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Messages - dmtaylor

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Beer Recipes / Re: first saison
« on: July 13, 2016, 11:21:31 AM »
I'm not familiar with Belle, but 3711 is easy to use and I like the results I get.


Beer Recipes / Re: first saison
« on: July 13, 2016, 11:20:09 AM »
I think your recipe is great, the ingredients will not clash but should work well.

Belle Saison yeast has about 96% apparent attenuation.  I think your final gravity will probably be about 1.002, and that's without any added sugar.  Add a half pound or pound of sugar if you like and it could fall to 1.000 or anywhere in those ballparks.

Key thing to note, though: Belle/3711 is a trickster yeast.  You'll think it's done fermenting after a week or whatever, but it's not.  Let it sit for an entire month if you want low gravity.  It will keep on chugging very very very slooooooowly over the course of three more weeks.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why Do You Homebrew?
« on: July 11, 2016, 01:10:22 PM »
Homebrewing allows me to embrace my geekiness and have beer available all the time.  And it also allowed me to join my homebrew club, which is a great bunch of friends that also have beer available all the time.  About 75% of my social life is homebrew-related, so either I'm a loser or I have a great social life. 8)

Excellent points!  I'm in the same boat.  Were it not for homebrewing, my social life would be... ???

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why Do You Homebrew?
« on: July 11, 2016, 07:16:50 AM »
I homebrew as a creative outlet as well as to satisfy my neverending nerdy need to generate Excel spreadsheets about stuff.  It bridges my loves for cooking, science, and beer in such a perfect manner.  I can get as nerdy as I want, and as creative as I want, and in the end, well, it's BEER, so you know you'll want to drink it.  :)

Is anyone degassing and/or adding staggered nutrients to cider, as one does with mead?

Not on purpose, and no.  I haven't found these things to be of any benefit whatsoever to final cider quality.

My only concern in reconsidering this is that maybe if I stir in the Campden and then immediately put the lid on the cooler, I'm somehow inhibiting the process?

I do believe it is important to let the treated water offgas in the open for at least 5 or 10 minutes.  But that is just a hunch at this point -- I have not looked up the actual chemical reactions.  If chlorine gas needs to escape but is trapped, this could be a problem.

They dissolve pretty quickly.  Crushing is important though.

I think you might be asking a lot of the right questions!  My experiences on this are a bit vague, but I do seem to detect a higher probability of chlorophenols in darker beers, and I must admit I have even experienced very very slight levels of chlorophenols in my beers with the "regular" dose of 1/4 Campden tablet in 5 gallons.  Perhaps it truly, truly is time to step up the Campden and use more, just to see if that helps.  I really don't think it will hurt anything.  Why aren't we using 1/2 Campden for 5 gallons or a whole Camden for 10 gallons?!  It's cheap and effective!  Maybe more really is better!!!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Oktoberfest Ale
« on: July 10, 2016, 05:59:43 AM »
So I will be doing a BIAB for the recipe I listed in the first post and it uses irish moss. I have seen a lot more people using gelatin as opposed to irish moss. Is there any significant difference?

Also, this will be my first BIAB and I am wondering how much I should be using for my starting water. I have seen a lot of people use 6.5 when doing BIAB for a 5 gal batch. Does that seem about right? Also I have seen some people sparge when doing BIAB. Should you sparge to increase your efficiency when doing BIAB if you have a way of doing that? Such as a turkey frier with the bag attached to the fry basket?

Difference between Irish moss and gelatin: Gelatin works.  Irish moss doesn't always work.  That's my experience.

Grains soak up 0.1 gallons per pound, so account for the amount of grains when calculating water.  And then of course you'll probably be boiling off a gallon if you boil for 60-75 minutes, so add a gallon for that.  Then if you want to leave any sediment behind from the grains or cold break, add a quart or two for that.  You might need 6.5 gallons, might need 7 gallons -- it's all up to you and your own experience.  You'll have to play around for a couple of batches to find out all your own adjustments to use.

Yes, I am an advocate for sparging with BIAB to improve efficiency.  There's two ways of sparging BIAB that I have experience with:

1) The simple dunk sparge.  You need a separate kettle to heat up sparge water, and then either dunk the heavy grain bag into that kettle if it's big enough (probably not) or pour the hot water into a 6-gallon bucket and dunk that way, then mix all the wort back together into the main kettle.

2) The colander/basket sparge.  Still requires a second kettle for heating up sparge water.  From there you essentially have to place your grain bag into the colander or basket over yet another bucket and or drain the hot sparge water over it.  This method can be effective but is very very slow, and for that reason I don't do it much anymore.  Dunking is easy.

