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Messages - kgs

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676
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: beer Books?
« on: February 21, 2011, 11:55:48 AM »
whoops.  i glossed over the bedtime reading part....  designing great beers is pretty in depth and not really casual reading.  i agree.

Something to keep in mind about DGB is that it's getting very dated at this point.  There are a lot of new ingredients and techniques that aren't covered in the book. 

Although DGB is very good for summaries of style history.

677
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: how do you make a yeast starter?
« on: February 13, 2011, 06:18:03 PM »

That calculation caught my eye. A ten minute boil is a long time for a small amount of liquid.  I brought a quart of water to a boil in a two-quart saucepan, uncovered the pan, and set the timer, then turned off the flame and poured out the water as soon as ten minutes were reached. The water had lost 50% of its volume.



Very interesting.  I boil for 10 min. also.  I start with 9-10 cups and end up right around 2 qt.  some loss, but nowhere near 50%.

I assume an uncovered pan, and a rolling boil, with the ten minutes starting at the beginning of the boil? I was surprised by my boil-off results myself, but there it was. I'll test it again for repeatability. As tests go, it's an easy one :) This time, I'll wear a lab coat.

I wonder if wort boils off more slowly than water. I wonder if I'm over-thinking this and should RDWHAHB (actually I am!).

678
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: how do you make a yeast starter?
« on: February 13, 2011, 02:04:41 PM »

If 10% of the volume of water is lost during the 10 minute boil (assume no solids are lost during the boil) ...

That calculation caught my eye. A ten minute boil is a long time for a small amount of liquid.  I brought a quart of water to a boil in a two-quart saucepan, uncovered the pan, and set the timer, then turned off the flame and poured out the water as soon as ten minutes were reached. The water had lost 50% of its volume.

Obviously, there are easy fixes: add preboiled water to restore the volume. Start with more than a quart of water. Cover the pan for part of the boil. Palmer recommends, "Put the lid on the pan for the last couple minutes" -- I do that anyway, to steam down any wort crystals and to kill the bugs -- and that would also help reduce loss. 

But the key is to know what your target OG should be for your starter and focus on that, and I can honestly say I haven't been doing that for starters (why, I don't know, since I am almost obsessive about hitting my OG for my beer).

Good thread!


679
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: how do you make a yeast starter?
« on: February 13, 2011, 11:05:31 AM »
The Homebrewopedia offers a yeast starter recipe (http://wiki.homebrewersassociation.org/YeastStarter ). That said... several small observations:

* Its recipe for a yeast starter recommends 1 cup DME to a quart of water. Using Beersmith, if I go with 1 cup DME weighing .4 lbs, that works out to 1.071 OG -- pretty high. I can get to 1.045 OG if I assume 1 cup DME = .25 ounces.

* Providing weight for the DME in this recipe (in both US and metric) might encourage new brewers to make critical measurements by weight, not volume. DME is a hard thing to estimate by volume, especially for such a small amount of wort. I'm not saying don't list a volume measurement... just suggesting someone with credibility might want to add weight measurements to this fairly important recipe.

* Some interesting SEO: a Google search for "making yeast starter" or "yeast starter" doesn't yield a link to anything on the homebrewersassociation.org domain for the first twenty results--even though most of Google's results for these search phrases are related to brewing. If I force a site search ("making yeast starter site:homebrewersassociation.org"), it's the 7th result. If I remove the verb "making" and force a site search, it's the third result. I have to force a subdomain site search to make it the third result  ("yeast starter site:wiki.homebrewersassociation.org"). Shouldn't the AHA's recipe for yeast starter be *the* first result in any general Google search?

Now back to the work stuff I've been avoiding...

680

One thing this podcast will inspire me to do is set my timer and stir every 15 minutes.

I haven't listened yet, but I never stir during the mash.  What's the supposed benefit?

I'd have to listen again since my attention faded in and out (I was playing this podcast through my car stereo, at one point barely dodging a truck suddenly backing into an active lane of big-city traffic), and if the answer was scientific I probably tuned it out anyway, but I'm guessing stirring is saturation insurance--like the same reason you gently mix a cake batter for a minute or two after adding the last ingredients.

I've been reluctant to stir because I don't want to incur temperature loss. But I'd at least try it to see if a known recipe could pick up some efficiency. Three "stirs" with a warm spoon at 15, 30, and 45, just to see what happens. (Though since I don't crush my own grain I lose an important variable.)

Of course, efforts to boost my efficiency will be unnecessary when I get my blue mash tun.

681
I listened to the show today--really good. The 30-minute and 60-minute beers were drinkable, and the 60-minute mash tasted the best.

I often wonder what the upper limits of mashing are. I also liked Kai's point (or what I thought I heard was his point) that what people think of as the benefits of mashing-out may really be due to a longer mash.  One thing this podcast will inspire me to do is set my timer and stir every 15 minutes.

682
Events / Re: SF Beer Week and Toronado Barleywine Festival, 2/19-2/21
« on: February 12, 2011, 08:11:26 AM »
KGS - We have been 3 times to the Barleywine fest.  It can be a total zoo the first day.  Second day has more breathing room but the highly rated ones are gone by then.  I would recommended it for research purposes.


