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Messages - dmtaylor

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1
How sure are you that it's not fermenting?  Have you checked specific gravity?  Fermentation can happen without any visible activity.  There is typically a little foam on a cider, but not always very obvious.

No activity in the airlock and no kräusen

So you don't know, because you haven't checked specific gravity.

I haven’t checked, no. OG was 1.047. I’ll take a gravity reading  when i get off work tonight

So update: I forgot to reply here last week, but I took a gravity reading and it was surprisingly lower than what I expected. It was showing a 1.015.

I was just surprised to see literally no activity. Everything I’ve fermented (beer and the one cider I fermented 3 months ago) always showed activity. Guess I’ll make sure to check the gravity reading before calling it quits.


2
All Grain Brewing / Re: Diacetyl Rest
« on: January 18, 2019, 12:24:19 PM »
First, check for diacetyl.  If there's none, then you don't need the rest.  However, if you want to do a diacetyl rest anyway or just aren't sure, then it won't hurt anything to just do one anyway either.  Aim for when the gravity points are half of what you started with.  For example, when 1.054 OG gets to half of 54 or 27 or 1.027, then that's a good point for the D rest.  Anytime after that point is fine too.

3
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentation
« on: January 18, 2019, 01:50:56 AM »
Of course you can.

4
Beer Recipes / Re: Lager beer recipe recomendations
« on: January 16, 2019, 07:31:29 PM »
Czech dark lagers are generally much hoppier than German Dunkel, more like a dark Bo Pils.  Look into that style.  And little country breweries all around the land o' lager have always made quirky, idiosyncratic (read:  outside the beer judges' narrow and arbitrary style guidelines) beers.  You can, too.

Ah, yes, of course... Czech dark is a style I've heard of but am not personally familiar with.  Thanks for bringing it up.

5
Look up dunkelweizen and weizenbock, and see if either of those fit the flavor profile.  Oh... but you didn't add any wheat?  Doesn't matter.  Judges don't know the recipe.  If it tastes like the style, then it IS the style.  This advice only applicable if it tastes like banana or clove, otherwise nevermind.

6
Beer Recipes / Re: Lager beer recipe recomendations
« on: January 16, 2019, 04:07:54 PM »
Doppelbock is not a hoppy beer at all.  I would suggest Pilsner as a hoppy lager, or if that is too light in color then perhaps an overly hopped amber Marzen would be good too (a lot of commercial breweries are doing those every September).

For any lagers, I recommend WLP833, Wyeast 2206, or S-189.  Mash low about 148 F for best effect.

Darker yet, you could also try a Sticke Altbier which is a strong dark bitter cold-conditioned ale.  For that style, nothing beats Wyeast 1007.

And these recommendations only matter if you care about sticking with traditional styles.  If you don’t care so much about style, then there are no limitations at all.  My yeast recommendations still stand, those are all solid yeasts.  But you can hop up any style you want, or change the color, or whatever.  It’s your beer.  Brew what you enjoy.

Cheers.

7
Might just be a yeast thing.  I know I've experienced a lot of problems reusing yeast older than 8-9 months.  Once it hits 8 months old in the refrigerator, I don't care what yeast it is (liquid yeast anyway), it goes into the trash.  Even old unopened Wyeast or White Labs yeasts are very risky when they're that old, in my experience.  It's just not worth the risk.  Other people won't agree with me and that's fine, but that's my experience.

I'm thinking it's at least partially, if not all, the yeast issue.  I did wash it once and remake a starter with it in attempt to revive it, before refrigerating long term again.  But, I've read a lot that it's an iffy thing to do when not in a lab environment.
What is the common mutated/bad yeast attribute to the beer?  Does it sound like the issue I explained?  I wouldn't expect it to down out all the hops unless it was infected with bacteria or whatnot.

Fresh yeast adds a tartness and can add a bready and a low brothy flavor.  Very old yeast that has begun autolysis (cannibalism) will turn even more brothy, metallic, and add also a flavor like that of a burnt match.  If any of that sounds familiar, it could be a yeast problem.  If not... then maybe it's just an oxidation thing as others are mentioning.

