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Messages - dmtaylor

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Spring 2015 Beer Swap
« on: May 23, 2015, 07:41:53 PM »
I'm glad you liked the smoked apple ale.  It was a lot more smoky when first bottled in February, and at that time I really did not like the smoke in there at all.  It's kind of a preference thing -- some people want more smoke and some less.  Right now it has faded to the point that I enjoy it much more.  In future I think I'm going to skip the smoke altogether.  I agree there's not a lot of apple flavor, except when it shows up in the aftertaste.  I have made this recipe many times over the years and it's always been like this, like... where's the apple?  Oh, THERE it is, in the aftertaste!  Plus it's a slightly tart beer from the cider as well.  I could have messed around with adding apple concentrate and all that jazz, but, I'm a purist.  No Redd's Apple Ale for me, thank you very much.  If you want it done right, you've got to brew it yourself.   8)

Cheers!  Oh... recipe is here for anyone interested:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: State of home-brewing
« on: May 23, 2015, 05:35:20 AM »
As with any business, he needs to keep up with the times to keep afloat.  Survival of the fittest.  The shop in my town is booming with increase in sales of some astronomical value like 50% or something like that (I forget the exact number).  He's here for good or so it seems.  And it's a small town of population only like 30,000.  In the past couple of years he has basically doubled or maybe even tripled his malt and hop selection, so now I can run there for things instead of always having to order everything online.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Gelatin not working?
« on: May 22, 2015, 01:30:17 PM »
No need to stir anything.  Generally I swirl the fermenter (or keg in this case) a bit and then pour the gelatin in.  The pre-swirling helps to ensure the gelatin will be well incorporated into the beer and not immediately form a pancake someplace.  Use the same process for Polyclar.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Gelatin not working?
« on: May 22, 2015, 12:35:14 PM »
Gelatin mostly only removes yeast.  If your haze is caused by anything else such as starch or protein or polyphenols, it might not work well at all.  In that case, try Polyclar.  If that doesn't work, you might have a starch problem that nothing might solve but to ensure proper mashing next time around.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Nottingham dry yeast
« on: May 22, 2015, 07:54:30 AM »
I don't use nutrients for my ciders anymore at all.  Theories aside, I've seen no actual advantages to using it based on taste.  I do often get sulfur with pretty much any yeast, but it always disappears within a few weeks so I don't worry about that.  If memory serves, my fermentation temperature was somewhere in the 60s, until I purposely wanted to slow it down to retain sweetness, then it was in the refrigerator for a couple of months in the low 40s for it to clear.  I used the same process with US-05 as I did for Notty and got two completely different ciders.  Yes, I too was very surprised.  In the past I have had great success with US-05.  I believe this was the first cider I ever made with Notty, although I've used it for beer dozens of times and always liked it in beer.  If the esters came out due to lack of nutrients, maybe that answers that.  I haven't used it enough in cider to know for sure.  Might be worth experimentation, especially if you don't think you'd mind peach esters in your cider.  Some might, me, I don't really care for it.  It's not bad, it's just noticeably peachy.  Also some pineapple maybe.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Nottingham dry yeast
« on: May 22, 2015, 06:42:31 AM »
My cider I made this fall with Notty yeast turned out very peachy, to the point where I don't even really care to drink it unfortunately.  In a plain-jane cider, there's nothing for off-flavors to hide behind.  However, I LOVE how my US-05 cider turned out, very very clean.  I will be using US-05 for cider a lot more in future. </tangent>

In most beer, there's plenty of malt and hop character to meld with Notty's esters and provide "complexity".  :)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Nottingham dry yeast
« on: May 22, 2015, 06:13:13 AM »
It is very clean, some say even cleaner than US-05, and it ferments cool all the way down to 55 F if you want it really clean.  At 70 F it still makes a good clean beer with few esters (slight peach/apricot).  Treat it just like American ale yeast US-05/WLP001/1056.  In the long distant past, at some point I was told that Nottingham ale yeast might have even been the biological ancestor of all the American ale yeasts US-05/WLP001/1056.  It's almost the same, but maybe even better, maybe.  There's good reason it's still around after so many years -- it's just a versatile yeast, acceptable for probably 80% of all beer styles.

For most people, fermentation temperatures are what they are. You put your beer in the basement and it could range from 65-70 depending on whether it's winter or summer. If you want to ferment at 63, that's kinda too bad.

Try a wet t-shirt and fan, it will take the temperature down by roughly 5 degrees F!

...But does it really matter?!  Meh... probably not.  Usually not.  Sometimes yes.  ;)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Acetaldehyde Later in Fermentation
« on: May 20, 2015, 06:34:30 AM »
I agree with the others that warming this up might get rid of any acetaldehyde.  However...

