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Messages - dmtaylor

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Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Thin head
« on: December 18, 2010, 06:49:47 PM »
You can do a search on the term "swamp cooler" to drop fermentation temperature.  Easier yet, you can do what I do -- wet t-shirt.  Basically you can take advantage of evaporative cooling by setting your fermenter in a tub with a couple of inches of water at the bottom, soak a t-shirt wet and then drape it over your fermenter letting the ends soak in the water which will keep the t-shirt wetter for longer.  This will lower your fermentation temperature by about 3 to 5 degrees F.  If you blow a fan on that same t-shirt, you can lower the temperature by 5 degrees F or more.  Works great, I do it all the time.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Thin head
« on: December 17, 2010, 04:02:40 PM »
+1 to all of the above.  One thing I did not see mentioned:  What was your fermentation temperature?  Anything greater than about 68 F can cause fusels that have a tendency to kill head.  So keep fermentation temperatures down to improve head as well.

Sulfur has always disappeared with age for me.  Usually it is totally gone after about 3 or 4 weeks.  However, one time I had a light lager where the sulfur was still there for months.  So I sort of gave up on it, let it age for over a year, then went back to it.  Sulfur was completely gone after that extent of time, and it ended up being a pretty tasty beer despite its age.


It may not be categorized as a "Christmas style beer", but my favorite beer to drink at Christmas time is Gulden Draak.  Try it and you'll see exactly what I mean.

Beer Recipes / Re: Please don't hate me: Heileman's Old Style clone recipe?
« on: December 08, 2010, 01:58:14 PM »
No way there is coriander in that beer.

Sure, you could use rice syrup instead of the corn sugar that I specified in the recipe.  Magnum hops will work fine as well, although to really go "old style", I think you need to use old hops like Tett or Hallertau.  Magnum isn't one of the old noble varieties -- not sure how old it is, but not very.  My very humble opinion.

Beer Recipes / Re: Please don't hate me: Heileman's Old Style clone recipe?
« on: December 07, 2010, 08:43:46 PM »
I'll take a real wild stab at a generic light lager recipe that might help you out.

The most important thing of all is the water.  Use distilled water.  Second most important thing is, well okay, it's got to be all-grain.  Trust me on this.  Third most important thing is a long vigorous 90 minute boil (or more) to eliminate DMS.

For 5 gallons, try about 7.5 pounds of pilsner malt -- maybe half American and half German or something like that -- as well as a half pound of corn sugar and a half ounce of any kind of "old style" hops such as Tettnanger or Hallertauer added in the boil.  Mash the grains at 150 F for an hour, boil for 90 minutes, and chill and ferment in the upper 40s for a month with whatever lager yeast you like (2308 or 2042 or whatever should be fine for this), and that's it, in a nutshell.  If it doesn't turn out quite right, try watering it down a little with more distilled water.  Yes, seriously!  I believe this is how the big boys do it anyway -- to make BMC, it's been rumored that they actually make a high strength pilsner but then water it down to make the light American lager that sells so well.  This probably saves a bundle on energy and transportation costs for them.

So anyway..... if this recipe isn't precisely right for Old Style, it will get you in a pretty close ballpark.  Good luck.  :cheers:

The Pub / Re: Got a mention in Draft Magazine
« on: December 06, 2010, 03:39:50 PM »
You da man, Keith.  Keep it up.

The Pub / Re: I am the Great Cornholio!
« on: December 06, 2010, 08:38:58 AM »
Do you have TP?

I absolutely cannot wait.  I am only slightly embarrassed to admit that I have been suffering serious withdrawal and have recently resorted to pulling up ancient episodes on YouTube.

Shut up, bumwipe.  No way, you shut up, fartknocker.  Heh heh, yeah, heh.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Negra Modelo
« on: December 04, 2010, 11:18:09 PM »
Negra Modelo is one of my all-time faves, and is without a doubt the quintessential Vienna lager.  Without it, I fear the style would die off entirely.  Dos Equis Amber doesn't even come close, and neither does anything else I've tried.

