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Messages - narvin

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Ask the Experts / Re: Ask the Experts: Stan Hieronymus (session 2)
« on: May 22, 2014, 06:53:32 AM »
Hi Stan!

What are some interesting things you've learned about Belgian (and Trappist, in particular) brewers since you wrote BLAM almost 10 years ago?  This is one of my favorite brewing books, and favorite styles of beer.  How are market conditions affecting the trappists?  Has the beer changed?  Do any new yeast strains or process developments stick out in particular?

Also, I'm going to Belgium in the fall.  What's a can't miss place to see?

The Pub / Re: What's the Weather Like Where You Are?
« on: May 22, 2014, 06:48:51 AM »
Weather has been really nice, with some rain here and there.  This is apparently the first time in 5 years it hasn't hit 90 degrees by this date in Maryland.  The past couple of years were absolutely brutal, so this has been a nice surprise spring so far.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Am I being too anal?
« on: May 20, 2014, 01:35:00 PM »
You're adding just as much air when you open and throw in the dry hops.  I just don't worry about it until it's time to rack, and then I make sure the receiving keg is fully purged with CO2.

I'd also be careful about using a stopper and creating a vacuum... have you ever seen a commercial fermenter that has imploded?  Not a pretty sight.

The Pub / Re: Woo invades hop growers
« on: May 19, 2014, 11:49:14 AM »
Maybe it's a translation thing.  They could just mean "natural" or "organic", which can sometimes be effective, unlike true homeopathy which is about as baseless as the ancient Greek belief in body humours...

All Grain Brewing / Re: Am i thinking right, mash PH?
« on: April 28, 2014, 03:42:48 PM »
There's a lot of info about pH out there,including too many ranges referenced at different temps to the point that it can be confusing.  You'll get good conversion in the mash anywhere from 5.2 to 5.7 at a room temperature reading. 

After reading the advice of water guys like Kai, I usually target 5.3 - 5.5 at room temperature, with the lower end being better for lagers since it results in a more subtle, smoother bitterness.  It's also common practice to adjust the kettle pH lower with acid, so you can mash at 5.5 (which is supposedly optimal) and also get the flavor benefits of a low boil pH for a lager.  So I'll aim for 5.5 for an ale, with just enough acid in the sparge water to eliminate alkalinity.  With lagers I am for 5.4 or so and may add extra acid in the kettle to keep boil pH in the 5.3-5.4 range.

If you go through all the trouble of growing hops, I suggest you at least invest in a cheap vacuum sealer.  Your hops will thank you.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: My latest experience with Sam Adams
« on: April 26, 2014, 06:23:07 PM »
It's funny, I had some Boston lager in their winter seasonal pack (not sure why it's in there, but whatever) and it was actually fresh and even slightly hoppy.  Not sure if it comes from a different plant or it's just fresher, but I was surprised because I usually have the same experience as you.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: SRM question
« on: April 23, 2014, 08:35:59 AM »
It's really hard to get a feel from one picture, since it will depend a lot on the lighting.  I'd guess 10 and 7?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Foam pattern in pint
« on: April 23, 2014, 08:24:29 AM »
I've seen that occasionally too.  I thought maybe it was some kind of powdery yeast that didn't flocculate well, perhaps due to poor handling?

Equipment and Software / Re: GIve Up on ProMash??
« on: April 20, 2014, 08:00:12 PM »
You should update your database even with Beersmith/BeerAlchemy/BeerBananas/etc.  Hops AA% vary by year and farm.  Grain color and extract vary not only by brand but per lot... you can check to get an actual lot analysis for you sack. 

Brewing software isn't magic and too many people don't understand what it's doing for their system/process/ingredients and end up way off the mark.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: COCA NIPS
« on: April 05, 2014, 07:37:14 PM »
Nipsey Russell?

All Things Food / Re: Corned Beef
« on: March 19, 2014, 08:23:22 AM »
Cross posting from the St. Paddy's day thread... Pastrami turned out delicious!

The Pub / Re: Happy St Pat!
« on: March 19, 2014, 08:20:50 AM »
I got the recipes for both corned beef and pastrami from here.    I'd highly recommend it.

The Pub / Re: Happy St Pat!
« on: March 18, 2014, 08:27:10 AM »
Did some homemade pastrami... that's almost Irish, right?

Equipment and Software / Re: CO2 To Go
« on: March 14, 2014, 11:49:27 AM »
I think I usually need almost two 16g cartridges to do a whole keg. They work great and are good for travelling with beer.  Just don't put the disconnect on and pull the trigger before hooking it up to the keg!   

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