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Topics - sienabrewer

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I've been having issues with my beer.  They just don't taste like they use to.  I'm thinking it's the freshness of my grain.  I buy in bulk, but due to a variety of reasons don't brew nearly as frequently.  I store the grain in a plastic bin; not air tight. 

What is a realistic shelf life of grain once it is opened?  It's gotten to a point where I think I am going to stop buying in bulk and just order kits.  Time seems to be less available to me recently and I want to get back to making good beer when I have the opportunity.

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Classifieds / 2 Ball lock kegs $50 each/$90 for both - Burlington, VT
« on: September 03, 2012, 08:53:11 AM »
The title says it all.  Used ball lock.  Bought for a wedding and now I no longer need them.

Contact if interested.  Thanks.

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A friend has asked me to make beer for her wedding.  They lived in Philly for a while and became fond of Yards Brewing Brawler.  They asked me to create and English amber and cited this beer as a guideline.  I have tried this beer before, but for the life of me cannot remember anything about it.  Now that I live in Vermont it is impossible for me get a hold of locally.

Therefore, any help with the profile, or even a clone is welcomed.  I'm an all grain brewer.  I have the base malt, but need help with the specialty malts and yeast.  My original thought is this:

85% english base
10% medium caramel
5% of either biscuit or special roast
1 oz of english bittering hop at 60
maybe a small dose of english hop at 5
wyeast ESB yeast

Thanks

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General Homebrew Discussion / Bulk Aging and its effect on hop flavor
« on: March 28, 2012, 12:11:52 PM »
So I have a question on bulk aging and it's effect on hop flavor.  Although it pains me to say it, I just don't have the time that I used to for brewing.  With new home ownership, erratic work schedule (law enforcement), and additional responsibilities it's become difficult.  I have found myself on far too many occasions with my taps empty and either nothing ready to go or waiting for a beer to finish fermenting.  As the spring kicks off I will have even less time.

To rectify my empty tap problem and hopefully not have it again this entire summer I just ordered 3 sacks of grain from Country Malt Group.  My plan is to say screw it and during my next three days off I am brewing, and brewing a lot.  I am saying forget it to the house chores and other duties and going for it.  I plan to make anywhere between 5-7 beers, which should hold me over for most of the summer (I think).

My concern is will the aging of beers in the carboy or keg decrease the hop flavor/presence as they wait to go on tap?  The styles I am making are German and American, both lagers and ales.  The lagers I'm not concerned with because they be, well lagering, in the fridge until they go on tap.  The american styles I am concerned about are my pale ales and IPAs.  I like both styles to have a nice, fresh hop flavor.  I don't go crazy on the bitterness, I emphasize hop flavor by doing large late additions.  With this flavor dissipate over time?  I'm talking about 2-4 months max on the aging time.  They will be stored in the basement where temps should not go above 65 (on the hottest summer stretches).

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So, after taking a long hiatus from brewing for a variety of reasons I'm getting back into it. Just bought a house, which finally means I get one of the things my brewing setup has sorely missed...space. And now that my time is more limited and after a year of saving I am finally going to buy a nice kegging set up. What I have is a spare fridge that I will use to serve the beers from (cobra taps to start), and now that I have an old kegarator (not to be used for serving for a variety of reasons) I will be able to start making lagers by using it as my fermentation chamber.

My questions are around what kind of setup to get. I don't want to break the bank (trying to stay under $400), but also want to get what will work best for me. At all times I want to have two kegs tapped and/or carbonating. I've been doing some research and to start will be doing the set and forget method of carbonating. Because I want to use just one CO2 tank to serve and carb I think I will be getting a dual regulator because I'll need to carb one at some point while serving the other. Here is what I plan on getting, feel free to critique:

3 used kegs to start
1 dual regulator (this way I can carb and serve from same tank at different pressures)
1 10lb CO2 tank
All necessary parts

Questions:
1) How long should I expect a 10 lb tank to last?
2) With set and forget what is approximate carb time?
3) Best place to buy equipment? I was looking at kegconnection.com because they seem to have the cheapest kits
4) I was thinking of buying a separate 5 lb tank and regulator just for carbing kegs that way I always have two on tap to serve because I was not sure how fast the set and forget takes. Will this be overkill and/or pointless?
5) Finally, can I carb a keg at serving temps, then take it out of the fridge and store (unchilled area) for use later? Basically I want to have kegs ready to go with carbonation once one kicks, but don't have the refrigeration space. Will taking it out of the chilled environment affect the carbonation at all?

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All Grain Brewing / Does more Ca in the mash = better conversion?
« on: August 03, 2010, 01:39:35 PM »
In reading Palmer he recommends that calcium levels in beer should be 50-150 ppm.  What he does not expand upon is what the ideal range of calcium needs to be for optimal mash conversion.  By optimal I mean, all others being considered (pH, temp, crush, etc.), the ability to get the best conversion possible.  I have read in some places that the Ca needs to be at or above 100ppm to get a more efficient conversion.  I.e. Ca around 60 ppm will not stand a chance of converting the mash nearly as good as a mash that has over 100 ppm (again, assuming all other variables are the same). 

