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Messages - mmitchem

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Events / Re: NHC 2014?
« on: June 26, 2012, 03:26:17 PM »
Philly is going to be great, easily within driving distance. Although I might not feel like it on the 30th!

Homebrew Clubs / Re: BN Army wins club of the year.
« on: June 26, 2012, 12:48:11 PM »
I think that the BN has a good thing going for it...and ANYONE can have a club in this manner as long as it follows the same rules. It gives the folks with no club ,or a club that isn't what they had hoped, a chance to be part of a group that is working to advance home brewing.
Sometimes when people are looking for a backlash, they can create it in their own mind, even in the face of praise. I hope that this is such a case. Congrats BN!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That German lager flavor
« on: June 22, 2012, 02:33:37 PM »
I had a German Pils that used "c" hops last night at the conference.   I loved it, but......
I think ingredients are first, including yeast.  Pils malt from Europe has a distinct flavor, the hops have to be noble, and lager yeast of any variety, but especially one that throws off a little sulphur.
I get best results with decoctions when trying for that German flavor.

+1 for decocting. I love the way it brings those German malt flavors out.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That German lager flavor
« on: June 22, 2012, 12:37:58 PM »
Good continental malts a crucial players in that German lager flavor. Bohemian Pil and Light Munich are my favorites. Yeast is another big player. I am a huge fan of WLP830, 833 and 838. Using noble hops is never a bad thing.

IMO, to really get that German lager flavor, use german ingredients.

The Pub / Re: song title game
« on: June 21, 2012, 03:36:02 PM »
Cat Scratch Fever - Ted Nugent

The Pub / Re: song title game
« on: June 21, 2012, 04:51:54 AM »
Love in an Elevator - Aerosmith

The Pub / Re: song title game
« on: June 20, 2012, 01:12:05 PM »
If Tomorrow Never Comes - Garth Brooks

The Pub / Re: song title game
« on: June 20, 2012, 12:19:46 PM »
I'll Never Let You Go - Steelheart

The Pub / Re: song title game
« on: June 18, 2012, 03:35:45 AM »
Civil War - Guns N Roses

All Grain Brewing / Re: Second attempt at decoction...
« on: June 14, 2012, 06:20:52 PM »
This is true. It didn't help that I'd lost a bunch of heat because of the headspace in my mashtun.  I plan to try it again on a dunkel in the next week or so with my 5 gallon cooler and have some near boiling water at the ready.

I think you want a little liquid in the decoction, but not too much.  Obviously you don't want it to be just grains, otherwise, there'd be nothing to boil.

I do around 1 decoction per month and have always used 1 quart grist per pound of grain. Using a water to grist ratio of around 1.5-1.75q/lb is a good for me.
The thing you want to try to do is leave as much water behind in the main mash when pulling your decoctions. This leaves all of your enzymes in the main mash, which is what you want. Also the grain holds alot of the water and as you decoct it, the liquid absorbed by the grain will be released. So what appears to be pretty dry at first will end up being alot more oatmeal-y and watery at the end of the decoction.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Second attempt at decoction...
« on: June 14, 2012, 02:16:25 PM »
I used to have trouble with decoction temps as well, especially when I was using an igloo cooler and boiling seperately. I used to lose temp pretty quick after i pulled the grain out. Always had to have boiling water ready to go...

These days on my direct fire system, my main mash keeps temp like a champ. That way when I add it back, I dont have to compensate for any main mash temp loss.

1 quart thick mash for every pound of grain is the way to go. I first heard of this from Michael Dawson on BrewingTV (which he learned from Northern Brewer's Chris Farley) and more recently I read the same formula in Classic Beer Styles Series: Bock by Darryl Richman (EXCELLENT book btw). It has always been my method and works so well, I can't see a reason to change.

A little boiling water is always good to have around because you lose a little water to boil-off during the decoction. You can pull a little more grain off if you want to compensate for potentially hitting a low temp, but I find when I pull 1 quart of grist per pound of grain, almost all the grain has been pulled already and it really isnt worth fishing out the tiny bit left. Kill two birds with one stone - add water :)

The Pub / Re: song title game
« on: June 13, 2012, 05:08:31 PM »
Down on the Corner - CCR

The Pub / Re: song title game
« on: June 13, 2012, 12:40:47 PM »
I Believe in a Thing Called Love - The Darkness

The Pub / Re: screw the thermapen, Here's my fathers day present!
« on: June 13, 2012, 12:40:08 PM »
My parents have a diesel Jetta. That thing ROCKS! It climbs mountains like a champ, great on gas, looks awesome. Congrats on the new ride man! That beauty will serve you well :)

This topic, just as brewing in general, proves that there's more than one way to do it. I think in general, you want to get it cool as fast as possible, especially with the use of Pilsner malt (DMS!). Ten gallon batches are harder to cool so I am an advocate of recirculating the wort over an immersion chiller running cold water through.
Shaving time off of a brewday is never worth sacrificing or compromising the quality of the finished product, so I am more than happy to pump so star san through my chugger after recirculation.

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