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Messages - susanr

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Classifieds / Kickstarter Project
« on: March 03, 2015, 11:22:58 PM »
We are doing a kickstarter project.  There is only 9 days left and it occurred to me that homebrewers and meadmakers on here might be interested.  Please consider supporting us.  Please forward on to other home meadmakers who you think might be interested.  Thanks.

Homebrew Competitions / AHA Club Only Competition Results - Mead
« on: August 31, 2011, 05:33:13 AM »
The Prairie Homebrewing Companions of Fargo, ND are proud to announce the results from the latest AHA Club Only Competition for Mead

1st Place:  Al Boyce,  Minnesota Homebrewers Association 25B - Pyment - Sangiovese  named "Sangiovese Pyment"

2nd Place: Suzanne Richmond,   SAAZ 24B - Traditional, Semisweet named "A Lil Sumpin Special"

3rd Place: Gillian Griffin and Michael Cicale,  Cape Cod Lager and Ale Makers - CCLAMS - 25C - Melomel - Blueberry named "Idromele Martillo"

Congratulations to the winners.  There were 57 entries from 29 states and the competition was tough.  Thanks to everyone who entered and shared their wonderful Mead with us.  It was an honor to have hosted this competition.

Susan Ruud

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Vote For Your AHA Governing Committee
« on: February 28, 2011, 06:05:42 PM »

We're getting close to launching TT2.  We've been beta testing it and as soon as a couple issues are worked out we should be set to go.

You don't know how excited this make me!!

Best of luck to all who are running for election - and if you don't vote for me  ;D  Please vote anyway - there are 7 extremely well qualified candidates running for 6 slots - so every vote will count.

Wood/Casks / Re: small casks for mead
« on: October 26, 2010, 04:23:26 PM »
Hi,  I bought a couple casks from - no connection - the casks were nice and you can get them custom made for how you want them.  Not sure of the price you are looking for but I think a 5 gallon cask is about $150.  I have no connection with this business other than being a happy customer.

Would definitely agree tho that you probably want to put in some other liquid to help cut the oak flavors a bit and then add the Mead just before giving to the lucky couple.


Other Fermentables / Re: Favorite Commercial Meads
« on: September 03, 2010, 03:38:49 PM »
I have yet to taste a good commercial mead.  Or a good homebrewed one for that matter!  Well, no I take that back.  A friend of mine makes a really tasty (in my limited experience) blueberry melomel.

I have tried a few different meads from a place up here in Vermont called Honey Gardens.  I have found them to be much like my failed attempts at meads.  They are far from what I would call "nectar of the gods"  There always seems to be a bitterness and wintergreen (wax lips I call it) flavor to their meads and my own.  I had some from a meadery in Maine also.  More drinkable, but again, nothing to swoon over.

Maybe I just don't like mead.

If you like wine and you like honey you should enjoy a Mead if it is made properly as a well made Mead should be smooth, easily drinkable, not too much alcohol, no wax flavors and definitely not bitter or tannic - it should be a balance of smooth alcohol, pleasant honey aromas and flavors, just the right amount of acid to balance the sweetness of the honey and if any fruit/spice is added then that should also harmonize with the honey, alcohol and acid of the base Mead.

Don't give up on finding a great Mead as they are out there.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How fast is too fast to move to all grain?
« on: September 02, 2010, 10:03:07 PM »
Everyone starts at different levels so you need to start where you are comfortable - I watched a friend brew once and went all out with all grain to start with - it was almost 2 years later before I ever did an extract batch and that was only because I won one in a homebrew competition.  I enjoy the process of of starting with the malt and mashing it so for me the process is less exciting when I do an extract batch.  It all depends on what you want out of brewing, the time and money you have.  Don't feel like you have to go to AG tho as you can make phenomenal beer by extract also.  It does sound like you are interested in going AG tho so just go for it - don't feel like there is a magical amount of time you need to wait to move up.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Should the AHA Keep TechTalk?
« on: August 30, 2010, 04:56:01 PM »

Susan, I agree with you on a day to day basis.  But what about if you recall a topic in TT 6 months back that you want to re-read?  In that case, at least for me, it becomes much easier to search a forum than many back issues of TT.  And I know that because I've kept every TT going back for years so I could search for stuff.  It's quite least for me.  But as you say, different people have different ways to retrieve and utilize info.  That's why we're working so hard to try to find a replacement/alternative for TT.  We're testing one of those now, and I hope we have good news for TT aficionados soon.

