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Messages - kgs

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Some of the homemade "how-to" videos have been useful to me for learning new processes, particularly when there is a wide variety of advice on how to do it right or it's a hard process to visualize if you've never seen anyone do it. I often speed up the video to get through them faster or to hone in on a particular point. What these amateurs lack in video production skills they make up for in goodhearted willingness to share (love the kegging video where the guy is clearly in his pajamas... my kind of brew day! ).

I also enjoy Basic Brewing Video, which is professionally well-done and feels like what it is, a good cooking show where the emphasis is on the dynamic between the hosts.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Is extract brewing patriotic?
« on: April 06, 2016, 01:32:54 PM »
I personally think homebrew sales are down because there are MORE homebrew stores. When I started we had one and then a few supplies were available to members at a Co-op. Now I count at least seven stores in the same area and there may be a couple more lurking out there. I know homebrewing increased with the last drop in the economy, but a sevenfold increase in stores means unless the number of homebrewers increased by 7X sales had to drop for the single store.

Exactly.  As I read this thread I was wondering if it's total sales or same store sales that are dropping.

The hobby has grown so quickly I would bet there are too many stores.

Hmm good point. The interview pretty much said that there were too many stores and that was one reason they were closing. I was wondering when we would hit "peak homebrew."

I may still do an extract batch for fun. Do a cream ale for my better half or something like that.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Is extract brewing patriotic?
« on: April 06, 2016, 06:48:19 AM »
Maybe homebrew shop sales are down as people are brewing more and buying bulk supplies.  As much as I want to support LHBS, I would be brewing less with the differences in cost.

I also wonder is the homebrew shop sales are including the sales online or are they just brick and mortar sales?

I brewed an extract batch back in December, but it was a hard root beer.

The sales are down all over, at least per the interview. It didn't sound alarmist, just an observation. AHA does do some very good surveys of brewer behavior. I understand the hypothesis (all-grain brewing takes time, therefore people brew less, more brewers start out with AG or move to it earlier in their brewing experience, and brewing less = fewer sales overall), though there could be other drivers, such as an overall "craft beer bubble" that is softening. Gary Glass noted a significant number of homebrew stores closing last year. Whether or not you agree in tinkering with market forces :-) it's a really interesting interview.

General Homebrew Discussion / Is extract brewing patriotic?
« on: April 05, 2016, 08:51:26 PM »
For those of us gathered under the homebrewing flag...

I just listened to the Beersmith interview with Gary Glass. It had a lot of great information about homebrewing trends.

A couple of the data points I kept noticing: more homebrewers are brewing all-grain (often from the first or an early batch) and are brewing less frequently. Also, homebrewing store sales are down (that makes sense, if brewing happens less frequently).

The AHA has over 46,000 members. Also, over one million people brew beer at home. (That's an interesting delta.) If every AHA member added an extract brew to his or her brew calendar every year, that would be a nice bump in sales. Just a thought. I've read Gary Glass arguing for more extract brewing, but I didn't put it together with the larger homebrewing ecology.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My latest peeve....
« on: April 05, 2016, 08:35:54 PM »
"Juicy" the hell did this descriptor come about?  What does it mean?  I hear about a "juicy" aroma, which just seems like a total oxymoron.  I hear a beer described as "juicy"...what, it tastes like say, orange juice?  I think I know what people who use the term are getting at, but it seems so incredibly wrong.  Why is juicy used?  WTF does it mean?

As a matter of fact, that's one of my current terms that I'm not sure if everyone is using in the same way ('dank' is the other).  For me, juicy has a few components.  There's got to be a slight sweetness balanced out by an acidity with a certain mouthfeel.  Grapefruit juice would be closer to what I'm referring to in most IPAs, although orange juice with Amarillo hops is certainly in that wheelhouse.  For an aroma descriptor, I'm literally thinking of the smell of grapefruit or orange juice.  The same aroma of fructose and citric acid would be present in the aroma (or at least the impression of it).

That being said, I think sometimes people are hearing other people use a term and just repeating it to sound like they know what they're talking about.

Well (may I pull out my MFA in creative writing?) if it's a sensory experience  it can be literal, no matter how fanciful it seems -- juicy, pillowy, etc. That's the point of sensation: what you think it is, is what it is (to you). I definitely get "pillowy" with a Chimay or La Chouffe on draft, for example.

I think some people reuse terms without reflecting what they mean, but I also believe a word or sensation is also hugely specific to each of us. That's what makes the Commercial Calibration column in Zymurgy so interesting. It's not where the reviewers come together, it's the delta that interests me.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My latest peeve....
« on: April 03, 2016, 07:08:38 PM »
I don't know… I get an elitist stink when people start telling other people how they can and can't describe their beer. Calling it peeve suggests that you think it is wrong. Juicy seems pretty straight forward. I would use it not as a specific flavor descriptor but maybe a shorter way of saying the beer has both a bright and fruity presentation.

