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Messages - chinaski

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Hop Growing / hop growing webinar - April 8
« on: March 27, 2015, 06:06:32 PM »
From University of Vermont Extension, who has been doing trials for the last several years.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Creating recipes
« on: January 22, 2015, 06:13:32 PM »
Good advice from many.  Not sure I saw the option of tweaking a recipe you have brewed before, whether its a kit or not.  I think I've done that a lot out of necessity when a particular ingredient isn't available or, more recently, when I want to use my own hops rather than commercial ones.  Many starts have come from Brewing Classic Styles recipes, which I really like.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Quality, Impact, and Commercial Appeal
« on: January 22, 2015, 06:01:48 PM »
I'm in the same boat, registered for the same competition, I"m sure.  I waffle between a style that's not represented much in the VT craft scene and which of my beers will likely score well in BJCP-style.  The bud/miller/coors crowd won't be the target audience for these beers that's for sure.  I don't expect that the judging will be done by many BJCP judges either so score itself might not matter a heck of a lot.  Just brewed a potential entry from a newly formulated recipe that I'm not sure is going to make my cut.  Good luck!

Equipment and Software / Re: Boilermaker Valve
« on: January 15, 2015, 08:17:31 AM »
To aproximae 40 ftlbs. Just tighten until there's blood in your stool and you'll be close.

This makes me smile.  Thanks Jim!

Not enough mention of blood in stool these days, is there?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sparge Water Volumes
« on: January 10, 2015, 02:39:21 PM »
If you are batch sparging then just add enough sparge water to fill the kettle to your pre boil amount.
I fly sparge and very rarely measure the sparge water.  I just stop collecting runoff when I reach the proper volume in the kettle.

I batch sparge and have gotten to the point where I know how much water my grain absorbs & do this.  I measure as closely as I reasonably can know that I typically leave some wort behind in trub after the boil anyway.  A couple of cups of water ain't going to make a lot of difference for sparge water volume.

Equipment and Software / Re: Insulated stainless mash tun
« on: November 29, 2014, 03:04:54 PM »
I agree that its odd.  I can easily see myself buying what would amount to be a stainless rectangular cooler- call it Shiny Cheap-and-Easy= to batch sparge in, especially if it held temps like my plastic one does.  Every once in a while I wonder if the plastic cooler is leaching stuff.  Then I have a beer and stop worrying...

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: How important is it to decant the starter?
« on: November 28, 2014, 07:00:55 PM »
What is the proper way to decant?  I always pour it but loose yeast.

Refrigerate for 1-3 days.  That will cause the yeast to drop to the bottom of your starter vessel and make it easier to pour off the wort.
If I decant, I'll do it this way.  I prefer to have mine at full krausen with as active yeast as I can have.  I assume that they will clean up any off-flavors from the starter fermentation during the conditioning of my beer.  I generally don't like the idea of providing yeast a great place to hang out and grow and then throw them in the cold.  I'm guessing this puts some selection pressure on them and I might be getting less of the genetics of the culture that I want.

I reuse yeast a lot, which mean I am probably selecting the yeast that does best in my brewery, not necessarily the ones I originally paid for, or cultured up from a can of Heady Topper.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Introduction and a few questions
« on: November 15, 2014, 03:23:49 PM »

I made the same Consecration kit from More Beer to try my hand at sours & see what all the fuss is about.  I put a Flanders Red (Brewing Classic Styles recipe) right on the yeast slurry- no additional yeasts or bacteria were needed to produce a good beer in about 1/4 the time (or less) than the Consecration fermentation.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Smoke Malt % in a IIPA
« on: November 12, 2014, 11:53:48 AM »
If the beer turned out great, why not just do the same "mistake" again?  I take it scrubbing your brew kettle is the main sticking point?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Nov/Dec Zymurgy
« on: November 01, 2014, 05:33:54 AM »
Thanks for undertaking it, Tim.  If yo do it again, please try to do a triangle evaluation.

I was looking for that too, based upon what I already knew about the test and Drew Beecham's very succinct explanation of when, why, & how the triangle test is used that you can find on the Basic Brewing Radio Podcast (while plugging his and Denny's book).

They did have more than two beers to test, so I imagine that could have used a system of multiple triangle tests, followed by more detailed sensory analysis to describe any differences in the beers.  That said, what they did to answer the question "Does decoction make better beer?" seemed okay, just perhaps didn't get at the minor differences in each beer that may be detected and described by using something other than a score sheet.  Different beers can score very similarly but taste/smell/feel very different.  It was cool to see this work in print- nice work!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Category 8 NHC Winner was out of style
« on: September 04, 2014, 03:43:10 PM »
The answer, for the OP, is to try again at the tasting exam and become a judge.

Amen brother!  I'm a judge but relatively new at it.  I cannot tell you how much I learned about competitions by actually being put in the judge's role, where you have to do your best with the tools you have.  It's not easy, even after the first few beers and you feel like you are doing it well.

Fatigue is real, biases are real, the personalities of your fellow judges are at play too.  It's a human endeavor that isn't perfect and cannot be.  It's fun and it's work and it's a volunteer effort.  I do my best to give honest feedback that is helpful; the score is my best estimate of where the entry stands in relationship to the standard.  Entrants should be respectful of that.

Going Pro / Re: Consistency
« on: August 07, 2014, 06:57:58 AM »
I've talked with two smaller breweries' owners who had issues because they had to make choices to save funds to get going.  For them, its possible to purchase pre-milled malt but the consistency of the crush and even finding small amounts of other malts (like roasted ones in your pale ale malt) from the supplier.  Can't do anything without milling your own in that case.  They both expressed exasperated frustration at the situation.  Both are making great beer, and one now mills his own.

Hop Growing / Re: Note to Self
« on: July 11, 2014, 01:42:35 PM »
I'm originally a "flat lander" from Southern Illinois, now settled in Vermont.  Its a terrific place to live for a ton of reasons.  I'm very lucky to be here.  Burlington Brewing Co dude grew up here apparently & moved back like many Vermonters do.  Haven't had his beer yet.

Hop Growing / Re: Note to Self
« on: July 11, 2014, 09:18:45 AM »
Jericho about 15 miles E of Burlington.

Hop Growing / Re: Note to Self
« on: July 11, 2014, 05:03:56 AM »
I've always it would be nice to have a crowd-sourced map of home-grown hops with the varieties planted and some measure of production (dry weight per hill is what I use) and the location.  It's a question that comes up a lot on forums.  What's your location?

I'm in Vermont, have ~13 varieties growing, with Cascade, Chinook, and Saxon leading production after 5 years or so at it.

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