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Messages - dmtaylor

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Ingredients / Re: El Dorado sweetness
« on: August 17, 2015, 08:39:58 PM »
I just bottled an IPA with El Dorado, Columbus, and Northdown.  The Columbus dominates.  I really don't pick up any of the Starburst / Jolly Rancher candy like flavors or sweetness from the El Dorado at all.  Might as well just have used Columbus by itself.  Seems like a wimpy hop to me.  It didn't smell sweet or awesome out of the package either.  If anything, I got onion and earth out of it!?!?  Should have been fresh from last year although I suppose there's a chance it was 2013 crop.  The Northdown had more character than the El Dorado.

Beer Recipes / Re: Spaten Oktoberfest clone
« on: August 17, 2015, 09:13:14 AM »
Wyeast 2206 is my favorite lager yeast of them all.  Be careful with substitutions between ANY Wyeast and White Labs and other yeast manufacturers -- very often times when they are touted as equivalents, they are anything but.  Wyeast 2206 = my absolute favorite.  Its supposed equivalent, WLP820 = my absolute LEAST favorite.  Conclusion = NOT equivalent!!!!!!!!

Beer Recipes / Re: Spaten Oktoberfest clone
« on: August 16, 2015, 04:52:24 PM »
WLP820 has a very looooong lag time, and is a poor attenuator.  It is less than mediocre and is probably the worst lager yeast on the market, i.e., use any other lager yeast and get better results.

Beer Recipes / Re: Thoughts on a baltic porter
« on: August 15, 2015, 08:47:13 AM »
riceral, that recipe looks pretty good.  Here's the tweaks I would suggest:

Mash hot and fast, about 153 F for just 30 minutes, to ensure a higher final gravity.  Otherwise it's going down to about 1.020, which is okay but perhaps not in line with your goal of 1.025.

Maybe try a different yeast such as Wyeast 2206 or 2308, or the dry W-34/70, rather than S-23 that would make it more fruity.

Consider trading some of your chocolate malt for black patent for even more complexity.

Also consider that your efficiency might suck with a big beer like this.  If you normally get 75% efficiency with 1.060 beers, keep in mind that your efficiency might drop to as low as 50% for a monster like this.  If you set up your brewing software like this, you are more likely to achieve your OG goal of 1.085.  Otherwise you might only hit 1.060s or 70s.

The above tweaks are all optional.  Recipe looks pretty tasty as it is!  Enjoy.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: It's Official
« on: August 15, 2015, 05:08:44 AM »
Volume and stupidity are what have kept me off the HBT forum altogether.  I am on pretty much almost every other forum besides HBT.  Except in recent months activity has died down on all forums except for AHA which is now my favorite.  Damned kids and their Facebook and texting crap..... ;)

Welcome to the right place to be, Derek.  :)

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Wheats fall from grace
« on: August 14, 2015, 04:05:25 AM »
They should have honored Caitlyn by putting her portrait on the first can of the beer, that's all we're sayin'.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: What's your favorite hidden gem
« on: August 11, 2015, 09:45:14 AM »
A few thoughts:

I'm a sucker for Capital Autumnal Fire, which is sort of like a big malty cross between an Oktoberfest and a doppelbock.

Also I can't understand the poor reviews that Baltika 6 Baltic Porter gets on BeerAdvocate, etc.  It's a perfect 10 porter in my book, with notes of brown bread and molasses... mmm......

Anyone try a Samuel Smith Old Brewery Pale Ale lately?  If you like malty English beers, good golly, give that one a try.  Full of bread pudding and toffee-ish character.  Belhaven makes some fantastic ones as well.

And then there's always Warsteiner.  Light, dark, I don't care.  My swimming pool in heaven is filled with this stuff.

Can you tell I'm a malthead?  If you really want to find "hidden gems", you need to avoid all the hops and sours.  There's a lot great malty beers to be had out there as well.  The best beers in the world are not all Imperial IPAs and Brett fermented saisons, no sirree.

Here's another one for you..... Gordon Biersch.  Yes, the big chain.  Talk about fantastic German lagers, man...... I'll have a beer with you there anytime.

As for the other previous comments...