Are you positive that it is acetaldehyde, which is that artificial green apple flavor/aroma?  Is it possible you are simply detecting the pear-like ester?  Pear esters are very common.  Green apple, not so much.  You might not actually have a problem at all, unless it is very distracting.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Spring 2015 Beer Swap
« on: May 18, 2015, 07:35:52 PM »
Keith AKA majorvices

Belgian Wheat

Appeared cloudy in the bottle so I gave it a roll, what they heck. Pours hazy light yellow, bright white tiny bubble head that faded fairly fast to a lasting ring of white. Light lacing that almost makes legs. The nose is light Belgian spicy esters, light graininess, and a lemon-lime zest that strengthens as it warms. Flavor is a combo, one might say "happy marriage" of Belgian esters and lemon-lime zest and fresh juices. A light malty graininess supports. I didnt pick out any specific hop flavor but the bitterness is at a perfect level to support that citrus flavor without pushing it. Finishes dry and clean with a faint lingering lemon-lime. The finish reminds me of the finish of a citrus selzer. Medium light body, fluffy, well carbonated. No astringency or stickiness or slickness. Invites multiple sips. Super enjoyable, light, inviting, refreshing beer. I would buy this by the 12 pack all summer long! The little lady got a 6 ounce pour of this. Her first words were "Oh oh, Belgian" not her favorite style. She got lime and fresh ginger. Couldn't find that nasty spice they usually have. She finished it in 3 sips and wants me to find more.

After tasting and making notes, I read the brewer's notes. 4.8 %, no coriander, lime leaves, ginger, and chamomile instead. Great beer Keith! You really ought to open a brewery and sell this stuff ;-)

My obligatory rate-beer rating on this one is 4.5 and I have no idea how it would do at a BJCP comp, or where you would enter it. But stand alone, just a beer as it is on its lonesome... mighty fine. It deserves a 45 somewhere.

Oh, hey, that must be the so-called "Catalyst".  I brewed that one up myself a few years ago.  Very tasty and a hit with my brewing buddies.  Yeah, it's a 40-something recipe for sure.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Spring 2015 Beer Swap
« on: May 18, 2015, 07:33:03 PM »
Howdy all,

I did finally taste one of Sean Terrill's (a10t2) four delicious looking selections this past weekend.  All bottles arrived intact with a little yeast moving around that's been settling out in the fridge (bottle conditioned).  As such I purposely popped the witbier first since haze is most appropriate there.

Witbier --

Overall very tasty, like liquid Wonder Bread(!), but also having those certain special "Belgiany" esters and peppery spice.  Hazy gold, NOT opaque, low white head but with beautiful lacing.  A bit yeasty in flavor and aroma, perhaps due to its journey and freshness, but in a very pleasant way that added to the Wonder Breadiness.  A little tart, good for style.  Low/medium peppery phenol, yum.  Balance is slightly on the sweeter side as opposed to hop bitterness.  No hop flavor.  No pithy bitterness.  No DMS or diacetyl or anything like that.  Seeking the coriander and orange peel typical for the style, I didn't find any... but I was perfectly alright with that, as I've noticed that even Hoegaarden is low on these, in favor of the peppery spice.  I find this example to be sort of like a cream ale, but obviously fermented with Belgian yeast, making it oh so tasty.  Very well made for sure.  Commercial level of quality, no doubt better than many commercial examples I have tasted -- yes, that's right, if you sold this, I would buy it.  Deserving of mid-30s in competition, with small dings in part to the yeast that some folks might not care for (I don't mind it at all) and very low / non-existent coriander (which I'm also fine with).  Sean, if you like it like this, don't change it, it's great!  Otherwise maybe just double your coriander, and you're good to go, honestly.

After this one, I'm certainly looking forward to the others!  Maybe tomorrow or next day.

Thanks and cheers!

Ingredients / Re: Simplifying Recipes...
« on: May 14, 2015, 10:23:43 AM »
A protein rest isn't going to help you.  In my experience it can have the opposite effect of what you desire, because today's malts just plain don't need it.  If you love the character and head that wheat gives, then keep it in your recipe.  Maybe even increase it and use as a base malt.

Small amounts of black grains won't kill your beer.  If it's tasting funky it might be due to a mash pH thing.  So then reserve it for the tail end of the mash, and you'll be fine.  Maybe even offset its acidity with a fairy sprinkling of baking soda at the same time.

Munich and Vienna are awesome.  Use lots.

Ingredients / Re: Does roasted barley need to be gelatinized?
« on: May 12, 2015, 12:24:16 PM »
No.  Doesn't need to be mashed either.  You can add it after the mash, you can steep it during warmup towards the boil.  I wouldn't boil it.  But anytime in between there is good.

Interesting results!  My attempt to explain:

If you pitch enough good healthy yeast, fermentation temperature doesn't matter so much.  Try this same experiment with a poor pitch of old yeast, and you will get very different results.

Also, I am absolutely certain that selection of the specific yeast strain can make all the difference.  Try the same experiment with a hefeweizen yeast or Belgian yeast, for instance, and you will get two entirely different beers, no matter what your pitch rate.

But USUALLY... if you pitch a lot of healthy yeast, this can make fermentation temperature closer to a moot point.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water mineral content with mashing
« on: May 11, 2015, 04:57:29 AM »
If you're just starting out, there's no need to think about your water too hard.  Seriously.  Just throw into your mash a teaspoon of calcium chloride per 5-gallon batch, and call it good.  It will turn out beautifully every time.

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