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Messages - dmtaylor

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Beer Recipes / Re: 100% Vienna Lager
« on: October 16, 2015, 11:59:26 AM »
I've not gone 100% yet, but on my last one, which I really loved, I did use 76% Vienna, with the rest being Munich and CaraMunich.  Turned out fantabulous with the 2206 yeast.  No pilsner malt necessary at all.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The Hop You Hate
« on: October 16, 2015, 10:16:00 AM »
To be exact, 4MMP is present in tomcat urine. If you have an un-neutered male cat who is spraying, that's where you're going to find it. It is not a generic "cat pee" smell necessarily. It is also present in blackcurrants, tomato plants and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, among other things.

This is interesting, as I was going to suggest "tomato leaves" as an alternate descriptor.  Sounds like others might agree.  Whatever it is, it's stanky... or delicious, depending on personal preferences or mood.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: and one day it happens...
« on: October 16, 2015, 09:34:22 AM »
For me, it was my Vienna lager.  I'd tried to make Oktoberfest many times but always messed up something -- usually I think it had to do with the yeast selection and fermentation control more than anything else.  Finally, I made a Vienna lager with 2206, it was my first time using that particular yeast strain, and as you know, Vienna and Oktoberfest are almost identical styles (some might say that they really are one and the same).  Anyway....... it was just about the finest lager I have ever made.  Need to brew that one again soon.  I think it really was all about the yeast.  2206.  Accept no substitutes.  Except maybe for W-34/70, I've made a fantastic helles with that one as well, though the beer didn't keep for long, went stale after 6 months.  Again, probably my fault.  I need to brew some lagers this winter.  Really need to.  But of course I have a long waiting list of ales I want to make, so I don't know how I can squeeze all of it in........

Also, the first time I ever made a dubbel, it was fantastic and scored a 41.  I have tried making it two or three times since then, and it's never been quite the same!  Still chasing that one.  Next time I am going to try underpitching and see where that gets me.  Again, with respect to yeast, it's definitely got to be WLP530.  Accept no substitutes!  That much I do know.  Wyeast ain't the same, no way no how, not with my best dubbel anyway.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Partial Mash Time
« on: October 16, 2015, 07:29:00 AM »
No need to steep your grains for any added amount of time on and extract + steeping grains brew! Just throw them in the kettle as you're heating your water, then pull them once you get to ~170F. That should save you a big chunk of time right there...

Well that's true, too, as long as none of the grains need to be mashed.  Crystal malts and the deeply roasted grains only require a steep, no mash.  However base malts that need to be mashed also contribute flavor.  So....... take your pick.... what's more important: time savings, or base malt flavor?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Partial Mash Time
« on: October 16, 2015, 07:23:51 AM »
That sounds reasonable.  Although I might also argue that if you're going to add some base malt in there anyway, why not use a whole bunch of base malt and just make it an all-grain batch?!  ;)

Brew day also goes a whole lot faster if you do smaller batches, if that suits your fancy at all.  I gradually went down from 5 gallons to 3, then 2.5, and now 1.7.  Figure out the minimum that you would be happy with, because the smaller you go, the easier it gets.  And you can do it all-grain, if you want.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The Hop You Hate
« on: October 16, 2015, 07:08:18 AM »
Well, Dave, this is why entering competitions is pointless, in my opinion. It's not a pissing contest and we do this to make good beer. Competitions are there for people to get their egos stroked. Sure they can provide good feedback to beginners, but otherwise, as an experienced brewer with a developed palate, you're going to get crap like that from time to time (or all the time).

After entering three competitions recently, with for one example my smoked apple ale scoring anywhere from 24 on the low end to 45 and 2nd Best of Show on the high end... I am coming to the same conclusion.  This crapshoot of having to enter at least 3 competitions for every beer in order to get 1 or 2 good quality scoresheets back is no longer worth the ~$100 in entry fees and shipping.  I've become a better judge and critic of my own beer than 90% of these posers that I am paying to judge my beer for me.  I might not enter many competitions anymore.  Still, I do crave the occasional stroking of ego.  But only if it's cheap, or where I stand a good chance to win $500 or whatever (Arktoberfest, anyone?).

