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Messages - Joe Sr.

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Personally, I struggle to make a nice simple Belgian blonde. 

I've generally been pleased with the lagers I've brewed but I don't try too often.  Especially not light lagers, as they're just not my thing.

But I simply can't get to a Belgian blonde that I really enjoy.  My last attempt was the best so far, but they're falling short of what I want.  These are not infected nor do they have off flavors but they're just not what they should be, if you follow what I'm saying.  They're lacking.  Perhaps I am like Sisyphus as I shall keep trying.

Easiest?  I think saisons are pretty easy.  As long as you don't use 3724.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Total Boil
« on: October 22, 2013, 07:30:46 AM »
IMO, if you can boil the full volume you should do it.  But great beer can and has been made with a concentrated boil.

Neither of the two issues pointed out above is specific to extract, really.  A concentrated boil will decrease hop utilization but that can be compensated for by using more hops.  If you don't have an immersion chiller you can always just put your kettle in an ice bath.  The quicker you cool the wort, the better, but there are people on this forum who have cooled over night and pitched the next day.  IIRC they put the covered fermenter into a lagering fridge or something like that.  Not ideal, but with great sanitation it can be done.

One thing to consider is that with extract and a concentrated boil you may get more darkening of the wort than you would with a full boil.  This is also easily compensated for by adding a significant portion of the extract late in the boil.  This approach works well for a concentrated boil, as you keep also keep the initial gravity of the wort lower and improve hop utilization.  If you do not go for the full boil, I would recommend that you add at least 50% or so of your extract late.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lid on or off during boil?
« on: October 18, 2013, 10:15:24 AM »
The fact that beer darkens upon boiling is due to Maillard reactions. Caramelization occurs at higher temps and is similar to the Maillard reaction. Here's the three steps as laid out by a scientific study.

1. The first stage involves the sugar-amine condensation and the Amadori
rearrangement. The reaction steps have been well-defined and no browning occurs
at this stage.
2. The second stage involves sugar dehydration and fragmentation, and amino acid
degradation via the Strecker reaction especially at high temperatures as used in
candy manufacture. At the end of stage two there is a beginning of flavor formation -
depending on which flavor is studied.
3. Formation of heterocyclic nitrogen compounds. Browning occurs at this stage.

Cool  read! :)

That's a little too dense for me, but I thought the maillard reactions were occuring during kilning and only to a limited degree in the kettle.  I do not dispute the darkening of wort over a vigorous boil, however.

Ingredients / Re: Gimme some sugar!
« on: October 18, 2013, 08:11:41 AM »

Also for molasses, blackstrap molasses is what we see in stores, but I hear there are other kinds.

I've used blackstrap but I try to only use Barbados molasses.  It's sweeter and has a lighter flavor.

I've read/been told that it's not technically molasses, though.  I believe it's made from sorghum.

Ingredients / Re: Gimme some sugar!
« on: October 18, 2013, 07:04:43 AM »

Beet sugar

Forgot about that.  I should add that to my list.  Haven't used beet sugar in years that I know of.

And turbinado, though I'm not clear on the difference between raw cane sugar and turbinado.

Ingredients / Re: Gimme some sugar!
« on: October 17, 2013, 02:42:57 PM »
I've used the following:

Cane sugar (refined and raw)
Rice syrup
Corn sugar
Maple syrup
Candi sugar (rocks)
Candy syrup
Brown sugar

Probably others, but these ones spring to mind.  Does molasses count as a sugar?

Beer Recipes / Re: Copyright
« on: October 17, 2013, 09:50:37 AM »
The only way to totally duplicate it is
Same grain bill
Same hops
Same water
Same yeast
Same equipment
Same brewer

I think all of these play into the finished product.

Hmmm.  I brew the same recipes over and over.  There are differences between each batch. 

There may be differences in the maltster, although I'm pretty consistent on where/what I buy.  The hops may not be from the same harvest.  Pitching rate is pretty consistent, fermentation temp is pretty consistent.

It is difficult to produce homebrewed beer that does not have some batch to batch variability.  Duplicating someone else's beer I would have to say is nigh impossible.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Plastic bucket vs water jug
« on: October 15, 2013, 10:27:32 AM »
The 3-gallon better bottles used to have a handle like that.  I just looked them up on-line to confirm my memory.  Apparently, they've changed the design to eliminate the handle and I would guess it's due to being difficult to clean.

As far a sealing them, carboy caps typically fit on the plastic water bottles.  I don't know about the one you're showing though.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Storing beer in a corny
« on: October 14, 2013, 06:48:40 PM »
It's sufficient to seal the keg. It will not carbonate though. You would need to leave the gas hooked up for longer to carbonate.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: CO2 tank inside the keezer?
« on: October 12, 2013, 04:20:32 PM »
Very,very nice work Paul and thetooth. BTW thetooth, that's a serious number of taps there. Wow !
Holy regulator too Batman.

Sheesh.  I thought I was serious about beer.  I feel like a piker after seeing that set up!

I'm heading down to the basement to cry over my two kegs hooked to picnic taps.

All Things Food / Re: Pairing
« on: October 12, 2013, 03:58:58 PM »
For some reason I find that Belgian beers go exceptionally well with a lot of cheeses. Old, crunchy Gouda with a BDS is my absolute favorite beer and cheese pairing.

Ever tried a Chimay with Chimay cheese?

Nope, but I've had them separately.  Are you recommending the combo?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Storing beer in a corny
« on: October 12, 2013, 03:58:04 PM »
So is 10 psi good to store a beer in a corny at 65ish degrees? Or should I go higher?

Doesn't really matter.  Just be sure the lid is sealed, and 10 psi should do that.

I've always thought you needed more than 10 psi to seat the lid well.  But I could be wrong.

If I'm storing kegs I hit them at about 30 psi to seat the lid.  Of course, if the seal is bad they still leak at whatever pressure you hit them with...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: jeffy wins pro-am!
« on: October 12, 2013, 03:50:51 PM »

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Fruit flies in airlock
« on: October 10, 2013, 08:12:43 AM »
I fish them out of my glass frequently and haven't noticed any funky tastes.  Lately there's been about two per pint that land in my glass particularly if I'm sitting in the yard.  Maybe I need to drink faster.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Racking
« on: October 09, 2013, 11:43:37 AM »
I don't think you want copper in the beer once it's fermented.

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