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Messages - santoch

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Ingredients / Re: Bittering Hops
« on: June 01, 2015, 09:46:06 PM »
I have been brewing for a few years; my question is about bittering hops. If using a lower Alpha Acid hops (Cascade 6%AA .5oz 31% utilization = 11BU) or higher Alpha Acid (Nugget 12%AA .25oz 31% utilization = 11BU) at beginning of the boil, should give the same IBUs at the end of the boil, but will the taste be much difference, using the same grain bill (10Lbs Pale Malt).

this has been debated... but in our experience the bitterness "flavor" should be different if you're using different hops for your bittereing addtion.... however in your example 11 ibus is pretty low so i have a feeling that no matter what hop you use for finished 11 IBUs will not matter if cascade or nugget, or anything else.

But if you're making a PA or IPA at 50 60 70 + IBUs nuggets bitterness should taste different than galena should taste different than super alpha if they are all added at the same time in the boil to achieve a consistent IBU of say 60 IBUs.

experiment and you'll see how different they can be.

^^^^ This

All Grain Brewing / Re: help with partial boil
« on: June 01, 2015, 09:20:17 PM »
Hop extraction is also reduced when boiling a concentrated wort.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mash to Batch
« on: May 31, 2015, 08:59:24 PM »
It is pretty easy to run out of space in a cooler MT doing infusion step mashes if you aren't careful.  If that ever happens, and you still haven't hit your target temps, your best bet is to pull an emergency decoction.

Pull out about a third of the grist into another pot.  You want just enough wort so it isn't too 'dry'.  It should be relatively easy to stir, like breakfast oatmeal.

Bring it first to a 155F rest for 10 mins or so, then bring it all the way up to a boil for about 15 mins and return it to the main mash. Stir the whole time so you don't scorch.  Scorching is probably the biggest danger to a decoction mash, so keep it wet enough and stir constantly.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: White IPA
« on: May 31, 2015, 08:35:45 PM »
Since you said "White IPA" instead of "Belgian IPA", I'd go with WLP400 or WLP410 instead of WLP550.

Otherwise, it looks good.  An interesting twist might be to blend your Citra and Amarillo together and use 1/3 of the blend for a 10min flavor addition and the rest in the flameout addition.  I find that Amarillo lends a tangerine-ish flavor, which I think will nicely complement the witbier profile.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: Category Question
« on: May 27, 2015, 07:53:01 PM »
The normal procedure is that the judges will pour their samples at once and fill out their commentary and scores usually silently.  Then, once they have finished, they discuss the beer and how they scored it, to come to a consensus overall score.  They will often adjust their scores up or down to get closer to each other, but most of the time, the adjustments are small if they were needed at all.

If I may be so bold, this seems to have piqued your interest.  I had a similar reaction to my first competition.  I got sick of waiting for feedback so I became a judge so I could judge my beers myself.
I encourage you to take a look at the BJCP web site ( to find out more about judging and evaluating beer.  Find another competition near you, and volunteer to steward.  You'll see the inner workings and get to taste a lot of interesting beers. if nothing else you'll probably know right away whether you'd like to pursue it further or not.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Vegetarian meal at the banquet
« on: May 27, 2015, 07:43:58 AM »
Same video, better quality.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Vegetarian meal at the banquet
« on: May 26, 2015, 05:42:58 PM »

If the Good Lord didn't want us to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of meat.

Homebrew Clubs / Re: Selecting beers to serve at events...
« on: May 25, 2015, 07:38:23 PM »
One of the funniest things I ever heard -
I was at club night a few years ago and walked up to a booth and I said to the guy "Give me something you made that's really good."  His reply:  "If it was really good I wouldn't have brought it!"

All Grain Brewing / Re: Triumph
« on: May 25, 2015, 07:24:42 PM »
Nice job.  Get the 14th one started.  Dial it all the way in to perfection.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: State of home-brewing
« on: May 25, 2015, 01:38:43 PM »
The best things in life are worth the wait.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« on: May 25, 2015, 01:30:56 PM »
<blush> thanks, Jim.  I'd love to judge with you, too.  Hopefully our schedules will work out sometime soon.
Hey, we can always slip the judge director a couple greenbacks to see if (s)he'll pair us up.  ;-)

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« on: May 25, 2015, 11:27:41 AM »
Yes, judging is work.  Yes, you pay to go to the conference, so yes, you pay to go work.
But, I find it rewarding, and fun to go judge in the "biggest of the big league competitions" with a bunch of judges from all over the world.  You do learn a lot simply from all the interactions.  You also kind of get a vicarious dog in the hunt, seeing if the beers you advance end up doing well in BOS.

Besides, its only 3 hours or so.  I can spare that.

Same here -

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First hop addition volcano
« on: May 17, 2015, 04:36:08 PM »
+1 on all of the above. 
Waiting for hot break is something I've done since even back in my extract days.  The guy at the HB store recommended it and I've always had good results.

Instead of a cup of water, I keep a spray bottle full of water for knocking down the foam, just in case.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Are my grains still good?
« on: May 10, 2015, 11:28:36 AM »
Yes.  Not optimal, but ok as long as they aren't moldy.

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