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Messages - brewday

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1
As for basing your knowledge on unblind tastings - I think Denny's objection (if I'm going to put words in my co-author's/host's mouth) is to people acting as authoritative experts without the due diligence.


Since Denny's objection was directed at my comments, I find this statement to be both confusing and frustrating.  Care to clarify?

Hmm not trying to be unclear. My guess (and of course Denny will clarify) is that to Denny there's an objective quality to 'knowing a truth' and to him the only way to do that is to test. Without testing you only have your subjective truth and a lot of people act as experts on that basis.

But in reality this is a hobby with a lot of practices that will yield success and a lot of it is artistry. I think people get obsessed with the objective truth but that's why my form of brewing personality is different from Denny's and Marshall's and probably yours too.
Great way of putting it, objective vs subjective. Again, I think both are important. If you are seeking improvement its very helpful to analyze your beer with an objective view, but in the end the whole point of beer is purely subjective.

Yep, except for one thing.."truth" isn't subjective.  That's opinion.

Clear as mud.

Denny/Drew:  Let's cut the crap.  I don't pretend to be an authoritative expert on anything.  Read through my comments again.  I'm merely saying that I made a change, and as a result my beers improved, that they went from point A to point B.  I stand by that.  That doesn't mean I'm finished trying to improve them, or that I'm finished exploring new ideas, or finished seeking the wisdom of true experts such as yourselves.  I work hard to improve my brewing.  When I believe I have accomplished that in some way, notwithstanding an absence of rigorous testing, it does not mean that I'm acting like an authoritative expert without due diligence.  That's insulting.

2
As for basing your knowledge on unblind tastings - I think Denny's objection (if I'm going to put words in my co-author's/host's mouth) is to people acting as authoritative experts without the due diligence.

Since Denny's objection was directed at my comments, I find this statement to be both confusing and frustrating.  Care to clarify?

3
Denny, I admire the work that you, Drew and Marshall do.  I sincerely mean that.  But if it was a requirement to confirm every perceived improvement in my own beers by setting up a specific test, then frankly I'd stop brewing.  I'm not going to go back and do that, and I feel very strongly that certain changes I've made have resulted in better beer.  I'm sorry, you're just not going to talk me out of that.

For me this is a water thing, not a dark grain issue per say.  I haven't used the words astringent, harsh or acrid here.  World class beers are obviously made with dark grains in the mash, no question.  Again, for me this is about water.  I've personally adopted an approach to water that is consistent across all styles, regardless of dark grains.  From SRM 3 to SRM 43, my beers are better.  Period.  But I'm only talking about my beers.  I'm not telling anyone they should hold dark grains until vorlauf.  What I am saying is that in my experience it works.

As I mentioned earlier in this thread I intend to do a side by side for dark grains specifically because there are so many people saying it doesn't work.  But I've also noted that those who haven't found this method to be particularly successful, including Marshall, have fallen well short in extracting the proper color.  To me that's a key miss.  The more I read that the color wasn't there (and therefore neither were the flavors) then the more likely I am to believe that I'm handling the process differently, and the less likely I am to question my own results.  But I'll do the damn side by side!!

Here's what I'd tell people reading this:

If you're curious, try Gordon's approach to water and if you like it, adopt it.  If you don't like it, then don't.  That simple.

4
If you think your beers improved, that's really what matters most.  I don't think you necessarily need to do a side-by-side to determine that.

Uh, yes you do...if you really want to know and not just guess.

Respectfully, Denny, that's nonsense.  Anytime one makes a major change in process, whether it's how you make a starter, your water profile, mash program, fermentation control or handling of roasted grains, we can and should be able to decide for ourselves if it results in improvement without setting up a specific test.  Do you like the beers better than before or not?  Pretty simple.  If it's not clear, or if someone keeps telling you that what you're experiencing isn't possible, then maybe it makes sense to compare.

I've never done a side by side of my own beers, yet I can easily mark off specific changes to my brewing process that coincide with significant improvement.  Going all in on Gordon's approach to water - for all styles - is certainly one of them.

5
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: New Yeast starter procedure
« on: November 30, 2015, 04:23:52 PM »
I just yesterday tried the new starter procedure that Mark introduced us all to. 

Is this the "vitality" method that Marshall shared from Colin K?

IIRC that one (vitality) is different as it involves a slow-stirred starter at the beginning of brewday.

6
I single batch sparge, but my method has been to add crystal malts after taking my first runnings, stir and recirculate for 15 minutes, then drain again.

What's the reason for that?
I bought into Gordon's single water treatment for most beers line. I've convinced myself that the color and roast character is the same with less astringency, but never did a side-by-side, so can't make that claim.

Any time savings, one way or the other, is insignificant.

So, I guess the only reason is blind faith.  :-[

If you think your beers improved, that's really what matters most.  I don't think you necessarily need to do a side-by-side to determine that.

7
sparge method may also play a part in these results, no?

I capped the mash with midnight wheat for my latest Schwarz, but I fly sparge, which means that they'll be getting 45-55min contact time.  whereas a batch sparger is much less time, perhaps?

just a thought.