Thanks; it's great that it's on a 3-day weekend. Since we live on the route for the 6 Masonic (runs right past it) I may go over late Saturday afternoon, prepare for zoology, and sip for an hour.

Drew, have fun!

683
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: White House Homebrew
« on: February 12, 2011, 07:18:24 AM »

Kumbaya

Which if everyone can keep a sense of humor and perspective would be an outstanding name for that beer.

684
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: US-05...Is One Packet Enough?
« on: February 12, 2011, 07:13:50 AM »
I hear ya Dean. I don't always accept the party line or convention. In fact some of my methods might seem unconventional but they work for me. Had to learn through experience some things have a wide latitude and others don't. I try to work within the boundaries I've set for myself. 

Agree with Euge and Dean. Part of the joy of homebrewing is testing the bounds of the party line or convention. I have twice successfully used a starter method suggested by one homebrewer at the LHBS (someone whose advice generally makes sense) where I make a starter in the carboy and pitch the wort on top of it. I was skeptical, and I had arguments against it (not enough depth for the starter, layer of oxygenated beer you can't really pour off easily, etc.), but the ease of it was tempting so I tried it, and the two times I used that method, the fermentation took off like a rocket and the beer turned out great.

But mostly I pitch an unhydrated packet of US-05 into wort at or just under 70 degrees f, and it works out fine, and if there are millions of tiny screams as yeast cells die, I don't hear them. Especially for my 3-gallon batches of ale or stout, there's no reason one packet of dry yeast isn't plenty. The next time I do a "repeater" I may reconstitute the yeast in 90-degree water and time the fermentation to see if it is all that faster/heartier. That said, a few dead cells seem a reasonable tradeoff for eliminating a possible contamination opportunity at a vulnerable point in the brewing process, post-brew and pre-fermentation.

685
Events / Re: SF Beer Week and Toronado Barleywine Festival, 2/19-2/21
« on: February 11, 2011, 12:12:56 PM »
I'll be there at some point, but I'll be playing chaperone to the club since we have to leave to be at Anchor Brewing a 2PM for the California Homebrew Club of the Year Party.

That is so cool! And I'll miss you no matter what, since I'm not hardcore enough to attend a barleywine tasting that early in the day. ;-)

686
General Homebrew Discussion / Diastatic power of toasted oats?
« on: February 11, 2011, 07:09:48 AM »
When using toasted oats (lightly browned in the oven) for an oatmeal stout, should I factor in any reduction of diastatic power?

687
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 1.022 versus on 1.016 on an oatmeal stout
« on: February 11, 2011, 07:07:46 AM »
Update: even finishing higher than anticipated, or maybe because of it, this stout has turned out wonderful. A couple weeks in the bottle it had a very pronounced coffee flavor (which I actually liked; I had used a cold extract of fresh-ground, recently-roasted Peet's French Roast decaf) and the body wasn't quite there. Now the coffee is in the background and the mouthfeel is terrific. I may use a starter based on a liquid yeast next time just to see where it takes me, but I certainly would do this again with the dry yeast, high finishing gravity and all.

Thanks for the observation about the oats providing a lot of unfermentables--when adding oats I hadn't factored that in.

688
Events / SF Beer Week and Toronado Barleywine Festival, 2/19-2/21
« on: February 11, 2011, 06:59:03 AM »
My better half isn't interested in beer (nobody's perfect...).  I would feel silly going to a bar by myself to taste barleywine, and haven't found a "beer friend" interested in spending an hour or two that Saturday or Sunday  tasting barleywines at the Barleywine Festival at the Toronado Pub on Haight (see http://www.toronado.com/events.htm#279 ). I'm really interested because I'm planning to brew a Christmas barleywine so I'm shopping for the right taste.

There are other events happening in SF Beer Week (though only on the weekend) I'd be up for if anyone else were interested in an ad hoc AHA meetup. http://sfbeerweek.org/

(Gotta love a "beer week" that's 10 days long :-) )



689
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: White House Homebrew
« on: February 11, 2011, 06:43:34 AM »
This whole thing is really cool, and if an AHA rally at the White House were possible, in this or ANY presidential administration, I would hope that we'd be grownup enough to set aside differences and flock to an AHA rally at the White House regardless of our political affiliation. That's a big part of the joy of homebrew: it brings us together under the common banner of our love of homemade beer.

As I wrote on Twitter a few months back when a "homebrew buddy" and I were disagreeing on a political point, "We may not agree about everything, but we can agree that malted barley wants to become beer."

690
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing This Weekend - 2/4 Edition
« on: February 06, 2011, 08:07:09 PM »
After dropping off a care package of Amarillo APA for a neighborhood non-SuperBowl party, did "research" with some friends at Social Kitchen and Brewery http://socialbrewsf.com/ which has been hit and miss but right now is featuring some great strong beers for San Francisco Beer Week. Really liked The Giant S'more, but glad I ordered a small glass of it.

Feel better, Denny... my doctor refers to the "A-Word" (aging).

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