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Messages - dmtaylor

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Homebrew Clubs / Re: Help the AHA Clean-Up our Clubs Directory
« on: May 21, 2019, 12:47:42 AM »
Oops..... Listed in Two Rivers, WI, my club the Manty Malters is actually based out of Manitowoc, WI, not TR.  But... only 5 miles apart.  Still a VERY active club though.  :)

Beer Recipes / Re: American blond ale
« on: May 20, 2019, 12:00:03 PM »
Hi...I was thinking....what about if I use only equanot instead of equanot and mosaic?
What do you think????

Any beer with zero Mosaic is better than a beer with Mosaic in my opinion.

It will turn out great with just Equanot.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Low efficiency short term solution?
« on: May 20, 2019, 11:56:23 AM »
I used to "crush" 100% of my malt in a blender when I didn't have my own mill.  It worked great, got normal efficiency in the mid 70s.  Just do about 3/4 cup at a time or else only the bottom 2 inches will turn to flour but the rest will sit still.  You need to strike a balance with this method between most of it flying all over the place and most of it sitting still.  You want to figure out what amount is kind of halfway in between, then do that repeatedly.  Only pulse for 5-10 seconds, that should be all you need.
Which blender did you use? Nutribullet or Ninja blender?

The Ninja style did not work well at all.  I used an old Oster blender, one cup at a time, about a 10-second pulse per cup.  If you use too much, only the bottom portion will be "milled".  If you don't use enough, the grain will just fly all around in the blender and not get milled either.  You need to try to find the balance between the two where it doesn't fly and all gets milled.  For me it was between 7/8 and 1 cup.

I agree with Dave.
Crush till you're scared.
The OP says he's using a Kitchen Aid grain mill, which, unless I'm mistaken, is a steel, flat-burr type flour mill, not a roller mill as we assume in brewing.  So he's not really crushing, but shearing.  Therefore in going very fine, there will inevitably be considerable husk damage.   This is not a problem as far as filtration is concerned, as long as it's for a BIAB and the bag is an adequate filter.  But there is still increased risk of extracting tannins and silicates, although this should be partially mitigated by the fact that a no-sparge BIAB should keep pH in a reasonable range -- assuming it starts there.  Anyway, while the usual advice e would be to crush until you're scared, in this case a compromise between efficiency (fine crush) and wort quality (minimal husk damage) might be in order.  As long as he stays consistent and dials in his system, he can always add more malt.

I used a blender to mill all my grains for 3 or 4 years.  I think the concerns regarding tannins etc. are largely myth.  I never experienced problems and won several awards during that timeframe.

Crush till you're scared indeed.

Not a very good crush.  Each kernel should be broken into about 5-7 pieces, with a decent amount of flour.

Here's a quick post on recent Consumer Reports findings about toxic heavy metals in some store-bought apple juices.  Perhaps something to think about when choosing a store-bought apple juice for cider making purposes:

Well that sucks.  Don't drink too much of it then I guess.

I get all my juice locally.  Not certain what pesticides they use, hopefully safe ones.

Bottom line is we're all gonna die, whether it's from cider, or from something else.  But... my bet is it will be something else.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP
« on: May 17, 2019, 08:41:27 PM »
what I ended up getting this:

Safale S-04 (3 ct.11.5 g Packs)

Not a fan of that yeast in beer.  Maybe it will be better in cider.  It will likely leave you with a very dry cider.

I don't like S-04 in cider.  It throws more sulfur than other yeasts.  My favorite yeast for cider is Cote des Blancs.  Should perform pretty similar to the champagne yeast, actually, as both are white wine yeasts.  I too buy in bulk, I think I got 10 packs for about $10 years ago on Amazon, still have about 8 or 9 packs left!  But it will keep for many years in the refrigerator.

Note: I do not recommend adding a cup of sugar to the cider.  This will just increase alcohol and serve to dilute the flavor and reduce drinkability.  Even without any added sugar, you can expect about 7% ABV, which in my view is strong enough anyway.  So only add sugar if you want more of an apple wine than a cider.

