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Messages - wactuary

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Beer Recipes / Re: Northern English Brown Ale
« on: August 01, 2013, 01:47:39 PM »
Also if I get rid of the biscuit but add another .5 lb. of brown malt instead of more Maris would it be too overwhelming?

I love this style, and I love brown malt. If I were going to up the brown, I'd probably half or eliminate the Crystal. Brown adds a character like darkly toasted bread. Not burnt or harsh at all, but like toast that is super crunchy. Much softer than even a lite roast chocolate malt.


I see that several of the talks were given on multiple days. For those that were there - are there any of them that are worth downloading both days' talks? Otherwise I'll probably just get day 2 of each.

They repeated all the Thursday seminars so the people who were judging had a chance to catch what they missed. They were supposed to be the same content. I'd just pick one.

Events / Re: Question about competition judging
« on: July 18, 2013, 10:42:16 PM »
What I've usually seen is that the judges will complete the scoresheets independently, then at the end they'll compare notes to see if there's anything they missed or, you know, look for opportunities to learn something.  They're usually pretty close so only minor tweaks are needed if any.

Yes, and this is exactly how it's supposed to be done per the BJCP guidelines for how to judge.

What I've seen is a lot of the discussion is around interpretation of the style, which helps quantify the score adjustments appropriately, or finding the right descriptors for a shared perception. It can be helpful to talk to help verbalize what you perceive.

 Tweaks to scores or verbiage can result. But it's not typical to be off by too much with the other judges at the table.  And it should not be that the experienced judge influences or dictates the scores for the newer judges.

I'm sure there are exceptions where that occurs, but it's against what we are taught, and I believe it's the exception.

Equipment and Software / Re: Thermopens on sale
« on: July 17, 2013, 04:18:51 PM »
Mine arrived a few days ago.

Box said open box in a sticker, but I could find no other evidence of it being used.

Locks temp in just 2 seconds. But what I really found neat is that it only reads the temp in the first 1/16th of an inch of the tip. Probing a chicken cutlet you could see the temp gradations while it cooked.

Overkill... Yes. Really cool... Absolutely!

I have been going through the 10-15 dollar units every year or so. Feels like this has longevity. We'll see. Also the cheap ones often come miscallibrated by a few degrees. I checked this one against boiling water and ice bath and it was spot on.  Impressive!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My first homebrew comp. score
« on: July 15, 2013, 08:18:17 PM »
Of course it could be a bad comment, but don't discount the impact of shipping and storage, either. Unless you hand delivered your entries to the judging site, then you don't know if they got exposed to high temps. If you mailed them in the summer, then you do know! Charlie Banforth on a BN episode talked about a doubling of the rate of staling for each 10c.

So if you did introduce some oxygen during bottling or racking, and it got warm in transit, then the beer the judges saw wouldn't be the one you get from your fridge. The stability of the beer (rate of staling) will be influenced by your process.

Take a bottle, warm it and keep it warm for a week or so. Compare with a cold stored bottle and see how they compare.  If they are the same, then safely disregard that judges comments.

Ingredients / Re: Base Malt Allergy
« on: July 12, 2013, 12:44:17 PM »
Often the raw fruit/vegetable allergies are a reaction to the microbes on the skin. Cooked or even peeled can help. I know grain has lots of microbes of many sorts, which is why you never want grain dust getting near fermenting beer.

I wonder if the reaction is to extra passengers on the grain dust express? I also wonder if the darker roasts have less living microbes due to the higher heat of the process? Just speculating. Interesting question.

The Pub / Re: I love this
« on: July 06, 2013, 06:15:44 PM »
While I admire the homeowner's chutzpah  and I'm sure many of us would like to do that, it seems incredibly stupid.  What if the guy was armed?
If he wasn't, it would have been much harder to tie him up!

Swyped. Excuse any strange substitutions I missed.

The Pub / Re: To our Friend and Leader
« on: June 26, 2013, 01:00:18 AM »
My thoughts are with you and your family. Sorry for your loss.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Spartangburg kegs - plastic gas in tube
« on: June 18, 2013, 01:07:29 PM »
I'm glad to have seen this thread. The last two kegs I bought, several years ago, had these plastic tubes. One I tossed before I realized my extra stainless part wouldn't fit. A lot of good solutions here. I may finally get those two back into service! Thanks!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Water filter at new house
« on: June 18, 2013, 11:40:01 AM »
We redid our kitchen and I ran into the same problem.  I insisted the vent over the stove be high enough to fit my pots, but when I went to be I realized I couldn't attach my hose adapter for the wort chiller.

First, I highly recommend the permanent second faucet for the undersink mounted carbon filter. The whole family will appreciate that and we use it constantly. This was a design feature I built into the new kitchen from the get go.

Second, for the IC, I inserted a T,  a ball valve and a hose thread adapter with quick disconnect under my sink. When it's time to cool, I open the cabinet, attach my hose and I'm in business.

Mostly I used this as an excuse to get out of the kitchen and into 10 gallon all grain batches outside. Now I only make a rare 5 gallon batch in the kitchen, usually in the dead of winter.

Good luck with the new house!

The Pub / Re: OnTap Liquid Beer Enchancer - WTF?
« on: June 08, 2013, 01:27:39 PM »
My first thought was why bother. Certainly at home we can just buy craft.  But at the gazillion corporate functions I attend with only BMC and Amstel available, maybe a few drops of this could be handy...

Equipment and Software / Re: Re: Beersmith
« on: June 06, 2013, 02:39:56 AM »

I lessthanthree this analogy.

I am fascinated by the word lessthanthree.  Even as a phone autocorrect, I wonder about the derivation.

Btw, agree, BeerSmith will help if you are designing your recipe, extract or all grain, by computing predicted gravity, color and bitterness. If you are consuming recipes it may help with scaling or substituting ingredients. And it's useful for tracking and inventory.

It's a tool, not an advice column. The blog and podcast might be useful if that is your desire.

It has more utility in all grain where there are more degrees of freedom. Especially because in all grain, even the recipe is severely impacted by system specifics like efficiency, batch vs fly vs biab, and kettle/tun size and dynamics like specific heat.

In extract, most of those variable are removed. The software is useful, but you are only benefiting from a portion of the value. 

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Why hot break?
« on: June 02, 2013, 01:22:54 AM »
Boiling up a starter and watching a pot, waiting for it to boil. Gets the mind wandering....

Why is the fresh hot break formed when working with extract?  I get it with all grain, but shouldn't that have already been done and destroyed during the initial manufacture of the DME?

And while I ask this question, I looked away from that pot and now I have to clean a boil over. Doh!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Who's going to NHC?
« on: May 31, 2013, 11:37:15 PM »
I'll be there. First timer and won't know too many. Looking forward to it, though!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Grains on hand
« on: May 14, 2013, 01:28:35 AM »
And keep a big box of rolled oats in the kitchen pantry. One less item in your brewery and a great addition for anything you want a little creamy mouthfeel in.

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