That would be my guess.  This has to come down to contact time, I would think.  Even with batch sparging people have different runoff times.  Mine are slow.

Plus this one was done via no-sparge.  When I run off full volume/no sparge I make sure to give the "capping" extra time.

Blatz, do you notice less color when you cap?

8
Fascinating results, especially the part about pH being only hundredths of a point different.  I shall henceforth return to full mashes for my stouts and porters, as depth of flavor and color are more important to me with these styles than the theoretical but probably non-existent "smoothness" from late capping.

I have zero constructive comments for this xBmt.  Well done.  Thank you again, Marshall.

Interesting results indeed.  I'd like to think that I would have preferred the late addition stout, but who knows?  I now intend to do a side-by-side and see for myself.

One thing I can't get past is the color difference.  It makes sense that less color translates to less roasted flavors, I'm just not experiencing that color difference when I employ this technique.  I do seem to get quicker and better clarity however.  Not sure why.  But again, I'll give the experiment a whirl for myself and decide.

Good stuff Marshall.

9
Great data. I love not having to make my brew day more complicated.

For me, adding the dark grain late makes brewday less complicated - no water spreadsheets, no weighing salts, no varying acid additions, no pH meter, no tinkering.  If you like doing those things, great!  I don't.

I use the same water and mash pH profile with minimal additions for every beer and get consistent results, regardless of the style I'm brewing.  That, I believe, is Gordon's larger point.

10
Beer Recipes / Re: Who makes "clean" pale ales?
« on: November 28, 2015, 02:25:28 PM »
I think that Crystal is both an awesome and highly underrated hop for APAs.  It's especially good as a late addition flying solo.

Check out Rogue's Brutal IPA, formerly Brutal Bitter.

Good call Denny, that's exactly what I had in mind.  And local options for Village (and me) would include Ale Syndicate Municipal or Revolution Crystal Hero.

11
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Starter Wort
« on: November 28, 2015, 01:15:39 PM »
i got that...whats medium for mushrooms mean?
I envision something like this:


To grow mushrooms you want to sterilize the medium (cooked grains usually) before inoculation so that no harmful fungus grows with them.

great, just what i  need...another hobby  ::)

...and there's the "Grow" part of the name of my LHBS.  Not just peelin' labels!!

12
Beer Recipes / Re: Who makes "clean" pale ales?
« on: November 28, 2015, 12:11:05 PM »
I think that Crystal is both an awesome and highly underrated hop for APAs.  It's especially good as a late addition flying solo.

13
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop addiction
« on: November 28, 2015, 09:10:05 AM »
Good deal, I think we're on the same page.  1oz bags out of a jar that's been opened and handled a bunch = bad (totally get that).  1oz bags from a reputable hop vendor that were sealed, no worries.  1 lb hops used and resealed by the homebrewer, also no worries.  If my LHBS didn't have such a great selection, I'd order online in a heartbeat.  Listermann's in Cincinnati does very decent job with both hop variety and malt IMO. 
They have been out of Simcoe lately though... I figure since I came home with a Beer Gun tonight, I should probably hold off on the bulk hops and vacuum sealer. 

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk




Love my Beer Gun ! Pretty sure you will, too.
I haven't even used it yet and I'm already convincing myself I need a second one.  I have this idea in my head to turn a spare keg into a bottling bucket for sour beers; mixing priming sugar and wine yeast in the keg and filling bottles with the beer gun to avoid oxygen as much as possible.  I'm fairly certain the beer gun won't break down small enough for me to pressure cook it. 

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

I've got a keg labeled "Dank Tank" for this purpose, it makes managing sours so easy.  Highly recommended.  When I got my beer gun I designated my old racking cane/picnic tap setup for bottling sours this way.

Back to hops...

Just when I thought I was set, this thread pulls me back in.  I'll be making a purchase today along the lines of Jon's fantastic four.  D'oh!

14
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: hopshot & amarillo
« on: November 27, 2015, 09:10:25 AM »
Hopshot is sold in 5 ml syringes.  Each syringe provides 50 ibu for 5 gallons of 1.050 wort boiled for 60 minutes.  As the wort gets above 1.080, utilization decreases.

Here is a chart:
http://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/hopshot.pdf

So for a mid-1.070ish beer you're looking right at or just below 100 ibu.  But NB also reports that test batches show perceived bitterness is less aggressive with hopshot.

I think what you're seeing in that recipe is an even two hopshots being added in their entirety (easier) with ibu calculations from Beersmith or similar.  In reality it's probably closer to 90 ibu, but again, I don't think you can perceive the difference between that and ~75.

If I'm brewing that particular recipe as written but didn't have access to hopshot, I would toss in an ounce of either Warrior or Apollo (assuming 15%+ AA) at the beginning of the boil.

Hope that helps.

15
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: hopshot & amarillo
« on: November 26, 2015, 05:34:09 PM »
Gotcha.

I have no experience with hopshot, but if it were me I probably wouldn't specify 120 IBU of Warrior for bittering.  I think there's a point where you're not going to be able to perceive additional bitterness.  75-80ish ibu maybe?  I could be wrong.

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