8
Might just be a yeast thing.  I know I've experienced a lot of problems reusing yeast older than 8-9 months.  Once it hits 8 months old in the refrigerator, I don't care what yeast it is (liquid yeast anyway), it goes into the trash.  Even old unopened Wyeast or White Labs yeasts are very risky when they're that old, in my experience.  It's just not worth the risk.  Other people won't agree with me and that's fine, but that's my experience.

9
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Stuck Fermentation
« on: January 15, 2019, 12:03:10 AM »
Do not dry hop with saaz! I did once and it gave the beer a weird perfumey taste. Turned an ok beer into a dumper.

That is actually a valid comment.  I have experienced similar.  I think it really depends a lot on terrior, i.e., Saaz grown in the Czech Republic won't be perceived anywhere near the same as US-grown Saaz, etc.

10
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Problems getting cider to ferment
« on: January 13, 2019, 01:16:47 AM »
How sure are you that it's not fermenting?  Have you checked specific gravity?  Fermentation can happen without any visible activity.  There is typically a little foam on a cider, but not always very obvious.

No activity in the airlock and no kräusen

So you don't know, because you haven't checked specific gravity.

11
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Stuck Fermentation
« on: January 12, 2019, 02:47:53 PM »
Dave - is that the glucosidase aspect of the dry hops causing further conversion of dextrins to fermentables?  It was mentioned as such in an article recently in BYO, if I recall correctly.  Very interesting phenomenon, for sure and a reason to dry hop big beers.

Yes, exactly, and it's very real, and very important for every brewer to be aware of it.  That way it can be used as a tool for stopping stuck fermentations, and many other things too I'm sure.  This is knowledge long forgotten for a century that now has been rediscovered.  For instance the effect is not well described in any recent books that I'm aware of.  But it will in near future, I'm sure.  And it's been all over the interwebs in the past year or so.

Cheers.

12
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Stuck Fermentation
« on: January 11, 2019, 08:30:19 PM »
I've said it 50 times before and I'll say it again.

"WLP820 is a sh** yeast that should not be sold."

It's the worst lager yeast on the market today, very laggy with very poor attenuation.  Use ANY other lager yeast on the planet and you'll get better results.  I like 2206 or WLP833.  Or S-189; see below.

My advice would be to dry hop it (Saaz, Hallertau, or other noble), keep it warm at "diacetyl rest" temperature for a looooong time, and hope for some "freshening power" a.k.a. "hop creep" to introduce some enzymatic activity.  It worked for my maibock which got stuck with S-189 but turned out excellent and won me a silver.

13
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Problems getting cider to ferment
« on: January 11, 2019, 07:29:52 PM »
How sure are you that it's not fermenting?  Have you checked specific gravity?  Fermentation can happen without any visible activity.  There is typically a little foam on a cider, but not always very obvious.

14
Homebrew Competitions / Re: Recommendations of good competitions
« on: January 11, 2019, 12:59:29 PM »
Here are the best ones I've entered:

Feb/Mar - BABBLE Brew Off - http://brewoff.brewcomp.com/
Feb/Mar - Drunk Monk Challenge - http://knaves.org/DMC/
May/Jun - BUZZ Boneyard Brew Off - http://buzzbrewclub.org/competition
Nov/Dec - Happy Holidays Homebrew Comp - https://stlbrews.brewcompetition.com/

I've entered dozens of other comps, but the ones above have consistently provided very good feedback (for whatever reason).

Try the Minnesota Mashout. I think registration ends today.

https://mashout.org/

Regarding this one, it's also very good, but entries need to be RECEIVED by TODAY.

15
All Grain Brewing / Re: Ale yeast for a lager
« on: January 09, 2019, 06:34:25 PM »
So I looked into WLP810 after reading responses.  Lager yeast that is happy up to 65 degrees.  Anyone have experience with it?  Taste profile?  I could definitely kee it at 60-62.
Thanks.

WLP810 makes good beer.  I've only used it twice so I don't have strong opinions but it's good.  However I still prefer very much the 1007 which is simply excellent.

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