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Messages - dmtaylor

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Another band-aid off flavor post
« on: February 14, 2014, 09:07:40 PM »
ANY chlorine is bad chlorine!  Get rid of it with Campden.  Crush 1/4 tablet and add per 5 gallons water before you brew, and the chlorine is gone instantly.  Problem probably solved, right there, easy as that.

Beer Recipes / Re: How do you plan your recipes?
« on: February 12, 2014, 10:20:37 AM »
I try to think of the final product and move backwards by determining what ingredients will get me there. If there is a beer that I want to emulate to a certain degree I try to find as much information if nothing else so I have a good idea of how they do it. I have never tried a clone recipe but have definitely used commerical breweries as influences in some of my beers by doing a bit of research and in some cases contacting the brewery directly.

If I am trying to brew a particular style I usually find a good commercial example or award winning recipe to get ideas from but not copy. I did that recently for a Kolsch

Yes, this. ^^^

I occasionally brew a so-called clone recipe or actual recipe from a commercial brewery to the T, but most often I'm not afraid to tweak the recipe to suit my own tastes.  Most typically what I'll do for any given style is research a half-dozen award-winning recipes for that style, compile a list of all the ingredients and ranges of amounts that are most commonly used, then use my own personal intuition as to which 4-5 ingredients and amounts seem to be the most appropriate, maybe add another unique ingredient if I feel it will complement the style, then brew it and find out.

Also I love to review recipes and descriptions of old historical beers, imagine how I think they might have tasted, and design a modern recipe around that.  The best beer I have ever made was a "historical concept beer", based on some research of what was being grown for ingredients in Wisconsin back in the 1860s.  I ended up using chocolate malt, 40% rye malt, Hallertauer hops, local honey, and Kolsch yeast.  Yummy yum yum.  Love that beer, still have one bottle left for a special occasion, and I need to brew it again soon.  It's not an actual historical recipe... but it could have been!

So I look all over the place for inspiration, try to design a recipe backwards based on my imagination of how I think it should taste, brew it up, and occasionally I get lucky and it hits the mark right on.  Try to make something unique, but still obviously a beer.

I also like to try adding funky off-center ingredients from time to time, but I also find that in a lot of cases, they either don't really work very well in a beer, or the amounts need serious adjustment for future batches.  For the most part, I stick with traditional Reinheitsgebot ingredients, because to me, that's what really makes a great beer in most cases.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Pitching temp. vs. cool down time
« on: February 10, 2014, 04:41:14 PM »
Chill by immersion in cool water of the stainless kettle or a plastic (not glass) container.  This will get you down to pitching temperature in about an hour, especially if you change out the immersion water after ~30 minutes.

Chill to 60s and ferment in the 60s.  Your beer will be better the cooler you can ferment.  70 F is kind of warm for most styles except maybe for Belgian ales.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Malt head?
« on: February 08, 2014, 06:03:44 AM »
I love hops.... but I love malt and yeast character even more.  I love Belgians and German styles the most.  I love IPA, too, but... there's more to life!

Beer Recipes / Re: Inspired By (clone) Names
« on: February 04, 2014, 12:46:32 PM »
My Chimay is Shewill.  I stole that from someone else, though.

Mine's called "Chimaybe".

My last one that missed the mark was named "Chimostcertainlyisnot".  Still a good beer... but not a Chimay clone.

Ingredients / Re: If you had to choose only 3...
« on: February 02, 2014, 11:46:33 AM »
Those are great options, and I would probably pick something along those same lines.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Interesting Judging Phenomenon
« on: January 31, 2014, 11:57:32 AM »
I've had one of my beers tasted twice by the same judge in two different competitions just a few weeks apart, with two completely different scores.  I believe it was a Baltic porter or an old ale or something like that.  The first time he gave it mid-30s, and the second time a 17.  Also worth noting, the first time he was judging with a good reasonable judge, and the second time with an arrogant butthole who gave it a 13.  I am a judge myself so I knew that my beer deserved a score in the 30s.  I hate buttholes.  Think they can influence the world in any way they see fit even when they are clearly wrong.  But of course it's also the other guy's fault for letting himself be influenced by a butthole.  At least I know his true opinion.

It's also interesting judging your own beer blind in a competition or whatever when you don't know that it's your own.  With your bias aside, you can get some really great opinions from your own self on your own beer.  Impossible when you know that it's your own.  Pretty cool stuff.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Acetaldehyde
« on: January 31, 2014, 08:57:38 AM »
To deal with overcarbonation, assuming you don't have bombs on your hands, I would just pour your beer into a pitcher, allow to settle for a few minutes, then pour into a glass to help reduce your carbonation.

But if you have such high carbonation that you have potential bombs on your hands... you need to pop all those caps right now.  Here is the difference between bombs and non-bombs -- if you pop a cap and then a couple seconds later it begins to foam over, you'll be alright.  But if the second you pop the cap the beer leaps out of the bottle, your bottles might explode, which can be very dangerous!  I have experienced both more than once.  Bombs are really dangerous.  Gushers, not dangerous but just a pain in the rear end.

It will be just fine.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Acetaldehyde
« on: January 30, 2014, 10:35:57 AM »
+1.  Yeah.  What they said is also very possible.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Acetaldehyde
« on: January 30, 2014, 08:01:30 AM »
You might have bottled before fermentation was 100% complete.  Did you check gravity several times over the course of 3-4 days?  You really need to do that and wait until the gravity stops decreasing before bottling.

3 Tbsp honey seems like the right amount for a gallon.  But if you lost a lot of volume due to yeast sediment and trub, and only had like 3 quarts of beer left to bottle, then 3 Tbsp might be too much.  How many bottles did you get?  And were they regular 12-oz bottles, or 16 or 22-oz?  That will give us a better picture so we can help more.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Distilled water brewing
« on: January 27, 2014, 06:07:27 AM »
Personally I might have picked a style with more specialty grains to bring the mash pH down more but this will still make for a very interesting experiment.  Please report back on how similar or different they TASTE once completed chilled and carbonated.  Thank you for sharing with us!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Acetaldehyde
« on: January 27, 2014, 05:58:07 AM »
Be aware that there is also a difference between acetaldehyde (green apple) and apple ester (regular non-green apple).  Some yeasts such as WLP400 throw a ton of apple and pear flavors, which has nothing to do with acetaldehyde.  If you severely underpitched or used really old yeast, you could have acetaldehyde.  If you used a Belgian yeast or even American yeast, in some instances you could get the non-green apple ester even with a good pitch.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: adding zest after fermentation
« on: January 25, 2014, 06:36:37 AM »
Vodka tinctures are the very best way to add all sorts of flavors IMO.  It is the only method I use anymore besides adding to the boil.

Beer Recipes / Re: Basic Recipes help
« on: January 22, 2014, 03:37:03 PM »
Hey, I used chocolate wheat malt in a Kolsch last year!  Only I didn't call it a Kolsch.  I called it an American brown ale.  But used WLP-whatever-it-is.  That 2565 yeast is too much of a pain.  But we digress...

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