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Messages - davidw

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1
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Done with hefes
« on: September 29, 2016, 06:15:11 AM »
Yep, Eric Warner's great book "Brewing German Wheat Beers" recommends starting off at 58 degrees and he worked at a Bavarian weissbier brewery. It is one of the best CBS series books. Some aren't very good but that one is essential to understanding the secrets of brewring German Hefeweizen.

Agreed! I particularly like the part where he recounts the first morning break they took, sitting down and he ordered coffee or something, one of the brewers nixed that and a round of wheat beer came to the table. IIRC they considered it 'food for the brain'.

2
All Grain Brewing / Re: Suitable Sub for Mild Malt
« on: May 24, 2016, 06:24:20 AM »
A little late to the party . .

I used to love Pauls Mild ale malt as a base for English styles and used it extensively when NB offered it but I haven't been able to find a supplier for several years. I got on an English/esb/bitter/pale ale brewing kick last fall and have been using Briess Ashburne malt as a base, it's an awesome malt and very much like Pauls Mild. Great malt flavor and leaves a lot of residual body in the beer even when mashed low, also is a bit cheaper than euromalts. Highly recommended.

3
General Homebrew Discussion / Boston Beer Co
« on: April 28, 2016, 05:16:33 AM »
I found this article interesting, particularly the 'Profit Gusher' chart:

http://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-04-27/owner-of-sam-adams-may-see-m-a-light-in-constellation-brands


4
All Grain Brewing / Re: My mash in and batch sparge process
« on: March 11, 2016, 06:21:01 AM »
Denny, I can tell you specifically what type of lautering system would benefit from letting the grain bed settle: mine. I have a pair of original Zymico Bazooka T's in a 70 quart cooler that feed a central manifold in an H configuration. Were I to add sparge water, stir, and "let 'er rip" there's a 50/50 chance I would end up with a stuck sparge. So allowing the grain bed to settle and develop is necessary for my system. A grain bed that is given time to settle creates a natural filter and is advantageous in a couple ways.

First, it allows the sugars in the grist to dissolve into the liquid, time is a factor in solubility of sugar in a liquid as it reaches concentration equilibrium between the grist and liquid. This is a minor concern as the value is low and on the homebrew scale nearly negligible. And while I have noted a 1-2 point increase in efficiency when allowing 5 minutes to pass in order for the grain bed to establish, (years ago when I noted every time, temp and volume), the more significant result was and is consistency in efficiency.

The second advantage is clear beer. Using the grain bed as a natural filter does just that, filters the liquid extract for clear run off into the kettle. A vigorous boil, quick chill, and after 2-3 weeks in the ferementers I rack directly into the keg(s) and my beer is crystal clear from day one. No cold crashing necessary. This is rarely the case when I use my small-batch mashtun, a 5 gallon round cooler with a SS braid, and with that system I don't wait for the grain bed to settle. Those beers have always needed time to clear.

So again I will state: it depends on your mash tun/system set up. Seems obvious not everyone is driving the same car.


david

5
All Grain Brewing / Re: My mash in and batch sparge process
« on: March 09, 2016, 06:14:52 AM »
So no need to let the sparge settle before you start the second vorlaf?

Nope.  I've tested it many times and found no advantage to it.

Ah. I will adopt this as well then.

It depends on your mash tun/system set up. Try it both ways several times and decide for yourself if there is an advantage or not.

6
The Pub / Re: Cigars
« on: March 02, 2016, 04:21:43 PM »
Few things more enjoyable than a Backwoods on a brew-day!

http://www.cigarsinternational.com/cigars/12491/backwoods/

Oh yes.

7
The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: February 25, 2016, 01:33:15 PM »
If I don't get some whiskey soon I'm gonna DIIIIEEEE!!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoZ9pvkceYU

Great movie, sorry for the tangent, please return to your regularly scheduled programming . . .

8
All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mash For Kolsch...
« on: February 20, 2016, 10:20:01 AM »
To me, the inability for us to choose the best of the malts and hop crops explains why it's so hard to duplicate at home. Fun trying to duplicate anyway !

I'm curious, do you find the ingredients you get to be inferior in some way? Or the variety available lacking? The supplies available twenty years ago pale in comparison to what is out there today. I can't remember the last time I couldn't get a particular malt or hop variety (as long as you order your hops when they hit the market) nor have I received supplies that were stale or unusable. I've been to malting facilities as I have a friend in the biz and also to hop farms (none in Europe, yet) and while the contracted brewers may get first pick, that doesn't mean the balance of the malt or hops are somehow lacking.


