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Topics - theDarkSide

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Commercial Beer Reviews / Alchemist Closes Retail Shop
« on: November 07, 2013, 08:26:21 AM »

This story is starting to spread like wildfire across the national news outlets.  It's funny to see some of the comments and sad to see some of the a-holes posting comments regarding this decision.  Not only the people commenting about how the Alchemist doesn't care for their customers, but the others who say it's the out-of-staters to blame.  Without the "flatlanders", the VT economy would be in the dumps (I live in NH but lived the first 25 years of my life in VT and still have tons of family there).

Heady Topper is a fantastic beer.  Hopefully they will get a new retail spot up and running soon so I can go buy my case.  And with all the case that were sold at the brewery going to the retail outlets, maybe it will stay in the store longer than an hour.  I just hope the retailers don't jack up the price too much.

Other Fermentables / The Everything Hard Cider Book
« on: September 24, 2013, 11:21:45 AM »
Maybe Drew is forbidden for promoting his book since he is a member of the Governing Committee, but I'm surprised this hasn't been posted here.  This little beauty is on a plane/truck/bicycle/whatever on its way to me (delivery tomorrow).

Adding to the list of other books (Hops, Yeast, soon to be Water ) that I still need to finish reading.

Of course, if I don't win Cider Maker of the Year, I will be asking for a refund  ;D

The Pub / Craft Beer Crowdfunding
« on: August 28, 2013, 07:24:12 AM »
Any aspiring brewers out there looking for funding for their brewery?

(I'm a little biased...I also attended UVM...but back when there was only crappy beer  :-[)

The Pub / Beer Labels in Motion
« on: August 02, 2013, 10:37:23 AM »
I saw this on this morning...pretty cool stuff

A couple examples

Here's the article from

Kegging and Bottling / High Carbonation Bottling
« on: July 15, 2013, 12:06:14 PM »
Do you use standard 12 oz. bottles for high carb beers, like a Berliner Weisse, especially for competition?

I would like to bottle condition a BW, but I'm not sure how the bottles will handle the higher volumes of CO2.  I know the general consensus is nothing above 3 volumes in standard bottles.  So does that mean everyone sends higher CO2 beers in special bottles?

The Pub / Building Collapse in Philly
« on: June 05, 2013, 09:53:31 AM »

Kegging and Bottling / SS Bottles
« on: May 22, 2013, 06:35:35 AM »
I know the stainless steel growlers are the big thing right now, but I think this may be pushing it a bit:

$50 a six pack plus shipping...just make sure you don't recycle them.

This featured article popped up on CNN Money's website this morning regarding new businesses opened in 2013.  The first business is Amarillo Brewing Supply.  I love when the hobby gets this national exposure.  Anyone close to Amarillo?

Kegging and Bottling / Handle on 20 LB CO2
« on: May 10, 2013, 07:19:34 AM »
Ok...dumb Friday question.

I'm looking to get a bigger co2 tank and I'm thinking of the 20 lb (mostly because I can get it filled locally for $15).  These bigger tanks have a handle on them, and every promotional shot online makes it look like the regulator will have trouble connecting because the handle is in the way.

Anyone that has one of these tanks, do the handles spin so you can connect most regulators to it?

I told you...dumb question but my mind is already in the weekend  ;D

Yeast and Fermentation / Starter: Step Up or Two Separate
« on: May 09, 2013, 12:24:51 PM »
In about 10 days, I am going to brew a doppelbock with an OG of  about 1.085.   I just purchased 2 packets of Wyeast 2124 that I was going to make a starter with.  I have a 2L flask and a stir plate that can handle that volume (i.e. it will not run a 5L flask) and I don't have time to brew another smaller beer and repitch the yeast.

I was on and see there is a new setting that Kai had developed.  After inputting required info, it looks like I would need to step up the starter a couple times (3 2L starters to be exact, although it's a little too close to the amount...I always like a little cushion) to get to the amount of yeast I need. Funny thing is with Kai's formula, if I only use 1 pack of yeast, the end result is almost the same, about 661B cells.

Now I have time to do this, but I noticed the first starter grows the cell count to about 352B cells.  Would it be possible to get a second 2L flask and do 2 separate yeast starters and combine them on brew day for a total of 700B cells instead of trying to grow up a starter with a couple other steps? 

It would definitely save time, and give me a little more insurance that there is enough yeast available.


The Pub / Sam Adams Cans
« on: May 03, 2013, 10:18:30 AM »
As we all most likely know, Sam Adams is not available in cans, that's right cans!  Sam Adams posted this on Facebook (I apologize to those who don't use it) and some of the comments are out there.  How do we educate these people or is it a lost cause?

Granted we are a little more versed on the craft beer scene, but people equating them to Budweiser because it's in a can is ridiculous. ::)  I wonder how many of these people drink Heady Topper (not available in bottles, but in cans )

The Pub / Baseball 2013
« on: April 01, 2013, 10:48:03 AM »
Red Sox beating the Yankees 4-0 after 2 innings!!!

World Series, here we come!  ;)

Events / Big Brew Day 2013 - Recipes
« on: March 14, 2013, 08:52:33 AM »
Does anyone know when they will announce the recipes for the Big Brew Day on May 4, 2013?

I only ask because we talked about it last night at our homebrew club meeting (Seacoast Homebrewers - Portsmouth, NH ) and are planning to have quite a few brewers attend.

Kegging and Bottling / Bottle Fill Line
« on: February 28, 2013, 07:37:26 AM »
So here's one that bugs me.  In several competitions, most scoresheets have had the low fill or high fill line checked.  I know you're not supposed to get points off for that, but is this picture ( taken from the internet ) a good indication of a proper fill.

I use a beergun and it is said that if you fill it to the top, the displacement of the gun will result in a proper fill when removed, but I'm not too sure of that so I'll hit it with a little extra.


Other Fermentables / Cider Carbonation
« on: February 26, 2013, 06:16:34 AM »
Is a cider considered still, even if there are a few bubbles of carbonation?

I want to enter my first cider this afternoon for NHC.  I've kegged my cider, holding at 40F, at 12 psi.  Out of the keg, there are some bubbles that stick to the side of the glass and very few rising up through the cider.  A gentle swirl of the cider doesn't seem to produce any significant co2 release, just the few bubbles.  So few that if I took a picture, I count probably count how many bubbles were in suspension very easily.

I'm thinking you think that is accurate?

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