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Messages - gmac

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Building up an old WLP vial
« on: October 01, 2011, 10:36:01 AM »
So, help me understand the biology behind this.  What is the factor that makes stepping up from 200 ml to 2 or 3L better than just pitching into 3L directly?  I'm going to do the small step, not arguing but I am looking to better understand the benefit and difference.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Building up an old WLP vial
« on: October 01, 2011, 07:42:05 AM »
How long in the 200 ml starter?  My normal starter routine is not great because I'm away for work a lot.  I usually do 2L of 1.040 wort, pitch the yeast saturday and swirl often Saturday and Sunday.  Then it just sits on its own until the following Friday when I chill it for pitching Saturday or Sunday the week following.
When stepping up should I follow the same process? (yes, buying a stir plate would be a wise investment...)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Test your beer smarts!
« on: September 30, 2011, 08:43:16 PM »
14/15 but I got the Canadian one.  Don't even remember what I missed but it was one of the German ones.

Yeast and Fermentation / Building up an old WLP vial
« on: September 30, 2011, 08:31:43 PM »
I have a vial of WLP lager yeast I bought back in the spring but I never used because it got too warm.  I'm going to assume that there are at least a few live yeast still in the vial since it was stored in the fridge since I got it.  The BBF date is Aug 6.
Should I try to step this up in a smaller starter first or is it still close enough to pitch into a larger starter (3L)?  It is the WLP833 German Bock strain.

Beer Travel / Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
« on: September 30, 2011, 05:14:44 PM »
Don't assume anything.  Haven't heard of Founders.  I'll look into it.
I brought home some Bells Pale Ale and two different Shorts beers today (will try them tomorrow). 
Keep up the great recommendations.

General Homebrew Discussion / Toronto Beer Week - My results
« on: September 19, 2011, 08:11:14 PM »
I have no idea where to put this so I'm putting it here.

I entered a few beers in the Toronto Beer Week home brew competition and the results came in today.

Remember, this is not a BJCP event although they use the BJCP categories.  It's basically a good beer competition judged by brewers and bar owners in Toronto.

I received the following places:

Gold - Belgian Wit and Pale Ale - Chamomile Wit
Silver - Amber Hybrid - Cali Common
Bronze - Saison - French Saison

I entered 5 beer and medaled in 3 of the 5 categories I entered so I'm happy. 
Gold medal winners go onto the 2nd round this weekend to determine best of show and final standings so wish me luck.
Thanks for all the help and advice.

Beer Recipes / Re: Getting closer to pumpkin time....
« on: September 18, 2011, 07:35:42 PM »
Got an invite to a halloween party so I did a pumpkin ale today on a whim.  Not sure how it'll turn out but here's what I went with.

10 gals

14 lbs pale malt
1 lb crystal 45
1 lb Munich
0.5 lb wheat malt
1 lb brown sugar
2 pie pumpkins baked for 2 hours and scraped out.
A big old bunch of rice hulls.

Mashed the grain and "mashed" pumpkin at 154 for an hour, drained off the wort
2 oz Northern Brewer at 60, 1 oz EKG at 20. 
Very healthy pitch of WLP002 from a pale ale I kegged yesterday.

Final results 10 gals at 1.052 which is about what I was shooting for.  Gonna add spice to taste using the "tea"method.  Wouldn't have tried this except for the party invite.  I'll let you know if it's any good.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Moon Man No Coast Pale Ale
« on: September 17, 2011, 01:21:23 PM »
During my travels this week I tried New Glarus Moon Man.  I really like this beer.  Not sure what style it falls into (aside from Pale Ale) but in general it has a strong hop flavour and aroma without much bitterness.  In particular, I find the hop flavours to be very agreeable with tropical fruit dominating the profile.  I definitely think that I taste passion fruit/mango/guava flavours which are very nice with the malt character of the beer.
I drank every one from the bottle so I can't say anything about the colour but I thought it was very easy drinking, very refreshing and very welcome after a day of walking through corn fields.  
If you have a chance to try this one, and you want a beer with a lot of hop character without a lot of bitterness, I'd definitely give this a try.
Edit:  I also brought 3 home so I poured one in a glass.  Pale golden colour, darker than a pilsner but not nearly as dark as I would have expected. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing This Weekend - 9/16 Edition
« on: September 17, 2011, 01:10:57 PM »
Was going to do a saison and a stout but the Mrs. didn't want me to brew today so just tomorrow.  Now we just got an invite to a halloween party so I think I'll change it and take a shot at 10 gals of Pumpkin Ale to take to the party. 

