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Messages - dmtaylor

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Beer Recipes / Re: What did I brew?
« on: March 30, 2014, 09:33:36 PM »
Looks to me like you're smack dab in Irish Red territory, so you could certainly call the one with Irish yeast an Irish red.  Otherwise it comes closest to a Northern Brown, but not quite brown enough.  You could try adding a little tea made out of a quart of water and some roasted barley or darker chocolate malt if you want to bring the color down another notch, but it's your beer so of course this is optional -- you've still made good beer!  But I think you'll be alright calling it a red ale -- one Irish, and one English I guess, but should fit as an Irish if you wanted to BJCP it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Consensus while judging?
« on: March 30, 2014, 03:51:41 AM »
Yes, this occurs when one or more bullheaded judges don't know what the hell they are talking about.  Happens a lot, unfortunately.  I am VERY much AGAINST competition organizers FORCING judges to compromise to come within a certain number of points of one another.  Why not allow each individual to speak for himself/herself!?  Taste and desire is a little subjective.  No one on Earth should be allowed to dictate to another person that what they perceive as desirable or undesirable is wrong.  Yes we have style guidelines for a reason.  No they are not perfect or all-encompassing.  And I am sorry, but I have seen Master judges make as many mistakes as Recognized judges.  We are all human and we should all be entitled to our own opinions.  Compromise drives me crazy.  Leave me alone to do my job the best way I know how based on my own experience, and let the entrant be the judge of the judges as to which one is on mark and which is on base (if any).

The Germans would say that a little sulfur is the sign of a good fresh beer.  Personally, I don't like H2S or SO2 in my beer either, but hey, it's true, ain't it.  The best thing you can do obviously is to let your beer age for a couple of weeks, after which the sulfur will be gone.  I have heard of the copper method before but never tried it myself.  I know people swear that it works.  My bet is that with the copper and another week of aging, the sulfur might very well be completely gone by then.  I wish you luck.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: DR after ferment complete?
« on: March 29, 2014, 09:18:49 AM »
Warming it up for a few days at this point certainly will not hurt anything.  But how does it taste??  If it doesn't taste like diacetyl, then why worry about it.  If it does, then you can warm it up and hope for the best.  If warmup doesn't work, then add a vigorously fermenting yeast starter.  Nothing else will clean it up but live yeast.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Conversion time trame
« on: March 29, 2014, 04:42:17 AM »
I've never done an iodine test.  I've brewed about 40 batches with mash times of just 40 minutes.  Average batch size = 2.5 gallons.  Crush = very hard, lots of flour.  Average mash temperature = 149 F.  Average efficiency = upper 80s.  Average attenuation = 75% (depends on yeast strain used, etc.).  I never do a mashout.

Believe it or not, you've got a ton of sugars produced in just the first 10 minutes of the mash.  The problem is you've still got a lot of convertible starches left at that point as well.  With a proper crush, after 30 minutes, most of the starches have been converted, but the sugars produced are relatively unfermentable ones.  The extra time to 40-45 minutes is needed to change those unfermentable sugars to fermentable ones.  If I would mash for a full 60-90 minutes, would my efficiency improve?  Yeah, by like 1-2 gravity points -- big whoop.  Would fermentability improve?  Yeah, by like 1-2 gravity points.  I suck this up and quit the mash at 40 minutes, and have been very happy for many years.  And hey, I saved 20+ minutes of my life on every batch.  Try it and see for yourself.

You don't need no stinking iodine for the beer to turn out great.  However it certainly would help if you crush hard.  Crush till you're scared.  If you do, your efficiency will shoot up by about 10 points overnight.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Grainy Pils flavor
« on: March 28, 2014, 10:37:15 AM »
I always figured pilsner malt has a slightly honey-like flavor that you get from no other malt.  I love it.  Yeah, it's from the malt itself, not from the sparge or process.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Odd "nutty" taste in dark beers??
« on: March 23, 2014, 11:02:37 AM »
It could be the Maris Otter as well.  I once made an IPA with a small portion of Maris Otter that I toasted in my oven at like 350 F for 30 minutes, something like that, aiming for a more biscuity flavor, however the resulting beer tasted exactly like peanuts.  Maris Otter has major tendencies of being nutty.  Try American 2-row next time and see if the issue goes away.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Yeast Remains or Worse?
« on: March 23, 2014, 06:08:13 AM »
How does it taste?  That is the key.  If it tastes fine, then it IS fine.  Still, you might want to drink it up within a couple of months, as any infection might take that long to take hold, and of course also take extra special care of sanitation on your next batch, just to be sure.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Low to no carbonation
« on: March 23, 2014, 05:21:05 AM »
Just bring them out of the refrigerator and let them carbonate at room temperature for another week, maybe 10 days, and then they should be fine.  You're just eager, understandably, and need a little more patience.  Yeast is alive and works on its own time, not on human time.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Quality of All grain vs. Extract
« on: March 22, 2014, 11:13:09 AM »
Oh, man... all grain is so easy.... best way to get started is BIAB, use a calculator to figure your strike water temperature, shoot for low 150s to mash in, wait >40 minutes, pull the bag, rinse if you want or skip if you want....... yum.  We make things a heck of a lot more complicated than they need to be.  As long as you have good tasting water, and can get that temperature in the 150s quickly and keep it there for a little while, you're going to make great beer.  All the sugars you need with more flavor and less cost.  We make things so much more complicated than they need to be........

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Quality of All grain vs. Extract
« on: March 21, 2014, 05:52:54 PM »
If you have undesirable water you will make undesirable beer whether extract or all grain.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Quality of All grain vs. Extract
« on: March 20, 2014, 07:00:41 PM »
You can make great beer with extract.  However you also need to use a good proportion of grains to make it taste grainy at all, otherwise it just tastes kind of bland and lacking oomph.  It's like making "milk" out of powdered milk.  Might have all the same vitamins and minerals as real milk, but it sure as heck doesn't taste like real milk, because something is lost in all the processing.

I do think it's possible to make great extract beers.  However, it requires real skill.  I think the best extract brewer in the world might be about as good as a novice all-grain brewer.  In other words, it's easier to make great all-grain beer than with extract.  Great extract brewing requires some skill and know-how.  All-grain, well, yeah, you need to know the basics, but if you know how to steep grains at all, any schmuck can make great beer with the BIAB method, if not a mash and sparge.

Okay, I think I've made my points 5 different ways now = enough.  :)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lager fermentation
« on: March 19, 2014, 03:54:22 PM »
Woo-hoo!  ;)


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lager fermentation
« on: March 19, 2014, 04:57:37 AM »
I see torches and pitchforks.... screw Wyeast! I think they are totally different!

It's not like that.  I'd just prefer to substantiate with a scientific document is all.  If Wyeast is correct, then this information would likely be freely and independently available elsewhere on the internet someplace -- no?  I would love to know the truth, that's all I want to know.  If it really is all the same species, this does make sense to me, even if it goes against everything that everyone's been taught.  The differences are slight to where I can agree that they might truly be the same species.  Without substantiation, I just don't know it in my own mind to be fact yet.  No torches or pitchforks required.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lager fermentation
« on: March 18, 2014, 07:34:15 PM »
Okay... so... Wyeast is the only friggin webpage on the planet that says lager yeast and ale yeast are the same species.  I Googled and Googled and couldn't find one single news article or Wiki-anything telling me that the two species had been combined.  Go ahead and look, and let me know if you can find an independent source of the information that has two of its own legs to stand on.  Ready, set, go!

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