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Topics - yso191

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Ingredients / Malt with 'dusty' sensation/flavor?
« on: December 25, 2014, 12:14:37 PM »
I'm trying to track down a flavor that I've been picking up in a couple of beers I've brewed.  It may just be my palate, but the best description I can come up with is that it tastes dusty.  It is mildly unpleasant to me. 

My Brown Ale has the flavor as well as my RIS.  I can eliminate the malts that are in other beers I've brewed that don't have that flavor.  I'm left with Chocolate Malt (350 & 475).  Other than this the hops are different and the yeasts are different.

Does anyone else get a dusty sensation/flavor from Chocolate Malt?

The Pub / The Malt Book
« on: December 20, 2014, 11:37:18 AM »
I received my copy of the long-awaited Malt book yesterday.  I spent some time reading and surfing through it.  It is well written and I'm sure I will learn from it.

However.  It does not have the ONE thing I was hoping it would have: A chart of malts, detailing each one's flavor descriptions.  I was even hoping that it would include what a malt tastes like if there is too much of it in a beer since some malts go from a pleasant range of flavors to unpleasant, different flavors.

He has some of this in there but it is scattered around.  Bummer.  In fairness, he does list major categories of malts with flavor descriptions but it is far too general IMO.

Also, anticipating responses, I know there are lists online but they are not very descriptive nor very complete.  And, given that this book is One of the Four, it would be more reliable/researched than 'a list I found online.'


The Pub / Epic Rant about 10 Barrel & AB/InBev
« on: December 15, 2014, 07:33:19 PM »

Kegging and Bottling / A little quicker carbonation
« on: December 12, 2014, 08:07:05 PM »
I was rushed getting a Pale Ale ready for my daughter & son-in-law's business holiday party.  I kegged it Wednesday at 9:30 PM.

I hooked the CO2 to the beverage out post and pressurized the keg.  It didn't seal as quickly as when I use the CO2 in post - lots of bubbling - but it did seal when I ramped the pressure up to about 15 psi.  I began cold conditioning it at that time at 32* and 10 psi.

I tapped the keg today at 3:00 PM, so 42 hours later.  It was sufficiently carbonated.  Actually I'd say it was very close to where it should be - close enough that I don't think anyone will notice. 

My conclusion is that it did carb up more quickly than the usual gas-in post method. 

Also, I didn't want to do the roll-it-around method because I wanted to precipitate out the hop particles as much as possible in the same time frame.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Best of the Northwest 2014
« on: December 09, 2014, 10:01:38 AM »
I guess this is where this belongs...

Anyway, here is the annual list of Best of the Northwest brews.  Unlike a lot of this type of list, it is not about cult status or something that one simply cannot get.  That, and to the degree that I have tasted these beers I generally agree with him.

So here you go:

Yeast and Fermentation / Gravity for 1 pack dry yeast?
« on: December 08, 2014, 03:39:45 PM »
I am on a kick experimenting with dry yeast.  Part of my experiment is to just dump the pack into the wort rather than pre-hydrating it.  I know I will lose some yeast cells doing it this way, but If I'm going to prep yeast I'll do a yeast starter.  To me the advantage of dry yeast is that it is quick (well, and cheaper).

My question is: at what gravity level does under pitching become a concern?  My next brew is an AIPA with an OG of 1.058.  Will one pack do, or should I add a portion of a second?  In case it matters the yeast in question is US-05.

Equipment and Software / Mash Tun Jacket
« on: December 05, 2014, 08:53:26 PM »
I have three brews on my new Blichmann kettles, a 10 gallon BK and 15 gallon MT.  It was obvious from the first brew that keeping the mash temp up was going to be an issue.  The first one I had to add some of the sparge water to keep it up.  The second one I added that silver bubble insulation which did very little.  The third brew I added a thick blanket with a heating pad on top of the lid - that finally did the trick.

Being kind of OCD about things looking good, I started doing research.  I found Canvas Keg Jackets online at a place called Rapids ( for just under $50 delivered.  It is very thick and heavy duty.

