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Messages - reverseapachemaster

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer Writer Needs Your Opinion
« on: August 18, 2015, 08:35:35 AM »
Honestly I can't recall anybody ever saying an off the shelf or DIY automated system is "cheating" in any type of brewing. I have seen people talk about whether it is as rewarding to brew on an automated system but that's not the same thing.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Controlling sourness
« on: August 17, 2015, 08:00:55 AM »
post fermentation blending with an "acid beer"? There was a very good presentation at NHC by jeff crane which demonstrated how you could add a very sour (acid) beer fermented using lacto and brett to a saison. The results were very interesting, showing how you could tightly control the desired sourness using this approach. Jeff describes it as the seasoning of the beer world.

That won't work under these circumstances because the acid beer will unleash lactic acid bacteria and brett on the clean portion of the beer and result in more acidity and more carbonation.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Things you wish breweries would figure out
« on: August 16, 2015, 05:17:28 PM »
You come up with some good threads Jim. 

I agree with all the above.  What I would add is that I think breweries should pay their brewers more.  The starting wage for a person who is competent and who is expected to care about the little things that make a big difference in the beer, hence the businesse's profits and future, should be at least 40K in today's dollars.

I am shocked at how little brewers make.  You expect art, science, and physical labor from someone you pay 14 dollars an hour?!  Dream on.

I will say that I think brewers, like most people, should be better paid. However, the pay rate for brewers is probably in line with what the labor market will support. Most of the work done by brewers is cleaning and other physical labor tasks. Operating the brewhouse is mostly about following a procedure set out by the head brewer/owner. Most brewer positions are assistant brewer positions where the work is roughly similar to other labor-intensive jobs in the same pay range. These are positions that do not require a college degree and can be learned on the job in a relatively short period of time.

What unfairly drives wages low for brewers is the massive amount of demand for the position. You have so many people trying to get these jobs that breweries have their pick of people with biology and engineering degrees that they can tap to do much more complex work at a low wage. The people offering up free work to breweries also drives down their wages. Every homebrewer who comes in and "helps out" at the brewery is taking a job away from somebody and depressing the wages of people who do have those jobs.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Help me moving forward
« on: August 16, 2015, 07:34:13 AM »
Definitely a pellicle. It's going to need some time to sit. Whatever has come to the party may be more attenuative and needs some time to ferment out whatever it will ferment out.

Beer Recipes / Re: sour IPA thoughts?
« on: August 16, 2015, 07:27:33 AM »
Yeah you need to kettle sour because the combination of high IBU and LAB doesn't produce acidity in most circumstances.

I'm not a fan of the sour IPA. It doesn't work IMO; the character clashes and you lose a lot of the hop character.

And HomeBrewTalk is just as DIY and scientific, at the same time, as this place, if not more so. Do you read there or post there often? Everything one could need to know about brewing is on that site. I don't think the attitudes are all that different, it's just a different group of people, more of a broad spectrum of brewers.

There are plenty of people on HBT with great brewing and scientific knowledge but they are too often overrun by people pounding out the gospel of whatever they read last month. All you have to do is read the thread in the sour subforum where Lance from Omega Labs discussed his findings, based on his lab tests, showing 100% lactobacillus beers are impossible and how often yeast showed up in yeast lab cultures. People responded overwhelmingly that one guy on a blog said you can make 100% lacto beers so Lance was wrong.

To the O2 issue: my experience is that pure O2 makes a difference the more challenging the fermentation. I generally use it for beers over 6% and any lagers. That is maybe 5-10% of the beers I brew. Most of the beers I'm brewing these days are closer to 4% and I just run the wort through a strainer and shake the fermentor. My experience is consistent with studies that show optimal O2 levels produce greater attenuation and that's something I want in those bigger beers or lagers but not necessarily in a smaller ale. I believe there are other ways to make great beer that does not require pure O2 but this works for me.

Beer Recipes / Re: Gotlandsdricka-saison-ish hybrid
« on: August 14, 2015, 07:24:20 AM »
Although it should be pointed out that some varieties of juniper are poisonous.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Commercial Saisons
« on: August 11, 2015, 12:21:19 PM »
I love Saisons... that's my favorite style.  I'm scrolling through my untappd to see if I can find any of the ones I like that you might be able to get.  A lot of them may only be available in Oregon.

I liked the Three Eyed Raven (Game of Thrones) beer from Ommegang, although that's a "Red Saison" so a little darker than is typical.  Upright is hit or miss for me, I liked the Saison Orsted but both Four and Seven weren't to my liking.  Urban Farmhouse from The Commons is good but that may be Oregon only. 

Second and Third all the suggestions of Saison DuPont if you can get it fresh.

