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Messages - drjones

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Hop Growing / Re: Japanese Beetles & Hops
« on: June 19, 2014, 05:05:48 PM »
+1 to Milky Spore.  I applied it to my lawn earlier this spring and I believe that it was very effective already (I've seen a notable drop in mole activity).  I'm in CT, so I'm not sure if the buggers have appeared here yet, but so far so good.  It should increase in effectiveness over a few years as the bacteria spreads through the soil, but I'm already pleased with this decision.  It isn't cheap - but at least it won't nuke every living creature in the soil like most commercial products out there.

Ingredients / Re: Tamarind anyone?
« on: June 19, 2014, 04:58:20 PM »
After tasting some samples with a prior batch, I think I'll hold on the tamarind for this IPA.  It seems like the flavors would go better with a lighter-bodied, less hoppy style like a wit.  I'm a bit concerned about the pulp/rind bitterness that the raw tamarind fruit I have may contribute - and I'm afraid that after fermentation that's all I'll be left with.  I like this recipe a bit too much to risk it.  Guess I'll just have to add another batch to the lineup soon.
Thanks for the advice!

Ingredients / Re: Tamarind anyone?
« on: June 17, 2014, 12:15:38 AM »
Thanks, guys.  Denny, I'll try dosing with a prior batch, as you suggest - sounds wise.

Ingredients / Tamarind anyone?
« on: June 16, 2014, 05:08:42 PM »
I've got an IPA fermenting that I would like to add tamarind to.  I have a "brick" of seedless tamarind fruit from the Indian grocery store.  It has a pretty powerful sweet-tart flavor.  The IPA has an English malt base (Maris Otter with a bit of caramel rye and carahell and a half pound of jaggery), but is hopped in a more West Coast fashion - with late columbus, apollo, summit, and galaxy at flameout/whirlpool.
My thought was to let this go for 4-5 days, then add the fruit.  After tasting the tamarind, I'm not sure I should use the whole pound for this 5 gallon batch.  Anyone have any experience with tamarind?  My experience tells me that its wiser to under-do it than over-do it for a first-time experiment.  Also, any thoughts on dry hops that might not clash too strongly (If I add any, I'm thinking of sticking with galaxy at this point, but I'm new to galaxy so I don't have much to go on there).

All Grain Brewing / Re: No lauter tun
« on: June 06, 2014, 05:00:23 PM »
A false bottom with the bag will also probably help the drain to run freely.  I've done some BIAB in an 8-gallon kettle with a bazooka filter and found the combination results in a poor drainage (I guess I thought the bag might simplify clean-up).  Of course, if the batch isn't too big you can just yank it out, set it on a colander and sparge over it.  I like the pie tins - a great solution, or screw in a bazooka filter and skip the bag entirely.  Works well for me.  Have fun with the new kettle!

All Grain Brewing / Re: batch sparge process/volumes
« on: June 06, 2014, 04:50:16 PM »
Measure my 1st runnings, subtract from pre boil volume, and sparge with a volume that should be about 1/2 of pre boil volume. (temp about 190, after it is in MT it is about 167).  Vorlauf, collect.

With a high pH you'll risk producing significant tannins with a 190-degree sparge, even if the mash grain bed drops it down a bit.  So, I agree with the others that this was primarily a pH issue.   
In keeping with the spirit of batch-sparging, my process is very simple.  For a 5-gallon batch, mash in with about 4 gallons of appropriately heated water to hit the target (I'm flexible with grain/water ratios but with a "typical" 11-lb grain bill the mash is about 1.5 qt/lb).  Drain the tun, check the volume and add the necessary sparge water heated top about 170-degrees to hit the preboil volume (it's usually also close to 4 gallons unless it was for a bigger beer).  Stir well, rest ten-minutes and drain (I mash in an 8-gallon kettle with a simple bazooka filter).  I'm usually looking for about 6.5 gallons pre-boil. 
So, I don't do a low-volume, higher-temp mash-out between these steps as you do and I feel things have worked well enough.  I don't see any reason to be concerned about the grain/water ratio for the sparge if that is what you were also concerned about.  That step is about getting sugars off the grain - the mash is done.
Everyone has their own way to make great beer - so find one you like and have fun!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Kolsch glass source (stang)
« on: April 28, 2014, 05:40:21 PM »
Mötley Crüe = "Mihtley Kroo-eh" (at leas that's as close as I can get, but the "ih" should have some "uh" in it.) 
I love this thread!
(Manchmal vermisse ich meine Zeit an der Uni Koeln, und auch das Koelsch!).


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Old Brewing Texts
« on: January 07, 2014, 05:34:31 PM »
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, 06:57:32 PM »
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, 05:35:00 PM »
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, 05:30:51 PM »
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, 06:08:18 PM »
Thanks for sharing the recipe - reads like a winner!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Overshooting ABV
« on: December 19, 2013, 06:01:59 PM »
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, 06:20:41 PM »
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, 06:15:49 PM »
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.

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