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Messages - kgs

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676
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Adding Hops Before Boil Start/Hot Break
« on: November 11, 2010, 08:56:54 PM »
Other than FWH, I always start my hop additions after the hot break.  The idea is that the break will coat the hops and reduce utilization.  I don't know if there's scientific basis in that, but it makes sense and isn't hard to do.

I do it because it makes timing the brewing workflow easier--hot break, start timer, add hops. Anything else would be higher math, and I was an English major :-)

677
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Perking up a pumpkin brew
« on: November 10, 2010, 05:26:35 PM »
In addition to what everybody else has already suggested, I've found that Vietnamese ground cinnamon and some freshly ground nutmeg will go a long long ways in tweeking that flavor you might be looking for.  I suggest staying away from any ground cinnamon found in your common grocery store...pay a few extra cents per bottle and get the highly aromatic and powerful stuff found at a specialty store. 

Out of curiosity, did you use can or whole pumpkin?  I've found that only a rare few (and congrats to those of you who are those rare few) can get a strong pumpkin taste from whole pumpkin. 

It's Vietnamese cinnamon--a recent gift from a friend--really nice. I was thinking about grating some fresh nutmeg since what I used was probably a year old. My allspice is very fresh.

I used organic pie pumpkins bought that morning at the farmers' market. I quartered them, microwaved them, scooped out the flesh, then put the flesh in the kettle, not the mash, and I also simmered the skins to make a gallon or so of "pumpkin tea" to add to the sparge water. The pumpkin flavor is elusive but there, but the ale definitely has that nice mouthfeel I associate with pumpkin beer. (I may be the only one who detects this, but I pick it up in every pumpkin ale I've tried.) I'm assuming my SG was a little higher than expected because of the natural sugar and carbs in the pumpkin.

I agree that canned pumpkin can taste more pumpkin-y...some people take mashed pumpkin and cook it down again to get a more condensed flavor. If I were to do that, I'd put it in a baking pan and bake it at 250 degrees for a while, stirring now and then (sorta like making baked apple-butter, for anyone who's done that--my grandmother made apple butter that way). I cooked and froze more pumpkin this past weekend, so who knows, I might do that... perhaps a Thanksgiving morning brew, since I'm not cooking this year. Or I could use canned pumpkin... only my brew friends would know. :-p

678
The Pub / Re: Wife and Homebrew?
« on: November 08, 2010, 09:40:34 PM »
My wife also asks where al lthe femal homebrewers are.

there is this
http://queenofbeer.hazeclub.org/

In the 18th century, nearly 80% of all licensed brewers were women. Ask your wife to come on board!

I had wanted to enter a brew in Queen of Beer, but the beer timed for that session had a lot of challenges (it was the first brew in my new kettle and outdoors).

679
All Grain Brewing / Re: Your FIRST all grain?
« on: November 08, 2010, 09:33:31 PM »
I think it was a dry stout. I did a series of partial-mash small batches where I bumped up the grain ratio batch to batch to rely more heavily on the conversion. I think more than anything all that math finally got to me!


680
The Pub / Re: Wife and Homebrew?
« on: November 08, 2010, 02:07:47 PM »

Reading through the thread makes me wonder... where are the female brewers?

I was actually thinking about doing a post to ask that question... I am sure there are a few others on the Forum. I know several women homebrewers, and see even more on Twitter, but I don't think they belong to the AHA.

681
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Perking up a pumpkin brew
« on: November 08, 2010, 09:36:17 AM »
Meanwhile, doctoring the brew day by day seems to be working. It's still a little under-spiced. I adjusted my potion to emphasize the nutmeg and allspice over the cinnamon, which seemed to predominate, and tomorrow I'll add another dose of spicing, then leave it be until next weekend, when I bottle.

Doctoring day by day can result in overspicing.  It often takes a few days for the spice components to fully dissolve or develop.  I usually wait about a week between spice additions. 

I can definitely wait... thanks.

682
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Perking up a pumpkin brew
« on: November 07, 2010, 08:41:07 PM »
I loved Belgium back in the 1980s, when Uncle Sam sent me to the western border of Germany for a free 2-year trip. I drank the beer but didn't pay attention.

Meanwhile, doctoring the brew day by day seems to be working. It's still a little under-spiced. I adjusted my potion to emphasize the nutmeg and allspice over the cinnamon, which seemed to predominate, and tomorrow I'll add another dose of spicing, then leave it be until next weekend, when I bottle.

Thanks for all the help!

683
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Watch out for short-cuts!
« on: November 07, 2010, 07:41:56 PM »
I brew alone. But appropriately garbed (just like Mrs. Cleaver, in a dress, pearls, and high heels, with my hair perfectly coiffed, and a festive ruffled apron to keep my dress nice).

