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Messages - corkybstewart

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beginner's Post, Seeking Vertan's Advice
« on: November 19, 2010, 11:24:33 AM »
I've got glass, plastic and stainless steel fermenters and I challenge anyone to figure out which beer was fermented in each type. As long as you use acceptable equipement brewing is all about the brewer and his/her attention to detail. 
Plastic is great for short term fermentation, up to 5 or 6 weeks, and that's longer than 90% of the batches you brew will be in the fermenter.
Buckets are easy to clean, easy to store and if you drop one it will not shatter and cut your foot off.

I'm on call but I hope to brew 2 batches.  Tomorrow a Gumballhead type beer with lots of wheat and Amarillo, Sunday something dark to rack onto a oatmeal stout yeast cake.  Hopefully work won't interfere with life.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Smoked beer help please?
« on: November 18, 2010, 06:44:40 PM »
So a question for the home malt smokers.  I have a small bag of Cherry shavings.  Should I smoke malt with that?

I also plan to use the small bag of Crabapple shavings to smoke some malt, just becasue.

Tom - thanks for the clarification on the bandaid coming from 4-ethyl phenol.
Again I've just done one beer with home-smoked wood but it did turn out far better than I thought it would.  I used apple wood.  I have a Brinkman smoker grill with the firebox on the end.  I built a small fire of just apple chunks and kept it going for about 1.5 hours.  The heat never got more than about 10 degrees above ambient.  I've also got pruned branches from peach, apricot and pecan trees, I may try the peach/apricot next time.

My work schedule years ago kept me from racking to secondary a lot of times-I'd brew, be gone for 2-3 weeks and come back and just bottle it.  I realized after a while it didn't make any difference in my beer so being lazy I quit using glass secondaries.  I've left beer in primary a month, rarely longer than that and never tasted any meat or off flavors.  Once and Imperial stout that tasted like kerosene when it got to FG tasted perfect after a couple more weeks in primary. 
Once I rack my beers to kegs the kegs usually sit a month or more until I need them so that's my secondary. 
If you've brewed 93 batches with secondary and never had an oxidized beer why even consider changing?  There are as many "right" ways to brew as there are homebrewers, that's the beauty of this hobby.

All Things Food / Re: What's For Dinner?
« on: November 17, 2010, 03:01:15 PM »
Monday was smother beef/bean burritos, last night grilled chicken with stir fried squash medley, tonight I have no idea.  My problem is I never know how many people will be around for dinner so I can't really plan meals in advance.

All Things Food / Re: Coffee roasting
« on: November 17, 2010, 02:59:08 PM »
tschmidlin, you built a coffee maker for starbucks? Surely there's some more to tell there? :-)
  Oh, and of course everyone in R&D was conscripted onto various tasting panels (coffee, ice cream, frappucino, sandwiches, etc), which was how I ended up on the Redhook Double Black Stout reformulation panel.

It was fun . . . until it wasn't.  :-\ 

Well, I guess there was a little more to tell. :)
I love the ice cream but I won't drink their over-roasted overpriced coffee.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Smoked beer help please?
« on: November 17, 2010, 10:29:26 AM »
I recently use 1 lb. of the Briess cherrywood smoked malt in a 1.058 OG Gotlandsdricke.  No off flavors that I could detect.  Smoke flavor was quite subtle; you could taste it on one sip, but not the next.  Well balanced with the small amounts of juniper berries & crystal rye I used.  Turned out to be one of the best beers I've brewed.
I had a beer last night made with 1 lb of the cherrywood smoked malt, and found it to be overly phenolic and bandaidy.  It got a bit better as you drank it, but it wasn't the smooth smoke I get from the beechwood smoked beers, or even the alder wood ones.

I am not sure about the phenols in the malt, but smoked beers go phenolic after a long period of time, >6 months. 
That's interesting to hear, because it has not been my experience.  I regularly age beers for >>6 months, and the 100% smoked dopplebock I made that got BOS was over a year old before it was even kegged.  And I age Alaskan Smoked Porter and it's delicious, not off in a phenolic way at all.  bouef
I was thinking the same thing.  My rauchbier lagered for over 6 months in the kegs and there was no hint of phenols.

Equipment and Software / Re: Refractometers
« on: November 17, 2010, 08:51:14 AM »
I just stick my brewing spoon into the boiling wort and let it drip onto the refractometer.  Why buy more stuff?

The Pub / Re: Monks in New Mexico Build Brewery
« on: November 17, 2010, 08:04:50 AM »
Here's another article about the New Mexico native hops
Excellent article, thanks for posting that.  Now I have to find me some native hops.  My experience is that Cascade grows best down here, Nuggets do OK and pretty much everything else I've tried has failed.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Smoked beer help please?
« on: November 16, 2010, 10:12:13 PM »
I'm a very seasoned veteran of rauchbier brewing.  I've brewed it once and I used 25% Weyermann malt and 25% home-smoked malt with apple wood.  Teh rest of the grain bill was Pils with maybe 5% carapils.  Your hops look good, I think I used only a bittering addition of Hallertau.  I brewed mine as a lager back in January and tapped the first keg in July.
Home smoking is easy if you have the equipment and patience.  It took me 2 hours to poke about 1000 holes in an aluminum roasting pan, and then I had to maintain a very smoky fire with almost no heat.
But the results were far better than I expected.  At our Oktoberfest it was the first keg finished, and we have very few friends that are not BMC drinkers but they loved the "burnt beer",.It was something none of them had ever experienced, not even my beer geek friends since the only smoked beer available here is Stone Smoked Porter

I've gotten the impression from this thread that a lot of us have tried or been "forced" to brew more than usual, and not many of us enjoyed it.  It makes me wonder if I would enjoy professionally brewing as much as I like to daydream about.

Ingredients / Re: Gambrinus Pils or Cargill IdaPils?
« on: November 16, 2010, 09:40:16 PM »
Back in the good old days(2 years ago) I was able to buy all my malt from a brewpub nearby and I was paying about $20 for a bag of IdaPils.  It was great for all my Belgian beers, and the few lagers I brewed.  Now the new brewer can't be bothered with homebrewers, we're just an irritant to him.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: And the "Learning" continues....
« on: November 16, 2010, 04:19:10 PM »
I have left the MASH vessel valve open so many times that I am now OCD about it.

I've never done that, but I have left the kettle valve open way too often. >:(

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New to brewing, have a question
« on: November 14, 2010, 09:18:10 PM »
You made beer, it'll be good.  Your next batch will be much better, and then you'll be hooked.  But do cool it down as soon as you can, that'll really help it turn out great.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New to brewing, have a question
« on: November 14, 2010, 05:44:37 PM »
That's a lot higher than you should itch yeast.  The problem with these yeast packs is that ideal temperature for yeast growth and reproduction is higher than the ideal temp for making beer.  High temps cause the yeast to make unwanted chemicals like esters and fusels.  These chemicals don't bother the yeast but they give off flavors to beer.  Now I go to great lengths to get my wort to under 60F before I pitch the yeast, but honestly when I started brewing room temp(72F) was normal.  I made beer, but the single thing I've done over the past 18 years is to get control of my pitching and fermentation temperatures.  I wish I had known about it when I started.

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