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Messages - dmtaylor

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dry yeast for English styles
« on: September 22, 2014, 10:20:37 AM »
I forgot about Munton's.  I believe I've had pretty good experience with that one as well, although it's been many many years.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: color contributions from dark yeast slurry
« on: September 22, 2014, 09:29:35 AM »
I have done this before with a Dortmunder that turned out a deep copper color because the yeast came from a porter or stout.  I entered my dark Dort into a competition as an ESB and it took 2nd or 3rd.  Crazy, I know, but that was also about 10 years ago before some people knew better.  Still put a grin on my face though.   ;D

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Suggestions for wild yeast
« on: September 22, 2014, 07:27:15 AM »
Why not make a regular 5 or 6 gallon batch or whatever, but then just take about one gallon out of it as a test batch for your wild yeast, and pitch normal yeast to the other 4-5 gallons.  Then you'll have both a regular batch and a little of it wild.  You could bottle or keg the two sub-batches separately, or if you want to do a blend at the end of fermentation, you could do that as well.  So that is my suggestion: Keep things separated, then figure out what to do with the different portions later.  I do this a lot with my ciders as well as my beers.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dry yeast for English styles
« on: September 22, 2014, 05:08:36 AM »
Now I just tasted my Pete's Wicked Ale again that is still in primary but ready to bottle... and although the attenuation has stopped dead at 61% and FG=1.021, it doesn't taste nearly that heavy, not at all, so I have decided to bottle it as-is without any need for Notty or other additional yeast.  Just thought I should mention it.  Seems a good idea to add more yeast, but in my case, at least, it doesn't seem to be necessary.  I'll admit, I'm surprised, but I try not to argue with my sense of taste versus "the numbers".

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dry yeast for English styles
« on: September 21, 2014, 06:14:41 PM »
Great idea using two yeasts with Windsor -- I think I might give that a try!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dry yeast for English styles
« on: September 20, 2014, 04:55:48 AM »
I haven't used many besides Notty, which is a favorite.  But I think Notty might be too clean and high attenuating (77-78% every time) for most true English beer styles.  I have not been impressed with S-04 yet, but I only used it once.

Now on my last batch I just used the dry Windsor ale yeast, and it seems tasty, but attenuation really sucks.  I mashed at 150 F for 65 minutes, and only got 61% attenuation.  Now the recipe did have 20% crystal, so that might also play a role.  But the beer doesn't taste terribly thick and flabby either, it tastes quite good actually.  Might be worth a shot, but be sure to mash low and slow, and perhaps reserve it for low OG beers <1.050 so the flabbiness isn't too prevalent.  Windsor is also an absolute beast.  I pitched and fermented at 64 F, and it went from 0-61% attenuation in just 48 hours -- no exaggeration.  It is also literally a bottom-fermenting yeast -- you will get virtually zero krauesen, it just settles to the bottom immediately and does all its work down there, and stays there.  I have been swirling the fermenter (still in primary) once or twice a day for the past few days to try to eek a couple more points of attenuation out of it, but it is almost crystal clear again after a few hours, so it might just be time to bottle it now.

That's kind of a lot of Special B.  Your beer will taste like Special B.  Hope you like it.  I love it.

Ingredients / Re: Is Wet Hopping BS?
« on: September 18, 2014, 01:50:22 PM »
Pumpkin beers.  NOW that is a craze that is overblown.

Amen!  Hallelujah!

And then there's the pumpkin CIDERS.  God help us.

Other Fermentables / Re: First Cider
« on: September 18, 2014, 09:09:01 AM »
I rack mine often purposely to slow fermentation and to retain sweetness.  Otherwise my ciders would all finish below 0.998 and that is not the preference of myself and probably most other novice cider makers.

Ingredients / Re: Is Wet Hopping BS?
« on: September 17, 2014, 02:36:43 PM »
Wet hopping is another scatterbrained American idea based on idolization of hops and just plain American silliness.  It is not just a fad, as it will never die, but that doesn't mean we all need to like it.

I grow my own hops and I dry them.  I like to know the percent solids so that I know I harvested at the right time (shooting for 21% or more), and this helps to get a rough guess of how much alpha acid I have per unit dry weight compared to the commercial guys.  AA% varies from year to year but is often higher than commercial, and I know this because I know my dry weight.  Otherwise I would pretty much be forced to just throw them all into an IPA every year, and that's..... unoriginal and very American.

Although contrary to what you read here... I am in fact proud to be an American.  It's just that I am also proud to be an Earthling.

All Grain Brewing / Re: mash temp for porter
« on: September 17, 2014, 01:31:14 PM »
I have not noticed any attenuation problems from dark roasted malts.  Attenuation is more dependent on the mash temperature and time, and the yeast strain used.  Often times, a porter or stout will specify use of English or Irish strains of yeast.  These typically are poor attenuators.  So, consider whether the yeast is more your "problem" than anything else.

Also consider that some folks like me mash ALL their beers low at 148-151 F.  It's just what I like best, and might be what you like too.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Low FG, any fix?
« on: September 15, 2014, 11:00:45 AM »
I have had the same hydrometer since I started in 1999.  Over the years I have dropped my hydrometer several times (without breaking!!), and each time it seems to change the calibration a little bit.  For many years it read high by 0.002, and for the past 3-4 years it has been high by 0.003.  No big deal.  Measure clean water at 60-70 F and just remember to always add or subtract the number of points necessary to hit 1.000 for all readings.

The next time I drop it will probably be the last.  I don't know how it can last so long, but I know its days are numbered.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Low FG, any fix?
« on: September 15, 2014, 04:52:15 AM »
Fermentation is complete.  Mid-60s for attenuation is as high as the Irish ale yeast can get.

I think you could add a pound of sugar or brown sugar if you like to bring effective OG up.  But it won't change the FG, it will still end at about 1.020 plus or minus one point.  I would dissolve the sugar in 2 cups water, bring to a boil, cool, and add to your fermenter.  Then give another week for it to ferment out.  This should get you closer to what you wanted.

Ingredients / Re: Advice on using Maple Syrup
« on: September 15, 2014, 04:33:47 AM »
2 lb maple syrup will dry out your beer a lot.  To compensate, mash really high at like 156 F for just 40 minutes and/or add a half pound of lactose.  If at the end of ferment it does not taste mapley enough, add a little fenugreek which is the artificial flavor used in artificial syrup.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mini batch newbie
« on: September 13, 2014, 01:19:44 PM »
I make 1.7-gallon batches most of the time.  Just brewed one today.  Always BIAB.  I debated whether to steep the bag in the sparge water, or to just pour the water over the top.  Given the amount of particulate matter, I decided to pour everything through the bag to help filter that stuff out.  I've made good beers both ways but in this case I wanted to ensure perfection and the best clarity possible, so... basically fly sparge in a colander, works really fast for small batches like 1 or 1.7 gallons.  Not so easy for 5 gallons as you'll often get a stuck sparge, and thus be stuck holding that huge kettle of 3-3.5 gallons sparge water or whatever for a really really long time, ouch.  Only takes 5-10 minutes with small batches.  Love the small batches.

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