Author Topic: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong  (Read 10758 times)

Offline hoodie

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #60 on: November 08, 2013, 12:15:42 PM »
Love this series, look forward to more sessions. Thanks Gordon.

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #61 on: November 08, 2013, 12:46:16 PM »
Thanks Gordon.  Maybe I am overpitching in all my lagers.  I usually use a yeast calculator to determine how much to pitch but a 1L starter seems super low.  Though I have ALWAYS made sure to try and pitch a ton of yeast for a lager (since that's what you always hear) so I never have tried it with less... I'll have to give it a go next time.  Thanks again.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #62 on: November 08, 2013, 01:06:07 PM »
Thanks Gordon.  Maybe I am overpitching in all my lagers.  I usually use a yeast calculator to determine how much to pitch but a 1L starter seems super low.  Though I have ALWAYS made sure to try and pitch a ton of yeast for a lager (since that's what you always hear) so I never have tried it with less... I'll have to give it a go next time.  Thanks again.

I thought the same thing when I read his answer to that question. Sounds like an experiment is in order.
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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #63 on: November 08, 2013, 01:46:36 PM »
Gordon, I have always heard the acetaldehyde in Bud, and it is even in the BJCP study guides somewhere.

This guy - Mitch Steele - says no, it is very low, but the yeast has apple esters. Go to paragraph that starts with acetaldehyde.

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Offline cadillacandy

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #64 on: November 08, 2013, 03:22:34 PM »
Gordon
Would the BJCP consider a method of getting good experienced feedback on submitted beers in a non competition format? It seems like it would be a great way for rural brewers to grow their skills and knowledge without having to take up space at a competition. I'm planning to send a couple to a friend who is a judge, but I think this would be great for all of us. Seems like BJCP could make a few bucks in the process.
Jim

This one is important for me as well.  The insight I get from people who really know both beer and styles is highly valuable.  I'm not opposed to competitions; I'm looking for ways to get critical feedback. 

Half my recipes are for fun (the house IPAs), but I am trying to land styles with my own recipes to see how well I understand and execute (say a kolsch or pilsner).  It keeps me in check with the learning curve.

Thanks Gordon!

I really do think this type of evaluation is best done at homebrew club meetings or between friends at the enthusiast level.  A competition isn't going to give you this type of feedback.  I'd love to see more of a grassroots solution, like people doing beer trades on the social media beer sites rather than trying to implement a top-down solution.

That said, we're open to ideas.  I'm sure there are good ideas out there that we haven't considered.

Here's something that I've been working on if anyone is interested - http://onlinebeerscores.com/ - it sounds like it fits Jim's needs.

It was something I built to handle structured feedback for our club using BJCP standards, as well as calibrate palates with commercial examples. It's still a work in progress, but take a look and let me know what you guys think.

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #65 on: November 08, 2013, 11:02:46 PM »
Gordon, I have always heard the acetaldehyde in Bud, and it is even in the BJCP study guides somewhere.

This guy - Mitch Steele - says no, it is very low, but the yeast has apple esters. Go to paragraph that starts with acetaldehyde.

http://hoptripper.com/what-is-quality/

That makes more sense. I have always picked up a slight apply flavor in bud, but wasn't able to place it. doesn't taste like acetaldehyde to me though.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #66 on: November 09, 2013, 01:12:28 AM »
Maybe it's ethyl valerate, that smells like green apples too.  It is an ester that can be formed by the reaction of an organic acid with an alcohol, for example valeric acid and ethanol or acetic acid and pentanol.

Or maybe it is not ethyl valerate but something else.
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #67 on: November 09, 2013, 03:44:13 PM »
Drew: "$#!+, $&@&, is it too late to change the results?"

I really should have talked to Janis about that. *sigh*
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #68 on: November 13, 2013, 10:35:28 AM »
Great questions from everyone. Excellent responses from Gordon. Very informative. Thanks!
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Offline chinaski

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #69 on: November 15, 2013, 09:03:55 AM »
One thing I didn't see mentioned regarding getting feedback on beers outside of competitions is to join a brew club and get to know folks who might be able to judge your beer informally.  You can also find a BJCP study group and ask them to score your beer.  Finally, the Brewing Network now has a show called "Dr. Homebrew" that seeks to be an interactive bjcp judging.  As always, be open minded about the feedback if you seek it out.

