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Messages - kgs

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Ingredients / Re: Rye Malt
« on: July 27, 2010, 08:11:40 AM »
I have never really tasted or had that "spiciness" from rye in a beer.  Eating it as I am milling it I do get some spiciness (especially if the malt is fresh). However,  i have always had that great "mouthfeel" that rye gives in the finished beer.  I will add rye to different beers to help build a mouthfeel even when you want the beer to finish dry.  I think that is why it really works well in an IPA.
Sounds like you are probably under the threshold for % of your rye malt to get that spicy character.  That's fine because it sounds like you are getting what you want, but if you decide to go for the spiciness, you probably need to step up your rye malt percentage of your grist.  I think Denny's recipe calls for around 20% rye malt and it definitely has a nice crisp little spicy character to it, especially in the finish.

According to the version of Denny's recipe in Beersmith (which btw conflicts slightly with other versions out there--it lists flaked wheat, versus wheat malt), yes, it's about 18%. I did a version that due to various calamities ended up 15% rye malt, and that spicy flavor was still very much there.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Muntons Carb Tabs
« on: July 26, 2010, 04:30:08 PM »
I do the sugar in the bottling bucket, and haven't had a problem with uneven carbonation.

Carb tabs just seem like a rather expensive way of packaging the sugar to me, but I can see the merit in convenience.

I only had the uneven carbonation when I overlooked the gentle stir (and mid-bottling re-stir). Just one or two strokes but it appears to make a difference.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Maybe I could change my mind...
« on: July 24, 2010, 04:06:15 AM »
Denny you could do some "consulting" and work on a part-time basis.

My thought too.

"As for the cream stout, it has none of the problems I'm detecting with the other ales, and is actually quite enjoyable, but when i sip the Cream Ale and ESB, I can't help but wonder what I did wrong."

I'm fairly new to homebrewing too (18 mo), but when I had a far more experienced neighbor taste a beer of mine that had similar problems, he immediately said that for the intended style, underhopping was an issue. Until the batch after that I really hadn't been paying close attention to the alpha acids of my hops... I went strictly by weight and the hop schedule. After that batch, for some reason I no longer remember I began paying stricter attention to my alpha acids and adjusting the hops additions accordingly. I have since adjusted my water as well, but two pre-water-adjustment batches where I paid attention to my hops were far better than anything close to that style that I've brewed--more flavorful and aromatic. I also make sure hops go from the store to the freezer if I'm not using them right away, and the fridge if I'll use them in a day or two--they only go to room temp when I'm ready to brew.

No aspersions to the sources of your kits, which have a good reputation, but storage conditions and age can degrade hops, and an ESB especially would be flawed by hops that aren't hoppy enough. Just one more thought.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: NHC 2010 Speaker presentations
« on: July 23, 2010, 08:18:47 AM »
What an outstanding collection! I was going to post it to Twitter but couldn't remember the conference hashtag..?

A San Diego friend suggested organizing a bus to Lost Abbey.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Membership Levels?
« on: July 20, 2010, 05:23:19 PM »
I don't think you have to be an AHA Member to use this web-site......I am, but I don't think you have to be one.

You don't. The forum is open to everyone. But it serves to bring together the community and the AHA membership as well and that's a good thing.

-- Drew

Open is a good thing in general (source, data, beer recipes...). It might incentivize the AHA membership process if we could have a little badge or something identifying us as AHA members. Or not....whatever, the forum is a good thing.


I highly suggest picking up a copy of John Palmer's book "How To Brew" and reading it
before you delve into this great hobby.


This is the most best advice in the entire thread - way, way cheaper than 1000 bucks.  ;)

Just my own newbie perspective (brewing 18 months): Palmer's book is essential reading, but I find the Basic Brewing DVDs to be extremely helpful in understanding the actual brewing workflow. "Basic Brewing™ Introduction to Extract Home Brewing DVD" DVD is $17.95 online and money quite well spent, in my opinion, as is the all-grain DVD.

Since you're in the Bay Area, you could spend $150-$200 to try out your hobby this way:

* Go to one of the local homebrew stores and buy a basic kit, Palmer's book, and the DVD. Buy one of the store's recipe kits (they will mill the grain for you right there), or if you're at Brewcraft, ask Griz for a recipe and he'll write it out from memory. Read the book. Watch the DVD. Note: Griz' two-page sheet on how to brew is really clear.  
* Go to Safeway or Lucky's and get a big ol' container of Oxiclean.
* If you can, sit in on Griz' Monday night class at Brewcraft. It's half hooey but half really good advice (the best being to "Turn off your &$#!@ cell phone before you start doing this"), and besides, Griz is his own local institution.
* Brew a batch of beer. Follow instructions closely. Clean everything immediately. Put the fermenter in the coolest, darkest place where you live. Cool as in temp, not level of hipness.
* Bottle the beer. This is a drag, but if you don't like this, down the road you could start kegging. City Beer Store in SF lets homebrewers take their empties, and I bet other places do too, but if you really have $1000 buying a couple cases of clean new bottles that you only need to sanitize might be a nice treat. Now wait.
* When the beer is ready, no matter how bad it is, ask yourself, did you have fun? Do you want to do this again? No? As Griz says, life is short, and if brewing is an "anal-retentive neurotic nightmare" for you, don't do it any more. Put the kit on Craigslist at half-price and be done with it, and spend your hobby money on something that gives you pleasure. Yes? Try it again, maybe this time with a recipe from the boards. Repeat.

