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Messages - dmtaylor

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466
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: State of the Forum
« on: January 27, 2017, 10:36:14 AM »
You guys are colossally derailing here.  :)

Outta control.  ;D.  Totally my bad.

This is why the mere mention of the term "low oxygen" needs to be handled with EXTREME care, every single damn time.

467
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: State of the Forum
« on: January 27, 2017, 10:28:47 AM »
You guys are colossally derailing here.  :)

468
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: State of the Forum
« on: January 27, 2017, 09:52:45 AM »
I agree that it's good to stay on topic but i'm not sure it's any worse than it's ever been.

I do think derails have gotten worse in recent years, in maybe about the past ~2 years.  There's FAR less traffic on all forums these days, too, which only serves to distill out the really vocal and really major obsessive nuts such as myself.  The less obsessive or very knowledgeable folks have largely moved out of the forums because they 1) learned enough and didn't find them valuable any longer, and/or 2) because they don't enjoy discussions with some of those who remain (and the list goes on but these two serve my point).  If true, this is indeed kind of a sad state of the forum (note: tying back to the OP!).

I for one promise I'm a nice guy in real life.  I'm just a real obsessive dork when it comes to homebrewing, that's all.  Profuse apologies to all those I have ever offended.  I really don't mean to.  Hope you all feel the same way if you've ever felt yourself to be in a similar role.  Maybe it really is time to take more of a back seat from here on out.  I'll think about this.  It's just...... difficult to give up an addiction.  And for some of us, like me, these forums truly are an addiction of sorts.  This too is a little bit sad.  A little bit.  :)

469
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: State of the Forum
« on: January 27, 2017, 09:37:18 AM »
I'll say this one time and one time only.  Please don't get too excited and don't let this turn into yet another derail.

I think the trouble with LODO is, it's not the standard yet, and barely any people know about it yet -- probably way less than 5% of all homebrewers know anything about it, so every single time that it's brought up, the next question is, "what's LODO?" and we have to go into more detail, yadda yadda, so just by bringing it up at all can turn the whole dang thread into yet another derail.  Maybe one day far in the future, the process will become more well known and understood, and maybe forums like these are the best way to get the information out there, and that's fine, I have no problem with that.  But I can see this both ways.  From one side, LODO proponents see this method as the answer to a LOT of problems, and have been extremely vocal about it, while on the flip side, others see these terms and references as constant reminders of something they don't agree with, don't know anything about, or just are unwilling to accept (yet).  Personally I'm undecided as to the merits at this point but if I had to lean one way, I'm honestly growing more and more tired of constantly hearing of how it can cure-all.  Right or wrong, that's the impression I have and the taste in my mouth at this point in time.

But anyway, we digress, significantly....... ;)  My apologies to all those who will get excited by this response.  My advice: Please DON'T get excited.  After all, I'm truly just another idiot from the interwebs.  I have opinions, and so do you, so let's just feel free to put out our opinions with no fear of retribution, and respect each other.  I promise, I truly promise, that I am actively trying harder to do the same.

Cheers all.  Relax.  Have a homebrew.  :)

470
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: State of the Forum
« on: January 27, 2017, 08:01:17 AM »
I have mixed feelings..... I can see your point... We should indeed all try harder to always address the OP's concerns and tie back to the OP as much as possible.  And if not, yes, new thread.  But on the other hand, there are entertaining times as well.  A little bit of derail is a good thing.  Out of hand, a bad thing.  Yeah.  The most important thing is "balance".  It's all about "balance".  ;)

471
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Amount of yeast to use in a small batch
« on: January 26, 2017, 08:23:24 AM »
Splitting packs of dry yeast is super easy.  Sanitize your hands, the packet, and scissors, cut it open, use the amount you think you need, fold over the corner and tape it shut, and put back into the refrigerator.  It's that simple.

+1 - I have brewed a couple of small batches myself using this method and did not have any issues with either the amount of yeast used or the viability of the yeast on the second batch a month or so later using what was left in a packet of US-05. For the first batch I simply pitched approximately 1/2 of the packet.

Yep.  And I should add: There's no need to weigh the amount to the exact gram or anything either.  Approximation is usually good enough.  Those dry yeast cells are so geared up and ready to eat sugar, they don't much care about population density, they'll just jump right in there and start eating.  An exception perhaps is BRY-97, which is a little more sluggish than other dry yeasts, but still a great performer after the first 24-36 hours of wake-up time.

472
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Amount of yeast to use in a small batch
« on: January 26, 2017, 06:03:50 AM »
A lot of great advice has been shared already!  I'll just go overboard here like I always do....  ;D

Definitely use MrMalty.com if you aren't sure.  This calculator is easy to use, and you are certain to have enough yeast with it.  Personally I find that it is overly conservative and you can get away with a little less than it says.  But it's not wrong to just go with their recommendation if you want to play it safe.

That all being said, I will also tell you that the calculator is certainly more accurate for liquid yeast.  For dry yeast, you really don't need to use that calculator at all, the reasons being...

