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Messages - dmtaylor

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781
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP comp question
« on: September 21, 2016, 06:55:58 PM »
Yes, enter it as a fruit beer.

782
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
« on: September 21, 2016, 06:54:32 PM »
I think your math is right and hope theirs is wrong.  A quick look and their windsor is low too...  Interesting find!

Yeah but... I still maintain my bet that a little stress by underpitching with any Belgian or weizenbier yeast helps these yeasts to express more of the lovely esters and phenols... and secondly, Windsor is a BEAST that will hit final attenuation within 36 hours if you pitch "the standard" quantity, so perhaps underpitching wouldn't be such a bad thing for that one as well, maybe then it takes 48 or even 72 hours to hit FG -- oh no!

 :D 8)

783
Beer Recipes / Re: Hoppy Lager/Non traditional pilsner
« on: September 21, 2016, 05:23:50 PM »
CTZ is very very dank.  Cascade is not so much.  Magnum would be a great option for bittering next time.

784
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: My Tripel tastes too Sweet. Help!
« on: September 21, 2016, 03:15:08 PM »
You could probably make a small half-gallon batch of wort and use either the Belle Saison or Wyeast 3711 yeasts, and once fermentation is going strong, combine this with your existing tripel.  Either of those yeasts (they are the same) will ferment pretty much anything down to about 1.000-1.005.  You'll have to be patient, though... it can take up to 3-4 weeks for this yeast to complete the fermentation.

Good luck.

785
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wich is the better bock yeast
« on: September 21, 2016, 03:34:38 AM »
I used S-23 in a recent Tropical Stout - turned out nice and tropical fruity.

Bingo, FTW.

786
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: first time judging as an apprentice
« on: September 20, 2016, 07:50:02 PM »
FWIW, the course I'm taking is in the Netherlands.

Oh, the Netherlands.  So then maybe the common off-flavor you are experiencing is from the water.  I'm actually half-serious --- if I recall correctly, I believe the hardness and for lack of a better term "filthiness" of at least one of their water sources might give Heineken its unique flavor profile, which actually I think turns out kind of tasty as long as you don't get it out of a light-struck green bottle.  Or, this theory might be entirely incorrect.  Just something to think about maybe.

787
All Things Food / Re: Beer style(s) for Thanksgiving?
« on: September 20, 2016, 04:36:21 PM »
I often make an apple ale for Thanksgiving.  It's basically a witbier base with half the liquid being fresh orchard apple cider.

In the past I have also made winter warmers... probably about time for me to brew a winter warmer again actually, I think that's a really good idea.  Yeah...

788
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wich is the better bock yeast
« on: September 20, 2016, 03:54:13 PM »
I could be wrong but as I understand it, both S-23 and Mangrove Jack's California Lager yeasts are probably better suited to the California Common / "steam beer" style than to a bock.  W-34/70 is a good old reliable lager yeast that has made great beer for me and for many others.

Dave, I'm not saying you're wrong, but why would those be better suited to steam beer?

I dunno... what does the term "California Lager" mean to you?

I've never used S-23 so maybe that's just another crap yeast that should not be sold, that's what I've gathered.

789
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: gose without sour mash?
« on: September 20, 2016, 03:30:35 PM »
I agree that the addition of actual lactic acid to a finished beer can give a lackluster tartness that just isn't the same as actual Lactobacillus will do to the beer.  But... perhaps that is what you like?!  You won't know if you don't try it I suppose.  Why not take a pint of your favorite pilsner or helles, and add a couple drops of acid to it and see how you like the taste?!  Maybe it works for you.

FWIW, I find 95% of commercial gose beers to be WAY oversalted.  Go easy on the salt, unless you like drinking seawater.  Apparently tens of thousands of people do enjoy them, so, what do I know.   >:(

790
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 6 weeks in primary too long?
« on: September 20, 2016, 01:57:23 PM »
Take it from the laziest brewer on Earth (that's me):

6 weeks is my absolute limit of how far I would take it in primary.  6 weeks + 1 day may start to give you off-flavors.  Don't go for 7 weeks.

The effects are also indeed MUCH worse in plastic than they would be in glass.  If you are fermenting it in plastic, get it out of there soon.

791
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: first time judging as an apprentice
« on: September 19, 2016, 10:13:38 PM »
Frank,

Good to see you're on the path.  I happen to be BJCP Certified, took my first exam in 2006 or 2007.

I can honestly say that homebrews do NOT all taste like "homebrews" to me.  Of course some are better than others, and the extract beers in particular tend to turn me off IF I am able to taste "the twang", which is often but NOT always the case.  Meanwhile, some examples are very very good, some even world-class or better than you can buy commercially.  I have judged many 40-point beers in my time as a judge, and maybe even more often than most would expect.  If a beer is really good, I am not at all afraid to give it the score that it truly deserves, and I'll defend it if necessary.  The opposite is true as well.  I'm not afraid to give a score of low teens if it sucks.  However the majority do in fact fall someplace around a score of 28-33 which is about what most judges would expect I think for an average quality beer.  Maybe even higher, maybe 34.  I've found that at least in the USA, average quality of homebrews and commercial beers alike have improved by several points since about 10 years ago.

