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Messages - geobrewer

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Beer Recipes / Re: Muskoka Cream Ale Clone
« on: January 02, 2011, 04:25:27 PM »
I've never had a Muskoka Cream Ale, but I'd be interested in finding a recipe for this, too. I'd like to do a cream ale for my next batch, and the descriptions/ratings for this beer look like something I'd enjoy. I'm in the same boat as gmac. Only done and have equipment for extract right now.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How much did you brew in 2010?
« on: January 02, 2011, 04:25:01 AM »
First year brewing. Did three 5 gallon batches. Got 132 bottles total. That's 12.375 gallons of finished beer.
Batch 1 was a Red Ale. 2 was a Witbier, and 3 was a Scottish Ale. I'd like to try for once a month in 2011.

Thanks for all the input on this everyone, and a quick update.

As the beers have aged a little more, the taste is changing quite a bit. When I first posted this thread, batches 2 and 3 had only been in the bottle 11 days. Now that it's been 3 weeks, the common background taste has subsided substantially. I can still detect it, but the taste of both have gone from good to very good.

There is a bypass valve on our watersoftener. I think I'll switch that on before I make the next batch and see if it makes a difference.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Watcha get for Christmas?
« on: December 27, 2010, 01:39:58 AM »
I got both "Designing Great Beers" by Ray Daniels and "Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation" by Chris White & Jamil Zainasheff.
Birthday's in January, and expect some sort of Stainless Steel equipment for that :-)

Not sure what you're getting at, geobrewer. My point was that section 2 expressly gives individual states a huge amount of discretion to regulate alcohol.  The Supreme Court has recognized as much and has acknowledged that the 21st Amendment is essentially an exception to the federal government's commerce power.

Getting at what you just said, that's all  :)

Quote from: skyler
The reason states can do ANYTHING to regulate the sale/distribution/serving laws of beer or wine or vodka between states is because state governments may provide for the health and safety of its citizens and residents. That means that, because alcohol is dangerous and unhealthy, a state may levy a special tax, require overly restrictive licenses, force sales to take place in state-run stores, limit ABV, allow certain counties to prohibit sale (dry counties), etc... This concept of alcohol as inherently dangerous and requiring regulation is pretty outdated, IMO, but it is the sole reason why beer is treated differently than soda.

Well, that and the 21st Amendment;)

Which says in Section 2:

The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Pretty clear.

I've got Palmer's book, and agree it's the most useful one I've read so far. I'll go back and bone up on the water stuff.

I'm not discouraged in the least. First 3 batches came out much better than I had expected. I'm just looking for ways to improve the next 3, that's all.

Thanks for the ideas.  :)


You didn't answer any of my questions. All of them are quite possibly related to the off flavors you mention.

FWIW the chiller will make a big difference. But if you use liquid yeast you may want to check into starters (or pitch multiple vials/packs). Dry yeast generally has enough cells per pitch for up to a 1.065 beer or so. Liquid yeast has about enough for a 1.040 beer - and thats assuming the yeast is extremely fresh. Look at the pitching calculator at to get an idea how much yeast you need to pitch for any given batch.

Well, being new to all this, ALL of these things have crossed my mind.

"Sour would most likely be a cause of potential infection (how are your sanitary procedures? What do you use to sanitized?)"
I clean with PBW, sanitize with StarSan. When I say sour, I really don't know if that's it, as I've never really tasted a sour beer before. I assume if it was really sour, there would be no doubt in my mind what it was.

"Wet paper sounds like oxidation to me (cardboard being the descriptor most often used)"
First batch got sloshed around a bit during racking/bottling. Next two I used an autosiphon, and cut down on that significantly.

"Non hop bitterness sounds like it could be a water issue (or chlorine sanitizer issue) - are you using chlorine free or filtered water?"
I use well water (no chlorine) which goes through a water softener.

I'm thinking it might be a combonation of some oxidation and the water softener. Like I said, hoping next batch results will tell me more.

Every month I travel over an hour to get to one of the club meetings I go to.  the closet is about 30, The one I've been going to the longest is about 45.

It's worth it!!!!

I have been looking into them. Maybe when things settle down after the holidays.


Now, are you SURE they turned out great?  ;)

Well, yes I still would say that.  ::) I only mention those tastes because I don't know how else to describe it. It's really not on "off" taste, just a "different" taste.

I'm not saying that the taste is bad, it's very subtle, and nobody that's had it has even mentioned it to me. In fact it's a taste that I also find a bit of in one of my favorite commercial brews, Long Trail Ale. What I'm confused about is that I can taste it in all 3 of my homebrews, even though I thought I was brewing somewhat different style beers.

Anyway, next batch will be a recipe with ingedients from the LHBS, liquid yeast, using my new 10 gallon SS kettle, and immersion chiller. We'll see if any of that makes a difference in batch #4  :)

Nearest clubs are about an hour away from home in either direction. I know I'm a little vague with my taste description, but I don't have what you'd call an experienced palette. One of the reasons I'm asking is because the taste I find doesn't really fit with anything I've read about.

The closest I can get is somewhere between sour, wet paper, and a non-hop bitterness. Although if you asked me if it was any of those three, I'd say no. I don't think it's contamination. I think I'm being good about my sanitation routine. Oxidation? I thought maybe so, after the first batch, but next two I eliminated the rack to secondary, and was much more careful otherwise.

The more I think about it, it might just be my water profile. I'll have to pull the books out and refresh my memory on how that affects things.

