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Messages - dmtaylor

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What is applejack?? And is it good?
« on: June 09, 2015, 09:41:22 PM »
I haven't done it lately, but if done right, it can be good.  Worth a try sometime.

Beer Recipes / Re: Commission Brew Need ideas/Recipes
« on: June 09, 2015, 06:16:10 AM »
Blonde ale, Kolsch, or cream ale are all great options for the light one.  Oatmeal stout is great for the dark.  You're already on the right track.  You might also consider an English brown or mild ale.  It's all good.  However I'd probably steer clear of anything with too much hops, unless you know they enjoy hoppy beer -- hops are more of an acquired taste that the uninitiated will fear.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: % ABV mathematics ???
« on: June 08, 2015, 04:54:37 AM »
I know the calculations can get complicated when adding fruit or lactose or whatever after fermentation is almost complete.  It’s not too terrible, you just need to understand that it makes no difference when you add the sugar, you always need to treat it like it’s been there the whole time and add it to the OG.  The other basic concept is of gravity units (GU), and for calculation purposes they need to be multiplied with the volume that they apply to, in order to keep everything on a parts sugar mass basis, then divide by the final volume at the end to get the final gravity of the final volume.  You can always ignore the 1.0 in front of your gravity measurements and just deal with the digits after.  So, 1.055 at 3 gallons becomes 55 * 3 = 165 parts sugar; 1.342 at 1 pint becomes 342 * 1/8 = 43 parts sugar, etc.

In your case, the extra pint of grape juice concentrate adds barely any volume at all (0.125 gallon out of 3.125 gallons total), however since it is concentrated, the sugar it adds (43 total parts sugar) is quite significant.  As stated above, you get 165 parts sugar from the beer itself, then 43 parts sugar from the beer, for a total of 208 sugar points.  Then this is divided evenly among the total volume of 3.125 gallons, so that’s 208 / 3.125 = 67 GU, or 1.067 effective original gravity.

So, your grape concentrate kicked up your effective OG from 1.055 to 1.067.  Yes, you do need to find out your final gravity, because then, like normal, you’ll need to subtract OG from FG then multiply by 131 to get your alcohol by volume.  If gravity heads down to about 0.999, then that’s (1.067 - 0.999) * 131 = 8.9% ABV

Hope this helps.  It is a little complicated, but it makes more sense conceptually if you pretend the fruit concentrate was in the fermenter for the entire time.  This mathematical method ignores time and pretends everything was always in there.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison vs liquid saison yeasts
« on: June 03, 2015, 06:43:20 AM »
I love validation from a respected homebrewer and commercial brewer.  Cheers, Keith, and all!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Low Attenuation/High Floc?
« on: June 02, 2015, 06:37:28 PM »
Windsor for sure is very fast and very flocculant.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Does anyone filter after a BIAB mash?
« on: June 02, 2015, 08:19:53 AM »
I use BIAB for almost every batch, but of course, my process is unique.  For one thing, I'm only making about 1.7 to 2 gallons per batch.  That makes life very much easier.  But even when I made bigger batches a few years ago, I followed the same process and it wasn't too difficult...

I place a large colander over a big plastic bucket.  I place the grain bag into the colander.  I sit down then carefully and slowly pour the entire mash volume through the grain bed.  It takes a good long time, 15-20 minutes.  This is how I "recirculate" to eliminate the small particles.

Then I also sparge, the same way.

See, I told you my process is unique.   ;D

Lately I've begun to experiment with just placing an extra grain bag or two into the colander, and pouring through that instead of pouring through the entire grain bag, so the small particles come out faster.  Also incorporate a dunk sparge, and we should be good to go -- no small particles, sparged for efficiency... perfect.  I should have been doing this for a long time already but just never really thought about it too hard.

There have been a number of other things going on with my process as well.  Like mill gap settings.  They say "crush till you're scared".  Well I did that, for many years, and found I can easily get 90+% efficiency this way.  However, I believe this comes at the expense of malt flavor intensity, not to mention, stuck sparges.  So I have since opened the mill gap.  Now I can sparge easier and still get decent efficiency around 80-ish AND get plenty of malt flavors.

But anyway..... yeah, I do my own thing.  And you can too.  We all make good beer.  There's a million ways to do it, and no one's wrong as long as it all tastes great.  :)

Jon has a great point.  I was initially going to say "no, it shouldn't taste sour", but if there is still yeast in suspension, yes, yeast itself has a certain sourness to it.  Might taste just fine after fermentation is complete.  Give it some more time and you'll most likely be awarded.  Have you noticed any unusual looking pellicle on the top?  If it was infected it would often have an ugly dusty looking skin on top that does not look like regular yeast.  If it's the usual creamy brown with bubbles, then it's probably just fine.  Patience.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Priming 1 12 oz bottle??
« on: June 01, 2015, 06:51:35 PM »
1 teaspoon of cane sugar is fine, I do this once in a while and it works.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sulphurous / Egg Smell In Starter
« on: June 01, 2015, 06:22:33 PM »
I am of the belief that German hefeweizen strains and Belgian strains are very very closely related.  Perhaps all are in a new unidentified species, since they are indeed so unique compared to others.

