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Messages - reverseapachemaster

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I don't mind a vociferous argument over brewing. What I can't get on board with is hurling insults over a hobby or taking irrational positions because you want to be right. I'd rather answer 1000 is my beer infected? questions before I'd wade into an argument with some guy over whether I am wasting my time brewing because I haven't spent a decade translating forbidden Germanic brewing texts to uncover an indescribable magic quality.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Brewing a Lager for the first time
« on: March 29, 2016, 03:38:36 PM »
I am fairly new to lager brewing. I thought it was an insurmountable hurdle to brew a decent lager. That turned out not to be the case. Good fermentation practices and temperature control are what you need most.

Water profile is probably next in line because such a clean beer can be tooled in many ways to accentuate small but important parts of the beer's flavor and mouthfeel.

Not sure if my lagers have that "it" factor.  :-X

The Pub / Re: Laptop/Desktop
« on: March 29, 2016, 03:34:45 PM »
Yeah, go with laptop.  Really no reason not to any more.

Re: rendering large audio files....I run Pro Tools 12.4 on my laptop to do all the production for the podcast.

I run Ableton and really only run into problems processing multiple VST and effects in real time. After the fifth or sixth VST draped in effects it starts to hiccup.

You're undoubtedly also considerably more efficient as an audio engineer than I.

The Pub / Re: Laptop/Desktop
« on: March 29, 2016, 09:08:10 AM »
I'd go with a laptop. A desktop really only makes sense if you are gaming or rendering large audio or visual data. Laptops today are the same or slightly more expensive in cost than a desktop unless you are going superlight, need a large screen, or want serious computing power. I paid $900 for my current laptop that runs my entire law firm and handles some moderate audio rendering. It's touchscreen and a 17" screen. Two laptops ago I had a 14" screen for $400 and did everything but handle modern games. So it's definitely not necessary to go top of the line. If you think you might need more screen capacity just hang on to the monitor from your desktop and plug it into the laptop and give yourself dual screens when you need it.

This is a really good example of why the results to any individual experiment have to be read narrowly within the confines of the experiment. Here the statistical analysis shows no discernible difference between the vorlauf and non-vorlauf batches, which suggests a vorlauf is not necessary but the author's own tastings show the beers were blatantly different until a new factor (lagering) was applied. Had the tasting panel been assembled when the author would have preferred to start drinking the beers it seems any tasting panel would have overwhelmingly identified the difference. So at a minimum those results have to be read within that context.

We should also read those results to suggest that without an effective vorlauf one must fine and lager the beer to clear the excess tannins and other grain matter, which may be undesirable for certain styles and perhaps unavailable to many homebrewers who bottle.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Homebrew at festivals
« on: March 24, 2016, 08:48:51 AM »
You need to look at your state's alcohol statutes and regulations for the conditions in which beer may be served at those events and whether homebrew may be transported and sold at those events. You may need a permit and/or the festival may need a permit. The local government may also have ordinances about serving beer and may also require you and/or the festival operator to obtain permits.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer comp "fine print"
« on: March 24, 2016, 08:45:58 AM »
All that language means is that you won't have a financial interest in anything the brewery does with your recipe in the future. No enterprising lawsuits to claim a right to compensation for giving the brewery the recipe.

I would think about entering a competition where the recipe you crafted from another local brewery might be brewed by that brewery's competitor in its own market. It could dilute the market for that brewery's beer. At worst it could be financially harmful and at best it could sour any desire to help out homebrewers in the future.

Ingredients / Re: Hops & Vines for Wedding
« on: March 24, 2016, 08:33:07 AM »
I get really itchy red streaks on my arms from the bines so I also wear gloves and long sleeves.

I'd think about the potential for unpleasant reactions from people coming in contact with the bines.

Ingredients / Re: dry hopping
« on: March 24, 2016, 08:31:32 AM »
  I have dry hopped for as long as 4 weeks with no apparent down side.  What am I missing here with the short duration?

You'll extract the hop character from hops in just a few days - less than 5 IMO. Past that, some people who keg hop (like me) leave the hops in keg and don't notice a negative to doing it. Others feel that leaving the hops in contact with the beer for too long causes a vegetal character in the beer. Boils down to personal preference.

I don't necessarily believe a long contact time is a surefire recipe for vegetal flavors and I especially do not believe that is the case at serving temperatures in a keg where the breakdown of the vegetal matter in the hops occurs at a much slower pace. There is probably a volume of hop matter in which a given contact period releases enough vegetal matter that it can be tasted but I suspect the volume necessary over any reasonable contact period would exceed any volume one would use in a beer.

