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Messages - rjharper

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Equipment and Software / Re: Barrels
« on: March 02, 2015, 12:22:52 AM »
I also had to ask myself if I could really tell the difference between oak chips and barrel aging. My palate is not keen enough to spend the hassle and expense. Besides, I have about 15 pounds of medium toast French chips left from when I was fermenting 1500 pounds of grapes a year.

There is a difference. The oak chips add oak flavor while aging in a barrel gives almost a sense of sticking your nose in a barrel. Smell your chips, then smell the inside of a barrel and see if you don't think there is a huge difference.

Agreed, but I get round that by soaking the oak in liquor. At any given time, I've proabably got jars of 2oz of oak cubes each, filled with bourbon, spiced rum or cherry brandy etc. I'll just dump the entire contents into the keg when I want that particular flavor.

Equipment and Software / Re: Speidel staining
« on: February 27, 2015, 04:42:22 PM »
I've never had an issue with staining or smells on plastic that a good soak (and I only mean an hour or two) with PBW wont shift.

You stop listening halfway through many brewery tours and just read signs, record boards, and box labels.
Or you are muttering to yourself every time something is wrong and your wife gives you the "don't be that guy nudge".

My better half rolls her eyes and squeezes my arm every time she sees me starting to twitch on tours...

Homebrew Competitions / Re: How best to describe 22C?
« on: February 26, 2015, 09:37:13 AM »

Sometimes it's better to be vague, but if you clearly have a excellent base style, then it is better to be more specific.

Agreed. Without having tasted your beer, it sounds like you have a great description.

What really is unneeded in a special category are things like "50% 2-row, 12% Munich, 4% Chocolate, 6% C60, 20% Pils, and 8% I just wanna confuse you, English hops, US-05 yeast." or... "In my opinion, all Christmas beers are too heavily spiced. This is a LIGHTLY spiced Christmas ale with allspice, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, mace, white peppercorns, ginger, juniper berries, and Sichuan peppercorns."

Hahaha... Sometimes the descriptions crack me up. :)
Ah, I get it. You left out the Chipotle. That's what makes it light spiced.

I've never considered dry-burrito-ing before...  :o

Thanks everyone for confirming my gut feeling. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Homebrew Competitions / How best to describe 22C?
« on: February 25, 2015, 07:52:32 PM »
Beer judges,

I have a 22C entry for a competition coming up, so I have to describe it. Reading the style guidelines, I need only identify the base beer category? Similarly, I should only describe the wood variety if its noticeable? I'm torn between how I would typically describe it to friends (lots of detail) versus judging requirements.  If I say Porter instead of Baltic Porter, does that give me more leeway on style or mark me down if its clearly a Baltic and I havent called it so. Similarly, do I say Spiced Rum Oak or Wood?

Per 2008 BJCP 22C

So do I go with:
- Porter
- Porter on Oak
- Porter on Spiced Rum infused Oak
- Baltic Porter
- Baltic Porter on Oak
- Baltic Porter on Spiced Rum infused Oak

I assume if its clearly a Baltic Porter, and there's noticeable oak, then I need to describe it as such or risk getting marked down? In my last competition I used the last option, but I'm wondering if I should be a little more vague? Scoresheets aren't back yet so I can't read the comments, but it took a 43 with the full description, so I'm leaning towards that route again.

Thanks in advance!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Extreme Weather Brewing
« on: February 21, 2015, 09:35:59 AM »
Well it took three kettles of boiling water to defrost the rig, and about 10 minutes of running the inline filter under the hot tap, but I'm finally up and running. Some thing frustrating about spending a mortgage payment or two building a hard plumbed, stainless, single tier HERMS setup, that's all but useless in this weather; meanwhile the frugal Dennybrew blue cooler approach is up and running in the  kitchen immediately.  :-\

On the plus side, by the time I'm mashed in at this rate, the hot scotchies will be flowing after noon, so I won't feel like such a lush.  :D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Extreme Weather Brewing
« on: February 20, 2015, 12:19:16 PM »
Crazy to think that 30 is 50 degrees warmer than this morning. 

Yeah, it is crazy. We're getting ~ 5-7" tomorrow. Over it !

And I'll still be brewing!!!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hulk Smash
« on: February 20, 2015, 11:42:50 AM »
I normally use WhiteLabs but I wanted the Roselare blend. I'll know to be more gentle next time!

General Homebrew Discussion / Hulk Smash
« on: February 20, 2015, 10:50:48 AM »
Guess I don't know my own strength. Hit the WY Smackpack too hard and now there's Roselare sprayed everywhere. Dangit!  :o >:(

The Pub / Re: Honolulu
« on: February 18, 2015, 07:51:22 PM »
There's a Yard House in Waikiki with the usual wide selection, and plenty of good catch of the day. Look for the Udon noodle joint on Prince Kuhio (sp?) and don't let the line out the door scare you away.

Equipment and Software / Re: Barrels
« on: February 16, 2015, 07:56:55 PM »
I'm sure a barrel could be a lot of fun, but they take a little work, and they are spendy.  Personally I'm much happier using cubes soaked in whatever liquor I want. Waaaaaaaaay cheaper and easier :)

Equipment and Software / Re: stupid refractometer question
« on: February 12, 2015, 03:25:13 PM »
As others have noted, refractometers are temperature sensitive. But wait you cry, my refractometer has ATC (auto temp correction). Well, yes and no. ATC works because the thermal mass of the big block of aluminum and quartz glass at the end of the refractometer, which has been sitting at room temperature, is significantly greater than the single drop of wort you are expected to add to it.

- If you pour a spoonful of boiling wort over the end, it will be too hot and read incorrectly.
- If you leave the refractometer in a hot humid brewery, it will be too hot and read incorrectly.
- If you keep it in your pocket, it will be too hot and read incorrectly.
- If you sit it on your brewstand 6" from the burner, it will be too hot and read incorrectly.
- Conversely, if your brewery or garage is icy cold, it will be too low and read incorrectly.

Bottom line, room temperature refractometer + 1 drop of wort as instructed and no air bubbles in the film = correct reading.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHCompetition Registration is Open
« on: February 11, 2015, 08:36:44 AM »
4 to St Paul

Wayne Wambles, the head brewer, says, "We are not selling to AB. If you read this, please spread the word.
I am humbled by the fact that many people are concerned and have sent me personal messages but everything is fine.
Enjoy your beer and relax."

Phew. CCB is one brewery I'd hate to cross off my list.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: Competition changes your category
« on: February 08, 2015, 03:24:19 PM »
Something doesn't add up. Mid-Winter is using 2008 guidelines according to their web site, so there shouldn't be a category 34 in the first place.

Maybe they split categories apart and your entry landed in Table 34, or Medal Category (not BJCP category) 34?

They are judging to 2008 BJCP but have added some extra categories looking forwards to 2014 such as Specialty IPA, Brett/Sour, Aussie Ales etc. My issue is that there is a disregard to my wishes as an entrant regarding which category I want to enter, and the fact that it's assumed that wild notes in 2008 20A is a negative.

I was told that since cat. 20 is a small group it's being combined with cat. 21 and so I would stand a better chance being judged against brett/sour rather than judged against spiced. But I'm not being judged against spice beers. because I should be judged as a fruit beer, as the assigned category.

It's not a group or table issue. I'm clearly looking at a 34A Specialty Brett / Sour Ale reassignment right now.

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