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Messages - mabrungard

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The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: December 13, 2013, 07:00:29 AM »
Disagreed. I like bourbon. You guys can keep the scotch. I never found the taste for the stuff. And I realley detest peat, in whiskey and beer.

I had never tasted Scotch prior to this year. But when I did, all I could think as a BJCP judge was: Defect...chlorophenols.  The experience also helped me realize that some people just aren't very sensitive to chlorophenol in beer either. Possibly because they either don't taste it or think it's an attribute (probably from drinking scotch!).

Ingredients / Re: spruce tips
« on: December 11, 2013, 06:15:58 AM »
A properly produced spruce has NO pine-sol character. Just the notes that Jeff mentions above.

Ingredients / Re: spruce tips
« on: December 10, 2013, 10:22:17 AM »
Spruce tips are the very young first growths from the trees. They are very soft and sweet. They do not have much in the way of sprucey or piney flavor when they are very young.

Ingredients / Re: Time to mix up my hops
« on: December 07, 2013, 07:47:23 AM »
You will see a recipe for an all Brewers Gold IPA in the next issue of Zymurgy as part of the discussion on Burton water. Brewers Gold imparts a black currant note into the flavor spectrum. That hop is otherwise notable as being 'hoppy'. When I saw that in the flavor descriptions on various websites, I drew a question mark. But after tasting and smelling the finished beer, 'hoppy' is a good descriptor. 

After the fact, I found that a lot of English brewers and homebrewers use Brewers Gold. We Americans should bring it back onto our palate of flavors.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Thermometers?
« on: December 03, 2013, 03:04:56 PM »
+1 to Big Al's way of measuring mash temperature. Although the temp reading may be off, as long as the measurement device is consistent, the net effect is that you just adjust the desired temp up or down to suit your desired beer characteristics.  I suppose that the main deficiency would be that Big Al may need to ignore temperature recommendations from other brewers and base his mashing decisions more on his intuition. 

But, calibrating to a standard does allow you to recommend and compare temps more accurately.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Thermometers?
« on: December 03, 2013, 10:18:53 AM »
I do like the ruggedness of bi-metal probe thermometers, but they are easily uncalibrated with use or abuse. Having a traceable calibration thermometer to check those bi-metal thermometers is imperative. On top of that, the bi-metal thermometers may not be as linear in their response as some other types, so having that calibration standard and calibrating at mashing temps is good practice. 

With that said, those cheap electronic units that Sean Terrill mentioned months ago and Amanda pointed to above, seem to be a great deal and several are waterproof.  I see that you can pick up a calibratable unit for $19 (Model: RT301WA) and its spec says its within 0.9F.  That is pretty good since a much more expensive Thermapen is only slightly better (0.7F).  Considering that the cheap unit is made by the Thermapen people, I would skip to the cheaper option without a blink!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water profile and IPAs
« on: December 02, 2013, 06:16:05 AM »
I talked to Mitch Steele at the NHC and they don't pay any attention to sulfate at Stone.  They brew their IPAs at 165 ppm of Calcium.

At 165 ppm Ca, there is a lot of some other anions in that water...and its probably sulfate.  By the way, there are several water districts in San Diego that have fairly mineralized (that means sulfate too) water. There is a decent chance that Stone doesn't need to add more sulfate to their brewing water.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Dedicated tap / lines for sours?
« on: November 29, 2013, 01:07:34 PM »
Anything you can boil is not a problem to decontaminate. Don't worry.

Ingredients / Re: Sierra Nevada's water profile
« on: November 28, 2013, 11:43:49 AM »
Nope, no work on that end. But I have seen the Chico report before. It is typically low in mineralization. I do know that they do mineralize the brewing water. Knowing what Chico water is like will not do you any good.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Stone IPA
« on: November 27, 2013, 07:37:35 PM »
Stone IPA is a very nice beer, but it's not nearly as assertive as the current contenders and recipients for the crown. I find it very balanced and fairly approachable. It is where the IPA taste was a decade ago and I like that level of bittering and flavor. I would like to taste more beers in this range, but it's difficult to stand out in the IPA field if you aren't stretching the limits. 

If you haven't tasted Stone IPA, you need to.

Wood/Casks / Re: Oaked cider, anyone?
« on: November 26, 2013, 03:49:10 PM »
McClure's Orchard in Peru, IN does make an oaked aged cider. It is very nice. Go for it.

Beer Recipes / Re: Munich Dunkel Recipe?
« on: November 26, 2013, 03:47:59 PM »
Red, I'm speaking about the actual boiled Munich profile which still has significant alkalinity left in it. For that water, those Munich brewers would have to include that acid source. For someone starting with a low alkalinity water, you may not want to go to the trouble of creating the boiled Munich profile with all its alkalinity and then reverse course and add acid. In this latter case, you probably wouldn't add any more alkalinity than necessary for the mash condition. 

But to be as authentic as possible, boosting the alkalinity to the boiled Munich level and then adding the lactic source may be the way to go. Those of you with fairly alkaline water may consider this an opportunity! I remember my Tallahassee water was well suited to making Hefe's and Dunkel's since I used Lactic acid exclusively. 

Unfortunately, the recommendations that Kai makes regarding the water for the Dunkel are dated. He may want to revise that water recipe.

+1 to cleaning my picnic taps and lines as each keg is exhausted. Everything is in the fridge, so the opportunity to grow anything is minor. I always let the picnic tap drape down over the keg so that the outlet is generally pointed downward. Even so, I sometimes find a nice growth of mold on the stopper. I guess that is the main thing to worry about.

Beer Recipes / Re: Munich Dunkel Recipe?
« on: November 25, 2013, 12:24:18 PM »

The chalk is not needed or desired for that mash. Both the calcium and bicarbonate are far too high.

I based this water profile from Kai's research on his website.

Ah, sorry to see that on Kai's site. While it's accurate for the tap water, its not what is brewed with.

Do review my presentation on Historic Water from this year's AHA convention.  In the old days, the water was pre-boiled to knock out some of the excessive alkalinity and the calcium goes out with it.  After boiling, Munich water is a semi OK water to brew with as long as you then attend to the remaining alkalinity.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: IPA's
« on: November 25, 2013, 12:19:45 PM »
I find that this year's Celebration is very sensitive to serving temperature. My fridge is set to 40F and that is too cold for serving that beer. All the flavors are closed down at that temp.  Let it warm up and its a different beer.

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