Other Fermentables / Re: Sauerkraut
« on: September 17, 2011, 08:20:39 AM »
Just an aside.  A friend of the family (now deceased) used to make sauerkraut in a big barrel and would put whole cabbage heads in the bottom (cut out the core I think).  They took a longer to ferment but because he'd leave it in the barrel for a long time, no problem.  Then, he'd use the whole leaves to make cabbage rolls instead of regular cabbage.  Awesome!

Going Pro / Re: Brew Pub capacity
« on: September 17, 2011, 08:15:34 AM »
I agree completely.  The other thing this area is missing is a mid to high level restaurant which is also a factor in my planning.  We have lots of burgers and such but something that fits into the "gastropub" style is no where to be found.  If my wife and I want to go out for a nice dinner, maybe something special for a birthday or special occasion, we have to travel at least 45 minutes to find something a bit nicer. 

I'm not naive enough to think that opening a brew pub will be a fun time hanging out with my friends and listening to them tell me how good my beer is.  I know that the food has to be the primary focus and I'd also suggest that having a good wine list (again, not available around here) would be beneficial as well.

I'm finding it hard to figure out the red-tape and government bureaucracy around even getting licenses to brew for public consumption.  Alcohol regulations here in Ontario are a real pain and may be a bit more convoluted than US regulations.  In fact, I can't seem to even find out where to go to get information.  I'm hoping to get some help from an actual micro-brewery but I haven't had much luck there either (although I've just started).

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cream Ale vs. Blonde Ale
« on: September 15, 2011, 08:38:42 PM »
Here on the west coast nothing is ever called a cream ale

I've always been under the impression that a cream ale was brewed at cooler temps (almost lager temps) instead of wamer.  I think I'll stick with that.

Regarding regional names, I can buy a half dozen cream ales, I can't think of any beer that I can get that is intentionally labelled "blond ale".  Yes, there are lighter coloured ales but they aren't labelled blond. 

Regarding the Black IPA thing that Dave brought up, I like the term that the lady on the Brewing Network used during the beer vocabulary episode "Bulls*** Hoppy Porters"

Beer Travel / Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
« on: September 13, 2011, 08:09:27 PM »
So this week is Wisconsin/Minnesota.  Had to skip over Michigan but I'll be back.
Today I had lunch at Grumpy Troll and I agree, eat there but don't expect much from the beer.  It was OK but far from great.  I had Surly Furious with supper and I liked it a lot. 
The best beer I've come across so far, to my tastes at least, is Moon Man from New Glarus.  I don't have time to do a brewery tour but next time I'll have to stop by New Glarus and check things out.  I really like the hoppy flavour of this pale ale without the intense bitterness of an IPA.  Very nice.

The Pub / Re: Kindle books
« on: September 11, 2011, 05:43:31 PM »
Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin are both fantastic.

+ 1 - I couldnt' agree more.  I'm 1/2 way through the 2nd book and they are great. 
My wife loved "The Hunger Games" series and has gotten our friends hooked on them too but I haven't read them yet.  No vampires that I'm aware of.

Ingredients / Just a comment on seasonal ingredients.
« on: September 11, 2011, 09:51:22 AM »
I find it so interesting how the ingredient questions on the forum move through the seasons.
Pumpkin was hot a few weeks ago, now it looks like coffee is a big topic, I'm willing to guess Christmas spices are coming next. 

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