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The Hop You Hate
« on: October 16, 2015, 07:01:04 AM »
I really do think it's such a unique hop, it's a love it or hate it thing.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Partial Mash Time
« on: October 16, 2015, 06:59:15 AM »
I know Dave does the short mash time around 40minutes..likely 150F and above?

Correct.  My average mash temp is actually about 149.5 F.  I'm considering raising my average to closer to 151-152 F for a while to see what difference it makes.  Probably could mash even shorter, perhaps just 30-35 minutes at the higher temperature, but that's only an educated guess at this time.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The Hop You Hate
« on: October 16, 2015, 06:56:52 AM »
Can I hug you, Jim?  Are you offering me a hug?  Please?  ;)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The Hop You Hate
« on: October 16, 2015, 06:32:05 AM »
Hate Mosaic and Simcoe.  I have many cats.  I know what cat pee smells like.  I don't need it in my beer.

Love Sorachi Ace.  My Sorachi Ace IPA tastes fantastic.  BJCP judges do not agree with this sentiment.  Scored low 20s in two competitions in the standard IPA category, with all sorts of make-believe descriptors including "diacetyl" and "phenolic".  Sorry, jerks (not you, them), there's no diacetyl or phenols in this beer; you just don't like Sorachi Ace and you don't know why if it's not specified as a Specialty IPA, so then you make crap up so you can score it down.  Nice.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Partial Mash Time
« on: October 16, 2015, 06:18:40 AM »
Well...... pretty close.  But I'd still recommend 40 minutes if you can spare another 10 minutes of your time.  It will make a bit of difference on efficiency and fermentability.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Correct Category for a Kottbusser
« on: October 15, 2015, 11:25:34 AM »
In the reading i've done I've not seen it referred to as a "sour".  Kotbusser is discussed in the Nov/Dec 2014 of Zymurgy.   They provide a recipe for the Grimm Bros.   The article provides good insights to the original and beer profile.   After discussions I'm going to submit this as a Kolsch and see what happens from there.   Cheers!

It is not clear to me whether or not the style was sour, but I imagine it might have been.  Ron Pattinson presents the idea that Kottbusser was a sour style in his Vintage Beer book (excellent book!).  He gets all his information from actual historical research, not hearsay.  He found an actual recipe and translated from German.  At his blog he states:

"The proportion of the grains was 60% barley, 32% wheat and 8% oats.  I got the OG to around 1090 with my calculation, which seems very high... The hopping rate is very low.  The brew was about 14 imperial barrels. Six pounds of hops gives a hopping rate of just 0.43 lbs to the barrel.  Not sure what effect the small amount of honey and sugar would have.  It seems way too little to me to be worth the trouble."

And here's some more pages and recipe ideas for the sour version of the style:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Correct Category for a Kottbusser
« on: October 15, 2015, 09:35:41 AM »
Hmm.  Either Ron Pattinson's assertion that Kottbusser was a sour beer is a little off, or else the revival of this style does not require that it is soured.  In my thinking, this probably really was a Lacto soured beer and predecessor of Berliner weisse.  Since it's all ancient history, I suppose the style today is whatever we imagine it to be.  For the above recipe, it's really somewhat of an imperial Kolsch.  If you're not afraid of Lacto, I would suggest adding some to at least a portion of the batch, to see how that turns out.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Correct Category for a Kottbusser
« on: October 15, 2015, 06:44:43 AM »
Kottbusser is a sour German style much like an Imperial Berliner weisse, yes?  You could just enter as a Berliner weisse, maybe the judges won't notice the extra flavor and alcohol and/or you just might win the category as a result of that anyway.

Gone?  You mean, like, gone from this Earth??????

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