We have access to good ingredients of course, but we don't get to pick the very best lot of noble hops from a farm or the freshest, highest quality lots of malts from maltsters. Homebrewers get what's left over. Some German brewers have malts made to their own specs. I'm just saying that while we have access to often very good ingredients, there is a pecking order on ingredients and we're not at the top.

Grow your own hops/grain and malt your own grain.  It's not difficult but it is work and it does take time.  Those who say you can't do those things as well as commercial operations have never tried or are too lazy.

And for the record, I'm not saying that being able to brew with Weyermann or Best pils and Mittelfrueh hops is suddenly a bad thing - it's great. Just saying that when trying to isolate something as elusive as an 'it' factor, there's gotta be a slight difference between very good ingredients and the absolute cream of the crop ingredients.

I would argue that the "it" factor has more to do with a specific brewerys equipment and process and to a lesser extent the actual ingredients. But I'm on the clock this afternoon so I don't really have time to argue!  ;)

9
All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mash For Kolsch...
« on: February 20, 2016, 08:31:25 AM »
To me, the inability for us to choose the best of the malts and hop crops explains why it's so hard to duplicate at home. Fun trying to duplicate anyway !

I'm curious, do you find the ingredients you get to be inferior in some way? Or the variety available lacking? The supplies available twenty years ago pale in comparison to what is out there today. I can't remember the last time I couldn't get a particular malt or hop variety (as long as you order your hops when they hit the market) nor have I received supplies that were stale or unusable. I've been to malting facilities as I have a friend in the biz and also to hop farms (none in Europe, yet) and while the contracted brewers may get first pick, that doesn't mean the balance of the malt or hops are somehow lacking.

Back on topic, this thread caught my eye because I have step mashed kolsch and never found a difference between that and a single infusion. And my initial reply about competition winners somehow being superior to other brewers due to the coincidence that the only time I entered the AHA national comp I submitted a Kolsch and a Cream Ale. These light styles are often discussed as being more tedious to brew due to their light nature. Both scored high enough to earn silver medals, that certainly doesn't make me feel like I am a better brewer than anyone else. More so that I had a good handle on the style and process.   

10
All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mash For Kolsch...
« on: February 18, 2016, 03:39:00 PM »
I have never won a medal in the NHC, so they are better than I. 

Don't make the mistake of assuming just because someone has won a medal or ten that they are automatically a better brewer than any one else.

11
All Things Food / Re: Smokers: electric vs gas
« on: February 10, 2016, 09:29:19 AM »
Pretty much, and smaller and lighter than the usual 55 gallon UDS. I looked into trying to build one myself, and in the end it was just easier to spend a little but more and buy the PBC.

We obviously have different check books, because that is more than spending a little to me!  ;)

One of the local maple syrup producers has SS 50 gallon barrels which he will sell a few of each year for $75, I have been considering making a smoker out of one, probably could do it for under $100 after adding the necessary grates/racks, cutting a hole or two, etc.

Thanks for the review of the Akron, Mike, those have been on my radar for a couple years and I've been considering purchasing one. I collect grills/smokers like other people collect baseball cards.

12
The Pub / Re: Hofbräuhaus has happy hour!
« on: February 09, 2016, 08:45:07 AM »
I need to find my way up there sometime soon, but I can't seem to pull myself away from Timber Creek and/or Sprague Farm in NW PA!

13
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pump
« on: January 22, 2016, 12:34:20 PM »
Now I'm curious about this Teflon thrust washer, will have to take mine apart this weekend and check it out. I've ran 400+ batches through the pump, mash recirc, pumping to the kettle, as well as the (rare) pumping through the heat exchange coil in the HLT and don't notice any poor performance. In fact, pumping to the kettle I typically have to throttle back or it's like a high pressure washer coming out of the ss wand on the end of the hose that I use to transfer.

14
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentation Chamber
« on: January 21, 2016, 11:48:02 AM »
Well, it appears he built this almost 3 years ago, maybe someone should leave a question to see how well it has worked and whether or not the compressor gave out?

15
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pump
« on: January 21, 2016, 06:53:02 AM »
Well now, Steve, you would be the person to ask! The March 815 looks exactly like the Chugger on the More Beer site. Are they the same pump? I have a March and was thinking about replacing the poly head with a SS one for no other reason than I have a stainless steel fetish!

With that said, I think I have had the head off my March once in 15+ years when a mash of german wheat has so much protein it clogged things up and I had to stop, disassemble, clean out the gunk, add some more rice hulls and proceed. I run a little hot water through the pump after mashing for no other reason than to prevent the sugars from drying out and sticking things up. Knock on wood, never had any issues.

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