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Messages - dmtaylor

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556
All Grain Brewing / Re: Changing step mash to single
« on: May 06, 2014, 04:28:07 AM »
Decoction is not necessary.  I would mash at 150 F for 45 to 60 minutes.  60 minutes is plenty.  90 minutes is completely unnecessary unless you like really long brew days.

I wouldn't touch the melanoidin, which can get nasty if too much is used.

557
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: alcoholic taste?
« on: May 03, 2014, 05:59:08 AM »
I don't rehydrate US-05 and have never had any issues. I just aerate really well, pitch the yeast, let sit for a few, and give it a good stir to mix it evenly. I realize that my process may be bad but it has worked well up to this point for me.

+100.  I don't rehydrate.  I too am a small batch brewer, so I might just pitch a higher proportion of the packet to compensate for dead yeast.  Always see signs of fermentation within 24 hours pitching it dry.  I love dry yeast.  The easiest way to do something is always what I do as long as it always produces excellent results... and this does.

558
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: alcoholic taste?
« on: May 01, 2014, 08:14:25 AM »
In a beer looking like this...

OG 1.070
FG 1.011
7.8% abv

...you're very likely to taste some alcohol.

It should mellow a bit with age.  Fermentation temperatures are also a factor.  Cooler fermentations (low 60s) will generally produce less fusel alcohols than higher temperatures (upper 60s, 70s, etc.).

559
Beer Travel / Re: St. Louis this weekend
« on: April 30, 2014, 05:02:44 AM »
Schlafly's is very good.  It's been a few years, but I liked Square One a lot as well, and they're also a distillery, so there's that.

If you ever bring kids, the City Museum is an absolute MUST-SEE.  It's the museum that's really not a museum at all... look it up.  Fun for all ages, but kids especially.  I don't fit into some of the tighter spaces anymore....

560
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Digestibility
« on: April 30, 2014, 04:55:59 AM »
It's about dryness and high attenuation.  Low mash temperature (148 F) and a little sugar addition can help.  However, many/most of the Belgian yeasts are high attenuators anyway.  So to the American palate, the low mash temperature and sugar are possibly optional, unless you like your beers quite dry indeed.  Part of it is personal preference.  The Belgians just really don't like sweetish low attenuated beers, in general, so they take measures to avoid this.  The American palate probably doesn't care nearly as much.

561
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sugar & Final Gravity reduction
« on: April 26, 2014, 05:05:01 AM »
If you SUBSTITUTE malt for sugar, then final gravity will decrease.  This is because you've gone from something 65-75% fermentable to 100% fermentable.

But if you were to ADD sugar to an existing recipe, the result goes more like this:

Adding sugar increases the original gravity, but the final gravity will most likely stay the same, or perhaps will decrease by like 1-2 points, maybe, but not that anyone would really notice.  For example:

You have a 1.060 original gravity beer, with an expected final gravity of 1.015.  If you ADD a pound of sugar, your original gravity might go up to 1.070, something like that, while your final gravity stays the same or maybe goes to 1.014.

The result is... more alcohol, with zero impact on the flavor except the greater alcohol.  You've gone from a 6% ABV beer to a 7% ABV beer.  The body and mouthfeel might feel slightly thinner but most likely won't be impacted very much at all.

562
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sulfur Smell from 1 Month Old Beer
« on: April 25, 2014, 02:11:31 PM »
I've gotten it from dates... and wild yeast.  The ancient Sumerian beer.  The sulfur disappeared in a few weeks though.

563
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sulfur Smell from 1 Month Old Beer
« on: April 25, 2014, 11:13:26 AM »
Sulfur always disappears with age.  It will probably be gone in another week or two, although sometimes it takes a little longer.  It might be coming from the raisins, possibly.  Regardless, just needs a little more age.

564
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Estimating color
« on: April 22, 2014, 05:30:09 PM »
As a point of reference, the logo for AHA that you see at the top of your screen is roughly 7.8 SRM.  At least on my monitor.  10 SRM is in "light orange to orange" territory, IMHO.  Perhaps "light copper" but it's pretty light for copper.

I am not familiar with the Great Western malts but it's possible they might be darker than average.  Other variables to consider might include: the age of your malts, the vigor of your boil, whether you are doing a concentrated boil, the thickness and shape of the glassware you are using to measure color... along with this, of course your beer will always look a LOT darker in the fermentation bucket or carboy than it does in your glass, so consider whether this is also a factor?  In the other direction, the presence of any yeast haze in your beer will tend to lighten the color of the beer until it settles out.  Hops, of course, will provide a bit of a green tint temporarily.  Lots of variables to think about.

565
I set my fermenter on top of the refrigerator or the computer desk, whichever is warmer.  Cheap 'n' easy.

566
All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash efficiency survey
« on: April 16, 2014, 07:16:43 AM »
It's interesting to see how identical threads on AHA vs. Northern Brewer have taken quite different paths.

http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=121820&p=1064630#p1064630

567
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I think I'm becoming obsessed
« on: April 14, 2014, 05:42:13 PM »
Sounds very familiar.  Welcome to the obsession.   8)

568
All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Sparge Combo
« on: April 12, 2014, 06:25:31 PM »
Yeah, this is no-sparge.  Your efficiency will suffer, only get upper 50s / low 60s.  However it's a viable method if you want to experiment.

569
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Noob judge observations
« on: April 12, 2014, 10:03:13 AM »
If you have to TRY to find a fault, maybe its not really there. Similarly, if you have to TRY to find greatness, maybe its not really there.

That pretty well sums things up right there -- nice work!

570
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Noob judge observations
« on: April 12, 2014, 05:57:30 AM »
People don't generally make things up.

I disagree.  I think many judges are overzealous in their searches to find some way to use their knowledge to find "flaws" that don't even exist.  They might be afraid to say "this beer tastes great to me" and score it a 42 when it deserves a 42, because they figure they must be missing something if it tastes THAT good, because 42s have historically been relatively rare.  Many judges decide consciously or subconsciously that they should try to be hypercritical of whatever aspects they don't fully understand, whether it be DMS or diacetyl or acetaldehyde or anything else, in an attempt to hide the fact that they truly don't fully understand it.  They want to look like they know what they're talking about, especially if they have rank at Recognized or above.  Yes, this is very unfortunate, but I believe it to be true.

I am Certified, by the way.  I do hope that this phenomenon is far less common with Certifieds and above.  But of course, we may never really know.  Some folks are better than others at looking like they know what they're talking about even if they don't.

Don't take my word for it, either.  Go ahead and come to your own conclusions.

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