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Messages - dmtaylor

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826
Other Fermentables / Re: less dry cider
« on: January 10, 2015, 02:23:17 PM »
Yeah it will be fine.

827
Other Fermentables / Re: less dry cider
« on: January 09, 2015, 02:11:27 PM »
I love the Notty, and you will too.  That's the best way to go IMO.

828
Other Fermentables / Re: less dry cider
« on: January 09, 2015, 09:12:51 AM »
Low and slow is the way to go.  I ferment my ciders in the 50s for a few months.  Rack often, about once a week, especially in the early stages.  When it hits SG=1.010, add a slurry of a teaspoon gelatin in a little hot water per 2-3 gallons for a day or two and then rack it again -- the gelatin will take out a lot of the yeast and you'll end up with a sweeter, more balanced cider.  Otherwise Cote des Blancs will take your cider all the way down to the 0.990s, very very dry and very tart.  I love this yeast, but it needs the racking and the gelatin to avoid bone dryness.

829
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Best dry yeast for a scotch ale?
« on: January 08, 2015, 03:26:29 PM »
I haven't tried it, but I'll bet the Windsor ale yeast would make a great wee heavy.  Worth an experiment sometime...

When in doubt, split your batch and use two or more different kinds of yeast.  Then you can taste them all separately and see which one is the most awesome.  This is super cheap and easy with dry yeast.  Then you'll know what you like for subsequent batches.

830
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Safbrew Abbaye Ale
« on: January 06, 2015, 07:28:34 PM »
Sulfur should normally age out within a month or so.  Just needs some time.

831
Beer Recipes / Re: brown ale with munich base
« on: January 05, 2015, 09:30:29 AM »
If you get rid of the crystal malt and change to a clean altbier yeast, this would make a great alt.  Or it could be a sort of alt/brown ale hybrid.  In any case, it looks very tasty to me.  No adjustments really needed.  To ensure good conversion, do a longer mash than usual, maybe 75-90 minutes around 150-ish.  Yum.

832
All Grain Brewing / Re: Water options
« on: January 03, 2015, 07:54:16 PM »
Do you need to add the Gypsum and Calcium Chloride to both mash and sparge water?

Yep.

833
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lager Fermentation Questions
« on: January 03, 2015, 03:56:12 PM »
1) Don’t ever cover your boil.  If you cover the pot then you are asking for DMS.  You might get lucky and not have DMS in the finished beer, but... there is no good reason to cover a boil, ever, especially if you want to avoid DMS.  I don’t know what difference it makes covering the wort after the boil, but I always cover mine right away during the chill and never get any DMS, so there’s ONE data point.

2) I follow no set number of days for fermentation.  Ferment until it’s “almost done” and then taste and see if it needs a D rest.  Usually it doesn’t, but if it does, raise it up.  In any case, it’s not wrong to raise the temp AND leave it up until fermentation is 100% complete.  Then, after fermentation is done, if you want to lager in bulk for a few weeks, that’s a good thing in my experience.  But wait until she’s done before cooling down.

3) There is quite a bit of cleanup and settling and clarification that occurs in lagering.  A couple 2-3 weeks is normal for my lagers.  If I get lazy it might go for 4-6 weeks.  I bottle mine so I shouldn’t really comment on kegging but I imagine you can safely lager directly in the keg if you wanted.

Bottom line:  There is no set schedule.  Let your yeast do the talking.  When you taste diacetyl, give it a rest.  Otherwise you don’t need to.  Don’t lager till they’re done.  Then lager “until it tastes good”, whenever that is, regardless of number of days or weeks.

P.S.  Oh yeah... and I don't secondary.  Keep everything in the primary until you're ready to keg or bottle.  No worries.  Just don't let it sit in primary for like 3 months because there is eventually at that point a slight chance of autolysis.  But not before like 10 weeks.

834
All Grain Brewing / Re: Water options
« on: January 01, 2015, 03:35:09 PM »
Chloride enhances malt flavor.  Gypsum/sulfate enhances hop bitterness.  If you prefer one over the other for a particular style then decide based on that.  If you want a balanced beer then use them 50/50 or lean a little more towards chloride as calcium chloride is smoother and less "offensive".  If you use a lot of gypsum the beer will taste harshly bitter.  Too much chloride?  Meh... almost impossible to do that.  A calculator like BrunWater is still your best bet if/when you are ready to get serious about water adjustments, which can be put off for later.

835
Ingredients / Re: Boil time for all late hopped beer
« on: January 01, 2015, 10:38:18 AM »
I think 45 minutes is probably good enough.  Or try 30 minutes as an even better experiment.  I bet you can save a good chunk of time with no ill effects.  Go for it I say.

836
All Grain Brewing / Re: Batch Sparge holding time
« on: December 31, 2014, 05:47:10 PM »
Beauty of batch sparging.  Dump hot ~190-degree water in, stir well, vorlauf and drain immediately.  No wait time necessary.  Zero advantages and a waste of time to wait.

837
All Grain Brewing / Re: 60 Minute mash?
« on: December 31, 2014, 05:43:39 PM »
Years ago I ran a lot of experiments on mash times.  I found that indeed the limiting factor is fermentability/attenuation, NOT conversion efficiency.  For my setup, a mash of 20-30 minutes was long enough for "good" attenuation (e.g., in the 70-80% range) about 50% of the time.  The other 50% of the time, I was getting very high final gravities like in the 1.020s.  35 minutes was better.  40 minutes was always long enough.

Conclusion: I usually mash for 40 minutes these days, or 45 minutes if I'm lazy.  I only mash for 60 minutes or more when I'm making a monster high gravity beer or when I want a really dry beer like a saison, or if using a very high percent (like for a Munich dunkel) of a very low enzymatic malt (e.g., Munich malt).  Otherwise, for 95% of beer styles...

40 minutes is plenty.  Save 20+ minutes of your life on every batch, if you want to.  Works great for me.

838
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Rest Mash and Mash Out
« on: December 31, 2014, 04:59:40 PM »
Scientifically, when at time zero two miscible liquids are combined with different concentrations of a solute, over time the solute will travel from an area of higher concentration to that of lower concentration until equilibrium is achieved.

In other words, the sugar is everywhere.  Inside, outside, USA.

839
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling a few months late?
« on: December 30, 2014, 08:27:53 PM »
You're on the right track.  Your yeast is likely pretty dead by now, but if you add like a quarter pack as you're planning, this will help you get natural carbonation.  Go for it as you plan.

840
All Grain Brewing / Re: Strike temps....necessary?
« on: December 30, 2014, 10:19:18 AM »
You will hit all the hotspot enzyme temperatures doing that.  I've done it.  I believe you will get a different beer than just mashing in the 150s right away.  The beer will generally tend to be thinner / more watery, more fermentable, and possibly more crystal clear with a slow rise mash like that as compared to a single infusion in the 150s.  Please feel free to run this as an experiment where you do two batches with the same grist to see what the differences are for yourself, and share results with us all if you do, that would be awesome.

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