Dry yeast is extremely stable and resilient and reliable.  If you store in the refrigerator, it will maintain >50% viability for many many YEARS, maybe 5 years or more.  Another advantage is that dry yeast does not really need to be rehydrated.  It is true that about 50% of the yeast will die if you don't rehydrate.  However, it is also true that a typical dry yeast packet contains at least twice as much viable yeast as a liquid pack.  These two factors tend to cancel out one another for most ales (i.e., 50% x 200% = 1).  So, for a standard gravity ale, an unhydrated pack is good for at least 5 or 6 gallons, maybe more, and a rehydrated pack is good for at least 10 gallons.  With lagers or cold fermented ales, you do want to use extra yeast since it's more sluggish at cold temps, so in cases like that, you might want to rehydrate or use extra, maybe.

Splitting packs of dry yeast is super easy.  Sanitize your hands, the packet, and scissors, cut it open, use the amount you think you need, fold over the corner and tape it shut, and put back into the refrigerator.  It's that simple.

For liquid yeast, you either need some of the old Wyeast vials to hold the extra, or some sanitized mason jars or something like that.  Liquid yeast will only keep in the fridge for approximately 9 months on average (plus or minus, depending on many factors), and with liquid yeast, you really should always use a starter, regardless of what MrMalty says.  For small batches, it's easier to justify skipping the starter, but it's still always the best idea to do one anyway, even if it's only in a cup or two of wort, just to wake up the yeast better.

Hope this helps.

473
I guess it's still imaginary...
http://www.cedarislandbrewing.com/beer-list/

Cool!  I don't come to the cities often but next time I do (maybe in 2018), I'll see if I can trek up there.  Making a note of it.

474
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Newb Mistake
« on: January 23, 2017, 03:54:39 PM »
Ferment and taste. Dump if it's bad, package if it's good.

This. ^^^^

And, it will be bad.  Sorry man.

475
Ingredients / Re: Hops to go with WLP500 in a Single
« on: January 23, 2017, 03:11:59 PM »
Oh, you have Magnum, too?  Interestingly, I used Magnum, of all things, as a dry hop in my last batch, and it turned out great!  Not just for bittering anymore!  :)

Regarding aeration, I pretty much don't anymore.  If you have a good vital yeast starter, you're fine.

For temperatures, like others, I would begin in the low 60s and then allow to free rise, then keep it warm for the last part of the fermentation to prevent stalling.

For water, I'd double the chloride... but I'm also not certain that this is essential or detectable in the final beer either.  The profile you've selected looks just fine too.

476
Ingredients / Re: Hops to go with WLP500 in a Single
« on: January 23, 2017, 01:17:26 PM »
Those are all excellent options.  For bittering, you might want to use whichever hop you think you enjoy the LEAST, if any (just to use it up), and for flavor/aroma use the one you think you will like the BEST and/or the one with the lowest alpha acid since at 5 minutes it won't add many IBUs anyway.  But you really can't go wrong with any of those, in any combination.

477
Other Fermentables / Re: Bottle conditioning cider
« on: January 23, 2017, 11:46:12 AM »
I've made quite a few flat ciders over the years.  I always prime but don't always get carbonation.  Adding fresh yeast will help make carbonation a guarantee.

478
Other Fermentables / Re: Bottle conditioning cider
« on: January 23, 2017, 11:01:34 AM »
Yes, add a sprinkle of fresh yeast.  Roughly 1/10 pack of yeast will be good enough to carbonate 3-6 gallons, i.e., a little dab'll do ya.  Also don't be surprised when it takes 6-8 weeks to carbonate.  It will carb just fine but will take a bit of time.

Cheers.

479
Welcome to the best homebrewing forum on the interwebs!

Your process is almost identical to mine, except my batches go from about 2.5 gallons preboil to 1.7 gallons after.  One oddity in your process that I noticed:

•Then slowly poured 170f water heated in separate pans over the top, trying to cover as much of the grain as possible
•Cleaned out stock-pot, added colander on top and recirculated wort through grains

If you are sparging first and then recirculating after the sparge, then your spent grains are soaking up a lot of the good sugars!  This is out of order and hurting your efficiency significantly.  You should mash in a bag (BIAB), and recirculate first and then sparge after, more like this:

•Pull bag from kettle and set on colander over bucket
•Pour the sweet wort from the kettle through grains and colander
•Then slowly pour 170f water heated in separate pans over the top, trying to cover as much of the grain as possible

This will likely fix your issue.

Also ensure you are crushing the grains enough.  If using the mill at your LHBS, then double crush.  If using your own mill, set the mill gap to the thickness of a credit card or slightly thinner.

Hope this helps!  Let me know if you have more questions -- I might be the only other guy on the interwebs who brews like you do!   8)

480
Equipment and Software / Re: Improved Refractometer Correction calculator
« on: January 20, 2017, 05:49:49 AM »
Interesting... I signed up (you need to sign up to use the tool) because I noticed discrepancies between refract vs. hydro on my last batch using Sean's calculator, but I'll need quite a bit more data on subsequent batches to determine which tool I prefer.  Thanks for sharing!

One thing the Czech tool does not do is calculate specific gravity, not at all.  To do that, I still end up going back and forth to Sean's calculator.  If that could be added, it would be a more useful tool.

Cheers.

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