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Messages - a10t2

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Ingredients / Re: American Amber Ale advice
« on: June 13, 2011, 04:47:50 PM »
If it's an "American" amber, wouldn't Perle, Tettnang and EKG be out?

Not necessarily. The BJCP guidelines (to the extent you care about them) say that "citrusy American hops" are common, but not required.

jt, my AAA grist is 76% pale ale malt, 12% Munich, 8% Med Crystal, and 4% Ex Dk Crystal, and it's done pretty well in competitions. In case that gives you any ideas.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Recipe Development
« on: June 13, 2011, 10:23:30 AM »
I might do better to just read the style guidelines and like Denny said, use my own imagination from the git-go.  I'm kind of liking this as a philosophical jumping-off point.

That's pretty much where I try to start too. Recently I've also been trying to reduce the total number of ingredients across all my recipes. Do I really need Centennial *and* Cascade on hand? Can I get close enough to Munich II by using Munich I and CaraMunich? That's probably a combination of lifestyle (no LHBS) and the "pro brewer mindset" starting to insinuate itself into my brain though. One of the big advantages of home brewing is that you can keep 37 malts in the cupboard with no consequences.

Regardless, as a general rule I think it's best to start with the simplest recipe possible and add things that are missing. Some of my early recipes were muddled messes with a dozen ingredients, and once you get to that point it's just impossible to figure out what to change. My porter is a good example: it started out with three malts but now it's up to seven, because I had to add things one at a time until I got the combination of flavors I wanted. If it had started out with seven malts I probably would have ended up scrapping the recipe and starting over anyway, because I would have had no idea where to start when adjusting proportions.

Plus, if the beers of yours that I've had are representative, you don't need any help with recipe development. ;)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Who Dumps Beer?
« on: June 13, 2011, 10:07:08 AM »
In 59 batches I've only had one that was undrinkable (knock wood). And that was an Acetobacter contamination that eventually turned into some passable malt vinegar. So I've never actually "dumped" a batch. If it was just me drinking the beer I wouldn't be able to keep up with my brewing, but I have thirsty roommates and friends to help out. When it comes to recipe changes, I just make sure to take good tasting notes for the next time I brew it.

Equipment and Software / Re: Extending the life of Star-San
« on: June 12, 2011, 08:49:27 AM »
It could be that the "real" answer is 3.5 but they say 3.0 in the literature to give their customers a margin for error.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Hops Quiz
« on: June 09, 2011, 09:03:23 AM »
My guess would be that after 10 days they haven't all fully carbonated, and some still have yeast in suspension. Give it another week and they'll probably start to settle out.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Stuff you should never do.
« on: June 08, 2011, 01:42:21 PM »
Any reason why you guys don't switch to the low density elements? They work much better and the melt down is so much less of a problem! not to mention cleaning is a heck of a lot easier as well.

Short answer: I don't have the checkbook. The long answer involves corporate inertia, the difficulty and expense of getting someone up here to cut/weld on stainless, and the fact that my brewhouse is already going to be out of commission for 1-2 weeks immediately before our busiest weekend. We are getting this one Teflon coated, so hopefully that will help.

It wasn't even dry when it went, actually - just old and abused.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Stuff you should never do.
« on: June 08, 2011, 10:07:46 AM »
Freaky. This just happened to me this morning. Except we don't have a spare. ::)

The Pub / Re: Abraham Lincoln
« on: June 08, 2011, 09:34:26 AM »
Did Abe ever visit NOLA?

He passed through in a Union ironclad en route to Africa after surviving the assassination attempt, but I doubt they stopped, for obvious reasons.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Just bought a CO2 tank...
« on: June 06, 2011, 07:03:10 PM »
the high-pressure gauge read right around 800 psi. (Is this about normal for a 5 lb tank?)

It is if it's at 65°F.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My First First Place (Brag Warning)
« on: June 06, 2011, 10:12:12 AM »
Sean you'd better plan on doing BUZZ again

I'd love too, but that 24 hour drive is a killer. ;)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My First First Place (Brag Warning)
« on: June 06, 2011, 12:26:43 AM »
Congrats Lennie! I judged at BUZZ a few years ago. It's a great comp.

Classifieds / Re: LARGE SS tanks on Ebay
« on: June 06, 2011, 12:01:44 AM »
We actually have one of these that has had TC fittings welded onto it, and use it as a bright/serving tank. The fit and finish on it is really outstanding.

Equipment and Software / Re: Extending the life of Star-San
« on: June 05, 2011, 01:40:06 PM »
I believe it's 3, not 3.4.

You are correct sir!

Also, mixed per the label instructions with my tap water, which is darn near distilled to begin with, it comes in at about 1.8 pH and takes a couple weeks sitting out in an open bucket to get above 3.0.

Ingredients / Re: RO water
« on: June 05, 2011, 10:51:48 AM »
Are we talking 5.3 at mash temps or room temps? Two completely different things.  If it is at room temp than that is well within the range and nothing to worry about, in fact it is ideal.

I think you may have that backwards. A room temp pH of 5.3-5.8 is generally considered optimal, corresponding to a mash temp range of about 5.0-5.5. Unless otherwise specified, pH values are almost always given at room temperature.

You are also forgeting that malt has a natural buffering capacity as well, hence Kai's experiment showing that DI water and 2-Row lock in at approx. 5.6.  Color/SRM is a poor predictor of mash pH adjustments

You're certainly correct that attempting to correlate color with mash pH is difficult, but that isn't what I'm doing. I'm using the results from Kai's pH testing, just as you are. If you want to dispute his results for mashes containing crystal malts, that's fine, but I don't think you should use his results for a 100% base malt mash as supporting evidence for that.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash temps?
« on: June 05, 2011, 10:27:07 AM »
My results were that it made no difference in either efficiency or "lauterability".  Gave it 2 tries and went back to dry crush.  My conclusion was that I had no problems that this method would solve.

I tried it about half a dozen times and found that it did improve "lauterability", in that by doing the malt conditioning I was able to run my pump wide open without compacting the grain bed to the point that it stopped flowing. After timing a couple brew days, though, I figured out that the time savings during the lauter were more than offset by the time it took to do the malt conditioning.

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