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Messages - gmac

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Beer Recipes / Re: Wanted: Stout Recipe
« on: September 09, 2011, 11:33:18 AM »
I looked there first Denny.  I didn't find anything with Tom's name on it which is why I asked.  I almost always check that first.  I do find a lot of recipes get talked about but far fewer end up in the wiki. 

Beer Recipes / Re: Wanted: Stout Recipe
« on: September 09, 2011, 08:40:38 AM »
Tom - stupid me I never noticed yours was a 10 gal recipe.  That may have been important.

The wheels have fallen off my plans.  I gave my starter a swirl this morning and something didn't smell quite right so I took a good whiff.  Vinegar smell is definitely there.  This is a starter I was building up from a previous pitch.

So, assuming the yeast in my ESB is good (no smell apparent right now), I'll do this next week when I harvest the slurry from what I have now. 

Going Pro / Re: Brew Pub capacity
« on: September 09, 2011, 07:56:51 AM »

Thanks. I've read that before and I do agree with much of what is in there.
My logic behind a brewing area is that the location that I'm looking at is fairly small and I would prefer to have the space devoted to seating and kitchen instead of brewery.  And, I have to admit, I'm not the neatest guy you'll ever meet although I take sanitation very seriously.  I'd prefer to brew in the basement, out of sight but I do understand what you are saying about a viewing area.  

The town I'm looking at is small, about 12, 000 people and there are bars and restaurants in the town already but they do not serve craft beer nor do I find the food to be very good.  The buildings on the main street are standard small town store fronts and are mostly smaller stores.  The downtown is still active.  There are other towns nearby but again, there is almost no craft beer presence.

I have to admit, this is something of a mid-life crisis issue as well.  I'm 40 years old and I feel I have to make a decision whether to try something new or resign myself to the fact that I'll be working for someone else until I retire.  Basically, what do the next 25 years look like.  My wife has an income although it is not high and I would need investors to help get started which is why I am thinking of fleshing out a business plan.  Basically, the beer I make is pretty good but the business end will need help which is what scares me and what will probably make me abandon this project but I feel like I have to at least investigate it and decide what my options are.  And of course, it doesn't help that I have others encouraging me to pursue this (friends who enjoy my beer).  I know the reality is that you can't support a business on the praise of your friends, no matter how sincere they are.

I will start with a 7 bbl set up in my plan.  

Beer Recipes / Re: Getting closer to pumpkin time....
« on: September 09, 2011, 06:50:55 AM »
I wanna do a pumpkin, I really do, but I just don't care for spiced beers.  Does pumpkin alone add anything in terms of flavour?  I may do pumpkin and the vodka tea to try to get a very, very subtle spice presence and see if it is more palatable. 
Nothing to help you out Oscar.  Would you just add pumpkin to your American Brown? 

Beer Recipes / Re: Wanted: Stout Recipe
« on: September 09, 2011, 06:47:13 AM »
Just got looking at available specialty malt on hand and I've only got 1 lb of roasted barley but I've got a lb of chocolate as well so I'm gonna blend Tom's recipe and Tygo's and do 0.75 lbs of Chocolate with the 1 lb roasted.  Anyone see a problem with this? 

Going Pro / Brew Pub capacity
« on: September 09, 2011, 06:37:40 AM »
I'm still toying with the idea of looking into starting a brew pub in my local town.  There's nothing like that around here so I'm sort of working on putting together a business plan.

What capacity would you recommend?  My thoughts are a 3 bbl system would be adequate.  I have no desire to sell commercially, just on-site.  I know that this is too small for a commercial brewery to be profitable but for a brew pub would this be adequate?  If I was to pursue this, I'd be looking for a used set up and I don't believe it is necessary to be a fancy copper clad set up because I have no desire to create a viewing area. 

Please let me know what you think would be an appropriate size.

Ingredients / Re: Caramunich II vs Crystal 45
« on: September 08, 2011, 09:36:58 PM »
damn - you must brew a lot!  :D

I've bought 20 lbs of C 45 since March. I don't brew that much but I'm awfully cheap so getting a whole years supply at 1/2 price and putting it into a good storage container appeals to me. 
The better deal is that Weyerman Pilsner malt is 1/2 what I'm paying right now so I'm gonna load up on a few things. 
From what I'm hearing, it may be close enough???

