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Messages - paul

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« on: May 31, 2012, 01:02:41 PM »
Back to the premise of the question, that lower efficiency leads to better malt character, I can't claim to have any firsthand experience with this.  But I worked with a pro brewer who said for his competition brews, he preferred to quit sparging when the runoff drops to about 7 P (1.028), which is a good bit higher than the 1.010 minimum rule of thumb.  He said this would provide a better malt character.  This is consistent with some who say that no-sparge methods provide the same benefit.  Whether these assertions are true or not, they are claiming, essentially, that better malt character results from not oversparging.  This is related to efficiency.  By sparging less, the efficiency is most definitely lower than it would be compared to sparging fully.  But, the efficiency loss is due to the sparge, not due to the crush.  I would think you'd want to crush as you normally do (unless you find that your fine crush is shredding your husks too much).

The Pub / song title game
« on: May 19, 2012, 04:01:09 PM »
Evil Woman - Canned Heat

Equipment and Software / Tubing and autosiphons
« on: May 19, 2012, 03:50:47 PM »
I always remove the tubing to ensure a good thorough cleaning.  I have three tips for easier removal (it's still a pain in the a$$).  First, don't put it on too far to begin with. Second, run it under nice hot water for a while. Third, don't try to pull it straight off. Grab the tube at the end of the siphon and bend it at a 90 degree angle while also pulling. This will loosen the seal on the outside of the bend enough to let it move a bit. Then bend it the other way and do the same.  Usually takes 3 or 4 cycles and it's off.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: New Carbonation Issues For Me
« on: May 14, 2012, 06:07:17 AM »
It could be a minor infection; something that ate just a little sugar, added carbonation, and not a noticeable flavor yet.  Possibly a brett?  Give all of your plastic a good soaking in PBW, then Star San.  If your bottling bucket has a spigot, do you take it apart and clean it every time?  I don't think there's much that can survive Star San at a pH of 3. 

Also, could it be possible that the beer wasn't at terminal gravity yet?  I've had a beer stall and look done, only to ferment a bit more in the bottle, resulting in over carbonation.

Beer Recipes / Re: Basic Dubbel and Tripel recipes
« on: May 13, 2012, 03:35:18 PM »
Jamil's tripel recipe calls for 0.25 lb aromatic, so I don't think it's out of place at all.  I haven't made it, but I've made other light beers that are primarily pils malt and have frequently included some vienna malt, munich malt, or aromatic.  Seems like a reasonable thing to add if you want a little more a malt aroma than pils malt gives.  It all comes down to what you're trying to accomplish.

Beer Travel / Re: Vine Street Pub in Denver?
« on: May 05, 2012, 01:00:12 AM »
I like it a lot.  The food is decent and the beers are usually very good.  It's typically very busy; figure 45 minutes for a table during peak times.  But if you're alone, you can probably squeeze in someplace faster.

Beer Recipes / Re: Brewing 'to the comp'
« on: May 02, 2012, 04:46:50 AM »
I agree that the "bigger is better" method of judging is common and problematic.  I brewed a mild at the top end of the gravity ranges and with a significant quantity of flavor hops, yet it was deemed "not malty or hoppy enough."  I also had my APA called "malt forward with minimal hop flavor" when it had over five ounces of American variety hops added after 30 minutes and minimal character malts (5-gallon batch).  I just attribute this to palate fatigue from judging too many over-the-top beers, and maybe judges who forget they're supposed to consider the style, not just their preferences for stronger flavors.

The good news is that sometimes the smaller beer wins.  I judged at this year's Indian Peak Alers Competition.  My table judged light lagers, including American standard lagers up to Bohemian Pils.  There wasn't really a bad beer in our flight, and yet the winner at our table was an American standard lager.  Even better, this beer went on to win best of show.  So it just goes to show an over the top beer won't always come out on top.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Boulevard Chocolate Ale 2012 = FAIL
« on: April 27, 2012, 01:05:29 AM »
I had a sampler of one a month or two ago.  I thought it was pretty good.  Definitely not the part of the recall.  Nice chocolate nose and a good flavor.  But still, probably not a beer I'd want a full pint of very often. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: White Labs French Ale Yeast (WLP072)
« on: April 19, 2012, 02:48:02 AM »
I don't have experience with both, only the WLP072, which I liked. 

Based on the description of WY3725, it sounds like it will have more phenol character than WLP072.  So it may come down to whether you want a little spice to it or not.

I've also used WY1762 in a biere de garde and really liked it, maybe more than the French Ale yeast.

All Grain Brewing / Re: astringency and over sparging
« on: April 13, 2012, 05:31:23 AM »
It tends to work out because my efficiency is fairly consistent.  I essentially plan my grain bill for 70% collection, knowing the I could probably achieve 75% by collecting more wort.  Similarly, I plan to hit that efficiency by collecting 0.6 to 0.65 gallons per lb of grain.  If necessary I can collect a bit more, but then I might start to watch the gravity of the runnings.  Finally, I plan for a 5.5 gallon batch so that if my efficiency is higher or lower I can readjust my final batch volume accordingly and still hit my planned OG.  So, there's not a ton of precision, but a lot of room for on-the-fly adjustments.

All Grain Brewing / Re: astringency and over sparging
« on: April 12, 2012, 04:16:20 AM »
Not sure I understand the question.  But if it wasn't clear, I collect about 0.6 gallons per pound before the boil, and end up with less after the boil.

All Grain Brewing / Re: astringency and over sparging
« on: April 11, 2012, 04:58:10 AM »
Sounds about right, but there a couple things you didnt mention.

I've never seen anyone quantify oversparging this way, but I like to track the amount of wort I collect relative to the grain weight.  I usually collect between 0.6 and 0.7 gallons per pound. 

The other thing to watch is either the gravity or pH of the runoff towards the end.  I've always heard it's best to stop when the gravity drops to 1.010 or the pH rises to 5.8.  I was talking to a pro brewer who wins some comps who said he prefers to stop runoff on competition beers at 7 Plato (1.028) for better malt flavor.  I've tended to follow this advice.  I think it keeps me far from oversparging.

Doesn't White Labs have a tap room in that area?

I don't know anything about it but would think that would be worth checking out. Has anyone been there?

The Pub / Re: regional Sayings
« on: April 08, 2012, 03:46:40 AM »
I was born in western PA and have lost most of the regional dialect, but remember a few interesting things.  People will say they need to "red up the house," which means clean up the house.  I think that's actually Penslvania Dutch, so it's probably common all over PA.

"Kennywood's open," means "your fly is open."  Kennywood is the name of an amusement park, so this makes complete sense.   :o

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash thickness question
« on: March 25, 2012, 02:47:28 AM »
I've actually heard the reverse: a thick mash produces a more fermentable wort.  The explanation is that in a thick mash the enzymes are less diluted and more available to do their work on starches.  And since beta amylase is responsible for producing very fermentable worts, and it denatures faster than alpha amylase, it makes sense that anything that allows the enzymes to work faster will give beta a chance to work while it can.  I've gotten some pretty good attenuation with mashes in the 1.1 to 1.2 qt/lb range, but I can't say I've done any experiments.

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