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Messages - tomsawyer

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1
Theres some stuff on this on the BJCP homepage too.  A nice slide show with the changes.  I perused them casually and like what I see.

2
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 1908 Wahl & Henius Volume II
« on: June 20, 2014, 09:16:47 AM »
I once had a Wahl on my Henius, that was painful.

3
Back in the late 90's I used to love watching my extract batches ferment, so I'd keep them in the kitchen.  Warmest room in the house.  For some reason every thrid or fourth batch would be too fruity nasty to drink.  Eventually I read about the importance of fermentation temperatures and realized my error.  I pass that on to everyone who'll listen now.

4
The Pub / Re: Old school. Really old school!
« on: May 27, 2014, 10:28:54 AM »
My friend is making a root beer flavored beer with star anise and licorice root.  Smelled great when he boiled it up.  He's not trying to make something that is like root beer, just an interesting gruit type of beverage.  He's allergic to (or intolerant of) hops.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How was the weekend?!
« on: May 08, 2014, 08:05:09 AM »
Saturday was water and Sunday fire. On Saturday it was raining in the morning so we went to the farmer's co-op for garden supplies. Then played in the mud all afternoon in the garden. Bottled a DIPA with tequila added in the evening. Since the tequila was open came up with a really good marguerita recipe imo. Sunday I burned tons of brush ( literally, I think) and fired up the outdoor wood oven for the first time this season and made pizza and bread.
Outdoor wood oven sounds excellent!  My latest hobby is breadmaking, I am going to GIMF up a nice outdoor oven design.  I have lots of seasoned firewood, this can help me use some fo that up and keep the heat out of baking out of the house.

6
General Homebrew Discussion / Big Brew Day
« on: May 06, 2014, 01:45:18 PM »
We got ten brewers together on Big Brew Day saturday and brewed a combined 70gal.  Three clubs were represented, it was a great time.  We had a few party crashers, you know a party is going well when people crash your party.

Anyone else participate?

7
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brewing with Mr Beer
« on: April 30, 2014, 11:10:36 AM »
True, I did see that the booster was suposed to add some body so I suppose theres a little maltodextrin as well as corn sugar.  I only just tasted a little of the LME and it seemed to have a decent bitterness, didn't taste the boiled wort.  Kind of wonder if I should've boosted bitterness with a bittering addition, although we only boiled the stuff briefly.  I think the young man had fun, thats the important thing.  He works part time in a liquor store and he's getting more familiar with craft beer as a result.  And with a new baby, he could no doubt benefit economically from making his own.

8
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Gunk above krausen
« on: April 29, 2014, 01:03:29 PM »
Most of the "braunhefe" (there term for the dark-brown, bitter compounds that actually float at the top of the krausen) falls back into the beer unless you skim it off at high krausen.  And obviously not many people skim, so I think this is not a real issue.  The stuff forming the ring is typically denatured protein, and won't really do anything to your beer.  Denatured protein doesn't redissolve in beer, it just sits there or it might drop down to the bottom of the fermentor if it comes loose.

The one thing I have seen with the ring, is that it can develop a little mold over time if it is left above the surface of the beer.  This is not an every-time event just once in a great while.  I guess being protein and out in the air, it procvides a better perch of a mold than beer itself.  Still, I would rather harvest the yeast cake out of a fermenter, clean the fermenter and then repitch.   

9
General Homebrew Discussion / Brewing with Mr Beer
« on: April 29, 2014, 08:31:11 AM »
I have a new friend who wanted to brew and asked if I'd help him.  He said he had some stuff so I told him to come on over last night.  Turns out he had several cans of Mr Beer hopped LME, plus booster packs and smaller "booster" packs of LME and some oz packages of hops.  He also had a 3.3lb can of doppelbock LME.  He wanted to brew up a few of these so we brewed the Northwest pale, an IPA and the doppelbock.  Each of these was to make 2gal or so of beer.

I convinced him to combine the Northwest pale and the IPA because they were similar products.  One came with some Columbus late hops and the other had Falconers Flight.  We put these two can together, added the boosters (just corn sugar) and the packs of LME and brought it to a boil.  I didn't boil long since the stuff was already hopped, just chilled and measured the OG then brought it down to about 1.075.  That made it about 4.5gal total.  I pitched US05 instead of the generic ale yeast that came with these two cans.

We also brewed the doppelbock with the booster and LME packs.  It had Liberty hops for a late addition, I was tempted not to use them but went ahead.  They had sent him S23 lager yeast for this brew, I hated to use it but didn't have another lager yeast to sub so I pitched this and will try and ferment at 55F.  This brew came in at about 1.080, in doppelbock range.

