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Messages - tschmidlin

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7156
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer in the Bible
« on: October 20, 2010, 08:56:04 AM »
In Maureen Ogle's book, Ambitious Brew, she describes a NYC courthouse scene during the lead up to prohibition where they brought in an expert witness to refute the notion that beer was alcoholic.  He testified that he had already consumed several beers that day with no ill effect.  The anti-saloon side lost the argument.
I remember that Jeff, wasn't there some insane number of beers the guy claimed to drink every day, like 30+?  I have a copy of that book somewhere . . .

7157
All Things Food / Re: BBQ Style
« on: October 19, 2010, 09:11:37 PM »
I tried to smoke some cheese tonight, but couldn't get it going  :-\

I got a baking sheet, a box, the cheese, some foil-wrapped bricks to support the cheese, and the smoker filled with cherry wood dust.  I tried probably half a dozen times to light the dust and it would stop burning shortly after I took the flame away.  I thought maybe it was smothering in the box, so I raised one end and it didn't help.  I moved everything back to the grill and set it up there, but it still wouldn't stay smoking.  I dumped out all of the dust and re-packed it in case it was too tight, but it didn't help.  I even got to the point where I built a small fire under it with a box of matches, but as soon as the matches burned out the dust stopped smoking.

I gave it up for the night.  :( I think that there might be something wrong with the dust, even though it is the dust that they recommend.  It feels plenty dry, but maybe there's something else going on.  I'll clean it all out and try again tomorrow.  If it's still not working I might switch back to the hickory that worked so well last time. 

7158
Ingredients / Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« on: October 19, 2010, 08:55:42 PM »
Well, there is no reason to worry about the calcium levels, that is mostly important in the mash and you're not mashing (except for that Munich).

I found this thread about Briess extract on the BN forum.  So you know the ions present in the water, which is great.  They will be concentrated in the extract, but when you add it to the distilled water it will be diluted.  If the average wort they make is 1.068, you can calculate the ions in your brew, it's a simple ratio.  If your SG is 1.065, you just take 65/68 = 0.96, so multiply all of the ion concentrations in that thread by 0.96 to get their concentration in your wort.  Remember, you should only take into account the SG from the extract.

That being said, I find it hard to believe that Briess would mash with only 24 ppm Ca in the mash.  Maybe they do, but maybe they add some Ca to the water so in that case the levels will be off.  But that's what we've got to go on.

So if I were you I would add some CaSO4 to the water you mash the Munich in, and skip the CaCl entirely for this batch.  It's a start anyway.

Hope that helps.

7159
All Things Food / Re: BBQ Style
« on: October 19, 2010, 04:46:16 PM »
Yeah, those things give off wisps of smoke, so if I can capture and concentrate it a bit more that might help.  If I have a box at home I'll do it tonight and see what happens.  It's getting a lot colder though, hopefully that won't be a negative.  It'll probably smoke around 55F at best.

That seems pretty cold.  I would think the cheese could absorb more smoke at slightly warmer temps.  Mine was right around 85-90F and didn't melt.
I think you're probably right, but I don't have a decent way to warm it up without it getting too warm.  I'll see if I can come up with anything.

7160
Ingredients / Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« on: October 19, 2010, 04:44:59 PM »
There will be minerals in the extract leftover from when it was made.  Just because you're using distilled water doesn't mean you'll have low mineral content.  What brand of extract are you using?  There might be some info available on the mineral content of it, I don't know.

7161
Other Fermentables / Re: Vinegar anyone?
« on: October 19, 2010, 02:56:48 PM »
That's all I did.  Mine has been going for several months and I still don't see any sign of a gelatinous mother on the surface, so maybe it will never show.  No matter, the vinegar aroma is very strong.

I'm probably going to turn a batch of beer I have sitting around and see how it goes, Irish stout vinegar :)

7162
All Things Food / Re: BBQ Style
« on: October 19, 2010, 01:12:05 PM »
I'm thinking that smoking in a smaller container next time will help concentrate the smoke and thus the smoke flavor.  Maybe the grill is just too big and empty for the amount of smoke given off.

Like I said earlier, in my experience, this was not true at all.  1 hour in a UDS (55 gallon drum) with no lid on a somewhat breezy day produced a ton of smoke flavour.  I used a couple small pieces of lump charcoal, then smothered them with small chunks of cherry wood.  There was smoke a plenty.

EDIT:  Looking back at your setup, I see you have one of those little cold smoker gizmos.  Yeah, maybe they don't produce nearly enough smoke.  On my setup, the cheese was totally immersed in billowy, smoky goodness.
Yeah, those things give off wisps of smoke, so if I can capture and concentrate it a bit more that might help.  If I have a box at home I'll do it tonight and see what happens.  It's getting a lot colder though, hopefully that won't be a negative.  It'll probably smoke around 55F at best.

7163
All Things Food / Re: BBQ Style
« on: October 19, 2010, 12:05:08 PM »
How about using a cardboard box with a lesser volume?
That's what I'm thinking too.   :)

7164
The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: October 19, 2010, 12:01:28 PM »
I suspect he'll be posting before he's totally recovered - it might be good therapy for him.

Keep going Jeff . . .

7165
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dissimilar Yeast Flocculation
« on: October 19, 2010, 11:58:20 AM »
That's an interesting question - my answer is "maybe".

Strains flocculate because they express proteins/glycoproteins on their cell surface that allow them to clump together.  The larger clumps fall out of solution faster.  Low floccing strains have less of the proteins than high floccing strains.  So hypothetically, since the high floccing strain has more places to "grab on" to it's possible a high floccing strain could stick to some of the low floccing strain and help it settle out faster.

It's worth an experiment I think :)

7166
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: fermentation woes - chlorine?
« on: October 19, 2010, 11:50:12 AM »
Interesting.  I was not aware of having to worry about the alcohol.
Take a reading of some vodka with your refractometer and you'll see that it has an affect.  It's less than a similar % mixture of sugar, but it's not 0.

The only way to correct for the alcohol is to have both an OG and SG reading, otherwise there's no way to know if your reading of 8 brix is a 1.032 OG beer or something that started at 18 brix and fermented down.  Well, the taste will tell you if you know those are the only two options, but that's beside the point :)

7167
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer in the Bible
« on: October 19, 2010, 11:45:36 AM »
I've read that Russians regard anything less than 1.2% alcohol as non-alcoholic, while the level in the US is 0.5% or lower.

7168
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: my starter is green
« on: October 19, 2010, 10:17:18 AM »
Yeah, I seriously doubt I'd use it.  But it would be good to figure out what happened to make sure to avoid the problem next time.

7169
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: fermentation woes - chlorine?
« on: October 19, 2010, 09:10:32 AM »
When I say "not finishing".....I have an IPA recipe that calls for an OG of 1.064 and an FG of 1.014.  I started at 1.066....and have been stuck at 1.035.
Just so you know, I converted your numbers to brix (1.066=16.5, 1.035=8.75) and plugged them into the spreadsheet.  It says your FG is 1.0155.  My experience is that it will actually be a couple of points higher than that, but I'm sure it will be fine.  That is reasonable attenuation for an extract batch.

7170
All Things Food / Re: BBQ Style
« on: October 19, 2010, 09:01:43 AM »
Looks like they took on a bit more color this time.
Yes, definitely some nice color developed.

I'm thinking that smoking in a smaller container next time will help concentrate the smoke and thus the smoke flavor.  Maybe the grill is just too big and empty for the amount of smoke given off.

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