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Messages - drjones

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Old Brewing Texts
« on: January 07, 2014, 10:34:31 AM »
There are also some texts available on the Project Gutenberg website - try searching under "brewing" to start (here is the link with based on that search: 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Last brew day for 2013
« on: December 23, 2013, 11:57:32 AM »
Did a double 5-gallon batch yesterday with my brewing buddy to create 1.051 70 schilling and 1.037 60 schilling ales.  Started this malty combo by topping out my poor 8-gallon mash tun with 15+ pounds of grain to produce an 8.5-gallon batch that was appropriately split and watered down to hit the final target gravities.  I'm looking forward to these smaller malty ales as a good palette rest after my last over-the-top IPA.  With three fermenters now bubbling, this was certainly the last batch of the year!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Single Infusion Mash Time
« on: December 20, 2013, 10:35:00 AM »
Since that's usually my time to grab a pizza downtown, it can be up to 90 minutes.

All Grain Brewing / Re: how to darken my Saison
« on: December 20, 2013, 10:30:51 AM »
How about a darker palm sugar (jaggery) instead of simple cane.  I like to throw in a pound into some of my brews.  It's pretty cheap at the local Indian market.  Morticaixavier's recommendation of aromatic is good, too.  It's provided a nice golden hue to some of my saisons.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: oatmeal stout..breakfast anytime
« on: December 19, 2013, 11:08:18 AM »
Thanks for sharing the recipe - reads like a winner!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Overshooting ABV
« on: December 19, 2013, 11:01:59 AM »
My own biggest issue is probably related primarily water volumes.  I may develop a recipe based on a 5.5 gallon fermentation volume, but more often I'm a lot closer to 5.  That half a gallon can obviously represent a significant difference in OG. As for FG, I just base ABV on the end results using the calculator tool in Beersmith.  I've never expected that value to be especially accurate in the recipe-builder, and I'm not exactly sure what goes into the Beersmith estimate.  I assume mash temp goes into the calculation, but I've never seen the function used.  Maybe we should ask Brad.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Training up the new Assistant brewer
« on: December 12, 2013, 11:20:41 AM »
Great picture - thanks for sharing!  At 16 and 13, I'm afraid mine are getting less interested in helping out.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Whirlpooling
« on: December 12, 2013, 11:15:49 AM »
It sounds like your principally after the hop aroma, rather than necessarily clarifying the wort.  I just did an IPA somewhat similar to the hop-bursted ones discussed in the recent Zymurgy article.  I simply dumped the 3 oz post-boil addition into the kettle, gave it a stir, covered it and let it rest for 20-minutes before chilling.  It was cold and windy out, and the temp got down to about 170, but I think the simple post boil rest probably did its thing.  It's still finishing out, so I can't say much about the final results yet.  I would only add that during transfer to the secondary, the young beer tasted more bitter than I expected based on the software calculations.  That's a relative thing obviously, but if I do feel that post-boil hop rest added notable bittering.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: IPA's
« on: November 22, 2013, 10:51:41 AM »
I'll buy a six pack of Celebration today, then go back to the pub and order another so that I'm better informed.  Sounds like I got the wrong beer. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Gusher from the bottle. Why?
« on: November 22, 2013, 10:43:08 AM »
This is something like 3 out of 7 batches of IPA with the same issue and the only thing I can see they share is switching over to dry yeast.
If it's an IPA thing, is there a chance it has to do with the dry-hopping?  Consider this a noob question, but it does seem the chance of contamination is increased with the introduction of hops - especially whole leaf.  I understand the alcohol should take care of most contaminants, but it seems there's always a chance.  Just a thought - waiting for the barrage...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: IPA's
« on: November 20, 2013, 11:58:28 AM »
The big exception is SN Celebration which I feel is a beautifully made IPA;  to me, it's the best one out there in both flavor and balance. 

I had a Celebration just the other night at a local pub and felt it was closer to an American Amber.  While it was lovely, I found it quite mild in hop bitterness and aroma.  Maybe I've become desensitized - or perhaps the bartender is just grabbing tap handles randomly again (I've never returned a meal, but I've returned the wrong draft on occasion).  Or, had this one faded from its fresher glory with time and travel distance (I'm in CT).

All Grain Brewing / Re: First "big" beer
« on: November 07, 2013, 10:55:30 AM »
re. mashing process.  I don't see a real advantage of mashing in the kettle.  While I do this myself in a small 8 gallon pot with a false bottom, it requires an extra level of temperature monitoring and stirring.  Why not do a simple batch sparge in the insulated cooler?  I assume it is big enough to handle the grain bill. 
I agree with everyone else regarding the addition of sugar - at least a pound near the end of the boil would help.  And which chocolate variety?  Pale or dark?  That will have a significant flavor impact as well.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: High school brewing class
« on: November 07, 2013, 10:40:19 AM »
"In no way does this assignment promote the use of alcohol, but rather a deeper understanding of anaerobic respiration."  Well said.  My 15 year old son must have recently had a similar class and was asking me about yeast fermentation based on my brewing experience.  I think one of the interesting biology lessons here regards brewer's yeast's ability to take advantage of both aerobic and anaerobic environments - the first for cell reproduction (thus we aerate our wort to insure a robust yeast population), the second for the metabolism of carbohydrates.  This is good science, and should prompt kids to ask questions about the yeast's preferred "natural" (pre-beer/bread) environment.  That path should lead to interesting discussions.  So, yes, I would certainly support a bio class tour of a local brewery.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bottle Cleaning
« on: September 25, 2013, 08:59:22 AM »
Stuck out in the Pacific, I doubt PBW is available.  Can you get your hands on any oxyclean powder?  That would do the trick - use a long soak, even a couple of days to loosen up the organics, then scrub as best you can.  Anyone know if a strong baking soda solution would work in a pinch?  At least you could probably find that at a local market.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Number of House Yeasts?
« on: August 12, 2013, 09:07:20 AM »
US-05, 04, and Belle Saison - dry and easy to manage.  This thread reminds me I have aging mason jars of washed Bavarian lager and 3711 in the fridge that need to be dumped...

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