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Messages - dmtaylor

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If your volume is high by 1.5 gallons or more, you are certainly mashing and/or sparging too much obviously.  It is likely you are extracting tannins someplace or other.  What is your mash pH?  And what is your sparge pH?  If you don't know, that would be part of the problem.  I'm pretty sure this is a pH issue.  You don't want your pH going over about 5.6 during mash or sparge.  Sparge pH is probably the real problem, but could it be that you are just using really alkaline water from the get-go?

Beer Recipes / Re: Looking for piney, earthy character in hops
« on: March 23, 2013, 03:28:44 PM »
If you want earth and bread, you need to get 30-40% rye malt in there.  Nothing else like it on earth (no pun intended!).  Then follow that up with a little Chinook and Northern Brewer, maybe some Willamette.  Yum.

16E for certain.  16E states: "Some styles falling into this classification include: Fruit-based Flanders Red/Brown"

Oud Bruin = Flanders Brown

Ingredients / Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« on: March 15, 2013, 02:44:06 PM »
I used wild grapes in a mead once.  They were tiny little blue-black grapes.  Mostly seeds inside with very little flesh.  They provided a certain smoky flavor and a little astringency.  Turned out pretty good.

I have also made a traditional gruit ale.  Not strange ingredients, historically speaking, but consider the fact that most people have never tasted a gruit ale in their lives, ever.  Tasted sort of like A1 steak sauce and pickle juice.  I loved it.  Need to brew that one again.

Also made an ancient Sumerian recipe with homemade bappir bread, Bamburg smoked malt, dates, honey, and wild yeast.  Tasted like sour fruity bacon.  Very different.

I've also used Earl Grey tea.  Never again.  I hated it.  Tasted like Earl Grey, yes, but... not meant for beer.

Ingredients / Re: Brewing With Grits
« on: March 15, 2013, 02:34:41 PM »
I have used grits before.  I boiled them first to gelatinize.  They made for an extremely sticky mash and stuck runoff.  If I used them again, I'd throw in a handful of rice hulls for easier runoff & sparge.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: protein rest..why, why not, and when
« on: March 15, 2013, 02:32:09 PM »
Has anyone who does a protein rest ever made a thin, watery beer?

I did early on in my brewing.  Making an PseudOfest with GW Munich.  Did a 30 min. rest at 120.  The beer had no head and the body was like water.

I had the same experience with my Vienna lager a couple years ago.  Vowed to never use a protein rest ever again.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Starter for 1 Gallon Batch?
« on: March 08, 2013, 07:08:53 AM »
At 1 gallon it IS a starter. Well almost.

^^^ This! ^^^  Skip the starter, it basically IS a starter.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Trub removal
« on: March 07, 2013, 02:18:57 PM »
Cold break doesn't hurt anything, and might even help, depending on who you ask.  If you ask me, it hurts nothing.  Why waste a gallon of wort when it could be fermented and give you another 6-pack or more.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Another noob question
« on: March 07, 2013, 01:29:43 PM »
Test gravity today, wait 3 days, test gravity again.  If it changed, wait another 3 days, and check again.  Once it stays the same over 3 days, it's ready to roll.  If you bottle too early, you can get bombs.

Pricey firewood indeed.... I'm not sure you're going to be able to clean the wild bugs out of that barrel anymore.  I've had the same issues in plastic buckets.  Absolutely cannot be sanitized once they catch that bug.  Never again, though.  I ferment exclusively in glass now.

Beer Recipes / Re: Schwarzbier
« on: February 28, 2013, 09:33:05 AM »
Too funny!   ;D

I think it looks like a solid recipe.  I'd go ahead and test it out.

Ingredients / Re: Natural Spring water vs Distilled water
« on: February 28, 2013, 06:08:53 AM »
Depends on how hard it is.  Might be worthwhile testing it.  Of course, if your beer tastes just fine the way you do things now then it might not be worth fretting about at all.

Ingredients / Re: My Recent Experience with Citra
« on: February 26, 2013, 08:28:07 AM »
Citra is indeed a very intense hop.  A friend of mine recently blended 50/50 Citra and Centennial in an APA/IPA.  There's no telling there was any Centennial in that beer -- it tastes exactly the same as his 100% Citra APA.

I do believe that it might blend okay with very strong hops such as Simcoe and Mosaic, maybe Columbus.  But otherwise, take it easy on the Citra or it will indeed overpower everything else.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Infection, what's this?
« on: February 22, 2013, 07:59:50 PM »
Ugh.  I hate that stuff.  It is a bacterial infection.  It's happened to me probably 10 or 12 times.  The beer will taste just fine for a month or two... and then it might start to turn sour and taste like acetone or turpentine or something like that.  Drink it up fast and it will be fine.  It might also last longer in cold storage, but if you keep it at cellar temp or room temp, it will likely go bad over time.

Questions about the forum? / Re: Can't post or reply
« on: February 22, 2013, 07:58:11 PM »
Testing.... If this works, it's like the 15th try in the past 36 hours.  And who knows how many other people have been trying to post error messages to you but they couldn't!  Probably tons.

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