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Messages - Alewyfe

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: clarification methods
« on: July 21, 2013, 09:31:15 AM »
+1.   Whirlfloc, cold-conditioning, and time are all I use, with good results.

Same here most of the time. If in a hurry or want something faultless for competition I will use gelatin.

The Pub / Re: Handy gadget for the ladies
« on: July 20, 2013, 02:41:40 PM »

Equipment and Software / Re: Blichmann burner first impression
« on: July 02, 2013, 07:51:23 PM »
If that burner seems slow, you don't have it adjusted right. Play with the air to get a nice clean blue flame with little or no yellow on the tips, then open that needle valve and step back.  It does throw a fairly large flame pattern so adjust to make sure the flame stays under your pot not licking up the side. I made a piece of flashing that forms a semi circle about an inch out and around 3/4 of my pot (not the valve or sight glass/thermometer area).
This helps tremendously with the heating in that it redirects the very hot air up the sides of the kettle instead of out, further saving heating time and fuel.

Going Pro / Re: Pro opinion on Nanobrewery proposition
« on: July 01, 2013, 08:24:09 PM »
" I have a good friend who runs a nano, and his last year's profit was only 30K. He still works his day job, and the profit goes to paying for his server, and his wife helps out as well. "........SCAREY!

A most common problem with small business owners...understanding difference between profit and gross margin.
Salaries are an expense item...there are no profits until they are paid, including your wifes and you own, and there is something left in the bank. Any other way of looking at it is delusional. Don't fall into that trap. When you're loving what you're doing it's too easy not to put a value on your own time.

Diedre, if you're a business analyst, this is most likely preaching to the choir.

Equipment and Software / Re: anyone use a hop spider
« on: July 01, 2013, 07:48:37 AM »
I have used, then not used, then used.  I have now committed to use one.  Doing these brews with the huge hop bills demands something to assist in getting some of that goo contained (IMO).  But you have to decide. has some nice products.  The dry hopper rocks!  I plan on adding one of the rigid bottom spiders to my set up. 

You can make a spider that has a paint strainer bag clamped to some pvc with long bolts for about 10 bucks.  Try it and see if it works for you. If you like it then go for the rigid one....

Here is a BYO link to build one:

I liked the dry hopper too, but disliked the worm clamp to open. Utah Biodiesel makes one with screw top for about the same price. I've used it and think I'll get another.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: happened
« on: June 04, 2013, 09:34:15 AM »
it's only bad when you can't drink it. otherwise, it's just "different". i've made a lot of "different" beers. part of the leaning (freudian slip...that s/b learning) process.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Naturally Carbonating a Keg
« on: May 28, 2013, 09:32:07 PM »
I use Beersmith and the program has a calculator for priming a keg with corn sugar. It seems to be about half what you would use for bottles. I think the reason is reduced head space to volume in the keg. Anyway, the recommended amount in Beersmith has always worked fine. Another option I have used is to keg a few SG points before the beer is finished and just let it naturally carbonate itself. I have a pressure gauge on a piece of tubing and a gas out connector. I just check the PSI and then vent the keg if it is exceeding where I want it to be at the temp I have it stored.

The Pub / Re: Good day
« on: May 28, 2013, 09:06:15 AM »

You're overexposed! ;)  Good to know how our heros spend their holidays.

The Pub / 2nd Gourmets & Growlers pairing event
« on: May 20, 2013, 11:08:15 AM »
Our club just did their second food and beer pairing event Sunday. It was a great time. One of our local micro brewers has a small tap house "Draper's Tap House" and as he's closed on Sunday's, he let our club use his place for the dinner. We had 36 people with all the food and most of the beers prepared by club members. Everybody pitched in with decorating, serving and clean up and it went really well.

The planning committee chose an Italian theme. Here's our menu:

Assaggio di estate Bruschetta  (Hearth baked baguette toasts with a topping of fresh tomatoes, olives, onion, capers, garlic)
choice of beer from Tap House selection

Insalata di fagiolo con Feta & Peperoncini (White bean salad with red and green peppers, onion, Feta cheese and a honey, balsamic, sun dried tomato vinegarette on baby greens)
paired with Blanche de Bruxelles

Risotto di Funghi Selvatici (Wild mushroom risotto topped with fresh roast asparagus spears)
paired with White Truffle infused Porter

Crab Ravioli con Salsa di Burro Salvia Marrone (Crab stuffed ravioli topped with Sage brown butter sauce)
paired with Vienna Lager

Stufato di Manza ala Romano con Polenta formaggio (Rich Roman style beef stew topped with Gremolata served with Parmesan/Asiago Polenta and sauted Fennel)
paired with American Amber

Torta Dolce con Frutta (Individual cakes filled with custard and topped with fresh strawberries)
paired with choice of Chocolate Stout, Lambic Framboise or a blend

We're in the middle of a good and growing wine appellation here and we hard core beer enthusiasts refuse to be upstaged. Pretty good for a motley rural brew club don't you think?

