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Messages - joeysmokedporter

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lagering in corny kegs
« on: April 12, 2013, 11:17:34 AM »
So theres no need to allow gassing off during lagering?  I'm still a little foggy on just what exactly is happening during lagering.  If the yeast are still somewhat active, whether it is better for the beer to be able to "breathe", etc.

As you bring the beer temperature down, it is able to absorb more CO2 in solution. I usually keep 3-5 psi on the keg as it is lagering because I find it actually takes in a little more CO2 than the yeast gives off from any remaining activity. When you've lagered as much as you want, you can simply increase your pressure for the desired carbonation level and serve. Very easy and clean.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« on: January 04, 2013, 06:53:51 PM »
I imagine modern brewers aren't using caves anymore. IIRC, in one of the brewing network interviews, Charlie Bamforth mentioned cold crashing down to slush (or right above slush, I'm not sure.) I do remember him saying something like 1 day at 28* was better than 2 weeks at 32*, flavor-wise.

Yeah, I remember that interview.  Basically it's a function of time and temperature.  Lower temp, less time.  Probably don't want slush though.  Right above it is probably optimal.

One of my best lagers was a Bavarian Helles. Due to an equipment malfunction, my temp control on the chest freezer went haywire and it froze solid. I thawed it and continued lagering, then bottled. I haven't replicated it since, even with the same recipe. "Helles frozen over" even took 1st place in the light lager category of a local competition. I don't recommend freezing or slush but certainly cold lagering seems to help.

The obsession with the megabrewers buying up craft brewers and watering down their offerings, and ultimately killing our choice, borders on paranoia to me. Look at what's been happening. The craft beer segment of the market has been growing double digits for years. We have more access to good beer than ever, maybe even better than before prohibition (although excluding some areas like Nateo's from the sound of it). The megabrewers barely grew this year...after having no growth or shrinking in previous years.

They are buying craft brewers because it gives them access to a growing segment, unlike their current offerings.

If they try to trick us into buying their craft brands and then water it down, aren't we discerning enough in our tastes to figure it out and buy something else?

I understand that the BA's objective is to advocate for smaller brewers. They absolutely should. I understand their call for transparency is in line with that. However it was clumsy at best, and bordering on snobbery at worst, especially given the arbitrary nature of the guidelines that were articulated well enough in the Schell rebuttal. There are different ways to advocate for small brewers, including the ancient and messy legal landscape, and while I am sure BA is exploring every avenue, perhaps more effort here and less into judging who is and isn't craft is in order.

See it's gradual. You make gradual changes you your recipe when you DON'T want your consumers to notice. If you are doing it to pull in new customers you make the keystone "bitter beer face" ad campaign. I stick by my hypothesis that these changes are driven exclusivly by profit margins and not by quality concerns.

I am not saying that small artisinal brewers are doing it purely for the love of the thing but I am saying that the standards a company chooses to hold itself to has a lot to do with the end quality of their products. And the big boys in the industry choose to hold themselves to standards that seem more driven by profit motive than by taste.

I understand the point that customers don't necessarily ask for something, but if the products of the large conglomerates didn't meet a need, then people wouldn't buy them. No one asked for an iPod, but did Apple manipulate people into thinking they wanted one, or did they provide a product that met a need? It seems like you're saying that the big brewers are manipulating drinkers into drinking less flavorful beer (or did I misinterpret?), but I don't think they would have as much of the market as they do without meeting some kind of need.

The price of rice and corn are higher than malt, as pointed out by both August Schell and Stone Brewing's Mitch Steele in a recent interview on Basic Brewing Radio. That shoots a gaping hole through the "profit motive".

Companies (including brewers, regardless of their size) have a right to look for ways to make more money. You and I and everyone else have the right and the ability to choose or not choose their products.

I'm worried that if BMC makes better beer, I won't be able to sneer derisively at their customers for their lack of "proper" taste. I can keep judging people by their taste in music and clothes, though, right?

This made me laugh. Beer snobbery does nothing good to advance the cause of craft brewing, and I don't think it's my business to tell people what to drink or not.

I don't think beer snobbery was the point of the BA's release--I read it as more trying to advance the causes of the breweries BA advocates--but excluding brewers like Yuengling and Schells won't do anything to dispel the perception that there is underlying snobbery particularly related to anything using adjuncts. Which is silly when you consider, as August Schell pointed out, the extensive use of adjuncts in Belgians and double IPAs.

Edit: should have been "snobbery particularly related to light lager styles using adjuncts", not anything using adjuncts. Conveniently Belgians and double IPAs using adjuncts fit the "what is craft beer law".