Where you and I live, grasshopper, the only reason to homebrew is because we like to homebrew. At our block party last Sunday I met a neighbor who has been homebrewing 12 years and we started talking process... our better halves edged away from us with a knowing look... soon we were breaking out our worst beers and analyzing them... it's the thrill of the chase, the exactitude of the process, the place it takes us. If that's not there for you, there are many wonderful breweries where we live who will be more than happy to keep you in great beer for the rest of your live-long days.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Membership Levels?
« on: July 19, 2010, 10:34:29 AM »

But I guess I'll be the first to see if I really get to the "Denny Level" status although I will truly never get there because I need to learn how to clear a bar singing "Mustang Sally".  :D

I actually did that 20 years ago at the officer's club at Osan Airbase, with a guy I am friends with to this day. *We* thought we were great, anyway...

(Now waiting for Denny to announce topic drift... I love being on a list I don't have to actually manage! ;) )

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Membership Levels?
« on: July 19, 2010, 08:21:13 AM »

This smiley emoticon always makes me think of a drunken smile/laugh.  Think I'm just a full member?  I don't know...
Some forums have "Master Brewer"'s like, really?  I'm not master brewer because of the amount of posts I have.

+1 On HBT at the beginning of last year there was an individual with over 2000 posts and only a member for less than two months.  That's something like 33 posts a day... He had a sticky already which he defended aggressively. I thought he was an ass. Up to that point by his own admission he only had two extract batches under his belt! But that's HBT's bizness...

Honestly, we shouldn't even have this sort of score-keeping. My opinion.

1. As a co-moderator of a very large (9000+) discussion list for 14 years, my observation is those people show up on every large list. They also typically resent and will challenge true expertise/leadership. Having dealt with these people for a long time, I know that in RL a number of them will probably have similar issues... I've known several to have restraining orders.

2. I at first assumed a "full member" was an *AHA* member and couldn't understand why I was "junior." I made that assumption because AHA is supporting this board (I'm guessing that for AHA, primarily through member dues) and therefore, a full member was contributing to the board's upkeep and that other levels referred to the depth of participation, with junior being a fellow traveler who hadn't written the check to AHA.

I'm ok with seeing how many posts people have as a rough indicator of their participation, but, referring back to #1 and to euge's post, correlating post frequency with value to the community is not reliable. Someone like Denny is obviously of great value, but as noted above, post frequency could simply refer to a wack jobby with way too much time on his or her hands. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Membership Levels?
« on: July 18, 2010, 09:47:26 AM »
Now *I'm* a full member... let a thousand flowers bloom, but I was fine without having ANY member :-)

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Tasty crack cans!!!
« on: July 18, 2010, 04:19:28 AM »
I've bought a few sixpacks of Brew Free and Die locally (it's brewed in this city) and though it is on the sweeter side of IPAs, when fresh its hop flavor is quite pronounced and it's a refreshing, non-caramelly beer. I keep trying to carve out a weekend night when we can get to their restaurant and have their beer on draft.

I can't bring myself to buy watermelon wheat...

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Muntons Carb Tabs
« on: July 17, 2010, 05:56:04 PM »
The one time I skipped the overabundance of caution, the carbonation turned out uneven... not horrendously but enough that some bottles were under-carbed, some over, etc.

Ingredients / Re: Chloramine removal and Hetch-Hetchy water
« on: July 13, 2010, 04:43:28 PM »
(Sorry about the whitespace--a cat was helping me type.) Found Campden tablets at the LHBS (at least they sell the stuff). Palmer says a full tablet per 5 gallons wouldn't hurt, but it was easy enough to chop up the tablet and powder the 1/4 tab with the flat blade of a large kitchen knife. I'm brewing a repeat so it will be interesting to see if there is a flavor difference.

Thanks all!

Ingredients / Re: Chloramine removal and Hetch-Hetchy water
« on: July 13, 2010, 09:57:41 AM »
Thanks, folks. I do own Palmer's book, btw--it's one of my sources. I've read Palmer so much the book falls flat when I open it.  I just wanted to triple-check, since the LHBS was so adamant on this point. (I guess as a librarian I should have provided a bibliography :-) ) Now off to find Campden tablets...

(removed excessive blank space - bonjour)

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