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Topics - nateo

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Ingredients / NZ hop varieties?
« on: September 16, 2012, 05:29:48 AM »
Nelson Sauvin is the only NZ hop I've used, but I loved it. Are there other NZ hops I should try? I've been reading the descriptions of the varieties, but they're all kinda vague, so I'm looking for some first-hand experience.

All Grain Brewing / Tell me about kettle and fermentation pH
« on: September 09, 2012, 10:26:53 AM »
I've started keeping track of my pre-boil and pre- and post-ferment wort pH, but I'm not really sure what numbers I should be aiming for. Any advice? Gordon goes over this a little bit in his book, but I'm interested in some more perspective.

Yeast and Fermentation / B. lambicus ending at 1.012? Is that normal?
« on: September 05, 2012, 11:52:19 AM »
I've got two beers I used B. lambicus on. It's the first time I've used those. Both have been stable at 1.012 since July 20th. Everything I've read said Brett should end up in the single digits, so I'm not sure if this is normal. I checked the calibration on the hydrometer in tap water, and it looks to be correct.

I'm ordering some fresh hops through my LHBS. I have a tentative delivery date, but I won't be able to brew for about 4-5 days after I get them. I've heard you should use fresh hops right away. Is that true? If so, can I freeze them, or would I be fine using them within a week?

Other Fermentables / Medicinal mead - d'oh!
« on: August 27, 2012, 06:18:28 PM »
I'm making a mead. I kinda forgot about it for a week. I'm usually pretty good about monitoring pH and adding nutrients, but this one got away from me. It has kind of a phenolic, medicinal, band-aid flavor. This is the first time I've used POF+ yeast, so, maybe that wasn't the best idea.

It's not awful, but I'm wondering what I can do to mitigate the damage. Gelatin finings? Cold crash? Shouldn't polyphenols fall out of suspension eventually?

7lbs blackberries, fermented with WY3522 ~ 1/2 gallon
+4 gallons water, clover honey to hit OG = 1.072
+1 pack of T-58

8/17 OG 1.072, pH 4.6 4g nutrient, 2g DAP
8/19 1.050, pH 3.3 + 4g nutrient, 2g DAP, stirred
8/27 1.016, pH 3.0, medicinal off-flavor

Club Leadership & Organization / Advice on organizing competitions?
« on: August 22, 2012, 12:46:26 PM »
Any advice on organizing a homebrew comp? My club wants to organize one, but I'm not really sure where to start.

I had a 2N solution of KOH stored in a 2L plastic soda bottle. I went to use some today and the bottom the bottle had cracked and it leaked everywhere. I've heard you shouldn't store it in glass. Anyone have suggestions for how I should store it?

Other Fermentables / My first still beverage, bottling options?
« on: August 17, 2012, 06:12:31 PM »
I'm making a Burgundy pyment. I'm not planning on carbonating it. Can I just put it in beer bottles with caps? I don't really want to deal with corks if I can avoid it. All the other wines/meads I've made have been sparkling so this is new to me.

Kegging and Bottling / Plastic champagne stopper warning
« on: August 16, 2012, 06:32:18 PM »
I bottled ~10gal or so of a mead/saison hybrid using the Methode Champenoise a few months ago. I opened a bottle the other night and it was petilant. All of others have held their carbonation pretty well, so I was suprised. I'm not really sure what happened, but I suspect the plastic stoppers may not be as reliable as bottle caps to hold in the pressure.

The Pub / Best Portland neighborhood for breweries/restaurants?
« on: August 12, 2012, 06:13:23 PM »
Hey guys,
We're planning a trip to Portland this winter. Any recommendations on an area of town to stay in? We're looking in Kerns and Buckman right now. We're looking for a neighborhood with lots of restaurants/breweries within walking distance (<3-4miles). Basically, the most intolerably hipster part of Portland is what we're looking for.