Denny - maybe that is another difference between the way people that prefer TT to those that prefer the forum - If I remember a topic - or want more info on it - I will just ask about it again - someone else will remember and give me the answer - also there are always new people watching who will benefit from bringing the topic up again.  I don't see a problem with this.  I don't save my TT's and if I did probably wouldn't go back and attempt to read thru them to find the info.  It is just easier to ask again.  This is one thing I do find slightly annoying about the forum - if someone does ask a question that was previously asked - they do seem to get chewed out by someone for not doing a search - not that everyone is impolite - but there is always one.  Maybe because TT was so easy to scan thru the topics and ignore those you aren't interested in no one cared if a question was asked a 2nd (or 3rd) time.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Should the AHA Keep TechTalk?
« on: August 30, 2010, 04:28:36 PM »
I have to admit that I find it a bit amusing that so many people have talked about being overwhelmed by the volume of info on the forum.  It seems like they're saying they liked TT because it was underused and there wasn't that much there.

Denny,  I think you are misinterpreting the meaning.  It isn't that TT was underused (altho I guess from the forum standards you could consider it that way) but that the information was much more readily available - on TT you do not have to go hunt for anything - it just comes into your e-mail box everyday - you can easily scan the titles to see what is there - those topics of interest can easily be clicked on and you get your brewing fix for the day. It doesn't matter if it is 5 topics or 40 - they are much quicker to scan than the forum is.  I have to admit I really prefer this method - I have been trying to keep up with the forum but I just don't have the time to do so.  Being the brewing junky that I am I have way to many topics that I am interested in now coming into my mailbox - and no time to really focus on any of them.  With TT things do come at a slower pace which many of us like - I don't need to know answers immediately - I like information to come in at a slower pace.  If there is something that I really want information on right away then I would come to a forum or do an internet search.  I think that the forum and TT are two totally different ways of receiving information and I think it is wrong to assume that one is better than the other as that is very dependent on the individual.  TT is better for me - the forum is better for you - but that doesn't make one exclusive to the other - I am sure there are many homebrewers out there that love both and use both.  I will use both (plus HBD) but prefer the TT version overall.

I really hope a solution can be found and TT (or a version of it) can be saved.


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 1214 dud?
« on: August 13, 2010, 03:15:25 PM »
Bummer - I would say that if it hasn't taken off by now - it probably won't.  Something has happened to the smack pack along the way - was it really old?  Sometimes when they sit around in the homebrew shop too long (like many months) they will die off - if only a bit over the expiration date they will generally take off.

Also - if it was new - it could have been how it was shipped - this time of year anything sitting in a shipping truck can get VERY hot which would kill off the yeast.

It might be the fault of the packaging company but most likely not altho it would be worth calling them to see if anyone else has had a problem with that particular batch if you can rule out all of the other suggestions.

The shop you bought it from should replace it tho regardless.

Ingredients / Re: Cherries
« on: August 13, 2010, 03:05:12 PM »
Thanks Susan, great info.  It probably is safe, but we're pitting the cherries for our latest barrel brew.

Hi Tom,  Depending on what I was making - I pit the cherries - but this is solely based on the flavors that are derived - you will get a fresher cherry flavor if pitted and you will get a softer cherry/vanilla/almond flavor with the pits left in which increases the longer they are on the pits - if left on the pits too long - it is almost harsh - so, yes, for a barrel where you will most likely leave it for awhile, I would remove the pits.

