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Messages - dmtaylor

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Beer Recipes / Re: I want to brew an Altbier
« on: March 26, 2016, 07:47:46 AM »
Here's my recipe that scored a 45 in competition (personally I don't think it was THAT great but maybe deserves high 30s).  Note: Only reason Hallertau hops are listed twice is because I used two different kinds, pellet & leaf, with different alphas.  The rest of you's can just use a single charge.  Another note: This is a 1/3 batch size.  Multiply everything by 3 if you want 5 gallons.

Beer Recipes / Re: I want to brew an Altbier
« on: March 25, 2016, 12:23:15 PM »
I've got a gold medal recipe I can look up later when I get home.  Wrote myself a note.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Matching IBUs with different AA hops
« on: March 25, 2016, 11:20:56 AM »
food for thought...

i've heard the statement that there is absolutely no taste or aroma that comes out of FWH/60 minute boils, so if you buy that school of thought i'm thinking it would follow that any hop swap, keeping IBUs the same, would result in identical brews... i'm just personally not quite 100% sold on the absoluteness of this one yet.

I would definitely disagree with that.

+2 that long-boil hop selection matters.  I find that we do get more than a little flavor from bittering additions, and as such, FWH additions as well I'm sure.  Only way to know for certain is to brew a lot with zero late hop additions, which as a malthead and NOT a hophead, I've done many many many times.  My favorite bittering hop continues to be Hallertau, because I really do think it is the best and most elegant...... and I suppose it helps that it grows in my backyard.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Matching IBUs with different AA hops
« on: March 25, 2016, 11:17:58 AM »
Dave, do you drink your beer or just take measurements?  ;)

That, my friend, is a great question.   8)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Matching IBUs with different AA hops
« on: March 25, 2016, 10:58:04 AM »
Sincere apologies for the following shameless copy & paste:

There are several different formulas for calculating IBUs. A lot of people use the Rager formula. However many other people including myself prefer to use Tinseth as it is a little more accurate. Most people use brewing software like BeerSmith or StrangeBrew to run the calculations. However, if you just want to learn to do it by hand, the following is the Taylor-ized Tinseth estimation method that turns out surprisingly consistent with most homebrewing software. These rules are designed for pellet hops used in 5 gallons final boil volume, 60-minute boil, @ approximately 1.060 OG.

 3.6 * oz * AA% = IBUs (bittering with hops added @ about 60 minutes)
 1.6 * oz * AA% = IBUs (flavor @ 10-15 minutes)
 0.6 * oz * AA% = IBUs (aroma @ 5 minutes)

 Add all these together, and then add another +1.5 to the final total.

 For higher gravity worts (e.g., >1.075), the primary factors are reduced somewhat to about 3.0, 1.3, and 0.6 (the last factor stays same). For low gravity worts (e.g., <1.045), the factors are increased to around 4.0, 1.9, and 0.6 (always stays same). Dry hops or very late boil additions add almost zero IBUs and can be ignored unless using a butt-ton, then add maybe an extra 2-4 IBUs, unless you're whirlpooling warm for a long time in which case you should treat them same as flavor additions per the guidance above.

 For different batch volumes other than 5 gallons, you need to multiply the final result by 5/V.

I'd treat FWH the same as a 60-minute addition... since it's in for the same 60 minutes.  If you wanted to you could add an extra 5-10% from any FWH additions to reflect reality, but if you believe in the "smoothness" thing then you might as well not calculate IBUs at all.   ;D

Also, as the others have mentioned, you typically would not adjust amounts of hops late in the boil as far as IBUs go, but keep those amounts the same, and instead only adjust your bittering or FWH amounts to fix the IBUs.  So, figure out the IBUs from all your late additions, then subtract from the IBU goal, and back-calculate your bittering or FWH additions to ensure the IBUs stay the same.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash steps/Beer body/Fermentable sugars
« on: March 25, 2016, 10:40:43 AM »
And a lot depends on the malt you use.  Most malts, especially domestic malts, have so much diastatic power that mash temps make a lot less difference than they used to.