Classifieds / Wholesale fishing flies
« on: August 11, 2012, 07:04:22 AM »
Sorry in advance if this is against the rules. I'm getting ready to order a bunch of flies for the tackle store. If anyone needs some I'd be happy to give them to AHA people for cost + shipping. $0.50/ea on the dry flies, midges, nymphs, terrestrials, and $0.75/ea on the streamers, $1/ea for tungsten beadheads. They're mostly for small fish. Dry flies hook sizes are about 10-22, streamers about 4-12. 

Ingredients / Low-temp hop utilization - FWH w/o boil?
« on: August 09, 2012, 06:40:40 AM »
I've been looking around but haven't found info about hop utilization by temperature. I'm wondering if I can use FWH with a no-boil Berliner Weisse, and if so, how I'd figure what kind of bitterness I'd get from it.

Other Fermentables / Bartlett perry
« on: August 04, 2012, 01:51:03 PM »
Any recommendations on how to process the pears? I've got a bushel coming and don't really have a strategy yet. I'm working on making a press, but I'm not sure if that's the best way to process the pears.

All Grain Brewing / Fauxpils results and discussion
« on: August 02, 2012, 09:55:15 AM »
Here is a rough draft of my fauxpils results, along with my raw data. I'm hoping with some discussion I'll be able to update and change anything I may have neglected. Differences between the beers was very small and frequently contradictory, so I caution you from reading too much into my results.

This study was really easy to put together, very hard to analyze. I'm providing my data so you can look at it for yourself to decide if I draw a reasonable conclusion. If you disagree with my methods or results, it's easy to find qualified people on the AHA forum to serve as evaluators. Any study is useless if it can't be replicated, so I encourage anyone interested in this topic to organize their own study. < Latest version of results and summary.

Big picture:
1) Decoction probably won't make your beer better.
2) Decoction mashing extracts more gravity from malt, and may extract more compounds that can be perceived as "dry" as well. Whether that's good or bad for a given recipe will depend on personal preference and your targeted beer profile.
3) The wort from the decocted beer was noticeably clearer. Hot break can bind with hop acids and reduce hop utilization, so the difference in perceived bitterness may be due to reduced hot break in the boil kettle.
4) Using melanoidin malt doesn't emulate decoction mashing
5) There were a lot of contradictory descriptions of the beers. How people perceive aroma and flavor is complex and not easy to anticipate.

What the data supports:
1) Decoction increases mash efficiency.
2) There was no statistically significant correlation between the BJCP scores and recipe.
3) 57% of evaluators preferred the no-sparge beer with 5% melanoidin malt (5%) over the triple-decocted beer (3X), 29% had no preference, and 14% preferred 3X.
4) Judges were significantly more likely to correctly identify duplicate beers than expected based on a random guess. 

What the data probably supports:
1) Small difference with 3X leaning toward dry/bitter, 5% leaning toward malty/balanced.

What the data might support:
1) No difference other than color
2) Small difference, but no agreed-upon difference.
3) Either no-sparge or decoction had no effect, and the only difference was due to melanoidin malt.

What the data doesn't support:
1) Decoction makes a better beer
2) Decoction makes your beer maltier than using melanoidin malt w/no sparge.
3) Decoction makes a smoother beer
4) Decoction makes a beer more people prefer

Problems with the study:
1) Small sample size
2) I only have room for two fermentors in my freezer, so I could only make two beers at once to compare.
3) There were some issues with inconsistent carbonation from bottle priming. I've never noticed a difference in carbonation levels in my beer before, so this was really interesting for me.
4) A couple samples may have had a low-level infection. If I could consistently brew perfect beer, I wouldn't spend so much time on the AHA forum trying to learn about brewing.

Mixed variables:
I framed the study as a comparison of no-sparge vs decoction because I wanted to confound evaluators' expectations. If decoction could provide some special je ne sai quoi beyond just darker color and increased maltiness in a way that melanoidin malt can't emulate, that should have shown up in the results, with more people preferring 3X or more people describing 3X in more favorable terms. In any case, it's possible the no-sparge, decoction or the melanoidin malt had no effect, but I'd say it's more likely that no-sparge or decoction had no effect and melanoidin malt had some effect.

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