Hi All-

I've got 3 extract batches under my belt so far, and all of them have turned out great. One thing I've noticed though, is a similar background taste in all of them. They are/were three different beer styles. The first was a Red Ale, followed by a Witbier and a Scottish Ale. The overall flavor was good in each batch, appropriate for each style. I've seen some talk about "Extract tang" or something like that, and I'm wondering if that's what I'm experiencing.

Other than being extract kits (from 2 different sources) the other similarities between the batches were:
The use of dried yeast (although the witbier used a different yeast than the other two)
My brewing process (I'd describe the taste has slightly sour, but not strong, and not offensive)
My water (I have hard water, and use a water softener)

So, I plan on using a recipe for the next batch instead of a kit, and I'm just wondering if that might make a difference (using liquid yeast, fresher ingredients maybe, different hops,...?)

Like I said, it's not a strong flavor, and it's not offensive, but it is noticeable (to me) and it's something I'd like to try to change if I try my hand at a lighter beer, like a cream ale. Also wondering if moving to all grain might make a difference, or doing something with my water would be a better answer.

One last thing. The flavor I'm talking about has diminished in my first batch since it's been sitting in the bottle for a couple months now, but I can still tell it's there.

Here are the ingredients I found in the 3 kits, if that helps:

Rebel Brewer - Malty Mississippi Red Ale
6 lbs Extra Light Dry Extract
~1 lbs 8.0 oz. of some kind of steeping grains (not sure exactly what was in the bag)
0.50 oz Chinook [13.00 %] (30 min) Hops
0.50 oz Chinook [13.00 %] (20 min) Hops
0.50 oz Chinook [13.00 %] (10 min) Hops
0.50 oz Chinook [13.00 %] (5 min) Hops
1 Pkgs Dry Windsor Yeast (Lallemand)

Brewer's Best - Witbier
2 lbs Wheat Dry Extract
3 lbs 4.8 oz Wheat Liquid Extract
1 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row)
8.0 oz Oats, Flaked
8.0 oz Wheat, Flaked
1.00 oz Williamette [4.70 %] (60 min) Hops
1.00 oz Sterling [6.00 %] (10 min) Hops
0.50 oz Coriander Seed
0.50 oz Orange Peel, Bitter
1 Pkgs Dry Safbrew WB-06 (Fermentis) Yeast-Wheat

Brewer's Best - Scottish Ale
1 lbs Amber Dry Extract
3 lbs 4.8 oz Amber Liquid Extract
4.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L
4.0 oz Chocolate Malt
4.0 oz Smoked Malt
1.0 oz Roasted Barley
0.50 oz Palisade [6.70 %] (45 min) Hops
0.50 oz Palisade [6.70 %] (5 min) Hops
1 Pkgs Dry Windsor Yeast (Lallemand)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sanitizing bottles in the dishwasher
« on: December 11, 2010, 03:13:49 PM »
My first 5 gallon batch, I used StarSan to sanitize my bottles. De-labeled with a hot water and detergent soak, washed them out with PBW, rinsed them out with clean water, then poured sanitizer into each bottle. I had to handle each bottle at least 4 times, NOT counting the delabeling part. What a pain.

My next two 5 gallon batches (both bottled this week) I used the dishwasher. I had to de-label about 30 more bottles. I made sure all of them were thouroughly rinsed out and clean as soon as they were empty, and I stored them upside down in 12-pack boxes so they'd stay that way. Come bottling day, I filled the dishwasher with bottles (held exactly 48 at a time!), and ran them through a "Hi-Temp wash, Sani-Rinse, and Heated-Dry" cycle. Took about an hour. Then I cracked the door to let them cool off. I figured since they're still upsidedown, they wouldn't get recontaminated. Once they were cool, I just pulled them out one at a time, and used the dishwasher door as my bottling platform.

On bottling day, I only had to handle each bottle once using this procedure before putting beer into the bottle.

I had thoughts about getting one of those squirt-the-sanitizer-into-the-bottle thingamagigs, but now I've changed my mind. I'm even wondering now if kegging would really save me that much more time.

Here they are, 96 bottles of malty goodness:

Beer Recipes / Re: Sparkling Beer?
« on: December 08, 2010, 09:08:36 PM »
Was it a Cooper's Sparkling Ale?  Red label?  Sounds like it.  There was a clone recipe in BYO a few years ago written by Tony Wheeler.  Try googling that.

Thanks! I'm not sure if it was Coopers or not (too much time has passed  :)) but it sounds similar. I've found a few references to Tony Wheeler's recipe, but not the actual recipe yet. Will keep trying.

I did find a few others, though, such as this one:

Beer Recipes / Sparkling Beer?
« on: December 08, 2010, 08:32:28 PM »
Back in my college days (about 30 years ago) there was a beer store near campus (southern NH) that sold over 100 different kinds of beer from all over the world. One of the beers we bought quite often was some kind of "sparkling" beer. I do not remember the brewery, or even what country it came from, but I do remember it was an ale, bottle conditioned (lots of sediment), and came in a regular style capped bottle. I remember it was a light color and light tasting beer, and if you tried to drink it right out of the bottle (stupid college kids) it would foam so much it would squirt out of your mouth.

My question is, where can i find a recipe for such a beer? I'm kind of new to homebrewing, and I have seen a few recipes that might result in something similar, but I'm really not sure where to start. I'm assuming it was some kind of Belgium ale. Most of the recipes that call for high carbonation I see recommend using champagne style bottle for bottling, but I'm sure this beer came in a standard style bottle.

Sorry if this is kind of a vague question, I'm just curious to see what some of you pros have to say about this.

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