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Messages - dmtaylor

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1
All Grain Brewing / Re: Dry hopping and gelatin
« on: Today at 08:31:36 AM »
Use option 2.  I've done option 1 and it dropped out a ton of hop character.

2
Other Fermentables / Re: cider:water ratio for a cyser?
« on: Today at 06:51:36 AM »
After posting here this morning, I got to thinking about a specific recipe for my "morat"/cyser -- I just learned the term "morat" is used for mulberry mead, and that's sort of what I'm going for, except that I want about half my base fermentables from cider and not all honey.  The 1 liter of mulberry should be sufficient for that flavor but if not I have a second liter that I could add in secondary.  So here's what I've kind of figured out, for anyone interested -- this is for 3 gallons of "morat/cyser", planned OG of 1.057-ish and ABV 7.5%-ish:

2.5 lb local basswood and apple blossom honeys (about a 50/50 mix)
1.6 gallons local unpasteurized cider (most likely McIntosh, Cortland, Wealthy, and other local culinaries)
1 liter commercial mulberry juice
0.9 gallon municipal tap water (heated to eliminate chlorine)
1 pack Cote des Blancs yeast

I'm a heat pasteurization guy, as I trust nothing to chance or to sulfites, so I will heat treat the must to about 160 F for 15 minutes, then cool and pitch.  I'm also a bit of a purist, so there will be no chemical additions of any kind, except for possible gelatin (see later) and possible traces of sorbate in the commercial mulberry juice.  Ferment at around 55 F for a month or two, racking once per week to slow the fermentation even more and hopefully stall it out around 1.010.  If proceeding too quickly (as is often the case!), I will hit with gelatin and chill further (probably in my garage in winter!) to knock out the yeast even further.  Want this to finish above 1.000, and 1.005-1.010 would be best.  Eventually after several months, bring up in temperature for a little bit and ensure fermentation is pretty much dead, then prime and bottle.  If I absolutely have to, I'll add sorbate.  Yummy mulberry apple honey wine-cooler!!!!!

I'll confess I'm not a snobbish mead guy at all, I just know what I like and I make it to suit my own tastes!  And I believe this will do the trick VERY nicely.  I can't wait!  Should be heavenly, and not so dang strong so I can drink it like Kool-Aid -- I know -- blasphemy!  It's gonna be great though.

I finally entered this stuff into competition.  Bringing home a silver out of 17 entries.  Heat pasteurized.  No sulfites.  No sorbate.  Tasted smooth like a wine cooler, but 9% ABV after all was said & done.  None left.  Goodbye, Morat Cyser.

http://stlbrews.brewcompetition.com/

3
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Lots of bottle bombs
« on: December 06, 2017, 07:02:38 AM »
Infection

Not sure how much better my process can get.  I soak my bottles in Saniclean and run them through the dishwasher soap free in Sanitize mode.

Dishwasher is a big no-no.  There's residual food and bacteria and wild stuff in there even after a heated cycle -- mark my words!

4
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: FG questions
« on: December 02, 2017, 07:30:37 AM »
If the current topic is a follow-up to this https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=30616, then the concerns about incomplete fermentation and possible bottle bombs would be worth investigating.

Based on that other thread, it looks like they waited a couple weeks and used S-04, with OG=1.070.  Finishing at 1.030 does not seem right.  Now I have to wonder if they really are using a refractometer for FG without alcohol correction a la Terrill.  That, or the SG measurements are not correct, perhaps not corrected for temperature.

Did you measure OG at 79 F or higher?  If so, your OG measurement was very likely incorrect, and was actually closer to 1.080 or higher depending on temp.  Do you remember how hot the wort was when you measured OG??

5
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: FG questions
« on: December 02, 2017, 06:54:21 AM »
Need the complete recipe including mash temp and time, and yeast strain and starter details, and the OG.

6
All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash ph and mouth feel
« on: December 02, 2017, 06:51:25 AM »
Reserve some of your dark roasted malts for the end of the mash if you are not reaching your mash pH goal.  Maybe half at beginning and half in the last 10 minutes, something like that.

7
Though I agree almonds are closely related to peaches, they are not the seed from inside a peach pit. They are a distinctly different drupe grown from a distinctly different tree. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almond 

Peach and almond are very closely related.  I haven't eaten almond fruit before, but I'm willing to guess that it resembles a small peach.  Maybe more dry or not as sweet or something.  Pretty dang close.  One was selected for the quality of its fuzzy fruit, and the other for the quality of its inner nut.  I could be wrong but that's the impression I get.

