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Messages - ajk

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Favorite lager strain?
« on: December 28, 2013, 12:24:23 AM »
My favorite readily available strain is Wyeast 2124.  I use it on Pilseners, American lagers, Dunkels, Schwarzbiers, and Bocks. I do like the seasonal 2487 for Dunkels as well.

is the lifetime membership rate changing as well?

Yes, to $700. I just asked Hence, I am now a lifetime member!


Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg Manufacturer Preference
« on: December 23, 2013, 12:09:53 PM »
I chose ball lock in the beginning because they seemed more readily available. Of those, I prefer Cornelius brand kegs. Some of the other brands have annoying peculiarities (plastic gas dip tubes, straight beverage dip tubes, poppets that stick in place, unwieldy bales, etc.).

I don't know anything about pin lock kegs.

Equipment and Software / Re: Can heater light bulb alternatives
« on: December 20, 2013, 07:16:49 PM »
Incandescent bulbs aren't going away entirely, just the inefficient ones.  Unfortunately, the inefficiency is something we homebrewers rely on; we want that heat energy that in most lighting applications is wasted.  With the newer incandescents, you'll likely need to up the wattage.  You don't need much to begin with, though; I use 40-W bulbs now.

Alternate suggestion: replace all the incandescents in your parents' house with CFLs or LEDs, save them money on their energy bill, you look like a good kid, and you get a lifetime supply of fermentation chamber heating elements. :-)

Equipment and Software / Re: Using Damp-Rid
« on: December 20, 2013, 07:03:01 PM »

i saw an aritcle using in a keezer.  THis is what im going to do:)


I can vouch for the Eva-Dry. I've used them in my temperature-controlled freezers for over a year, and they're just as effective as Damp-Rid.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dry Yeast for English Style Barleywine?
« on: December 04, 2013, 03:00:21 AM »
I used 2 packs of S-04 per 5gal in a Russian Imperial Stout and it did very well.

I was happy with S04 in a barleywine.

I get a distinct "bready" note from S-04 that I don't get from the liquid English Ale strains. I like it in certain styles (roasty/toasty styles like brown ales & porters), but no so much in others (fruitier styles like ESB's). I've always been leery in using it in something like a barleywine, since I'm afraid that the bready character would be amplified in a bigger beer with a bigger pitch of yeast. Have you guys found that to be the case?

I too have noticed the bready character of S-04 in more sessionable styles, but in the strong ales, the other characteristics win out.  So I too like S-04 for Barleywines.  It also makes it easy to brew one without making starters, repitching, etc.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dishwashing detergent
« on: December 04, 2013, 02:57:49 AM »
The Cascade packs (which include the rinse agent) have resulted in no problems in the ajk household.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Aging in a keg
« on: December 03, 2013, 04:14:54 PM »
I age in kegs under CO2 pressure.  Somewhere I heard beer ages better in larger containers, but I don't have a reference.  Anyone?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling question
« on: December 03, 2013, 04:04:54 PM »
I use the O2-scavenging caps but still keep them in a tray full of StarSan.  I know they activate when moistened, but I'd rather keep the number of steps for each bottle fill to a minimum.  I really dislike bottling!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Smithwick's Clone Tastes Malty
« on: December 03, 2013, 02:37:48 PM »
Smithwicks is malty.

Special roast has a pretty potent flavor profile if I'm not mistaken.  Maybe thats what you're detecting.

Agreed on both points.  Special Roast tastes almost sour to me.  I use it, but sparingly.

Ingredients / Re: What's your favorite American "noble" type hop?
« on: December 03, 2013, 01:59:52 PM »
Hasn't DNA testing shown US Tettnang to actually be Fuggles?

Yep.  Tastes like it, too.

This is interesting to hear because I've been using US Tettnang in German lagers (perhaps based on Paul's recommendation) and have been really pleased with the results.  The beers have also performed well in competitions.

Sounds like some triangle tests are in order!

I've repitched from a smoked beer into a non-smoked beer and detected smoke character in the latter.  I've also sampled beer from another homebrewer who has done the same and picked up smoke character in the non-smoked beer.  Humans (especially beer judges :-) have a very low threshold for smoke.  I definitely wouldn't repitch if you don't want any smoke character in the resulting beer.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Smithwick's Clone Tastes Malty
« on: December 03, 2013, 01:52:34 PM »
Beer has maltier flavor than I expected.

Could you be more specific?  I agree with all the responses above, but they address many different aspects of perception.

To me, maltiness connotes aromas and flavors of bread, bread trust, toast, caramel, dark fruit, chocolate, etc., and isn't very closely related with attenuation and final gravity.

Then there's sweetness, which I contrast with dryness and has more to do with the beer's finish.  Some people (including I myself) will casually say a beer smells or tastes sweet, but if we were being more rigorous, we'd say it smells or tastes fruity, caramelly, or some other descriptor we commonly associate with sweetness.  True sweetness has a lot to do with attenuation and final gravity, and it's also related to other components of the beer's profile (bitterness from hops or roasted grains, sourness, etc.).

If your beer finished at 1.006, I wouldn't expect it to be very sweet unless it was underhopped.  I also wouldn't expect it to have much body.  But it could still be very malty, especially considering all the specialty grains in the grain bill.  Maybe you mean some specific type of maltiness is too high (like it's too roasty, too caramely, etc.).  Other than that, I don't think of "too malty" as being a problem in this style, but if it's too sweet, I'd just try increasing the bittering hops the next time you brew it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: IPA's
« on: November 24, 2013, 05:48:36 PM »

Syrupy sweet? That seems to me like the balance of the beer was off to start meaning there were not enough IBUs to properly balance the beer. While the hop aroma and flavor will fade kind of quick, the bitterness balance should be more intact, a little less but not appreciably.
Good call. It was a little sweet to begin with.
Oxidation can also create a honey-like note that seems sweet. Is the color any darker than it was a few months ago?

Ingredients / Re: Rye Malt?
« on: November 09, 2013, 01:30:18 PM »
It depends which brand of rye you use, IMO. Weyermann rye malt seems to be smoother than  Briess (or maybe it has just had longer to mellow on its journey over here). So I find I can get away with using a larger percentage of the Weyermann.

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