Offline ocddot

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #70 on: November 21, 2013, 07:56:40 PM »
Hello Gordon,
   Last december (12/5/12)  i made a 17% braggot, its been aging a year in the secondary. Its come time to bottling, and  i really want to bottle condition it. How should i go about it?
   fyi-my friends said to force carb and bottle.

Thanks,

Todd

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #71 on: November 21, 2013, 08:16:57 PM »
Hello Gordon,
   Last december (12/5/12)  i made a 17% braggot, its been aging a year in the secondary. Its come time to bottling, and  i really want to bottle condition it. How should i go about it?
   fyi-my friends said to force carb and bottle.

Thanks,

Todd

Sounds like you have smart friends...  Much easier and more predictable than anything else you could do.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline snook32

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #72 on: November 28, 2013, 07:50:45 PM »
The window is now open to ask Gordon Strong questions!
Good evening Gordon,
     Is there a preference with brewers that you know, in regard to adjusting brewing water ph vs monitoring mash ph and directly adjusting the mash. Thanks for your time.

Offline denny

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #73 on: November 29, 2013, 10:38:10 AM »
The window is now open to ask Gordon Strong questions!
Good evening Gordon,
     Is there a preference with brewers that you know, in regard to adjusting brewing water ph vs monitoring mash ph and directly adjusting the mash. Thanks for your time.

Snook, the Q&A period is officially closed now.  But maybe Gordon will pop in and see you question.

Although, I can tell you he'll say mash pH is the key.
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #74 on: November 29, 2013, 06:28:33 PM »
The window is now open to ask Gordon Strong questions!
Good evening Gordon,
     Is there a preference with brewers that you know, in regard to adjusting brewing water ph vs monitoring mash ph and directly adjusting the mash. Thanks for your time.

Snook, the Q&A period is officially closed now.  But maybe Gordon will pop in and see you question.

Although, I can tell you he'll say mash pH is the key.

Mash pH is the key, but I personally adjust my brewing water to get that.  I use RO water, which makes the whole process really repeatable.  I think it's better to get your brewing process set up so that you never have to adjust your mash pH.  So, just to be clear, I normally hit my RO water with about 1/4 tsp of 10% phosphoric acid per 5 gallons of RO water, which gives me a pH of around 5.5.  I measured that in a lab several times, so I know it's repeatable on my system.  So now I just measure the volume of strike water and the volume of phosphoric and I know I hit my target.  Using that kind of mash water with a pale grain mash settles in the desirable range every time.

But I know this because I measured it several times until I knew that's how it worked on my system with my ingredients.  Verify that it works that way for you and you can do something similar.

So the mash pH is what is ultimately what you want to control, but you tend to do it indirectly by adjusting the strike water pH and using an appropriate grist for that type of water.  You can do it other ways, but it tends to involve spreadsheets and gram scales, and is different for every batch.  My method is repeatable, so I don't worry about those things any more.

I tend to use about 1 tsp of CaCl2 in the mash to give me some available calcium.  That salt doesn't affect the pH like gypsum or chalk does.  If I want to add those flavor ions, I'll tend to do so after the mash is done.  Likewise, I'll add the various dark grains and crystal malts after the mash.  Those grains don't need to be mashed, so you don't need to add them early.  During the vorlauf is fine.  That has other beneficial effects in my experience, but not worrying about mash pH ever is something that I think is a great simplification to my process.

I've brewed about 20 batches this fall, from extremely pale to extremely dark, all basically using the same water, and all tasting great.  Anyone who tells you that you must vary your water chemistry significantly to brew those is making too many assumptions about your brewing process; there are other ways that work just fine.

But don't interpret this advice to mean that "Gordon said that you can ignore water chemistry entirely and brew whatever you want" -- pay attention to the control points that I said were important.  My approach assumes a specific method; if you do something else you might get different results.  Just remember that as long as your mash pH is in a good range and your beer tastes good when you're done, don't worry about it.  I don't.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong