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Messages - dmtaylor

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466
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: most common off-flavors
« on: April 15, 2016, 08:27:09 AM »
It's not just on the jowls and it's not oily or greasy.  What I'm getting from these beers is an almost cottony coating of my mouth and teeth and a real grape skin like dryness in my mouth.  I guess there's no way of knowing if it's from the hops or high pH, but since the beer is almost gritty I'm guessing hops.

The way you describe it, it does sound like astringency.  Guess I might need to take one for the team and go buy some crappy NE IPA to know for sure.

467
Other Fermentables / Re: Crashing a cider
« on: April 15, 2016, 08:17:18 AM »
My recommendations:

When it tastes good, hit it with gelatin to remove ~90% of the yeast.  Wait 48 hours, rack it off the gelatin and yeast, then add sorbate and Campden in the recommended amounts to slow down fermentation even more.  These chemicals don't kill yeast but they injure the yeast pretty badly.  From there you can add your backsweetening (if any), and keg or bottle as normal.  If you're bottling, carefully monitor for carbonation by popping a bottle at least once a week, and as soon as you detect any fizz at all, chill all the bottles down immediately to prevent explosions.  If kegging, no worries.  In any case, keep it cold so it doesn't dry out again, because the yeast will in fact continue to work on it slowly for many months, even with sorbate and Campden in there.

468
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: most common off-flavors
« on: April 15, 2016, 06:33:06 AM »
Everyone needs to try it once.  It won't kill you, but it will edumacate you of the difference between bitterness and astringency.  I don't recall it being astringent, but it sure as hell is bitter!

469
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: most common off-flavors
« on: April 14, 2016, 02:04:55 PM »
How would you describe astringency due to hops in beers that aren't all that bitter?  I'm working my way through a bunch of NE IPAs and so far every one has left me with an astringent mouthfeel, even though none had what could be described as "harsh bitterness".  I assume it's due to the massive flavor hopping they do.  Not only can I feel the astringency, my mouth feels like it's coated with hop particles!

Is it oily or greasy in any way?  Ever lick a HopShot?  That's not astringent, that's just effing bitter!!!!  I've never tasted an NE IPA, but if it's gooey in any way, then I imagine it might be a hop oil thing, similar to the HopShot, and if so, that's still not astringency.

But, I could be totally wrong.  I'm sure someone will place an NE IPA in front of my face in the near future, many of my friends are IPA freaks even if I'm not.  Only then will I be able to figure out what's really up with this new style.

470
I made a Kentucky Common many years ago, with a sour mash.  My impressions of it were:

1) Hey!  It's not sour!  I should have sour mashed for an extra day or two I guess!?

2) It tastes a lot like an English bitter.

Question for you -- do you think it tastes anything like an English ale??

KC is just a sort of caramelly, malt forward style, IMO.  Very pleasant to drink, for sure, sour mash or not.  I would do the sour mash again just because it's fun!  Even if it's not historically accurate or doesn't make it sour.  To be fair, sour mashing is probably safe to use on just about any style under the sun, no need to reserve it for KC style for those of us who have done so thus far.

Great article.  Cheers.

471
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: most common off-flavors
« on: April 14, 2016, 06:37:33 AM »
Maybe brewers who fill out Brulosopher surveys are by definition better than average?

That exact thought is going through my mind as well!  Marshall says it's impossible; I do not.

472
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: most common off-flavors
« on: April 14, 2016, 05:41:02 AM »
By the way... a personal peeve of mine.... astringency is WAY less prevalent than most judges will tell you.  I would say that 3 times out of 4 that a judge uses the term "slight astringency", they are in fact full of crap, trying to show off their judging prowess or something.  This occurs greatly with inexperienced judges but unfortunately often continues farther up the ranks.  While astringency is indeed very possible, I've experienced it many times, the term is WAY overused.... Be cognizant of this common error.

I just read Marshall's new analysis of how smart people think they are when it comes to tasting beer.  And just look how many friggin people think they are experts when it comes to tasting "astringency".  The result is disproportionate, and I believe supports my previous statements just about perfectly.  Check this out:

http://brulosophy.com/2016/04/14/under-the-surface-results-from-the-homebrewers-perceived-abilities-survey/

473
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Danstar Windsor
« on: April 14, 2016, 03:59:21 AM »
Re-bump:

how'bout using Windsor in a barley wine? I've planned a 1.120 OG barley wine next weekend, which I could dump onto the cake of the this bitter. Should make for a pretty lively yeast, I reckon. Just not sure how well Windsor holds up to a potential 12% abv...

Very dangerous.  Your result of 76% attenuation is very anomylous.  Using Windsor in a 1.120 wort is sure to give you a final gravity >1.040 unless maybe you add a ton of sugar and mash low for many hours or overnight, and even then... I would not recommend trying this.

474
All Grain Brewing / Re: getting rid of clorine
« on: April 11, 2016, 05:04:46 PM »
I'm so lazy, I find dicking around to get a Campden tablet to dissolve to be a pain.
My approach is to put the tab under a piece of plastic wrap and smack it with something heavy. It turns to an easily dissolvable powder with minimal effort. Plus, taking my aggression out on the tablet helps clear my head from all the other math and measuring that was done during the water treatment.

