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Messages - brewmonk

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Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Coffee Stout - no carbonation
« on: February 19, 2012, 03:44:38 PM »
That sounds exactly like what happened to one of my batches.  Some were almost flat, and others were pretty carbonated (in addition to tasting sweeter).  The direct problem was that hops clogged my racking cane a few times so there wasn't enough of a good mixing going on when I racked on top of the priming solution.  A good gentle stirring is a safe way to give yourself some insurance of a consistent solution, and I've never had that problem since.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: That extract "twang"
« on: February 18, 2012, 04:21:29 PM »
Just curious about the extract "twang" that kit and extract beers get dissed for.

Is the flavor mainly in LME and the prehopped kits, or does DME tend to give that flavor too?

And I'm still trying to understand what that "twang" is supposed to taste like.  I've heard "umami" "savory" or "meaty" but I'm either not that trained on the taste, or I have just never had a noticeably "meaty" beer  :o.  Is there a way to doctor a beer to understand that flavor?

That's probably from leaving it on the yeast for too long and other reasons, and why I prefer to transfer sooner than later. What I've seen with old extract is a "cidery" twang not a savory one.
I've heard "cidery" too.  I mentioned the "umami" because I just finished Gordon Strong's book where he mention he senses more savory than cidery.  I've never actually noticed a flavor myself.  I would say the only "difference" I notice in kit vs. my DME extract with specialty grains is a complexity and freshness compared to the kit beers.

Admittedly, I do need to work on better fermentation temp control too.  :-[

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / That extract "twang"
« on: February 18, 2012, 11:20:43 AM »
Just curious about the extract "twang" that kit and extract beers get dissed for.

Is the flavor mainly in LME and the prehopped kits, or does DME tend to give that flavor too?

And I'm still trying to understand what that "twang" is supposed to taste like.  I've heard "umami" "savory" or "meaty" but I'm either not that trained on the taste, or I have just never had a noticeably "meaty" beer  :o.  Is there a way to doctor a beer to understand that flavor?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2011--> 2012
« on: January 03, 2012, 06:13:57 PM »
I brewed 6 batches, 4 kits and 2 extract recipes (6 out of 7 batches I've ever brewed).

This year I hope to go all grain.

Equipment and Software / Re: How much flour from a MaltMill?
« on: December 22, 2011, 05:07:16 PM »

I set my Barley Crusher at .027" & condition my malt.
I never get stuck sparges, with that setting... But, I also batch sparge.

Just a bit off topic:
When you say you condition your malt, you mean you wet it a bit before crushing, right?  (I'm a noobie looking into getting into all grain).

[sigh], all the ones I was looking at where white  ;)

Thanks for the input guys.  Yeah, I know this is sort of a RDWHAHB type question, but better safe than sorry.

This is what I have (and they deliver to you)

Blue isn't as good as red, though, and really, with the models you mention, the color is the most important thing. Red = faster conversion.

Thanks for the link, Phil, that is much better priced than Italian ebay.  8)

I guess I'm still trying to understand how to predict the volume of mash you'll end up with depending on a recipe.

This has probably been discussed a million times  :-[ but ....  ;D

In looking into all grain I'm looking for a cooler to do batch sparging (a la Denny).

Right now it looks like my options would be between a Coleman Xtreme or an Igloo Marine (both rectangular) and was wondering if there are any issues with one or the other (for me the Igloo would be cheaper).

I'm also wondering about the size.  If I plan on doing 5 gallon batches, maybe even some "big beers" (high gravity) in the future, what would be good a good size to look at, so that I'm not kicking myself for either having too much head space to not be able to easily keep a steady temp, but to not worry about having too small a size to deal with bigger grain bills.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A new trend...?
« on: December 14, 2011, 10:49:22 AM »
I would think for the most part, cans were symbolic of the BMC beers, while bottles represented more of a craft beer feeling of quality.  Breweries like Surly have been breaking through that stigma.  Admittedly, bottles are more elegant IMHO.

Strangely, I've never had that mentality with Guinness draught widget cans.

Here in Italy, the mentality is that small bottles tend to be lower quality beer and 750 ml champagne bottles are higher quality beer.  That's not to say you don't find 33cl Chimay's, Leffes, etc, but for maketing it seems to be the case.  Most of the artisanal beers I see here are in 750ml's and most mass produced beers are smaller sizes like 0.5l and 33cl.

The light factor gives cans an advantage.  But yeah, I can't re-use cans for homebrewing.  Ultimately, I pour mine into a glass too, so as long as it's good beer ...  :)

Although can's aren't nearly as helpful in a bar fight.  :D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: cappers
« on: December 11, 2011, 01:50:29 PM »
You just have to break one bottle neck while pressing down with a wing capper, to realize that the best place for it is the trash. Actually bench cappers aren't that much more expensive when you consider your safety.


The tiny extra price of a bench capper is so worth the money.  I lost three bottles of a Grand Cru  :'( to my flimsy wing capper (after only 4 batches  >:( ) and immediately bought a bench capper afterwards and have had no problems with it at all.  I find it faster too.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer Camping
« on: November 07, 2011, 06:39:23 AM »
[drool]  :)
So I'm guessing this is like a disneyland for homebrewers?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Recommended Reading for Intermediates?
« on: November 03, 2011, 05:06:00 PM »
I just finished reading "Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation" by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff, and found it pretty interesting.  It was a good read in that it not only gave information about yeast and fermentation, but it was information applicable for both pros and homebrewers, and they actually gave practical advice for both.
I'd say if you liked Gordon Strong's BBB where he focuses on the hot side of things, "Yeast" is a good book for the cold side.


The primary issue with it that I have seen, which has been experienced by my friend the 15-gallon brewer, is that all his beers are hazy/cloudy.  With my 2.5-gallon batches, I'm not seeing the same problem.  I think with the weight of such a big bag, he's squeezing something out of the grains (whether it's starch or tannin) that clouds things up, and even with clarifying agents he's having a hard time getting it all to settle out.  And this is after dozens of batches of trying.  But somehow I think with more experience, he'll get there.  And even if not, the agents causing the haze don't seem to affect the flavor at all, as he's truly one of the very best brewers I know.  And that means a *little* something coming from a fanatically picky BJCP judge like me.

If you're considering trying BIAB at all, I very highly recommend it.  I have no doubt that you will be VERY glad you tried it.

Clarity issues are not a problem with me.  As long as it doesn't affect the flavor, I'm willing to give it a shot, and I'm far from BJCP tasting abilities.  Sounds pretty cool, now I just need to figure out how to get a bag.  Although maybe just trying a 2.5 gal batch might be a good way to start.  That way I won't break a bag or my back.  :D

All Grain Brewing / How many people "brew in a bag" and their thoughts?
« on: October 01, 2011, 07:15:13 AM »
So I just started reading about the "Brew in a Bag" technique" which is supposed to be a great way to step into all grain and save some time.  Aside from lifting a heavy bag full of wet grains seeming to be a PITA, is this a pretty good thing to try out?
Experiences, opinions, rants, raves?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Test your beer smarts!
« on: October 01, 2011, 07:01:11 AM »
14/15.  Can't believe I missed Becks ... that's my whipping boy ... er beer.  :P
Too bad they were all mass produced beers.  Something craft brewy from around the world would be cool.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 10 easy steps to being a better brewer
« on: August 24, 2011, 04:12:54 PM »
(Probably fits in under the "R" in RDWHAHB, but)  DON'T GET IN A BIG HURRY ... (unless your wort is boiling over  ;) )

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