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Messages - dmtaylor

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fleischmann's Yeast
« on: September 08, 2014, 03:40:04 AM »
I used it once.  If you like beer or cider or wine that tastes like bread yeast, then bread yeast will do that for you.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: need advise on grains
« on: September 07, 2014, 07:31:25 AM »
Is the OP's recipe for 5 gallons?  If so, the original gravity will be way too high for a brown or mild.  This is more of an old ale at 1.071 -- wowser!  Cut the amber malt back by 2 pounds if you want it to style.  As for specialty malts.... first of all, you'll want to double your chocolate malt to 1/2 pound, and secondly, add 1/4 pound of either Special Roast or Victory malt.  Also... egad, that's too many IBUs.  Knock down the Northern Brewer hops to 1 oz unless you like it super bitter.

Other Fermentables / Re: First Cider
« on: September 04, 2014, 12:42:32 PM »
Check your specific gravity about once per week for the next month.  If/when the gravity doesn't change anymore, it will be safe to bottle.  Your guess is as good as mine as to when it will quit fermenting -- could be in the 1.010s, could be in the 0.99s, I am not sure which.  I don't think you need to do anything special besides waiting.  Although you could rack it at any time if you wish, to get rid of the clods of brainy stuff at the top.  Optional though, methinks.

Other Fermentables / Re: First Cider
« on: September 04, 2014, 10:34:15 AM »
It looks like it keeved!  A lot of cider makers struggle to make this happen on purpose, and you got it keeved without even trying!  It is probably good this way.  I've never had it happen to mine, although I really have not tried.  It aids in clarity and in maintaining sweetness in your cider.  I believe it has to do with the amount of calcium in the cider, and this can come from adding gypsum or CaCl2, or just from the juice itself.

Other Fermentables / Re: using some malt for making cider
« on: September 03, 2014, 01:53:40 PM »
You might also be interested in my apple ale recipe.  I really love this recipe and many others have tried it and love it as well.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Small Batch OG question
« on: September 03, 2014, 01:51:51 PM »
You pretty much HAVE TO BIAB for very small batches like 1-gallon size.  The equipment for bigger batches is just too big for very small batches.  There can be a lot of losses due to dead space in the mash tun, and just any transfers of the wort around in general.  Crush harder and BIAB.  Then you should honestly see HIGHER efficiency than ever before as opposed to lower.

Burnt extract tastes horrible.  I worry that you ruined your batch in that regard.  The other things are not a real big deal.

Ingredients / Re: Brewing with cabbage (say what?)
« on: August 27, 2014, 06:58:13 AM »
I *was* a little bit of a jerk, although not on purpose.  My comments involved inside jokes that were not fair to outside folks, which is most everyone.  The OP is very new to the forum and I certainly hope that we have not scared him away.

No need to say anything more about this Pete.  Let's just forget about it.   8)

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Racking into half-full keg
« on: August 26, 2014, 04:45:09 AM »
I did this once.  It worked great for me.  Saves a ton of time cleaning the keg etc.  For my case both beers were the same recipe.  However blending should work fine as well.  I would only do this once and then clean the keg thoroughly after the second batch.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: getting the bacon flavor correct
« on: August 18, 2014, 11:30:01 AM »
I like the idea for this beer!  Sounds tasty to me.

If you want bacon flavor, 100% Bamburg smoked malt is perfect for this.  A pound or 1.5 lb of crystal malt would probably be a good idea, maybe some Crystal 80 and Crystal 120.  I wouldn't use a lot more specialty malts beyond that, as the more you use, it will dilute the smoked malt flavor.  Personally I would never use actual bacon in a beer.  It is unnecessary.  You'll get all of that hickory-smoked bacon flavor that you want directly from smoked malt!  If you can smoke the malt yourself with hickory, so much the better!

