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Messages - dmtaylor

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Homebrew Competitions / Re: Young lager
« on: July 15, 2016, 07:02:35 AM »
Just enter it as is anyway.  Judges these days are likely to forgive overhopping.

And as any entrant should know.... it's always a crapshoot anyway.  Hard as they might try, there's no consistency in the BJCP anymore.  I don't enter comps anymore.  I'll still judge them, but don't think I'll enter because I'm utterly fed up with the crapshootiness and incompetence of too high a percentage.

Gosh I'm such an ass.   :-[

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why Do You Homebrew?
« on: July 14, 2016, 08:43:34 AM »
Homebrewing to save money on beer works out like buying a fishing boat to save money on fish.

...unless you're me!  But saving money (which I *could* claim) is not why I brew anyway.  I suppose I could make it a goal, but I've thought about that in the past and figured, meh.......... that's not why I brew.

Beer Recipes / Re: first saison
« on: July 13, 2016, 11:34:21 AM »
I do not like 3711. As in I no longer buy craft Saison's because I don't know if they used 3711 or not.

Wow, that's some dislike.  Personally, I no longer buy craft saisons because....

They're friggin overpriced and often/usually "meh".

Beer Recipes / Re: first saison
« on: July 13, 2016, 11:31:39 AM »
Went three weeks which leads me even further to believe that it isn't the same as 3711 when I can get something in the keg in <14 days, even when pitching a little low. I typically start at 68 and let it free rise to 74

Edit to add - it was at 1.008 for 8 days before I kegged.

Oh... good data.  I hadn't heard of these kinds of differences previously but will keep on the lookout for more such data.  I love dry yeasts so I'm sure I'm biased as well.

Beer Recipes / Re: first saison
« on: July 13, 2016, 11:28:12 AM »
they might have different properties. I didn't like my results with Belle. I know some folks prefer 1056 over 001 over US05 over what ever other Chico strains are out there.

You are correct.  Accept all of the above with grains of salt.  Yeasts from different manufacturers are all slightly different, even from the same original sources.  I totally agree.

Beer Recipes / Re: first saison
« on: July 13, 2016, 11:26:29 AM »
My last saison was mashed at 147 for 90 and only got to 1.008 with belle saison. Same beer with 3711 or 3724 has finished below 1.005.

After one use I am not a fan of the flavor from Belle Saison and will not be trying it again.

I'm curious if you gave it enough time.  Takes a whole month, even fermented in the mid-70s or hotter.  I start mine in the upper 60s then bring to about 75-76 F for a whole month.  Finishes rock bottom around 1.002 or whatever.

As for flavor, I love it.  It is mild but characterful, a little peppery spice and a little lemony.

Beer Recipes / Re: first saison
« on: July 13, 2016, 11:21:31 AM »
I'm not familiar with Belle, but 3711 is easy to use and I like the results I get.


Beer Recipes / Re: first saison
« on: July 13, 2016, 11:20:09 AM »
I think your recipe is great, the ingredients will not clash but should work well.

Belle Saison yeast has about 96% apparent attenuation.  I think your final gravity will probably be about 1.002, and that's without any added sugar.  Add a half pound or pound of sugar if you like and it could fall to 1.000 or anywhere in those ballparks.

Key thing to note, though: Belle/3711 is a trickster yeast.  You'll think it's done fermenting after a week or whatever, but it's not.  Let it sit for an entire month if you want low gravity.  It will keep on chugging very very very slooooooowly over the course of three more weeks.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why Do You Homebrew?
« on: July 11, 2016, 01:10:22 PM »
Homebrewing allows me to embrace my geekiness and have beer available all the time.  And it also allowed me to join my homebrew club, which is a great bunch of friends that also have beer available all the time.  About 75% of my social life is homebrew-related, so either I'm a loser or I have a great social life. 8)

Excellent points!  I'm in the same boat.  Were it not for homebrewing, my social life would be... ???

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why Do You Homebrew?
« on: July 11, 2016, 07:16:50 AM »
I homebrew as a creative outlet as well as to satisfy my neverending nerdy need to generate Excel spreadsheets about stuff.  It bridges my loves for cooking, science, and beer in such a perfect manner.  I can get as nerdy as I want, and as creative as I want, and in the end, well, it's BEER, so you know you'll want to drink it.  :)

Is anyone degassing and/or adding staggered nutrients to cider, as one does with mead?

Not on purpose, and no.  I haven't found these things to be of any benefit whatsoever to final cider quality.

My only concern in reconsidering this is that maybe if I stir in the Campden and then immediately put the lid on the cooler, I'm somehow inhibiting the process?

I do believe it is important to let the treated water offgas in the open for at least 5 or 10 minutes.  But that is just a hunch at this point -- I have not looked up the actual chemical reactions.  If chlorine gas needs to escape but is trapped, this could be a problem.

They dissolve pretty quickly.  Crushing is important though.

I think you might be asking a lot of the right questions!  My experiences on this are a bit vague, but I do seem to detect a higher probability of chlorophenols in darker beers, and I must admit I have even experienced very very slight levels of chlorophenols in my beers with the "regular" dose of 1/4 Campden tablet in 5 gallons.  Perhaps it truly, truly is time to step up the Campden and use more, just to see if that helps.  I really don't think it will hurt anything.  Why aren't we using 1/2 Campden for 5 gallons or a whole Camden for 10 gallons?!  It's cheap and effective!  Maybe more really is better!!!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Oktoberfest Ale
« on: July 10, 2016, 05:59:43 AM »
So I will be doing a BIAB for the recipe I listed in the first post and it uses irish moss. I have seen a lot more people using gelatin as opposed to irish moss. Is there any significant difference?

Also, this will be my first BIAB and I am wondering how much I should be using for my starting water. I have seen a lot of people use 6.5 when doing BIAB for a 5 gal batch. Does that seem about right? Also I have seen some people sparge when doing BIAB. Should you sparge to increase your efficiency when doing BIAB if you have a way of doing that? Such as a turkey frier with the bag attached to the fry basket?

Difference between Irish moss and gelatin: Gelatin works.  Irish moss doesn't always work.  That's my experience.

Grains soak up 0.1 gallons per pound, so account for the amount of grains when calculating water.  And then of course you'll probably be boiling off a gallon if you boil for 60-75 minutes, so add a gallon for that.  Then if you want to leave any sediment behind from the grains or cold break, add a quart or two for that.  You might need 6.5 gallons, might need 7 gallons -- it's all up to you and your own experience.  You'll have to play around for a couple of batches to find out all your own adjustments to use.

Yes, I am an advocate for sparging with BIAB to improve efficiency.  There's two ways of sparging BIAB that I have experience with:

1) The simple dunk sparge.  You need a separate kettle to heat up sparge water, and then either dunk the heavy grain bag into that kettle if it's big enough (probably not) or pour the hot water into a 6-gallon bucket and dunk that way, then mix all the wort back together into the main kettle.

2) The colander/basket sparge.  Still requires a second kettle for heating up sparge water.  From there you essentially have to place your grain bag into the colander or basket over yet another bucket and or drain the hot sparge water over it.  This method can be effective but is very very slow, and for that reason I don't do it much anymore.  Dunking is easy.

With these methods and a good crush, you can achieve 85-90% or even higher efficiency.  However, I'm also not an advocate for that either.  Sometimes, good enough really is good enough.  If your efficiency without a sparge is 75% or more, it might be best just to skip the sparge altogether, seriously.  I sparge nowadays for the biggest gravity beers, but for smaller beers (<1.055 or so) I usually skip it because you can get great efficiency just from draining the bag and moving on.


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