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Messages - Alewyfe

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Ingredients / Belgian yeast
« on: September 22, 2014, 10:08:10 AM »
It has taken me a l-o-o-ng time to appreciate most Belgian styles of beer. The early years of tasting home brew, and now, the clubs noobs looking for advice, have made me shun the idea that I actually wanted to taste  phenolics and esters. For a long time I have associated most of these flavors with bad beer and wanted nothing to do with them.

Recently I am finding that when "restrained" or perhaps just "trained" these components add a great deal of complexity to a well made beer.  Anyway, I've had some really nice Belgian styles that I've enjoyed and would like to experiment with some Belgian yeasts.

I know fermentation temp is critical here and that higher temps will increase these flavor compounds, but what I'd like to know is what are some of the most neutral of the Belgian strains that I can start playing with.
I'm planning to start with a pale ale recipe to really assess what the yeast in contributing with various fermentation profiles.

Any suggestions?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bell's Two Hearted...a lesson
« on: July 18, 2014, 12:42:35 PM »
Meh. Lagunitas is OK. Far from my favorite. Tastes like hop extracts to me. Fake perfumy hop flavor that a lot of these super mega "craft" breweries taste like (Sweet Water, for instance).

I know from sources in the industry that what I am saying is true. These breweries target local taps. they aren't competing against Blue Moon and the "crafty" beers anymore. They go after locals. New Belgium is probably the worst.   

I appreciate information like this Major. I like to be an informed consumer and I don't care if it is "Merikan" or not. I hate predatory business practices and one of the most refreshing things about the true craft brewers is the amount of support they selflessly have been known to give one another.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Is it true?
« on: July 09, 2014, 11:13:02 PM »
Had this come from anyone but you Jim I would never have believed it.

Salute the Major! Right again!
Ninkasi uses a ginormous centrifuge to clarify so i doubt there's anything in there you could culture.
Best cointact Denny for a sample of that yeast.

The Pub / Re: Birds keep stealing workers
« on: June 02, 2014, 09:30:42 AM »
You can try a plastic owl to scare birds off.
But then the birds will laugh at you.

Ingredients / Re: Mandarina hop
« on: June 01, 2014, 10:16:39 AM »
To my taste it has a sweeter(?) character than the other C hops. More like a fruit salad than a citrus flavor.
I just dry hopped an APA with it and it reminds me of a beer that I did with Belma and Calypso.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Star-San in beer. How much is too much?
« on: May 09, 2014, 02:18:53 PM »
No problem. BTDTBTT-shirt.

Wood/Casks / Carbonation for barrel aged beer
« on: May 04, 2014, 09:50:20 AM »
We've got a Wee Heavy that's been in a bourbon barrel for a year. It tastes wonderful sampled out of the barrel.
We like where it's at, so are ready to rack to kegs. What do you experienced barrel users feel would be a good level of carbonation on this beer?


Homebrewer Bios / Re: Brewer Bio Ron Bilotta
« on: April 29, 2014, 09:06:27 AM »
Hi Ron,

Good to meet you.

As a Minnesota ex-pat I can tell you your are missing some great friends and information if you don't belong to
one of the local brew clubs. Check 'em out. I belonged to the Minn. Homebrewers Assoc. for many years and made some wonderful friends and found some amazing mentors.

Having your wife brew with you is awesome. My husband went through the whole brew day with me once. Now he tells everybody how "easy" brewing is.....makes me laugh.

Equipment and Software / Re: Thermapen or MW101 PH meter?
« on: April 28, 2014, 03:36:48 PM »
Thermapens are nice, but not nearly $100 nice. I really like the CDN digital. $16 and gives a reading in about 6-8 sec. Very reliable and easy to calibrate....though I have never needed to re-do after the inital set.

pH meter? There's just no cheap way around that, so that's where I'd put (have put) my money. If you're re-brewing the same recipes, you won't need it that often, but it's nice to know for certain exactly where you are while you're nailing down that recipe. Martin's worksheet will definately get you in the ballpark most of the time, but that pH meter gives you complete accuracy. Be prepared for the ongoing costs of calibration solutions. Unlike the thermometer, there's a little maintenance with the meter too.

Homebrewer Bios / Re: Brewer Bio - Rashid “Semenych” Abdulvalyiev
« on: April 28, 2014, 10:34:57 AM »
We moved to rural Oregon from Mpls. I felt like I was challenged here getting brew supplies initially, but at least the stuff was available easily by mail. I too commend you for overcoming that obstacle and pursuing home brewing. I hope you continue to find the hobby rewarding and enjoyable. Perhaps you can discuss brewing with specialty grains with the other people that you know that brew. Then you may be able to take advantage of the increased number of users to split some supply purchases. Also, if you have any small brewers or brew pubs locally, they may be willing to sell you small amounts of ingredients. Here in the U.S., small professional brewers are some of the biggest supporters of the home brewers and are almost always ready to help with supplies or advice.   

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How was the weekend?!
« on: April 28, 2014, 10:21:32 AM »
Saturday our club did it's first garage crawl. Visited 3 members homes and their brew set ups. When you only know people from the meetings, it's interesting to see what they are actually brewing on and where they do it.
Took my husband along. He now knows I am not obsessively acquiring brew stuff. The brew set ups ranged from....weep oh you professional brewers to.... not that elaborate, but all brew sheds were unique and I'd happily take any one of them. They ranged from a brewery outfitted attached garage to a stand alone building with full kitchen facilities and a lovely porch to last but not least a hand hewn rustic log cabin with wood cook stove and covered porch. Kind of makes my pop up awning in the driveway pale by comparison. Going to have to talk to the DH about getting his stuff out of the garage......NOT!

Sunday required a trip to Home Depot to order a new freezer for lagering/conditioning. The old one has crapped out. They had a "best buy" special on a 14.8cuft model which is perfect and an addl 10% off.
So $350 got me a brand new one delivered, old one dealt with and no temp worries for a while. Time to get some serious brewing going on.

Homebrewer Bios / Re: Brewer Bio - Rashid “Semenych” Abdulvalyiev
« on: April 27, 2014, 11:21:27 AM »
Welcome to the forum. I know you will get a lot of good information here.

Beer has always been a popular beverage, but do you see an increase in it's popularity there and a greater awareness of the better "craft" brewed beers?  Do you know many other Kazaks that home brew?
Where do you buy most of your supplies? Are you able to get many imported beers from the U.S.? If so, what have been your favorites so far?

Look forward to seeing your posts on the forum and welcome to a really great hobby.
Cheers, (Na zdorovia?)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Another Starter Question
« on: April 16, 2014, 10:37:50 AM »
Overworked, lazy or contrary....who knows. We experienced the same thing here until our club came into being, local brewers started getting good information and went shopping armed with that knowledge. The LHBS have had to up their game. They've increased refrigerated storage, increased their inventory and are listening. The two local stores are also members and now support our club. There is strength in numbers Frank. Join that local homebrew club. Discuss this issue. Make it clear you want to do business locally, but won't hesitate to go elsewhere if they can not provide the goods or the expertise you expect.

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