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General Homebrew Discussion / GABF Designated Driver Ticket
« on: July 21, 2010, 09:05:58 AM »
I'm not sure where else to post this and thought the anwer to my question may be beneficial to others.  I am going to the GABF this year for my bachelor party.  My pops is coming along too, but he is not a beer drinker (or any sort of drinker for that matter) at all.  Thus, I bought him a deisgnated driver ticket.  After reading again on the website it says there is a special designated driver lounge.  Does anyone know if that means he is restricted to just that lounge, or is he also able to be out on the floor as well?  I'd hate to have to buy him an $83 ticket that would essentially go to waste.

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The title says it all.  I am going to bottle an alt that has been lagering in the fridge for 6 weeks.  Do I need to add some yeast to bottle, or can I just rouse some yeast sitting on the bottom (I obviously did a secondary in glass to lager)?

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So I got both my Zymurgy and BYO in the mail yesterday.  What do I see on the cover of both?  Dark Cascadian beer articles.  While I have not yet read them so I don't know how different they are, I couldn't help but notice this is again a time when both magazines in the same time period have the same topic covered.  The last one I can remember this happened is when they both did malt conditioning articles (although Kai's article kicked BYO's ass all over the place).  How does this happened?  Coincidence, on purpose?  It just bugs me a bit that when looking forward to two magazines they both have similar or the same content.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Which sack of grain would you get
« on: June 10, 2010, 09:42:49 AM »
My LHBS is pretty new and the owner knows nothing about beer (he's a wine guy who started carrying beer products).  Most of what he has in there is the result of me telling him to get it.  His supplier is Crosby & Baker and he is unwilling to get grains from elsewhere.  What this means is he only gets Briess, Muntons, and Weyermann grains.  Last time I was in I bought a sack of Weyermann Pils because that is all he had a full sack of and I was lining up a number of light summer beers.  Well I kicked that bag and after not being overly impressed with the results I will not be buying it again.  I have never used Briess 2 row or Muntons Maris Otter.  Bries is $45 and Muntons $55.  If you had to pick between the two which would it be?  Neither of them is also an acceptable answer because I haven't yet ruled out ordering from North Country Malt and biting the bullet for shipping.  I'd just like to not spend the extra money if possible.  I am very particular about making the right choice because it's not as if I have a ton of cash to go around.  I like to brew a variety of American and British ales that fall in the pale ale or bitter category, and also do the occasional darker ale for the autumn season.  I'm trying to get him to place an order into NCM, even brought him the grain list, but he is just not having it.  I think he is setting himself up for failure, which is a shame because a lot of homebrewers in my area could keep his business going if he just got his act together and supplied himself with what we are asking for.

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General Homebrew Discussion / What are your house styles?
« on: April 02, 2010, 05:42:25 AM »
I'm at a point where I would like to make and fine tune some house styles that I brew over and over again.  I've been going all grain for about 2 years now and have usually just brewed what I felt like.  It's fun, but I'm not really getting a sense of fine tuning and really zeroing in on styles I really like.  Plus now that I have a mill I am buyingi n bulk.  So I ask what are house styles you always have?  I'm not looking for recipes.  I'm thinking of doing a German style blonde, IPA (east coast style), ESB, and a stout.  I plan on always having these styles around, while supplementing them with something that suites the season from time to time.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Roasting your own grain
« on: March 28, 2010, 12:43:46 PM »
Now that I have my own mill I bought my 1st sack of grain the other day.  I picked up a 55 lb of Weyermann pilsner malt and would like to roast some of it.  I'm taking my advice on how to do it straight from Mosher's Radical Brewing.  I'd like to hear some opinions from others who have also done it.  I have about 4 lbs and probably going to make some pale gold, gold, and amber styles.  How strong of a flavor do they attribute and in what amounts?  Mosher suggests soaking the grains in water for about 2 hours for richer, maltier flavor as opposed to roasting dry making the malt sharper and dryer.  Has anyone done is both ways and which did you prefer?  And lastly, how does the roasting affect the color of the beer?

I may try my hand a making crystal at some point, but I want to see what kinds a flavor contributions I get from roasting first.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« on: March 10, 2010, 12:55:35 PM »
As I was making my list of top 20 beers for Zymurgy yesterday I couldn't help but wish that many of them were in cans.  So it got me thinking, why is it that breweries have not invested in canning some of their flagship beers?  Is it because it just costs too much, would be too much of an initial investment?  I kind of scratch my head as to why some of the larger micros (if they can still be called that), i.e Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, etc. have not put at least their most popular labels in a can yet.  I would think, aside from the novelty of it, this would increase the possibility of more people buying it.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Describe cloyingly sweet for me
« on: March 09, 2010, 01:12:09 PM »
I read often that people try to avoid, use ingredients to prevent, or otherwise do something to avoid beers being "cloyingly sweet".  Can someone describe what this is for me because I think it may have happened in my most recent porter.  What does is come from, where could I have gone wrong?  Personally, I think it was because my beer did not attenuate enough, could this be a reason?

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