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Messages - drtanglebones

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Huzzah!  Welcome to the 6th Annual Byggvir's Big Beer Cup at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival!
Entries showcasing historic, English, and European styles are being accepted from Friday, July 20th through Sunday, August 13th.  You can drop your entries off at five Minnesota brew shops: Northern Brewer (Minneapolis & St. Paul), Midwest Supplies (St. Louis Park), Still H20 (Stillwater), and Brew & Grow (Blaine).  $6/entry.
Judges and stewards of all skill levels are encouraged to sign up to help out.  Judging will be on-site at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival on Saturday, August 25th and Sunday, August 26th.
Last year, we had over 150 entries, with pairs of hand-made drinking vessels, gift certificates, and other fantastic prizes from our sponsors given out.

We at Byggvir's Big Beer Cup are very excited to announce that Mike Hoops from Minneapolis Town Hall has been generous enough to offer to brew the best beer of Byggvir's at Town Hall Brewery! 

Rules for this prize:

Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery reserves the right to select "Brewers Choice" from the Best of Show round of judging. Brewers Choice may or may not be the Best of Show Winner. No meads, ciders, or sour beers will be considered.
Brewers Choice will be brewed at Town Hall Brewery within the next calendar year. It will be served on tap at Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery the following August.
The award winning brewer is welcome and encouraged to join the brew session with Head Brewer Mike Hoops at Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery at his/her own expense.
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery plans to enter the beer in the GABF PRO-AM Competition. Town Hall Brewery will pay the entry fee and provide 2 Passes to the GABF. The winning brewer will be responsible for travel expenses to Denver (airfare, hotel, food, etc.)
See rules for GABF Pro Am at

Check out our website for more information:
Gera Exire LaTour & Eric Wentling
Co-Organizers, Byggvir's Big Beer Cup

Hey AHA folks,
My old highschool friends have put together a fun web-show about the search for those ultra-rare beers, called Limited Release.  The first show is up now and focuses on Kate The Great; with Dark Lord and Darkness Days to follow.
If you like the show tell your friends about it.

Hark fellow homebrewers!
The 2011 Byggvir's Big Beer Cup online registration is now open and ready for a massive influx of entries!  Registration deadline is coming quick: September 12th.  Check out our website to get information and to register your entries:

This is a limited category competition, so check the accepted categories on the website.  We are looking for styles from the British Isles, Belgium, Germany, etc.  We also love meads and ciders!  There is a special category and $50 gift certificate prize for Historic beers: so put one of them in!  If you have questions about whether an entry will fit--shoot me an e-mail from the website.  This is our fifth year and we want to see a lot of entries this year!  And no, you do not need to be from Minnesota to enter, we want some national entries too.
Drop off and mailing sites are at Northern Brewer (St. Paul, MN,) Midwest Homebrew Supplies (St. Louis Park, MN,) and StillH20 (Stillwater, MN.)  This competiton requires 2 brown unlabeled bottles of 12-16 oz.  Print out labels with your entries online and affix with a rubber band to each bottle.  Payment online via Paypal is recommended.
We also need help with judging and stewarding!  If you can help out, please fill out the volunteer section on the website.  We will be judging Saturday Sept 24 and Sunday Sept 25 at the MN Renaissance Festival grounds.  Volunteering ahead of time will get you free entry to the Festival and a sweet shirt.  You may come in costume if you have one, otherwise you need to wear your (Free!) shirt during judging.  There will be some Hariet Brewing beers on tap as well as some homebrews, but lunch is not provided (get yourself a turkey leg!)  There are several great prizes for entrants and for volunteers thanks to our wonderful sponsors.  
This year Jack Of All Brews and the Minnesota Homebrewer's Association are bringing the fun, and want to see you there.  Get registered and we'll see you at the Festival!  Friend us on Facebook too for more pictures and updates.  

Byggvir and his Merry Knaves of Grain

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Storing bottles on their sides
« on: February 04, 2011, 04:29:32 PM »
Thanks for the info and opinions guys!  I may just have to do some side-by-side comparisons of homebrews and comercial beers when the rack is done and see if myself or my homebrew club can tell a difference.  I may not risk my bottles of Darkness this way, based on all of your input though!

