzyme to reduce the sugars, it will lend a cidery or winey character to the beer. Sugars will be inverted when boiled for an extended period of time.

But... the sugars in molasses may already be inverted, and you might just get a crusty sludge baked onto the bottom of your kettle. So, I don't really know.

My philosophy when designing malt bills - this is a busier malt bill than I would design on my own. Not anything actually wrong that will produce a bad beer, just stuff that seems superfluous. Mostly, I don't see what that biscuit malt is doing in there. It is in the same proportion as other, much heavier malts, and will just get overpowered to the point where you can't taste it. Doubly unnecessary, since the Marris Otter will already add some character. I would either strike it and bump up the Marris, or throw in more (at .75 - 1.0lbs) and decrease the Marris.

Grtechguy
Grtechguy UltimaDork
9/12/15 11:06 a.m.

In reply to Hungary Bill:

I did it a couple years ago, turns out pretty good. Very simple to do and I prefer to drink it in the cool fall/winter months.

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill SuperDork
9/12/15 4:59 p.m.
Grtechguy wrote: In reply to Hungary Bill: I did it a couple years ago, turns out pretty good. Very simple to do and I prefer to drink it in the cool fall/winter months.

Do you add any sugar to the grape juice? I'm interested in trying this one.

Grtechguy
Grtechguy UltimaDork
9/12/15 7:59 p.m.

about 3 lbs. I'll admit, I was very sloppy with this and didn't take gravity readings.

more or less used this a guide line:

https://www.baderbrewing.com/content/how-make-wine-concord-table-grapes

Beer Baron
Beer Baron UltimaDork
9/17/15 2:16 p.m.

I just tapped the latest pilot batch. It is an imperial version of our Belgian IPA, "Berzerker".

To continue the Norse theme, I dubbed it "Mjolnir", because it will get you hammered.

Beer Baron
Beer Baron UltimaDork
10/7/15 11:33 a.m.

Pumpkin beers?!? berkeley that. I'm brewing a mutherberkeleying sweet potato beer right now.

Okay... I brewed a pumpking beer two weeks ago, under duress. The sweet potato is going to be better. First runnings of the wort are fantastic. Way more flavor from sweet potato than from pumpkin.

Recipe notes: Vienna malt base (because I'm out of pilsen, so berkeley it)
Munich for extra body
Aromatic for toastiness
Special B for character
Brown sugar
Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice
Fermenting with hefeweizen yeast

I expect this to be better than my pumpkin beer, which was also a cool concept. Chocolate and Aromatic malt to by like the crust of a pie, real pumpkin, spices, milk sugar for the whipped cream on top.

Pro Tip: sweet potato and pumpkin are starchy, which means they can be reduced to fermentable sugar, so put them in your mash and do it for extra long to break down those difficult starches. Use some rice hulls to make the lauter easier. Looks like sweet potato is less gelatinous than pumpkin.

Grtechguy
Grtechguy UltimaDork
10/7/15 12:12 p.m.

You're on a larger scale than most of us, but how many lbs of sweet potatoes?

Beer Baron
Beer Baron UltimaDork
10/7/15 12:14 p.m.
Grtechguy wrote: You're on a larger scale than most of us, but how many lbs of sweet potatoes?

Not by much. This is on our 20gallon pilot system for the bar, not the big production system.

For 20gallons, I used a 1lbs 5oz. tin of pre-mashed, baked sweet potatoes. If I were to do this again, I would use more, because I was not expecting the sweet potato to lauter so much easier than pumpkin. I'd say .5lbs in a 5-gallon batch would be good.

The taste with that amount is coming through noticeably in the wort (I'm almost to kettle full), but it has a very nice flavor that I would not mind making more overt.

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill SuperDork
10/7/15 1:47 p.m.

I may have to try that.

I ran a "Pumpkin Spiced Wine" recipe last year that ended up tasting like medicine, and not a lot like pumpkin at all.

Come to think of it, I believe I ended up running it through the reflux and it must MAY be that very batch that's degreasing my Alfa's engine bay as we speak...

fritzsch
fritzsch Dork
10/24/15 9:46 a.m.

In the Apple Wine recipe from the first page, is there any reason I can't throw in a cinnamon stick and clove with the yeast? Or should it be done after fermentation?

bgkast
bgkast UberDork
10/24/15 11:18 a.m.

Thanks for the tips BeerBarron. The grain bill was a brown ale I found somwhere. I substituted carabrown for the special roast. Im going to brew it tomorrow.

Grtechguy
Grtechguy UltimaDork
10/24/15 1:45 p.m.

Mini-brewer in the making. Grinding in for 10 Gallons of a robust peanut butter porter.

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill SuperDork
10/24/15 2:18 p.m.
fritzsch wrote: In the Apple Wine recipe from the first page, is there any reason I can't throw in a cinnamon stick and clove with the yeast? Or should it be done after fermentation?

I've done it pre and post, it turns out GREAT. Usually do pre if I'm doing cloves and cinnamon, but sometimes I'll drop a cinnamon stick in the bottle when I'm done. With the stick in the bottle you have to drink it kind of soon, otherwise it kind of overpowers everything.

Cheers!

fritzsch
fritzsch Dork
10/25/15 7:12 a.m.

In reply to Hungary Bill:

But putting a stick of cinnamon in while it is fermenting won't overpower it? I have access to 5L carboys so I will probably be fermenting in those instead of trying to find and buy something bigger. How many cloves and or other spices is a good amount?

Beer Baron
Beer Baron UltimaDork
10/26/15 6:55 a.m.

I have not played around with the effect of dry spicing as compared to kettle/whirlpool spicing. I would expect the effect to be similar to the difference between dry hopping and late-addition hopping.

Late addition hopping generally adds the strongest flavor perception. Dry hopping adds greater aroma. Dry hopping also takes a lot more mass to get a similar increase in perception. The earlier in fermentation you dry hop, you also lose more aroma that gets carried out by the CO2 (offset by the yeast producing slightly different esters when fermenting in the presence of that much hop oil).

That said, hops have different aromatics than spices that are dissolved slightly differently. So, I wouldn't expect dry hopping and dry spicing to be the same.

All figured, adding spices to the fermentor won't necessarily overpower the flavor. You should just take a sample before adding more spices to see how much the flavor is lacking, and adjust your addition rates accordingly.

Edit: I always err on the side of less spice rather than more.

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill SuperDork
10/26/15 7:55 a.m.

^nailed it.

Easiest way I found to do it, is make the flavor you're looking for (ie: add cloves and cinnamon) then ferment the liquid (removing anything solid).

bgkast
bgkast UberDork
10/26/15 2:08 p.m.

I brewed my recipe yesterday with the late addition spicing described in the recipe. It was bubbling away this morning.

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill SuperDork
10/27/15 10:47 a.m.

That pear wine that tipped the scales at 20% initial abv fermented itself completely dry

I was certain the yeast would die before it got that far...

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