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Messages - mpietropaoli

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: The Lesser of two ferment temp evils
« on: January 30, 2013, 06:14:14 AM »
Revised plan: moved faux pils out of chamber set @ ambient in basement.  Temp climbing a bit, but still 64ish.  Used ferm fridge for bitter, which is good because it's churning like crazy after 8 hours.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: The Lesser of two ferment temp evils
« on: January 29, 2013, 07:45:18 PM »
Ok, here's the plan:  going to start it upstairs until it gets going, then move it downstairs and wrap it in an old blanket (and I can place in front of the dehumidifier with a wet towel for some evaporative heat loss if it gets too warm).  As fermentation winds down, I'll bring it back upstairs for a makeshift d-rest. 

God I love my ferm chamber.  I just need another one :-)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: The Lesser of two ferment temp evils
« on: January 29, 2013, 06:21:43 PM »
Thanks brutha.  I was leaning toward your camp.  The proprietor of one of my LHBS's told me he would put it on the first floor, as I wouldn't get esters otherwise.  I gave  him a weird look when he gave his answer.

Yeast and Fermentation / The Lesser of two ferment temp evils
« on: January 29, 2013, 06:08:41 PM »
So I did a quick Premium Bitter today and realized I don't have a way to ferment it right @ 67*. 

I have a faux pilsner going in my ferm fridge set at 60*.  The ambient temp in there also happens to be 60*.  The pils is in the midst of high krausen (US-05) and is bubbling pretty regularly.  I checked the gravity, and it had only dropped from 1.058 to 1.045 (if it was further through fermentation I would have moved up to the first floor of my place with a pretty regular ambient temp of 65). 

My question is, is it better to ferment my premium bitter (1L starter of Nottingham) at an ambient temp of 60* in my fermentation fridge, 58* in my basement, or 65* on my first floor?  I want some ester production, but I feel like if I have it @ 65 degrees ambient, the ferment could take it up north of 70*, and I don't want fusels.  Any thoughts are appreciated. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP Guideline question
« on: January 28, 2013, 07:07:01 PM »
Good responses above, also depending on the temp of the majority of your fermentation, I would consider raising it after its 60-70% done, as Irish Ale yeasts can tend to produce some diacetyl, which is a big flaw in an AmIPA or even an amber.  Raising the temp will encourage the yeast to clean that up and also fully attenuate.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP Tasting Exam: Wow! That was hard!
« on: January 28, 2013, 07:04:03 PM »
I'm taking my tasting exam @ the end of Feb.  Publicly-posted commercial calibration would be huge, though I don't think it exists.  In fact, a reader wrote in to Zymurgy complaining that different judges were coming up with such different descriptors for the same beer.  [EDIT!!! If you are an AHA member, go on to eZymurgy and you can find a lot of different commercial calibrations!  One more reason to join if you aren't already a member!]

I passed my online exam in October, have judged one comp as a provisional (judged saisons with Dave Houseman in the afternoon, who contributes to the calibration column...such a great guy and a great teacher!) and stewarded two others prior.  I was particularly psyched when Dave and I would come up with the same score for a beer!

Also, one of my clubs does a non-sanctioned comp every month, which has helped me taste different beer, learn the styles (somewhat, as we do a different category each month), and learn to use descriptors. 

Finally, I have been trying to fill out a minimum of 5 scoresheets per week.  A couple of things I have found helpful as well:

-my proctor recommended taking one beer (eg Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout), and judging it in three different categories, ie "Oatmeal Stout", "Russian Imperial Stout", and "Baltic Porter".  That way, you can learn to ID STYLE flaws and not just technical flaws.  SS's Oatmeal Stout is a well-made beer, but it is probably not the best Baltic Porter.
-look through Ratebeer and BeerAdvocate for simple reviews of the beer you just did.  Like anything crowd-sourced, a lot of the 'data' can be crap, but you might catch a descriptor that you missed (make sure to save some of the sample when you are reviewing your scoresheet.
-Finally, I will quiz myself on some reverse-learning stuff (there's probably a more technical term).  Ie instead of reading the style guidelines for saison and biere de garde, I will try to write down the differences between a saison and biere de garde.  For example:

Biere de garde has (should have):
-malty upfront sweetness followed by dryness
-low esters, malt-focused aroma potentially with some toasty character
-clean lager character over some melanoidin

-ester/yeast-forward aroma
-much more citrus/tart flavor
-similar dryness
-some hop bitterness (whereas the dryness in a BDG comes more from the fermentation)

This may be completely useless, but it helps me remember style characteristics.  Where I do get a bit fuzzy is on the difference between a German Pils and a Bo Pils (german has more hop bitterness, higher carb?), and a N. German Alt and a Dusseldorf Alt!

Wish me luck!

General Homebrew Discussion / Beer Brewing Cookbook
« on: January 22, 2013, 07:31:21 PM »
Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew
buy it, brew them, love them. 

All Grain Brewing / What exactly is...
« on: January 07, 2013, 12:27:35 PM »
I thought it was a non-repeating terminal phantasm/Class 5 free-roaming vapor?

All Grain Brewing / Head retention in a raspberry stout
« on: January 07, 2013, 10:28:48 AM »
How much?  10%?

All Grain Brewing / What exactly is...
« on: January 07, 2013, 10:27:19 AM »
I also did use gelatin, and yes, it's on all the bottles I had leftover.

All Grain Brewing / What exactly is...
« on: January 07, 2013, 10:26:46 AM »
No, they have been stored @ cellar temp.  I do get a weird slight cardboard flavor that wasn't present in the keg version. 

All Grain Brewing / What exactly is...
« on: January 06, 2013, 07:47:58 PM »
This?  On the necks of a Cali common I bottled off a keg about a month ago. 

All Grain Brewing / Head retention in a raspberry stout
« on: January 06, 2013, 07:37:13 PM »
Had some issues with head retention in my last stout where I added 32oz grade b maple syrup post-fermentation.  Am planning a choc raspberry stout with 4-5lbs of raspberries post-fermentation.  Is it simply a matter of adding some dextrin malt to my mash?  Mash higher to compensate?

General Homebrew Discussion / Dry Hopping in a corny keg
« on: January 06, 2013, 07:29:22 PM »
Tasty actually says in the podcast on IIPAs that it drives off any potential oxygen, to which hoppy styles are particularly vulnerable.  I use a 45cent muslin bag and weight (sanitized shot/heavy glass).  Some dispute whether the weight is necessary.  I've had good results w weight and no weight.  Adding while fermentation is still active is what supposedly ensures that the oxygen is removed from the hops and the beer.

All Things Food / Beer dinner pairings help
« on: January 05, 2013, 09:02:58 PM »
If its this badass of an experience (and it seems to be), pick up a copy of Brewmasters Table and read the $#!t out of it.  Garrett Oliver, while a bit pompous here and there, breaks it all down beautifully.  Such a great read and reference, and if u are going to have a monumental experience like this, it is a must.

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