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Topics - HoosierBrew

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Ingredients / Building A Better Hop Pellet
« on: May 07, 2015, 12:33:08 PM »
Saw this on Stan H's blog. Looks to be a pretty nice upgrade in pellet producing technology (and quality) that will hopefully trickle down to homebrewers at some point.

This article is written by a pro brewer and is pretty funny. Should also probably be required reading for anybody wanting to jump in to opening a brewery.   ;)

Commercial Beer Reviews / Sierra Harvest 2015 Idaho 7
« on: March 27, 2015, 07:25:47 PM »
Anybody try this yet ? My wife picked up one for me today - and I absolutely love this Idaho 7 hop. The malt base is simple and unassuming - 2 row and pale crystal.  Pretty much deep gold, little or no orange, beautiful thick foam. Supposedly 55 IBU , with not much up front bitterness. It's called an 'IPA' but in reality it's more of a pale, hoppy APA to showcase a new hop, a great platform.

This hop (Idaho 7) is like nothing I've had - it's sort of orange/ lemon/ herbal ,with a definite tea character , and a really pleasant but hard to define earthiness (ie., not 'crappy earthy' like Fuggles IMO). I'm assuming since Sierra is promoting this hop (like Equinox) that it'll be trickling down to retailers at some point, and I can't wait. It's fairly assertive but not overpowering, and would work wonderfully in most any American style. Really unique, nice hop.

Homebrewer Bios / Bio - HoosierBrew
« on: March 17, 2015, 06:23:47 PM »
Ok, maybe a little overdue (or incredibly overdue).  Figured a pic from the Hofbrauhaus in Newport would be a good touch. Hence the s^%t eating grin.   ;)

Who Are You (please include a picture):   Jon H
Home Town (City, State):   Indianapolis area
Homebrew Club:   none currently
I've been a homebrewer since:   1992-1993
Do you have a homebrewing disaster you'd like to share?   Lots. Broken carboys resulting in stitches, yeast geysers from not enough head space, plenty of garden variety rookie mistakes.
What is your favorite style(s) to brew?   American hoppy styles, Belgian anything, German lagers.
What style(s) will you never brew?  Funny how things evolve. I never thought I'd brew a sour beer, thinking I preferred to buy them. But I've been dabbling and enjoying learning how lately. American light lager would be the closest to a 'never brew', but who knows ?
What was the first beer you ever brewed?  How did it turn out?   A Munton's ESB kit (2 hopped extract cans, packet of 'ale yeast') that I got as a gift from my Dad. I brewed it to the letter and , at the time, it was very good . I'm sure not as great today, but I'll never forget how good it was then, and it definitely turned the light bulb on for me and brewing beer.
Have you ever had a homebrew mistake that turned out great?   I brewed a Dubbel once that unintentionally ended up with a subtle but really pleasant sour character. My first sour beer of sorts, but I was anything but pleased about it, at least until the flavors melded. I stepped up my sanitation game afterward in a big way.
What is your favorite beer recipe?   Gonna cheat - I have APA, IPA, Trappist, saison, and stout recipes I keep coming back to.
Are you a BJCP Judge?  If so, what is your rank and how long have you been judging?   No I'm not and I want to test soon.  I haven't given back to the hobby in that capacity like I should be.
Do you have a good beer judging story you'd like to share with the rest of the homebrewing world?   N/A
Do you have a favorite homebrew trick or gadget that you've found to make your beer better/brewing easier, etc?    Nylon hose over a racking cane and mash tun exit hose, 5 gallon paint strainer bags for dry hopping - not so uncommon nowadays.
Describe your brew system.    Dennybrew Coleman Extreme (blue, so it's less prone to leakage) all the way, with a Bargain Fittings bulkhead conversion with a valve,  10 gallon SS pot from a restaurant supply store, SS hop spider, Blichmann burner.  I have the urge now and then to upgrade, but I honestly doubt I will. I like the simplicity of my system. Never say never, though.
How frequently do you brew (times/month or /year)?   It varies (I have kids), so between once and  four times a month. Most years I average twice/month.
What is your favorite malt?  Why?    European Pils is just great malt period, even for American styles.  But I love Munich for its rich malt character, even in place of most of the crystal in American styles, in porter and non-Irish stout, ie., many beers.
What is your favorite hop? Why?   I am a true hophead, so it's like trying to pick your favorite kid. But in American styles it's impossible to go wrong with Centennial for its ability to blend with pretty much anything American. I like to try new hop varieties pretty regularly, to find new hop blends to try out in various beers. 
Do you have a favorite or house yeast? What qualities do you like about that yeast?   I like to use lots of different strains, so no house strain per se, but WY 1056, 3787, 1762, 2124 and WL833 have made a lot of good beers here.
Do you have a good homebrew club story you'd like to share?   N/A
What haven't we asked that you would really like to answer?   Aside from brewing and reading on it, I am a big sports fan, a pretty damn good cook/bbq smoker guy, like to fish, grow tomatoes and share it all with family and friends.
If you could serve your homebrew to someone famous, who would it be and what would you give her/him?    Michael Jackson (the awesome, not creepy one) or Charlie P.  They have been ambassadors for beer and homebrewers and fueled the excitement for everybody.
What's the most unusual ingredient you've ever used in a brew?  Lots of unrefined sugars like piloncillo and others.
Do you have any pets or kids named after beer styles or ingredients?  Nope, a couple loyal brew dogs though.
How many medals have you won from homebrew competitions?  Several but years ago. I'm planning to enter a few comps this year, to see how these beers stack up against the huge number of entries in the big comps today.
Do you brew alone, with friends or with someone you live with?  Often alone, but there are times when I do several beers in a row with friends, or occasionally a new brewer. I love to show new brewers the basics of AG.
Are you an indoor or outdoor brewer?   Mostly outdoor, but if it's just stupid cold, I will come indoors to the stove top. Probably has my man card on thin ice.   ;)
List some of the names you've given your beers. Which is your favorite?   They don't usually get a name, but when they do, it's often not suitable for print.

