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Messages - nateo

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All Grain Brewing / Re: PH question
« on: April 22, 2012, 09:56:07 AM »
Getting within 0.2 of your target pH is incredibly accurate for a spreadsheet. That's why I like Bru'n water so much. I always doublecheck with a meter.

Mash pH is one of the last mostly unexplored parameters. I know Martin has mentioned this before. For instance, a beer with a mash pH of 5.2 will taste different than the same beer at 5.5. The exact differences haven't really been explored on a homebrew scale.

Going Pro / Brewers have all kinds of beliefs
« on: April 22, 2012, 08:53:48 AM »
I really enjoy touring breweries and talking to different brewers. I'm always amazed at how much differing opinion there is about brewing.

The last brewery I went to had a German brewhouse, with a sweet mash agitator in the boil kettle (I assume for decoction mashing? I don't know why else your BK would need a mash agitator.) They didn't do any decoctions though, so I thought it was an odd choice. Maybe they got a good deal on it or something.

They also just used regular municipal water run through a whole-house filter. I asked about their water hardness, since most of the water I've seen in MO is hard as nails. They said their water was really hard, and they tried to brew a Koelsch and it turned out horrible.

I asked if they had tried any softening techniques, like boiling or lime treatment, and the brewer said he doesn't believe in adding any chemicals to his beer. He didn't believe in adding any brewing salts either.

Their beer was OK, not amazing, but above average. They just make the kinds of beer they can with their water, and don't worry trying to make other kinds.

Ingredients / Adding oats during the boil?
« on: April 22, 2012, 07:41:48 AM »
Interesting read over at Mike's blog:

Has anyone else tried this? I wonder if it'd work with flaked barley?

I love taxes. I love roads, and bridges, and police, and fire depts, and state parks, and all the thousands of other things that taxes pay for. I don't really feel like charities should be tax free. I don't think charging admission to drink homebrew at a public event should be legal, regardless of who profits from it.

I don't think it's fair to demonize the distributors. I'm not convinced it's actually any specific distributor that complained about this. Even if it was, distributors pay taxes, and have families to feed, and so on. I don't begrudge them for wanting to stay in business. Most brewers don't have time to drive around to deliver the beer they make, so either they can hire an employee to do that (expensive) or hire a distributor (slightly less expensive).

Until American decides alcohol shouldn't be a controlled substance, I don't see a way to get around these regulations in any fair and cogent way.

WE did one batch as individually primed and it sucked. I think in part we can blame the novice crew, but we always have had better luck bulk priming.

How much did you dilute the priming sugar? I'm figuring on like 320-ish grams for 5 gallons, IIRC. I usually use 3 cups of water, but I'm worried about it dispersing evenly. Maybe 6 cups?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Single-Malt beers
« on: April 20, 2012, 01:13:23 PM »
I've found the biggest problem with making my own crystal was hitting the right color. The endosperms get darker than the husks. Dang if it doesn't taste just like the crystal malt I buy though. Maybe someone with a better palate could tell a difference, but I can't.

Since it's going to take a lot of sugar to get to 5 volumes, would it be better to dose the individual bottles, rather than trying to mix the priming sugar in the bottling bucket? I bought a 20cc syringe for the dosage, but I was thinking about figuring out how to use it for bottle priming too.

Events / AHA Rally in Rolla, MO at Public House
« on: April 20, 2012, 12:09:50 PM »
Anyone on here going to this? It's tomorrow. I'm taking the afternoon off work to check it out.

The Pub / Re: Not Enough Money in the World for This.
« on: April 20, 2012, 10:16:30 AM »
Yeah, Dead Peasant insurance.

It's supply and demand. After the Black Death, the middle class blossomed. Too many peasants lowers the value of said peasants.

I think I'll try Warner's way, just for kicks. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I think my wheat malt is suitably old-fashioned for the mashing schedule he recommends. If nothing else, it'll convince me that it's not worth it, and I'll happily do single-infusions once this bag of malt is used up.

I think "slippery slope" arguments are usually pretty dumb, but it might be relevant here. How many pro brewers started homebrewing? How many got their name out there with homebrew before they went into business? How many homebrewers want to be pro brewers?

I think the system is abused by some people exploiting "homebrew" laws to market an intended product without paying their due tax and complying with health laws. If you let "homebrewers" serve their beer at commercial beer festivals, how is that still "homebrew?" If you charge admission to the event, you're profiting from unlicensed liquor. How is that different from a bar making their own booze to sell?

In my state, you can make jams and jellies to sell at farmers' markets without a state license or certified kitchen. Since Americans have such a messed up relationships with alcohol, I don't see anything similar happening with beer/wine.

The Pub / Re: Not Enough Money in the World for This.
« on: April 20, 2012, 09:29:01 AM »
Remember when it came out that Walmart takes out life insurance policies on their employees? I'd bet those climbers net their company a tidy profit when they fall off.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Single-Malt beers
« on: April 20, 2012, 08:39:29 AM »
If I want to stay with the fuller beer profiles like a scottish ale, what would anyone recommend on the type of grain to try first?  A british pale 2-row, MO, or something else.


If you haven't seen it already, google skotrat's traquair house recipe. If you can get MO, that's good. If you can get any kind of floor-malted MO, that's even better. I went to the brew store and just chewed on some base grains, and picked the one with the most flavor and aroma. I ended up with a sack of Golden Promise. It'll depend on what the brew store has in stock, and what they have that's fresh.

If it's hard to chew, then it won't mill well. "Friable" malt is easier to mill and work with and should be more efficient. If it's hard to chew and doesn't taste like much, or tastes like hay, or tastes like cardboard, it probably won't make great single-malt beer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Single-Malt beers
« on: April 20, 2012, 08:04:29 AM »
many beers made with a primary grain and only one other specialty grain which I find very curious.  Keeping the bill simple but producing very different beers.

That is the single best advice I can give for people who want to make their own recipes. Add ingredients with purpose, not "just because." You'd be amazed at how complex a beer can taste with only one or two kinds of malt. I think often too many competing flavors detract from the finished product.

The Pub / Re: Not Enough Money in the World for This.
« on: April 20, 2012, 07:59:39 AM »
yes but they didn't use the safety harnesses except when they were resting. or working it looks like, once they got to the top.

Yeah, they say at about 1:00 that they "free climb" without safety equipment because it's faster and easier. One good gust of wind though, and it's a long way down. I bet you'd have time to think about all of the steps in your life that lead you to that point like, five times before you hit the ground.

In any case, one thing is certain, once i got up that high, i would totally pee off that tower.

Where else would you pee? It's not like they have a bathroom up there.

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