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Topics - jamminbrew

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Beer Travel / Iceland bound...
« on: January 18, 2012, 10:35:59 PM »
This time tomorrow night, I'll be waiting to board a plane to Iceland!  I plan to visit at least 2 of their breweries, (whose names I can't pronounce, much less spell with an american keyboard!) Olgeroin is one, but I hope to hit at least 2 more in the Rejkyavik area. Anyone heard of any? Suggestions are welcome. Or is Iceland a bit too obscure?  Will post pics and teasers upon my return!  I will miss my AHA friends!

The Pub / Feelin' like the king of the world...
« on: January 06, 2012, 06:31:58 PM »
I just gotta say, that this forum is awesome. So much help, info, and just plain fun. I may not post all the time, but I'm here every day just to see what's going on...    Wish I could share a brew with all of you.
Got an ipod for christmas, and been listening to a bunch of podcasts on brewing, especially the beersmith one...  Been nice to put voices to some of the guys I see here...  Denny and Kai don't sound anything like I thought...  And is it just me, or does Brad Smith sound just like Jeff Bridges from "The Big Lebowski"?
And brewer of the week...   Hoo-ahh!  Too cool.  You guys weren't kidding when you say "Welcome to the obsession"! 
Thank you all!

Kegging and Bottling / Crash cooling question
« on: December 30, 2011, 05:41:55 PM »
I plan on crash cooling a beer for the first time, and was wondering if I need to let it come back to ambient temps before bottling, or just go with it cold? Thanks guys...

General Homebrew Discussion / I just freaked out a little...
« on: December 01, 2011, 10:34:47 PM »
So I was checking the beers I have fermenting right now, (two glass carboys, one oatmeal stout, one amber ale) and noticed that my chest freezer smelled a bit funny. (I have a 7 cu ft freezer)  Tilted one carboy to get a better look at the fermometer on the side, and saw a lot of grey/green fuzzy crud all over the straps of my brew hauler.  Then I noticed that there was a fair amount of this stuff all over the inside of my freezer.  Needless to say, I had a mild heart attack.

Removed both carboys, thoroughly cleaned and sanitized them with starsan, and scrubbed the whole freezer down with a mild bleach solution, then soaked  with some starsan also.  Gonna burn the brew hauler, and buy a new one. Was totally worried that both beers were ruined, but then remembered that I filled the airlocks with starsan. Both beers look fine.  Took a deep breath, drank a home brew, and relaxed a little bit.  Gonna keep a close eye on the beers. The amber is ready for bottling, and the stout has another week or so left before its ready.

Lesson for me: Sanitize fermentation chamber before and after each use...

General Homebrew Discussion / sunlight, unfermented beer, and skunking...
« on: November 13, 2011, 02:18:51 PM »
I know that exposure to direct sunlight will skunk a beer in as little as 1 minute, but what about unfermented beer, i.e. wort? I brew outdoors, and when using my IC, my wort is subjected to brief exposure to sunlight. I was wondering if this could skunk the beer before it fermented? I keep it covered as much as possible, but the lid on my kettle with the IC doesn't completely cover the wort. Am I being paranoid? Thanks...
Ben W

Other Fermentables / Mead maturation question
« on: October 30, 2011, 07:33:09 AM »
I have a mead that's been maturing for about 4 months now, and as it's my first, I am wanting to sample some to know how it's coming along. My question is this: Can I open a bottle, pull a small sample out, and re-cork the bottle without adversely affecting the mead? Or will opening it stop the conditioning process and ultimately ruin the bottle? I can always drink the opened bottle, so it's not wasted...

Equipment and Software / Temp control question...
« on: October 21, 2011, 07:59:12 PM »
I just bought a chest freezer to use for fermentation, and had a question on the temp control devices...  I was looking at Ranco and Love temp control units and had a question:  If I buy a 2 stage, can I wire the freezer to cool, and a space heater to warm using the same control? I mainly brew Belgian styles, and higher temps are important to me, so if it drops below a certain temp, the heater kicks on, and if it gets too warm, heater turns off, and freezer turns on. Is this right? or do I need two separate controls? Thanks in advance...

Homebrewer Bios / Ben, aka "theantipunk"
« on: October 13, 2011, 09:57:40 PM »
Who Are You Ben Wilder
Home Town (City, State): Colorado Springs, Colorado

Homebrew Club: Been flirting with the Brew Brothers, but not yet a dues-paying member

I've been a homebrewer since: October, 2010 (1 year)

Do you have a homebrewing disaster you'd like to share? Other than the propane tank running empty in the middle of a boil, so far, so good!

