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Messages - dmtaylor

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Which style?
« on: November 22, 2015, 05:39:33 AM »
Enter as 34B Mixed Style, then also add a description: "6A Marzen and 18B APA, or kind of like a Session IPL, w/ Mandarina Bavaria hops."

They'll know exactly what to expect from that.  And not too many people will probably enter 34B versus 34C, so your odds are better of getting the best feedback and medals.

I *do* have experience judging the old 23.... and also brewing and entering and medaling in the old 23.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Mosher Historical Beer Myths
« on: November 20, 2015, 09:57:59 AM »
For those interested in dispelling historic beer myths, Ron Pattinson's daily blog is a terrific read.

How could I have forgotten Mr. Pattinson?  Editing my earlier post now to include him.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Mosher Historical Beer Myths
« on: November 20, 2015, 05:29:01 AM »
EDIT:  I see now that he's talking about historical beer styles, not process stuff.  So I digress in the second half of this:

Mosher is awesome.  He's really right, you know.  There's a bazillion myths out there that just never die.  And I know he does, like, a TON of research.  He's read all the old history books and spent a lot of time at libraries, or something.  The rest of us haven't.  Mosher, of anyone, would know the truth.  I have no doubts.  Ron Pattinson, also!

And then there's the process myths, of course, which Marshall Schott, Denny Conn, and others have been working so hard to dispel.  How I brew today compared to how I brewed 10 years ago is.... reasonably different, based on what I've learned.  It's got to be super friggin confusing for brand new homebrewers to try to make sense of anything, when they are handed a copy of Papazian or Palmer as the "bibles", but then they come on forums like this one or join a club, and everyone tells them "oh no, that's all wrong, everything you know is wrong".  It's crazy how much this hobby is growing right now.  Ten years ago, or 20 or 30..... so many friggin myths have been generated in recent history that just might never die because books last forever.  It's going to be a friggin mess 100 or 200 years from now when someone tries to figure out what was known and learned during the American homebrew renaissance of the 1990s and 2000s, because man..... we've totally flip-flopped the common knowledge probably 100 times on 100 different topics.  It's a mess!!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: lack of we go again...
« on: November 18, 2015, 03:08:51 PM »
Might just be a mash thermometer calibration thing.  Easy to check.  Boil some water and see what it reads.  Don't forget to adjust boil temperature based on your own elevation on the planet Earth -- boiling point is 212 F only right at sea level.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Should I dryhop? - what say you?
« on: November 17, 2015, 06:23:22 PM »
Americans love to dry hop every damn thing.  I say no, don't bother.  Style doesn't require it.  Save a step.  But go ahead and do it if you're a hophead.  No matter to me.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: how much detail for category 23 entry?
« on: November 17, 2015, 08:05:10 AM »
Don't necessarily list every single spice that you used.  Only tell them the real obvious ones that you are actually able to taste in the final beer.  Then you'll score well.

I'll give you an example: one time I made a beer with mace in it, among several other spices.  Mace tastes almost exactly like nutmeg, except 99% of beer judges would probably have no idea what mace is.  So, I actually lied and told them there was nutmeg in the beer instead of mace, because the beer did in fact taste like nutmeg.  In the end, I scored very well and the judges all stated how wonderful the nutmeg flavor was balanced by the malt, yadda yadda.

Another example: I have made several gruit ales with all sorts of crazy herbs but no hops.  In that case it was beneficial for me to tell them "no hops!" but when faced with terms like "sweet gale, mugwort, and cardamom", it was a crapshoot whether I would score well or score poorly.  If I had instead told them that it tastes mostly like "mugwort, which is similar to oregano", which is pretty much true, and ignored the other herbs that I really used, then I would probably have scored better.

Tell them what the beer tastes like, not necessarily the ingredient list.  On the other hand, don't just say "spiced" because they don't know what the spices might taste like -- could be peppercorn, could be clove, could be cinnamon, could be ginger.  Be a little bit specific, but not too much.  Figure out what it tastes like most to you, and throw them just a bone or two to focus on.  It would also be okay to say "spiced with cinnamon and other spices" if it tastes like cinnamon and other spices, or whatever.  You get the picture?

As for imperial schwarzbier versus Baltic porter, choose whichever one you think it tastes like the most.  Judges know how to differentiate those kinds of terms pretty easily.

I love the WLP400 but I find it quite floral with pear-esters, with not enough peppery spice.  Sounds like WLP410 might be worth a try then.  Or perhaps even do a split fermentation with each and blend at the end.

I didn't really care for the 3944 when I tried that -- more finicky, with bubblegum... nah.  I much prefer WLP400 to 3944.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mashing & Calculating Rest Times
« on: November 13, 2015, 05:23:22 AM »
Sounds right to me.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dry yeast
« on: November 12, 2015, 06:32:24 PM »
I haven't used the T-58 but I think they're probably right.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dry yeast
« on: November 12, 2015, 09:23:00 AM »
Belle Saison yeast would work, but it ferments out dry, like 98% attenuation.  It would taste good though.

I found this xbmnt after searching 2565.  I was checking ingredients for a honey wheat recipe someone here shared and it called for 2565, but my local homebrew store only carries white labs liquid yeast and various dry yeasts.  I know I can order it but a quick stop for one or two things means knowing what strain to swap for ones I can't get.  Also I have minimal temp control (brewing in my pantry keep the house pretty cold 60-62) so of suggested strains I sometimes have to pick the one best suited to my temps.

I think you're talking about my recipe.  You know what?  Yeast doesn't matter much in this recipe.  You can go ahead and use US-05 or Notty or WLP029 if you want and it will turn out just fine.  Get whatever's cheap.  I think you're going to like it regardless of yeast.  The malts are what matters in this recipe.

Beer Recipes / Re: Commission brew/Blue Moon style beer
« on: November 10, 2015, 06:23:11 PM »
SO my local brewmaster and instructor for beer/wine/spirits of the world at a local college argues that Blue Moon is a Hefeweizen not a Wit bier... any comments?

It's a witbier.  Snobs don't like it but it's still a witbier.  Tastes good to me.  It's part of what got me into homebrewing in the first place, so from that viewpoint it's a winner.

This has become like the dumbest AHA thread ever.  Thanks Obama.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Mash Hopping
« on: November 09, 2015, 03:39:09 PM »
Someday I intend to find out for sure.  My bet is that if you used noble hops, the flavor and aroma might carry though the best.  I intend to try it with a lager.  Like maybe a nice Kolsch.  ;)

Real Kolsch is only made in Koln.  It is an appellation.

If your palate can't tell the difference, a helles is a helles.

But...Not a 'Munich Helles'.


This xbmt makes me wonder what impact my chilling technique has on beer quality.  For the past 12 or 13 years, I have done immersion cooling in a tub sink with cold water.  With cold Wisconsin ground water, this gets down to pitching temperature within about an hour, or less for smaller batches (yay again!).  I do not own a typical chiller, nor will I ever unless it is gifted to me and then I might not use it.  But....... if I found out this was hurting my beer, maybe I'd change.  Maybe.  But I think no one will ever run this xbmt including myself.

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