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Messages - Alewyfe

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Equipment and Software / Re: another burner recommendation thread
« on: November 12, 2014, 09:18:29 AM »
Northern has their Dark Star for $49 + 7.95 shipping. I don't have one, but that seems like a good low cost pretty high BTU burner. It's always nice to have 2 burners so you can start heating your wort before your sparge is complete.

Gramma made beer during prohibition to support the 5 kids after grandpa was permanently injured in a work accident. The local sheriff turned a blind eye because he understood her dilemma and her brew was darn good. So I'm told it's in my blood. A trip to the UK with my Brit husband in '73 found me packing a couple cans of Boots Chemists beer extract. I loved English beers and I wanted some back home. After a lot of false starts and wretched results I gave up. More trips to England, and the availability locally of beer making supplies, got me going again in the late '80's. That was the same time I found the Homebrew Digest, AHA and the Minnesota Home Brewers Assoc. Now I had the info and mentors to make some really good beer. (Gramma was proud) I had to give up brewing from '95 until '07. Then we retired and moved to Oregon and I dusted off the keggles and memories and jumped back in......deep.

Equipment and Software / Re: Wort grant?
« on: October 31, 2014, 09:55:20 AM »
It's not always necessary, but why wait for a stuck mash. I just use one all the time now. It's a simple rinse out when I'm done using it so it adds no extra work and it guarantees no lautering problems. It's nothing fancy, just put a connection to the pump from an old food grade bucket you've got laying around or buy a cheap SS pot.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg hopping frustration
« on: October 01, 2014, 08:43:48 AM »
The finest bags, the lovely stainless strainers......doesn't matter. Pellet hops in the keg will give you murky beer.
It does ultimately settle out making the last few beers the best. Grrrrrrr.

If I want it clear, I just don't dry hop with pellets in the keg.

Chilling the keg to near freezing and blowing out the first couple pints helps a lot, but if you move the keg it stirs everything back up again. Pulling the keg hops then fining with gelatin will clear it, but you will suffer a bit
of stripping of the aroma. I add extra dry hops and fine with gelatin when I want it clear.

Equipment and Software / Re: Tri-Clamps
« on: September 25, 2014, 09:45:30 AM »
What size is the tri-clamp ferule? I ordered a kettle from them as well, but mine hasn't arrived yet.
If the ferule is 1 1/2" there are a number of solutions available as tri-clamp pick up tubes. The tubes have two ferules attached. One to clamp to the kettle and one to clamp to your valve. If it is 1", there is nothing currently available that I know of because the tubes won't fit through the 1".

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.

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