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Messages - pweis909

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: American Brown Style Guidelines
« on: February 22, 2012, 04:58:13 AM »
ThomasBarnes, thanks for your take on the style. Your detailed commentary will help me if I ever decide to brew this style expressly as a competition entry.

Tomsawyer, thanks for your thoughts on the difficulties of judging styles where there is overlap with other styles. I do appreciate that judges must look for reasons to rank one example over another. This was sort of where my original question was going (let me reiterate that I wasn't complaining about the scores). When style guidelines overlap, as they often do, is it fair to assume that judges will emphasize the non-overlapping part of a styles's spectrum? If so, it really changes what the competition is about. It's not about brewing the best beer that fits the American Brown Ale guidelines, but brewing the best American Brown Ale that is also distinctive enough to not also fit the other guidelines that happen to overlap with ABA. Maybe that is the best competition strategy?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: American Brown Style Guidelines
« on: February 18, 2012, 09:54:38 PM »
@jlap --The example I am most familiar with is Moose Drool, which is not citrusy either. Thanks for your insights from your own judging experience.

General Homebrew Discussion / American Brown Style Guidelines
« on: February 18, 2012, 07:09:26 PM »
I recently got score sheets back for an American Brown, filled out by 2 BJCP judges (including 1 national-level judge). My scores were OK, 33 and 34. Both judges found no major flaws but noted that my beer was pretty malt forward and that hops were a bit muted, so maybe a little out of balance for style (my interpretation of their comments; neither said "out of balance").

One judge commented that I should use more centennial and cascade hops and the other commented that it needed to be more citrusy in the finish. To me, these last two comments seem like an overinterpretation of the guidelines, which emphasize that citrusy character is optional. I'm curious if guidelines for the style are mutating a bit, and that citrusy character is becoming increasingly expected. Any BJCP experts have thoughts on that?

I want to emphasize that I'm not whining about my scores and am just curious if the style target might be shifting towards increasing citrus character. I accept that hop perception might have been lower than optimal. I actually wanted this beer a little more bitter and citrusy and have some ideas for addressing that next time around. I think I need to either use more hops or add them loosely instead of in hop sacks (I'll try this next).

Kegging and Bottling / Kegging vs. Bottling - Another question of clarity
« on: February 18, 2012, 06:20:06 PM »
I only recently started kegging. Why have my bottled beers (75+ batches) tended to be much clearer than my kegged beers (2 batches)?

Does this suggest that my pick-up tubes should be shortened? In his recent Zymurgy article on lagers, Dan Gordon suggested they should be 2 inches higher than the bottom of the keg. Do most of you follow this advice; I know mine are closer to the bottom than that.

Alternatively, maybe I just got unlucky with my first two kegged beers, or maybe there is something else to think about? These were Kolsch and Alt yeasts, which I believe are notorious for low floc and clarity issues. Is that the answer to my question? Shorter settling distance in bottles than in kegs? Maybe, but these kegged beers have been in the kegs since early November.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing This Weekend - 9/16 Edition
« on: September 17, 2011, 12:47:47 AM »
The oatmeal porter and the bitter that I mentioned last week got put off until tonight because of a delayed shipment. The porter is boiling now, and I'll stay up late to knock out the bitter.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First extract in years
« on: September 09, 2011, 10:45:49 PM »
After mashing all my homebrews for 5 years, several factors conspired to motivate me to do an extract hefe last month. Sometimes there is something to be said for a shorter brew day.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing This Weekend - 9/9 Edition
« on: September 09, 2011, 10:39:44 PM »
Nothing on the weekend, but during the week I hope to brew a Groaty Brown Porter and a Special Bitter.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Lager Candy Sweetness
« on: September 03, 2011, 09:32:32 PM »
Doesn't this recipe have crystal malt in it? That's where I would expect the sweetness to come from. I seem to recall he said something about using crystal in O-fests and skipping it in Vienna. Maybe you would prefer his Vienna lager recipe?

Have the Paxton responses been posted yet? Maybe I'm looking in the wrong spot?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: New Yeast Book
« on: November 26, 2010, 12:23:26 PM »
I read through it once cover to cover when it first arrived in October and have not picked it up since.  My initial reaction is that there is a ton of information about yeast that I found very interesting.  Keep in mind that I am a sciency kind of guy who is enthralled by microbes beyond their ability to make beer and has picked up other books about bacteria and fungi for leisure reading.  I am not sure how much of Yeast I will incorporate into my brewing.  It defintiely makes me want to start a yeast laboratory and library, but practical considerations make that unlikely, at least in the short term. I will need to return to to the book again to extract and absorb more of it and evaluate what facets of it I can adopt and adapt for my own brewing.

Equipment and Software / Re: Auto siphon cracking
« on: November 16, 2010, 09:13:13 PM »
I also broke about 3 auto-siphons befor swtiching to a SS racking cane, which will probably last forever.  As I use bucket fermenters most of the time, the carboy cap/sterile siphon starter approach is out. I just needed to practice starting a siphon a couple times, and I've never looked back.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Roasted malts in stout
« on: November 16, 2010, 06:49:55 PM »
I love the chocolate flavors imparted by Thomas Fawcett's pale chocolate malt.  It may not be quite roasty enough to stand on its own in a stout.  I've used it in a brown ale (8oz), california commons (2oz), and a dubbel  (6oz) with delicious effects.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belgian Saison (wyeast) - grapefruit flavors
« on: November 15, 2010, 09:25:13 PM »
I've used the White Labs version, once.  By mismanaging my temperature controller, my fermentation temp got just over 100F. In 4 days, my saison went from 1.060 to 1.010, but it didn't get lower after another month in the 70s.  Sounds like a disaster, but it really didn't taste bad.  Everyone says this yeast likes heat, so it may be that you really should have let your temp get higher than you did (but maybe not 100F!).  This beer is a distant memory, though and I can't recall if it had grapefruit flavors.  Even if it hasn't attenuated as low as typical style examples, the grapefruit part doesn't sound bad to me.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belgian Saison (wyeast) - grapefruit flavors
« on: November 15, 2010, 04:08:50 PM »
If your saison was only down to 1.022, it sounds like you kegged too early.  But that probably has little to do with your grapefruit question.

Two.  Whether we're talking starting a beer or bottling, my record is two.  Two in one day.  Not too long ago, I added to a thread about biggest screw-ups.  All of my wost mistakes come when I try to do too much at once.  My schedule doesn't permit me to brew so often, so I am tempted to try to double up when I get the chance.  For me, doubling up = screwing up.

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