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Topics - nateo

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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.

Mein bisschen Deutsch isn't up to the task, so I was wondering if someone on here could take a look at this for me:

According to Kai the paper shows that increased pitching rates leads to increased ester production, so I wanted to know more about what the author is talking about.

Ingredients / Special B in a Rauchbier?
« on: July 19, 2012, 10:11:51 AM »
I don't really know anything about Rauchbiers, so I'm looking for feedback. What I have on hand: German pils, Melanoidin malt, a bunch of beechwood-smoked malt, a bit of munich 10L, carafa II and special B.

I'm planning on using all the smoked and munich, but was thinking of adding some special B for color. Apparently Sam Adams' Bonfire uses Special B, but I can't find any other recipe that uses it, and I haven't drank Bonfire. I don't really care if what I brew is "to style" as long as it tastes good.


In Eric Warner's Koelsch he has a table of fermentation byproducts of Koelsch yeast, Weizen yeast, Alt yeast and Lager yeast.

The Alt yeast produced more Iso-amyl acetate (banana esters) than the Weizen yeast. The lager produced more ethyl caprate/caproate/caprylate (fruity/winy) than any of the other strains. The Koelsch strain produced less higher aliphatic alcohols (fusel/solvent) than any of the other yeasts.

Just going by the numbers it seems his Koelsch strain was "cleaner" than whatever lager strain he used, which is not what I would expect. I drank a Reissdorf Koelsch recently, and I didn't pick up any vinous character. If I didn't know better, I would've called it a typical German lager. So, I don't really know what to think.

I'm looking for anyone willing to share their scores for beer that made it to the 2nd round in the NHC in categories 1, 2, or 6. It's for a project I'm working on about mashing methods. If you could, fill out the brief questionaire below and PM or email it to me. All responses will be kept confidential. Thanks. If I can't find enough 2nd rounders, I'd be interested in 1st rounders.

NHC Year:
Category: (1, 2, or 6)
Mash method: (single-infusion, two-step infusion, single decoction, double decoction, etc.)
Sparge method: (fly, batch, no-sparge)
Aroma: (X/12)
Appearance: (X/3)
Flavor: (X/20)
Mouthfeel: (X/5)
Overall: (X/10)

Here are some pictures of the weird bug that lives in my sour beer bucket. Any idea what it is? It tastes OK and I hope it won't kill me:

The Pub / Alton Brown's mint julep recipe
« on: July 04, 2012, 06:37:11 PM »

All Things Food / Oh man, I've been doing Thai food wrong
« on: June 27, 2012, 05:43:01 PM »

I had no idea you want the fat to separate from the coconut milk. I tried doing that on a curry tonight and it made a big difference.

I know "adobo" is a catch-all term that encompasses a lot of different stuff, but I'm throwing the question out there. I've got a bunch of dried Ancho and Guajillo peppers I need something to do with.

General Homebrew Discussion / Carbonation fineness/coarseness?
« on: June 27, 2012, 03:17:05 PM »
I'm not sure if I'm using the proper term, but what parameters affect the fineness/coarseness of bubbles in beer? I've noticed a lot of the beers at my homebrew club meetings have very coarse bubbles, like in soda-pop. My beers tend to have much smaller bubbles, more like foam. Is bubble size an indicator of other issues with the beer? I'm guessing it's related to body or protein levels, but I dunno.

All Grain Brewing / Interesting results from low-pH brewing water
« on: June 27, 2012, 09:03:26 AM »
People talk about malt's buffering capacity, usually meaning that it will lower pH from the normal water pH range (7-8) down to mash pH. I guess I should've known the buffering would work both ways.

I overshot my acid addition on my latest lime-softening batch of water, and my water's pH got down to 4.0. I plugged all the numbers into Bru'n water, and it estimated a mash pH of 5.2 without any lime. I added one gram, which it estimated would result in a mash pH of 5.3. My actual measured mash pH was 5.4.

All Things Food / Tacos al Pastor
« on: June 21, 2012, 09:29:03 AM »
Does anyone have a really good method for tacos al pastor?

I've made a lot that were better than most, but not as good as the best. I've tried different cuts, shoulder/butt, picnic shoulder, country ribs, loin. I haven't tried leg or side cuts. I've roasted and grilled them, depending on what cut I'm using. I think picnic shoulder and high-temp roasting has worked out the best so far.

Here's my latest marinade (~1hr):
3 quajillo
2 ancho
1/4c apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp cinammon
1/2 med. onion
5 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
3 tbsp chipotles in adobo sauce
1 tbsp adobo sauce
1/2 tsp pimenton dulce
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4c pineapple

On the roasts I'll slice 3/4" slabs part-way through, and stick thin pineapple slices inside, then tie up with butcher's twine for cooking. I think I've nailed the bark and texture, but I need a way to either get the flavor to penetrate more deeply, or maybe I need to use a finishing sauce or something.

Any suggestion are welcome.

Homebrew Clubs / Alternative voting systems to FPTP?
« on: June 21, 2012, 09:13:09 AM »
My homebrew club is starting to get more organized regarding dues and officers and such. We're using the Maltose Falcon's bylaws and constitution as a guide in establishing our own. According the constitution we found for them, their offices are filled by the candidate with a plurality of the votes. My concern with using that is if there are 3+ candidate running for the same position, it's likely the winning candidate will have less than a majority.

I think the officers should have the broadest support possible, so I'm proposing two preferential voting alternatives. The first is an instant run-off voting system, where all candidates are ranked in order of preference, and the ballots cast for the lowest-ranked candidate are thrown out and those votes are transferred to the second choice on that ballot. The other thing I thought of was a NASCAR-type points system, where wither 4 candidates, the person ranked 1st would get 4 points, 2nd place gets 3pts, 3rd gets 2pts, and so on. The winner would then be the person with the most points.

Any concerns with either of those systems? Any other suggestions?

Other Fermentables / Fermented grapefruit juice
« on: June 16, 2012, 02:16:45 PM »
I made a batch of grapefruit "wine" recently. It was just Florida's Best grapefruit juice + yeast (IIRC it was Cote des Blanc). It's got kind of a funky nose on it. Like sulfur, but slightly different. I used a bit of yeast nutrient, but I think the yeast was still pretty unhappy due to the low pH. It still smells strongly like grapefruit juice, so it might just be the aroma of the juice, and not actually yeast-produced sulfur.

Anyway, I didn't make it to drink by itself (I made it for radlers) but it's pretty undrinkable on its own. Mixed with a pilsner it's pretty nice though. 

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