Excellent point.  Try the same experiments with 100% Dark Munich malt and you won't get the same results as with pale malts.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash steps/Beer body/Fermentable sugars
« on: March 25, 2016, 06:17:34 AM »
Why are you mashing at 60C (140 F)? You are converting almost no starch into sugar at that temperature.  In contrast, 65 C (149 F) is a useful mash temperature.

Sent from my XT1095 using Tapatalk

I'll bet a whole hell of a lot more goes on at 60 C (140 F) than most brewers care to recognize or admit.  If we tried it we might even like it.  But like I said.... it's really just more TIME less than 70 C (158 F), and TIME is more of what really matters than temperature.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash steps/Beer body/Fermentable sugars
« on: March 25, 2016, 06:14:36 AM »
I think step mashing is a waste of effort.  You can try it if you like, but probably will not detect much difference compared to single infusion, unless the total rest times are greater with the step mashing than just a single rest.  Time is the biggest variable in my opinion, and which most people tend to ignore.  In my mind, of course a beer mashed for 30 minutes at X temperature and for 30 minutes at Y temperature and another 30 minutes at Z temperature is going to have better attenuation and less body as compared to a single infusion for 60 minutes at Y temperature, because of all the extra time it takes dorking around even getting the wort to those temperatures.  Maybe it takes 10-20 minutes to transition the temperatures between steps, and this adds even more time.  The more time you are in a zone of less than about 70 C, the drier the beer is going to be.  Alternatively, if you really want a dry beer with light body, then just mash for 90 minutes at 65 C and call it a day, and skip all the extra futzing around.  If you want you can also save a whole lot of time and cut that back to 40-45 minutes if you don't want the beer to turn out too dry.

That's my 2.5 cents.

How many actually calculate their actual current AA but looking up the drop off rate and figuring out the current AA by time and storage temp? Probably almost 0% of us.

I did this a few times and then gave up because (a) the various online calculators give wildly different figures, and (b) the creators of the recipes I was using presumably didn't bother making the adjustment at their end, so it was pointless me doing it.

I do wonder how accurate IBU levels could possibly be if alpha acids decline in storage as fast as people say. Getting the right bitterness consistently might actually be impossible for homebrewers. Hopefully someone will tell me otherwise.

For years I have assumed losses for alpha acids based on a swag, not using calculators but attempting to allow for a little common sense based on my own experience.  In real life experience, it seems to me that perception of bitterness is not nearly as bad as any calculators put out.  If for example I have hops that started at 6.0% alpha acid, and I stored them in my refrigerator for 12 months, and a calculator says there should be a loss of 50% of the original so that it would go down to 3.0% alpha acid remaining, I know from experience that if I assume the 3.0% that a calculator provides, my beer will turn out WAY too bitter.  If I instead swag that "meh... maybe it goes down to 5.0% after a year", I have gotten more accurate results, but even in those cases, more often then not, the beer still turns out a little too bitter.  So, either alpha acid is way more stable then people tell us, or else the beta acid takes over at some point and offsets part of the alpha loss.  For some reason I thought I read someplace that as beta acids age, they develop compounds that are MORE bitter instead of less bitter like alpha acids do.  So there might in fact be some sort of balancing act going on.  I can't recall where I picked that up, I'm sure it will be Googled by somebody else.  But anyway, my point........

It's probably impossible to actually use any calculators to try to determine loss of perceived bitterness of hops due to age.  Way too many variables.  You can swag it if you like, but my experience says that the perceived bitterness probably only changes by a maximum of about 0.5% alpha acid equivalent per 12 months, somewhere in that ballpark anyway.  It's not as bad as anyone without experience will tell you, I do know that.

All Grain Brewing / Re: "Extracty" all grain flavor
« on: March 23, 2016, 11:53:37 AM »
That's a lot of crystal.  Love to say "I told you so", but hey, it happens.  I just did it on my last batch, so to say we should have known better... well I dunno, maybe we should have.  Oops.   :D

All Grain Brewing / Re: Red Plum Ale
« on: March 23, 2016, 06:29:49 AM »
That recipe looks pretty tasty.  I'd back off a bit on the Special B though.  Personally I'd never use more than 5%, or maybe 6-7% at the absolute most.  It is a very strong malt.  Other than that, looks great.

