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Messages - MDixon

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The Pub / Re: 10 days to exam
« on: July 14, 2015, 05:23:04 PM »
77 with only 10 days of study is pretty darn good. Judge at some comps, get the lingo down and you'll easily get the score you are after.

The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: July 13, 2015, 03:48:54 AM »
Ok, I was a little fast to judge Old Ezra 101. By itself it ain't worth your time, but in a mixed drink it is divine. If you want something a little higher end to stick in the bar, this may be the one.

Beer Travel / Re: Ireland
« on: June 15, 2015, 04:30:46 AM »
We are going to the Cliffs, Barney Castle and Bunratty Castle and late in the trip staying at Cabra Castle.

Beer Travel / Ireland
« on: June 14, 2015, 03:33:04 PM »
In November I'll be in Ireland all over the country. We will be touring Guinness as part of the package (as well as Waterford), but our time is self guided.

Suggestions for not to miss sights and beer establishments is appreciated.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Using Percentages to create a grain bill
« on: June 09, 2015, 03:53:29 AM »
It's simple once you figure it out, you want an OG of 1.080 so call that 80. Assuming your final volume is 5 gallons then 80 x 5 = 400 points. Now your efficiency comes into play, 400 / 0.7 = ~570 pts so that is what you need to get from your grain. I always default that grain yields 36 points per pound per gallon, ppg. So 570 / 36 = 15.8 lb, since you don't know your efficiency, call it 16.

16 x 90.6% = ~14.5 lb
16 x 4.5% = ~3/4 lb
16 x 4.9% = ~0.8 lb

If you get a higher OG then expected your efficiency was higher than expected. You can water down the beer to the gravity post boil to achieve the gravity you want and have more beer. Also you can boil off less, boil shorter if you determine your runoff gravity is higher than expected. I run my calcs using The Recipator, but calculate using a calculator during brew day. Most use the commercial programs.

The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: May 27, 2015, 07:04:57 AM »
I think in the case of the HM the issue is it being single barrel and it just happens that barrel was boring. I see far too many reviews which are positive for it to be a fluke or fake. For sub $30 I'll pick up another bottle somewhere and test the theory. Keep in mind it isn't bad at all, just pedestrian.

I suspect the reason for the acceptable results is an adequate starter was pitched. Try it again using far less yeast than ideal and I suspect the results would be less acceptable.

I also think if it is attempted again the beers should be presented to a group of judges to evaluate. Not just which is better, but a full evaluation on a score sheet. Which is better when someone comes over to the hacienda is dependent upon what they did (read as ate or drank) prior to tasting the beer.

Well let's assume your water was +/- a half gallon since it was eyeballed. So you were shooting for 5 gallons and ended up with 5.5 gallons and perhaps some of that extra volume was left behind in the boil kettle.

67 x 5 = 335 which was what you were expecting later in the thread (earlier you said 1.060)
335 / 5.5 = 60 or 1.060

FWIW - if you had 6 gallons your 1.055 OG would be right.

I still believe your crush affected your efficiency and OG, but compound that with a lack of volumetric measurement and it isn't difficult to miss the desired starting gravity.

Your lower than expected OG is a result of something other than old grains. You don't get less extraction as grains age, the sugars did not go anywhere, they are still right there in the grains.

If I had to guess I would say the crush was not very fine and the weight may have been shy of what was stated. Either of those would affect the OG. Most homebrew shops do not crush fine because they don't want to hear complaints about a stuck mash/sparge.

The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: May 17, 2015, 10:14:05 AM »
Two disappointments:
Old Ezra - 7 year old - 101 proof - pretty boring
Henry McKenna - 10 year - Bottled in bond - also boring

I'll give them both a better evaluation as I drain the bottles, but neither has much character IMO. I see quite a few rave reviews for the HM, but thus far I've not been excited.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Rubbing Alcohol
« on: May 16, 2015, 02:26:37 PM »
Because isopropyl alcohol isn't for human consumption, you could use some Vodka. I think StarSan would prove to be one of the least expensive solutions.

The Pub / Re: Will this get me kicked off the forum?
« on: May 16, 2015, 11:32:30 AM » me find my keys and we'll drive out.

The Pub / Re: SABMeantime
« on: May 15, 2015, 12:38:53 PM »
Meantime liked the packaging of New Glarus which is why they went with the cork and bail. Their IPA was hard to beat at one time, but when the price became about $12 a 750ml I quit buying it. The last beer I purchased from them was mislabeled as a stout and was at best a brown ale.

Beer Travel / Re: South Carolina Mountain Region and Tennessee Trip
« on: May 09, 2015, 05:00:16 AM »
Sounds like a nice trip - way more than 5 or 6 more to try in the Asheville area.

It's all about experience. When I first took the BJCP exam any style above 6% was illegal to sell in NC. As you can imagine tasting those beers was a challenge. In the end what dragged down my initial taste exam score was not my ability to sense, it was my ability to fill out the score sheet. I never made that mistake again and over time I improved. At one time I felt ill prepared to judge certain categories - meads, ciders, etc., but over time I've gotten to the point I'm good with judging anything. Can I do an excellent job of telling a cidermaker how to improve in process? No, but I can tell them what they should eliminate or add, or where I believe things went wrong. I can pretty much judge anything given a set of style guidelines and I'm sure many other judges are in the same boat.

What will be challenging once the guidelines are established across all competitions will be the BOS round. When that Piwo Grodziskie hits the table I'm going to have to reference the guidelines. With the completely new numbering system I suspect BOS rounds will slow down until people become familiar with them. I never took the time to memorize the 2008 numbers so I probably won't wast time on the 2015. I will take the time to read and comprehend all the styles, but remembering what is 9B isn't going to help me judge beer in a glass, it will however help speed up a BOS round, but some beer geek at the table will have those set in memory after a few comps. ;)

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