What is your favorite style(s) to brew? Tripels, Golden Strongs, and porters

What style(s) will you never brew? I wouldn't say never, but least likely would be american lite lager

What was the first beer you ever brewed?  How did it turn out? A honey brown extract kit. Came out rather good, drinkable

What is your favorite beer recipe? My own version of a golden strong. Sorry, it's proprietary!  ;) Just kidding. Ask me and I'll give it to you.

Do you have a favorite homebrew trick or gadget that you've found to make your beer better/brewing easier, etc? Using a hops bag has made things easier when racking the wort into my fermenter.

Describe your brew system. Mash tun is a red converted cooler (I know, I know, but I only lose 2* in a 90 min mash  ;D) a turkey fryer, a homemade IC, just the basics.

How frequently do you brew (times/month or /year)?  As often as I can afford to, usually 2x a month. I've done 20 brews in the first year

What is your favorite malt?  Why? Belgian 2-row or pale malt, because that's what I put in my favorite style of beer.

What is your favorite hop? Why? I really like the Tettnang hops, love the aroma they give, and Styrian Goldings have a flavor I like. I'm not really a hop lover, so IPA's are not among my faves...

Do you have a favorite or house yeast? What qualities do you like about that yeast? I like the Wyeast 1388 for my Belgians, I like the fruity flavor it imparts in my golden strongs. I also like the 1056 for my porter and amber ales.

If you could serve your homebrew to someone famous, who would it be and what would you give her/him? Thomas Jefferson, and probably an amber ale. Or Joe Sakic, my golden strong.

What's the most unusual ingredient you've ever used in a brew? I inverted some turbinado sugar in a tripel, just to experiment. Haven't tried anything exotic yet.

Do you have any pets or kids named after beer styles or ingredients? I had 2 cats, Guiness (rip)  and Murphy.

How many medals have you won from homebrew competitions? Have yet to enter a comp, but I took some of my golden strong to a club meeting, which was at a new brewery that had just opened up. The head brewer tried mine, came back for more, and at the end of the night, told me that my beer was the best he'd tried that night. I went home with a much bigger ego!

Do you brew alone, with friends or with someone you live with? Usually alone, though my 13 y/o son likes to pitch in.

Are you an indoor or outdoor brewer? Outdoor. If I fired up the turkey fryer on the carpet, my lady would likely shoot me.

List some of the names you've given your beers. Which is your favorite? Tattooed Grin Tripel, Good God Golden Strong, Absolutely Amazing Amber Ale.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Great Divide's "Yeti" imperial stout
« on: July 29, 2011, 04:55:12 PM »
I am a big fan of Great Divide Brewing, and last night tried their Yeti IS for the first time.  It looked like used motor oil pouring into my glass. Dark!  Great malt flavor at first, a little sweet, but then the hops kick in for an awesome flavor.  75 IBU's.  I'm not a big stout fan, but this one truly blew me away.  Has anyone else tried this? What were your thoughts on it?

Other Fermentables / Mead question on acid addition...
« on: June 27, 2011, 06:16:26 PM »
I am looking to make my first mead, and on studying some recipes, they call for an acid blend of citric, malic, and tartaric acids. Could I use just citric, or is using all 3 acids truly important? I know the use of the acid blend is optional. Just wondering if I can get a similar result with just citric? Thanks...

Beer Recipes / What would this be?
« on: June 07, 2011, 08:24:02 PM »
If I were to enter this in a competition, what would it be?
8# american 6 row
2# munich
1# biscuit
1# rolled oats

mash at 154* for 90 mins

1 oz cascade at 60 mins
1/2 oz williamette at 20 mins
1 oz williamette at 2 mins

I used 1056 american ale yeast on a starter.
Ferment at 67* for 10 days, or until done.

Thanks, entering my first comp with three beers, this is the only one I'm unsure of...

So after mash and brewing yesterday, I'm cleaning my equipment, and realize the thermometer I use for mashing is reading 13* too high.  Which means my mash wasn't at 150* like I thought, but more like 140 or lower.  I was wondering why my efficiency was down. Should've had a 1.090, wound up with a 1.070.   
I mashed with 12# Belgian two-row, 1 # Caravienne, and 1/2# aromatic. (Also added 2# turbinado in boil)  I mashed for 90 mins at what I thought was 150*, but like I said, was probably 140* or lower.
What are the possible effects on this batch of beer? What should I expect it to taste like?  Any help is appreciated, and thanks!

The Pub / There's a first time for everything...
« on: May 03, 2011, 08:21:34 PM »
So I am at a family dinner tonight, and I brought some of my tripel. My 87 y/o grandmother, (who has NEVER before tasted alcohol) picks up my glass, asks "Is this one of yours?" and proceeds to take a healthy swig.  Flabbergasted, I couldn't even respond when she pronounced it "Pretty good." Though I'm not sure what her basis of comparison is, I was quite proud she would try some of my beer!  Thanks Gramma!

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