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Messages - dmtaylor

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61
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Style Questions for competition
« on: August 07, 2017, 02:35:13 PM »
With cacao and coconut, it's Spice Herb Veggie.

62
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Backsweetening Cider
« on: August 07, 2017, 12:34:35 PM »
Xylitol works best.  It is expensive but non-fermentable and tastes almost exactly like real sugar.  Unfortunately it is also poisonous to dogs, cats, etc., so keep it far away from any pets.

Lactose or maltodextrin are unfermentable but not very sweet but can still add body and help take the edge off.

Other artificial sweeteners such as Splenda or stevia work okay but can have very chemically flavors.  If you consume a lot of diet beverages, maybe you won't notice.  But I would.

There are other ways to limit fermentation more naturally.  I've explained it in detail elsewhere on the interwebs.  Essentially... let your cider ferment for a week or so as cool as you can (50s Fahrenheit is ideal), then rack to secondary, then begin monitoring specific gravity every few days. Aim for 1.010-1.015. When gravity gets to that point, add gelatin to knock out most of the yeast, then a couple days later, rack again, and consider whether to add sorbate and sulfite to hurt the remaining yeast, then keep the cider cold for another month or so, trying to prevent it from refermenting. If it starts up again, add more gelatin, and sorbate and sulfite again if desired. Once the cider stabilizes fully, you can bottle or keg it. Then enjoy.  Sweeter cider, but depending on how much sorbate you use, it might never carbonate in bottles, only if kegged.

63
The Pub / Re: Guess I'm not gonna be a star....
« on: August 05, 2017, 06:25:10 AM »
Anything on Viceland is like a window into a parallel universe where Superman is evil and dreams don't come true in ways you never wanted.

64
Homebrew Competitions / Manitowoc County Fair Home Brew Competition
« on: August 02, 2017, 07:17:41 PM »
Looking for a small competition to maybe medal in?  Or just would appreciate a bit of certified and unbiased feedback on what you've been brewing?  Then why not enter the Manitowoc County Fair Home Brew Competition?  Only $5 per entry.  Brought to you courtesy of the Manty Malters Homebrew Club and the Manitowoc County Expo Center, Manitowoc, Wisconsin.  Must register online by August 6, so do not delay!  AHA and BJCP sanctioned.

http://www.co.manitowoc.wi.us/departments/d-h/expo/manitowoc-county-fair/home-brew-competition/

65
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: I would like to make a gose
« on: August 02, 2017, 03:25:45 PM »
Gose has hops.  Lacto can live just fine with a low dose of hops.  Aim for just 10-15 IBUs, no more than that.

66
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: brew time before compatitions?
« on: August 01, 2017, 02:42:36 PM »
They're all best fresh.  About 3-4 weeks from brew day to glass is probably optimal for most beers.  Stronger ones or cold-fermented ones (like lagers) can take an extra couple weeks.

67
Honey contains organisms, which although they are unable to multiply in the honey itself, when combined with water, they can take off quickly.  So yes, I think this can lead to contamination.  I made a putrid mead one time when I just combined honey and water and did not pasteurize.  Tasted like vomit.  Never again.  Now I always heat honey and water together to about 160 F (70 C) for 15 minutes, then allow to cool before pitching yeast.  Never had another problem since.  I do the same thing for cider or anytime I want to avoid potential for wild organisms to get a foothold.  Since you're only heating mildly but not boiling, you will not lose aromatics, despite what "experts" might tell you.  I make some of the most aromatic ciders and meads of anyone I know.

Enjoy.

68
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Can anyone suggest some nice beers?
« on: August 01, 2017, 05:55:53 AM »
Hacker-Pschorr Weisse changed the game for me.  Also Warsteiner.  For easiest transition, just learn to appreciate anything with a German name that is difficult to pronounce, you just can't go wrong.

69
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: I would like to make a gose
« on: July 31, 2017, 05:38:51 AM »
Don't overdo the salt.  You should just barely be able to perceive any salt.

70
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First Wort Hopping
« on: July 27, 2017, 08:01:23 AM »
FWH is no more special than boil hops.  Add them anytime before reaching a boil, or even a minute or two after.  You shouldn't be able to taste any difference.

71
The Pub / Re: Shrubs
« on: July 26, 2017, 10:56:46 AM »
I've tried making shrub before.  It was probably just a bad recipe, but I found the vinegar character to be just too overpowering, burning my throat, so I dumped it.  And I like vinegar a lot, on salads or for dipping bread into, etc.  It might just be more a matter of finding the right ratio of vinegar to fruit juice.  Perhaps just 5-10% vinegar is all that's appropriate.  I don't know much more about shrubs.

Now kombucha, on the other hand.... I just made my first kombucha, and damn, it turned out just perfectly wonderful on my very first try.  Took 13 days to get to just the right amount of vinegar where you can taste it without getting burned.  Currently in bottles.  Popped the first bottle a few days ago and it wasn't carbonated yet, so I'll open the next one in another couple days.  But it was so easy.  The only downside really is the time involved.... 13 days to ferment, then another 7? 10? days to carbonate.  I'll know more soon.

72
Other Fermentables / Re: Questions on a First mead
« on: July 24, 2017, 08:20:54 AM »
I think 1.5 lb/gallon fruit sounds right.  You can definitely get this done in time for Christmas.  I would use the sweet mead yeast (4184?) if you want to retain sweetness, otherwise it will ferment longer and taste more dry with most other yeasts.

Cheers.

73
76% with 3787? Did you do that on purpose?! 😉

No, I'm not quite sure what happened with that one.  It was my first time with that strain and it was super sluggish for some reason even fermenting at room temp.  It turned out okay but not awesome.

Wait.... Yeah, that is pretty normal for this strain, no?  Maybe you were thinking of 3711?

74
The Pub / Re: song title game
« on: July 17, 2017, 02:55:48 PM »
No Way Out - Peter Gabriel

75
OK, you believe it.  Any evidence you can offer?

Well, I haven't done laboratory-quality experiments, but here's specific numerical data from my last 10 batches so you can review it and decide for yourself if you think I'm full of crap:



Yes, these were all single infusions.  Temperatures are averaged over the course of the mash, typically starting about 3-4 degrees higher and falling 3-4 degrees lower than the numbers reported.

Cheers.

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