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Messages - gmac

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Beer Recipes / Re: Anchor Steam Clone?
« on: June 15, 2011, 07:39:45 PM »
Some people have also mentioned that they think that there is a touch of rye malt in it too.  Not sure if that is true or not but I did an extract version a while back with a lb of rye malt and it was good too. 
Don't know what makes people suspect that there is rye in it but I've heard that more than once.

Equipment and Software / Re: Bigger fermenter
« on: June 15, 2011, 07:37:04 PM »
I currently brew 10 gallon batches and use a Sanke as a fermenter.  A few years back a guy I play hockey with gave me two corney kegs that had all metal tops, i.e. no rubber.  Through posting a help wanted ad on Craigslist a few years back I located a welder who welds for a local dairy.  I had him cut the corney and Sanke and then weld the corney into the top of the Sanke.  He initially said he would do it for $75, but I said I felt like it was worth more and told him I would pay him $100.  He's a great guy and I wanted to make sure he compensated for the work at hand.  Turns out he said it was pretty challenging as the corney is pretty thin.  He said if I want another one he would need $125. 

It works great as I have a big enough hole to clean it and in and out ports for closed transfers.  I cut a dip tube short to avoid yeast pick-up when transferring.  Before hooking it up to my corney I usually run a picnic tap until the beer runs clear.

Downside is that it's not fun to lift into my chest freezer to control fermenation temps.  Next step is to make a cart for my chest freezer that I can wheel over to the brewstand and back to it's usual place.

Overall for the price, I would do it again.

I'd love to see a picture of it if you could.  Sounds like an interesting way to put in an opening.

Beer Recipes / Re: Anchor Steam Clone?
« on: June 15, 2011, 04:34:13 PM »
I made this almost exact recipe (didn't have Cara-Pils so I left it out) but the hops were the same (except for the dry hops which I didnt' bother with).  It was very good.  Was it an exact match to ASB?  I don't know because it's hard for me to find it to compare but I really enjoyed the beer. 

Do you want to stick exactly to style?  If so, you may need to drop the IBU's a bit and doctor the colour but I'd suggest make this one, try it side by side with the original and then see what you think and make small changes then based on what you taste and see.

Ingredients / Re: Rhubarb
« on: June 15, 2011, 03:49:46 AM »
Thanks Ehall.  Any other thoughts?

Ingredients / Rhubarb
« on: June 14, 2011, 03:30:45 PM »
A search showed that this has been talked about before so perhaps someone can link me to the appropriate thread.

I have a surplus of this right now, just wondering about a rhubarb wheat beer for summer.  Anyone tried using it?  How much in 5 gals to give a presence?  Would a wheat be the right choice?  What yeast?  I'm going to harvest and freeze it because we are having a postal strike and I don't want to order yeast until thats over but I would think it wouldn't matter and may help release the flavour if I do this.  Add to primary or secondary?  Dumb idea - don't bother?

Thinking 45/45/10 wheat/pilsner/crystal 45 malt with a touch of cascade hops but not much.  Crystal for a bit of sweetness to balance the tartness.  Would Vienna be a better choice than Pilsner for this reason?

Please advise.

All Grain Brewing / Re: What would you call this beer?
« on: June 14, 2011, 03:23:52 PM »
Just send them in anyway - you don't have to be there, just your beer.  I sent in 3 entries, but I'm certainly not making the 17+ hour drive just for the awards ceremony.  I just want the judging sheets (though I'd happily accept any prizes or medals).

Good luck.  Thing is, I was away at work and wasn't going to get any bottled and conditioned in time to send. I thought about asking if I could send them late and be disqualified from the contest simply to get the judges feedback.  Had I been home I would have made it but work has a way of creeping up on me unannounced.  I'll be more prepared next year for this.

Regarding American Porter, I think the roast character is too subtle to really fall into the porter category.  Plus, I don't think that there is an Amercian porter category is there?  Could be a good one though.

Ingredients / Re: Dry hop in primary
« on: June 14, 2011, 03:17:30 PM »
Thanks all.  I will see if I have any suitable pellets instead of leaf hops.  I just thought leaf would be easier to get out when racking.  
Related question that came to me late last night.  This is my first attempt at this recipe.  Can you dry hop after carbonation?  I'm thinking maybe I should rack the beer and carbonate it and see if I like it as is first and then do a 1/2 oz addition later to see what differences the dry hops bring to the beer and which one I prefer for future.  I've never dry hopped before.
The beer already has 1 oz of Cascade FWH, 15 g of Perle at 60, 1 oz of Cascade and 1 oz of Amarillo blended with 1/2 oz additions every 5 minutes from 20 to flameout.  Could be enough already for my tastes.

