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Messages - dmtaylor

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1
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I think I'm becoming obsessed
« on: April 14, 2014, 05:42:13 PM »
Sounds very familiar.  Welcome to the obsession.   8)

2
All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Sparge Combo
« on: April 12, 2014, 06:25:31 PM »
Yeah, this is no-sparge.  Your efficiency will suffer, only get upper 50s / low 60s.  However it's a viable method if you want to experiment.

3
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Noob judge observations
« on: April 12, 2014, 10:03:13 AM »
If you have to TRY to find a fault, maybe its not really there. Similarly, if you have to TRY to find greatness, maybe its not really there.

That pretty well sums things up right there -- nice work!

4
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Noob judge observations
« on: April 12, 2014, 05:57:30 AM »
People don't generally make things up.

I disagree.  I think many judges are overzealous in their searches to find some way to use their knowledge to find "flaws" that don't even exist.  They might be afraid to say "this beer tastes great to me" and score it a 42 when it deserves a 42, because they figure they must be missing something if it tastes THAT good, because 42s have historically been relatively rare.  Many judges decide consciously or subconsciously that they should try to be hypercritical of whatever aspects they don't fully understand, whether it be DMS or diacetyl or acetaldehyde or anything else, in an attempt to hide the fact that they truly don't fully understand it.  They want to look like they know what they're talking about, especially if they have rank at Recognized or above.  Yes, this is very unfortunate, but I believe it to be true.

I am Certified, by the way.  I do hope that this phenomenon is far less common with Certifieds and above.  But of course, we may never really know.  Some folks are better than others at looking like they know what they're talking about even if they don't.

Don't take my word for it, either.  Go ahead and come to your own conclusions.

5
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: aging of moderately high ABV beers
« on: April 11, 2014, 11:26:00 AM »
Age it for as long as it takes to taste good.  If it tastes great in 2-3 weeks, start drinking it in 2-3 weeks.  Age is NOT always a good thing.  It can help if the flavors are too harsh when it's young.  But if it's NOT harsh when young, then DRINK IT YOUNG!

6
All Grain Brewing / Re: Phenolic
« on: April 08, 2014, 06:24:29 AM »
By chance, did you use any peat smoked malt at all?  If that's the case, then THAT is certainly the problem!!!

7
All Grain Brewing / Re: Phenolic
« on: April 07, 2014, 06:16:59 PM »
I don't think heat is the problem.  Tannins come out when you have the combination of both factors, high pH AND high heat... but not phenols.  Phenols come from yeast.  Scottish yeast for sure throws a little smoky phenol.  You might just be hypersensitive to it.

It could be contamination from a dirty line, that's certainly possible.

Consider also the possibility that you are imagining things, and your perception of phenol was contagious to other judges.  It happens.

Anyway, what sort of phenol are you getting?  Smoke?  Plastic?  Medicine?  Electrical fire?  Pepper/spice?  Carmex/lipgloss?

8
Hop Growing / Re: Recommended Hop growing medium
« on: April 07, 2014, 05:57:36 PM »
I'm no expert on soil.  Hops are like weeds.  They'll grow very well in pretty much any kind of soil.  They love nitrogen.  Look for fertilizers like 10-0-0 or 20-0-0 or something like that.

9
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Yeast Remains or Worse?
« on: April 07, 2014, 03:24:38 PM »
Yep, sounds like a bug, unfortunately.  Sourness or astringency are on the way.  Drink it fast before it really goes.

10
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: DME + LME
« on: April 06, 2014, 05:19:48 PM »
Apparently the recipe designer prefers the taste of LME but doesn't like to use a partial can.  Makes sense to me.  Feel free to substitute as you see fit.  If you brew it differently then it becomes YOUR recipe!

11
Ingredients / Re: Using Lactose in RIS
« on: April 06, 2014, 04:06:18 PM »
The OP's beer is already fermented and ready to bottle or keg.  You add the lactose just like priming sugar, and you can boil it WITH the priming sugar if bottling -- boil it up in a couple of cups of water, cool, and add it in.

I wouldn't discourage the OP from adding lactose if he wants to -- it's HIS beer!  Let him do what makes him happy!  (Or her, as the case might be in about 0.1% of cases.  ;) )

12
Ingredients / Re: Using Lactose in RIS
« on: April 06, 2014, 02:43:51 PM »
What was the FG?

The million dollar question!  :)

13
Ingredients / Re: Using Lactose in RIS
« on: April 06, 2014, 09:07:22 AM »
0.5 to 0.75 lb lactose per 5 gallons will help round things out.  Do not use any more than that or your beer will be sickly sweet.  Cheers!

14
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Noon judge observations
« on: April 06, 2014, 03:34:17 AM »
Welcome to the joys of judging!

If you have been on nights, then midnight IS like your noon!

15
All Grain Brewing / Re: Wheat beer/ Decoction mash question
« on: April 05, 2014, 07:48:23 AM »
You can and should safely skip the decoction mash.  While it might be fun to try, it doesn't improve flavor and is pretty much a waste of time.

If you do want to try it, you'll need a colander where you can pull out the grains every few minutes to boil the decoctions.  Essentially it goes something like this:

Dough in at 95-105 F with the usual 1.25 to 2.0 qt water per lb grain.  After about 10 minutes, use the colander to pull most of the grains into a kettle.  The liquid that is left behind contains all the enzymes and is called "the main mash".  Bring the grains (not the main mash!) up to about 150 F for about 10-20 minutes, then boil for another 10-20 minutes, then return it to your main mash.  Stir well, let it rest for a minute or two, then pull the grains out and bring to a boil again.  Now your main mash should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 120-130 F.  Boil the grains for just 2-10 minutes, then put back into the main mash again.  This should bring your main mash up to 150-ish.  If not, repeat until it does.  Once you hit 150-ish in the main mash, rest for about 30-40 minutes.  Then you can either repeat for a mashout at 170 F, or you can skip the mashout and just runoff and sparge and brew as normal.  That's the streamlined decoction process in a nutshell.  You can do all the rests for 20-40 minutes if you like, some people do, but I find this unnecessary and perhaps even detrimental, as you don't want to do a protein rest at 120-ish for more than a couple of minutes with modern well-modified malts or it will kill your beer's body and head retention.

Optionally, you can skip all this hassle and just mash at 150 F for 40-45 minutes, runoff and sparge, and you're done.  Results will be approximately the same, with the exception that decoction produces a slightly darker beer that is perhaps 2-3 SRM points darker.

Either way, you're going to make a great beer.  Enjoy.

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