He had a couple other cans of Mr Beer LME (Mexican cerveza and Ofest) and I told him we could combine them and make any number of styles with some specialty grains.  We had enough beer going though so this will be for another session.  We are fermenting the beer in my basement due to space and temp constraints where he's living.

I never used Mr Beer stuff, it seems really simple to use.  I don't like the booster sugar packs, looked like a full pound of corn sugar which seems like too much for a 2lb can of LME.  I explained to him about how boosters like that will change the gravity and therefore the style and balance of the beer he's making.  We have a lot of learning to do but he seems like a good dude and I always like brewing.  No shortage of beer at the house either, in fact we sampled about six of me beers while we were making this stuff.


10
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How was the weekend?!
« on: April 28, 2014, 09:22:59 AM »
Grilled steaks with friends Friday night and opened a bottle of Boulevard Smokestack Series 2012 Saison with Brett that I'd been cellaring for a year or so.  I won that bottle at a raffle during the FOAM homebrew contest in OK.  It was pretty good, very dry and effervescent with a restrained fruitiness and just a hint of barnyard, no cherry.  Guess I may have drank it before its time but oh well, six of us got to taste it.

Saturday I brewed a basic blond ale, fermenting with San Fran lager yeast at around 60F.  This is going to be a strawberry blond I'm putting in a homebrew contest we are sponsoring, a crowd-judged kind of thing thats happening as part of a festival in June.

Sunday I bottled 5gal of Dornfelder wine.  First time I've worked with these grapes, got them from my friend who has a vineyard.  I made this wine in a dry red style, ran malolactic fermentation and aged two months in a new American oak barrel.  It was a little tart but I really think this is going to be a good one.

Then I took a nice long nap.


11
The unfermented wort was a bit of a mistake, next day I pulled the pressure relief plug on the silicone bung and yeasty goop shot out.  Probably shouldn't have filled it quite as full as I did.  It settled down by the following day at least.  I wasn't sure how active the Sacch yeast would be in the acidic environment, apparently they are just fine.

12
Made a batch of ginger wine for a friend yesterday, then brewed 10gal of Best Bitter.  Buddy and I brewed a 15gal batch of IPA today.  Bittered with Galena, then late additions were Cents, Columbus and Chinook with lesser amounts of Sorachi, Simcoe and Citra.  I intend to dry hop with Sorachi.

Might brew a batch of blonde tomorrow for a strawberry blonde ale.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First Pull Off My Solera
« on: April 19, 2014, 03:50:10 PM »
Updating this thread.  I just made pull #4 from the 11gL barrel originally started March 2009.  I let time slip away, pull #3 was nearly two years prior.  This pull is a full four years from the time I started this project.  I still had some of pull 3 in a keg, so I decided to rack some pull 4 into this keg.  I tasted pull 4 and it was very nice!  Super tart and a real cherry flavor.  I also racked a few gallons into a carboy for bottling, then I replaced the missing beer with 6gal of new beer.  I made a brown ale using a generous portion of special B, choice debit termed hops and fermented with a British ale yeast.  I also added 2L of unfermented wort as an experiment to "feed the bugs".

No sign of problems, so on we go I guess.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How did the brew weekend go?!
« on: April 07, 2014, 02:16:51 PM »
gmac, I brewed 17gal of German pils in my Brewhemoth a couple months ago, then followed that up with the doppelbock.  My pils was only 1.046, right where I wanted it.

One other thing  I did was to finally plumb my 100qt cooler mashtun.  The Coleman Xtreme was too thick for a plain valve and kettle screen so I had to improvise with some Home Depot parts.  Worked, no leaks either.  Now I can brew 15gal batches with impunity.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How did the brew weekend go?!
« on: April 07, 2014, 11:39:19 AM »
I transferred two kegs of German pils off gelatin, looked nice and clear in the transfer hose.  The true test will come when I chill it down.

Then I kegged 10gal of doppelbock.  I tasted it and its right where I want it to be.  OG was 1.075 down to FG 1.020 with WLP833.  Very rich malt character but not harsh with just enough sweetness to balance, and the color is spot on.  I used a crazy amount of melanoidin malt, about 5%.  I kegged with gelatin and will transfer them off next week.

After I got these done, I cleaned up the Brewhemoth and have it ready for my next brew, a blonde that I'm going to split to keg some with strawberry flavoring.

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