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Messages - WDE97

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My First Homebrew, A True Story
« on: February 27, 2016, 07:43:40 PM »
Regarding the glass carboys, I'm really careful and I'm more worried about the toxicity of fermenting in plastic based on scientific studies.  BPA is just one of many issues.  Point well taken though.

Actually, most of the new plastic fermenters are BPA free!

Events / Re: NHC 2016 First Timer Questions
« on: February 23, 2016, 06:10:38 PM »
I've only been to one NHC, but i don't think anybody would be upset if you only went for one day. If you can only manage one day, then do it! Most people would be glad you were able to make it. The hotel issue is really more about convenience. Staying elsewhere means you have to find transportation to and from, possibly (likely?) after having lots of beer to drink. Some of the events go on till 2am, if I remember correctly. It's just easier being able to walk up to the room when you want to take a nap or sleep for the night, than worry about getting back to some other hotel.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 1028 for Stouts
« on: February 23, 2016, 06:06:37 PM »
I use 1028 for many of my stouts, both RIS and regular strength. I have never had any issues with attenuation, as they always tend to end up around 1.020-1.028 depending on OG (70-75% attenuation). I mash at 149 for RIS, with 90min mash. Also, I always brew a regular strength stout and use the yeast cake for the RIS.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: New Speidel
« on: February 16, 2016, 02:16:23 PM »
I would definitely use a blowoff tube with such a high gravity wort. I've had mine blow out a few times with 1.100 beers, even with the extra volume of the 30L. See my attached picture. 6.5 gallons of 1.100 RIS even made a mess with a blowoff tube.  ;D Granted, I didn't have full temp control at that time, so that was part of the issue. Regardless, I love my Speidels and I'm sure you will love yours!

If you already have a table made up (in Excel for example) and you don't want to recreate it using Drew's method (which you might not want to have to do if your table is really large), you could capture a screenshot of your table using a Print Screen function or a "snipping" tool, save it as a picture file, then insert the picture file. Here is a link for a good snipping tool download. Many of us at my office use this one. It's great for quickly grabbing a screenshot of anything on your computer screen.

Homebrewer Bios / Re: Brewer Bio: Robert Hand
« on: April 29, 2015, 05:47:30 PM »
Thanks everyone! I'm happy to be here and glad everyone enjoyed reading my bio!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegerator Location
« on: April 29, 2015, 05:46:13 PM »
Laundry room. It's just around the corner from our downstairs family room. It fit just right in the space and is close by my spot on the couch!

Homebrewer Bios / Re: Brewer Bio: Robert Hand
« on: April 28, 2015, 02:04:34 PM »
Greetings from Goldendale. I dig your community, beautiful area, especially the Lolo Pass Hwy!

Hi Jim! It is definitely a neat town. I've been here 13 years now and have no plans to move ever again! Highway 12 up the Clearwater and Lochsa Rivers to Lolo Pass is stunning. I am so lucky to live and work in such a beautiful area.

Homebrewer Bios / Re: Brewer Bio: Robert Hand
« on: April 28, 2015, 01:41:08 PM »
Welcome Robert! Hope you didn't just admit to breaking the law in Alabama before homebrewing was legalized :)

Ummmm....   ;D ;D ;D

Homebrewer Bios / Re: Brewer Bio: Robert Hand
« on: April 28, 2015, 01:08:06 PM »
Welcome Robert   ;)  !  Great job on your bio. Cool slogan on the pint glass.

Thanks Jon! I can't take credit for the pint glass. It was at the Summit Restaurant at the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola north of Vancouver, BC. Great beer and great view!

Homebrewer Bios / Brewer Bio: Robert Hand
« on: April 28, 2015, 12:06:00 PM »

Who Are You: 
Robert Hand (WDE97).

Well, after a few years on this forum, I figured it was time to finally get around to putting up my bio.

Home Town (City, State):
Lewiston, Idaho
Homebrew Club:
Wizards of Ale Homebrew Club (WOAH)

I’m fortunate to be a part of a very active brew club. We aren’t very big, but have a great core group that does a lot: we run a local Big Brew event, teach an annual homebrew class, have numerous group brews every year, actively help each other with becoming better brewers, and run our local county fair Homebrew Contest which is a sanctioned AHA event.

