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Messages - roguejim

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I sent out beer to some of the guys on this forum, and the feedback I've received has been really enlightening. I've decided I have no ability to objectively evaluate small changes in my technique. I think I'm cool and smart, with a good palate, but it turns out I'm not capable at all to discern subtle differences in the beer I make. Other homebrewers also think they're cool and smart with a good palate, so I'm really starting to doubt the veracity of some of their claims regarding subtle differences.

Too few people take this objective viewpoint.  That's why I started doing blind group tasting years ago and why I so frequently question people who say that certain things make a definite difference in their beers.

Like decocting lagers, right?  I think that was one of your taste tests...Didn't some in the group actually prefer single infused over decocted lagers?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« on: July 21, 2012, 07:30:14 PM »
Jess was responding to my email, and knows I am a homebrewer.

Gordon, what do you think of Jess's recommendation in light of "El Hefe"?  By the way, thank you for your help in this thread.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« on: July 21, 2012, 12:38:21 PM »
Jess Caudill at Wyeast recommends 6 million cells/ml for WY3068 to obtain optimum ester formation. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Decocting a Pils
« on: July 21, 2012, 11:29:36 AM »
Nateo, is there another thread on this you can provide a link to? 

I've always used a single infusion @ 148F for 90 minutes, but I'm considering anything that might improve my pilseners.

All Grain Brewing / Decocting a Pils
« on: July 21, 2012, 01:53:50 AM »
I copied and saved Gordon's instructions for decocting a hefe in another thread, so I'm hoping he might help me out here, or anyone else for that matter.  I'd just like to know what the standard decoction temps/rests are for a German pils.  A Google search for "decocting a pils" resulted in mainly Bohemian pils.  Maybe decocting a German pils is not that common?

Commercial Beer Reviews / Roggenbier?
« on: July 21, 2012, 01:49:19 AM »
Are there any commercial roggenbiers available in the U.S.?  I've never had one, but would like to try one, preferably imported.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« on: July 20, 2012, 04:13:31 PM »
Geez, how'd I miss that, Gordon...

Care to address my decoction questions?  Thanks.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
« on: July 20, 2012, 11:49:51 AM »
Not only did it not control pH for me, it gave my beer a weird(er) taste.  Is that Bob you're talking about, Jim?  You should know better than to listen to him.

Of course, it was Bob!  Ha!  I know he's a salesman first.  I'd just never heard of a "one size fits all" mash treatment.  Give me some credit, man. ;)

All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« on: July 20, 2012, 11:42:47 AM »
Very interesting info on pitching rates.  In actuality, this is likely more important than decoction versus step mashes versus single infusion.  In your opinions then, how many healthy yeast cells do I want to pitch into a 5.5gal batch for optimum ester formation?

For kicks, I went to recipe Wiki and looked up the NHC hefe winners since 2004.  Two used decoction; one, single infusion.

Regarding decoction now, I copied this from the 2009 winner:
"Dough-in at 111° F (44° C) and hold for 15 minutes. Ramp up to 131° F (55° C), and rest 10 minutes. Pull thick decoction and slowly heat to 158° F (70° C), and rest 20 minutes. Boil 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Meanwhile, ramp main mash up to 149° F (65° C) and hold. Recombine, and equalize at 158° F (70° C). Rest for 10 minutes. Mash out at 170° F (77° C). Sparge, collecting 7 gallons (26.5 L). Chill to 58° F (14° C) before oxygenation and pitching."

Since I mash in a 48qt cooler, would I want to dough in with a 1qt/lb water to grain ratio since I will be ramping up the temp to 131F...149F by direct infusion?  How long would I hold the mash at 149F?  Also, what portion of the mash would I pull to decoct?  Thanks in advance.  I can see I'm going to have to do some research before I decoct for the first time.     