Be a S.N.O.B. ...Support Native Oregon Beer!

All Things Food / Re: Hot tip
« on: May 08, 2013, 01:54:24 AM »
Spinach salad and strawberries are great together.  We make a spinach and strawberry salad with an apple cider dressing for our summer parties. Everyone loves it.

That sounds good.  And healthy too!
and a sprinkling of Poppy Seeds!

Homebrew Clubs / Re: Do other clubs have this problem?
« on: May 08, 2013, 01:49:12 AM »
You said the club officers are doing, education, discounts, etc.
Sounds like they ARE doing something.

Perhaps the by laws need to specify that to remain a club member in good standing, you have to host or assist with at least one event, tech session or what ever each year. 

Set a limit, like two visits as a guest, then you must pay dues and join.

It generally seems to be that no matter the club size, 20% of the membership do the lions share of the work to keep the club going. Acknowledge the folks who do, do what you can, and plan events that reward those who participate.

We have around 40 members. 20 show for meetings and about 4-5 people volunteer to do stuff when asked. As a result, I don't ask as much as I "assign" tasks. People are learning that if they don't step up, they can't complain, and they might get leaned on. A good set of officers makes for a good club, but sometimes a dictatorship is a useful temporary solution. 

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling from a keg
« on: May 06, 2013, 09:41:38 AM »
Having used the Foxx and the More Beer CPF....go for the More Beer. The 3 way valve makes it WAY easy to operate. I have also used the Blichmann and my feeling is with all of the above....they are a pain to sanitize and clean and they are expensive for how often they get used.

I now go for the bottling wand and rubber bung method.  Easy to use, easy to clean, cheap.

Beer Recipes / Re: Rye pale ale
« on: April 24, 2013, 09:55:47 AM »
What Denny said...I think you want at least 15% rye in in a "rye APA". I love Citra so I say go for it. Seems like a lot think it is overpowering so say to use in in moderation. I think Citra goes well with Cascade and Centennial

+1 + Columbus and Chinook

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brewstrong
« on: April 24, 2013, 09:53:21 AM »
I am not a BJCP judge. I have judged at sanctioned competitions. I have organized BJCP competitions and I have stewarded at local and NHC level. Some people judging at BJCP level are not doing what they were awarded their credentials for. The score sheets are sorely lacking in useful information and thoroughness.
This is very disappointing to people competing to better their beers. For some judges, it's obvious that judging has become a chore they don't enjoy or take as seriously as they should. They should stop judging.
Fortunately, there are a huge number of qualified judges doing an exemplary job of providing the feedback most of us are competing for. It's the luck of the draw really. Don't give up after one or two crumby experiences. After a while, some of the score sheets become entertaining in what they reveal about the judge!

You can not judge something with no criteria against which to judge. In beer comps it's the style guideline.
Trust me...there is nothing so heartbreaking as tasting an absolutely perfect beer that can't win only because it has been entered in the wrong category, but, there's plenty of opportunity to commend the brewer in the final section of the score sheet. (overall impression)
when you're having to judge it.

Judges do a thankless job, at their own expense. They miss out on some of the activities at NHC and other festivals where the competitions are held. They travel to various locations at their own expense and all they get are measly points toward higher ranking for their efforts. They should never, ever be dissed. Shame on Jamil for doing so. He's undoubtedly a great brewer and I respect that, but it's disappointing to hear that he made disparaging comments when so many homebrewers idolize him. Go ahead and criticize when it is called for. Judges need to be held to high standards if they are going to contribute to the brewing community, but it can be done in a civil and constructive manner. Then again, the whole tenor of the Brewing Network programs is very juvenile, albeit, while providing some good information.

Events / Re: Big Brew Day 2013
« on: April 20, 2013, 11:15:30 AM »
I'm hosting like I have for years, but it's gonna be a pretty small event.  The biggest brewfest around always gets scheduled for the same day and a lot of people do that instead.
Lucky dogs. How cool would that be?  A day of brewing with Denny!  Jealous

"Freedom is temporary unless you are also Brave!" - Patriot

I went out out there one year. We seemed to drive and drive forever. Finally we arrived at this quaint little ranch with a nice brewshed where I saw the coolest garden gnome I'd ever laid eyes on......then it moved and I realized it was Denny.

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