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Messages - dmtaylor

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I'll throw these out there.

"Beer connoisseurs" that can't find the simple elegance of and skill involved to create a well made Pilsner, Helles, or even -- I'll say it -- an American Lager, haven't been tasting/making beer long enough.  This is why I never bother with the beer ratings sites.

Similarly, my favorite categories to judge are CAT 1 and CAT 2. (Light Lagers and Pilsners).
1) Only the very best brewers and the most naive ones enter them.  This makes judging them either a joy to drink or a quick list of obvious flaws.  Few are in the middle.  Makes judging them pretty quick and usually easy.
2) Nobody else wants to judge them, so I don't have to beg like the 30 guys trying to get the Sours or Strong Belgians.
3) You aren't hammered by lunch

Unpopular opinions, eh?  I'm hip...

I am a malt-head (as opposed to a hophead).  I like IPA just fine, but what I really love is all the lagers, Scottish ales, etc.

I can taste a nasty twang in your extract beer every time.  If you must use extract, then partial mash is way better, and all-grain is best.

I don't think rye tastes spicy, not in the slightest.  It's bready and a bit earthy, but no spice.  Any spice is associated with caraway or choice of spicy hops.

Carapils is worthless.  I've been saying this looooooooooooooong before the existence of the recent xBmt.

American commercial breweries just really don't know how to make good Marzens, or don't care.  I think I might be done tasting American versions, life is too short and it just doesn't pay.

Almost every gose on the market is way too effing salty to be enjoyable.  If you can taste the salt, you did it wrong.

Session IPA, Black IPA, Brown IPA, and Purple IPA are all terms that need not exist.

Homegrown hops are better for bittering than for flavor or aroma.  Learn what your average alpha acid is through trial and error, like in the old days before the term "alpha acid" existed.   :o

You don't need to rehydrate your dry yeast.  It's one of the big advantages of dry.  I know Denny agrees, but many do not, that's why I include this as an "unpopular" opinion.

Glass fermenters are better than plastic buckets.  There, I said it, again.  Glass is dangerous, yes.  Do be very careful with your big heavy glass carboys.  Fortunately, stainless would also be fine.

If you value your time and just want to get your brew day over with, then you are wasting a lot of time if you mash any longer than 40 minutes, and probably about the same for boil time as well.  Could save some energy costs there too.

Step mashes are probably worthless.  More experiments are a good idea but I'll probably not bother.  When in doubt, just mash at 150 F for 40 minutes.  You'll get very good beer with this mash "schedule".  And...

If the temperature falls a few degrees during the mash, who cares.  It'll be fine.  I don't insulate.

It might not be worthwhile to chase high efficiency >85%.  I finally ran one blind triangle efficiency experiment but need to run more as the results still were not very clear.

I only brew 1.7 gallons typically.  There are numerous advantages to doing so.  5 gallons is too much for many people.  I also brew on the stovetop, never did anything else and don't own a propane burner.  I am ridiculed endlessly by my "friends" for being "the small batch on the stove guy".  Whatever.  Do what you like.

And... that about does it, for right now.   ;D

Beer Recipes / Re: Experimental SMaSH Rye malt and Willamette RESULTS
« on: December 27, 2016, 06:56:58 PM »
Looks gloopy, as expected!  Glad you like it.  :)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Expiration Date Dry Yeast
« on: December 20, 2016, 04:38:29 PM »
They last way longer than anyone will tell you.  4% per year might be about right.  Any loss "per month" is bull in my experience, unless perhaps measured in tenths of a percent.

Ingredients / Re: Sorachi Ace
« on: December 20, 2016, 02:43:43 PM »
I like it.  I made a Sorachi Ace IPA last year.  Very tasty.  Unfortunately it scored poorly in competition compared to my Columbus IPA.  Sorachi is a very love/hate hop, and super powerful.  Yes.  Use it sparingly if you don't want to offend the easily offended.

Other Fermentables / Re: First cider attempt questions
« on: December 14, 2016, 04:51:19 AM »
Your plan will work.

