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Messages - dmtaylor

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP questions
« on: Today at 12:47:25 PM »
Session IPA is like an overhopped APA, which is great if you want to win competitions.  A few judges might ding an overhopped APA, but most probably won't.

For whatever it's wort...

My own data to date has confirmed the Novotny formula for calculating SG from Brix is a good one.  Not necessarily "better" than Terrill's, but a bit different, and valid in its own right.

And the most accurate FG formula for me is............

None of the above.  :)

Actually, it's the one that Terrill refers to as the "Old Cubic", for which I forget the source but so far it seems closest on the average.  Not perfect either, but close on the average.

To be fair, some of my data is for very high gravity beers, for which no formulae are very accurate -- they are all calculating FG values 0.003-0.006 higher than my hydrometer.  For example there is one beer where my OG was 1.098 as measured by hydrometer (and original Brix was 23.2).  Calculated FG for final Brix 12.9 and correction factor 0.99 (yes, NOT 1.04) was anywhere 1.026-1.029 depending on the formula, but my hydrometer said 1.023.  So, not a big deal -- next time I make a huge beer of OG >1.090, I'll expect to have to subtract a few points from the calculated FG if I skip the hydro and just use refract.  Close enough.

For me, ultimate near-exclusive use of refractometer is desirable, as I am a small batch brewer and would prefer to get 14-15 bottles out of a batch rather than just a 12-pack from too many hydro samples.  For those doing 5 or 10 gallons, sure, I get why you might not care.  But I do.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Biere de Miel
« on: November 22, 2017, 08:42:58 AM »
I never heard of the style until now.  Sounds almost like a braggot but maybe not quite.  Regardless, I do make other honey beers and find that a lot is needed if you want to taste it.  So I'd definitely go high on the percentage of honey, like 20% or even 30%, if you want to guarantee that you'll be able to taste it.

Wildflower honey is probably best for the most robust flavor, however the character of wildflower honeys varies broadly because "wildflower" can of course mean anything and depends on the flower sources where it is made.  The most wonderful honey anywhere is tupelo, but it is expensive, and might get lost under the 70-80% beer ingredients.  It wouldn't be wrong to just use plain clover honey either, but it has a very mild flavor that again could get lost under the beer.  So something with more robust flavors like "wildflower" is indeed probably best, as well as being the most traditional probably anyway.

I would add mine at flameout, just because that's so easy to do.  However, you can also add near the end of primary, or even might want to consider making a mead on the side, then blending to taste after both the beer and mead halves are fully fermented.  This latter option might even be the best way to go, if you want the most control over the finished product.  Then once they are blended, don't bottle or keg right away but give the blend a chance to mellow and complete fermentation if it wants to.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Brewing a Belgian Witbier
« on: November 18, 2017, 07:47:34 AM »
It depends what you want.

Bitter orange peel added to the boil does not really add orange flavor so much as a pithy acrid bitterness to the finished beer.  This is the way we made witbiers 20 years ago.  I'd use restraint, as more peel won't add more orange flavor but just more pithiness.  I'm not sure what it would do at end of primary.  A vodka tincture might not be a bad idea, though I don't know if I've tried it.  Is the use of dried bitter orange peel "right" or "wrong"?  I actually don't have an opinion on that.  However what I will tell you is that I might no longer use bitter orange peel in my own witbiers anymore, in favor of.....

Fresh zest added to the boil might do something, but not as much as if added to the end of primary or secondary.  However I would still recommend restraint.  It's been a while since I've made witbier but I'd guess the zest of one orange might be too much for 5 gallons.  Maybe I'd use just a half of one.  I would not add the whole peel, but just the zest.  I would recommend a tincture in a few ounces of vodka, let that soak for a couple days, then add just the flavored vodka to taste at bottling/kegging time.

The predominant orangey flavor in a witbier comes from coriander.  I'd add that at the end of the boil, but a vodka tincture wouldn't be out of the question either.  Again, use restraint.  The stuff is powerful and easy to overdo.  If not sure how much to use, take a guess but then only use 1/3 as much.  It's much stronger than your brain tells you it is.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Small batch Issues
« on: November 13, 2017, 08:31:09 AM »
D: what are you using for fermenting vessel?

I use 3-gallon carboys or 1-gallon pickle jars, depending on whether I split the batches.  All glass, not plastic.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Small batch Issues
« on: November 13, 2017, 08:02:11 AM »
It's difficult to say.  For whatever it's worth, I usually make 1.5 to 2-gallon batches these days, and I don't notice a lag or anything different about the fermentation compared to the occasional 5-6 gallon batches that I do about once a year.

All Things Food / Re: Dutch Baby
« on: November 12, 2017, 06:29:32 AM »
Looks very much like Finnish pannukakku that I just made last week.  Them European nations all copy each other.

Other Fermentables / Re: Choice of honey for mead
« on: November 10, 2017, 04:51:53 AM »
I get most of my honey in bulk from Sam's Club.  Never heard any complaints on my mead!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Black IPA, Citra and Mosaic?
« on: November 09, 2017, 05:48:26 AM »
Whatever floats your boat.  A better substitution for Amarillo in my opinion would be Cascade, maybe with a little Warrior too like 2:1 Cascade:Warrior.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Hops calculation w/homegrown cones
« on: November 09, 2017, 05:46:05 AM »
I grow Zeus, which is quite productive.  I always have waaay more than I need.  Maybe I'll start using them to bitter hoppy beers, starting with a pale ale as you suggested.  Should be a great bittering hop, once I dial it in.  It would be nice to start using them up.  I brewed an all-Zeus IPA once, but it came across as kind of oniony.

That's the spirit.  I haven't experienced the oniony thing but based on zillions of others who have, it should fade and disappear after a few weeks.

Ingredients / Re: What makes a good bittering hop?
« on: November 08, 2017, 04:46:21 PM »
I don't buy hops specifically for bittering.  Anything above 9% AA is going to be fine for a 60 minute bittering addition.  Since you have a limited amount of hops you are willing to buy, it makes sense to pick a bittering hop that is useful beyond bittering.  In this case, I suggest Apollo as your versatile bittering hop.  Very high AA.  Good orange and ginger flavor from 20-0.  Strong aroma as a dry hop.

Beer Recipes / Re: red rye ale
« on: November 08, 2017, 07:53:51 AM »
I get pine (among other things) from Simcoe as well as Chinook, so this is really just up to your own opinion.  When I can't decide, I pop each bag, sniff them, and decide based on aroma.

Other Fermentables / Re: mead sanitation
« on: November 07, 2017, 05:21:08 PM »
No nutrients, no Campden.  I do heat pasteurize though.   :o

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Soy sauce stout
« on: November 07, 2017, 10:50:35 AM »
If it is an underpitch, would anyone recommend a repitch?

And does anyone think the late hop additions could play a part in this off flavor? I.e. Hop flavor combine with lower ph and a high fermentation temp.

It is NOT an underpitch.  If anything, it's an OVERpitch.

It's not the hops.

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