All Grain Brewing / Re: "Extracty" all grain flavor
« on: March 23, 2016, 05:47:28 AM »
Possibly too much crystal malt.  Also could be from melanoidin malt or aromatic malt.  I had this happen on my most recent ESB, and I'm sure it's a combination of both.  I used almost 20% crystal malt (too much) plus melanoidin on top of it.  Yeah, I overdid it.  I still like the beer, but it's a bit cloying, and could be perceived by less experienced folks as tasting "extracty" and actually does taste rather "syrupy".

Could also be from too much oxygen in how you handle the fermenting beer.  Do you rack to secondary after the first few days in primary?  If so, don't next time, and then see if the problem goes away in those subsequent batches.  Also you could try purging your racking vessels and kegs (if you keg) with CO2 gas prior to racking to push all the oxygen out before ever racking the beer.  Possibly could also be a leak in your hoses allowing oxygen in.  And along with that...

Could possibly also be a contamination thing.  Are you using old plastic fermenters and hoses?  It's a good practice to replace all that soft stuff at least every ~18 months, because once it gets any small amount of contamination at all, it will never die, no matter how much sanitizer you throw at it.  It builds some kind of immunity to it, and thus just needs to be replaced.  This being said..... this probably is NOT your issue.  It's either oxygen, or recipe formulation, or both, I would have to guess.  I just say it because it's general good practice, and plus, people might sometimes associate "extract" beer flavor with what are actually contamination problems based on beginning brewers using a lot of extract and not quite having the sanitation thing down pat yet.

I kind of blame too much focus on numbers on how the style guides are set up. We're numbers people and I think we focus too much on that.

I have to agree here. You don't taste calculated IBUs.

It's a nice guide for developing your personal taste in a given recipe and nothing more.

Gordon Strong always says "the BJCP guidelines are intended for judging competitions and nothing more" or words to that effect.  If that were true, though, then the numbers wouldn't belong in there at all.  They all should be deleted.  Only thing is... they're not deleted.  Instead, they're tweaked and perfected over time.  How much time and effort has gone into generating and maintaining all those damned numbers over the years, which are supposedly only "for the judges"?!

Methinks the BJCP actually condones that people everywhere are using the guidelines as the homebrewer's bible, knowing very well that we design recipes based on it to the point of ensuring we nail the numbers.

They should really take the numbers out of there.  They don't belong there.  Either that, or admit that the BJCP has had this secret goal of molding how each and every style under the sun is brewed for generations to come by at least all those who cares about "style" and "winning".  Like it or not, the BJCP has evolved to become something way bigger than their original intent.  And thus far, it is apparent that their goals have actually evolved along with the unavoidable natural evolution of how the guidelines are used, and this appears to be truth regardless of their acceptance or refusal to admit it.

The above statements reflect facts and opinions as understood by me myself and do not necessarily reflect those understood by the BJCP organization.  Furthermore, the above statements should be inferred neither to condemn nor to praise the BJCP organization.  The writer of this post, who happens to be BJCP Certified, has developed conflicted thoughts and opinions surrounding the goals and conduct of this organization, his involvement in which he maintains has been a positive experience in net overall, regardless of any perceived criticisms, intentional or not.  Now he'll shut up, and if he wasn't at work, he'd have a beer.  Or actually probably a cider.


To whomever posted the Gulden Draak, I think I've found a beer I'd like to try and clone!  Time for some research on the yeast used by the Brouwerij Van Steenberge.

Please let me know if you come across any good info.  It is one of my absolute favorites.

That's my all-time number one favorite beer as well.  The clone beer book by the Szamatulski's contains a recipe for it, but I'm afraid I haven't tried to brew it yet.  Someday I'll analyze it to death and brew it 5 times in a row until I nail it.

You cannot "clone" a beer.  You can make something in the same vein.

Oh... I dunno..... Chimaybe you can.......  ;)

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