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Topics - revolutionisbrewing

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Events / Regional Conferences?
« on: April 03, 2012, 01:11:14 PM »
I live in SW Virginia, have been brewing for 6 years and have never been to an NHC.  I'm not sure if anyone else in my club of 80 members has either, and as long as they are held on the west coast, it will probably stay that way.  Yes, it will be in Philly next year, but if I have to miss that one for any reason (newborn baby?), when will my next opportunity come?

This isn't meant to be a rant against the NHC - I understand that the west coast sites were selected out of logistical necessities.  This is a request for the AHA to expand and share that conference experience on a smaller scale at the regional level.  As it is, there are probably thousands of members turned away from the NHC every year due to ticket availability.  Holding conferences throughout the year for several hundred members at a time would allow more of us to share our homebrew and interact with a wider homebrewing audience, present our findings and listen to other experienced homebrewers and local professionals.

Yes it would take more planning and coordination, but I think clubs from smaller cities not equipped for an NHC would embrace the opportunity to bring homebrewers to their area.  Sure we have rallies now, but they're missing the key component that makes NHC so appealing...homebrew!  If I want to dress up in a funny costume and share my beers with people from other cities, I shouldn't have to buy a plane ticket.

What say ye?

Kevin Campbell
VP - Star City Brewers Guild

VA / Roanoke Learn to Homebrew Day 11/2/2011
« on: October 26, 2011, 07:15:23 PM »
The Star City Brewers Guild presents Learn to Homebrew Day 2011 at our host site Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Homebrewing Company at Williamson Road Plaza in Roanoke, VA from 11 to 4pm. Please note the store location has moved across the street to 5327D Williamson Road, Roanoke, VA 24012.  We'll have food, samples and demonstrations of homebrewing from beginner to expert. For more information visit the websites below or send me a private message.

Kevin Campbell
Star City Brewers Guild Treasurer

Ingredients / Do Pur water filters add minerals to your water?
« on: January 24, 2011, 12:02:55 AM »
I use a Pur 3-Stage water filter attached to the sink for filtering my brewing water.  The 3rd stage supposedly lets the water run over a mineral bed which imparts a "better flavor" to the water.  I assume that means it's adding minerals to my water.  I'm wondering if that is the case, and if so, are they minerals that will affect my water profile for brewing?  Which ones?  Is it adding enough to the water to make a noticeable difference?

General Homebrew Discussion / BJCP Competition styles - help!
« on: December 31, 2010, 02:38:56 PM »
I have a couple of beers that blur the style guidelines and I'm not sure where to enter them.

First is a Belgian Dark Strong Ale with figs - Belgian Specialty or Fruit Beer?

Second is a Hibiscus Witbier - Belgian Specialty or Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer?

Or am I missing something?

Yeast and Fermentation / Bottling with dry lager yeast
« on: December 02, 2010, 02:39:50 AM »
I've been having issues with bottle carbonating my high alcohol beers recently, even at 70+ degree temps, over several weeks to months. I'm using what I've calculated to be enough cane sugar for the size of the batch to reach 2.5-3.0 Volumes CO2, depending on the batch, so I think my priming process is sound. 

I'm considering buying some dry lager yeast, rehydrating a bit and adding it to the priming bucket with my sugar to aid carbonation.  Should this be sufficient?  Do I need to worry about the lager yeast eating more than just the priming sugar and therefore winding up with overcarbonated beers?

Also, I'm a tight wad and was wondering if there was a safe method of storing the extra dry yeast for another batch, if I only used half a package per 5 gallons at bottling.  (Would this be enough in the first place?)

Finally, am I on the right track with dry lager yeast, or should I use dry ale yeast, make a small starter...?

Ingredients / Weyermann Pilsner malt - potential extract?
« on: November 24, 2010, 01:40:53 AM »
Does anyone know the potential extract of Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner Malt, or any specs that could help nail it down, i.e. DBCG and moisture content?  The website is no real help.

Ingredients / Hibiscus beer
« on: November 04, 2010, 10:07:50 PM »
I'm trying to work up a Hibiscus Wit recipe for my fiancee, inspired by the Rosee d'hibiscus ale by Dieu du Ciel.  I purchased an ounce of dried hibiscus flowers from a spice shop recently, but I wasn't sure how much to use.  Does anyone have any experience with a beer like this?

My thinking so far is to do a relatively low gravity beer, maybe 5% ABV, mash a little high to leave some residual sugar, maybe 45% wheat malt, 45% pilsner, 10% oats.  Ferment with WLP 400 Belgian Wit.

Any suggestions on how much hibiscus to add, whether to use coriander and/or orange peel in addition, any other spices, any other tips?

Yeast and Fermentation / Lagering issues
« on: February 05, 2010, 07:01:49 PM »
Hey all-

After brewing ales for 3 years, 1+ all grain, I got decked out with a fridge and some temp control, and tackled my first lager on New Year's Eve.  In order to support my LHBS, I bought a vial of WLP830 that was about 8 months out of date.  To compensate, I tried making two one liter starters with a stir plate to get to my target pitch rate.  After 2.5 weeks, bubbling slowed way down and krausen was mostly subsided, so I began to cold condition without taking the gravity.  Extremely dumb mistake.  After 2 weeks cold lagering at 31F, I finally checked the gravity.  In that 2.5 weeks of fermentation, the beer only dropped from 1.053 to 1.046.  Woops.

So I got a fresh vial of 830 and made a starter.  I plan on raising the temp of the beer to 50-52 or so, pitching the yeast starter at high krausen, and seeing what happens.

Questions:  Is there any risk of nasty stuff like botulism from letting the wort sit so long with only minimal alcohol?
Should I keep the existing yeast cake in play?  Make a starter from it and pitch that later?  Toss it?
Should I reoxygenate the beer before pitching the new yeast?

Any ideas or stories of similar experiences are much appreciated.

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