I crush the tablet in my fingers.  They're soft and it's fun.

Chumley, consider storing your Campden right next to your peroxide.  Then next time you'll enable a lazy choice.

475
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: most common off-flavors
« on: April 11, 2016, 08:47:07 AM »
Big ones in approximate order of how often they seem to occur (with my own definitions of flavor descriptors):

1) DMS (creamed corn, cabbage, celery, rotten vegetables)
2) Hot alcohol / solvent (bad vodka)
3) Oxidation (wet cardboard & sadness)
4) Diacetyl (butter or butterscotch or slickness)
5) Extract twang (metallic caramel & hint of banana)

I'm somewhat sensitive to DMS, so I might pick on it more than it is perceived by others.  I don't usually pick it up in my own beers.  I think it's due to less than adequate boil rigor primarily, and I boil every batch super vigorously.

Solvent flavors basically come from fermenting too hot.  Keep it cool, eh?!

There are different forms of oxidation, but the stale form will happen to any/every beer with enough age, so it's always a possibility.

The other stuff really doesn't happen as much anymore in my experience.  Even diacetyl isn't as prevalent as much anymore, and extract twang is less and less prevalent, at least with brewers who've got a couple years experience and know to use fresh dry extract.

By the way... a personal peeve of mine.... astringency is WAY less prevalent than most judges will tell you.  I would say that 3 times out of 4 that a judge uses the term "slight astringency", they are in fact full of crap, trying to show off their judging prowess or something.  This occurs greatly with inexperienced judges but unfortunately often continues farther up the ranks.  While astringency is indeed very possible, I've experienced it many times, the term is WAY overused.  People describe it like a bitterness in the flavor.  I've even seen a Master judge use the term when describing the aroma!  Totally, totally wrong.  It's a dryness, as if you're sucking on a sponge or have been mouth-breathing in the Mojave Desert.  Can best be duplicated by chewing a while on grape skins, after the juice is all gone, just keep chewing on those skins.  That dryness, which is also a sort of spiciness, is astringency, and it's usually caused either by pH problems or by wild critters.  It's not the same as bitterness.  Be cognizant of this common error.

476
All Grain Brewing / Re: Upper (dulute) limit on Mash Thickness
« on: April 11, 2016, 07:52:32 AM »
I have heard figures of 3-4 qt/lb as being the upper limit -- beyond that, theoretically you might start to lose efficiency or extract tannins due to pH problems.  So, to be safe, personally I wouldn't recommend going above 3 qt/lb.  Will you still make good beer if you go above that point?  Well yeah, probably.  But keeping it down under 3 qt/lb is good insurance if you're not sure.  If anyone has experience to the contrary, then please share!  Let somebody else be the guinea pig!  ;)

477
I'm starting to wish there were more comps with a 50/50 mix of homebrews and commercials, so we could find out for sure how things stack up.  I'd find it interesting.  I actually do something similar to this when running my own homebrew club's small club-only comps -- I always add an extra commercial example to compare blindly with our homebrews.  Funny how the commercial beer has blindly never ever gotten any higher than 4th or 3rd place maximum (out of an average 8-9 entries), and is often much lower.  Wish I could see this done on a bigger scale.  Bottom line really in my view is that it shouldn't matter.  These days, homebrewers are making beers every bit as good as commercial, or even better.  It wasn't always like this, but it definitely is like that now.

I can also see how a commercial brewer could never really "win" a homebrew comp.  They'll be ribbed either way like others said unless they entered as a pseudonym.  And maybe they do, once in a while, but not that any of us should really care either.  What difference does it really make?  None.

478
All Grain Brewing / Re: 55% Efficiency after Batch Sparge
« on: April 10, 2016, 11:30:01 AM »
You should experience an increase in efficiency of at least 5-10% with a double sparge.

195 F is perfect sparge temp for batch sparging.  You did good.

I never have, Dave.  MAYBE 2%, but mostly nothing.

Hmm... it's worked for me.  The higher efficiency I've seen might be more due to collecting extra wort and boiling longer, though (like 105-120 minutes).  You and I may both be right when you include that additional variable.

479
All Grain Brewing / Re: getting rid of clorine
« on: April 10, 2016, 11:26:42 AM »
I'm in the "campden is cheap insurance" camp.  You can buy a 25 pack from morebeer for 2 dollars.  At 1/2 a tablet per 10 gallons, you are talking 4 cents a batch.   I'd rather pay the 4 cents and not wonder if my filter is running slow enough actually get every bit of the chloramine out.  Chlorophenolic off flavors are detectable in very low amounts, and when they are there, they are horrible.

Yes!  Totally agree.  Campden is super cheap, and chlorophenol is horrible.

480
All Grain Brewing / Re: getting rid of clorine
« on: April 10, 2016, 06:32:39 AM »
I have found evidence on the WI DNR website that Milwaukee has used chloramines since at least about 2005.  Campden then is your safest bet.  Search around on here if you like, that's where I got it from:

http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/DrinkingWater/QualityData.html

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