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Brett C and a 1.011 Saison?
« on: September 28, 2012, 05:10:16 PM »
No experience with Brett C but have done this with Brett B and good results. It has given me a tartness like sour cherries, similar to other saisons fermented with Brett. Over time, the funk character grows, although I wouldn't necessarily call it musty.

might make for an interesting experiment to do a side by side.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer and ice
« on: July 09, 2012, 07:43:42 PM »
I ordered a cider at a local bar the other day and they served it over ice. That was a first time for me. Thought is was weird at first and was going to ask them to repour but I said what the hell and drank it. However, I dont think I'd like it in my beer!

Crispin cider has been marketing that. Bizarre, and with bar prices I'd be angry about paying for less cider.

It's not unusual to go to a pub in Ireland and order a cider, and have it served with a glass of ice.

But not ice in beer.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Entries closed....
« on: March 06, 2012, 01:31:49 AM »
Somehow I think this is a good problem to have. Every year it seems the competition has more and more entries and/or fills up faster. It means that brewing is alive, well, vibrant, and growing.

That said it is still a problem. More options to consider:

- raise price (even more) to limit demand (and maybe limit shotgunning)
- Move from fewer (9-10) large centers to many more (25? 35? more?) smaller centers to reduce logistical constraints and allow more judges and clubs to get involved - obviously math needs to work so total entries can increase
- require AHA membership for entry - if nothing else, perhaps more membership dues can subsidize paying judges
- if you do go to a "prequalification" type event I like the idea of placing in a local competition to qualify for NHC, rather than placing first--makes the competition somewhat more exclusive but also limits lower-quality shotgun entries
- develop a capping system that takes into account the history of a brewer's performance in NHC - start at a cap of 3 entries for brewers who have never made it past round 1; bump up to 6 if brewer has made it past round 1 but not placed; unlimited if you have placed (or some variant). Probably would require some type of database system to manage that could possibly be subsidized by higher fees and requiring AHA membership. Or cap entries for non-members first, then graduate it up for members based on their history.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: Entry category for a brett saison
« on: July 29, 2011, 01:15:27 PM »

Homebrew Competitions / Re: Entry category for a brett saison
« on: July 23, 2011, 08:51:31 PM »
Thanks Drew. Glad to have your input on this.

Homebrew Competitions / Entry category for a brett saison
« on: July 23, 2011, 01:38:51 PM »
I brewed a saison with brett and am trying to determine the better of two categories for entry into competition - 16c (saison) or 16e (Belgian specialty). It could clearly be entered into 16e, but I'm wondering if it is better entered into 16c.

The saison has some sourness but also more of the characteristic earthy/funky brett flavor, which I'm not sure is appropriate for 16c. I know many commercial examples of saisons have this character. I looked at the BJCP style guide, and while it mentions sourness in the description of 16c, it doesn't mention "funk" or brett. It does mention the use of souring techniques like sour mash and lacto, but these create different characteristics than what I'm getting from the brett.

Any input is appreciated, especially from those with experience in this category in competitions. Thanks.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP566 Belgian Saison II Yeast
« on: June 12, 2011, 11:32:44 AM »
I used this one last year and it is a fantastic strain. Highly recommend it. It does a great job of fermenting and drying out the beer without much prodding, with a great mix of tropical fruit and peppery spice flavors. Would recommend fermenting on the cool side, start at high 60s or 70 and let it rise.

This was my first Bohemian pilsner, but I had wanted to give this a try for awhile. I used Bestmalz Pils as my malt, all Saaz, and double decoction. Started 6 weeks ago and is lagering in a keg now.

I'm in the DC competition. Good luck to everyone else.

Ingredients / Carapils vs mashing hotter
« on: February 13, 2011, 03:50:00 PM »
Getting ready to do my first Bo-Pils, and trying to determine whether to go with an all Pilsner grist or add around 0.5 lb Carapils. Does Carapils give me something that mashing a few degrees hotter would not?

thanks in advance for your feedback.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Belgian Malt sources
« on: January 08, 2011, 12:23:05 PM »
Along the lines of this post, has anyone found a difference in character between Belgian Pils and German Pils?  The Brewing Technique article in the original post referred to differences between Belgian and North American or British grains.

I'm currently swimming in German Pils, thanks to a prize from a local competition--good problem that I'm thankful to have.  I'm brewing a few big Belgians (tripel, higher gravity saison) to help me consume the Pils (along with several German lagers, of course), but am wondering if I can expect differences in malt character in the Belgian beers versus if they had been brewed with Belgian Pils.

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