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Messages - dmtaylor

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601
All Grain Brewing / Re: Single Infusion Mash Time
« on: January 09, 2014, 11:12:23 AM »
Is this true for all mash temps?  The same at 148 as 158?

I have not run enough experiments above 153 F to know for sure.  40 minutes is certainly sufficient from 147 to 152 F.  Above that temperature, my preliminary results are that MORE time might be needed to assure decent attenuation, which I would define as greater than about 70%.  Perhaps 45 to 50 minutes is needed at higher temperatures, due to denaturing of much of the beta amylase enzymes.  Just a hypothesis at the higher temps.  But I have been very pleased with a 40 minute mash time from 147 to 152 F.  Or perhaps 45 minutes if you want to play it super safe.  Experiment and find out for yourselves!!

602
All Grain Brewing / Re: Single Infusion Mash Time
« on: January 09, 2014, 08:23:13 AM »
I have always been interested in this subject.  I was keeping track of my OG with a refractometer throughout a 60 minute mash at 150-154.  My basic conclusion was that I was not seeing any increase in OG past 40-45 minutes.  Now I have a question...Is there a correlation between OG and fermentability....or anything else?  In other words if I mash for 45 minutes at 152 and have reached an OG of 1.060 is there any benefit of mashing another 15 minutes at 152 if the OG is still 1.060?   Are there other reactions taking place(other than starch conversion) that we need to be worried about?

I have run a lot of experiments as well, including with respect to fermentability.  It's a balancing act.  My experiments proved to me that after 40 minutes, your wort is plenty fermentable, and an additional 20 minutes of mash time will only get you an extra 1-2% fermentability, e.g., the difference might be 78% attenuation instead of 76% or something like that.  Big friggin whoop, in my humble opinion.  And if you stretch out the mash time to 90 minutes, maybe you'll get another 2-3% fermentability.  So it depends on what matters more to you personally -- do you want to save time on brew day and just get it all over with, or are you relaxed enough to let the mash go for 90 minutes to gain a few more percent fermentability?  The choice is entirely yours.  Personally, I'll save the time and quit mashing at the 40-minute mark.  Mash shorter than that, and you are playing roulette with fermentability, in my experience -- might turn out fine, but might be a very thick and chewy beer, about a 50/50 chance.

603
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What can I do with a Mr Beer Kit?
« on: December 28, 2013, 07:58:12 PM »
Wow... this is just like sending a skilled chef an Easy Bake Oven and a lightbulb, or an artist some finger paints and crayons and construction paper, or... just wow.  Reminds me of the year I asked for Belgian imported ales and they gave me a case of Shock Top.  Er, um, thanks?!

I guess you could use the extract for yeast starters, try the yeast for a random pale ale or two, and yeah, try the fermented for cider or mead.  Not sure I would *ruin* it for sours but it could work.  Guess I am not a lot of help...

604
Other Fermentables / Re: Calling Cider Apple Experts/Growers
« on: December 28, 2013, 02:54:18 PM »
Crispin Browns Lane is the single best widely available traditional cider you can get in the USA.  Similar to Magners which is a Scottish import.  If you haven't tried either of those... you NEED to!!

605
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: flavor contribution from dry hops
« on: December 24, 2013, 01:03:31 PM »
I agree with most of the above.  You get more than just aroma from dry hopping.  Flavor comes along with it.

606
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Astringency expected?
« on: December 22, 2013, 06:19:47 PM »
Rocket fuel.  You'll likely want to age this beer for a good year or more.

607
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: English Pale Ale with Citra
« on: December 20, 2013, 01:29:24 PM »
No such thing as Citra in an English Pale Ale IMHO.  You've Americanized it now.

608
Other Fermentables / Re: Vintage cider apple scion wood available
« on: December 19, 2013, 01:48:03 PM »
Good sources here as well, and in both cases you can order through February or March:

http://www.fedcoseeds.com/forms/ft36scionOS.pdf

http://maplevalleyorchards.com/Pages/ScionWood.aspx

609
Beer Travel / Re: Travel to Indianapolis
« on: December 19, 2013, 09:03:21 AM »
Brugge Brasserie is not to be missed.  If you only go to one place, go there.

610
All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction yields greater?
« on: December 18, 2013, 08:30:07 AM »
My efficiency is always in the 90s when I decoct.  It really aids efficiency a lot.

