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Messages - dmtaylor

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Ingredients / Re: Using Nugget hops instead of Magnum in pale ale
« on: February 14, 2017, 04:36:18 AM »
I use my homegrown hops a LOT for bittering.  Like almost every batch.  You can learn through trial and error what your alpha acid is.  It varies a little from year to year but usually is pretty close depending on your weather and consistency of harvest time.

I can't say I have used Nugget for bittering yet, but if memory serves, I thought it was a low cohumulone hop, so it should be just fine for bittering.  Like hopfenundmalz said earlier, use the average (13%) your first time with them and then adjust from there if you're a little off.  It probably will be almost perfect on the first try, assuming you didn't harvest way too early or something like that.

My homegrown Cascades have averaged 6.1% since 2009, with a range from about 5.9 to 6.2%.  It hasn't varied a lot.  These values are approximate, based on how my beers taste vs. expectations.  YMMV.

<soapbox> Magnum is great, but for heavensakes, there's other bittering hops out there.  Expand your horizons.  Maybe even try some homegrowns! </soapbox>

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Help! Master thesis about wild yeast
« on: February 13, 2017, 02:19:56 PM »
I am going to extract wild yeast from spontaniously fermented cider, and therefore also wonder if anyone has tried this before?

I have made spontaneously fermented cider, but never transferred it subsequently into a beer wort as you intend to do.  This should make for an interesting experiment/thesis.  I wouldn't even know what to expect from wild cider yeast in beer.

One thing I would like to point out: At least in cider, I find the flavors (and chemical constituents) to evolve significantly over time, so you should be very specific about the timing of your analyses, as well as temperatures, etc.  You may wish to conduct analyses at many phases on a frequency such as weekly or biweekly, and note the changes over time.  After several months, the changes should level off, but I'd be curious in a comparison of results at say 2 weeks versus 6 months or something like that.  I bet there are huge differences in flavors and chemical constituents from early fermentation compared to completion.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Reinheitsgabot and 'Real Ale'
« on: February 12, 2017, 02:54:37 PM »
The moral of the story is that *both of these waters "tasted good" at the time, but both would be lousy for brewing.

The moral of the story is that *there are exceptions to EVERY rule.  EVERY rule.  I like how it's said here:

My rule is no rules... There is no one size fits all solution.  Do what you want to do, but know why you're doing it.

I should put *this* in my .sig.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Extract lager
« on: February 12, 2017, 02:05:25 PM »

(I kid, I kid.... slightly.... ;) )

All Grain Brewing / Re: Reinheitsgabot and 'Real Ale'
« on: February 11, 2017, 02:55:48 PM »
The brewer at a local brewery is adament that "if your water tastes good to drink don't mess with it"

That is such unfortunate advice. There really isn't anything further from the truth in brewing.

I usually agree with you, sir; however, I'm sure there a VERY many things further from the truth.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Reinheitsgabot and 'Real Ale'
« on: February 10, 2017, 11:15:43 PM »
Back to the OP and original topic...

I myself have puristic tendencies.  I believe many homebrewers, myself included, have had a tendency to meddle too much, without very well determining whether our additional efforts are really adding anything positive to the bottom line, which, of course, is beer flavor and quality.

Also take into consideration that many brewers make fantastic beer the easy way and don't fart around.  They just come up with a reasonable recipe, brew it, and enjoy it.

So I am with you.  I'm interested in getting back to basics, and not sweating details too much.  Crush well, mash well, mash in the right pH range, clean fermenters well, ferment well with healthy yeast.  That....... that is about it.

Cheers all.

Equipment and Software / Re: IBU Experimental Brewing Podcast
« on: February 10, 2017, 02:37:05 PM »
My biggest take away is that the shape of the curves predicted by Tinseth are correct. The actual predicted IBU may not be correct.

To me that means Tinseth is still very useful. In your brewery, overtime, you learn to correlate what Tinseth predicts with the bitterness you experience and then you can use Tinseth to guide recipe design with respect to bitterness.

Where things get difficult is trying to understand bitterness from brewery to brewery since Tinseth may predict the same number for two breweries but actual bitterness, according to the Igor results, can vary significantly.

Agree totally with all the above.  I finally got around to listening to this podcast.  Excellent information.

Tinseth says of Rager: "totally wrong".  I love that.   ;D

Meanwhile he admits and understands why the results from his own formula are only good to plus/minus 30%.  Gem of a guy.  Great information.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: malt rye & extract
« on: February 10, 2017, 03:09:04 AM »
Rye malt IS a base malt.  It will turn out great.

One thing that seems to be a really common area of misconception and misinterpretation is the P value. Hmm...might have to write up a post on that, too!

Please do.  Knowledge is power!  And thank you for your input thus far.  Cheers.

That seems like a quite a bit of unfermentable grains in that recipe for a 6 gallon batch.

Yep.  The following is nearly 50% unfermentable (at least by Windsor if not other yeasts):

3.0 lb    Dry Malt Extract - Dark   

*You meant to say "stuck fermentation", not "stuck sparge".

1.040 is pretty bad, even for Windsor.  I got 62% attenuation on my last batch, which would have gotten your beer down to around 1.028-1.030 at least.

How are you measuring final gravity?  If using refractometer, DON'T.  You need to use a hydrometer instead.  If using a hydrometer, ensure it's calibrated by measuring plain water at 60 F to ensure it reads 1.000, and if not, then adjust all other readings.

What was your mash temperature (if mashed)?

What was your malt bill?

In any case, I think if you add Nottingham or US-05 or something like that, fermentation will take off again and you'll get closer to what you wanted.  Try that before anything else.

Other Fermentables / Re: Cider and Presevatives question
« on: February 06, 2017, 01:23:31 PM »
You'll hear varying opinions on all of that.  Personally I am a purist and don't add anything to my ciders except yeast (Cote des Blancs is my favorite).  I like real cider the best all by itself.  Sugars just ferment out and add alcohol.  Nutrients, I feel, don't do a dang thing, aren't necessary.  Just pitch a little yeast and you'll get a good hard cider at around 6-6.5% ABV.  I like to ferment low and slow, close to 60 F for about 2 months.  You can rack it about once per week to keep it sweet, or leave it alone for a very dry cider.

Other Fermentables / Re: Cider and Presevatives question
« on: February 05, 2017, 11:03:05 PM »
It generally will ferment, but the yeast will be sluggish and produce a lot of sulfur due to stress.  It can still work.  However, if you are able to find juice without preservatives, or juice your own, you will generally get more tasty results.  Try to find some no-preservative juice if you can.  For example, I believe the brand called Simply Apple which is available everywhere USA has no preservatives.  See if you can find some.

Questions about the forum? / Re: Separate Subforum for Low Oxygen Brewing?
« on: February 05, 2017, 05:04:22 PM »
Hmm.  61/31 split is quite different from what I'd expected.  Now we know.  Not that it matters.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison in a Witbier?
« on: February 05, 2017, 04:48:52 PM »
I think Belle Saison would produce the right flavor profile; however, due to its ~96% attenuation, I'll also bet that some other dry yeast might be even more suitable for a true witbier with more reasonable attenuation.  I've not used these yet (though I know I will eventually!), but based on notes I've kept, you might want to experiment with Fermentis Abbaye which I hear throws a good bit of pepper and pear (like 3944 does), or Fermentis T-58 which some say might actually be a witbier yeast with pepper if used in the low 60s, and maybe a little clove?

I wish I'd already used these so I could provide actual experience!  Soon, soon.  I plan to make some Belgians this year.

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