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Messages - corkybstewart

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2 stand out but for very different reasons.
My wee heavy required a new process.  I boiled to gallons of first runnings down to less than a quart of goo.  It fermented from 1.098 to 1.036 and stopped, but after 2 months in the keg it is magnificent, no sweetness but incredibly malty.
The other was my Oktoberfest Hefewiezen.  I waited until 2 weeks before the party so that it would be fresh and then realized I had no yeast for it.  My kids and I drank 5 or 6 different brands of hefeweizen from the grocery store and poured the dregs into a starter.2 days later the starter was ready, I brewed the hefe and we drank 10 gallons of it at Oktoberfest.  Everybody there said it was their favorite of the 3 beers I brewed for the party.

All Grain Brewing / Re: No Pants Brewing
« on: December 28, 2009, 10:48:58 PM »
i usually plan upfront, but invariably, i change stuff at the zero hour.
I work all my recipes out on Promash before I brew, but once I start brewing there are always substitutions, mostly with hops.  That's why I keep the recipe I planned and a logbook with the recipe I actually brewed. 

Equipment and Software / Re: Mash Paddle
« on: December 28, 2009, 07:37:23 PM »
Is maple the best wood for a mash paddle?

All Things Food / Re: Coffee roasting
« on: December 25, 2009, 02:57:44 PM »
I had a Zach and Dani's roaster for the first 3 or 4 years I roasted, then "upgraded" to the IRoast 2.  I've used up 2 of them, they seem designed to last 13 months, now I'm back to a pair of popcorn poppers.  It's slow but works well and is cheap.
We like Central American and Indonesian beans most of the time, but I did find some Venezuelan beans that were phenomenal.  I think the company is Angel Falls Coffee  or something similar.

All Things Food / Re: Coffee Makers
« on: December 24, 2009, 10:53:11 PM »
We use melita cones and filters for one cup at a time.  We all have different strength requirements so it's easier to custom make each cup, plus 2 cups per day is one more than normal.  My wife puts 2 heaping tablespoons for each cup.  And I roast my own beans and use a burr grinder.

The Pub / Re: Happy Festivus! Air your grievances here!
« on: December 23, 2009, 02:55:58 PM »
1.  Why do I have to work for a living?  I'm sick and tired of working, I just want to drink and play.

2.  Why can't my kids get good jobs and support me like I've done for them for the past 25 years.

3.  Why does the door Nazi at Walmart always stop me and look through my shopping cart like I'm a thief?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Best Practices for Stepping Up a Starter
« on: December 22, 2009, 09:09:49 PM »
I make my starters days in advance and chill/decant/refill a couple of times depending on the OG of the beer I'm about to brew.  On brewday I take some of the runoff, boil it a few minutes, cool and add it to my flask(After decanting) and set it aside.  By the time I've boiled and cooled the wort the starter is going wild with lots of krausen and my lag times are just a couple of hours.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What kind of yeast do you use for a Wee Heavy
« on: December 22, 2009, 09:05:54 PM »
I used White Labs Edinburgh and ke[pt it around 60F for almost 3 weeks before it finally dropped to a reasonable FG.  It's delicious, clean and malty without any real sweetness.

All Things Food / Re: Peasant Food
« on: December 21, 2009, 01:42:19 PM »
My French mother in law made "potage" every day for the evening meal.  It's basically a pureed soup, mostly just veggies but sometimes she would boil a beef bone for flavor.
Here's my basic recipe for it.
3 leeks, cleaned  well and chopped
8 carrots
4 potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup each of lima beans, green beans and sweet peas
Put in large stock pot with enough water to cover the veggies by at least an inch.  Simmer at a slow boil 2 hours at least.  Using a stick blender puree in the stock pot, add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with a pat of butter in the bowl and sliced crusty bagettes.
You can also add noodles, but I like it without.

I scrubbed the mild and did a rye pale ale instead.

The Pub / Re: All eyes on europe
« on: December 18, 2009, 03:30:18 PM »
The EEU is an artificial construct that really never got off the ground.  England never gave up their currency, the poorer nations constantly fiight the well of nations and always will because they don't share common goals and capabilities.  Europe tried to forge a "one size fits all" economy and government and it's doomed.  The EEU has really stifled small business-if you think the US is over-regulated spend some time in Europe and see how they struggle.
My wife is French and we spend a month over there in her village every other summer.  The village cheese maker had to shut down because she made cheese in traditional methods, but the EEU requires all cheese to be made from pasteurized milk in gov't inspected stainless steel facilities.  My BIL the caterer is going to give it up after 40 years cooking because suddenly his kitchen doesn't meet gov't specs.  The French are pissed that somebody in England or Germany writes a regulation that clashes with centuries of their traditions, everybody's sick of carrying the Italians, and I think the EEU is doomed.
I must admit though that I love not having to change money every tiome we cross a border.

I'll brew a mild tomorrow to rack on the Nottingham yeast cake developed with my Happy Wife Pale Ale.  I don't usually rack a smaller beer onto a yeast cake, but I'm pressed for time and this will be my last chance to brew before Christmas.

Equipment and Software / Re: How do you chill your wort?
« on: December 15, 2009, 03:55:35 PM »
I've been using a CFC for the past 6 or 7 years, but this year I pulled out the old immersion chiller and run them in tandem.  The CFC sits in an ice bath in an old Gott cooler, and the wort is pumped through the CFC back into the kettle so it whirlpools around the immersion chiller.    The cooling water comes in the CFC and then through the IC.
I got 10 gallons from boiling to 60F in 10 minutes last weekend as opposed to 30 minutes to get to 75F with the CFC alone.



If I had the dedication to the craft of someone like Kai, I'd be in my garage right now preparing 6 one gallon batches, each of which varied from the others on a single parameters. In three weeks I'd be comparing the results, creating excel spreadsheets and performing regression analysis on the results.

But I'm me, so I'll just keep making beer and wondering why some is good and some is not.:)
I'm right there beside you.  I'll experiment with using different yeasts for the same batch of wort, but that's as scientific as I get.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
« on: December 12, 2009, 03:15:48 PM »
The general consensus has been to take a gallon of first runnings, reduce it to a quart and add it back to the boil.
I did a 10 gallon batch and turned 2 gallons of first runnings into a little less than a quart, it had the consistency of LME.

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