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Messages - Joe Sr.

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If brewing were limited to the info available when I started, and the "only way" to do it was step mashing and fly sparging, I would have either quit or I'd be making all extract beer.

Step mashing and fly sparging are just fine, if that's what you want to do.  I, however, do not wish to do so.

In my experience, a yeasty sample has a lot of off flavors.  To me, yeast tastes mostly bitter and... yeasty.  Maybe to you it tastes spicy?  On a clear sample, though, you shouldn't get strong yeast flavors.

I've used Ardennes a lot.  I've never gotten pepper from it, at any temperature, as far as I can recall.

If anything, I find this yeast to be more tart than spicy.

How yeasty is the sample?  If it hasn't dropped clear, maybe your tasting the yeast?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Goosing the Mash? Brewday issues
« on: September 22, 2015, 08:45:06 PM »
Assuming your washing machine works properly, the detergent should be rinsed out.

If there was significant residual detergent I think all of your clothes would be scratchy and uncomfortable.

You make me blush...

What I'd really love to see is a BIAB, short boil, short mash, shake to oxygenate batch up against a traditional fly-sparge 3-tiered system with pure 02.

But talk about a lot of variables.

To what end?

To see if you make significantly better beer or not.

It seems like a lot of these exbeeriments have shown that people haven't really been able to detect much difference in the individual variables (O2, short boil, short mash) but I wonder if, all put together, that would change. And I also wonder if all things equal BIAB produces the same quality beer as Batch/Fly sparging.

To me, it's pretty well established that yes you can make excellent beer with BIAB.  Just as you can with fly sparging, batch sparging, or even going with all extract.  Whether or not you DO make excellent beer is brewer dependent.

The exbeeriments have value, to me, in that they aren't comparing wholly different systems on a qualitative basis, but rather taking the same wort and changing one variable in how it's handled.  Any perceptible differences should be easily attributable to that single variable.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: September 17, 2015, 05:01:51 PM »
I made about 20 gallons of cider a few years ago, back before even before the start of this thread.  I started with 5 gallons or so, but it was so damn simple I went wild.

Turns out, I don't like cider at all.  Not sweet.  Not dry.  Not tart.  Not at all.

It works well for brining, though.  And as liquid in the steam tray of the smoker.

Ingredients / Re: Maple Extract
« on: September 16, 2015, 04:38:34 PM »
I've never tasted imitation maple flavor, but I can tell you with certain there will be a significant difference in flavor between imitation maple and the real thing.

I've also never used maple extract, but I have used maple sugar and maple syrup.  In the sugar and syrup format, which I assume to be far less concentrated than extract, you need to use a large amount to get anything more than a subtle flavor.

If you're kegging, I would start with adding a small amount and tasting the beer to see the impact.  Do this until it reaches the level you want.

The other option is to dose a measured pour of beer with a measured amount of extract until you find the ratio you like and then scale up the volumes.

Equipment and Software / Re: Mini Fridge
« on: September 14, 2015, 04:57:59 PM »
Even with the shelf, you should have room for a corny keg.  Maybe not for a fermenter, though.

I've got an old Sanyo.  I don't know what's on the market today that works, but there must be something.

Take an empty corny with you to a big box store and see what fits.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: How old can yeast be and still have a chance?
« on: September 11, 2015, 09:50:37 PM »
Is it worth the effort to try? Let's say you spend 20 min per step + the cost of DME, that to me is more than the cost of a fresh pack. If the yeast is hard to come by or a seasonal strain, I'd do it.

If you save some wort from every batch, you don't need DME.  Just defrost a pre-measured starter wort, boil for a bit, cool it, and pitch the yeast.

How much effort does it take to boil some wort while your cooking dinner or something like that?

Plus, sometimes it is worth the effort to try just cuz.

+2 to consistency. Being able to be consistent and knowing your system enough to predict OG pretty closely across low, standard, and high target gravities are all that matters.

I disagree somewhat.  I've been consistently at about 50% with BIAB and mashing in a cooler.  I'm not at all happy with 50% and something is clearly wrong or can be improved.

Last weekend, I was able to improve that to around 70% (which obviously is only one data point and I'll need to see if I can be consistent at 70%). 

The only change was a new thermometer and realizing my two dial thermometers are both reading 10 degrees high.

So, I will agree that consistent efficiency is good.  But consistently poor efficiency is maybe not so good.

Events / Re: Swap-toberfest '15
« on: September 11, 2015, 03:13:41 PM »
Very, very, tempting.

But I'm not sure what sort of stock I have...

I'll need to check.

The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: September 10, 2015, 06:17:58 PM »
I had some Bulliet rye awhile ago.  We used it for Manhattan's, and it makes a good one.  I don't recall if we tried it straight up or not.

Of course, you can make a decent Manhattan with Old Overholt, which I wouldn't want to drink straight.  So take that for whatever it's worth.

Nice write up. One that is often overlooked is to make sure your thermometer is calibrated and accurate in the mash temperature range. I say this from personal experience, dial thermometers can be off.

Changing thermostats helped me dramatically.  My dial thermo reads 10F high.

The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: September 10, 2015, 02:28:47 AM »
I'm not a huge fan of regular buffalo trace but they have the best line up of bourbon by far, IMO.

My most recent purchase though is Bulliet. Not bad at all. Great with BBQ. Took a bottle to my football draft and picked up another a couple days later.

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