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Messages - dmtaylor

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1
Ingredients / Re: Using your back yard creek
« on: April 18, 2015, 07:11:55 AM »
Makes a great chiller if you can set it up right.

2
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: thin beer
« on: April 17, 2015, 06:57:34 AM »
is there any specific advice we can give?

See my post on previous page.  It's quite specific.

to build body in an AG beer, a higher mash temp (154-160F) along with use of wheat, rye, or flaked barley would help, as would choosing a less attenuative yeast strain.  As for being flavorless, that's a recipe issue. Gotta experiment with malts and hops.

And that's very good too.

3
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: thin beer
« on: April 17, 2015, 06:20:19 AM »
I too agree not to agree.  I don't think novice homebrewers make watery thin lifeless beers.  They might not be stellar brews, but I wouldn't come to a conclusion quite like that.

Tiring of saying the same old things in 17,000 different ways, for single-page printable generic guidance for new brewers, I always just post this:


4
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Spring 2015 Beer Swap
« on: April 16, 2015, 08:56:14 AM »
I'd prefer a one-on-one swap, but if not, oh well, this works.

5
Ingredients / Re: Peated malt
« on: April 16, 2015, 08:13:07 AM »
The bigger problem with the BJCP is that these styles tend to be under-taught to judges (see Jim's comments) so much so that many BJCP training courses barely address them and they are barely tested. The stories of horrible judging in these styles are endless. I've personally seen judges say they don't like sour beers and score down sour beers because they just didn't like it (in cat. 23) or give the best scores to the least sour beers in the flight out of personal preferences. It seems too accepted and although these complaints have been raised to BJCP leadership it doesn't seem like they care.

Judges are human, and reality is that there will always be some judges who suck, and there will always be organizers who don't care about pairing judges with style preferences appropriately, etc.  I have issues with how BJCP does some things, but in their defense, they can't resolve world hunger either, whether they care or not.  What they CAN do is establish style guidelines and competition guidance that makes sense to a majority of people.  But if they refuse to listen to a majority of people, then majority doesn't rule, and THAT, I have a problem with.

6
Ingredients / Re: Peated malt
« on: April 14, 2015, 11:55:46 AM »
At the BJCP reception, we also learned that Kentucky Common Beer did not use a sour mash.
There was even a significant amount of debate on the BJCP forums on the style guidelines for it.

It wasn't really debate.  None of the new guideline threads really involved much debate.  They were all like, "This is what the Masters have determined, this is the way it's going to be, you don't like it then that's just too bad."

My opinion of the BJCP is reduced by a few notches.  I still think BJCP is useful to a point.  But I could do without the one-party politics and the one-upmanship by some of the highest ranking members.   :P

7
Ingredients / Re: rice hull question
« on: April 14, 2015, 06:22:16 AM »
They do absorb some volume, although I have never tried to quantify it.

How much wheat are you using?  If less than 50%, I would suggest that you might not need the rice hulls at all, or you might want to try it without and thus skip it in future if you find it isn't needed.  But if you'd prefer the insurance then by all means go for it.

8
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Old standards in cheap beer?
« on: April 13, 2015, 03:33:30 PM »
It's possible the big brewers have finally figured out that the average joe wants more flavor, and they want to put their old mainstays in positions closer to the successful craft beer market that is booming like mad, so if they put more flavor in the old mainstays, it will make for an easier transition of those folks to craft beer (if the drinkers don't all die first).

Maybe.  Probably not.  But possible.

9
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Priming sugar...Is 3/4 cup right?
« on: April 12, 2015, 08:22:31 AM »
I have a 2/3 cup measuring cup and I fill it slightly short.  It works.  I never weigh my priming sugar.  In small batches (currently I usually brew 1.7 gallons), I run some calculations and then measure 1/4 cup plus or minus X number of teaspoons if required.

10
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: How Quick Is To Quick?
« on: April 12, 2015, 06:23:57 AM »
Quick fermentation is very normal for hefeweizen yeasts.

11
Equipment and Software / Re: Immersion Chiller for Smaller Batches
« on: April 12, 2015, 06:21:38 AM »
Pour the boiled wort into a sanitized kettle or bucket.  Place the vessel into a tub.  Fill the tub with cold water.  Wait about a half an hour.  Your small batch will be chilled significantly.  If the immersion water becomes too warm and the wort will not chill further, replace the immersion water with more cold water and wait another 20 minutes.  Done.  I've done this for more than 100 batches and it works great.

12
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Priming sugar...Is 3/4 cup right?
« on: April 11, 2015, 03:27:37 PM »
Volume matters.  Temperature does not matter much.  I use 5/8 cup table sugar in 5 gallons and always get perfect results.

13
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Crazy amount of head.
« on: April 11, 2015, 05:11:43 AM »
The BN forum used to be good like that.  For better or worse, that forum has essentially died in the past couple years, as have several others.

14
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer Swap Idea
« on: April 09, 2015, 09:11:31 AM »
Both UPS and Fedex have it on their website that you can print a label and pay on the website. Then drop it off at their store, or have it picked up. I have never been asked the contents.

Same here - Neither UPS or FedEx ever asks me about contents as long as I pre-pay and print and attach the label at home.  It's a very simple drop-off process at that point.  In the very unlikely event that they ask, just tell them it's non-perishable food, glass/fragile, so be kind of careful with it, etc.

It's also important when packing it, if you haven't done this before, to line your box with a big garbage bag and put everything inside that bag and tie it up.  Then if there are any bottle cracks or cap leaks (both of which occasionally DO happen unfortunately), it won't soak into the outer cardboard and cause them to question the contents en route.  They should have no reason to question a well packed box unless they totally mutilate the box, and then that's THEIR fault, not yours.

15
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer Swap Idea
« on: April 09, 2015, 06:37:24 AM »
I'm in.

It's been years since I've done one of these.  We should come up with a list of rules and guidelines so no one gets surprised or screwed or anything like that.  Personally I would usually share 2 bottles each, 12 ounces each, of perhaps 3 or 4 different recipes.  In the past I have seen forums where they said the minimum should be 2 recipes.  To some extent you can use PMs to negotiate with whoever is swapping with you and jack this up or down as necessary to keep things even.  I have also swapped commercial beers such as New Glarus, etc.  It's all good, as long as you work it out with your specific swapper via PMs or email.

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