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Messages - dmtaylor

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Noon judge observations
« on: April 06, 2014, 03:34:17 AM »
Welcome to the joys of judging!

If you have been on nights, then midnight IS like your noon!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Wheat beer/ Decoction mash question
« on: April 05, 2014, 07:48:23 AM »
You can and should safely skip the decoction mash.  While it might be fun to try, it doesn't improve flavor and is pretty much a waste of time.

If you do want to try it, you'll need a colander where you can pull out the grains every few minutes to boil the decoctions.  Essentially it goes something like this:

Dough in at 95-105 F with the usual 1.25 to 2.0 qt water per lb grain.  After about 10 minutes, use the colander to pull most of the grains into a kettle.  The liquid that is left behind contains all the enzymes and is called "the main mash".  Bring the grains (not the main mash!) up to about 150 F for about 10-20 minutes, then boil for another 10-20 minutes, then return it to your main mash.  Stir well, let it rest for a minute or two, then pull the grains out and bring to a boil again.  Now your main mash should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 120-130 F.  Boil the grains for just 2-10 minutes, then put back into the main mash again.  This should bring your main mash up to 150-ish.  If not, repeat until it does.  Once you hit 150-ish in the main mash, rest for about 30-40 minutes.  Then you can either repeat for a mashout at 170 F, or you can skip the mashout and just runoff and sparge and brew as normal.  That's the streamlined decoction process in a nutshell.  You can do all the rests for 20-40 minutes if you like, some people do, but I find this unnecessary and perhaps even detrimental, as you don't want to do a protein rest at 120-ish for more than a couple of minutes with modern well-modified malts or it will kill your beer's body and head retention.

Optionally, you can skip all this hassle and just mash at 150 F for 40-45 minutes, runoff and sparge, and you're done.  Results will be approximately the same, with the exception that decoction produces a slightly darker beer that is perhaps 2-3 SRM points darker.

Either way, you're going to make a great beer.  Enjoy.

Equipment and Software / Re: Recipe designer software
« on: April 04, 2014, 06:51:25 PM »
If I didn't already have 634 recipes in StrangeBrew (excellent but antiquated software), I would certainly go with BeerSmith.

Ingredients / Re: How to tell if a malt is under modified?
« on: April 04, 2014, 10:27:35 AM »
I wonder if a combination of flaked barley and an overmodified malt would be similar to undermodified malt.

That is an excellent point and I bet it would work as an approximation.

Ingredients / Re: How to tell if a malt is under modified?
« on: April 04, 2014, 04:56:24 AM »
I don't have the answer to your question, but I'm curious of the answer as well.  What I do know is that 3 or 4 years ago when I purposely sought out with intent of purchasing a malt that was marketed as "undermodified", I couldn't find any, so I ended up decocting a highly modified malt instead.... and the results were excellent.  I like doing things authentically, for the fun of it, but of course in the end it is the taste that really matters.  If we find an undermodified malt, though, I'll want to run some more experiments.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Consensus while judging?
« on: April 03, 2014, 12:43:49 PM »
Didn't look like a joke to me.  I've seen that level of quality, and worse, from real competitions.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A Yeast Hypothesis
« on: April 03, 2014, 06:24:34 AM »
Fantastic information.  I'm going to share with all my buddies.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Consensus while judging?
« on: April 03, 2014, 06:16:10 AM »
Sometime erasing can be problematic

Looks like this one was completed by a second grader.  I'd pitch it.  Gosh, I'm a hell of a jerk, aren't I.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison Stats?
« on: April 03, 2014, 06:11:30 AM »
Are you guys pitching 2 packs per 5 gallons? I've read this recommended in a few places on the internets and wondered if that was actually necessary or just yeast lab marketing :)

Totally unnecessary.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wit yeast recommendations
« on: April 03, 2014, 06:09:24 AM »
WLP400 is very fruity with a distinct pear or apple flavor.  I like it, but next time I brew a witbier I will try something else.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Is my beer infected?
« on: April 02, 2014, 05:29:06 AM »
Let us know if you see the shrooms and the yeast having sex in there and creating mutant fungi.  I don't know what that might look like, but it might be scary.

All Grain Brewing / Re: BIAB Techniques for Efficiency & Flavor
« on: April 01, 2014, 06:43:18 PM »
Mashout is usually unnecessary in a homebrewing setting where you can get your sweet wort up to a boil within a few minutes after the mash is done.  It's more useful for commercial brewers where it can take hours to get up to a full boil.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Conversion time trame
« on: April 01, 2014, 08:50:48 AM »
Yep, and that, too.  Big difference between commercial timeframes and homebrew scale.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Conversion time trame
« on: April 01, 2014, 08:48:38 AM »
I was talking with some of the brewers at Dry Dock Brewing Co. and they have told me that conversion happens within the first 20-30 minutes of mashing.  I tried this with my last batch and it seems to be fairly true.  I was .02 off of my gravity nut everything else seems to be fine.  Again, this was a casual conversation with some of the brewers at DDBC.

Jeff Rankert is right about dextrins changing to more fermentable sugars with a longer mash time.  I've run a lot of experiments and proved that 20-30 minutes may result in a low attenuating beer, e.g., if you are expecting 75% apparent attenuation, you might only get attenuation in the 60s with such a short mash.  I also proved to myself for my own system that 40 minutes was long enough to hit the desired attenuation, e.g., 75% or whatever.  I mash almost all my beers from 40-45 minutes and haven't had any problems at all since I started doing that (about 6 years ago).  60-75 minutes won't hurt anything, but it isn't necessary, at least not on my system.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Head Retention on A Wheat beer
« on: April 01, 2014, 07:28:48 AM »
It could be the oils from the peppers.  Otherwise, I'm at a loss.  Looks like your recipe and process were good, from what I can tell.

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