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Messages - ynotbrusum

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Adding Dark Malts at Vorlauf?
« on: November 24, 2015, 08:55:35 PM »
I agree with Denny's point, but I prefer them to be more muted.  Admittedly, I don't do a ton of dark beers, but my dry stout turns out great with the late add process.  Again, it is about getting out of the process the results you want.

My club has several very capable judges who are willing to give honest feedback, as well as a couple pro Brewers, so I don't see the need.  Even so, I can see those Brewers who don't have access to a good club using this service.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Adding Dark Malts at Vorlauf?
« on: November 23, 2015, 09:26:49 PM »
I have made it a habit to add a lot of the darker roast malts and even crystals (when I use them, which is rare anymore) at the end of the mash.  I like the pH control I get and it seems to mellow out the acrid tendencies of the dark roast malts and yet still allows a nice roast flavor to come through on those beers where I want it to be.  The cold steep method just seemed to use up a lot of dark malts to get the right results.

You might want to consider using RO - I start with 100% RO on all of my beers.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water adjustment question
« on: November 23, 2015, 09:18:03 PM »
I use Brunwater, but the answer to both is yes.  I have found that most beers are spot on as to predicted pH at each stage, as long as your water volumes and grain entries are accurate.  Some guys are starting to experiment with kettle pH adjustments and finished beer adjustments with some successes.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Passed the BJCP Written exam
« on: November 23, 2015, 08:12:58 PM »
The styles typically are the ones you see often - we had an American Pale ale (comprised of a combination of the three lowest scoring pales at a competition earlier in the year), a Wit, a Blonde ale, an Oktoberfest, a Bohemian Pilsner, and a Belgian Dark Strong.  Each Exam Administrator has his own approach, but they usually don't go for fairly exotic styles and want to see your command of the typical styles.

I agree with the other comments about your focus, but for the really good beer, you are likely to have excellent commercial examples, so finding improvement is pretty tough on those.  I read the Zymurgy Commercial Calibrations for many, many issues to see how the big hitters handled really good beers and so on the exam I added what I would enjoy the beer with as a food pairing and inserted some missing flaws (i.e., those things that were not present and rightfully so - such as "No DMS, no diacetyl, no hop aroma, no (insert the missing flaw here) and that helped my score.  Finally, be sure to qualify the things you sense in terms of low mid or high presence - "bready malt noted  in the initial palate - medium high". 

Lastly, I suggest judging as many events as you can before the test - it is really the best way to hone your judging skills.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sanitizer Comparison
« on: November 23, 2015, 07:20:09 PM »
I had a mold problem when I used only Star San as my sanitizer.  I had the mold problem arise in extended primaries (more than a month) in a certain plastic barrel primary fermenter.  I couldn't explain it and just quit using the fermenter.  I thought a long soak in PBW and a Star San application would be sufficient, but in the middle of the summer the short window of exposure was enough to cause the mold spores to make contact and then await completion of yeast fermentation before reproducing and taking hold to a level that became evident by taste (and visually).

I think there is room to argue that there may have been some yeast differential here, but the test seems otherwise reasonably well conducted.  But a tablespoon of yeast nutrient?  That seems like a lot to add at that point and I wonder if that had a discernible difference/effect on the beers.  In other words is a less attenuated beer going to react differently to a late charge of yeast nutrient than a more fully attenuated beer and could it affect flavors/mouthfeel/other that would make discerning the different beer more easy?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: speidel fermenter 60L
« on: November 21, 2015, 06:57:47 AM »
I have 2 sixty liter Speidels and would not trade them for the world (used on lager beers usually).  I use the spigot, typically - I hit it with generous spray of iodophor or Star San before connecting up the tubing.  I take them fully apart to clean with typical keg cleaner each time and soak them in iodophor or Star San each time, as well.

As to size, my chest freezer works for the height, as long as the fermenters are not in the dead center, as there is a protrusion of the lid that gets in the way there on the 60L's.  I can fit both 60L's and two 6.5 gallon Better Bottles (or four corny kegs) in there at once, so it becomes a holding tank for quite a few brews.

I try to avoid extremely hot cleaners with these, but they handle temperatures that are as hot as my water heater can get, all without any problems.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First club meeting
« on: November 21, 2015, 06:43:29 AM »
Agreed, Martin.  I joined my club a year ago this past August.  Best move I ever made.  It allowed me connections to take a BJCP prep class, and the BJCP tasting exam last June.  Even more, it gave me access to some incredibly talented brewers from whom I have learned a lot.  Prior to joining, I felt pretty much on my own to search out answers to my brewing (8 years or so of that) - but it all changed with the NHC in Grand Rapids where so many of the "Big Hitters" said that they were members of a local club and got so much out of it.  As an AHA member, you get a lot, but with a club membership, you get some great face to face discussions and more importantly - sampling!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: June BJCP Exam Results
« on: November 21, 2015, 06:31:22 AM »
Congrats, Jeff.  Your knowledgeable comments on this board bear witness to your experience, as well as your understanding of the beer world. 

Not sure if I will sit for the written exam next year or not.  I just barely passed the minimum score on the tasting exam (81 - which I was ecstatic to get, by the way) and I need more experience points anyway... then take a good while to crack the books to try to get the National level - at least another year in total. My tasting score reflects my inexperience - my descriptive ability was generally master level, but my scoring sucked - novice at times.  With more judging under my belt, I hope to be better prepared all around and then allow the new style guidelines to sink in a bit and work on practice exams and handwriting things (who does much of that anymore?).  It sounds pretty universal that the problem with taking the written exam is getting all that you have to say spit out in the short times allotted.  I got D's in penmanship in grade school and I can't hardly decipher what I wrote five minutes after I wrote it....

Anyway, I have a lot of respect for those National and above - clearly a lot of time was put in to get those scores.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Mosher Historical Beer Myths
« on: November 20, 2015, 08:13:29 PM »
I think that brewing based on the time of year was key, too.  The storage in caves with block ice was for the summer months, most likely.  Randy Mosher's talk at NHC was great - wish I was there in person.  He's very entertaining.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Ozone System for Aeration?
« on: November 19, 2015, 04:45:00 AM »
But you could use it on water collected for brewing or drinking, for example, if it is going to sit for a while before use.  A lot of store RO systems have that step as a final process for their RO systems ....but I would just skip it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2116 AHA Conf
« on: November 19, 2015, 04:17:52 AM »
Maybe they prefer to lock in the lodging packages before they actually announce, so they ensure adequate availability?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2016 NHC Medal Categories?
« on: November 18, 2015, 05:09:18 AM »
I hear you Amanda - I have been trying some blending and experimenting, so some of my recent sours are only netting 8-10 bottles!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: oxygen cleaners
« on: November 16, 2015, 05:19:51 AM »
The Craftmeister tablets make it an easy choice for me.  But I got them as a raffle prize, so I don't know the comparative cost per use...

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