So now for this advice - please send a bottle of the final barrel project.  ;D

Ingredients / Re: Citra hops smell like cat urine to me
« on: August 13, 2010, 02:04:58 PM »
Hi,  I have to say the beers I have had that used Citra hops have been wonderful - I had one at Boulevard Brewery on a tour (can't remember which one it was exactly) that was phenomenal. 

I also made an IPA that I served at the National Homebrew Conference that turned out really good but was a blend of Citra and Cascade and I didn't dry hop - just added a ton of hops in the last couple minutes.  I love the lemony-orange aromas/flavors it gives off.

I did have a friend that made a batch with a lot more Citra and he didn't really like it at all.

So, I guess I am saying that it probably isn't a great hop for dry-hopping but it definitely has it's uses in the right place.


Other Fermentables / Re: Favorite Commercial Meads
« on: August 13, 2010, 02:46:37 AM »
A great topic!

The comparison in the other post was my mead against Pennsylvania's Mount Hope Estate & Winery's Mead's.

I'd be interested in how their products are considered by other mead-makers/drinkers.


Hi,  Had not heard of Mount Hope Estate and Winery - they have a lot of Wines and it looks like most of their Meads are Blends of their wine and Mead (which is fine with me) - but unfortunately I went to their website and tried to put in an order only to find out at the last page of checkout that they can't ship out of state and that I would have to order at least 6 bottles even if I lived in PA. :(

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Should the AHA Keep TechTalk?
« on: August 12, 2010, 07:49:06 PM »
AJK - Thanks - I will try that.

Other Fermentables / Favorite Commercial Meads
« on: August 12, 2010, 07:19:29 PM »
Hi,  From another Mead post there was a statement "better than any commercial Mead I had".  This got me thinking - what is everyone's favorite commercial Mead?  By asking this I would rather people not trash those Meaderys that they don't care for but there are some great Commercial Meaderys out there and I am curious if I have missed some of them.  I continually find new Meaderys starting up that I didn't know about.

Some of my favorites are:

Redstone (Colorado) - in particular the Vanilla Cinnamon
White Winter (Wisconsin) - Almost all of them - but have to say I am really partial to the Port Mead
B Nektor (Michigan) - have only had a few but they had a great Ginger mead
Mountain Meadows (California) - phenomenal Traditional - Honeymoon Nector

There are a many other Meaderys so I am curious to see what others like.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Should the AHA Keep TechTalk?
« on: August 12, 2010, 06:11:08 PM »
I have to say I really liked the format of TechTalk.  I have started using the forum but don't find it as useful as TechTalk - it takes longer to read the topics since it is in a tread format and I have to keep returning to see the replies.  New Topics will be fed to your e-mail but I haven't found a way yet to get the replies fed to my e-mail.

Perhaps some of you can help on this but here is what I have found so far:

New topics will come to my e-mail - but if I don't go to the forum - only one/category will come until I go back. - thus if I don't go there for several days - no e-mails come to remind me to go.  TechTalk just shows up Monday thru Friday and I can read it all when I have time.

No quick way to know if someone has replied to your post other than going back to the board frequently and clicking on the reply button at the top - If I am not reminded to go check something - it probably won't happen.

I have checked several of the categories to get an e-mail on when there is a new topic - I will get one e-mail from each category - but unless I follow the new link - nothing more will come from that category - and with 5-10  categories checked I tend to forget which ones I went to check thus I quit getting emails from several of them.

All of these emails from so many categories are filling up my mail box - TechTalk gave me one e-mail a day and altho slower - I only at most had to wait a couple days to get a reply to my question (or I also got several immediate responses from people who prefer to keep their answer private).  I also liked that I got several varying responses from several people who have different ideas - all in one e-mail.

I am not saying that I don't like the forum - it has it's place and I am trying to embrace it - but there are many endearing features of TechTalk that I really liked - antiquated or not - perhaps some of us are also antiquated - or perhaps some of us just like things at a slower pace.   There is also something to be said on the advertising end of it - 15000 members got a reminder 5 days a week that they were AHA members and that the AHA was thinking about them.  Not the case with the forum where you have to sign up and then tend to forget about it.

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