Overall I find that Schell's makes some pretty great beers.  The Snowstorm ones are always great.

Hard to beat a Leinie's Honey Weiss on a hot day -- seriously!  Even if most their other beers are crap.  Big Eddy series, sure, I'll age some and drink it after a few years as it often improves.

Interesting how a lot of these are not so much "hidden gems" as they are just plain blown off.  Like Neil Diamond or Karen Carpenter.  You'll always claim to your friends that you think they suck, but when no one else is around you're singing it loudly in your shower.

Lakefront Riverwest Steinbier, anyone?  Another flagship that everyone in Wisconsin drinks all the time, but people not from this area probably never heard of.  Get some.  Drink it.  Savor it.  It really is *that* good.

If you had a slow start that eventually started, it is now probably too late to pitch more yeast.  But, since you've got it, have at 'er.  No telling what you might end up with now.  Might be great, might not.  About 50/50 odds, I would say.

Beer Recipes / Re: Commission brew/Blue Moon style beer
« on: August 06, 2015, 10:51:01 AM »
Zest of 5 oranges seems like way way way too much for a standard witbier.  To each his own.

Beer Recipes / Re: Commission brew/Blue Moon style beer
« on: August 04, 2015, 02:44:07 PM »
WLP400 is great stuff.  Tastes like pear, maybe just the slightest hint of black pepper, very slight.  If fermented too warm it might go towards bubblegum, so keep it in the 60s.

Beer Recipes / Re: Commission brew/Blue Moon style beer
« on: August 04, 2015, 02:29:56 PM »
It would probably get lost in the boil.  Save for end of fermentation.

All Grain Brewing / Re: 50:50 or 60:40 Wheat to Vienna for Hefeweizen?
« on: August 04, 2015, 02:29:11 PM »
Sounds like an excellent grist for a dunkelweizen.  Add a little Carafa if you've got it and make the dunkelweizen!

Weizenbiers are pretty much all about the yeast anyway.  The malt is important, to a certain point, but does not totally make the style like the yeast does.  Use the right yeast and the malt bill doesn't matter nearly so much.

Anyways, honestly, do you really need to care about style at all??  Are you entering this into competition??  If not, then who cares!!!!  It will taste awesome no matter what you do, truly it will.


Beer Recipes / Re: Commission brew/Blue Moon style beer
« on: August 04, 2015, 01:07:23 PM »
Flaked wheat will help guarantee cloudiness like the real Blue Moon has.

I'd drop the sweet orange peel.  It will only add bitterness.  The zest is a good idea though as it will add actual flavor and aroma, especially if you reserved it for bottling time instead of the boil.

That's all I'd change.  Looks like a great recipe as-is.  You can play with the yeast or malt origin a little based on others' feedback, optional in my book, as you're pretty much there.  Good luck.

Beer Recipes / Re: Spaten Oktoberfest clone
« on: August 04, 2015, 05:00:24 AM »
I was curious enough to look into this to develop my own recipe.  If I ever were to attempt to clone Spaten Oktoberfest, I think this would come really close:

5 gallons

6.5 lb German Vienna
3.5 lb German Munich II
9 oz CaraMunich
1.25 oz Hallertau Tradition (6% alpha, 60 minutes)
WLP830 or Wyeast 2206 -- either will work great!

Make a big 3-quart yeast starter a few days in advance.
Single infusion mash about 148 °F for 1 hour.  Pitch and ferment at 50 F for 6 to 8 days, then raise up to 65 F for 2 days for diacetyl rest.  Then lager if desired, bottle or keg as normal.

If you can't lager in the 50s, suggest trying the Wyeast 1007 altbier yeast at about 60-62 F.  Find the coolest corner of your house (basement!?), then you can just place a wet t-shirt on your fermenter with a fan blowing on it gently to reduce fermentation temperature from ambient by about 5 degrees.

In any case, it should taste very good fresh, but should improve even more after 4-5 months lagering in the bottle/keg.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Alright guys need help
« on: August 01, 2015, 03:16:22 AM »
Smaller batches.  You have to brew more often, and you probably want to bottle although you can find smaller kegging systems... all at the "expense" of way more variety in your beer fridge.

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