Cherry on the other hand is a more distant cousin.  We wouldn't dream of cracking a cherry pit open and eating whatever is inside it.

8
I forgot to consider the yeast also.  WLP007 should generate some fruit.  Could be from that, but hard to say for sure.

If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.  If you wife and friends love it, keep on brewing it!

9
It's just a guess.  I do not have the real recipes from the German breweries.  The one I was thinking of was Spaten's marzen.  There was one time, one time, when I swore it tasted like almond.  Maybe twice.  Other times, I have not picked this flavor out of the same beer.

10
I have definitely detected cherry in German lagers before like marzen which often use Munich and Vienna malts, or personally I would describe it more as almond, which makes sense since both cherries and almonds are closely related stone fruits -- an almond is really the seed from inside a peach pit.  While I think the cherry/almond character is inconsistent and not always present every time these malts are used, it is certainly a possible attribute on occasion.  I enjoy this character when present and hope you do too.  Very perceptive, well done.

Cheers.

11
The Pub / Re: One sentence Brewery Summaries
« on: November 29, 2017, 01:34:15 PM »
I love the idea for this thread.  Nice work.

In my own local little area:

PetSkull (Manitowoc, WI) - The one, the only, microbrewery in town, even though some say there's another one.
Courthouse Pub (Manitowoc, WI) - Great if you love stale extract and exhorbitant prices.

Expanding to the rest of Wisconsin:

Lakefront - Mecca of the State and for good reason.
Titletown - A little bit of everything and it's all good.
Noble Roots - Cute little joint.
Ahnapee - Even cuter littler joint, literally in a garage -- fortunately on tap everywhere.
Karben4 - Let Lady Luck smile upon thee.
Ale Asylum - Mmm... hops...
3 Sheeps - Best place on the big Lake.
New Glarus - You wish you could get some, but no worries -- overrated.
Hinterland - Would you have any Grey Poupon?
Moosejaw - Marty Moose!  Marty Moose!  Marty Moose!  Heh, heh, that's me!
Central Waters - Strong dark bourbony specialists.
Capital - German lager specialists.
Stillmank - Fruit specialists.
O'so - Stick with Night Train -- or wait -- is it Night Rain?  Can't make up their minds.
Sprecher - The food is good.  The beer...
Grumpy Troll - So that's why he's grumpy.

Okay, maybe I should get back to my day job now.

Cheers all.

12
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Puzzle
« on: November 29, 2017, 01:09:29 PM »
Oxidation.

This.

I actually don't mind a bit of oxidation in my beer.  In competition, it's usually a fault.  But in non-comp situations, it's okay with me.

13
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The pellet debate
« on: November 28, 2017, 01:29:56 PM »
Ever had beer analyzed to see how close your guess is?

No.  My guess is hardly a guess anymore.  My beer doesn't taste overly or underly bittered, so there's no need.

14
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The pellet debate
« on: November 27, 2017, 04:06:37 PM »
I use my homegrown hops a LOT, almost exclusively for BITTERING.  Mine have an approximate alpha acid value near the middle of the normal range.  They are typically about 21-23% moisture when harvested, occasionally as low as 20% or as high as 25%, but about 22% is typical.  As such...

IF using undried hops, you'll want to use about 4.5 times as much as dried ones.

If you normally use pellet hops and are concerned about the difference between pellets and whole hop cones, then the OP is right, you'll want to use about an extra 10%, approximately, to account for that.

I don't see use of homegrowns for bittering as a novelty thing.  I see it as being very resourceful.  I don't have to buy a lot of hops anymore, even for bittering.

15
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My one and done brew
« on: November 27, 2017, 02:56:49 PM »
I made an Earl Grey Porter one time.  Not a great idea.

I've experimented a lot with unusual ingredients and/or techniques, and the odds have been roughly 50/50 of being something anyone would want to drink, but occasionally maybe 2 times out of 10 have turned out fantastic.

It's all part of the fun of the hobby.  Occasionally we can stumble upon something awesome.  But for every winner, there will be more losers.  That's been my general experience so far anyway.  Still, it does not discourage me from continuing to experiment.

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