Yeah, a couple of months and quality drops off fast.  Drink it up as fast as you can.

Beer Travel / Re: Houston?
« on: December 02, 2010, 10:10:07 PM »
The Ginger Man is alright, nice selection of imported beers, but I don't care for the company.  Not sure why, just don't.  St. Arnold's is very good.  But my favorite places are a couple of pubs: the Red Lion and McGonigal's Mucky Duck.  Both have great selections of brews on tap and excellent food.  The fish & chips at the Red Lion was the best I've ever had.  IF you care about food at all.  But the beers are great too.  Mucky Duck also has live entertainment pretty much every night.

Freshness, color, yeast strain, and fermentation temperature all play important roles in attenuability.  I don't think this effect is limited to just LME, either.  I think it is mostly brand-name dependent, with the other variables all playing lesser roles.  The fact that your beers attenuate farther, I am guessing, is more a stroke of luck than anything else, unless you are a complete EXPERT on extract brewing.  I brewed with extract for about 5 or 6 years and then went all-grain and never looked back, so I probably should not comment further, not being an extract expert.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Working on PM Scotch Ale grain bill
« on: December 01, 2010, 11:37:20 PM »
I haven't run all the calculations, but just based on first glance, I would throw out the biscuit malt and the cherrywood smoked malt.  Both of those are inappropriate to the style.  If you want smokiness, either get it from a Scottish yeast strain (yes, that's right, it's in the yeast!), or add just 0.5 oz of peat-smoked malt per 5 gallons.  I just made a Scotch ale with 0.5 oz peat-smoked malt and it turned out with a very very very subtle smokiness, not overpowering in any way, but detectable and pleasant -- and I never thought I would ever say that about peat-smoked malt, which can so easily become nasty if you use any more than an ounce in 5 gallons.  So anyway, there's a start for you.  Take heed -- I love the Scotch ale and have brewed many.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brew Masters......up or down.....?
« on: November 30, 2010, 10:06:49 AM »
Hey, Dave, I know all about being being a's one of my specialties!  I'm well aware of the Jamil "persona", but my personal experience with him is very much the opposite of that.  I guess you need to get to NHC and meet him yourself!

I'm really looking froward to trying the WLA variations!

Denny, you, sir, have always been a gentleman and a scholar, at least on the forums.  Can't say I've ever met you yet either, so who knows for sure whether you truly are a gentleman or a butthead, but you are one person that I do hope to meet one day.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brew Masters......up or down.....?
« on: November 30, 2010, 09:45:16 AM »
I thought it was a bore.  And yes, Sam seems a bit full of himself.  But to give you some perspective, probably not as much as Jamil Z.

Do you know Jamil??

Alright, maybe it's just envy (absolutely not), or perhaps it is the fact that I am so firmly part of what was once the alternative/grunge/15-minutes-of-fame-hating generation, but I think it's pretty plain to see through the evolution of his podcasts and the continuing release of books and whatnot that "he", or the image that has been created, whether anyone else on earth cares to admit it or not, is way overblown.  But you are right, I have not met the man.  Who knows, maybe he really does feel deep inside that he's just an ordinary guy living an ordinary life.  Maybe it's myself and my disdain for reality TV and all things in the 21st century that are being mega-worshipped without much merit that need further examination.  He might be a wonderfully kind and charming man.  I have been wrong before.  But until that fateful day (oh I can hardly wait) when I might meet him and form a more informed opinion, I am comfortable in having the opinion that he is sold out and overblown.

My word -- where did all that come from.  I really don't mean to offend anyone.  Take my opinion for what it is worth -- probably not even 2 cents.

</rant> </hijack>

I suppose this is a bad time to bring this up, but speaking of "judge not lest ye be judged", the Waldo Lake Amber Ale competition is at my place this Saturday.  I'm hoping for approximately 10 entries, all local yokels from here in eastern Wisconsin.  Looking forward to tasting them all side-by-side and sending you some, Denny, if you can look beyond my buttheadedness and are still interested.

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