However, the thing I’m most proud of is that our club does a quarterly Charity Tap Takeover at Riverport Brewery. We brew a bunch of beer and serve it at the brewery with all the money going to a local charity. It is always well received and is a great way for us to give back to our community!

I've been a homebrewer since:
I did my first batch in 1997 while in college in Auburn, AL.  A couple classmates of mine were home brewers and all it took was tasting their beer to decide I needed to start.  I helped them with a few batches to learn the process, bought a few books, and was hooked!

Do you have a homebrewing disaster you'd like to share?
A few... not using a blowoff tube for big beers is one I keep doing for some reason. Took a few messes to finally get in the habit of using one. However, not even a blowoff tube always works (see below)!! The scariest was dropping an empty glass carboy onto the tile floor of my bathroom while barefoot. Glass everywhere, but somehow I didn’t get cut. Lessons learned? Get rid of the glass and don’t brew or clean up while barefoot!! 

What is your favorite style(s) to brew?
Strong Scotch Ale, APA

What style(s) will you never brew?
I’ve learned to “never say never”. I used to swear I would never, ever, brew a sour beer. Why would anyone want to do that to beer? Well, after trying a few through our club and at NHC Seattle in 2012, I’m hooked on sour beer. I’ve brewed many sours since then and our club now has two 60gal wine barrels for sour beer: a Chardonnay barrel with a sour blonde (pic below) and a Cab Sauv barrel with a Flanders Red.   

What was the first beer you ever brewed?  How did it turn out?
I don't know why, but I tried to make a fruit beer using a pale ale kit and adding blackberries.  It was a comedy of errors...major boilover, tried to sanitize the berries using hot water but ended up cooking them, sanitation was probably a bit iffy....  It turned out looking like a strawberry shake (reddish and milky appearance) and was way overcarbonated. Amazingly it actually ended up tasting pretty good.  I drank every one of them!  Hmm, maybe this should go under the homebrewing disaster question. 

Have you ever had a homebrew mistake that turned out great?
Other than my first beer, I forgot to put the false bottom in my mash tun one time. I got mad and just dumped the whole mash tun into another container, installed the false bottom, and dumped it all back in. I was sure it would be completely ruined, but it turned out to be one of the best APA’s I’ve ever made.

Are you a BJCP Judge?  If so, what is your rank and how long have you been judging?
No, but hope to be some day.

Do you have a favorite homebrew trick or gadget that you've found to make your beer better/brewing easier, etc?
Nothing special, just some of the same stuff everyone else does: good sanitation, wort chiller, yeast starters, temp control, etc. I just finished building a dedicated temp control chamber with dual stage controller. I was using an old fridge, but that now houses all of my bottled homebrew and commercial beer at cellar temps. Having a proper dual stage temperature control system is awesome and has definitely helped improve my beer. Plus, now I can start laagering!
Do you brew alone, with friends or with someone you live with?
Mostly alone, but our homebrew club brews together a few times a year for club experiments, Big Brew, etc. Also, my wife helps sometimes. She is the most awesome wife a homebrewer could have! She loves my beer, encourages me to brew often, has no problem with me using an entire bedroom to store all of my brewing stuff, and is even a member of our homebrew club!

Describe your brew system.
I moved up to all grain brewing in 2010. I use 10 gal Rubbermaid drink coolers, a 10gal SS brew pot, and a Blichmann burner. Also have a 5gal Rubbermaid set-up for making smaller batches. I boil on the back deck and ferment either in a basement closet or my new temp control chamber. I built a 5-tap kegerator using a chest freezer with temperature control, a full size refrigerator for bottled beer, and have an entire spare bedroom dedicated to storing all of my brew stuff! I also have a 15 gallon whiskey barrel I'm using to age a Belgian Dark Strong.

Link to Kegerator Build:

How frequently do you brew (times/month or /year)?
It comes and goes, but I have brewed @ 20 batches in the last year.  I usually brew a bunch from fall - early spring, and then don’t brew for a few months during the summer when I am really busy with work.  Mostly do 5 gal batches, with a few 2.5 gal test batches thrown in.

