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Messages - dmtaylor

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61
Fantastic exBEERiment, which likewise bolsters my argument that FWH is essentially identical or almost identical to a regular bittering addition except maybe for an extra couple IBUs.  Play around with FWH as you see fit, for as brulosophy.com states, it certainly won't hurt anything if you want to try it and it's so easy to do.  But does it really truly help the "smoothness" of your bittering?  Perform your own blind triangle test to find out.

Personally, you won't find me FWHing my beers, as I wager it's just too worthless to do anything different from normal, and hell, anytime I've brewed an FWH recipe in the past, I'll be damned if I didn't forget to add them at the right time!  However I might eventually be curious enough to play with mash hopping sometime even though everyone says it's a waste of hops.  Now there's an interesting experiment... This one would play well with my own personal theory that you actually get more flavor out of your noble hop varieties the LONGER they are boiled, and in theory, this might even be where the FWH technique came about altogether!  So what if I threw my "flavor hop addition" for a German lager into the mash instead of in the last 5-10 minutes of the boil?  I think I'm onto something here, and I dare anyone else to try a triangle test of this.  Heh heh. </tangent>

Nice job, to Marshall, and to all others who might have been involved with this exBEERiment in some fashion.  Always intriguing.

62
Your yeast and your recipes and everything else should have very little if anything to do with the carbonation.  The Palmolive and dishwasher however are overkill and might even cause problems as they require so much rinsing.  Best way to clean your bottles and equipment is with hot water and no-rinse sanitizer as per one of the following:

A) If never cleaned before or containing dried beer or soap residue, soak in hot water then give a good scrub with a bottle brush.  Then sanitize with StarSan or OneStep.

B) If collecting bottles as you drink them, it's best if you always pour your beer into a glass and then IMMEDIATELY rinse the bottle in hot water 3 or 4 times while it still contains wet beer residue.  Then when it's time to refill, your bottles are already like 99% cleaned and can most likely go straight into sanitizer (StarSan or OneStep) on bottling day.  Same thing kind of goes for your fermenter -- once you have emptied it, IMMEDIATELY rinse with a lot of hot water before any beer dries up inside it, and it will be ready to sanitize next time.  Soap might not even be needed unless you have a lot of junk clinging to the sides (e.g., dried yeast near the top).

As for the priming, if mixed well, you'll never have a problem again with bulk priming.  This is the best way to go:

In a standard household glass (about 12-16 oz size), mix together about 1/2 cup water and a scant 1/3 cup cane sugar per 2.5 gallon batch, and boil in your microwave for about 2-3 minutes.  Ensure the sugar is fully dissolved, then allow to cool for about 15 minutes.  Then add to your fermenter in bulk right before bottling, being careful to swirl or stir it in so it doesn't all just sink to the bottom.

If you do all that, you really shouldn't have any problems.  Try the bulk priming.  You'll get more consistent results.

63
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Temperature for priming sugar solution?
« on: June 23, 2015, 05:59:20 AM »
I only let it cool for 5-10 minutes.  It really doesn't matter at all since the volume difference is so huge.  Go ahead and add it as quickly as you feel comfortable with.

64
Ingredients / Re: Pepper Tincture
« on: June 10, 2015, 01:51:05 PM »

Tinctures are the best way to get the most out of your peppers, and to add the flavors, aroma, and heat in a controlled manner without going overboard.  It's all I ever do.  I chop mine then soak in warm vodka or tequila, slightly microwaved for just a few seconds.  With warmed spirits, just 5 or 6 hours is enough to get a lot out of them, but overnight is probably even better.  Then add about half as much of the liquid as you think you need, mix it in well, and taste a sample.  If it needs more, use more.  If not, make a bloody mary and call it good.  :)
are you adding the liquid to a single beer and simply multiplying the amount for your batch?

I haven't done it that way, but that's not a bad idea.  I play with jalapenos.  For jalapenos I find that an average of about 9 peppers in 5 gallons seems to be about the right amount -- sometimes it's a little too much and other times it's just right.  If I were to ever try habaneros, I know those are really strong so I'd probably start with just like 1/2 of one pepper in 5 gallons, then adjust from there.  I think 1/2 a habanero pepper is probably about right, but I haven't tried it to confirm.  Cayenne would be someplace in between, maybe 3 or 4.  Ghost peppers.... why bother, you can't taste them anyway.  Maybe 1/8 of a ghost pepper, but that's a wild guess.

65
Ingredients / Re: Pepper Tincture
« on: June 10, 2015, 01:07:24 PM »
Tinctures are the best way to get the most out of your peppers, and to add the flavors, aroma, and heat in a controlled manner without going overboard.  It's all I ever do.  I chop mine then soak in warm vodka or tequila, slightly microwaved for just a few seconds.  With warmed spirits, just 5 or 6 hours is enough to get a lot out of them, but overnight is probably even better.  Then add about half as much of the liquid as you think you need, mix it in well, and taste a sample.  If it needs more, use more.  If not, make a bloody mary and call it good.  :)

66
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: When can I test my s.g.?
« on: June 10, 2015, 10:46:27 AM »
Dave, how do you stop the continued fermentation from blowing up your bottles?  I'm assuming gelatin doesn't strip everything out. 

Time and temperature.  Chill your cider in the refrigerator and leave it there for a couple of months.  Then bottle.  Even with priming sugar it usually turns out still/uncarbonated.  And who cares.  Yummy.

Gelatin takes out probably 95% of the yeast every time you use it.  Very effective.

