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Messages - dmtaylor

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Ingredients / Re: Advice on adding Basil to a Saison
« on: July 08, 2016, 07:15:02 AM »
I've done basil.  Warning: It's powerful.  Like I say with pretty much any herbs... do a bit of research to find out exactly how much you think you should use based on feedback from the interwebs.  Then use only 1/3 as much because they're all wrong.  I used dried basil so not sure how much to use wet.

As for methods of addition, vodka tinctures adding on bottling/kegging day are the only way to go.  Soak overnight then add the flavored vodka.


Ingredients / Re: Adding Citrus Peel to light ale
« on: July 08, 2016, 07:01:35 AM »
The best is to use FRESH peel, soaked in vodka for a few hours or overnight, then add just the flavored vodka on bottling day after fermentation is complete.  So if you want to try that, you've still got time to pick up some fresh fruit.

Otherwise, with the dried peels, I would figure about 5 minutes in the boil, or at flameout, would give just a bit of flavor, and a slight bitterness as well.

Cheers and hope you like the results.  Please share when it's done.

Ingredients / Re: The BEST Hefe Ingredients... Please
« on: July 06, 2016, 12:32:01 PM »
Just jumping in to high jack, whats a good mash temp for a German Hefe? No experience brewing one, but think I would like to in the near future

Someone else will have another opinion, but in my opinion.... mash temperatures just really don't matter that much.  Shoot for 151 F for 45 minutes.  If a little higher or lower or longer time, no big deal.

Ingredients / Re: The BEST Hefe Ingredients... Please
« on: July 06, 2016, 11:06:07 AM »
Are you talking about Witbier?

Good question.  OP, what say you?

Assuming you're talking about a Germen hefeweizen.....

I'm in the boat of folks who will say that the ingredients don't matter nearly as much as the choice of YEAST and the fermentation temperature, and personal preference!  What's great to one taster is terrible to another, and what's trash is treasure to another, vicy-versy and all that.  Personal taste is more important than anything else really.  But assuming you're the average joe who enjoys a fine German hefe....

You're most likely going to want to do a severe underpitch of WLP380, like only 1/4 to 1/2 the vial for 5 gallons, with NO yeast starter, fermenting in the low to mid 60s Fahrenheit.  Severe underpitching is crucial for maximum clove and banana and maybe even bubblegum, and cool temperatures help keep it balanced.  Hotter temperatures make the clove go away and promote bubblegum flavors.  If you pitch the standard rate per, you are likely to be disappointed no matter what you do with temperatures.  In any event, drink it young -- this is one style that needs to be consumed within a month or two of brewing.  After that, it turns into a very plain jane orange ale as all the clove and banana and other esters completely vanish.

If you just want to brew something crazy, and not a traditional hefe, then I dunno where you want to go with that, but it's not a hefe at that point as far as this style nazi is concerned.   ;D

And if you're actually talking about witbier, then my advice is to go easy on the coriander, using half as much as anyone else suggests, and a decent healthy pitch of WLP400 for a month, and you're good to go. 

Malt bills are super easy with all these.  Half wheat and half something else.  Done.  Hops are a no-brainer.  I love Hallertau.  Tett or other nobles or noble-like varieties are fine.  Bittering additions only.  No late hops necessary at all, unless you want to be wild and crazy or whatever.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Oktoberfest Ale
« on: July 05, 2016, 12:35:17 PM »
Like Dave says, WY1007 is as close to a lager yeast as you can get in an ale yeast.  But no matter what yeast you use, it won't be very lager like unless you can find a way to ferment it cool and somehow keep it cold afterwards.

I don't know. Some of Brulosophy's exbeeriments might casually suggest that fermentis 34/70 can ferment above 60F with decent "lager-like" results. That dry strain seems to be fairly forgiving. That might also be an option for you. But either way, keeping your initial fermentation as cool as you can is really the key to producing a mock lager.

