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  1. #21
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    Re: My brew schedule...

    12.75lbs?!?! Was this an extract or an AG batch? OG/FG?

    I've got a list of brews to make and I just added 5 more stouts to the list. I'm also contemplating doing a mini-mash as I only do extract brewing now. But my craptastic stove has two settings "Artic & Flaming Pits of Hell". Not sure if I can maintian 150F for 45mins in there.

    Have you ever done a cider? I'm very tempted to start one but everything I read on the NB website states it takes 6 months to condition...guess I better start now.

  2. #22
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    Re: My brew schedule...

    Quote Originally Posted by Phischy View Post
    12.75lbs?!?! Was this an extract or an AG batch? OG/FG?

    I've got a list of brews to make and I just added 5 more stouts to the list. I'm also contemplating doing a mini-mash as I only do extract brewing now. But my craptastic stove has two settings "Artic & Flaming Pits of Hell". Not sure if I can maintian 150F for 45mins in there.

    Have you ever done a cider? I'm very tempted to start one but everything I read on the NB website states it takes 6 months to condition...guess I better start now.
    This was an all-grain batch. I'll have to check but I believe the OG was 1.062 and the FG was 1.020, which may seem a little high, but I wanted a lot of non-fermentables in there for body, so I mashed rather high at 156df and added the carapils.

    Search through this forum and you'll find pics of my cooler setup for mashing and sparging. It holds temps spot-on for at least 90 minutes. That and a cheapo turkey fryer and you'll be set for all grain. I have toyed with the idea of doing a brew during the bourbon festival. If anyone is interested we can start early in the morning and be done by noon.

    To answer your other question, no I have never brewed a cider. I would like to one day, but I have too many beers to perfect first. That and I want to try my hand at winemaking soon too.
    Simplicity is the essence of universality - MK Ghandi

  3. #23
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    Re: My brew schedule...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    I told everyone (quite a while ago) Jeff really knows how to brew.

    Well done my friend.

    Gary
    Thanks Gary! Most of the enjoyment of this hobby comes from sharing with friends. I just bottled a centennial pale ale that Ed and I brewed in early July, so that'll be another one to share in September!
    Simplicity is the essence of universality - MK Ghandi

  4. #24
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    Re: My brew schedule...

    I have a very similar (in fact, pretty much identical) setup to yours, Jeff, and I love it. Its simplicity is a beautiful thing. Even if I had the money or room for something bigger and "better," I'm not sure I'd buy or build it.

    I have made ciders, Phischy. I make one or two a year, and 6 months is on the low end of ideal for maturation. But, they're very simple. I buy the nastiest, dirtiest cider I can find (not much selection here, unfortunately: make sure whatever you buy doesn't have any potassium sorbate), use either the White Labs or Wyeast cider yeast (they're different, but both very good), and wait. I normally bottle after only about a month in secondary. You're looking at about a month in the bottle before it's even worth drinking. But as time goes on, it will only get better. My best cider-drinking experiences ever have been two-year-old bottles. At three years old, the stuff is still great, but its flavors become more muted as time goes on.

  5. #25
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    Re: My brew schedule...

    I had planned on kegging. Do you back sweeten at all? I was thinking of using 2.5 gallon kegs, one 'origional' which should be very dry and wine-like, and the other I'd back sweeten to get more of a hornsby's taste. Just expierimenting.

    Although if I do bottle I may go do it in champaign bottles.

    Come fall I'll go into the moutnains of Julian and get some fresh pressed cider. i went last year but they only had it in 1/2 gallon jugs and the price was more than I was willing to pay.

    what is your recipie? Do you use cinammon or rasiens etc...?

    1 year is a LONG time to wait!

  6. #26
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    Re: My brew schedule...

    I have never backsweetened. I like crisp, dry cider, and don't like the Hornsby's/Woodchuck style. If you are going to force carbonate, though, it's easy enough to use potassium sorbate to inhibit yeast activity and reproduction. Then, just add sugar to taste.

    I don't use any spices in my cider: the liquid yeast cultures actually draw out a bit of spice along with the natural fruit flavors. I do, however, make a cyser (mead/cider hybrid) every fall that's based on a recipe from Ken Schramm's The Compleat Meadmaker. In that, I use raisins and dates to enhance the apple flavor, and I'm considering using spices this fall. If you go to brewboard.com, and read through old threads, there are some good recommendations on spices and amounts to use in a variety of brews. Other good resources are the book I mentioned above and Randy Mosher's Radical Brewing. Both of these have extensive listings and descriptions of herbs and spices, their uses in brewing, and the amounts that you'll want to use. If you use, err on the side of using too little, as most "pie spices" can get overwhelming very quickly.

  7. #27
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    Re: My brew schedule...

    I'm on northernbrewer.com and read a lot of the threads posted there. I have a fairly good idea of how much to use when but I was just going to stick to brown sugar and ciniammon at first. I've never had 'real' cider and I'm not a big fan of champaign and at the same time I don't want the super sweet taste of a commercial cider. So....I'll be somewhere in between.

    The upside of kegging is it's an easy way to batch condition without using a carboy. You can purge the O2 out and store away.

  8. #28
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    Re: My brew schedule...

    I'd use brown sugar to backsweeten only. You don't get much flavor from it (unless you use some unrefined sugar, such as piloncillo) once it's fermented. YMMV.

  9. #29
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    Re: My brew schedule...

    Just to let Jeff know...for xmas I'm going all grain. I picked up the BYO mag of 150 cloned beers and there some stuff in there that I want to try. I'm at the limits of what extract can do and i'm pulling the trigger. AG all the way!

    If your'e still brewing, have you noticed the jump in hop prices??!! I've been stock piling the higher alpha acids (not crazy like though) so I can make a few big double IPA's in '08.

    Can't wait to do my first AG Batch!!!
    The avatar is me as a little tyke.

  10. #30
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    Re: My brew schedule...

    Quote Originally Posted by Phischy View Post
    I'm going all grain
    Way to go Phischy!!!

    I found that once I was all grain, it was not about whacko grain bills and gimmicky adjuncts anymore, it's about you and the mash working together to _really_ make beer.

    And you already a kegger, so you are gonna be da man.

    Roger

 

 

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