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Messages - dmtaylor

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Missing Mash Temps
« on: August 29, 2011, 05:18:32 PM »
The 145 F rest will tend to dry out the beer more than if you had only done a 154 F rest.  The net result, I think, is approximately equivalent to what you would get if you had instead done a single rest at about 152 F for 45 to 60 minutes.  Might be fun, or you might have some process reason for doing this, but if you're just doing it for the heck of it without good reason, you might want to consider it a wasted effort and just pick one temperature in between in the future.  FWIW, I don't do step mashes much.  I mash 90% of my beers at 150 F for 40 minutes.  That's right.  40 minutes at 150 F is great for nearly all styles of beer, and wastes far less time than a step mash or a 60-minute mash, for those of us that care about time (some do, some don't).

Other Fermentables / Re: Carbonation for Hard Apple Cider?
« on: August 25, 2011, 12:51:56 PM »
Personally I like mine carbonated at the same level as beer.  Don't expect to get a head on it -- if your cider gets a head, they're something strange in it because cider doesn't have a lot of protein.  It should be more like champagne (no head except upon the initial pour), but usually less carbonated than champagne.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Hops and malt.... a delicate balance
« on: August 22, 2011, 06:24:25 PM »
First of all, if you've hit scores in the 40s, you're done.  The only reason it doesn't score higher and that the judges nitpicked is because judges are afraid to score anything too highly (i.e., a score of 50 does not actually exist) and they usually feel like they need to suggest *some* sort of improvement.  I know this to be truth, or if it isn't, then tell me what *is* true.  I'm a BJCP Recognized judge myself.  So anyway.... scored in the 40s?  Yeah -- you're done.  No improvements required!

If you want to play around with the recipe, change just one thing at a time and taste it side by side with an unmodified control example.  I like the Maris Otter idea.  Also you could probably kick up the Munich into the 25-30% range if it doesn't turn out too dark for style.  Keep the hops as they are.  Yeast strains are another great idea for experimentation -- split a batch and try dozens of different yeasts if you can and taste them all side by side -- it's so easy to do.  But truly, like I said, you're done.  You're really just splitting hairs at this point, if it's that awesome already.

The Pub / Re: I just discovered brewing indoors
« on: August 20, 2011, 02:43:38 PM »
I suppose it does help having a big kitchen and a powerful stove.  Electric, mind you, but it works great for small batches!

Ingredients / Re: Rye Malt in a Session Ale?
« on: August 20, 2011, 12:36:48 PM »
No, I can't think of a reason why not to do it.  I think it's a fantastic idea!  Go for it!!

The Pub / Re: I just discovered brewing indoors
« on: August 20, 2011, 12:34:59 PM »
In my 84 batches, I have never brewed outside.  I've observed club brews outdoors, but never have I made one of MY batches outside.  Of course, I usually only make 2.5 to 3 gallons.  When I make 5 gallon batches, it's pretty simple -- I use two kettles and two burners.  No big whoop.  SWMBO doesn't mind the humidity or smell in the house, and I love it, so we're golden.

Ingredients / Re: Adding Lactose
« on: August 18, 2011, 07:25:08 PM »
I like to wait and add my lactose on bottling/kegging day.  This way you can adjust if the beer is already on the sweeter/thicker side so that it doesn't turn out super slurpy.  Otherwise I would say 3/4 pound for 5 gallons is a pretty good swag if you're not sure how much to use.  A pound is the absolute maximum for a beer that finished pretty dry.  If you add a pound a beer that finished at say 1.018, you're going to have yourself a thick chewy syrupy beer.

