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Messages - erockrph

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The Pub / Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« on: June 21, 2017, 12:24:35 PM »
He says "I use method x and my beer is good so method x is good"
I don't say anything.

And neither of those stances are particularly helpful to me, or to most brewers for that matter. But "I'm using method X and I've noticed ABC versus when I was using method Y" is a conversation I'd love to tune into.

The Pub / Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« on: June 21, 2017, 08:16:22 AM »
Well, imagine a car forum where everyone built their own 1/100 model from found parts.  It's not so much that "science doesn't apply" (whatever that would even mean) but that there are too many variables changing.

Even so, people can work on homebrew best practices, which is why my beer is way better than it was 10 years ago.
I like your car forum analogy. For my purposes, I like to hear what everyone else is doing and what results they're getting. If it's something I'm interested for my own purposes, then I may decide to try to roll that into my practice.

Regarding "best practices", I agree a bit, but with the caveat that it is a slippery slope. We all have different goals with this hobby. I'm fine with "procedure A gets me result B", but I'm less cool with "everybody really needs to follow this procedure because it is proven to make better beer". "Result B" can certainly be "the freshest-tasting malt character I've ever experienced" or something else fantastic, but I'll make the decision regarding what a "better beer" really is for me, thank you very much.

This is the first thing written in the rules:

"All National Homebrew Competition entries must be homebrewed beer, mead, and cider. “Homebrewed” means that entrants cannot use professional ingredients, equipment, or other means provided by professional brewers or breweries."

Other than that, as long as they are an AHA member.... they are basically good.  So, a person can "work in a brewery" as long as the beer they are entering is brewed at home and not being produced with material, equipment, ingredients, etc. from the brewery.... they are good.  At least that is the way I have always understood it.

And, here are the rest of the official requirements:

"Homebrewer Eligibility
Homebrewers must meet each of the following conditions as of midnight on February 5, 2017:
1. You must be a current American Homebrewers Association (AHA) member when entering the competition.
2. You must know your member number and email address associated with your membership.
3. You must be subscribed to receive emails from the National Homebrew Competition. If you are unsure, please see the FAQ page or contact Member Services at for assistance.
4. No employee of the Brewers Association may enter."

I wonder what is meant by professional ingredients?
There are a few chemicals, fining agents, yeasts, and some experimental hops that are not in the Homebrew Sop distribution. How they could tell if those were used in a competition? I don't know the answer to that.
And a truly dedicated homebrewer can gain access to many of those if they're willing to put in the legwork, as we have seen in many discussions on this board.

All Grain Brewing / Re: No sparge brewing
« on: June 21, 2017, 07:26:22 AM »
If your mash vessel has the volume, there is zero reason to sparge.

Granted, you will have to adjust when you get into super high gravitates, but I brewed an 18 °Bx Tripel on Sunday with 78% efficiency.

Recirculation helps quite a bit as well. There are many levers to pull once you start to no sparge to make up for any hits you would take.
Because of the mash thicknesses involved, I was actually getting better efficiencies on high-gravity beers than session beers when I started doing no-sparge. I have since lengthened my mash time a bit, and also started reserving some of my mash water to keep my mash thickness around ~3 qt/lb for a maximum. That has brought all my brews to a dependable 82% +/- 2% efficiency from 1.035 all the way to 1.100+ OG.

All Grain Brewing / Re: BIAB and sparging
« on: June 21, 2017, 07:18:23 AM »
One way to think of BIAB is that you're doing your mashing and sparging all in one step. You are essentially adding all of your sparge water in with your mash water. Since the mash is more dilute, you are leaving a lot less fermentable sugar behind in the grain bed. And since you are pulling the grain bag and letting them drain, there is very little loss to grain absorption and no loss to dead space.

The Pub / Re: HomeBrew Con 2018
« on: June 18, 2017, 11:05:26 AM »
I had heard that Providence was on the short list of locations to consider last year, and I hope it remains so if NHC returns to the East Coast in 2019. That's about my only hope for getting to one between now and retirement (which is still 15-20 years away for me).

Beer Recipes / Re: Re evaluating hefeweizen hatred
« on: June 17, 2017, 11:33:28 AM »
I tried a few hefeweizen beers early in my craft beer journey and wrote them off. I tried a local ish hefeweizen today and loved it . Susquehanna so wheat is the beer. Very little banana which is what turned me off. Any advice on brewing a low banana Weiss. Seems like wyeast 3638 is the way to go for yeast
I love 3638. Pitch on the low side (1 smack pack/no starter for 5 gallons of a typical gravity hefe), and ferment in the mid-60's. That will give you low banana, and a nice sweet-spice phenolic note (not just clove, but hints of vanilla/anise/cinnamon). It works even better in a dunkelweizen, in my opinion, but still makes a real nice hefe.

Beer Recipes / Re: Pomegranate Pineapple Hefewiesen
« on: June 17, 2017, 11:21:11 AM »
I'd do pomegranate molasses or high end grenadine and fresh ripe pineapple once the krausen dies down. Fermentation will start back up and the newly introduced sugars will fully ferment out obviating any worries about overcarbonating, assuming your method is to fully ferment and add priming sugar per a priming calculator.
+1 - For beer, Pomegranate molasses are the way to go methinks to minimize dilution. And nothing comes close to fresh, ripe pineapple for flavor.

That said, hefeweizen is a horrible style to add fruit to. The yeast flavor is a huge clash with berries in particular (I've tried). If you want a fruited wheat beer, then stick with a neutral yeast like an American Wheat strain or even US-05/001/1056.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: fermentation: carboy or bucket?
« on: June 17, 2017, 11:04:43 AM »
Carboys work great until you break one. I've used the carboy that came with my original kit a grand total of three times until I made the move to plastic buckets. Better Bottles also work well.

A few years back I switched to fermenting in kegs, and I'll never go back. It's worth every penny of the investment, and then some.

The Pub / Re: Tapatalk sucks now
« on: June 12, 2017, 12:09:38 PM »
Derek, that's cool if you read multiple forums and many have ads, but the AHA forum should be fee of ads.

Yeah, it should.  The AHA staff is at Homebrew Con this week, so they may not be able to look into it right away.  I'll try to remember to mention it at our meeting on Wed.
Thanks, Denny!

The Pub / Re: Tapatalk sucks now
« on: June 12, 2017, 10:12:26 AM »
I detest the in-line ads. This might be the straw that breaks the camel's back and gets me to uninstall. Are there any other forum apps out there?

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

Tapatalk Pro is ad free and only $2.99

They have moved to a subscription model ($0.99/month for "VIP" status). No way am I going to pay a subscription fee for one forum that I am already frequenting less and less as of late. Even the $2.99 one-time is tough to justify for buggy software that has often pushed out bad updates several times in the past.

Not to go too off-tangent, but it looks like Briess has expanded their DME offerings since I've last checked. I also noticed this product, which looks like a DME equivalent to Sinamar:

The Pub / Tapatalk sucks now
« on: June 12, 2017, 09:20:15 AM »
I detest the in-line ads. This might be the straw that breaks the camel's back and gets me to uninstall. Are there any other forum apps out there?

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

I haven't, but if this is truly available, I'm going to order some ASAP. I brew all my hop trials using Pilsner DME and Munich LME, but a Munich DME would be a hell of a lot easier to work with for 1 gallon batches.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: priming individual bottles
« on: June 07, 2017, 09:46:46 AM »
I've done it in the past with table sugar, but the Coopers carbonation drops work great and are so much easier to use. They get you right to the 2.5 volume range in a 12 oz bottle. I use them all the time for my small batches that get bottled.

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