General Homebrew Discussion / 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
« on: July 19, 2012, 03:19:42 PM »
My LHBS owner swears by this stuff.  Doesn't seem possible that you could have a universal water treatment for all mashes, guaranteed to bring them to 5.2 PH.  What do you guys know about this product?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« on: July 18, 2012, 12:16:24 AM »
Well, the recipe in Jamil's book employs a single infusion-no step mash or decoction.  But, it seems like the guys who brew hefes on a regular basis, seem to use a combo of step mashes and decoctions.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Is Mr. Malty dependable?
« on: July 17, 2012, 03:54:00 PM »
The main thing is that you want to pitch enough yeast for the beer you are making. 400 billion is right on the money for a 1.058 lager. I have found Mr Malty to be great for the suggested starter size. Jamil did alright when he made that program ;)

What's the name of his production brewery?

And on A LOT of other things. Theres a reason that guy is as decorated as he is, and is running a successful production brewery like he is, and pitching the right amount of yeast, as he will tell you, is the most important reason. Im sure he uses his own program so that speaks volumes!

All Grain Brewing / Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« on: July 17, 2012, 01:50:48 PM »
In Jamil/Palmer's Classic Styles book, there is a hefe recipe that uses a single infusion mash. Is this the best way to go for a hefe? I'm not looking for the easiest way, but the best. I wonder if there have been any triangle tests comparing hefes brewed with single infusion, step mashes, and decoction...

In reality, I think I would consider a step mash if I was convinced that it would produce a better hefe.  Not ready for decoction, yet...I did a search and found this below.  Are all these steps of equal importance?  And, how long for each step?

"...The flavor benefits from ferulic acid formation at the 95-113F temp range, which promotes the banana/clove characteristic in the yeast profile (and it also helps lower pH for the mash as well as providing a tartness in the finish).  A 122F-131F step helps break proteins down to shorter chains for better head formation and retention. A beta rest (140s) helps develop fermentables and a 154F rest will provide dextrins and mouth feel..."

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: bu:gu help
« on: July 15, 2012, 12:32:36 PM »
Maybe the emails below will be of some interest.  They are from Matt Van Wyk of Oakshire Brewing in Eugene, Oregon, and Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing.  I asked them what percent of the total IBUs they try to derive from the bittering addition in an AIPA.  I also put the question to Mike "Tasty" McDole, and Denny Conn.  (I don't think they would mind my sharing their info here).  Draw your own conclusions. 8)

Hi Jim-
It depends.  It depends on how bitter you want the beer and how hop flavored and aromatic you want it. That, in many senses is up to personal taste. If you want to follow a 1:1 BU:GU ration, a 1.066 beer would be 66:66 or 66 BUs for a beer with 66 gravity units.
In my opinion, IBUs are not important and I wish they didn't appear on our bottle. Experiment with different levels and see what you like better. at 5-10 gallons per batch, you can do several experiments. Good luck!

Thanks for the email, no, we don't have a set percent of BU's we want to get out of the first hop addition.  It really varies from recipe to recipe.  Since we make so many IPA's, I mix it up so some get a bunch of bitterness from the initial addition, while others get a bunch of bittering from the middle addition or even the last addition and thus those beers have a bigger hop flavor and aroma.

I hope this helps,

I try to get 2/3 of the IBUs in the last 20 minutes of the boil (and post boil if there's a flameout addition). So the answer to your question is I try to limit the 60 minute addition to 1/3 of the total IBU's.


...I start by deciding on a rough BU:GU ratio for the beer.  Then I add enough FWH to get the flavor I want...usually 1-2 oz.  Then I add in enough 60 hops to get within 10-20 IBU of the total I'm shooting for.  Since I use FWH, I seldom use a 20 min. addition, so the rest of the IBU come from 15 min. or less additions.


Pimp My System / Re: So simple but so nice
« on: July 10, 2012, 04:14:55 PM »
How exactly do you transfer the wort from kettle to fermenter, with the kettle sitting so low?

I wonder if Denny is still using his Wort Wizard?

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