Ingredients / Caramunich II vs Crystal 45
« on: September 08, 2011, 09:16:40 AM »
I use a lot of C45 in many of the beers I brew.  It is sort of my go-to crystal for British beers, Pale Ales, etc if I want body and crystal character.
But, I recently found a supplier who handles Weyermann in bulk and I'm considering buying a 55 lb sack of CaraMunich II.  How close is this to Crystal 45 in character?  Lovibond looks pretty close but other than that I'm not sure. 
The price is less than half of what I'm paying now for almost all of the malts so I'll be buying base malts from them, just not sure how this compares.

All Things Food / Re: Big Green Egg
« on: September 08, 2011, 07:57:09 AM »
I'm probably gonna buy one of these this fall because I can get one at a very good price but I'm not sure what size.  
What is the best size in your opinion?  I'm not an experienced smoker but I'd like to be able to do it from time to time for family and friends.  Also, I don't want to get one too small because I have 4 boys and although they are young now, in 5 years we're gonna be going through meat like crazy.

So, what size is best?  L or XL?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP002 English Ale
« on: September 07, 2011, 11:27:13 AM »
Holy Flocculation Batman!!!

I brewed my bitter yesterday (not sure where this fits in between bitter or brown).  I made a 2.5 L starter a few days ago and put it in the fridge to cool about 12 hours before I pitched it.  I dumped the liquid and then tried to swirl the yeast into suspension in the cup or so I left behind.  No matter how much I swirled it, I couldn't get it back into suspension.  I ended up pitching it but it was like pitching cottage cheese.  In the end, I had to shake it out of the measuring cup that I was using.  I gave the pails a really good shake to try to get it suspended and not just drop to the bottom.  Is this normal?

I probably underpitched because I ended up doing a double batch (10 gals) and splitting it between the two but I am very sure that there was a lot more yeast in each than in a WLP tube.  Now, 15 hours later they are both bubbling like crazy.  OG was about 1.055 so it wasn't that high gravity to start with.

Can I top crop this?  I have another starter going for a stout on Friday but I want to take out some krausen and store it in a sterile jar in the fridge for building a future starter.  Is this a dumb idea?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing This Weekend - 9/2 Edition
« on: September 06, 2011, 08:47:46 AM »
Just started 10 gals of English Bitter.  I know it's Tuesday, does it still count as the weekend?

Beer Recipes / Re: Wanted: Stout Recipe
« on: September 05, 2011, 09:05:05 PM »
Thanks Tom.  I'll be giving yours a try next week with the exception of the yeast.  I have WLP002 ready to go so I'm gonna give that a try.  It's the only thing I have on hand anyway so it'll have to do.  I've been saving 15 lbs of Maris Otter for a stout so I should be good.
Just to clarify, when you say "black barley", do you mean black patent or roasted barley?  Or is this something more obscure that I'm not familiar with?
Thanks again.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling from a keg
« on: September 05, 2011, 11:37:00 AM »
Thanks all.  I tried the stopper thing again and I'm not getting it.  I ended up filling the 10 bottles I needed using just a racking cane in the picnic tap with no stopper and about 2 psi of pressure but I still think I wasted 5 or 10 more bottles in foam and overpour. 
If I decide to do this again, I think a beer gun may be in my future.  Depends on how many competitions I decide to enter.  This is the first one ever and I don't expect much (maybe a couple best in class and 2nd overall but I don't expect to win or anything...)

I'll let you know how I did (assuming my beer makes it in the courier).

Kegging and Bottling / Bottling from a keg
« on: September 05, 2011, 07:58:18 AM »
I'm gonna enter a few beer into a competition but I need to put it in a bottle from a keg.  Any advice on how to do this?  I've seen the video with guys using a racking cane with a stopper and I tried and got showered with beer every time despite lowering the pressure.  I must be doing something really wrong.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

The Pub / Re: Where are you?
« on: September 05, 2011, 07:49:14 AM »
I love reading the first page of these multi-page threads and then jumping right to the end and wondering "How the hell did they end up here?"

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