Phenols?  Gosh... that's got to be either a Belgian thing (you're judging in Belgium -- yes? no?), or a personal sensitivity thing.  I wouldn't be terribly surprised if brewers in Belgium picked up a certain "house" phenolic just by being where you guys are.  But even more likely: Some people are more or less sensitive to certain things than others.

A quick story: I know a National judge who can't taste diacetyl at all.  I'm not hyper sensitive to it either, however I've "defeated" him in battle before where he loved a beer, scored it in the 40s, but then when I tasted it I told him it's alright but has some diacetyl so I'd only score it a 30, then when another Certified judge broke the tie, the third judge agreed with ME while the other guy was forced to confess that he knows he can't taste diacetyl so as much as he personally disagreed, he had to defer to us.  I'm also a little more sensitive than some people to phenolics I think, and maybe DMS but not as much. 

Another example: I absolutely hate that phenolic Carmex lip gloss flavor.  This actually caused some additional hate and discontent when I received the results from my last BJCP tasting exam, where a Belgian dubbel was praised by the proctors for having low phenols, but to me tasted like lip gloss and turned me off, resulting in a difference in proctor vs. my score on the tasting of like 15 points or something, so of course they marked me down for that.  I still think my personal opinions are more important than others' sometimes, and for that I guess I'm paying the price, as I'll have to take the exam again if I'm ever to become National.  Oh well, someday maybe I'll learn.  For now, sorry no, I've not learned yet.   ;D

You may be onto something very real.  Maybe all the beers you tasted really do have something off.  Or maybe they don't.  I wish I could taste them right there alongside with you.  In fact, don't be afraid to table-talk with higher ranking judges after you each take your notes.  You might learn something but also you might even TEACH THEM a thing or two that they might otherwise miss.  Personally I don't respect a Recognized judge's perceptions any less than a National or even a Master.  We can all pick up on different things, and sometimes a new guy's perceptions can be refreshing and educational if they can describe well enough what they are tasting.  "Sour Cheese Nips" has been part of my vocabulary more than once, and occasionally someone else will say "Yes!  Exactly!  You hit the nail on the head!"  Trust your perceptions, because hey, they may very well be right.

Cheers.

792
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Good notes?
« on: September 19, 2016, 07:56:30 PM »
I should probably add that I type all my applicable notes into my favorite software (I use StrangeBrew) for easy access later.  I used to have a 3-ring binder but that thing was a pain to maintain, not to mention it got thick real quick.  Electronicize and you don't have to worry about losing anything and can access it very easily later on if you need it.

793
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Good notes?
« on: September 19, 2016, 07:27:16 PM »
I'm not sure exactly which kind of notes you're talking about -- probably mashing/brewing notes?  It can be very beneficial to take down all your temperatures and times, mash pH, things like that.  Good beer can be made without these notes as well, it just involves a little more luck and can be harder to learn from mistakes.  I've found it useful whenever making a mistake or seeing an unexpected result to document it right away and keep an eye on it just in case it makes a difference in taste later on.

If you're talking about tasting notes, well I do a lot of that as well.  Aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel, and overall impressions are all the major sections on a BJCP judging form.  However not all of these things are necessarily a big deal.  The timing since bottling or manufacture, storage conditions, etc. can also make some difference as well.

In the end, do whatever you think is useful and what makes you happy.  If you're happy brewing and drinking without taking a whole bunch of notes, then don't bother.  For nerds like me, though, it has proven very useful to take detailed notes when appropriate.  I don't always take notes, but when I do, they're pretty darn detailed, just in case.  Sometimes I never read them again.  But often times, I do.

794
All Things Food / Re: Hoisin
« on: September 19, 2016, 01:22:13 PM »
Homemade stuff is always so much better.  I just made a simple marinara sauce from some tomatoes that were starting to go bad, never done that before, and it was the best dang marinara I ever had.  Sure beats Ragu and Prego.

795
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wich is the better bock yeast
« on: September 17, 2016, 09:43:13 PM »
   Sorry, early morning cranial flatulence - looking at my notes S-23 actually has worked well for me, unbelievable amount of yeast sludge in the bottom of the conical but almost none at all in the bottles and reasonable attenuation.
   Dave, could you please expound upon your preference for 34/70.

I could be wrong but as I understand it, both S-23 and Mangrove Jack's California Lager yeasts are probably better suited to the California Common / "steam beer" style than to a bock.  W-34/70 is a good old reliable lager yeast that has made great beer for me and for many others.

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