So much terrible horrible advice out on the internet on how to make cider.... If I might recommend a good book on the topic, try Cider Hard & Sweet by Ben Watson.  Or also I think Drew Beechum might have written a book on the topic.... ;)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP
« on: May 17, 2019, 12:09:52 PM »
Low and slow is the way to go.  Do not rehydrate the yeast, just sprinkle on top.  Let ferment cool in the 50s F if possible for a couple of MONTHS.  Then enjoy.  It will turn out dry and tart though.  You'll want to backsweeten with xylitol, which tastes just like sugar but does not ferment.  But be careful -- xylitol is poisonous to animals.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Another cider question?
« on: May 16, 2019, 10:41:32 PM »
I would recommend that you add gelatin now, wait a day, then add sorbate, wait until clear, then rack off, then monitor over several days to see if fermentation picks up again, and if it does, then add more sorbate.  The whole time, keep it as cold as you can.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cider Question?
« on: May 15, 2019, 11:21:52 AM »
It's your cider.  Do what you like, and drink it when it tastes good.  You are correct that racking into a keg counts as a racking.  It should be safe to blend two finished ciders, especially if they used the same yeast (did they have same yeast pitched?).  But if kegging then most definitely safe.

Enjoy.  :)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dogfish is merging with Sam Adams
« on: May 10, 2019, 12:31:30 AM »
Big big win for Jim Koch, holy cow. To have Sam working for you maybe?!

Thanks for the tips! maybe just 1/4 as you said and put some more rye, and I´m doing BIAB so not much of a problem with the wort, but what you think of the hops, I´m targeting 30-40 IBU

I love Sorachi Ace, and they work well in a weissbier.  I have never tried Polaris, might be interesting.  And Hallertau and Cluster are always solid choices in my opinion.  I would use a small amount of the Sorachi Ace or Polaris, so that they are not too overpowering.  Hallertau or Cluster would be good bittering hops and of course can also be added late in the boil.

Welcome back to the hobby!  As you know, a LOT has changed in 20 years.  Some things are the same, but the knowledge in this hobby is infinitely more now than it was back then.  Here on the AHA forum, you’ve come to a great place to get some of the best advice.

My own input on your specific questions:

1.  An English Pale Ale is a great style to start out with.  Or go with any style you like.  If you have any questions or want to run recipes past someone, post it here and we will help.

2.  Yes, for 2.5 gallons you can easily divide all the ingredients by 2.  This includes the yeast.  Software can help with recipe design for sure.  Most software can do all the conversions for you if you like.

3.  StarSan is an excellent no-rinse sanitizer.  Don’t worry about off-flavors.  You’d have to use an awful lot to be able to taste any of it in the final beer.  But I do NOT recommend using a dishwasher.

4.  My local homebrew shop doesn’t supply all of the ingredients I need, so I often buy online.  My favorite online shop is  Fast and low cost shipping, and they have EVERYTHING.

5.  Best book recommendation I think is Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher.  This is a really great all-around book.  If you like Belgian beers then Brew Like A Monk by Stan Hieronymous is also outstanding.  And if you just want the basics, can’t go wrong with How To Brew by John Palmer.  Most other books I think are helpful but really not as essential as these few.

Homebrew shops typically mill the grains very very coarse and it results in terrible efficiency.  Better off milling your own.


Welcome to the forum and to the hobby!  I like the idea of a wheat and rye beer.  One caution I have is that 1 pound of Special B malt is too much.  Try just 1/4 pound Special B, or none at all.  You can also safely double the rye malt but do be aware that it is very sticky so you might wish to add also 1 pound of rice hulls to ensure good runoff of the wort.

Good luck!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Boil Length
« on: May 01, 2019, 04:27:09 PM »
I boil every batch 60-70 minutes, but am starting to think about boiling only 30-45 minutes because... good enough.

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