I am far from a hipster but I have tasted beers that are definitely, to my palate, juicy. Neddles gets it exactly right: bright and fruity. Sculpin (not just the grapefruit variation) is like this. It's a bright, mouth-filling sensation. Not perfume-y (I'm looking at you, watermelon Dorado... couldn't finish a bottle) but that sensation when you bite on segments of  a fresh mandarin or clementine and experience that rush of citrus and hydration.

I brew 3 gallons into the fermenter and 2.5 into the keg. I love this batch size. I am always sad when a keg kicks but it happens fast enough I get to brew at least once per month. I actually run fairly often because I give away beer to friends.  I kind of like running out though.
Same here.

I am the only one who drinks in my house, and it is usually only 4 or 5 beverages a week. If I have time to relax after the family and house is taken care of, then I'll settle down with a beer/mead/whiskey/sake/etc. The smaller batch size let's me brew 1-2 times a month without drowning in extra beer I can't drink. Plus, I like to experiment, so it doesn't bother me to dump a couple of gallons of beer that I don't want to drink.

Another advantage is that I can brew all-grain batches on the kitchen stove at this smaller size. No need to brew outside for me. I have heat in the winter, AC in the summer, and no need for pants ;)

All these reasons and more. In my early brewing days (2009) I was struggling with the lifting involved in 5-gallon batches. Going to all-grain in 2010 made small batches necessary. I like kitchen brewing. I like being able to experiment and know that I won't be dealing with 5 gallons of some huge mistake. I also enjoy how many 3-gallon kegs can fit in a standard fridge (I have a hand-me-down gifted from our landlord and I think I could squeeze four to six small kegs in there at least). At 58, I'm thinking I can keep brewing at this scale another decade without  accommodations. I may play with smaller batches soon-- not for physical reasons, but so I can go a little wild with ingredients.

For every brewer, the right size batch... that's the joy of homebrewing!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Taprite Home Dispensing Guide
« on: March 26, 2016, 06:44:50 AM »
Really good find. I traced the original to the Taprite website, which has other downloads:

I usually mash the night before, done by 9 pm, and the next morning start the stove ca. 530 am. Make my coffee, measure everything out, and I'm chilling the wort in a couple of hours. Clean up as I go along. (Half-batches so it all happens indoors)

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I bottle a lot of out one gallon jugs. I use a mini-autosiphon and rack into a smaller bucket I drilled to fit a bottling bucket spigot. Not sure why you couldn't get the siphon to fit in the jug but you could always do the old siphon trick with water in the tubing to create a siphon rather than using an auto-siphon.

Yep, and for smaller batches I reduce the amount of water for the priming solution. I don't think I've ever used a pint of water anyway, even for 5-gallon batches. You just need enough water so that the warm sugar syrup is thin enough to pour. Use the smallest saucepan you have. And use sugar by weight, not volume.

I skim because it's what I do with chicken stock. That doesn't mean it makes a difference with beer. It's just a cooking habit. For that matter, I'm not sure it matters with chicken stock. In both cases, I suspect I do it more as "something to do." At least hovering over the stove means fewer boil-overs.

All Grain Brewing / Re: My mash in and batch sparge process
« on: March 12, 2016, 10:22:18 AM »
It was very early and I had to get ready for work, so I watched the video with auto-captions and at 2x speed. Highly recommended. Denny stirs maniacally, waves his arms, vorlaufs like a maniac. My favorite auto-caption: "porous limestone and stereos same time helps reduce the chance of snowfall." If that ain't classic hippy, I don't know what is.

This was a fun and useful video (even at normal speed with regular audio).

Is that what I said?  ;)

Not at all! This particular gem began at around 1:40 (it's probably different every time? I don't know how autotranslate works in YouTube). You are actually saying, "Pouring and stirring at the same time really helps reduce the chance of dough balls."

Interestingly I only just now listened to the video with the sound on, but the narration isn't necessary because the action in this video is so illustrative and well-timed.

I don't stir nearly that much -- something I may revisit.

All Grain Brewing / Re: My mash in and batch sparge process
« on: March 11, 2016, 10:06:00 PM »
It was very early and I had to get ready for work, so I watched the video with auto-captions and at 2x speed. Highly recommended. Denny stirs maniacally, waves his arms, vorlaufs like a maniac. My favorite auto-caption: "porous limestone and stereos same time helps reduce the chance of snowfall." If that ain't classic hippy, I don't know what is.

This was a fun and useful video (even at normal speed with regular audio).

Equipment and Software / Re: Walmart Clearance: 2 gal Coleman Stacker
« on: March 07, 2016, 04:20:46 PM »

Anyone else undershoot their strike temp using these? I was targeting 158F today and ended up at 152F. I'm not sure if it's an issue with my calculator or whether it's the cooler.

Eric, I lost < 2 °F over 75 minutes.

I too did not lose heat with my 2-gal cooler but I also took precautions.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks for the info

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