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Messages - Tim Thomssen

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The article is basically another review, but I was surprised that comps might be considering banning entires. First of all, how would they know? Secondly, why are there so many change resistant farts out there?

As a prolific competition entrant myself, I welcome and encourage all who want to enter into competition to do so, regardless of the brewing system they use.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Cultures Are Like Nuclear Weapons
« on: October 31, 2015, 04:46:38 PM »
Thanks for a most excellent write up Mark!  I'm impressed that you could efficiently explain a complex subject in a way that a simple minded guy like me was able to understand.


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lacto. Frustrations
« on: July 12, 2015, 05:37:36 PM »
Keep going with it, you're just getting started.  Assuming you've got WLP677 Lactobacillus Delbrueckii and it's been around 100 the whole time, give it a swirl and look for tiny CO2 bubbles, that's about the only visual indication of activity I've ever noticed.  I just recently did a 1 gallon starter with 1 vial of WLP677, didn't really see any activity for 4 or 5 days, pitched on day 9.  Soured 15 gallons of Berliner wort for 42 hours, the Lacto ate 17 points and dropped the PH to 3.6.

Other Fermentables / Re: Ey! Where you get your honey at?
« on: June 22, 2015, 11:48:31 PM »
Believe it or not, we have access to some wonderful local honey that makes pretty good mead, right here in Lincoln Nebraska.  Actually just outside of Lincoln anyway.  If I remember right it was around $30 for a 1 gallon jug, about 12 pounds.  I decided to give it a try after learning that the BOS mead in the Sowers Cup last year was made with that honey.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction
« on: March 13, 2015, 10:20:19 PM »
I like the melanoidins that are created in a decoction mash.  They are particularly welcome in Munich Helles, Oktoberfest, Munich Dunkel & Bock Bier.  Now I'm a plenty lazy brewer, I skip the whole temperature step mash in favor of a single infusion rest for 60 minutes then pull a single decoction for mashout.  For me it's the most efficient way to achieve the desirable melanoidin flavors without too much extra work.

Equipment and Software / Barley Crusher Problems
« on: March 08, 2015, 02:45:31 PM »
I've searched the forum looking for answers and noticed that others have had the same problem I did with the Barley Crusher mill cavitating.

After about 4 years of good service during frequent regular use, I encountered the same frustrating problem with the grain not feeding through properly.  Opening up the gap helped the grain get started but hurt efficiency.  Dis-assembly and cleaning was no help.  After a close examination of the rollers, it is clear that the knurl is worn down and no longer sharp enough to catch and pull the grain through the passive roller.  However, the wear is directional, the knurls are still sharp in the opposite direction!  I took it apart one more time and flipped both rollers around to present the sharp knurl to the grain, now the mill works great again, only turning the shaft in the opposite direction.

I have contacted the manufacturer, they offer a lifetime warranty and will fix it at no charge.  Obviously the long term solution is to send it in for warranty repair, once I get a sufficient gap in the brew schedule, I will return it for a likely roller replacement.  Mean time, it's working great running in reverse direction!

Hopefully someone experiencing the same problem will read this and find the information helpful enough to get them through a challenging brew day.


Homebrew Competitions / Re: Competition changes your category
« on: February 08, 2015, 01:04:06 AM »
I'm in the same boat, had my fruit beer moved to category 34 against my will.  Worse still, it is a clean fermented beer with tartness only from the fruit.

There are no style guidelines published for this category, just the name "specialty sour and brett beers".
I had to dig pretty deep in the competition web site just to find out they even had this special category, sure didn't know about it up front.

I've seen it before where other competitions have a specialty IPA category or similar, in that case it was prominently noted that any specialty IPA's entered in 16E or 23 would be moved to the "Specialty IPA" category.  I have no problem with that, as long as you know what you're getting into up front.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: A little quicker carbonation
« on: December 13, 2014, 05:34:22 PM »
I've used that method before and it does indeed carb faster since you force the CO2 to bubble up through the beer.  However, if you ever get a sticky keg poppet, and they all seem to stick eventually, it gets really interesting when you disconnect the CO2!

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC 15
« on: December 09, 2014, 01:54:06 AM »
Thanks Janis!

small request:  is it too late for a software update?

the software makes us choose between Dry, Semi-Sweet, or Sweet for Mead/cider.  This works OK with mead, as they are judged on 3 levels.

however, for us cidermakers, we are judged on a 5-level scoresheet:
Sweetness:  Dry  Semi-Dry  Medium  Semi-Sweet  Sweet

Effectively, the only ones we are allowed to choose are 1, 4, and 5 on the 5-pt scale...

I would request one of the following in order of preference:

1. A software change that lets us enter all 5 sweetness levels present on the scoresheet.
2. A smaller change:  change the middle of the 3 from "semi-sweet" to "medium" so that at least we can enter the actual midpoint of the 5 levels: 1, 3, and 5.  Note this would fit perfectly with the mead scoresheet which uses  Dry  Medium  Sweet
3. A request that all organizers tell their cider judges that entrants were not allowed to enter 2 of the 5 sweetness levels. sounds like a non-issue but I've gotten hammered in each of the last two Finals for "You entered this as semi-sweet but it is really semi-dry."    ::)

thank you

I think the problem is that the score sheet does not seem to match up with the style guidelines.  The score sheet shows 5 sweetness levels while the current guidelines only have 3, dry, medium & sweet.

Ingredients / Re: Dry Hopping Pliny the Elder
« on: November 23, 2014, 02:52:16 PM »
I make a beer like that, with an irresponsible amount of dry hops.  I also like to crash it to drop the yeast then do the dry hopping in a keg at ambient temperatures.  If you are using whole leaf hops, they can bring a lot of oxygen with them so I like to pressurize the dry hop keg with only the hops in there with CO2 and purge a few times before adding the beer.  After dry hopping for a few days in the keg, you can do a closed transfer by jumping over to another purged keg to serve from.

I've tried the multiple dry hop additions thing before, but just put them all in at once now.  I think that multiple additions work better on the commercial scale because of the volume of hops and fermenter geometry, imaging all those hops settling into the cone without much opportunity for contact with beer.  Much easier to rouse up the hops in a 5 gallon keg than it is a 30 barrel FV.

Ingredients / Re: Water report for Culligan RO system
« on: October 01, 2014, 05:22:26 PM »
I use the same Culligan RO system with satisfactory results.  My wife hates it when I leave a 5 gallon bucket in the sink collecting water, but you can let it go for about 5 hours that way.

I picked up a cheap TDS meter from Amazon so I can periodically check the RO output, when TDS starts to go up, it's time to change the cartridges.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Mold?
« on: July 12, 2014, 10:55:37 PM »
1.009 seems like an awfully low FG for an imperial stout, makes me think infection.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 3068
« on: July 12, 2014, 10:47:32 PM »
I never got sulfur with that yeast strain until I switched from a copper to stainless immersion chiller.  Now I always do!  It will dissipate with more time, warming it up will help too.

Did you happen to replace your copper wort chiller with something else since last using that strain?  A little copper in the system is supposed to reduce sulfur.

Other Fermentables / Re: Adding unfermented cider to a Keg?
« on: July 11, 2014, 03:50:18 AM »
I have back sweetened with frozen concentrate with good results. 

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