I was pleasantly surprised that the thing fit over the handles & sight tube of the MT!  I'll have to cut a slit for the thermometer and valve, but that is minor.  There is even an opening on top (for the tap) so I can run the cord from the heating pad out of that.  Here it is:

Ingredients / Flavor hops for American Brown Ale?
« on: November 24, 2014, 06:41:34 PM »
I am working on an entirely new recipe for an American Brown Ale.  The BJCP guidelines mention light to moderate citrusy hop character.  I want the beer to be balanced in favor of maltiness, but I do want some of that citrusy hop showing through.

So, in a five gallon batch, which hop and how much of it would you recommend for a late addition and dry-hopping?

Ingredients / Onion in my IPA
« on: November 19, 2014, 02:45:05 PM »
As I mentioned in a post elsewhere, my most recent IPA has an onion flavor to it.  I understand from other reading that this will dissipate.  My question is should I flush CO2 out of the keg?  Would that speed the process?

Equipment and Software / Wort grant?
« on: October 30, 2014, 05:03:38 PM »
OK one last reference to my visit to Tom Schmidlin's new brewery, Postdoc Brewing.  While there, looking at the Mash Tun/Boil Kettle, he pointed out the wort grant.  I had heard of it, but didn't know the purpose.  He explained that it prevents the pump from sucking against the grain bed, causing a stuck sparge/drain.  So the wort gravity drains out of the MT into the wort grant then the pump sucks it up from there.

So I thought of my own issues with using a pump to go from the MT to my BK.  It has never worked, so I have resorted to a gravity drain into the BK, then lifting it up onto the burner stand.  This is a practice I'd be happy to never do again.  I'm now wondering if a wort grant is what I need.  Anyone else use one?  What do you use?

Commercial Beer Reviews / Mac & Jack's Brewery
« on: October 30, 2014, 04:51:13 PM »
While visiting Tom Schmidlin's new brewery (Postdoc Brewing), I discovered that Mac & Jack's Brewery is just down the block from him.  As many of you know, about the only Mac & Jacks beer one ever comes across is their African Amber - which is a decent beer, but it is IMO a bridge beer from BMC to craft... so I typically overlook it.

I tried four beers while there.  All were good, but two were outstanding: A seasonal Brown Ale called Brown Recluse was in the top 2-3 Brown Ales I have had; and an IPA called IBIS.  I recently purchased a case of Breakside Brewery's Feel Good Flagship IPA since they won GABF in the IPA category.  The IBIS IPA was every bit as good as Breaksides!  Stunningly full of flavor and aroma.  Like Breakside's it seems to me a bit low on bittering, but I'm always more interested in hop flavor and aroma anyway.  Highly recommended!

The Pub / Postdoc Brewing
« on: October 30, 2014, 04:24:31 PM »
I was in Seattle this week, so I thought I'd look up our old friend Tom Schmidlin at Postdoc Brewing ( to see how his new project is coming along.  He said he is just a few weeks away from starting production!

Here are a couple of pics:

The above is where the taproom/retail center will be.  The bar area on the left wall, restrooms in the back and tables everywhere else.

Above here is the 15 bbl MT & BK.

Below is Tom with the fermenters in the background.

I'm looking forward to tasting some of his beer.

General Homebrew Discussion / Mail order beer
« on: October 20, 2014, 08:25:18 AM »
I volunteered to get the beer for the BJCP study group that meets in my house.  Yet again I can only find a couple of the beers I need to get at least one commercial example for each sub-category.  So we are going with two out of the 5 sub-categories in Scottish & Irish Ale.  Yes I know that 'A' is not imported.  But still.

Is there any online source I could tap into (pun intended) for future purchases?

Equipment and Software / Wanted: Homebrewers Consumer Reports
« on: October 03, 2014, 03:56:19 PM »
Apparently I hate money because I'm talking myself into throwing a wad away on upgrading from keggles. 

I'm inclined toward Blichmann primarily because their thermometer face can be positioned to where i dont have to get on my knees to read it.  But I've never used one and as you know they are the most expensive.  It would be so nice to have a resource like Consumer Reports for Homebrewers...

So what brand of boil kettle/mash tun do you recommend? 

Apologies to Denny, et al., but I just can't bring myself to use a plastic cooler mash tun.  They hold heat better than anything, but even in the face of scientific evidence I would feel that carcinogens or other nastiness would be leaching into my beer.  Irrational or not, that is not an option for me.  Chalk it up to OCD.

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