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Messages - dmtaylor

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Other Fermentables / Re: freezing apple juice
« on: April 28, 2015, 02:58:46 PM »
Yes, frozen juice will still make very good cider.  Go for it.

9 lb LME seems a bit much.  Cut back to around 7-7.5 lb?

Also 1 lb melanoidin seems a bit much.  Cut back to about 0.5 lb.

With a doppelbock, you can safely add all your extract up front.  The major effect is darkening, and darkness is just fine in a doppelbock.  Hop utilization will also be reduced a bit as you mentioned, but again, in a doppelbock, which is not a heavily hopped style, this is no big deal.

For more information...

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Crazy amount of head.
« on: April 27, 2015, 02:40:53 PM »
See above, and I'll say it again -- was your priming sugar fully dissolved in the fermenter, or did some of it fall out into the bottom?  If you fully dissolve all your priming sugar in a cup or two of boiling water, and then add this fully dissolved solution to your fermenter, then you shouldn't have inconsistent carbonation.  That's still my guess.

Another possibility.... Excessive sediment in a bottle can become excessive "nucleation sites", where the CO2 bubbles can form.  It's the same kind of thing as like on Mythbusters where they drop a Mentos into Diet Coke and it becomes like a volcano because as the Mentos begins to break up in the Coke, it creates millions of microscopic points where CO2 can grab onto, all at one time, and this leads to gushing.  Another example: Have you ever seen one of those fancy Samuel Adams glasses where there is a tiny circle etched into the bottom of the glass?  A lot of bubbles will emanate from that etched ring on the bottom of the glass because of nucleation.  Same thing happens with dirty glassware.  If there's some crud in the bottom or sides of your glass and you pour a well carbonated beer into it, the foam can be excessive due to nucleation on the debris.

The same thing can happen with the sediment in your bottles.  Too much hops or whatever in the bottom of the bottle, and you might have gushers just from excessive available nucleation sites.

I would still double check that your sugar is fully dissolving before anything else.  That's the biggest problem if it's not all dissolved, you'll get crazy gushers from that.  The yeast/hop sediment thing is a relatively minor effect as compared to insufficient mixing of the priming sugar which would be a huge effect.

All Grain Brewing / Re: water to grain ratio for mashing
« on: April 24, 2015, 12:09:32 PM »
I go anywhere from 0.9 qt/lb with like a barleywine when I sparge a ton and boil longer, up to 2 qt/lb with a lighter beer.  Average is anywhere from 1.3 to 1.8 qt/lb for "normal" strength beers.  For the most part, it really just doesn't matter much.  It doesn't directly impact efficiency or attenuation or body or anything else you can think of.  At least not until the biggest beers like barleywine, where at that point you might want to sparge as much of the sugars out as possible to keep your efficiency up.  Maybe.  Up to you.

Mash ratio just really doesn't matter all that much in my experience.  Huge gravity beers might be the only real exception, IF you care about sparging and boiling longer to maximize efficiency.  Or take the hit.

I guess I'm starting to repeat myself.  I'll say it again... no, I don't need to.  Seriously though...

Mash ratio really doesn't matter.  Play with it and see for yourself.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: Category Question
« on: April 23, 2015, 05:19:03 PM »
It's extremely unlikely you can taste the rye at just 15% of the grist.  It may add a little body and awesome head retention, but that's about it.  Keep as 10A.

All Grain Brewing / Re: 100% pils malt. Too light?
« on: April 23, 2015, 06:59:37 AM »
Watch your pH

Don't lose sight of this ^^^.  Mash pH tends to be quite high with 100% pilsner malt beers.  You might get 5.8 or even higher, but you really need to get this down to 5.5 at the most.  The best way to do this is by adding food grade acid, or acidulated malt.  With acid (I use powdered), stir in just tiny amounts like 1/2 or even 1/4 teaspoon at a time, and keep on testing pH until it comes out right at 5.3-5.5.

Ingredients / Re: Using your back yard creek
« on: April 18, 2015, 07:11:55 AM »
Makes a great chiller if you can set it up right.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: thin beer
« on: April 17, 2015, 06:57:34 AM »
is there any specific advice we can give?

See my post on previous page.  It's quite specific.

to build body in an AG beer, a higher mash temp (154-160F) along with use of wheat, rye, or flaked barley would help, as would choosing a less attenuative yeast strain.  As for being flavorless, that's a recipe issue. Gotta experiment with malts and hops.

And that's very good too.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: thin beer
« on: April 17, 2015, 06:20:19 AM »
I too agree not to agree.  I don't think novice homebrewers make watery thin lifeless beers.  They might not be stellar brews, but I wouldn't come to a conclusion quite like that.

Tiring of saying the same old things in 17,000 different ways, for single-page printable generic guidance for new brewers, I always just post this:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Spring 2015 Beer Swap
« on: April 16, 2015, 08:56:14 AM »
I'd prefer a one-on-one swap, but if not, oh well, this works.

Ingredients / Re: Peated malt
« on: April 16, 2015, 08:13:07 AM »
The bigger problem with the BJCP is that these styles tend to be under-taught to judges (see Jim's comments) so much so that many BJCP training courses barely address them and they are barely tested. The stories of horrible judging in these styles are endless. I've personally seen judges say they don't like sour beers and score down sour beers because they just didn't like it (in cat. 23) or give the best scores to the least sour beers in the flight out of personal preferences. It seems too accepted and although these complaints have been raised to BJCP leadership it doesn't seem like they care.

Judges are human, and reality is that there will always be some judges who suck, and there will always be organizers who don't care about pairing judges with style preferences appropriately, etc.  I have issues with how BJCP does some things, but in their defense, they can't resolve world hunger either, whether they care or not.  What they CAN do is establish style guidelines and competition guidance that makes sense to a majority of people.  But if they refuse to listen to a majority of people, then majority doesn't rule, and THAT, I have a problem with.

Ingredients / Re: Peated malt
« on: April 14, 2015, 11:55:46 AM »
At the BJCP reception, we also learned that Kentucky Common Beer did not use a sour mash.
There was even a significant amount of debate on the BJCP forums on the style guidelines for it.

It wasn't really debate.  None of the new guideline threads really involved much debate.  They were all like, "This is what the Masters have determined, this is the way it's going to be, you don't like it then that's just too bad."

My opinion of the BJCP is reduced by a few notches.  I still think BJCP is useful to a point.  But I could do without the one-party politics and the one-upmanship by some of the highest ranking members.   :P

Ingredients / Re: rice hull question
« on: April 14, 2015, 06:22:16 AM »
They do absorb some volume, although I have never tried to quantify it.

How much wheat are you using?  If less than 50%, I would suggest that you might not need the rice hulls at all, or you might want to try it without and thus skip it in future if you find it isn't needed.  But if you'd prefer the insurance then by all means go for it.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Old standards in cheap beer?
« on: April 13, 2015, 03:33:30 PM »
It's possible the big brewers have finally figured out that the average joe wants more flavor, and they want to put their old mainstays in positions closer to the successful craft beer market that is booming like mad, so if they put more flavor in the old mainstays, it will make for an easier transition of those folks to craft beer (if the drinkers don't all die first).

Maybe.  Probably not.  But possible.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Priming sugar...Is 3/4 cup right?
« on: April 12, 2015, 08:22:31 AM »
I have a 2/3 cup measuring cup and I fill it slightly short.  It works.  I never weigh my priming sugar.  In small batches (currently I usually brew 1.7 gallons), I run some calculations and then measure 1/4 cup plus or minus X number of teaspoons if required.

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