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Messages - gmac

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Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Stone Ruination IPA
« on: June 08, 2011, 04:57:46 PM »
I will try to find it. Had a bunch of the pale ale last night and a "Big Bison Ale" but can't recall the maker. It was good but had an interesting caramel or molasses flavor that I can't quite place. They've got Schafly's Hefeweizen and Summer Lager. May have to go out on the town to find the IPA.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Stone Ruination IPA
« on: June 08, 2011, 01:16:21 PM »
I'm in downtown St Louis, just beside the arch and I thought I'd give a few of the American IPAs a try. Had my first Bell's Two Hearted Ale which was good but they also had Ruination on tap so I had a couple.
7.7 ABV, 100 IBU, slight copper colour and a touch cloudy but very attractive appearance. Incredible head retention and nice lacing. Strong presence of US hops with a tonne of hop flavour and aroma. This isn't my preferred style of beer but it was pretty good and I will order it again. If you are a fan of the Two Hearted Ale I mentioned, you'll probably really enjoy this too.

Beer Recipes / Re: New(er) to HB
« on: June 05, 2011, 11:29:56 PM »
I can't really give you a good recipe (I could try but there are many better sources than me on this forum) but I was in your boat not that long ago and one thing that I found is that Primary/Secondary fermentation schedules seem to have gone out of style for the most part.  I assume that's what you mean by 2 stage.  Ferment it in the primary and leave it there until it's done and then bottle/keg directly.  I've been doing it since coming back to brewing and I think it works just fine and I'm sure others on here will agree (and some won't which is why the forum is great).

All Grain Brewing / Re: What would you call this beer?
« on: June 04, 2011, 10:32:43 PM »
My problem is that I am not a recipe person.  I'd prefer to make one up and take the bad with the good and be pleasantly surprised by my successes like I was with this one. 

The only problem with that approach is that if you hit gold, you never know exactly how to recreate your recipe. I hope that you keep notes as you go along!

I keep pretty exacting notes to the gram and to the minute for everything I do (as well as after pitching and tasting notes).  I've done this brew several times now and tweaked one thing or another (tried a different hops or a slight modification of the grain bill) but each time the base is pretty much the same so I can ascertain what the small differences are. 

When I mentioned not following recipes, I was referring more to following others recipes.  I've brewed this Amber about 5 times now and I'd say each was pretty close the the previous but unfortunately, the prior batch is always gone so I have nothing to compare to ;).  For the one-off brews, I keep the same notes just so that I can try to do it again if I hit on something I like as I did here.

Ingredients / Re: What hops with rye?
« on: June 03, 2011, 04:15:02 PM »
Thanks all. From what I can gather there's no problem with any type as long as you like the taste.  I guess I'll know in a few weeks what rye + noble hops taste like.  Then, there's always next time with American hops...

The recipe ended up being:
4 kg 2-row malt
1 kg rye malt
250 g C45
50 g C120
1/2 tsp Citric Acid to adjust mash pH (I have yet to notice any flavour from this)
Mash at 150 for 75 mins

1 oz Tettnanger (3.5% AA) FWH
25 g Perle@60 - after hot break
1 oz of Halltertau + 1 oz of Tettnanger mixed together with 10 g additions every 5 mins from 20 to flameout. 
Irish moss at 15

Wish me luck.

All Grain Brewing / Re: What would you call this beer?
« on: June 03, 2011, 04:07:53 PM »
Thanks everyone.  I just wanted to know what you think because I was considering taking some bottles to a CABA event next week but now I have to work anyway so that's not gonna happen.

I agree that 98% of what I brew is "beer" that probably doesn't exactly match any particular style and I'm just fine with that.  I basically brew this beer one week and then screw around with something different the next week.  I'm keeping a keg of this Amber Ale on tap most of the time and then rotating in something else (right now it's a mild that isn't too good - too hoppy for the thin malt body).  This week I had to do both because I'm falling behind.  This weeks "Special" is a Rye PA and we'll see in 2 weeks if I hit it or missed it.

My problem is that I am not a recipe person.  I'd prefer to make one up and take the bad with the good and be pleasantly surprised by my successes like I was with this one. 

Not trying to stir up a "style" debate.  I'm a live and let brew sort of person. 
Again, thanks for helping me clarify and especially thomasbarnes for his advice on how I should enter it if I do. 

What if someone else finds it instead of me?
I made the kids clean up their games in the basement and my 9 year old found it under the couch.  So technically, it was no where I looked.