US-05 and BRY 97 are not the same yeast strain.  US-05 is BRY 96.

BRY 96 = Ballantine "Beer," "Chico," Wyeast 1056, White Labs WLP001, and Fermentis US-05
BRY 97 = Ballantine "Ale," Anchor Liberty Ale, Wyeast 1272, White Labs WLP051, and Lallemand BRY 97

This is fantastic information, thank you for sharing! Where do you find stuff like this, anyway?

I have heard these facts repeated on many various forums and magazine articles, which indicates to me that it's most likely truth.  In this case I believe there's actual evidence out there someplace that these are hard facts and not just guesses, though I'll confess I cannot remember where it's documented.

So yeah... actually, assuming we're right, then BRY 97 is actually NOT "relatively new-to-the-scene".  This is a really really old ale yeast strain, been around for probably 50 years or more.  I don't know a ton about Ballentine but from what I recall, they were one of the inventors of the APA style a LONG time ago.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sulphurous / Egg Smell In Starter
« on: May 31, 2015, 07:39:18 AM »
I've heard that a penny or two in the fermenter or in the glass will knock out excessive sulfur.  Haven't tried it myself.  I did have a batch one time that took several months for the sulfur to disappear.  It was a pilsner.  Once the sulfur was out, MAN, that was a great beer!  It usually goes away in a few days or a couple weeks.  Rarely it takes a lot longer.  But as I said before, in my experience, it ALWAYS goes away with age.  Very  rare to have it take longer than 2-3 weeks, and usually it is just days / a week.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Newbie Questions - help please
« on: May 30, 2015, 12:50:52 PM »
You might be interested in reviewing this thread in full:

I find that the key to maintaining any sweetness in a cider is to rack often, about once per week.  Sorbate and sulfite can be used to help arrest fermentation, however they don't kill the yeast dead but rather only slow it down.  If you want a carbonated cider... good luck.  I have not had great success with carbonating my ciders because you'll inevitably either get a still cider or a gusher, because like others said, the yeast has no idea that you want it to ferment a little bit but not all the way.

Pasteurization, I have not had good success with personally.  It makes the cider taste cooked and it loses something, also makes it hazy.  You can try it, it should work, but you may or may not be happy with the result.

Best way to carbonate, unfortunately, is to keg.  My ciders are mostly all still.  Occasionally I get lucky and have a slight carbonation, but often times not, or sometimes, it gushes out of the bottles.  Good luck, that's all I can really say.  Or get used to drinking still cider, which in my opinion tastes every bit as delicious as carbonated anyway.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sulphurous / Egg Smell In Starter
« on: May 29, 2015, 08:09:00 AM »
Sulfur is very very normal for all fermentations.  Don't worry about it at all, as sulfur ALWAYS disappears with just a little aging, ALWAYS.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: State of home-brewing
« on: May 27, 2015, 03:20:47 PM »
*some homebrew forums may be declining...


AHA has become for me the forum most traveled.  Northern Brewer has been my main hangout for almost 10 years but in recent weeks I can tell it's almost dead now.  A whole bunch of other forums have almost completely died off just in the past year or two, and others prior to that.  Sadly I wonder if it is inevitable for all online forums to die, replaced in part by the grossly inadequate and low-value FB.  We cannot allow this to happen!  If the AHA forum dies, then where will geeks everywhere who are bored or need a brief diversion at their places of work visit online to procrastinate?!  FB (as well as some other sites) are blocked at my job, and thank heavens, otherwise no useful work would be performed ever again.   ;D

The world is changing for sure.  Some think for the better.  Some think change in and of itself is inherently a good thing, and the old timers just need to suck it up and try to embrace it.  Blecch.  At times I'm glad that, God willing, I only have a few decades left on this earth.  ;D

Does anyone know how German breweries oxygenate? Is it within the rules of Reinheitsgebot to inject pure O2 into the wort?

For the breweries who topcrop the krausen yeast, you could argue that they don't need to oxygenate at all since the yeast is very well exposed to oxygen already.

Remember that fad about 5 or 6 years ago about using olive oil to "oxygenate" instead of aeration?  Same concept, except that the olive oil thing probably doesn't actually work.

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