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Messages - ajk

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181
All Things Food / Foie Gras in California
« on: July 03, 2012, 03:20:53 AM »
"Poutine au foie gras" totally has my interest piqued.

Poutine au foie gras has been my only experience with foie gras.  I had it at Restaurant Tallent in Bloomington, Indiana.  Although the other courses were outstanding, I really didn't care for the texture of the foie gras—I think it's just too fatty for me.

182
General Homebrew Discussion / When does a beer become a fruit beer?
« on: June 23, 2012, 05:34:45 AM »
It's when it has the flavor and aroma of added fruit. A beer entered as a fruit beer but having no fruit character won't get very far, regardless of how much fruit was added.

183
Yeast and Fermentation / Ringwood Strain
« on: June 22, 2012, 08:20:31 PM »
Just tried Ringwood for the first time.  Wasn't much trouble; just took a little longer in the fermenter.  Around 50 ppm of Calcium.

184
General Homebrew Discussion / That German lager flavor
« on: June 22, 2012, 07:52:20 AM »
Perhaps it is that sulfur flavor that I'm thinking of from the yeast...

Yes, lager yeast throws definite sulfur notes, mostly reminiscent of sulfur dioxide (struck matches) in my perception.  These notes are at very low levels—so low that many tasters don't seem to notice them—but they do change the character of the beer.

I'm not talking about the hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg) aroma thrown by some lager yeasts during fermentation—that tends to dissipate during conditioning.

185
General Homebrew Discussion / That German lager flavor
« on: June 22, 2012, 07:48:04 AM »
The right lager yeast (with appropriate pitching rate and temperature control) and just the right amount of Weyermann Münich II (9L) are what make me happy. Both Wyeast and White Labs offer some great strains. I've recently done side-by-sides with Wyeast 2124 and 2487—both great yeasts but so different!  2124 is just the picture of clean, whereas 2487 throws that bock-like chewiness that really accentuates Münich and Vienna malt favors.

I've recently started using US-grown noble hop varieties such as US Tettnang and Liberty. Seems like sacrilege, but the character is indistinguishably noble, and I think fresher.

186
General Homebrew Discussion / That was painful
« on: June 19, 2012, 01:20:39 PM »
Consider it your hot-side aeration experiment.

187
Hope it works for you.  I've heard from others who have tried that that there's no enough heat excahnge from the hose.

That's been my experience.

188
Yeast and Fermentation / What's your preferred Belgian Pale yeast?
« on: June 08, 2012, 07:56:19 AM »
I can't pick a favorite, but I'll second the praise for T-58.  It's versatile, and I've done well in competitions with it.  When it comes to Belgians, I mainly brew Blonds, Pales, and Saisons.

189
General Homebrew Discussion / Hazelnut Extract
« on: June 08, 2012, 07:53:24 AM »
I don't remember the brand name, but I like the one Whole Foods sells.  Used it to make a hazelnut brown that placed second in a local competition.  My advice is to use a light hand. 

190
Equipment and Software / Re: Bru'n Water - cation/anion balance
« on: May 21, 2012, 10:29:32 AM »
I noticed when altering my water profile in this tool, that my base profile without adjustments has green cells for cation and anion but when I start adjusting the profile with salt and acid additions, then the balance is thrown off and the cells are no longer green (yellow cells, cation: 5.3, anion: 4.3).  Should I be trying to make adjustments to create a balance between these ions?

It sounds as though you're trying to calculate the effects of adjustments to your brewing water on sheet 1 (Water Report Input).  I only use that page for inputting values from my water report; then I leave it that way.  I use sheet 3 (Water Adjustment) for making the actual adjustments.

191
All Grain Brewing / Mash temperatures
« on: May 18, 2012, 08:04:33 AM »
Anyway, at a recent non-bjcp competition that was judged by the brewer and owner of a local microbrewery, it was suggested that I mash at 160, or even a bit higher.  Traditionally, I start freaking out if I get to 155 or so.  The two beers I entered were a Session IPA and an Imperial Stout.

I mash my Mild at 160.  It took third at the NHC a couple of years ago.

The same brewer made the statement "crystal malts are the enemy of good beer" 

I tend to be skeptical of such absolute statements.  I do think crystal malts are the enemy of a good west coast IPA, though.

192
General Homebrew Discussion / 1st round NHC results
« on: May 11, 2012, 09:14:13 AM »
I understand the enormity of the competition, but I still don't think that the judges comments should be given to those that qualify for extended rounds. To me, that implies a do-over.

I think it's more fair that way.  Personally, I have the privilege of knowing 5-6 National judges (not counting myself) whom I can get to sample my beer and give me feedback any time I want.  Most entrants don't have that luxury.  By getting everyone their scoresheets before they re-brew, we're leveling the playing field, if anything.

193
Yeast and Fermentation / Which yeast?
« on: May 04, 2012, 04:36:48 PM »
I suspect there's a lot more to perceptions of dryness than just apparent attenuation though.

Sure.  Hop bitterness would affect dryness in a Saison.  Also, alcohol can have a sweet flavor that can detract from your perception of dryness.

194
General Homebrew Discussion / 1st round NHC results
« on: April 30, 2012, 08:31:39 PM »
I've not heard this mentioned before, so maybe I'm very much in the minority, but I really don't need the certificates you get for beers over a certain score in the first round.  Seems eliminating those would save quite a bit of money.

195
All Grain Brewing / Dry Lagers
« on: April 22, 2012, 04:20:25 AM »
Where on your palate are you perceiving the dryness?  I perceive astringency forward of my front teeth, just inside the lips.  Feels like my teeth have been sucked dry.

Dryness contributors I didn't see mentioned here are roast level and hop bitterness, which I perceive mid-palate and at the back of the mouth, respectively. You might need to back off on one of these.

I don't think 170°F is too hot for batch sparging.  The thermal mass of the grain and mash tun are going to reduce the water temperature considerably.

Btw, I've never heard of sparging twice like that.  I think what is meant by "roughly half" is that the runoff from the *mash* should be roughly equivalent to the runoff from (only one) sparge.

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