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Messages - svejk

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1
Beer Travel / Re: Cologne and Dusseldorf trip in the works
« on: July 24, 2014, 11:06:03 AM »
You can walk to Uerige, Im Fuschen, Zum Schuessel breweries and the Schneider tap house in the Altstadt in Duesseldorf. Have one at each (.25 liter), then go back to your favorite for more.

Great suggestion - I took a walking beer tour in the Alstadt that did this and it was a lot of fun.
There is also a new Alt brewery there, Kuerzer, so I might have to go back someday.

I visited that one on my tour.  IIRC it has fermenters that are on the second level and only the very bottom of the cone sticks down through the concrete ceiling.  That was the first time I'd seen anything like that.

2
Beer Travel / Re: Cologne and Dusseldorf trip in the works
« on: July 24, 2014, 08:11:17 AM »
You can walk to Uerige, Im Fuschen, Zum Schuessel breweries and the Schneider tap house in the Altstadt in Duesseldorf. Have one at each (.25 liter), then go back to your favorite for more.

Great suggestion - I took a walking beer tour in the Alstadt that did this and it was a lot of fun.

3
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: First high gravity attempt
« on: July 14, 2014, 12:58:45 PM »
Another option if it seems to sweet is that you can age it for a while - maybe a year or more - and it could end up being a really nice barleywine.  A few years back I set aside an overly sweet IIPA in a keg and left it for a year and it turned out great - not an IIPA, but still great.

4
General Homebrew Discussion / Countertops and Homebrewing
« on: June 23, 2014, 10:56:11 AM »
When I brewed this Saturday it occurred to me how lucky I am that our kitchen is old so it didn't matter that I dripped some undiluted Starsan on the counter or banged it with a kettle that I was cleaning.  The old laminate looks just like it did before I brewed.  That said, I'm sure at some point my wife would like to make a change so I'd better start thinking about it. 

What type of countertops do you have and how are they holding up?  Heard of any disaster stories?

Thanks!

5
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 1272 American II
« on: June 23, 2014, 09:27:33 AM »
Several years ago I did a bunch of split batches to narrow down my preference, and 1272 ended up being my go-to IPA yeast.  If you're up for it, I highly recommend splitting your batch and try half with 1272 and the other half with 1056 (or another of your regular yeasts) and see what you think.

6
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2014 NHC broadcast???
« on: June 14, 2014, 05:48:07 PM »
Is anybody able to listen to this yet? So far it says "event started" but there's nothing happening.

7
Equipment and Software / Re: Torn between purchases
« on: April 29, 2014, 08:00:08 AM »
Jumping in late on this one, but seeing as nobody suggested going for the grain mill I figured I would add my 2 cents.  There is no doubt that fermentation temperature control would do more for the quality of your beer, but a mill is one of the few pieces of equipment that will pay for itself and then allow you to save enough to buy that fermentation chamber. 

I pay about $0.77/lb for bulk base grain, while the LHBS charges $1.60/lb for the same grain by the pound.  For every 10 pounds of grain I use, I save over $8.  Over the last decade my mill has paid for itself many times over. 

As an added bonus, if you ever get into a bind and need to sell your mill, used mills go for almost as much as new ones so it is really a no-brainer!

8
Equipment and Software / Re: Indestructible hydrometer
« on: April 10, 2014, 08:37:24 AM »
Does it exist? I need one.

A refractometer is almost indestructible.  Admittedly, it is less convenient post fermentation, but I find that my hydrometers last a lot longer now that I have one refractometer and two hydrometers.

9
Equipment and Software / Re: Recommend a Grain Mill
« on: April 08, 2014, 12:58:41 PM »
Most brewers like their mill, and I'm no exception with my adjustable JSP maltmill.  The biggest selling point for me was that I was able to add the option of a gear drive for the second roller.  There aren't very many mills that offer that ability.

10
Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian Dark Strong recipe help
« on: April 08, 2014, 11:10:35 AM »
Another data point that might be worth considering is targeting a final gravity and letting that determine your OG to get the right ABV.  St Bernardus has a FG of 1.010 which means that an OG of 1.090 will be 10.5%.  Since you'll be barrel aging this beer, I can see bumping up the OG to stand up to it, but for general BDS purposes, I thought it was an interesting data point that St Bernardus finishes so dry.

I'm also intrigued by the blend of yeasts you mentioned and will try that on my next attempt.  One of the best examples of BDS that I've had from a US craft brewery is from Pfriem and it turns out they use the Leuven strain of yeast.  This isn't available to homebrewers currently, but maybe a blend will get close.  Here is an article that discusses the Pfriem beer:

http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-21902-permalink.html

11
Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian Dark Strong recipe help
« on: April 08, 2014, 09:47:46 AM »
After brewing several BDS versions over the years, I have settled on a strong preference for recipes that keep the specialty grains to a minimum, or even skip them entirely.  It really comes down to your preference since the category has a lot of latitude for the strengths of different flavors.  One very enlightening test would be to taste St Bernardus 12 and Rochefort 10 side by side.  If you prefer St B, then I'd recommend significantly reducing (or even eliminating) the specialty malts, and if you prefer Rochefort then you could probably leave them as is.

One other thing I'll add is my impression that beers with pronounced speciatly grain contributions will probably score better in competitions, but beers with minimal specialty grains will be much more drinkable on their own.

12
Equipment and Software / Re: very frustrated with my Barley Crusher
« on: March 17, 2014, 01:39:32 PM »
I had this same problem when I first purchased my JSP Maltmill.  Fortunately I was able to buy the gear drive option which solved it for good (luckily I had the Model A because the gear drive isn't available for other models).  I'm not sure whether Barley Crusher offers a similar option, but if they do I wouldn't hesitate to make the investment.  I'm also not sure if there are other mills that offer the option to drive more than one roller, but if my Maltmill ever needs replacing it will be a requirement for me.

13
Beer Travel / Re: Köln, Dortmund and Düsseldorf recommendations?
« on: March 11, 2014, 01:28:06 PM »
Brauhaus Bonnsch in Bonn does a very nice unfiltered kolsch style beer and is an easy train ride from Dusseldorf or Koln.  When I was there in Sept 2012 they had an excellent marzen as well.

14
The Pub / Re: Brandy/Cognac/Armagnac
« on: February 21, 2014, 10:32:20 PM »
They didn't have any Pierre Ferrand 25 at BevMo, so I'll keep looking for it.  I did pick up a bottle of the Pierre Ferrand Amber 10 and in a blind tasting between that and the Kelt VSOP, I thought they were both very nice with a nod toward the PF. I can only imagine how great that 25 must be!

15
The Pub / Re: Brandy/Cognac/Armagnac
« on: February 21, 2014, 05:29:58 PM »
Thanks for the reply. I'll pick up a bottle of the Raynal VSOP.  I also think I should try some California brandy as well since I haven't tried any from there yet.

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