Classifieds / Re: New Homebrew website needs writers!
« on: August 13, 2011, 01:20:08 PM »
I am intrigued, as I know a lot of stuff, been brewing for 12 years, love to write all day long, I type fast and I never misspell a word.  But I think I'm going to be too busy this fall, working 60-some hour weeks at work... my brain will be fried.  One of these years I'll kick myself in the rear and become a compensated writer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Small batches?
« on: August 12, 2011, 02:53:00 PM »
I've made ~80 small 2.5 to 3 gallon batches in 6.5-gallon buckets, and here's what I can tell you.  If you bottle or keg within a month after fermentation subsides, you'll be okay.  But if you are super lazy like me and leave it in the bucket for like 3 or 4 months before you get around to bottling it, you are very likely to have oxidation and/or contamination issues.  After 12 years of brewing in nothing but buckets, I just got a 5-gallon glass carboy.  I figure this will have a better seal from oxygen and wild critters than a simple bucket has.  Sounds good in theory, right?  But you're basically right -- it's totally possible to make excellent beer in half batches in buckets, at least if you're not lazy, and it is indeed as simple as dividing the whole process in half (or in the case of 3-gallon batches, by 3/5).  I've got dozens of ribbons to prove that it works.

Other Fermentables / Re: Fermentation Temperature for Mead
« on: August 11, 2011, 04:23:05 AM »
Update, for what it's worth:  I actually split this batch, adding little blue grapes to half while leaving the other half alone, using the sweet mead yeast for both.  Got very different results.  At one point, SG was 0.995 on the grape mead (not really a pyment because I only used roughly a pound per gallon) while SG was 1.016 on the unadulterated version.  At that point, I sorbated the sweet plain mead and it finished a little later at 1.011.  So I guess my point is, you'll get different results depending on what you do with adding fruit or not, etc., but if you do want to halt fermentation, do it a little early to let a few more points fall and then it will indeed quit.  Personally I'm happier with the sweeter mead, very delicious and just the right sweetness to suit my own taste, though the grape one is more tannic and earthy and it should be interesting to age it for a while.

Slainte mhath,

Beer Recipes / Re: Jaggery Cream Ale/Kolsch
« on: August 01, 2011, 06:00:57 PM »
Without gelatin, it takes ~5 weeks for the 2565 yeast to settle out.  But with gelatin, you'll get it to clear within 48 hours (and probably much less than that).  Sounds like a plan.

Beer Recipes / Re: Jaggery Cream Ale/Kolsch
« on: August 01, 2011, 03:51:57 AM »
I think any hops will go okay with jaggery, even a little Cascade or the like, but too much of the "C" hops will tend to overpower it.

Personally I love Kolsch yeast and have used it for many beers other than Kolsch with very favorable results.  My experience is with the Wyeast; I haven't tried White Labs yet.

Beer Recipes / Re: Jaggery Cream Ale/Kolsch
« on: July 29, 2011, 09:08:06 PM »
Jaggery is good, but mild, and it will dry out the beer.  Mash warm at around 155 to 156 F.  And ditch the Cascade hops that will otherwise tend to cover up your jaggery.  Keep it simple, and it will be lovely.

Never a bad idea to just shoot for a middle of the road pale ale with the homegrown hops.  If it turns out not quite bitter enough, then you can call it a blonde ale or amber ale.  If too bitter, then call it an IPA.  It works great for me.  Last year it was an IPA.  A few years ago, a blonde ale.  No big whoop.  It's really good, and it all got consumed quite quickly.

The Pub / Re: what not to name your brewery
« on: July 25, 2011, 10:10:02 PM »
I've always pondered why many bars, pubs, clubs, etc. like to have few or no windows and near-pitch black atmospheres, in some crazy attempt either to create mood lighting or to disguise how fricking dirty their bars and bar flies are.  Conversely, I have a different idea.  If I ever have a brewpub, I always figured I'd name it the "Well Lit Brewing Company" and have frickin white walls and ceiling, perfectly cleansed stainless steel bar and bar stools, and 300 watt bulbs lighting up the whole place.  How's that for awesome.  Tag line might be something along the lines of, "Don't just wallow in the shadows.  Get Well Lit."

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