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Messages - dmtaylor

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Thin and bland - culprits?
« on: January 06, 2016, 12:10:04 PM »
I'm still most concerned about whether you're doing a protein rest -- that's numero uno.  Yet no one is talking about it.

I don't think pH is the issue.  Also don't think mash time, not really... a low & slow mash will increase attenuation by a couple points, but won't hurt body like a protein rest will.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Thin and bland - culprits?
« on: January 06, 2016, 10:35:50 AM »
I typically mash around 150F for 75 minutes, but have done some Hochkurz step infusion mashes as well with the same results.

Do you incorporate a protein rest?  A protein rest is certain to kill body.  Don't ever do a protein rest.

The length of mash time is also too much.  Try just 40 minutes as I do -- works great.

You say you think this might be a yeast issue, but you didn't tell us what yeast you use.  In any case, I seriously seriously doubt the problem is related to yeast.  It's a mash issue.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: US-05 Smells Like Bread Yeast
« on: January 03, 2016, 12:53:26 PM »
Hmm.  I suppose it can happen with any yeast.  The most bready yeast I have ever used in my life was Wyeast 1007.  That stuff tastes wonderful!  If you like bread at all.  Probably would make awesome bread.

Wild mold and bacteria are turning it slimy.  Try adding a teaspoon of bleach once per week.  That is what I do for my (real) humidifier.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Amylase Question
« on: December 30, 2015, 08:33:55 PM »
Starch plus amylase in the 140-160 F temperature range will give you fermentable sugars, regardless of whether it's boiled or not boiled.  For the same reason, you can convert an otherwise poorly fermentable malt extract via a mini-mash with enzymatic base malt.  I've done it.  It works.  If you wanted to run an oddball experiment, you could boil potatoes or rice into a sort of starch soup, then add malt and mash to convert it all to sugars.  Yep, it works.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Ah yes, winter brewing
« on: December 30, 2015, 07:25:48 AM »
We got 13 inches.  I have two snowblowers.  Both of them are broken.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: evaluating dark beers
« on: December 23, 2015, 06:18:59 AM »
Okay, so maybe it's not chlorophenol.  Could still be regular phenols or who knows what.  I wouldn't know unless I tasted it for myself.  Hey, I know.... send me a plane ticket to Belgium so I can come over and taste your beers!  Then I can be of much more help to you.  ;)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: evaluating dark beers
« on: December 23, 2015, 05:07:24 AM »
I must say it again...... look into chlorine, and chlorophenol.  Campden is your friend with otherwise untreated tapwater.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Nutrient
« on: December 23, 2015, 05:02:16 AM »
I use nutrient for beers with finicky yeasts (Belgians jump to mind) or when fermentation gets stuck.  For cider and mead where I want to keep fermentation as slow and controllable as possible to maintain sweetness, I never use nutrient.  I promise it makes great beverages with no nutrient required.  These latter fermentations never get stuck for me, so in my view any reasons for using it are defeated.

Other Fermentables / Re: Yeast Nutrient and Cider
« on: December 23, 2015, 04:53:03 AM »
Takes at least 2 months or maybe 3.  I keep wondering if I should bottle mine from October -- I probably could but I am also lazy and it is likely still fermenting anyway.  A couple of my 4 batches are definitely still slightly active yet.  Guess I should check on all 4 again and see where they are at.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: evaluating dark beers
« on: December 22, 2015, 05:27:19 AM »
Could be the water.  Do you have a full water report?  Is the water chlorinated and treated to get rid of chlorine??

Could it be that everyone is using the same or similar poorly crafted malts or recipes?  Like too much black patent?  Can you share any recipes?

Could it be that the beers you tasted were just fine but you personally were just not in the mood for dark beers last night?

Other Fermentables / Re: Krausen and Cider
« on: December 22, 2015, 05:19:36 AM »
Sometimes there is krausen but not always.  Usually there will be some for the first few days but after that it's gone.  But sometimes none at all.  But if you have a clear fermenter and good eyesight you can always see CO2 fizz bubbles going up -- that's a sure sign of fermentation, besides the change in specific gravity.  This all makes sense because cider is very low in protein, unlike beer which has plenty of protein -- protein is one of the primary building blocks of foam.

Other Fermentables / Re: Yeast Nutrient and Cider
« on: December 22, 2015, 05:11:53 AM »
My garage here in Wisconsin has ranged from 30s to 60s with an overall average of 45-50 F.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What's your favorite Cider yeast?
« on: December 21, 2015, 09:32:47 AM »
The one nice thing about the Scottish ale yeast is that it doesn't ferment so dry.  Should finish above 1.000, especially if fermented cool around 60 F.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What's your favorite Cider yeast?
« on: December 21, 2015, 07:41:48 AM »
Scottish ale yeast was the favorite in Zymurgy.  I thought it was okay.  But still not better than the two best cider yeasts on Earth: Cote des Blancs, and US-05.  Cote des Blancs is super clean, sweet, and appley.  US-05 adds a slight crackery flavor and ends up more tart for some reason, but is very enjoyable.

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