684
Zymurgy / Re: Question about Belgian Barleywine in Nov/Dec 2010 Issue
« on: November 07, 2010, 09:35:49 AM »
I like to age my beers, so you could make it now if you wanted.

Hope you like it.  My issue hasn't arrived yet, so I don't know how the final article looks.

Thanks. The article looks great. It has a really good balance of narrative/recipes.

685
Zymurgy / Question about Belgian Barleywine in Nov/Dec 2010 Issue
« on: November 07, 2010, 08:33:42 AM »
What's the minimum conditioning/aging for this beer to be decently drinkable (page 22)? I would think we'd be talking about two or three months. I'm going to make sure I have barleywine early enough on my 2011 brewing calendar to be serving it by early November.

686
Zymurgy / Re: 2011 Zymurgy topics
« on: November 07, 2010, 08:13:21 AM »
Definitely a cooking/pairing section, especially with beer recipes (brew this beer, pair it with these suggested menus). Dungeness crab season is coming soon here and I'm realizing I wish my last brew had been a stout or a dubbel.

Time-saving tricks to keep brewing despite work/family life. Mashing ahead, software/tools/techniques that enable brewing multitasking, brew days with kids and family, etc.

Experiments proving/disproving homebrewing myths and WOMs. I like the Basic Brewing/BYO collaborations. They aren't that rigorous but they are better than folklore.

Brewing abroad. Homebrewers who are stationed overseas, expats, etc. and how they cope with their brewing challenges.

I'm still a fan of someone doing an article on "easing the physical process." Reading between the lines in many Forum posts, I see people taking steps to do this for themselves (through smaller-batch brewing, pumps, transfer systems, and brew systems/methods that avoid lifting/bending), yet a lot of get-into-brewing guidance assumes that anyone can (and wants to) manipulate and move around a 10-gallon kettle filled with up to 7 gallons of liquid and then transfer it into a large glass vessel which then needs to be carried to a location, etc.  It would be interesting to find homebrewers who are physically challenged (anywhere from having bad backs to using wheelchairs--or like me, just short, old, and female) and interview them about their methods.

Drill-your-own kettle... a recurring theme on the Forum. :-)

687
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Perking up a pumpkin brew
« on: November 07, 2010, 07:48:31 AM »
When you say "unhoppy", do you mean not enough hop aroma/flavor or not enough bitterness?  Dry hopping won't help the latter.


I meant not quite enough hop aroma and flavor. Thanks for your advice... I made a spice "tea" with vodka and ground spices and will delicately tweak the ale every day until it has the spice depth I'm looking for.

By the way, I enjoyed the photo of you in the latest Zymurgy (33:6, Nov/Dec 2010)--Scaldis is my favorite beer of all time and I love the idea of actually getting to drink it in Belgium!

688
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Perking up a pumpkin brew
« on: November 06, 2010, 11:19:27 AM »
I had to "spice up" my pumpkin beers the last two years.

What I've done is soak the spices in vodka and add it a bit at a time until the flavor is where I want it.


Thanks; I will make a vodka potion. I've seen that referenced. I imagine the leftovers make a pretty interesting martini :)

689
General Homebrew Discussion / Perking up a pumpkin brew
« on: November 06, 2010, 10:42:43 AM »
So I made a small-batch all-grain pumpkin brew a couple of weeks ago and at this tasting it's meh. The mouthfeel is nice, the color good, and it's very clear... but very bland. I used Brewing Classic Styles' recipe and I don't fault it; I think two things may be at work here:

* Under-spicing... I tipped in just a tiny bit more spice last night and will do this successively until I get a hint of spice (better under than over). My spices are fresh enough and my cinnamon is really excellent, so this surprised me, especially since I am sensitive to over-spicy beers.

* Possibly under-hopping? This is where my question really comes in. I know this is a low-hop beer, but it just tastes really, really unhoppy. I used East Kent Goldings and went by AAUs (which are one of those things that we go on by faith anyway).  I'm wondering, would it make sense to dry-hop a little more in the beer or would that be all wrong? I have EKG as well as some other miscellaneous hops sitting in the freezer (Columbus, Chinook, etc.) though I suspect those would be misplaced in this beer... but suggestions welcome.

I guess I also expected this beer to be a little sweeter. It went from 1.070 to 1.020, btw, and everything about its fermentation looked normal. Its mash numbers were spot-on too (and I calibrated my thermometer that day as well).

690
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing This Weekend - 10/1
« on: November 05, 2010, 03:55:20 PM »
Brewing a Christmas beer right out of Radical Brewing.
I was going to make a small batch of the Oatmeal Cookie (Brown) Ale right out of Radical Brewing for a Christmas beer.

Did you? and if so how is it turning out?

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