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Messages - dmtaylor

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Other Fermentables / Re: First time cider maker.
« on: July 17, 2014, 10:51:19 AM »
Mine always finishes at about 0.992-0.994.  Hence, if I bottled at 1.000, I'd have plenty of carbonation, if not bombs.  YMMV.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP029
« on: July 17, 2014, 08:52:52 AM »
My thoughts:  Yes, WLP029 clears much faster, and on its own.  However, I believe 2565 gives the superior flavor.  WLP029 is okay, but maybe not as tasty as the finicky 2565.

I have gone back and forth over the years.  Depends on what you think is more important.

Other Fermentables / Re: First time cider maker.
« on: July 17, 2014, 07:48:25 AM »
If you keg, I suppose that's fine.  If you bottle... watch out for bottle bombs!

Other Fermentables / Re: First time cider maker.
« on: July 17, 2014, 05:00:33 AM »
Some Farm Cold store Cider to sell during the summer and pre harvest season.  IF you look around you may be able to find Cider pressed on a farm.

Yeah, orchards often/usually freeze some juice to see in the off-season, so you can still pick up some good stuff if you try.  That's what I would recommend.  Or, at your grocery store, seek out the Simply Apple brand, which is real juice (hazy brown with dark stuff at the bottom) without preservatives.  The preservatives in other apple juices from concentrate can slow or prevent proper fermentation... and real juice tastes a lot better anyway, and isn't terribly expensive.

Be aware that no matter what yeast you use, fermentation will take at least a month if not two months.  Cider ferments a lot more slowly than beer.  So if you want to drink it this summer.... it will be very late summer even if you start right away.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP029
« on: July 16, 2014, 09:07:39 PM »
Someone recently posted WLP029 giving off banana. I have never gotten that before but I have never had the yeast above 65F at any point. This has become one of my favorite strains for many different styles.

These have been my experiences as well.  Never got any banana from it, fermented cool in the 60s.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Astringency problem
« on: July 15, 2014, 09:15:26 PM »
What's your bicarbonate?  Alkalinity?  Could be throwing your pH balance off-whack.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Astringency problem
« on: July 15, 2014, 07:52:35 PM »
Are you adding Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) at all?  If so, don't.  Tastes horrible.

You might also need to acidify your mash.  Maybe add a half pound of acidulated malt to your next batch and see if the problem disappears.

To Americans in the 21st century, all 100+ beer styles are merely variants of West Coast IPA.  Hence the silliness of the drafted 2014 BJCP Guidelines where you can have an IPA of any color you want, white, normal, red, brown, black, blue, green, clear, purple.....

I agree that there is more to life... much more to life......

Equipment and Software / Re: Software Eff Issue
« on: July 14, 2014, 06:51:46 AM »
Well, with more experience you might confirm that your new system really is that awesome.

Another thing to keep in mind with efficiency is that all your volume measurements need to be perfect.  If you intended to have 5.5 gallons at the end of the boil but actually ended up with 5 gallons, then your efficiency might be too high by a ratio of 5.5/5 or 110% (10% too high).

Equipment and Software / Re: Software Eff Issue
« on: July 14, 2014, 04:34:31 AM »
94% is totally achievable with a really good crush and mash including pH and temperature control.  97%.... yeah, that would have been unusually high.  Possible, but unlikely.

Ingredients / Re: Massively high AA German Hallertau?
« on: July 14, 2014, 04:30:22 AM »
My homegrown Hallertau has been as low as 3% and as high as 7% in different years.  However the average has been closer to 4-5%.  So, somewhat higher alpha is possible but rare.  I don't expect to ever see higher than 7% in a commercial vacuum pack.  Mine were fresh off the bine (and dried).

They both ferment pretty dry.  If you want it to be really dry, mash at 148 F for 90 minutes, that will help.

Other Fermentables / Re: Adding unfermented cider to a Keg?
« on: July 11, 2014, 04:27:55 AM »
It will ferment unless you stabilize with sorbate and sulfite... and even then it might ferment but slowly.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: when is the fermenting finished?
« on: July 09, 2014, 07:09:32 AM »
The best advice I can think of:  When airlock bubbling stops, then wait another day or two, then take a gravity reading.  Then, wait 3 more days, then take another gravity reading.  If the readings changed by exactly zero points, then it is safe to bottle.  If the readings changed by one or two points, then it is NOT safe to bottle.  Wait another 3 days, then take another reading.  When readings stay the same over the course of several days, it is safe to bottle.

In general, it is better to delay bottling for as long as humanly possible.  I will typically bottle after 3-5 weeks in primary.  This results in better settling of the yeast, better clarity, cleaner flavors, negligible "green"/young off-flavors.

I usually don't do secondary fermentations anymore.  You might get a little less yeast sediment in your bottles if you do... or it might not matter at all.  It's an extra step that really doesn't buy you much of anything, and might even hurt the beer if done too early.  It's not good to remove 90% of your yeast from an actively fermenting beer, as this can result in stalled/incomplete fermentation and increased off-flavors.

Patience is key.  Patience.  But the 3-day rule above will help you out if you're feeling anxious to get the beer done.

By the way... same goes for kegging.  Nice thing with kegs is you don't have a risk of dangerous bottle bombs if you rack it too early.

*mumbles to himself out loud*  Yep... when our club starts a BJCP competition next year 2015, I am going to advocate that we stick with the 2008 guidelines... yep... if it ain't terribly broken, then no need to design a Cadillac...

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