The Pub / 'Changing Tastes Of IPA' Article
« on: March 09, 2015, 04:05:52 PM »
Pretty interesting article from a UK blog, told from the British perspective on American IPAs - not that that they're too hoppy, that they're too sweet and crystally. Of course I agree.

The Pub / Lots Of New Hops Farms
« on: February 24, 2015, 05:32:57 PM »
This is a pretty cool article showing how many states are growing hops, or planning to start hop farms, to keep pace. Not just primarily the PNW anymore  :

Ingredients / Good News For Hop Lovers
« on: February 06, 2015, 01:00:38 PM »
Saw this in Stan's (excellent) blog.

EDIT - Cool to read that homebrewers make 1% of the beer, but account for 10% of HopUnion's business.

Ingredients / Equinox Hops
« on: January 24, 2015, 09:54:12 AM »
I brewed a small batch APA recently to check out this new hop and I thought I'd pass on the final results. Equinox (HBC366) is the new release from the Hop Breeding Co.- the guys that produced Simcoe, Citra, And Mosaic, so they've been on a pretty hot streak in recent years. And this is another good one. Sierra (among others) is a big fan and used it in one of their single hop IPAs last year. 
   Equinox goes around 14-15% AA, and also has a very high oil content (2.9) -  it screams out IPA and dry hopping . In comparison, Citra is often listed at ~ 2 or or a little over. This is a complex hop - I get citrus, mango, earthiness, a touch of pine, and an overall resiny character (in a good way)from the high oil content. With its intensity it could drown out less intense hops easily unless you backed off on the Equinox. Except for trying out new hops, I rarely make single hop beers because I like to blend different hops for complexity. Thing is, this hop (sort of like Mosaic) has a lot going on and tastes like a blend of hops on its own. I get a little bit of Amarillo, Citra, and Simcoe together with a unique earthy/spicy character. Just bought a lb.

General Homebrew Discussion / Belgian Beer Pipeline
« on: September 25, 2014, 12:21:15 PM »
Ok, this is news to me - A Belgian brewer sending its beer 3 km from the brewery to its bottling plant via a 6,000 liter/hour pipeline :

Commercial Beer Reviews / 2013 Bourbon County
« on: September 19, 2014, 07:55:12 PM »
Broke out one of these tonight. I buy it every year when I can find it and was lucky enough to get 3 - 4 packs last year - it's maybe my favorite bourbon barrel aged beer.  It's a beautiful, cool early fall night here and it made me want to pull out one of last year's vintage while sitting outside on the deck.
 So whereas the 2013 was wonderful at release (as it always is IMO) age can only help. As far as bourbon barrel stouts go, BCS is fairly boozy in a good way. Very well attenuated in a non-typical way for RIS, but complex - dark chocolate, milk chocolate, coffee, caramel/toffee, vanilla, boozy,oaky but tastefully oaky. At ~15%, insanely drinkable all things considered.
So half a year later, the difference in an already great beer is the softening and blending of flavors, a predictable mellowing of the booziness into more vanilla and toasted coconut character, slightly more caramel, ie., pleasant oxidative changes.  Nothing drastic, but definitely a more velvety, soft overall mouthfeel. Really,really good stuff.

Ingredients / Patagonia Malts
« on: August 23, 2014, 07:37:51 PM »
Anybody use any of these malts ?  My LHBS has changed their malt lineup a bit, and they've added the Patagonia stuff, from Chile - a few of their crystal/caramel malts and a base malt called 'Extra Pale Malt'. This is the one I'm curious about - I've heard good things but nothing very specific. The LHBS says to use it where you would a 2-row. I may break down and try it in an APA sometime to assess.

General Homebrew Discussion / What's Happening On Friday ?
« on: August 15, 2014, 06:20:31 PM »
I run BLC through my kegerator taps twice a year, so I just finished doing that. Also, cleaning kegs, changing O-rings, ie., fun s@#t. Gonna keg an Alt and Dubbel tomorrow. Beautiful thing   ;)

Ingredients / Equinox Hops
« on: July 10, 2014, 07:37:09 AM »
Equinox (HBC366) is another newer variety I want to use soon - anybody use these yet ?  They were evidently developed by the people who developed Citra, Simcoe, and Mosaic and are high AA (14-15%) with a very high oil content. I read a description of citrus/tropical/floral/herbal - sounds pretty interesting to me. I'm assuming pretty IPA-appropriate. I think I read SN uses/used it in an IPA.

General Homebrew Discussion / Felt Like Cheating
« on: June 24, 2014, 03:10:20 PM »
My buddy's wife got him a starter homebrew kit for his birthday a few days ago, and since he wanted to make a hefeweizen as his first batch, she got him some wheat DME and some WY3068, thanks to a helpful LHBS employee. So I'm on vacation today and I went over and helped him brew it.

I occasionally do a small extract batch to experiment with hop varieties but not as often as I used to. It feels like cheating after so many AG batches. I couldn't shake the feeling I'd forgotten something, with so many things to monitor in an AG batch. No need for preboil OG, mash temps, strike water, etc. Weird ! But I was struck at the somewhat darker color of the DME as compared to doing it AG - ironically I brewed an AG hefe a couple weeks ago. It's easy to forget the extent of the color difference.

Anyway, he bought a controller for his garage fridge, we cooled to 64F and pitched, and being 3068 I showed him the art of the blowoff hose. Luckily he's already on board with going AG right away !

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