Equipment and Software / Re: Extending the life of Star-San
« on: June 03, 2011, 03:11:34 PM »
There's a Wal-mart about 35 minutes away.  Next time I'm in that area I'll see if they have distilled.  I will look for a neighbour with a softner too as suggested.  There is a place that sells RO water near me but I don't do business there (all kinds of problems with friends getting ripped off for gas...).  I guess I could swallow my pride and go buy a few gallons just this once.

I have beautiful soft water running around my house (I've mentioned this before) but I'm not sure how clean it is (bacterially  i mean, it looks very clean and its very cold).  I may try to boil a couple gallons of this for a while and then add some Star-San and see what happens.  I'd love to use this to brew with but its so shallow that even if I got a good water report back, I'd be afraid of a rain washing contaminants into it.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Equipment and Software / Extending the life of Star-San
« on: June 03, 2011, 12:56:02 PM »
My water is fairly hard and as such, when I add Star-San to it, it clouds almost immediately.  I've read on the forum that once it goes cloudy, it loses its' effectiveness.  I've put 2.5 gal in a glass carboy and added Star-San and watched it turn milky in seconds.  I've not yet encountered any noticable contamination issues but I only use the sanitizer once.  I've gone through almost a full container in a couple months.

I don't have access to RO or distilled water that is convenient to get.  Is there anything I can do to my regular water to help extend the life of the sanitizer?  For example, would adding citric acid to lower the pH help?  I've also "double dosed" the water with more sanitizer (less than label rate) the next day if I have something to sanitize.  Not sure if this is a good idea or not but it seems to have worked.

Is there a different no-rinse sanitizer that would be better in my situation?  I've started using an acidic dairy wash to clean my carboys etc so I think that helps but I don't use it for siphons, bungs etc.  Any advice would be appreciated.

Ingredients / Re: What hops with rye?
« on: June 02, 2011, 07:31:25 PM »
What rye malt are you using?  Although it may be heresy, I've found I prefer Briess rye malt to most continental rye malts I've tried.

I don't really know.  I think my supplier buys in bulk and then re-bags.  It just says "Malted Rye".  I have the same complaint with all his products.  Crystal is just crystal, MO is just MO.  Unless you buy a 55 lb sack, there's no way to tell unless he replied to an email which is not guaranteed.  Not ideal but all I've been able to find so far.

Ingredients / Re: What hops with rye?
« on: June 02, 2011, 03:50:56 PM »
I think you're on the right track with the hops.  I've found that a large presence of the citrusy hops tends to hide the rye character (and have gotten the same comment on multiple scoresheets).  IIRC, Denny's does use some CTZ but finishes with Mt Hood which I've always considered as a sort of "pseudo-noble" and lets the rye come through.
Thanks.  I'm gonna use Perle to bitter and then finish with Tettnanger and Hallertau.

Ingredients / Re: What hops with rye?
« on: June 02, 2011, 03:49:13 PM »
I don't think you'll even notice 5% rye.  My experience is that you need at least 15% to even tell it's there.

OK, I'll take it up to 2 lbs and see what happens.  Never used it so I've gotta start somewhere.  I've been scared off a bit by Ray Daniels book which says it can be unpleasant if used at too high a percentage (which I'm probably no where near).  I just didn't want to over do it this first time. 

I'm going to scale back the pale row by 1 lb and add this extra 2 lb of rye.  Total fermentables are 12 lbs so that should be about 17%. 

Ingredients / What hops with rye?
« on: June 02, 2011, 03:14:30 PM »
I bought some rye malt and I'm going to add it to one of my regular brews, just to see what effect it has on the character of the beer.  I've read that it adds a spicy characteristic to the beer.  So, I'm curious if this works better with a particular style of hop?  I'm not sure about spicy with citrus (been using Cascade).  I'm thinking of a noble hop or perhaps a traditional English hop. 

I'm only planning on adding 1/2 lb this first time.  The only reference I've found is Denny's recipe that is about 19% rye. This would only be about 5%.  Would 10% be better to detect the character?


All Grain Brewing / Re: What would you call this beer?
« on: June 01, 2011, 10:14:34 PM »

And, knowing the state of beer in Ontario, it's probably just about as hard to find in the LCBO or the duty free shops. (grumble, grumble).

The LCBO is the only place you can regularly find it.  The Beer Store sometimes has it but not always.  Duty Free?  Probably never. 

There's only 3 places you can usually buy beer in Ontario. 
The brewery.
LCBO - Liquor Control Board of Ontario - owned by the Government
The Beer Store - A brewery owned monopoly that controls beer sales in Ontario - not government controlled despite what most people think.

I've lost my book.  Any psychic's on here?  Please tell me where I left it.

Have you looked in the bathroom?

It's in your purse.  You'll have to empty it all out to find it.


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