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Messages - jeffy

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Fast ipa
« on: July 19, 2015, 06:10:22 AM »
Mind you, I would only try this with an over the top IPA, where as we all know (except Denny, most probably) that fresher is better. Somebody has to have the courage to experiment seriously with the freshest possible IPA
In a local newspaper recently there was an article describing this very thing.  Three people, a respected pro brewer, a bjcp certified judge and the beer writer were given 6 Jai Alai IPAs from a week old to six months old and asked to put them in order by age.  None of them were even close, one even picking the oldest as the second freshest.  Of course Cigar City spends a lot of money on equipment to eliminate oxygen.

Another thing to note about entering fresh beers is that bottle conditioned beers will keep longer because the yeast will scavenge the oxygen, so it doesn't need to be as fresh as an entry bottled from a keg.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lacto. Frustrations
« on: July 12, 2015, 09:26:46 AM »
Just when you think you know what you are doing...I have to say this lacto. starter I attempted has been a real PITA. I think I made the mistake of listening to advice from no less than 10 people on a good method to do this. After 4 or so days, I see no activity (and this is with a White Labs vial). I could of course break out my PH meter, but it's still in the box and I really haven't had the time to figure it out yet.

I think I'm going to simply dump this starter and give the standard DME and raw grains a try next.

This sounds like a bad move to me.  Lacto starters don't always look like sac. starters.  Check the pH.  I would much rather use a "pure" culture lacto starter than whatever happened to be on the grain.

Events / Re: NHC 2016 Location
« on: July 10, 2015, 04:11:40 AM »
With the recent riots, soaring crime/murder rate, Baltimore has zero appeal for me to come visit. I'll sit this one out.
Agreed. Really hard for me to get excited about going there.
Actually, it's not bad.  My wife and I took a flight there a year or so ago and had a very nice longish weekend.  There's light rail to get from the airport to the Inner Harbor.  That part of Baltimore is very safe and has tons of tourist venues as well as historic sights.  The aquarium is one of the best, there's a water taxi to take you to Fells Point, there's lots of good beer.  Just don't walk too far out of the Inner Harbor area.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Thoughts on "fermcap"
« on: July 09, 2015, 08:12:31 AM »
I use it a couple of drops at a time to prevent boil-overs and I'm perfectly normal and healthy.  Well, pretty healthy.  For someone my age.  Maybe not normal.  Except for this twitch.

I'm wondering if a lack of sense of smell that day was an advantage for me with these two experiments or if I was just lucky.

I wonder if adding hops to one batch to equalize theoretical IBU's was a good idea.  If you're trying to quantify the perception of bitterness/flavor/aroma and someone in the past has "figured" an equation to account for it, how did they figure it?  If it was a guess based on personal perception, then the experiment may have been more conclusive without the extra addition to one batch.  Or am I over thinking this?

I'm interested in finding out my choice as well.
Jeff G.

I brewed a fairly pale IPA with Lemon Drop and Eldorado hops yesterday.  I hope it's delicious.

I just ordered a pound of Eldorado hops from Hop Heaven and they are from the 2013 crop.  I think they were cared for properly.  They came double bagged and vacuum sealed.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wild Yeast Revisited
« on: July 05, 2015, 10:51:15 AM »
Are you saying it isn't yeast at all or does the OP live downwind from a brewery?

They only way to know what is in that culture is to plate it for singles.  If there is top-cropping yeast in the culture, then the OP's collection devices were contaminated with microflora from his brewery because the The probability of finding a top cropping strain in the wild while not zero is very very low.

One of the reasons why true top-croppers can be repitched so many times is due to the fact that wild yeast and bacteria are usually non-flocculent; hence, they remain in suspension long after the yeast has formed a dense skimmable head.  True top-cropping behavior is the result of domestication.  The German chemist Max Emil Julius Delbrück duked it out with Dane life scientist Emil Christian Hansen for the hearts and minds of brewers during the early days of pure cultures.  Delbrück's "Natural Pure Culture" method of maintaining pure cultures was based on the fact that top-cropping naturally purifies a culture. Delbrück felt that his method was superior to Hansen's pure culture method because Hansen's method relied on aseptic handling of the culture, which Delbrück felt was impractical in a production brewery.  Hansen won the war because his technique worked equally well for all yeast strains.  Descendants of the yeast propagation system that Hansen and Søren Anton van der Aa Kühle designed at Carlsberg Laboratory are in use in breweries today.

Cool info.  I always thought Delbruck was only famous for lactobacillus.

I prefer to pull a sample. Much easier to read the reading accurately.
Plus you get to taste the sample.

Beer Recipes / Re: Help
« on: July 03, 2015, 05:39:43 AM »
It's funny that people ask me how much money would I get if I sold my recipe.
Who pays for recipes?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: first competition beer
« on: July 03, 2015, 05:35:06 AM »
There was a talk at NHC called "Mastering the Art of Hop Fu" in which the speaker explained how he won the IPA category several times in the NHC first and second rounds over the years.  The same beer won first and second more than once as IPA and Double IPA. 
Freshness was one of his keys to success as I recall.  You can probably find the seminar on the AHA site.

The Pub / Re: 10 Reasons Why the GABF Sucks
« on: July 01, 2015, 02:37:54 PM »
Does anyone here get upset at #2 happening at the NHC? I don't.

Gordon Strong spoke of the quality of the judging as about equal to the BOS round at any large regional competition, so I think that is pretty damn good. 

I don't go every year anymore, but I think it's something every beer fan should experience once...that first walk up the stairs and into this enormous room filled with great beer is fantastic.

#4 Zombie Tables is the most legit IMO.  I'm way more likely to stop at tables where the brewery staff is working.
Exactly. The people I know that judge the GABF have to have long experience in the industry, have proven their skills, and be vetted. They will spend time on a wait list. I also see how it would be hard to push a beer you might know past the other judges on your flight panel, or get it past mini-BOS.

I might go - someday - to the members session.
They do get very picky with judge qualifications.  Even after being vetted there's a waiting list that may turn into a year or two.  Getting several judges to award an unknown beer a medal has very little chance of favoritism.
I've been a few times and enjoy the Thursday night session most.  You'll find most of the brewers serving in person then.  On Friday night they are all out at Falling Rock.  On Saturday afternoon they are waiting for their medals.  On Saturday night a lot of the good beer is gone and the brewers are elsewhere.
The members session used to be nice before people found out they could get a ticket by buying a membership.  Now it sells out right away.
NHC is much more fun.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« on: June 29, 2015, 05:59:45 PM »
I just remembered from 20 years ago, while studying for the BJCP test, that the difference between lager and ale yeasts is that lager yeast can ferment rafinose.  I have no idea what rafinose is and I don't believe that this should be the defining attribute, but it used to be part of the definition.

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