611
Other Fermentables / Re: Calling Cider Apple Experts/Growers
« on: December 17, 2013, 07:43:08 PM »
Zone 5a here.  I will admit, I have not tasted a lot of cider apples yet.  However, I have spent many hundreds of hours researching cider and cider apples, and I have tasted over 100 old heritage varieties over the past 3 years (mostly eaters and cookers, not really for cider).  I've also planted a small orchard in my yard, played around with grafting... I now have 5 varieties on one of my trees!  What can I say... it's been somewhat of an obsession, and I just love to learn new things.  Now back to your cider questions:

Kingston Black, in particular, is an excellent and well known apple for cider, and I now know that it is also delicious to eat -- I got my hands on some this year, ate several fresh but made a single varietal cider out of most of them.  Drawbacks with Kingston Black are that it is an extremely shy bearer and susceptible to diseases/infections such as scab.  Beautiful and tasty little apple though -- I think you really must give it a shot.

Dabinett and Yarlington Mill are some more must-haves.  I've not tasted these yet but many swear by their quality, and they are both said to be very productive and less susceptible to disease.

The above are all good old English cider apples.  However there are also quite a few great American varieties that I have tasted.

Arkansas Black is tart and spicy with wonderful flavor -- an American bittersweet apple.  It is also a great keeper.  You can keep a few in your refrigerator for eating for 4-5 months or maybe longer.

Liberty is a good base tart style apple with excellent disease resistance.  Press it quickly, though, as it goes mushy in a short time.

Wealthy is a great old American apple that is as juicy as it is delicious to eat.  It is well balanced but slightly more on the tart side.  It is also a good keeper for eating or baking or cider or whatever -- great all-purpose apple.

It might sound really obvious, but... you really just can't go wrong with Honeycrisp.  It is truly one of the most juicy and delicious apples ever known, and can contribute significantly as a base in cider.  You might not want to make a single varietal cider of it as its flavor is not terribly complex, but with all its sugar and juice it will help jack up the volume and original gravity.  Plus you can eat some as well, and not have to spend $3 or $4 per pound!  It keeps a long time.

Finally, be sure to throw in a couple of crabapples.  I've planted Dolgo for this purpose.  It is quite tart.  A lot of people like Wickson which is a sweeter one.  I am also knowledgeable of a local crab known as Yarwood, which is a tasty and juicy little apple that is well balanced between sweetness and sharpness.  But really, any random crab variety will help in your orchard as well as your cider making.  Crabapples help significantly with pollination of all the other trees.  In general they will contain more acid and tannin than the standard culinary or cider apple, as well as flavors all their own, which will add interesting character to your cider.

Another excellent resource for information on English apples can be found on YouTube -- look up stephenhayesuk and watch some of his videos.  This guy is awesome, very knowledgeable.  His Fruitwise website also has good information, see here: http://www.fruitwise.net/varieties.html

Hope this gives you a few ideas!  If you have any specific questions, I'll try to answer as best I can.  Happy orcharding!

612
All Grain Brewing / Re: Single Infusion Mash Time
« on: December 16, 2013, 08:10:29 PM »
I mash all my beers for 40-45 minutes.  I ran a ton of experiments years ago, and determined that while conversion of starch to sugar typically occurs very quickly (15 minutes?), the attenuability, or simplification of those sugars to fermentable ones, takes a while longer.  Mashing for 30-35 minutes was long enough about 50% of the time, but the other 50% of the time resulted in a very low attenuating beer (i.e., thick and sweet).  40 minutes is the minimum time I found on my system to get great attenuation every time without wasting time.  If I want to, I can knock out an all-grain batch in 3.5-4 hours.  This helps greatly to fitting brewing into my sometimes busy schedule.  60 minutes?  Ack.  What a waste of 20 minutes that you could be sleeping or whatever else.  The only time I might mash for a full 60 minutes or longer is for the really huge beers >1.080 or where Munich is the base malt since it's got less enzymes.  But for anything else that is "normal", 40 minutes is fine.  Try it and see.  Or if you're worried, go with 45.  Still saves 15 minutes.  And with that you could be saving $150 or more on car insurance, or whatever.

613
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 2565 Kolsch
« on: December 14, 2013, 07:46:00 AM »
I thought I remember someone saying they used it in an APA and it was great...

Basic Brewing Radio did a grand yeast experiment a while back with APA and liked the Kolsch yeast best out of like 8 different yeasts.  I have brewed Blonde ales with it that turned out excellent.  Great yeast.  Go for it.

614
It's not the amber malt... unless perhaps you mistakenly used amber caramel malt rather than true amber malt.

Also calibrate your mash thermometer and hydrometer.  In fact this might be the most likely problem of all if you haven't calibrated your equipment recently.

Otherwise, try rousing the yeast, and add some yeast energizer, and wait a couple more weeks.  It might be done fermenting... but don't try to rush things either.

615
You are likely mistaking something else for DMS.  Perhaps it is just a very fresh grainy flavor.  If so it likely mellows with age.  DMS tastes distinctly like corn, cabbage, celery or broccoli.  It should be pretty obvious to good judges if it is there, although some people are hypersensitive and some not at all.  If no one else can taste it though then my guess is you might be mistaking it for something else.

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