With these methods and a good crush, you can achieve 85-90% or even higher efficiency.  However, I'm also not an advocate for that either.  Sometimes, good enough really is good enough.  If your efficiency without a sparge is 75% or more, it might be best just to skip the sparge altogether, seriously.  I sparge nowadays for the biggest gravity beers, but for smaller beers (<1.055 or so) I usually skip it because you can get great efficiency just from draining the bag and moving on.


Ingredients / Re: Advice on adding Basil to a Saison
« on: July 08, 2016, 07:15:02 AM »
I've done basil.  Warning: It's powerful.  Like I say with pretty much any herbs... do a bit of research to find out exactly how much you think you should use based on feedback from the interwebs.  Then use only 1/3 as much because they're all wrong.  I used dried basil so not sure how much to use wet.

As for methods of addition, vodka tinctures adding on bottling/kegging day are the only way to go.  Soak overnight then add the flavored vodka.


Ingredients / Re: Adding Citrus Peel to light ale
« on: July 08, 2016, 07:01:35 AM »
The best is to use FRESH peel, soaked in vodka for a few hours or overnight, then add just the flavored vodka on bottling day after fermentation is complete.  So if you want to try that, you've still got time to pick up some fresh fruit.

Otherwise, with the dried peels, I would figure about 5 minutes in the boil, or at flameout, would give just a bit of flavor, and a slight bitterness as well.

Cheers and hope you like the results.  Please share when it's done.

Ingredients / Re: The BEST Hefe Ingredients... Please
« on: July 06, 2016, 12:32:01 PM »
Just jumping in to high jack, whats a good mash temp for a German Hefe? No experience brewing one, but think I would like to in the near future

Someone else will have another opinion, but in my opinion.... mash temperatures just really don't matter that much.  Shoot for 151 F for 45 minutes.  If a little higher or lower or longer time, no big deal.

Ingredients / Re: The BEST Hefe Ingredients... Please
« on: July 06, 2016, 11:06:07 AM »
Are you talking about Witbier?

Good question.  OP, what say you?

Assuming you're talking about a Germen hefeweizen.....

I'm in the boat of folks who will say that the ingredients don't matter nearly as much as the choice of YEAST and the fermentation temperature, and personal preference!  What's great to one taster is terrible to another, and what's trash is treasure to another, vicy-versy and all that.  Personal taste is more important than anything else really.  But assuming you're the average joe who enjoys a fine German hefe....

You're most likely going to want to do a severe underpitch of WLP380, like only 1/4 to 1/2 the vial for 5 gallons, with NO yeast starter, fermenting in the low to mid 60s Fahrenheit.  Severe underpitching is crucial for maximum clove and banana and maybe even bubblegum, and cool temperatures help keep it balanced.  Hotter temperatures make the clove go away and promote bubblegum flavors.  If you pitch the standard rate per, you are likely to be disappointed no matter what you do with temperatures.  In any event, drink it young -- this is one style that needs to be consumed within a month or two of brewing.  After that, it turns into a very plain jane orange ale as all the clove and banana and other esters completely vanish.

If you just want to brew something crazy, and not a traditional hefe, then I dunno where you want to go with that, but it's not a hefe at that point as far as this style nazi is concerned.   ;D

And if you're actually talking about witbier, then my advice is to go easy on the coriander, using half as much as anyone else suggests, and a decent healthy pitch of WLP400 for a month, and you're good to go. 

Malt bills are super easy with all these.  Half wheat and half something else.  Done.  Hops are a no-brainer.  I love Hallertau.  Tett or other nobles or noble-like varieties are fine.  Bittering additions only.  No late hops necessary at all, unless you want to be wild and crazy or whatever.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Oktoberfest Ale
« on: July 05, 2016, 12:35:17 PM »
Like Dave says, WY1007 is as close to a lager yeast as you can get in an ale yeast.  But no matter what yeast you use, it won't be very lager like unless you can find a way to ferment it cool and somehow keep it cold afterwards.

I don't know. Some of Brulosophy's exbeeriments might casually suggest that fermentis 34/70 can ferment above 60F with decent "lager-like" results. That dry strain seems to be fairly forgiving. That might also be an option for you. But either way, keeping your initial fermentation as cool as you can is really the key to producing a mock lager.

Brulosophy also had great success with WLP029 Kolsch yeast which I would also recommend trying.  Very clean stuff indeed, even in upper 60s in my experience.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Oktoberfest Ale
« on: July 05, 2016, 11:30:21 AM »
I really love the Wyeast 1007 altbier yeast.  I'll bet it's as close as anyone can get to a true lager without lagering.  It would be helpful if you can use ice blocks to get it down to about 60 F if you can.  And/or, run an experiment and try it warm and see how that turns out.

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