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Topics - drjones

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Ingredients / Tamarind anyone?
« on: June 16, 2014, 10:08:42 AM »
I've got an IPA fermenting that I would like to add tamarind to.  I have a "brick" of seedless tamarind fruit from the Indian grocery store.  It has a pretty powerful sweet-tart flavor.  The IPA has an English malt base (Maris Otter with a bit of caramel rye and carahell and a half pound of jaggery), but is hopped in a more West Coast fashion - with late columbus, apollo, summit, and galaxy at flameout/whirlpool.
My thought was to let this go for 4-5 days, then add the fruit.  After tasting the tamarind, I'm not sure I should use the whole pound for this 5 gallon batch.  Anyone have any experience with tamarind?  My experience tells me that its wiser to under-do it than over-do it for a first-time experiment.  Also, any thoughts on dry hops that might not clash too strongly (If I add any, I'm thinking of sticking with galaxy at this point, but I'm new to galaxy so I don't have much to go on there).
-Brian

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Yeast and Fermentation / Fermenting during a heat wave
« on: July 18, 2013, 10:19:23 AM »
Without a chest cooler, I'm dependent on old-school methods of temp control.  My mead is (relatively) safe in a big bucket of water receiving four swapped out freezer packs twice a day and staying at about 65F (though I'd prefer it a bit lower).  The session ipa (1.046, US-05) from last Sunday is probably about done with the bulk of its fermentation, and I managed to keep it at 70F in the cellar next to the mead bucket. Ideally, it, too, would be 5 degrees cooler.  How are you guys managing the heat - wet towels, other ideas?  (Short of buying a freezer!)     

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Yeast and Fermentation / Go-Ferm substitute for rehydration? (mead)
« on: July 06, 2013, 06:48:54 AM »
Will be doing a mead this afternoon.  If anyone sees this in time and has some experience with meads, is there a close substitute for go-ferm during yeast rehydration?  I have on hand LD Carlson Yeast Energizer, Fermax yeast nutrient and some Wyeast Nutrient blend.  I believe the go-ferm is primarily composed of yeast-derived minerals/vitamins that help initial cell wall development.  I've also heard that DAP added too soon can be stressful to the yeast.  I suspect the Wyeast blend may be most appropriate.
Any thoughts?

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All Grain Brewing / rising vs. falling mash temps
« on: June 03, 2013, 09:54:22 AM »
Basic question:  What is the difference between a mash that starts at 148 and rises to 158 over an hour, vs. one that starts at 158 and drops to 148 over the same time period, assuming a comparable rate of temp change over time?  The risk of the high temp dough-in seems to be the increased potential to denature beta-amylase, leaving only alpha-amylase.  At what point is this really going to happen?  158F, 162F, or higher?

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General Homebrew Discussion / Beers for the non-craft drinker
« on: May 14, 2013, 09:51:53 AM »
The question we all dread - "Do you have something light?"  So, what to do for your non-craft beer buddies?  I continue to be surprised that such folks are happy to drink what I consider a rather flavorless pseudo Berliner Weisse I made a while back.  This very light (ca. 3.5%ABV) ale was made with 8% acidulated malt, a 2-row base, a dash of cara-pils and US-05 dry yeast.  I find it pretty close to water, but these American light lager drinkers seem to enjoy it.  What are your own experiences appealing to their curious palates?

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