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Messages - dmtaylor

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661
But I've also heard it said by some experts that melanoidins produced during the boil are flavorless and contribute only color and not flavor.  Caramelization is also a negligible factor until gravity gets really high or unless making a steinbier or something where the heat source is localized and hundreds of degrees hotter than the conventional gas burner or stovetop.  All sorts of things to ponder, and to experiment more on!

662
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Most likely culprit of a slight banana ester?
« on: September 15, 2015, 05:36:14 AM »
I'll bring up something that no one else will:

Did you use any extract?  I find stale extract to exhibit a banana-like flavor and aroma in finished beer.  Not sure if anyone else in the world picks up on this.  It's part of the infamous "extract twang" as far as I'm concerned.

If you didn't use extract, then nevermind the above comment.  The other guys are probably right.

663
I have heard from experienced judges that you should expressly state that you have used flaked maize in your competition beer, if you have used it, otherwise you risk having it dinged for DMS.  In a tasting class we had the Siebel Institute DMS fault and I found it to be more of a cooked green vegetable flavor and aroma than corn-like.  So I avoid adding green vegetables to my beer.

That's nice to provide information on the entry form except the judges will probably never see it for simple styles like these.

664
Im ascared that if I boil 60 min instead of the usual 90 that I will detect DMS because I will be looking for it.

That is a very valid concern.  Well done.

665
These results are very interesting, but I'm too chicken to try.  I don't get to brew as often as I would like, so I fear that I'll have a bad batch and not be able to brew for another month.

Bit it's been proven to not happen.  What have you got to lose?

My guess is "5 gallons".

Fortunately, most DMS beers are still drinkable, IMHO.

Except that he won't get DMS.

HE won't because he's going to boil for 90 minutes.  The rest of us won't because we believe in the flying spaghetti monster Marshall Schott.  :)

666
These results are very interesting, but I'm too chicken to try.  I don't get to brew as often as I would like, so I fear that I'll have a bad batch and not be able to brew for another month.

Bit it's been proven to not happen.  What have you got to lose?

My guess is "5 gallons".

Fortunately, most DMS beers are still drinkable, IMHO.

667
Maybe I should try a more scientific experiment for myself, one pilsner beer with the lid off and another with my normal process to see if it matters.

Yes!  Do it.  And share the results, please!  :)

668
These results are very interesting, but I'm too chicken to try.  I don't get to brew as often as I would like, so I fear that I'll have a bad batch and not be able to brew for another month.

If you could save more than 60-90 minutes on every brew day from now until kingdom come, would you be able to brew more often and thus increase your overall happiness level?  Here's how:

1) Cut your batch size in half.  This reduces time to get to boil by perhaps 10-15 minutes, and perhaps sparge time by a similar amount.

2) Only mash 40 minutes.  Try it!  Turns out fine, I promise, I've been doing it for years.  This reduces mash time by at least 20 minutes.

3) Only boil 45 minutes.  Save at least 15 minutes.

4) Love to sparge?  Say goodbye to the sparge.  Brew In A Bag (BIAB).  Saves at least 15 minutes, and much more time if you're currently a fly sparger, maybe a whole hour?!  Plus it's really the best way to mash if you're doing small batches anyway per recommendation #1.

And then on bottling day, it will only take half the time to bottle.  Or get smaller kegs -- yes, they exist.

Any one or all of the above variables can be tweaked to allow you to experiment more, brew more often, and increase your total happiness level.  IF you're anything like me.  Many people are.  Many are not.  Suit yourself.  :)

669
3rd possibility...with today's malts, those just don't matter any more.

Just to clarify, not argue: DMS is certainly still possible!  I'm just left wondering which variable or two cause it nowadays.  The reason I conclude that it's most likely a lid thing (actually condensation / failure to boil off the precursor) is because a friend of mine was struggling for years with DMS problems.  I always figured, and told him, that it was because his keggle was bigger than he needed and had a small curved opening on top that allowed vapors to condense and fall back into the beer.  He's since turned up the heat and boils harder, I think still on the same equipment, and I don't notice the problem anymore.

670
I've been doing 60 minute boils with the lid mostly on the pot for about 10 years and never noticed DMS.

Try boiling with the lid off sometime and see if the quality of your beer improves.

671
On my last IPA, I did a traditional all-grain mash but then divided it into several soup kettles and boiled them simultaneously on my stovetop.  If you've got several good sized kettles in your kitchen, you can do the same.  You could split a 3-gallon batch into two 1.5-gallons, or a 5-gallon batch into 3 or 4 small batches.  Depends on how many kettles and how good your stove is I guess.

One key thing to keep in mind when using multiple kettles -- due to greater surface area of the boiling wort, you'll want to add at least a quart of distilled water to each kettle at the beginning of the boil because otherwise you'll end up with a very small amount of high gravity worts.  Boiloff rate is crazy, around 30-35% over the course of an hour with small batches, compared to the typical 15% for 5-gallons.  The distilled water you add will keep things at a more level playing field with the total volume you are used to seeing post-boil.

672
i've never used flaked corn- does it give some degree of cream corn taste regardless of boil length and lid on?

I haven't used it enough to give you any good answer.  I think maybe it helps, which is why it was in there, but I can't say for sure or how much.

673
Funny... I just ran a little experiment myself on my last cream ale, which was brewed as part of a club competition where there were like 10-12 entries of all cream ales.  For my experiment, I purposely tried to get DMS into the beer by using pilsner malt as the base, also used flaked corn, doing a very weak boil (not vigorous like normal), putting a lid on the boil kettle, and only boiling 45 minutes.

Results:

Out of 10-12 entries, my beer brewed with this technique was the ONLY one with DMS.

Which variable was the primary cause?  Well I don't know, but I would theorize it was somewhere between the very weak boil and the lid on the kettle.  Did the pilsner malt and flaked corn contribute?  Don't know.  Maybe?  Did the short 45 minute boil contribute?  Personally I don't think so.  Just hunches right now.  But there is certainly more experimentation that can be done in this area, because when I purposely used all the variables at once that could cause DMS, I did get it.  But it's not real strong.  It's there, but not out of style crazy creamed corn weirdness.  It's just there in the background, playing a supporting role in my cream ale as per the style.

674
Beer Recipes / Re: Cider
« on: September 14, 2015, 06:38:06 AM »
I liked my cider made with Notty last year but it did have a very odd peachy flavor.  But it did turn out semi-sweet which I liked.  US-05 on the other hand was exquisitely clean, crisp, and pleasantly appley, and very dry and tart which I hadn't expected.  Given my choice of the dry ale yeasts, I'd use US-05 again before anything else.  For wine yeasts, I've found nothing better than Cote des Blancs, which is surprisingly not too far different from US-05.

In both/all cases, my fermentations were/are carried out in the 50s and then 40s Fahrenheit for several months.

675
All Grain Brewing / Re: Batch Sparge OG
« on: September 13, 2015, 05:45:09 PM »
Big beers tend to be less efficient. Try a couple of moderate gravity brews to get the process down and adjust for larger beers

Bingo.  57% efficiency for an imperial stout is actually not bad at all.  Seriously.

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