The real issues for me are what is the benefit and what is the harm of a longer contact period during dry hopping? Generally the hop oils are procured from the hops in five days or less and I'm not sure what additional benefit is gained from there. On the other hand, the longer the beer sits at warm temperatures the more young flavors in the beer fade. Does the right balance of time favor a longer dry hop? I think most people would say no.

Beer Recipes / Re: Ambitions for this year
« on: March 24, 2016, 08:18:52 AM »
I think you're going down the right path trying to perfect a small number of recipes for yourself. You'll get some good, reliable beers and learn a lot about brewing that you can apply to any other number of styles and recipes.

I would suggest rather than chasing good recipes to figure out exactly what you want those beers to be and work backwards. Sit down and write out the description of the end goal as though you were judging it. Then build the recipe to match the goal (or ask for help building that recipe). You may not get it right the first time but you will at least know what to refine and why you are refining it. Asking people for a good pale ale recipe will get you twenty good recipes that may make great beers but not necessarily the great beer you want.

If you could have the recipe for one commercial beer which beer would it be and why?

I got back into brewing beer (after a 25 year break) with ambitions to clone Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I found the recipe online but it didn't work. Tried cloning some other beers and they didn't work either.

I'm not sure what I was doing wrong. There are so many variables, there might be a "butterfly effect" where a small variation in starting conditions throws out the end result by a mile.

I've tried quite a few British real ales too and succeeded in making lots of bland beer.  :-[

You need to read more German brewing manuals and hope in ten years you are close to your goal.  8)

Maybe I'm misinterpreting posts but to me it seemed derailed as it got too technical immediately and wasn't meant to be that way.  Perhaps "stupidity" is too strong of a word.  Was anything gained, perhaps.

Was meant to be more of a light hearted discussion about a short-cut (the recipe!) to that beer you'd like to clone or a beer you've always fancied, etc..

Most people here recognize the significance that technique and technical details play in brewing. Some more than others and place varying significance on different details. Many of us are just not interested in shortcuts but rather good brewing technique, even when brewing recipes obtained elsewhere. Not sure attacking people for discussing brewing techniques on a brewing forum is appropriate merely because it is not the "light hearted discussion" you were hoping for or because you did not personally gain everything you had hoped for in life from it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Oak Barrel situation
« on: March 22, 2016, 08:31:52 AM »
Agree that sanding the staves is not the right course of action. When the staves dry out completely the wood contracts and changes shape in a way that ruins the tight fit that you need for the barrel to stay liquid-tight. Sanding might straighten the edges but would also increase the amount of space between the staves. You would have to remodel the entire barrel to account for the new space.

Soaking with water--for days and a time--both inside and outside might swell the staves back into a tight fit. If you are close to a complete seal then barrel wax or other minor barrel repair options could get you to a good seal.

You also have to wonder what has taken up residence in the wood over time. It might be moldy inside in which case you don't want to use it no matter the seal. Sterilizing the barrel may kill off anything unwelcome in the barrel but not necessary remove any toxins (particularly from the mold) or completely expunge the organic matter that could leave unpleasant flavors. I'd probably take the barrel apart and look at the inside before even committing to trying to get a good seal.

It actually originated from spontaneously fermented apples in Denmark.

Where are you getting this information about this particular strain?

Homebrew Competitions / Re: Are some sites more competitive
« on: March 22, 2016, 08:19:06 AM »
There's a blog somewhere out there that tabulated the entries and results at each site and broke down the probability of taking a ribbon by category and site. I believe there was some difference between the sites in several categories.

I would expect some regional factors to play into judging in some categories. Judges are more likely to fancy beers that are reminiscent of what they normally drink and less likely to appreciate beers brewed with other regional preferences in mind. IPA is a really good example of this. In San Diego I had a lot of IPAs heavy on centennial and plenty of the newer fruity hops while in Oregon I found lots of cascade and piney hops in IPAs although both are west coast IPA by style. I would probably not enter an IPA loaded with chinook into San Diego as much as I would not enter a Vermont/NE/murky IPA in either region. People often can't help but think what they normally drink is representative of a given style and give preference to what is familiar. I would use that strategically to pick where to send beers. May not help you but unlikely to hurt you by trying to play up to the region.

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