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Messages - ajk

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46
Ingredients / Re: Brewing with cabbage (say what?)
« on: August 10, 2014, 03:12:03 AM »
Is there a photo? I can't see it.

I've had a beer made with beets that was purple. So that's an option.

47
All Grain Brewing / Re: Mashing Questions (time & pH)
« on: August 01, 2014, 02:27:05 PM »
It will be fine.  The beer might end up drier than you intended, but probably not.  Plus, most beers could stand to be drier anyway!

48
Did you squeeze the hop bag when removing it after dry hopping? I did that once, and it resulted in honey-like notes from oxidation.

49
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermenting in a corney keg
« on: July 30, 2014, 02:10:36 PM »

After a keg empties, the crud on the bottom of the keg is kinda brown and flakey looking.
I get that too, and I think it's normal. Just expired yeast and trub.

50
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermenting in a corney keg
« on: July 30, 2014, 11:44:22 AM »
So, did you boil all your poppets and what not to get rid of the infection?
Yes.  I replaced all tubing, boiled everything small, and hit everything else with a sanitizer I don't normally use.

51
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermenting in a corney keg
« on: July 30, 2014, 09:56:18 AM »
I don't know if that really is what caused the butterscotchyness or not. I hope so, because I've had to track down infections this last year and a bit and man, does it make you consider quitting brewing...

Funny you should mention that; I just replied in another thread about a recurring diacetyl problem I once had that I attributed to infection.  It was every bit as demoralizing for me.  On the plus side, I put a lot of controls in place that improved my brewing in other ways.

Also, and I think this is what you might have been getting at, I believe a precursor to diacetyl, acetolactate, is odorless and flavorless.  It oxidizes to diacetyl.  So you can have the potential for diacetyl in your beer and not know it.  Then when you rack it and introduce a little oxygen, suddenly you have diacetyl.  You can test for acetolactate by heating up a sample in the microwave and then looking for butter.

52
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermenting in a corney keg
« on: July 30, 2014, 08:50:47 AM »
Whatever approach you use, make sure the destination keg is purged of oxygen.  I do that by filling it completely with sanitizer, then pushing it all out with CO₂.

I ferment in cornies as well.  I've bent the dip tubes of the cornies I use for primary so they're effectively shorter so as to leave behind yeast, trub, etc.

When I'm ready to transfer from primary to another keg, I pressurize the primary keg with CO₂ and move it to the top of a workbench or freezer.  Then I take two jumpers and connect gas post to gas post and liquid post to liquid post.  I give the destination keg a quick pull on its relief valve to start the siphon, and gravity takes care of the rest.

I don't know that this method is especially better than the others, but I do suspect it saves some CO₂.  I definitely prefer it when transferring beer that's already carbonated to avoid foaming.

53
If it is indeed diacetyl, and it's intensifying over time, I would suspect infection.  You can probably find someone in your area who's good at identifying it if you're not sure.  (Heck, send me a bottle if you like.)

I had a diacetyl-producing bug infection in my brewery.  After several consecutive batches with diacetyl, I decided something was up.  I replaced hoses, boiled small parts, and sanitized everything else with a sanitizer I don't normally use.  Haven't had the problem since.

54
I like 1007 for a Mocktoberfest unless the reason for your inability to lager is lack of time, which is often the case for me.  I say that because in my experience that yeast takes forever to clear.  I suppose you could filter or fine your way around that problem.

The best balance of clean character and clarity for me has been 1056.  That said, I don't think it brings out the malt the way 2124 does.

55
All Grain Brewing / Re: Batch Sparge Water Temp
« on: July 16, 2014, 03:27:45 PM »
It ain't called "Blue Ribbon" for nothing! I know it's a better American Lager than I can make.

56
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Just say "no" to yeast rinsing
« on: July 16, 2014, 06:09:09 AM »
One habit that all brewers should get into is the habit of wiping all pouring surfaces with a cotton ball soaked with 95% ethanol
What's your source for 95% ethanol?  Everclear?  Something lab-grade?
(or 91% isopropyl alcohol if one is patient enough to allow it to flash off)
How do you know how long to wait?  I just guess, but I'm never sure.

57
Ingredients / Re: German & Domestic Pilsner Malt: Difference?
« on: July 14, 2014, 09:34:10 AM »
To my palate, malt flavor profiles differ significantly according to whether the malt is from continental Europe, the British Isles, or North America.  It's the reason many commercial American examples of European styles don't taste quite right—the brewers have contracts with domestic maltsters and use their products for darn near everything.  I'm generalizing, of course; I know many brewers pull out all the stops for their European beers, and it's definitely noticed and appreciated.

Other judges and I also notice the difference when judging European categories in homebrew competitions.  I'm always careful wording my observations on the scoresheet just in case I'm wrong, but the origin of the malt is usually quite clear.

58
Ingredients / Best Special X malt
« on: July 14, 2014, 09:14:23 AM »
Does anyone have access to this new malt from Best?  I'd like to try some in a Dunkles Bock, but no domestic merchants seem to carry it.

http://www.bestmalz.de/en/malt/BEST_Special_X.htm

59
Beer Recipes / Re: A better light lager?
« on: July 10, 2014, 04:39:22 PM »
I agree that if you want it to resemble the most popular examples of American Lager, Pils should be the only malt and you need some adjunct.  I find rice more flavor-neutral than corn. I like your choice of Sterling. I haven't tried that yeast, but I've had success with both Wyeast 2124 and 2035 in this style.

60

Without categorizing beers it would be an absolute nightmare to even order a beer.
Or run a competition.

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