Ingredients / Dry hop in primary
« on: June 14, 2011, 02:59:41 AM »
I've got an IPA that has been on the yeast for 2 weeks tomorrow.  Can I add my dry hops now before I go to the keg?  Or would it be better to try to find a nylon bag and do it in the keg?  The plan is to add 1 oz of Cascade whole leaf hops.  Just not sure when is the best time to do it.  If I add them to the primary, how long would you leave them before racking to the keg?

The Pub / Re: Read any good book lately?
« on: June 14, 2011, 02:24:15 AM »
Not trying to get this locked for religious comments...

Just finished "Lamb" by Christopher Moore.
Pretty funny look at the middle of story most of us know the beginning and end of.

Ingredients / Re: American Amber Ale advice
« on: June 13, 2011, 07:30:45 PM »
If it's an "American" amber, wouldn't Perle, Tettnang and EKG be out?  I only see 5, not 6 hops on your list.

I love my amber which is just 2 row, C45 and chocolate malt.  I certainly wouldn't use a 1/2 lb of chocolate malt or you'd be quite dark.  I use 100 grams and I'm bordering on brown ale as it is.  Do you need to use 2 lbs of 2 or can you use "up to" 2 lbs?  I guess with only 5 lbs of base malt (or can you use both the Pilsner and the 2-row?) you'd have to pick something.  Just seems a bit vague.  Not answering your question because I don't know enough about Munich and Vienna to pick which you'd be better off with but I make a pretty good amber without either.  Not sure why you'd be compelled to use them.  Good luck.

Equipment and Software / Re: Bigger fermenter
« on: June 13, 2011, 06:56:00 PM »
Just remember going up on the size of fermenter creates possible new needs. Foremost- will you still be able to control the temp? Can you move the fermenter when it is full? Things like that.

Very good points.  Right now everything I do is completely by hand.  Cooled wort goes into the fermenter one scoop at a time through a strainer which is slow but does aerate it somewhat.  Biggest challenge would likely be elevating it to siphon out the finished beer.  I don't have any pumps and I'd like to avoid them but I may have to find one if I go with something bigger.  

As for temp control, right now I'm brewing at ambient temps in my basement which are about 62 in winter, 70 in summer.  90% of what I brew are ales so I should be ok and I can always go back to my carboys for the occassional lager if I have to.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Who Dumps Beer?
« on: June 13, 2011, 05:42:20 PM »
Out of 15 all-grain batches so far, I've only considered dumping 1.  It's an Anchor Steam clone made with Munton Maris Otter that is really, really cloudy.  Almost to the point of being muddy looking.  It tastes fine but it's very unappealing.
I had a mild that looked similar and after gelatin and time, it is now my clearest beer so I'm going to try the same with this one and see if I can salvage it.  The rest of this malt is being saved for Stout season.

The important point is that I am more than willing to dump it if I have to.  I'm no expert but I know now that I can do much better and I need to feel happy about the beer that I drink and serve to family and friends.  Keeping it for private consumption would just extend the pain.

Equipment and Software / Bigger fermenter
« on: June 13, 2011, 04:06:39 PM »
I need a bigger fermenter.  Right now I'm using 18 and 23L glass carboys as well as some 23L plastic pails.  The glass looks good but you all know why it can suck.  The pails are alright but I have a hell of a time getting them to seal and I like to watch the bubbles.
So, has anyone tried converting a 15 gal Sanke keg over to a fermenter?  I'm assuming you could get it pretty clean since they get re-used in the brewery.  I thought about cutting out the valve and welding in a threaded fitting so that I could close it, adding a drain fitting in the bottom, a blow-off tube fitting in the top and a valve for racking. 
I've looked at the stainless ones but they seem to be pretty pricey (more than I want to spend). 

Anyone have any better suggestions that won't break the bank?

The Pub / Extreme brewing
« on: June 12, 2011, 04:09:53 PM »
I bought Extreme Brewing (and Brewing up a Business), the other day and I have to say I was pretty disappointed by it.  Almost all the recipes are extract recipes which in itself is fine but not what I was looking for.  I guess I just expected more from DFH.  Do they make most of their beers from extract?  I know I can work the OG backwards to get close but I was hoping for more direction on malt blends.  What should I have bought instead? (I have Palmer's, Strong's and Daniel's books already). 

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Stone Ruination IPA
« on: June 09, 2011, 02:58:16 AM »
Couldn't find it. Had a Cathedral Square "Belgian Style" IPA. Pretty good. Bitter but less hop aroma.

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