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Messages - cheba420

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« on: April 22, 2012, 07:40:19 PM »
I dont taste or smell the DMS or Diacetyl...... but that doesnt mean its not there.

 Kind of like when the tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it...does it make a sound? To me if I can't taste it of smell it then it is non-existant.

 I once had a brewing aquantance that made a very good beer and by his own admission it was the best he ever made and was the very best beer he had ever tasted...ever. He gave me one ( it was a porter) and it was very, very good. He enter it into a contest and got a poor review. As a result he un-capped the remaining ones and poured them out citing how bad they must be. I said he "once was" as brewing aquaintence. I no longer associate with him. He needs to let a life.

  I admire you desire to improve and make the best you can; every brewer should strive to do the same, but don't let a complete stranger decide what you like. I'm pretty sure no one one this board would like my "7% lawnmower beer" but thats OK. I'm the only one that has to suffer through 50 gallons a year of it.

 Bottom line is if you are after a ribbon then go for it. If you are trying to please you own pallet, then do that.
You nailed it. I'm just looking to improve and make the best beer I can. Thats why I entered. I'm not going to hang my hat on the judges comments just looking for more direction here on the board. You guys have always pointed me in the right direction and the advice is invaluable. If I cant taste the DMS or Diacetyl but others with a more trained pallet can, I want to learn as much as I can about how to eliminate those flavors.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« on: April 22, 2012, 07:36:52 PM »
DMS is normally caused from using pils malt and not boiling long enough, or boiling with a lid on. If you use pils malt it is  a a good idea to boil for at least 90 minutes.

Diacetyl will depend on a lot of factors. It is generated during fermenentation but the yeast tend to clean it up after the other forms of nutrients are gone. Some strains throw more than others and some strains do worse job of cleaning it up than others. strains that are highly flocculative tend to not clean up the diacetyl. Pitching warm can also be a factor in dicetyl, especially pitching warm and then cooling the active fermentation. diacetyl can also reform in the finished beer if it is oxidized during racking. It can also be from contamination.
Thanks! I used domestic 2 row in this one and 001 for the yeast. I usually get good results from both. I cool my wort down to below 70* before I pitch and I always use a good size starter. Looking back through my notes, fermentation was noticeable in 6 hours. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« on: April 22, 2012, 06:01:11 PM »
I've gotten some really useful critiques from contests, and some really godawful critiques from contests. At one comp I had like three judges tell me my Belgian Dark Strong (80% pils, 20% D2, fermented with 3787 @ 70*) was mis-entered, and should have been entered as an English Barleywine. So, don't expect judges to always know what they're talking about.
Thanks for the kind words. The beers I entered were a Vanilla Porter and an American Brown. I entered the Vanilla Porter in the wrong category, so again, wasnt expecting to win but this beer gets RAVE reviews in my garage by everyone who's ever tried it. Just surprised by the comments. I dont taste or smell the DMS or Diacetyl...... but that doesnt mean its not there.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« on: April 22, 2012, 05:58:22 PM »
I've been brewing for several years....

More important, how do you feel about your brew?
I agree, Tubercle. I brew for me and those around me. But these results cant be ignored. I have pride in what I do and will always be looking to improve. I take the feedback as a positive because it will help me improve my craft. Just hard to swallow that ego pill....ya know?

General Homebrew Discussion / Swift kick to the nuts!
« on: April 22, 2012, 05:49:02 PM »
I recently entered my first competition. I've been brewing for several years without objective feedback from those who arent directly connected to me in some way. I wanted to enter the competition to learn more about brewing and to get honest feedback from others. Check and double check! I certainly wasnt expecting to win but man, I got a swift kick right to the nuts. Makes me want to dump everything in the fridge and start fresh. I'm grateful for the feedback but now have some ego repair to do and some major tightening of my brewing process. Major flaws were DMS and Diacetyl. I boil hard, cool fast and I ferment in a temp controlled extra fridge. Any suggestions on how to get these two animals out of my brew?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How to Add Vanilla
« on: March 17, 2012, 09:52:08 PM »
I make a vanilla porter and have always soaked them in vodka. Split, scrape and add the whole thing to secondary. I use 3 for a 5 gallon batch and it turns out great. You keep a lot more aroma with 3 than you do with 2.

General Homebrew Discussion / Happy St. Patrick's Day!
« on: March 17, 2012, 06:33:17 PM »
There will be no GREEN beer around these parts but I thought you good people would get a kick out of this!


Brewing up a Sculpin Clone on Sunday! Cant wait!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why I brew
« on: March 03, 2012, 05:46:21 PM »
I brew for several reasons. 1. I've always loved good beer. I'm passionate about it. 2. I love hand crafting something. We've lost that in America but not at my house! 3. I'm generally very distracted (ADD) in life and brewing forces me to channel everything into the brew day and focus. Its good for me. 4. Im proud of my finished product. I'm brewing what I like to drink 5. My wife was never much of a beer drinker but she LOVES my vanilla porter. Has a pint with me every night. I knew when I turned her to the dark side that I was making great beer!
Outside of the bedroom, theres nothing I'd rather be doing in my free time that brewing! :)

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Alternate Ending release 2/22 in Eugene
« on: February 21, 2012, 03:17:45 AM »
That sounds like a good time. The Beer Stein is legit. I wish I was up there this week! Hey Denny, Check out the Cheba Hut next door to the Beer Stein. We make a good sandwich over there!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP San Diego Super Yeast (user update)
« on: February 05, 2012, 09:10:17 PM »
First time using SD Super and I am wondering if anyone has opened one of these and it explodes like a Pepsi on a hot day? I lost about a third of the vial and quickly jammed the rest in the carboy. I assume I will be alright but I was not expecting that.
I just used it for the first time this weekend and the same thing happened to me. I made a pretty big starter though so I'm not concerned with the loss so much as I am with the unexpected mess.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: My beer is flat
« on: February 05, 2012, 06:12:27 PM »
Personally, I dont like to prime a keg. I've done it a couple of times and just didnt care for it. If you leave the gas on for a few days, you'll get it carbonated just fine. If you want to speed it up, crank your regulator up to 25-30 psi and you'll be all carb'd up in even less time.

Now, if you want to get all scientific and precise about it, you'll want to take a look at the carbonation cart posted here:

If, after taking one of these routes, your beer still isnt carbonated, you probably have a leak in your keg gaskets, line or connections. Crank up the gas and spray the hell out of everything with star san. If theres a leak, you'll see bubbles!

Good luck!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing This Weekend - 2/3 Edition
« on: February 05, 2012, 03:39:52 AM »
Just made my first SMASH today.
12 lbs 2 row
1.25 oz amarillo (60)
.75 oz amarillo (10)
.5 oz amarillo (5)
.5 oz amarillo (flame out)
1 oz amarillo dry hop
WL San Diego Super Yeast
Hit all targets and had a smooth brew day! Cheers, everyone!

The Pub / Re: slightly disturbing statistics
« on: January 28, 2012, 03:38:58 AM »
4 days 10 hours 47 minutes.

Learning, every step of the way. Time well spent!

Equipment and Software / Re: Hop Spider
« on: January 17, 2012, 01:19:34 AM »
So, I used the Hop Spider for our brew session yesterday. I gotta say that I like it. It made the hop additions pretty easy and didnt really get in the way at all. We were able to lift it out, place the chiller in and then replace the hop spider pretty easily. From the results yesterday, I dont see any reason to not use this on every batch moving forward.

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