Ingredients / Re: When to add Coconut and what type???
« on: February 03, 2011, 06:12:25 PM »
I've done the canned milk--good flavor, but does affect head retention.  Better was a combo of flaked coconut at flame-out and then dose with a bit of extract at bottling to tweak it.  Do NOT use imitation coconut extract--that was a wasted 2.5 Gallons!

Ingredients / Re: Maple Syrup questions
« on: February 03, 2011, 06:09:32 PM »
I have access to grade B syrup and this is really the way to go.  The darker color comes through and more of the maple flavor is retained.  Even with this, maple flavor from syrup is very hard to do right.  The syrup is nearly 100% fermentable so doesn't leave much sweetness and can actually dry out your beer, like adding cane sugar.  I usually use 1# in a 5 gallon batch, but results are still subtle.  I have learned to use a pretty sweet and malty base beer style to accentuate the maple flavors--Scottish ales have been my most successful to date.

Kegging and Bottling / Storing bottles on their sides
« on: February 03, 2011, 05:31:12 PM »
Hey folks,

I'm having my basement finished, and have included a large built-in wine rack.  I actually have more 22 oz bottles of beer than I do wine, and was wondering if it is ok to store them on their sides.  I've heard talk of increased oxidation, and sediment problems...anyone have any experience with this?

Wood/Casks / Re: Wood aging (other than oak)
« on: November 19, 2010, 11:16:13 PM »
Surly has served a cask version of Cynic ale (mostly a saison) aged on alder wood.  Pretty subtle, but nice. 

I'd like to try some cherry or apple wood and see what happens.  I don't know how to get a good toast on it though...

All Grain Brewing / Re: Step mash for Dark Belgian Strong ale
« on: September 28, 2010, 01:52:09 PM »
Thanks for the info guys!  I'm about to try this now.  Will post later and update on how it goes.

The Pub / Re: New LOTR-Type Fantasy Novels
« on: September 27, 2010, 06:12:39 PM »
A classic series that falls somewhere between fantasy and Sci-fi is the Amber books by Roger Zelazny.  I highly recommend them.

Another more recent "series" is the Chalion books by Lois McMaster Bujold.  The three books are linked by setting but each is a self-contained story with new characters.  Refreshing after all these epic 10 book series.

Also wanted to weigh in on the Jordan books:  I agree that the series got bogged down, but the new author (Brandon Sanderson,) has really moved the series toward some resolution.  Give it a chance!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: When should I rack my Flanders red if at all?
« on: September 22, 2010, 07:59:16 PM »
I have racked after 3-4 weeks and then into a secondary.  Turned out fine.  I also have not racked at all and let the beer sit for 1 year...also fine.  So take your pick!

For oak, I have added 1 oz of oak cubes for the whole year and not had a problem.  I just floated them without a bag.  More than an ounce may require earlier removal.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Haze, Flakes and clumbs
« on: September 22, 2010, 07:54:11 PM »
Are you using a secondary fermenter?  Many people swear you don't need them, but several of my beers refuse to clarify correctly until they spend a few weeks in the secondary.  Also need more info on your process (all grain, extract with grains...) as this will have something to do with haze formation.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Effect of bagging your hops in the boil...
« on: September 22, 2010, 07:01:02 PM »
Thanks for the quick info guys!  I think I'll work on one of those bag holders...that looks sweet!

All Grain Brewing / Step mash for Dark Belgian Strong ale
« on: September 22, 2010, 06:50:54 PM »
Looking for advice here!  I have a Morebeer 1550 brew sculpture and have yet to do a step mash with it.  I would like to attempt with my next brew (a dark Belgian Strong ale.)  I'm using a base of bohemian pilsner malt with several specialty malts and a bit of dark candi syrup.  Any thoughts on a good mash schedule for this one?

General Homebrew Discussion / Effect of bagging your hops in the boil...
« on: September 22, 2010, 04:43:42 PM »
Hey all,

I have a boil kettle without any sort of false bottom or screen to the out spigot.  I use a Therminator wort chiller and want to keep the chunkies out of the chiller.  I have been using a large nylon bag to put my hops in over the last year or so.  This seems to work, but I am wondering if this is affecting my process at all.  Do I need to change my alpha acid numbers to account for the bag?  Also when I add Whirlfloc or Irish Moss to the last 15 minutes of the boil, I get a coating on the bag...will this affect my aroma hop additions?

Thanks for your input!

--Eric Wentling

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