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Messages - dmtaylor

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766
Great experiment -- sounds tasty!

More interesting to me would be the difference between 180 grams and like 270 grams and 360 grams (in 11 gallons).  That's the frontier that needs to be explored.  We knew 60 grams would be relatively wimpy.  But where is that point of diminishing returns, exactly?  I'll go by ounces here because that's what I know: commercial brewers usually/always seem to peak at 0.6 to 0.75 oz per gallon.  What if we used a full ounce per gallon, what does that do?  Can you really cram more flavor in at that point, or is it just a big waste of beer lost in the hop trub?  Next time (I'm sure there will be a next time, yes?!).

767
I haven't ever used the 1335 but based on its descriptions it sounds like it's worth trying.  Should be an acceptable replacement, probably not identical but in the ballpark.

FYI -- WLP039 is said to be identical to Notty but since it's from a different manufacturer, it might be different and worth a shot if you don't like Danstar's version.

768
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« on: September 18, 2015, 10:20:44 AM »
The idea of people brewing an amount just because other people do is silly. We all do it our way.

Do we?

769
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« on: September 18, 2015, 05:26:29 AM »
consider smaller batches indoors on the stove (at least for the mash, if not also the boil).

This is all I ever do, winter spring summer fall!  I don't understand the obsession with large batches and big equipment.  Save time on brewing day, experiment a lot more, get more variety, yadda yadda.

 It is cool that it works for you, I hate kitchen brewing, I like to keep the mess in another area and find making larger batches more efficent for my time.  You could consider that what works great for you may not for everyone.

Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks!  I get that.  Of course my process is the best.  For me.  Not for anyone else.  But it's certainly an option that some people just never seem to consider.  Everyone brews the same way as Denny Conn or John Palmer or Jamil Z or whoever else.  It seems to me so often that everyone is set to auto-pilot.  Does it work?  Sure it works!  But so does my way.  And nobody else seems to do it my way!  Well, a few.  But not many.  It's an option worthy of consideration.  That is all.

770
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« on: September 17, 2015, 01:11:28 PM »
It makes sense for some people to brew large batches. If you don't drink much or have that many other people drinking your beer, then it makes more sense to brew smaller.

Brewing inside in the winter is a great idea. It adds humidity to the house and heat. I brew inside year round, probably shouldn't in the summer months though. Gets a bit humid in my place.

:)  Smells great in the house for a couple days, too!

771
Other Fermentables / Re: Apple pressing
« on: September 17, 2015, 09:26:21 AM »
Denny, so have I.  It'll work.  But it also pays to understand and mitigate risks.  And there are some.

772
Other Fermentables / Re: Apple pressing
« on: September 17, 2015, 09:06:57 AM »
Oxygen is not a consideration at all until fermentation nears completion, at which point your cider can easily turn to vinegar if any airborne acetobacter or other wild beasts find their way into your cider.  I've made some mighty tasty vinegar this way on accident!  But it's easy to avoid:

What you really want to do is ferment in non-permeable material (e.g., glass) and limit the head space as much as possible near the end of fermentation.  That being said, if you keep the cider cool in a refrigerator as I do, then everything should be fine, as acetobacter operates only at warmer temperatures.  I don't worry about head space or oxygen in my refrigerator very much at all.  At least not for the first several months.  After about 6 months, my cider fermented in the fridge in plastic containers begins to lose its alcohol and tastes watery (6 months! yeah, I'm lazy).  But other than that it's fine.  Bottle or keg it before that point and you'll be just fine.

So yeah.  Oxygen is a slight risk.  Your cider would love to turn to vinegar so you need to prevent that with headspace or coolness.  But it's very easy to prevent.

773
Other Fermentables / Re: Apple pressing
« on: September 16, 2015, 08:27:10 PM »
Sulfites to kill wild beasts?  Yes, good idea.  One tablet per gallon, wait 48 hours, then add your own yeast.

I have not tried the EC-1118 yet but a lot of people like it.  Personally my favorites are Cote des Blancs and good ole US-05.  In any case, fermenting cool in the 50s if possible and racking about once per week for the first month will help to maintain a little sweetness in the finished product, if you're interested in something other than a bone-dry white wine-like product.

Low and slow.  Time.  Patience.  These are all key things as far as I'm concerned.  Give it a good couple of months before bottling/kegging.  You don't need to age it.  Drink it when it tastes great, which will probably be like I said, a couple months.

Good luck!  Let us know how you like it.

774
All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Temp & Time
« on: September 16, 2015, 03:50:06 PM »
Most of the homebrewing books touch on mash temperatures a bit.  A couple of things worth mentioning:

1) Protein rests (around 110-122 F) can be harmful.  Since today's malts are so well modified, the protein rest actually destroys head and body rather than helping it.  Total opposite of what it did with the old malts from just 50-100 years ago.  But none of the homebrewing books will tell you this.  It's just something that people have learned in the past 5-10 years, and the books all have some catching up to do on this.  It's not opinion or theory as far as I'm concerned -- it's fact.

2) Step mashes and decoctions are fun to play around with, but after many years playing around, I've settled on a standard mash temp and time of 150 F for 40 minutes.  This simple schedule works great for 90% of beer styles.  And you'll probably find out the same thing yourself after you play around.  There's certainly nothing wrong with mashing at 152 F for 60 minutes all the time either!  Just a waste of 20 minutes if you ask me!  :)

But certainly, pick up a book, and/or read How To Brew or howtobrew.com, play around for a while, and learn from your own experience.  It's what we all do.  Find out what you like.  Have fun with it.

775
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Check my math?
« on: September 16, 2015, 11:10:49 AM »
Good catch.  He obviously meant to say 4 grams.  4 mg is only off by like a factor of 1000!  ;)

776
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« on: September 16, 2015, 11:08:02 AM »
I have 3 small kettles.  Works fine on the stovetop with 3 kettles if I want to brew 5 gallons.  Or, just brew 1.7-2.5 gallons and you're fine in one kettle, if your stove can handle it which it most likely can (my glass-top can handle this no problem).

777
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« on: September 16, 2015, 10:55:32 AM »
consider smaller batches indoors on the stove (at least for the mash, if not also the boil).

This is all I ever do, winter spring summer fall!  I don't understand the obsession with large batches and big equipment.  Save time on brewing day, experiment a lot more, get more variety, yadda yadda.

778
Aren't there laws against monopolization?  For when survival of the fittest one is less desirable than survival of the fittest several?  I know nothing about this but seem to recall such a thing.

779
If this goes through, I guess they'll really have the monopoly now on what is mostly very mediocre beer.  I'll reserve my congratulations for later.

780
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Check my math?
« on: September 16, 2015, 06:22:51 AM »
Math looks right to me.  Great experiment, and one that I should run myself sometime as it might be very useful.

I've got to say... initially, I was a little concerned with the dilution of 1 mL to 2 oz beer, but when I realized that this is a volume increase of just 3.5%, I believe that will be barely detectable.  In other words, you'll be watering down the beer very very slightly, but probably not enough that anyone will care... Sort of like how most people probably won't even be able to taste the extra salts in the beer!  But who knows until you try. 

You might want to try this blind with 3 or 4 different samples for each person, and tell them maybe that you messed with the salt additions with some but not all of the samples, and see if they can then almost blindly figure out which is which.  My guess is most people probably cannot.  Should be especially interesting if you were to do something like that.

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