Brulosophy also had great success with WLP029 Kolsch yeast which I would also recommend trying.  Very clean stuff indeed, even in upper 60s in my experience.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Oktoberfest Ale
« on: July 05, 2016, 11:30:21 AM »
I really love the Wyeast 1007 altbier yeast.  I'll bet it's as close as anyone can get to a true lager without lagering.  It would be helpful if you can use ice blocks to get it down to about 60 F if you can.  And/or, run an experiment and try it warm and see how that turns out.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hops between 60 and 20 min?
« on: July 05, 2016, 05:57:24 AM »
My thoughts exactly.  I desire always to put hops either at the beginning of the boil, or the very end like in the last 5 minutes.  Anything else means that the recipe formulator either subscribes to ancient Papazianisms that aren't necessary ("flavor additions happen at 15-30 minutes" or whatever), or couldn't make up their mind if they wanted flavor & aroma or bitterness.  Late additions give you both flavor and aroma, regardless of whether boiled for 20 minutes, 15, 10, 5, 2, or zero.  Even bittering additions actually give you some flavor, but much of it is boiled away.  I make fine lagers with just bittering additions that taste spicy from the Hallertau used as the bittering hops.  If you want subtle hop flavor in any recipe, consider whether you need any late additions at all.  Play around with it.  But you're right.  Anything 20 minutes or longer is doing a little bit of both bittering and flavor, which is kind of silly when you can just pick one or the other.  If you want both, then skip all the middlemen and do additions both at the beginning and the end of the boil.

Other Fermentables / Re: First Hard Apple Cider - Any Tips?
« on: July 03, 2016, 06:19:30 AM »
Thank you again for the help, dmtaylor.  Do you think it would be okay to rebottle that primed bottle of beer and add another 1/4 tsp of table sugar?  It was bottled about 36 hours ago.

Yes, that should work splendidly.  Still might take 3-4 weeks to carb fully.

Other Fermentables / Re: First Hard Apple Cider - Any Tips?
« on: July 02, 2016, 06:40:01 PM »
I'd give it a week to make sure it's not still fermenting.  Check gravity again in a week, then bottle.

Temperature is not critical.

Air gap is not critical.

1/2 tsp per 12 oz would be a better priming amount, and kept at room temp for 3-4 weeks.  You might never get carb with just 1/4 tsp, or just a slight spritzy taste without noticeable bubbles.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Sasion Cider
« on: July 02, 2016, 01:56:27 PM »
I didn't hear anything snotty.  Sharing experiences is cool in my book.  In the end, the fact always remains: More experiments are needed.

Cheers!   8)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Sasion Cider
« on: July 02, 2016, 08:25:14 AM »
I find that Belgian yeasts don't do anything special to cider.  Yeast does make a difference in final flavor, but not as much as you think and it doesn't do the same things to cider as it does to beer.  Looking for clove and banana and pepper flavors from your yeast in cider?  Reality is different from expectations.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Belgian Tripel Advice
« on: June 30, 2016, 12:02:47 PM »
A good way to avoid extra O2 exposure is to not rack to secondary at all. Also, racking too soon (as in racking to secondary) has a potential to stall fermentation and leave off flavors and aromas in the beer. Leave it in primary for a month and you'll be at FG and the beer will be clear.

Bingo!  We have a winner!  Give this man a prize.  :)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Sasion Cider
« on: June 30, 2016, 10:44:00 AM »
Could you back sweeten with something non-fermentable plus carbonation sugar?

Yes you could.  In my experience, xylitol tastes almost exactly like real sugar, without any of the chemically tastes that you would get from Splenda or others.  Xylitol can be kind of expensive and if consumed in large quantities can lead to gastric distention, but in moderation it's wonderful stuff.  I might have to try using this sometime.  On the other hand, my own process for obtaining natural sweetness in cider without any added sugars is pretty awesome, albeit time consuming.... if interested, search on dmtaylor & cider & gelatin and you should be able to find info on this process.

Equipment and Software / Re: Made a homebrewing idea generator
« on: June 30, 2016, 05:15:44 AM »

Fun stuff!

That's been a round a long least 15 years.  Guy who wrote it also wrote some great brewing software, too, but both he and the software seem to have disappeared.

Not totally disappeared... I still use StrangeBrew for every recipe.  It is still the best in my book.  And Drew still emails me a new key every time I request one for a new computer.  Works on Windows 7.

I've run into problems after about the 8 week mark.  These days I wouldn't go past about 6 weeks to be safe.

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