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Topics - theDarkSide

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Events / NHC Guide and Tips for a Newbie
« on: February 14, 2012, 07:25:11 AM »
I'm not talking about what speakers to see or what events to attend.  I am more concerned on the veteran's tips on surviving 3, possibly 4 or more days of drinking.

I know the old saying, "It's a marathon, not a sprint".  And believe me, my intention is not to get full out wasted...I can do that a lot cheaper at home  ;D  I fly in on Tuesday, hitting BN7 on Wednesday, then the conference events Thurs-Sat and fly home on Sunday.  I doubt I will ever leave the hotel/conference unless there is something close by.

What I would like to see are people's tips like drinking in moderation ( yeah right! ), drinking water between each beer, or what is you best cure for a hangover ( I think I heard a big, greasy breakfast does wonders for that), etc.  Any other tips would be appreciated.

Thanks and see you ( and Bigfoot ) in Seattle!!

Ingredients / Dry Hop in Keg with Centennial
« on: January 14, 2012, 04:27:15 PM »
I have an American Pale Ale in the keg ( about 4 weeks old ) that was bittered with Centennial, middle additions Cascade and Dry hopped with Cascade.  I would like a little more flavor and aroma in it and am thinking about dry hopping in a sack in the keg for 7 days.

I have some Centennial.  Would 2 oz of Centennial dry hop for about a week taste good, or should I go with something like cascade? 

Yeast and Fermentation / First Lager Starter
« on: January 09, 2012, 11:56:09 AM »
I have my first ever lager starter going at room temp in preparation for a Munich Helles next weekend.  The yeast is WLP830.  I want to crash it and step it up once more before next weekend.

Is there any special consideration when cold crashing a lager starter, since they like to ferment at colder temperatures?  Or is it not a problem since all the sugars should be gone from growing the yeast in the first place?

I don't want to screw this up since the yeast cake is going to be repitched into the next beer, a Maibock.


The Pub / Vermin Supreme
« on: December 21, 2011, 06:51:38 AM »
*** Mods please note that although political in nature, it is not really a political statement.  However, if it starts to develop that way, please feel free to lock or delete the thread ***

The long lasting tradition of New Hampshire's First in the Nation Primary status allows the candidates to interact one on one with the people.  It also allows coverage of fellows like this:

Some people are annoyed with him, but I think he's a riot  :D...a nice little change from the serious candidates.

Please enjoy this and refrain from making this a political, and therefore deleted post.

 ;D Yeah Right!!!  ;D  - Not in a million %#$@%%^ years.

Doing a big beer on Friday.  Kate the Great clone from the Portmsouth Brewery.  RIS with OG of 1.104.  The grain bill ( for 5 gallons ) is about first "real" test for my mash tun ( Coleman Xtreme 72qt - Blue of course ).  I have a nice big amount of yeast slurry I pulled off of a pale ale last night in the fridge.  In a few weeks, it will be aging in a keg with port soaked oak spirals.

Can't wait to see this one rockin' the top of the fermenter!!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  

Kegging and Bottling / Home Depot Chest Freezer Deal
« on: November 10, 2011, 09:33:14 AM »
I have this chest freezer as my kegerator with a wood collar and it works great.  For $168 and free shipping, it's a pretty good deal for a brand new CF.

I know you can get cheaper on Craiglist and such, but I'm always afraid of inheriting someone else's problems.

Equipment and Software / Bazzoka in Cooler Style Mash Tun
« on: October 26, 2011, 05:00:35 AM »
Does anyone use this:

in a cooler style mash tun?

If so, is the mess tight enough to filter out grain particles and will it maintain its shape with 12-20 lbs of grain on top of it?


Events / NHC 2012 Hotel
« on: October 25, 2011, 07:44:38 AM »
Ok...I'll be that guy.

Anyone has an idea, hint, rumor, clue, etc when the hotel room block for NHC 2012 will be released?  I know from the lastest eZymurgy Full Glass article, that NHC registration is 2/1/12, but I thought hotels were released sooner.

I know it seems a long way off, but plans and budgets need to be made soon if I can even consider attending ( hopefully my 1st NHC).