Ferment cool and slow, 2-3 months minimum, and 6 months would be better.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: D bomb
« on: December 12, 2016, 09:48:33 PM »
Could be the cold crash.  Also consider whether you might be underpitching... maybe need 2 or 2.5 liters depending how much you're brewing and how big the beer is.  Assuming like 1.060 and 5 gallons and yeast is a few months old, you might need up to a full gallon of starter according to!  I can't say I agree, but you might want to try a full 2-2.5 liters like I suggest.

All Grain Brewing / Re: decoction mashing / home brewing myths
« on: December 12, 2016, 05:18:58 PM »
Fantastic!  Their results mirror my own for a similar experiment I ran a couple of months ago.  I've not yet published the results, which are very confusing to say the least... if memory serves, about 13 out of 17 people were able to taste a difference in my two marzens.  I was blindly able to figure it out 2 out of 2 times.  I literally even blindfolded myself to avoid any difference due to appearance, as like Brulosophy's, my single infusion beer was more hazy than the decocted.  They did taste different, albeit slightly so and NOT for the reasons you might expect -- no melanoidin or burnt flavors.  Just different.

Other Fermentables / Re: Pulling Cider Early
« on: December 11, 2016, 01:41:21 PM »
keuren, you are onto something good.  Gelatin, cold, and lots of racking has worked well for me.  You still need to be very careful if bottling to avoid explosions.  But if you're going to keg it, there should be less worries.  The thing is, patience is still required.  If you rush your cider, it will be like a tart fart bomb.  But if you can leave your cider alone in the fermenter in the cold for a few months, your patience will be rewarded with a naturally sweet cider like you say.

Going Pro / Re: Interview questions
« on: December 08, 2016, 06:15:44 PM »
Who are you, what is your background, how did you become interested in opening a brewery?
How is this brewery different from others?  What makes your beers or brewery unique?
Will you have a taproom?
Will you serve food?  What kind of food?
When will the first beers be available?
Where will your products be distributed and sold?
Will you be selling bottles or kegs of beer?  Growlers?
Will you serve commercial beers in addition to your own products?
What is your location and hours open to the public (if any)?
Will you be participating in local brew festivals?
Will you offer tours of the brewing process?
Will your pub/hall be available for reservations for weddings and celebrations?
Is there a website or phone number where people can learn more?  Facebook page?

Good luck...

All Grain Brewing / Re: decoction mashing / home brewing myths
« on: December 08, 2016, 02:29:34 PM »
Does anyone else besides me just enjoy the process of doing a decoction mash? I'm planning a Dunkel brew day of some sort soon...should be fun outside on a wintry day.

I'll agree, it's fun!  As for taste, jury is still out.... I ran an experiment decoction vs. not where folks could taste a difference, but I'm left wondering if I messed up the experiment somehow, so I need to run it again.

Beer Recipes / Re: Which ale yeast for an english mild?
« on: December 05, 2016, 06:33:52 PM »
WLP013 is good.  I think WLP004 wouldn't be wrong either.

All Grain Brewing / Re: decoction mashing / home brewing myths
« on: December 05, 2016, 03:56:12 PM »
There is a ton on nonesense in there, for example, "Complex sugar, formed by Beta during the maltose rest...."  The stuff on amylopectin may be correct.

I agree.  It is way too much work to try to sort out the factual nuggets from nonsensical nuggets.

As for BJCP, they have their uses, to a point.  However I no longer worship any of the ground they/it cover like I once might have long ago.  To me it's almost hit a tipping point to the opposite of worship now.  The BJCP deserves much of the criticism they/it receives now.

All Grain Brewing / Re: WLP029 Kolsch yeast Strain
« on: December 02, 2016, 02:22:44 PM »
Can't fault the BJCP folks, they are literally trained to just pick out faults. Something tastes different, the brain goes directly to finding the fault that is closest.

I totally disagree.  Judges are trained to describe what they taste.  If they just settle for any old off-flavor because they're unable to describe what they're tasting, they've failed miserably.

BJCP Certified #A0511

All Grain Brewing / Re: WLP029 Kolsch yeast Strain
« on: November 30, 2016, 03:47:44 PM »
I enter once every couple years now just to monitor how dumb the judges have become.

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