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Messages - dmtaylor

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Danstar Windsor
« on: October 25, 2014, 05:56:49 AM »
Tastes just like a normal well attenuated English brown ale.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Danstar Windsor
« on: October 25, 2014, 05:32:38 AM »
I just used Windsor for the first time last month to make Pete's Wicked Ale (the real recipe).  Gravity went from 1.054 to 1.021 in 48 hours -- no exaggeration.  This is a VERY fast fermenting yeast, and very flocculant.  And while the gravity seems very high for an ale, it tastes medium bodied and not at all thick/full.  Just a very easy drinking, relatively low ABV beer.  I really like it.  It's great where you want to brew a session ale with lots of flavor.  I'll be using it again.

So THAT'S my problem!  No... I still blame it on the plastic buckets.  Still no problems after switching to glass, even with half packets of old dry yeast.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Crazy amount of head.
« on: October 24, 2014, 03:11:22 PM »
It's not the Carapils.  You probably overprimed.  Or there is a possibility that you had a contaminated bottle, or a bottle with some extra sediment in it for the CO2 bubbles to form.  It happens once in a while.  Try a little less priming sugar next time.

I would recommend just pouring the entire bottle into a pitcher or large glass right away, rather than taking 10 minutes to pour it slowly.  Then just let it settle a bit, pour into a regular glass, and enjoy.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast poll for an unplanned brewday!
« on: October 24, 2014, 12:23:46 PM »
I was leaning towards Windsor, but I like the idea of using both Windsor & Notty.  It will improve attenuation.

Yeah, but if a 1-gallon recipe gets contaminated due to poor sanitation... well heck, just make more!  :)

Answer to tangential question: Cut tiny corner from dry yeast packet.  Pitch about 1/4 packet.  Fold corner over a couple of times.  Tape shut.  Place back into refrigerator.  Open and repeat up to ~3 years later.

One cannot achieve better efficiency with batch sparging than can be achieved with continuous sparging when using a properly designed lauter tun and good technique.

I have found this to be true only in theory and not in practice.  It is not terribly difficult to achieve 94% efficiency in a batch sparged beer.  While I'm sure it's possible to achieve 94% or higher efficiency with fly sparging... do we really need to?!  I think this is a moot point.

FWIW, a friend of mine brews in a bag for all his 15-gallon batches.  His grandmother sewed him a giant pillowcase bag, and he hoists it in his garage with block and tackle.  Works great, but you do need to have a grandmother who uses sturdy material and sturdy stitching.

I think that as long as you qualify it small scale, then I'd say "probably".  AFAIAC, BIAB is a very viable method for small batches brewed indoors.  But I think people who want to do full size batches will go another way.  It's not easy to hang a hoist in your kitchen to lift the bag for a 5 gal. batch.

Bingo.  BIAB is absolutely ideal for small batches.  I brew almost all my batches in a bag because I'm only making 1.7-gallon batches.  And these days I do think there are more and more brewers happier making smaller batches than 5 gallons -- I'm talking about anywhere from 3 gallons on down to the 1-gallon 6-pack brewer.  There are tons of advantages to smaller batches, which I need not mention here.  A mash tun in these cases becomes far more a hinderance than a help.  But for those making the standard 5 gallons and up, a mash tun is usually the way to go.  When I just made a 6-gallon batch this past weekend to be served at the local brewfest, I dragged out my old cooler mash tun and used that of course -- my grain bag and muscles just aren't big enough to handle 6 gallons worth of waterlogged grist.

But will BIAB overtake batch sparging, in an overall average Joe Brewer sense?  No, never, I don't think so.  We might eventually get to the point where we have around 50/50 BIAB vs. mash tunners, but I believe the ratio will remain lower for BIAB forever, because there will always be millions of people interested in making 5 gallons, or 10 or 15.  The American way, at least, is always that more is better... and of course, I believe those millions of Americans are wrong.

My 2 cents.  :D

Is this the best candy ever? Or did some fool just drop his Hershey bar in a peanut butter jar?

Gump: "maybe it's both. Maybe both is happening at the same time."

*David likes this.*

My favorite ale recipe is here.

Actually this recipe can be improved even further by substituting a little chocolate wheat or chocolate rye malt for part of the wheat, or use all rye instead of wheat.  Play around with it.  I've really never brewed it exactly the same way twice yet, but it turns out excellent every time.  It was based on a concept of, hmm, what might the Germans in Wisconsin in the 1880s have done with local ingredients to make a more interesting altbier?

My best lager was a very simple German helles with German Pilsner malt, a dash of wheat, and a dash of Carapils (not sure I even needed that as I usually don't use Carapils at all).  Custom built my water from distilled, double decocted, eventually shooting for about 150 F for 40 minutes, boiled 90 minutes with just a simple Hallertau bittering addition and no late additions, pitch W-34/70 dry lager yeast, ferment at 50 F for 2 weeks, lager in the 30s for 3 weeks, done.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Crushed Grain Shelf Life
« on: October 23, 2014, 03:21:57 AM »
In an economic pinch, you can also use your blender to "crush" the grains.  Yes, you heard me right.  I did it for YEARS.

Pitch brett?

Ugh... I'm going to remember this the next time I judge sours in a competition.... you can't just fix any broken beer by adding Brett.... or can you!?!?  So the question on my mind will always be, was this an intentional Brett beer, or was the brewer simply trying to fix a beer that sucked!?

It might just be done fermenting.  Pitching a pint of starter probably wouldn't help much.  Try like a gallon.  And make it "dry" or highly fermentable, like egg said.  This is why I said to use like 50/50 extract and simple sugar.  The simple sugar will help bring final gravity down some.

Aeration has nothing to do with this IMHO.  Don't worry about aeration one way or the other.

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