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Messages - tomsawyer

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Sounds like a plan Paw, as long as you have adequate calcium in your mash and you don't need to add too much lactic acid to get the pH right.  I've been told not to exceed 5ml per batch lest it might start to show up in the flavor as tartness.  Or maybe it was 5ml/gallon.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dry hopping.....
« on: January 21, 2011, 07:58:06 AM »
Did you not spray them with hydrator solution?  Sounds like you missed a crucial step in the process.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Shotgunning a Competition?
« on: January 21, 2011, 07:53:04 AM »
Do judges get a barf bucket??  They might want to start bringing them.....

Dump buckets are standard equipment for judging according to the BJCP Manual.  So they have us covered!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Shotgunning a Competition?
« on: January 21, 2011, 04:56:03 AM »
It was stated by someone else, but shotgunning is generally sending as many beers as you can to garner as many awards as you can. Often it is what many feel is required to win in a particular "circuit". If your categories are well chosen (meaning ones without too many entries), then one can generally grab ribbons in the lesser contested areas.

We are one of the competitions who penalize those who decide to shotgun by raising entry fees as the number of entries from an individual increases. It is not a popular stance, but is effective...

At what number of entries do the fees go up in your system?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Modified batch sparge?
« on: January 20, 2011, 07:42:43 PM »
Kai I think he's talking about mashing then adding in his sparge water afterwards, but before draining.  Like a giant mashout.

But I was just reading that some commercial brewers use as high as 3qt/lb in their mash without conversion suffering.  That was higher than the 2qt/lb I'd seen as an upper end for safe mashing.  I think they do this so the mash is more easily pumped, but it does expand the usable range for us homebrewers.  Especially those who like a no-sparge for the ease.  Those who like no-sparge for the higher flavor to fermentables ratio, probably wouldnt' want to dilut it with this thin of a mash.

Oscar, you didn't understand malzig's explanation of how two rinsings is better than one?  Of course I'd probably raise an eyebrow if you described some simple aspect of commercial aviation.

Gypsum lowers pH right?

I try and use my pH adjustment additions to get me close to a good flavor profile.  Really when you think about it your first runnings aren't too far from the final boil volume, so you're going to be pretty close.

When I have enough SO4 and Cl and at the right ratio, if I need more pH lowering I resort to lactic acid.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Modified batch sparge?
« on: January 20, 2011, 01:09:14 PM »
What are you thinking this will accomplish?  From a strict chemistry standpoint, two smaller extractions are more effective than one larger one.  All of your water already contacts all of the grain, only the sparge will be more effective on its own.  Some people espouse the benefits of no-sparge, but they're not typically raising their mash volume.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: hop tea
« on: January 20, 2011, 11:40:08 AM »
Making a tea using wort would be much's called "beer"!  :)

Not if you don't ferment it.  But then it would be called a darned shame.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Shotgunning a Competition?
« on: January 20, 2011, 10:31:54 AM »
Guess I didn't have much of a handle on what the term actually meant.

This would definitely not be to garner medals, I'm just new to it and as usual I tend to go overboard.  I'm most interested in seeing judging sheets.  Maybe I'll just stick with two or three.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: hop tea
« on: January 20, 2011, 10:30:03 AM »
Maybe it'd be better to dry hop individual bottles for a week prior to the meeting.  Use a cream ale or something fairly neutral.  Then you'd get an idea of the flavor/aroma.  It'd work better with pellets, and of course it'd probably foam like a banshee as soon as you dropped one in.

I'd love to try a bunch of single-hop brews.  They had a tasting in St Louis last year, I think there were fifteen different brews.  I didn't find out about it till the day of, and couldn't make it down there.  I keep thinking I'll line up some small fermentors and mash five gallons of wort, then boil 1gal batches with single hops.  But that'd take effort.  I do currently have at least a dozen different varieties in the freezer.

Wonder if it'd be better to brew the "tea" using wort?  Might be slightly closer to the actual thing.

General Homebrew Discussion / Shotgunning a Competition?
« on: January 20, 2011, 09:18:48 AM »
I'm a complete newb at comps, and I heard this term "shotgunning" ahwile back.  I gathered at the time it described someone who had multiple entries in a comp, and that it was frowned upon to some extent.

My question is, what is proper etiquette regarding number of entries for a beer comp?  Or is it really no big deal?  Any other constraints, like not entering more than one of a particular style?

I was going to enter two beers in an upcoming contest, but I have probably four or five that might be worthy (still evaluating, thats tough work).

I think you only remove 75% of the SMM precursor in a 90min boil.  This brings it to an acceptable level but you still want to cool quickly or the other 25% can poetentially form DMS.  I don't think you could boil long enough to remove all of the precursor.

A hop stand includes keeping the wort hot (190F), just not boiling right?  I'd think you could get some isomerization in that case.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP exam - vital statistics needed?
« on: January 20, 2011, 08:14:23 AM »
Be sure you've practiced writing judging descriptions.  I made a certfied score on the questions, but ended up with "recognized" because of the weak judging.  Cover all your bases, and throw in plenty of specific descriptors.  My excuse is that I'd never entered, attended or judged a contest before.  I'm focusing now on getting some actual experience.  Though for me I kind of took the exam to see how much I actually knew about brewing.  It knocked me down a notch or two but you are in a better place to proceed when you know what you don't know.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Black Sludge and Over Carbonation?
« on: January 20, 2011, 05:31:07 AM »
Slowly overflowing sounds like an over-carbonation issue, and the dark precipitate is probably just from dark solids from the beer itself.  I've never seen a beer contamination that was black.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: High Nitrate levels
« on: January 19, 2011, 06:27:41 PM »
They shrank your feet too?

Darn Kit thats some hard water!  Is it still liquid?

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