Thanks.  ( and please no RWDWHAHB responses  ;) )

Yeast and Fermentation / THICK Yeast Slurry
« on: August 30, 2011, 08:41:24 AM »
I didn't want to threadjack gmac's post so I'll start my own.

I just racked a pale ale to secondary to dry hop ( I want to reuse the slurry...I usually don't do secondary ).  When I went to pour the slurry into my erhlenmeyer, I didn't move ( or was moving very slow ).  It is the Wyeast 1968 strain so I expected it to be a little chunky.  I was able to get most of it into the flask, but it is thick. ( Think of the scene from Robocop where they show you what he eats, except thicker )

I was thinking of boiling some water, cooling it, and then adding it to the flask to loosen it up a bit.  I plan on reusing it this weekend for a pumpkin ale.  Does this sound like it's a good idea?  Kind of like a yeast rinse?

Equipment and Software / PVC Board Collar
« on: July 19, 2011, 11:53:15 AM »
I built a collar for my kegerator last year and not having a clue how to build something, I realized it is about 2 inches too short to allow a keg on the hump. 

Instead of building a whole new collar, I was thinking of raising the existing one up with some 2" edging boards and then putting this PVC board facing on it.  I saw the PVC board stuff at Lowes.  I like the fact that it seems like it is resistant already to moisture ( i.e. no additional staining ), and I can get 1" x 10" boards, that will cover the patch job and hang down below the side of the freezer to screw in a drip tray or what not.

Has anyone used this stuff and it there anything that I'm missing?


The Pub / Spent Grain Energy
« on: July 05, 2011, 12:21:17 PM »
You gotta love ingeniuty.

Who knew people from MIT were so smart?  ;)

( Drew's response in 3, 2, 1 ...)

Now if they could only find a way to harness the gases the finished product produces  :D

The Pub / Universal Studios Orlando - Beer Hell!!!
« on: May 31, 2011, 08:24:39 AM »
I just got back from Universal Studios Orlando and the first thing I did was get a beer from the kegerator.

Talk about a craft beer lovers hell!  The best I could find was a Newcastle on draft at the Hard Rock Cafe.  Margarittaville had Landshark Lager which wasn't too bad but I'm not running out to the store to get it.

We didn't have a car and stayed at one of the onsite hotels.  I got a little excited when I say a street cart in one of the parks that had "Beer" on the awning only to find out that it was Bud or Bud lite.  I did have a Hogsmeade Ale at the Harry Potter park...again not the best but better than nothing.

Hopefully these parks will realize that after a full day in the heat with screaming kids and rude people, that we craft beer lovers would like some options.

Fun time with the family though.  Glad we went.

Ingredients / Do hops like warm soil?
« on: April 30, 2011, 10:30:55 AM »
I have 2nd year hops up and I was going to put 1mm plastic around them ( the stuff I use in my pumpkin garden to prevent weeds and limit evaporation in the hot summer time.  I'd probably put a soaker hose under the plastic for watering, and the actual hop crowns would not be covered, maybe leaving 2" clearance around.

This plastic keeps the soil nice and warm, which pumpkins love, but do the hops do well in this environment?
I swore this year I will not spend all my free time weeding the gardens.


The Pub / Happy Birthday Drew
« on: April 20, 2011, 11:18:37 AM »

Other Fermentables / Better Bottles and Mead
« on: April 01, 2011, 06:22:57 AM »
A few years ago I made the mistake of buying 5 gallon Better Bottles.  It didn't take long to realize they were not adequate to use for a batch of beer because I'd end up with only 4 gallons finished ( unacceptable! ).  I now have 2 6 gallon BB and rarely do secondary, so I'm looking for a use for these 5g BB. 

I want to try my hand at making mead.  I figure I can put it in these BB's and forget about them for a few months.  Several postings on the internet say that long term aging in BB is fine and some say not.  I'm hoping to get 2 batches together and let them be for a few months.  Gordon's Cinnamon Vanilla Metheglin is catching my eye.

Will leaving mead in a primary for several months work, or will I need to transfer to a secondary like I've seen several people do with their recipes? 

Anyone else use Better Bottles for mead?

Gordon - how long do you primary your Cinnamon Vanilla Metheglin ( I realize it will be different for everyone, but looking for a ball park )?



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