If you want maple flavor, you don't really need to use maple syrup or brown sugar.  Rather, add a spice known as fenugreek.  This is the same thing used to make artificial maple syrup just like Mrs. Butterworth and Aunt Jemima.  Just a very small amount is all that's needed.  Figure out how much you think you should use, and then use about 1/4 as much, as fenugreek is very strong.  You can add it to the end of your boil.  You can find this at any spice shop and many homebrew shops.  Or use both maple syrup AND fenugreek if you like.  Real maple syrup does not taste very mapley at all after it ferments, that's why you need both.

Salt... maybe try 1 tablespoon for 5 gallons to start, and if that's not enough then add another tablespoon.  It's somewhere in that ballpark.

Hops don't matter too much.  Just don't use any citrusy hops that start with C.  I think Northern Brewer hops would be a good addition to this style, with their herbal, slightly minty and peppery spiciness.

I am also wondering if a small addition of black pepper might be a good idea for this beer.  How much?  I am not certain... as much as you think you would like!  Or none at all.  Again, you could boil this, or you could make a small vodka infusion and add just before kegging/bottling.

Best of luck to you.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Chlorinated Water
« on: August 18, 2014, 08:52:47 AM »
A tip I learned on the B&V several years ago has made chlorine removal even easier than using Campden tablets.

Add a half teaspoon of peroxide to 5 gallons of brewing water, swirl it around, and the chlorine is volatilized and gone.

Does that work for chlorimine too, or just chlorine?

Yes, Campden works for both forms of chlorinated water.  There is hypochlorite, and then there is chloramine.  Campden works instantly for both kinds.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bobbing for apples
« on: August 18, 2014, 04:26:53 AM »
I'm not sure either.  Floating and potential contamination from airborne stuff might be why some people juice their apples then just add the juice.  You'll know it's bad if the result tastes like vinegar or turpentine.  But... it might turn out fine.  Not sure.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Times
« on: August 14, 2014, 12:22:31 PM »
In any case, I will always argue that 45 minutes is good enough.  Or even 40.  No need to mash any longer than that unless you want the beer super dry.

Do you check your conversion efficiency?  Mine has gone from about 85% at 60 min. to 99-100% at 90.  I always do a 90 min. mash these days.

I never differentiated "conversion efficiency" from "X Y Z" other type of efficiency.  I use the more "pragmatic" and less scientific "brewhouse efficiency" that gets spat out by my homebrewing software.  When I see my brewhouse efficiency is in the 90s, then I don't care why.  In fact, I'm also the guy who OPENED the gap on my grain mill because I was worried that too high efficiency might be watering down the malt flavors in my beer -- the theory goes that I didn't need to use as much malt as other people, so this is why my malty beer were getting dinged in competition for "needs more maltiness" compared to others.  So now I shoot for mid-80s brewhouse efficiency, and I've been happy there ever since.  I really don't care about maximizing efficiency, as long as my beer tastes as good as possible.  I am also considering experimenting a lot more with no-sparge beers to maximize malt flavors.  Efficiency in the 60s is not bad at all, and might even be desirable, to me at least.  More experiments are needed.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Chlorinated Water
« on: August 14, 2014, 12:13:30 PM »
Chlorophenols take time to develop. If you are burning through batches weeks after you brew then you may be drinking faster than chlorophenols can form.

Interesting.  I seen the opposite experience, where they seem to be in the beer as soon as it's done.

Ditto.  When it's there, it's there, and no amount of aging ever makes it disappear either.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Times
« on: August 14, 2014, 10:18:48 AM »
+1 to all of the above.  Hotter = faster = more unfermentable sugars = greater body.

You can safely pick one favorite mash time and temperature and use it for 90% of your beers.  I mash 90% of mine at 148-150 F for 45 minutes.  Occasionally I'll mash a little longer if I want it super dry.  Otherwise, that's what I like.  You might prefer 155 F.

In any case, I will always argue that 45 minutes is good enough.  Or even 40.  No need to mash any longer than that unless you want the beer super dry.

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