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Messages - paul

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Ingredients / Re: Light vs Black Roasted Barley
« on: July 28, 2013, 01:48:57 AM »
Thanks a lot for posting this. Very helpful.  If I had more time, i might try doing two dry stouts, one with the light roast barley, one with dark.

Ingredients / Re: The "Truth" About Commercial Beer.
« on: July 28, 2013, 01:40:05 AM »
I luv me some beaver anus bitter.


Wait two weeks.    :)

It's tempting to want to check gravity early and often, but you're wasting good beer.

The goal when you check gravity is to determine when the yeast is essentially done fermenting so you can move on to the next step, whether it be lowering the temperature to age it for a while or simply to bottle if it's a beer style that's best to drink without aging.  There's no way your beer is close to done at 4 days with krausen still on top.  I would at least wait until the krausen drops and the beer clears a little.  Then take your first gravity reading.  Three days later, take another.  If there's no change, and it's reasonably close to your expected final gravity, it's probably done.

Oh, I do sometimes cool the sample when I taste it.  I usually first taste it warm, since it's easier to pick up off flavors when it's warm.  But I sometimes taste it cold to get a better idea of what it will taste like at normal serving temperatures.  But at four days, I can just about guarantee you it will taste weird.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Finding the right place....
« on: May 01, 2013, 04:29:17 AM »
I'd say to let it sit at 68 for two weeks.  "Age your cheese, not your Pliny!"   ;D

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Calculator Confusion/Curiosity
« on: April 22, 2013, 06:48:54 PM »
I can't claim to be an expert on this matter, but it seems to me that each of the different yeast growth models is just that: a model that intends to predict yeast behavior.  My guess is that there are so many variables involved that all of the models can be considered to be correct within their respective margins of error. 

I've settled on Kai's since it's the only one that shows some of the data that it is based on.  You can read about it here:

I also found this web site interesting since it compares different models:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Topping off a fermenter
« on: April 18, 2013, 12:44:03 AM »
No boiling for me, but I use bottled water to avoid adding chlorine.

All Grain Brewing / Re: first wort hops
« on: April 09, 2013, 01:18:45 AM »
Leave 'em in.

Beer Recipes / Upslope Brown Ale
« on: April 07, 2013, 10:34:11 PM »
I haven't brewed many brown ales, and I can't find the recipe for Upslope Brown Ale anywhere online.  Does anyone have a recipe that might get me close?  All-grain preferably.


Equipment and Software / Re: Brewing Calculators / Software
« on: April 01, 2013, 08:46:16 PM »
I do my own calcs also, using a spreadsheet I built.  It calculates gravity, bitterness, color, mash volumes, mash temperatures, and yeast starter growth. 

I used to use Beersmith and found it to be pretty helpful.  But I wanted to make my own to better understand what the calculators were doing, and also so I could customize it as necessary.

I use EZ Water 2.0 for mineral additions.

Equipment and Software / Re: Chiller to pond pump question
« on: March 08, 2013, 02:57:27 AM »
I have this pump:

1/6th hp is plenty for a 25-ft IC.  I actually have a little garden hose ball valve on the pump output.  It's about half open.

I've been using this pump since 2009 for probably 15 to 20 batches per year, so it seems pretty reliable.

It also comes in handy pumping out a flooded crawlspace.  :-\

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I need a palate
« on: March 02, 2013, 02:46:42 AM »
I'm not entirely sure what your question it about getting better at brewing, at judging your own beers, or judging beers in general?  I suppose they're all related.

It can be very helpful to join your local homebrew club.  You'll find people there who are more than happy to drink and judge your beer.  Some of them even know what they're talking about  ::)

I've also learned a lot judging beers with more knowledgable judges. If I think I'm tasting something, but can't quite place the flavor, they can often put words to what I'm tasting.  When I was "studying" for the BJCP exam, four to six of us would meet every few weeks, focus on a beer style, and bring several examples of that style to try and discuss. I learned quite a bit that way.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast for English Barleywine?
« on: January 27, 2013, 04:54:00 AM »
I'll second Wyeast 1028.

Ingredients / Re: boil volume question
« on: January 14, 2013, 05:27:02 AM »

You are correct that minerals added to your kettle make up water are superfluous.  If you assume that all of the minerals from your mash are rinsed into the kettle, then you only need to add a little more to get the same concentration in your kettle, based on the final kettle volume.  For example, assume you are brewing a 10-gallon batch (fermenter), and need to have 11 gallons in your kettle (final).  Next assume your mash volume is 7 gallons, and your water calcs called for 7 g of a mineral, or 1 g/gal.  That means you'll want 11 g in the kettle when the batch is done.  Assume all 7 g are rinsed into the kettle, leaving you 4 g short.  So you just add the 4 g to the kettle.  If you wanted to add it to the sparge water, you might want to boost this a little to account for the sparge water that's left in the mash tun.

For bitterness, I think it's actually a benefit that you're boiling off so much.  Your boil volume will be larger, so your boil gravity is lower, meaning greater utilization.  Most brewing calculators can adjust for this.

All Grain Brewing / Re: astringency
« on: January 03, 2013, 01:59:24 AM »
So if you want more volume before the onset of boiling I would simply add water to the kettle instead of running extra sparge water through the grain bed.

I have a fairly high boil off rate--1.3 to 1.4 gal/h--so i usually do this as well, particularly for low-gravity beers.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Forgot to add roasted barley
« on: December 21, 2012, 02:29:42 PM »
Could you try it on a sample?  Pour a glass and steep a small amount of RB in your fridge for a few days and see what you get.  If it works, scale it up to the full batch.

Another possibility s to make it a coffee oatmeal porter.  You can easily add coffee or espresso at this point and give it a bit more roast character.  Again, I'd try it on a sample to get the ratio you want.

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