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Topics - guido

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1
Events / A favor to ask of the conference staff
« on: April 25, 2015, 02:21:13 AM »
I imagine a lot of people will be flying to San Diego. It would be a very nice touch if the conference could provide a scale to weigh our luggage at the hotel(s). I'm sure some folk on the conference committee would have access to one. While not 100 percent accurate of course, attendees packing beer in their suitcases could have an idea if they're over or under weight before finding out the hard way at the airport.

2
Events / Time to kill after the NHC
« on: April 12, 2015, 05:34:18 AM »
My Sunday flight out of San Diego doesn't leave until nearly 11:00 p.m. Hotel check out time is noon. Anyone have any suggestions? (I might be thirsty after the NHC) I don't want to waste an entire day sitting in the airport.

3
Equipment and Software / Sanitizing a barrel
« on: March 04, 2015, 12:20:03 PM »
My homebrew club brewed +50 gallons of Poor Richard's Ale. For authenticity, we plan to condition it in a barrel. The only barrel we could get was a bourbon barrel that we used a few years ago for a hard cider. In the intervening time, the barrel was filled with water and barrelkleen (spelling?). My plan was to drain the barrel; rinse the daylights out of it; and fill it (maybe twice) with boiling water to kill any bugs. Does this sound like a plan?

4
Beer Travel / Any recommendations for Brussels/Bruges?
« on: May 22, 2014, 01:07:48 PM »
My wife and I are planning a trip to Belgium this fall.  We've only gone to one travel agent so far,  and she was clueless.  Anyone have any recommendations for traveling to Brussels and Bruges, or know where we can find some pertinent info?

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Events / Recommend a taxi service for at the NHC
« on: May 11, 2014, 01:10:40 PM »
Can any of the GR locals recommend a taxi service for the NHC.  I'll be needing one to get to and from the airport as well as my first few days until the shuttles are running.  I've looked at several taxi companies online and, of course, the reviews are all over the place.  Thanks in advance.

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Events / Other Transportation at Conference?
« on: April 08, 2014, 07:02:58 AM »
I saw that there will be shuttles to take people from the outlying hotels to the De Vos Center, but will there be any shuttles to and from the airport or at least a discount from a taxi company?  As it looks, a round trip cab ride from the airport will be about $60

7
Events / Conference Hotels
« on: March 07, 2014, 03:27:31 PM »
I thought I'd luck out to come in Monday, but by the time I could reserve a room, the closest hotel was the Riverfront, 2.6 miles away from the conference.  I suppose it could be worse.  Some of the hotels are over ten miles away.  I know there will be some shuttles running back and forth. A quick Google Map search showed no restaurants anywhere close.

8
Yeast and Fermentation / Progress report on the "Crab Apple Sour Blonde"
« on: December 04, 2013, 07:24:46 AM »
This fall, I made a wild culture by soaking some crab apples in starter-strength worth overnight.  I waited about a month before tasting.  It was excellent, a nice mix of apple and sour flavors.  I pitched this culture into a 5-gallon batch made with lots of unmalted wheat.  I intentionally mashed low, hoping it wouldn't convert and that I'd have some starches for the bacteria.  I tasted the "Sour Blonde" for the first time.  It's almost too good, hardly any sour/funk flavors at all.  I'm hoping the souring bacteria will catch up to the yeast.  The gravity has dropped from 1.052 to 1.020 (although it didn't taste sweet), so I'm hoping there's something for the bugs to munch on.  I was thinking about gram staining a sample to see if any bacteria is present.  There was something that looked like a pellicle, but it's fallen.  Do I just leave this go and see what happens?  It's been about two months now.

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Ingredients / What's up with freshhops.com?
« on: November 28, 2013, 08:03:07 AM »
I tried to see what was available from www.freshhops.com, but when I clicked on order, I got an error message saying that their license had expired on this server.  Anyone know what the deal is?

10
Ingredients / Using whole vanilla beans
« on: November 23, 2013, 07:47:28 AM »
I've never used whole vanilla beans before.  I know you need the alcohol to extract the vanilla.  I want to add some to a pumpkin beer that has a ( 5 gallons) Belgian dark strong as the base.  I want only a subtle vanilla flavor.  I was thinking about taking one whole bean, slicing it down the center, and leaving it in the secondary while conditioning.  Is this the right number, or should I add more.

11
Yeast and Fermentation / Wild culture: what is it?
« on: September 19, 2013, 03:53:19 PM »
My wife and I soaked some crab apples in starter-strength wort overnight to see what would grow.  After about ten days, the stuff on top looks like yeast, at least I think it doesn't look like mold.  Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.


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Ingredients / Bulk buys of grain for homebrew clubs
« on: August 18, 2013, 07:06:18 AM »
My homebrew club is trying to make a bulk purchase of grain, about 30 bags--perhaps 50 if we can get another nearby club involved.  The problem is that no one will sell directly to a club, only to a brewery or a LHBS.  I can understand that.  The dealers don't want the distributors under-cutting them.  Country Malt (I think it might have been North Country previously?), has a program for homebrew clubs.  The minimum purchase is 20 bags.  The purchase is brokered through a LHBS.  The problem is that the cut for the LHBS is so small that no shop here wants any part of it.  We even approached another LHBS directly to make our bulk purchase, hoping they'd cut us a deal.  Their prices were ridiculous:  $82 for a bag of MO, for example.  Has anyone had success buying grain in bulk? I fear the days of paying 30-something of a bag of pale malt are long gone.

13
Ingredients / Quality of Canadian Malt
« on: July 31, 2013, 12:57:53 PM »
Our homebrew club is working on a bulk grain purchase through one of the malting groups and a LHBS.  I got the prices on the malt--and the Canadian malts are considerably less, say 15 cents plus per pound, than the comparable malts from others, like Briess.  I don't want to switch from MO and German Pilsner for certain beers, but the prices sure are tempting.  I mean, the grain has to go through stringent QC, just like the others.  So it has to be good, right?

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Pimp My System / Thinking about automation. Where to start...?
« on: July 17, 2013, 01:15:31 PM »
I think it's time to add some automation to my brew day I still want some hands-on), but I don't have a clue where to start.  I look at pictures of other homebrewers' systems, and people just assume everyone knows how these things work.  Are there any good websites, etc... to get me pointed in the right direction to learn about things like RIMS vs HERMS, temp controllers, Love switches, PIDS, low vs high pressure propane, and so forth?

Thanks in advance.

15
Equipment and Software / How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
« on: June 22, 2013, 05:03:04 PM »
OK  The instructions seem easy enough.  I'm using a Ranco 2-Stage Temp Controller on a commercial 2-door lab fridge, which I'm trying to use as a fermenter.  The thing just stares at me.  I'm trying to cool to 65F and the ambient temp is 77F.  Everything seems plugged in the right way.  The fridge works.  Any suggestions.

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