What is your favorite local craft brewery?
My favorite is Riverport Brewing Co. across the river in Clarkston, WA.  It was started by a couple of local guys, and has really taken off. They have a bunch of great beers, but my favorites are their IPA’s and Bock.  The setting couldn’t be better with the tasting room inside the brewery, and the deck has a great view of the local hills and the Snake River. They even help local homebrewers out by ordering grain for us and selling us bulk grain and hops at cost. They even let us grab fresh yeast from the fermenters. It’s amazing how fast fermentation starts when you use a nice fresh pitch of active yeast! 

What is your favorite malt?  Why?
Golden Promise. Just love the richer taste and greater depth of flavor I get from it for my Scottish Ales.

What is your favorite hop? Why?
Amarillo.  I really like the grapefruit/herbal flavor and aroma. I use tons of it in my Amarillo/Simcoe IPA

Do you have a favorite or house yeast? What qualities do you like about that yeast?
Don’t really have a “house yeast”. My favorite is probably WY1728 Scottish Ale since I use it in my favorite beer.  However, I most often use WY1028 London and US-05.

Do you have a good homebrew club story you'd like to share?
A few years ago a new brewer brought in his first beer, which several club regulars helped him make.  Well, it turns out they used a brand new garden hose to fill up their pots for brewing water. The resulting beer had the strongest “garden hose” taste you can imagine!!  We all had a really good laugh about it, and the guy took it pretty well.  Fortunately, after an extra month of aging the hose taste disappeared. 

Also, our homebrew club always seems to pick the coldest day of the year every year to do a club brew day. In February 2014, we ended up brewing on a day where the high temperature was 6°F! It was a blast, but the guy whose house we brewed at ended up with a solid sheet of ice on his driveway.

How many medals have you won from homebrew competitions?
I was fortunate enough to be a co-brewer with Kyle Schmitt on his NHC gold medal winning Dopplebock in 2014!! I have won a number of ribbons at our county fair competition, including BOS in 2009 for my RIS, and BOS and runner-up BOS in 2012 for my Dusseldorf Alt and Scottish 80/-. Now I am a co-organizer and judge (non BJCP) for our county fair competition so I don’t enter very much.

Are you an indoor or outdoor brewer?
I was an indoor brewer until all the condensation from boiling on the stove burned out my over-the-stove microwave in 2013. $200 in repairs convinced me it was time to buy that Blichmann burner I had been drooling over and move outside.

Do you have any pets or kids named after beer styles or ingredients?
No, but I do have an awesome brew cat! Meet Zita, my Persian brew assistant. She loves hanging out with me when I brew, and even sits in the water while I’m chilling my wort.

Final thoughts?
A big thanks to my brew club for being so active in helping each other become better brewers, and to everyone on this forum for being so passionate, encouraging, and just plain nice to each other. It’s the only forum on the internet that I can truly enjoy without getting ticked off while reading/posting. I'll leave you with this:

Equipment and Software / Re: Crud in stainless fermentor
« on: March 11, 2015, 11:16:39 AM »
+1 to Barkeepers Friend. I use it routinely with one of those blue non-scratch sponges to clean all of my stainless equipment. Works great!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 13th annual Best Beers in America survey
« on: February 23, 2015, 11:58:28 AM »
All hail Nostrachumly and his amazing powers!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Horrific Infection
« on: February 10, 2015, 04:32:15 PM »
Which Yeast Bay yeast did you use? I have used several of their sour blends and that is exactly what it looked like. I wonder if they sent you the wrong yeast, or maybe it was mislabeled. Let it ride and maybe it will turn out pretty good!

Equipment and Software / Re: new mash tun losing temp
« on: November 19, 2014, 09:28:35 AM »
I use a 10 gal Igloo water cooler for my mash tun. I always preheat it by putting two quarts or so of hot water into it for a few minutes and sloshing it around to heat the tun up. I then dump that water and add my mash water. I also put several thick beach towels on top of the lid, put a towel under the tun (granite countertop is cold) and wrap a down sleeping bag around it. I never lose more than 1-2 degrees during a 60 minute mash, even with the house at 66F. 

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