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Messages - Alewyfe

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Equipment and Software / Re: Stainless Steel Hop Flter
« on: March 12, 2014, 10:02:46 AM »
I'm getting better hop utilization with the screen than with hop bags. Next brew day (Sunday) I will measure the temp in the column and see where it's at. When I ordered mine, I ordered it larger so it would fit closer to the bottom of my kettle assuming boiling action and convection action would likely be greater. I recirculate into the filter and have not experienced the kettle level drop that Blatz did. I use pretty much only pellet hops, so I still get a lot of debris in the kettle, but every bit strained out at any point helps. I use a pump and really like not having to clamp off boiling hot hop bags on the side of the kettle to keep them being sucked against the kettle outlet too.

Beer Recipes / Re: Ordinary bitter carbonation
« on: March 08, 2014, 10:29:15 AM »
If you have a shutoff valve for each keg you can just turn the one to the bitter off once you get close to your desired carbonation level. Open it up occasionally to keep enough pressure to pour and it will creep up in carbonation very slowly.

I do what Troy suggests all the time. Got one in the keezer as I write this. A highly carb'd bitter is just not as enjoyable. The carbonation ruins the malt to bittering hops taste experience.

The Pub / Re: I'm back, I hope
« on: March 07, 2014, 10:19:36 AM »
Welcome back.  Have you seen Carl?

My guess he was hit on the head with a coconut or eaten by a shark.

Welcome back Tom.

Anyone else feeling oddly comfortable with your chosen habitat lately? 


Good to see your cute little beard back in the avatars Tom. How's the pub brewing going?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« on: March 06, 2014, 01:45:33 PM »
Great Stuff! Thanks a million Jimmy.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« on: March 06, 2014, 12:04:50 PM »
I'm currently in a taste exam study group and this thread has morphed into one providing some very useful information. Keep it coming. That little back and forth on the proper descriptors for the grape flavor was perfect. The link to the judging guide and acetaldehyde also invaluable.

Zymurgy / Re: Brewing vintage beers
« on: March 05, 2014, 07:27:02 PM »
Senior moment

Zymurgy / Re: Brewing vintage beers
« on: March 05, 2014, 06:30:15 PM »
+2  And never use metal scrubbies to clean it. Use the plastic ones.

The Pub / Re: Fat Tuesday
« on: March 05, 2014, 11:40:17 AM »
Neither a borrower nor a lenter be....that's me.

The Pub / Re: Fat Tuesday
« on: March 05, 2014, 10:14:44 AM »

Beer Recipes / Re: Adjusting bitterness post-fermentation
« on: March 04, 2014, 10:56:34 AM »
I have tried adding bitterness by making a 1-gal batch of beer to add to a 5-gal batch of beer and that was helpful.  If you just want to add some hopped water, it'll be difficult to get a big IBU increase without dilution becoming a concern.  You can play around with some brewing software to see what I mean.

The gypsum or the isomerized extract sound like better plans. 

  Blending has turned several of my ho hums to really nice beers.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Mash steps
« on: March 03, 2014, 10:32:13 AM »
It's going to feel thin, watery, lifeless... and it will probably be clear as crystal instead of cloudy.

Another comedian. Don't sweat it. Keep notes, relax and learn from it. I've done the same thing and ended up with a beer much sweeter than you'd anticipate based on the temps. You'll just have to wait until it finishes....then let us know.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« on: March 01, 2014, 11:53:57 PM »
you said some other stuff, but that's what I took from your post.

No, it gets worse.  The BCJP judges at my table could not tell the difference between acetaldehyde and ethyl heptanoate (the condensation ethanol and heptanoic acid). They flagged a really nice sweet smelling beer as suffering from acetaldehyde.   I said, "are you sure that you do not grape?"  That's when everyone at the table noticed it.  One said,"I smell Concord grape."  I said, "Bingo! You just smelled ethyl heptanoate."   Silence fell over the room because no one had heard of that ester.  Ethyl heptonaote is the ester that is used in artificial grape flavoring. Ethyl heptanoate smells like Concord grape or grape lollipop.    Many heirloom British yeast strains produce this ester.

With that said, the major problem that I have with this situation is that inexperienced brewers tend to take contest remarks as gospel.  Flagging ethyl heptanoate as acetaldehyde is a major faux pas that only confuses the entrant. 

Sounds like you had some very insightful knowledge to share. Like I said, get involved, or stay involved. You can help make the competitions in your area better.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« on: March 01, 2014, 06:23:07 PM »
Anytime you get one set of criteria and two humans to apply that criteria you will get 3 different opinions.

The best way to influence judging is to become one. I am a novice, but I have judged for a number of competitions and I have entered many more. You can look at your score sheets. The BJCP judges are always identified by their ID number. In many cases, it has not been the BJCP judge giving my beer the lowest score, but rather a non BJCP participant, and I know that they are not the lead.   I have also strongly disagreed with the score at a table where I was judging. I was allowed to present my argument and the lead judge altered his score to bring our table scores to within the 7 point requirement.

Judging is hard work. I personally do not enjoy it. 98% of the judges I've worked with take the job VERY seriously, work hard and try to render helpful, fair and objective scoresheets. You may have met one of the 2%, I don't know, but don't condemn the process based on this one experience. Get more involved.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: "Wet Hopping"
« on: March 01, 2014, 12:30:57 PM »
I use muslin bags for dry hops and just toss 'em after I use them. 

OK, we're even. You win pragmatic and I win cheap. xxx

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: "Wet Hopping"
« on: March 01, 2014, 11:44:49 AM »
My hop bags are utterly disgusting looking. Many, many batches of beer under their drawstrings. I toss 'em in a bowl of Star San for a few minutes, wring 'em out then add the hops, a weight and toss 'em into the fermenter or keg, where ever I want the hops. Seriously.....never a problem.  I even (shame on me) neglected to clean them immediately after use one time and they molded. Scraped the mold off, washed and bleached the bags and I continue to use them.

I would never worry about contamination of a beer just through adding hops...remember, when dry hopping there's alcohol in there already and the hops are recognized as having antibacterial properties.

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