67
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: When can I test my s.g.?
« on: June 10, 2015, 08:56:54 AM »
For cider, I check the gravity often.  If it ferments too fast and gets too dry, I don't like to backsweeten.  I'd rather rack the cider once a week and add gelatin before it quits fermenting then fermenting down to 0.992-0.994 (which is very very common) and backsweetening.  Keep the natural sugars in there that way.

Check gravity as often as you want.  Rack more often than you think you should.  That's my mantra for great ciders.

68
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What is applejack?? And is it good?
« on: June 10, 2015, 07:40:39 AM »
There must be some regional differences in what the term means.

The United States of America is completely and entirely broken when it comes to all things cider.  It will take another two or three decades to catch up with the rest of the world.

the stuff I had would definitely get you ripped if nothing else.      ;)

Fortunately, that remains true no matter what.  Cheers!

69
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What is applejack?? And is it good?
« on: June 09, 2015, 09:41:22 PM »
I haven't done it lately, but if done right, it can be good.  Worth a try sometime.

70
Beer Recipes / Re: Commission Brew Need ideas/Recipes
« on: June 09, 2015, 06:16:10 AM »
Blonde ale, Kolsch, or cream ale are all great options for the light one.  Oatmeal stout is great for the dark.  You're already on the right track.  You might also consider an English brown or mild ale.  It's all good.  However I'd probably steer clear of anything with too much hops, unless you know they enjoy hoppy beer -- hops are more of an acquired taste that the uninitiated will fear.

71
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: % ABV mathematics ???
« on: June 08, 2015, 04:54:37 AM »
I know the calculations can get complicated when adding fruit or lactose or whatever after fermentation is almost complete.  It’s not too terrible, you just need to understand that it makes no difference when you add the sugar, you always need to treat it like it’s been there the whole time and add it to the OG.  The other basic concept is of gravity units (GU), and for calculation purposes they need to be multiplied with the volume that they apply to, in order to keep everything on a parts sugar mass basis, then divide by the final volume at the end to get the final gravity of the final volume.  You can always ignore the 1.0 in front of your gravity measurements and just deal with the digits after.  So, 1.055 at 3 gallons becomes 55 * 3 = 165 parts sugar; 1.342 at 1 pint becomes 342 * 1/8 = 43 parts sugar, etc.

In your case, the extra pint of grape juice concentrate adds barely any volume at all (0.125 gallon out of 3.125 gallons total), however since it is concentrated, the sugar it adds (43 total parts sugar) is quite significant.  As stated above, you get 165 parts sugar from the beer itself, then 43 parts sugar from the beer, for a total of 208 sugar points.  Then this is divided evenly among the total volume of 3.125 gallons, so that’s 208 / 3.125 = 67 GU, or 1.067 effective original gravity.

So, your grape concentrate kicked up your effective OG from 1.055 to 1.067.  Yes, you do need to find out your final gravity, because then, like normal, you’ll need to subtract OG from FG then multiply by 131 to get your alcohol by volume.  If gravity heads down to about 0.999, then that’s (1.067 - 0.999) * 131 = 8.9% ABV

Hope this helps.  It is a little complicated, but it makes more sense conceptually if you pretend the fruit concentrate was in the fermenter for the entire time.  This mathematical method ignores time and pretends everything was always in there.

72
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison vs liquid saison yeasts
« on: June 03, 2015, 06:43:20 AM »
I love validation from a respected homebrewer and commercial brewer.  Cheers, Keith, and all!

73
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Low Attenuation/High Floc?
« on: June 02, 2015, 06:37:28 PM »
Windsor for sure is very fast and very flocculant.

74
All Grain Brewing / Re: Does anyone filter after a BIAB mash?
« on: June 02, 2015, 08:19:53 AM »
I use BIAB for almost every batch, but of course, my process is unique.  For one thing, I'm only making about 1.7 to 2 gallons per batch.  That makes life very much easier.  But even when I made bigger batches a few years ago, I followed the same process and it wasn't too difficult...

I place a large colander over a big plastic bucket.  I place the grain bag into the colander.  I sit down then carefully and slowly pour the entire mash volume through the grain bed.  It takes a good long time, 15-20 minutes.  This is how I "recirculate" to eliminate the small particles.

Then I also sparge, the same way.

See, I told you my process is unique.   ;D

Lately I've begun to experiment with just placing an extra grain bag or two into the colander, and pouring through that instead of pouring through the entire grain bag, so the small particles come out faster.  Also incorporate a dunk sparge, and we should be good to go -- no small particles, sparged for efficiency... perfect.  I should have been doing this for a long time already but just never really thought about it too hard.

There have been a number of other things going on with my process as well.  Like mill gap settings.  They say "crush till you're scared".  Well I did that, for many years, and found I can easily get 90+% efficiency this way.  However, I believe this comes at the expense of malt flavor intensity, not to mention, stuck sparges.  So I have since opened the mill gap.  Now I can sparge easier and still get decent efficiency around 80-ish AND get plenty of malt flavors.

But anyway..... yeah, I do my own thing.  And you can too.  We all make good beer.  There's a million ways to do it, and no one's wrong as long as it all tastes great.  :)

75
Jon has a great point.  I was initially going to say "no, it shouldn't taste sour", but if there is still yeast in suspension, yes, yeast itself has a certain sourness to it.  Might taste just fine after fermentation is complete.  Give it some more time and you'll most likely be awarded.  Have you noticed any unusual looking pellicle on the top?  If it was infected it would often have an ugly dusty looking skin on top that does not look like regular yeast.  If it's the usual creamy brown with bubbles, then it's probably just fine.  Patience.

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