I wasn't a big fan of Upright but I really enjoy The Commons' beers. I think Upright distributes a little out of OR but if The Commons gets out of OR then it's likely only to WA.

Not sure that freshness is the issue with Dupont Saison Vieille so much as avoiding the skunk in the green bottles. Dupont already has Vieille in brown 375ml bottles and is transitioning to brown 750ml bottles for the US market. Not sure if or when the other Dupont beers will make the change.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lactic acid and ph adjustment
« on: August 11, 2015, 08:08:43 AM »
Is there any way to calculate how much lactic acid (88% strength) to add to ~11 gallons of wort to get the pH down around 4.5?  I guess I don't know my starting pH yet (assume 5.3-5.5 maybe???) which I'm sure affects the answer.  Just looking for additional advice.  Is this just kind of a "test and see" type thing?  What's a good increment to start with?

You need to test the ph to figure out how much acid is going to drop you to a specific ph. Without knowing the mash ph and the buffers floating around in it you can't know how much acid is necessary to make the drop. A volume that works in one wort won't work in the next.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Question on lengthy boil times.
« on: August 11, 2015, 08:00:35 AM »
Traditional thought in many parts of Europe was that the longer the boil the better the beer and if you had inefficient equipment you might only get a simmer rather than a full boil and the option to boil longer might have been alluring for that reason. The section of Farmhouse Ales you reference explains that these beers were boiled longer to develop sweetness.

Those traditional processes and ideas about brewing remained popular, particularly in rural areas, well past the industrial revolution and probably would have survived in even greater usage had the two world wars not ravaged so much of Europe and made brewing difficult due to confiscation of brewing equipment and the shortage of grain. However, even today there are still rural parts of Europe where traditional brewing techniques persist and modern equipment like thermometers and hydrometers are absent from the brewhouse.

Beer Recipes / Re: American Red Ale
« on: August 11, 2015, 07:34:25 AM »
It reads like a recipe that is trying to cover all its bases by adding every grain one might find in a red ale but when mixed together gets you a very muddy beer. IMO you are best off using pils as the main base malt paired with a good amount of MO or vienna plus victory (or a small amount of biscuit) but you don't need all three. Pale malt would work fine as the primary base malt but if you want to go that route I would use significantly less MO or vienna/victory.

The rye is fine if you want rye in the beer. If not, eliminate it.

The specialty malts are where you can make the beer your own. You need a small amount of something to add the red hue (roasted barley/chocolate malt/chocolate wheat/midnight wheat/carafa) and a little crystal malt (usually you use something light and something in the mid-range for caramel flavor but you can go with one). You're not going to unlock some undiscovered flavor profile by using lots of different grain. Figure out what you want this beer to taste like and start putting percentages together.

Beer Recipes / Re: Gotlandsdricka-saison-ish hybrid
« on: August 10, 2015, 07:27:28 AM »
Viking Metal is based on Jester King's Gotslandrika which I am almost certain is closely based on the gotslandrika recipe in The Homebrewer's Garden. I think Jester King will give out recipes if you email them so that might be an option to check how close you are to a beer you've never had.

I think the recipe is fine although I might quibble whether the flavor of peat smoke is more historically accurate for the style than a wood-smoked grain. Peat grows as far north as the Arctic Circle so it is possible that some gotslandrika has been made at some point over peat-smoked grain.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lactobacillus and starsan
« on: August 07, 2015, 04:17:49 PM »
I'm sure you are fine. Unless you unloaded undiluted starsan into the airlock it's doubtful the volume of solution that was sucked back had any meaningful effect on the ph of the starter.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: What's your favorite hidden gem
« on: August 06, 2015, 09:55:07 PM »
Real Ale in Blanco, Texas (outside of Austin) has some real gems that get overlooked even in the local market. Their base beers were solid and have gone through a revision recently with updated recipes (like Stone). Their real hits are their mysterium vernum series which are barrel aged (some sour, some brett, some clean) versions of some of their regular and seasonal lineup. All really great. Their barleywine, Sisyphus, is superb and holds up really well to aging.

Ingredients / Re: Prepping oak spirals
« on: August 06, 2015, 09:49:25 PM »
If the oak is going into sour beer then there's not much reason IMO to sanitize the wood. Whatever is growing on it will either die in the presence of alcohol or acidity or make a small contribution to the complexity of the beer. For a clean beer you should do something to try to reduce the population in and on the wood.

How you go about trying to sanitize or sterilize the wood depends in part on how much of the rougher oak character you want in the beer. Any liquid method is going to leach out some of the tannins and other compounds that will give you a more gentle oak flavor. That may or may not be your goal.

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