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Messages - gimmeales

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Judged beer process\ingredients help
« on: August 18, 2010, 04:15:34 PM »
Thanks for that input, wingnut.  I have several bottles already sitting in the fridge - will be opening one in Oct when I go to visit family, so will be definitely be paying attention to it's character then....will try to keep one or two around for longer, but no promises :)  Thankfully, for all its flaws I find it a good beer, so all is not lost....but the added IBU's of mediocrity with be harder to swallow ;)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Judged beer process\ingredients help
« on: August 18, 2010, 03:35:36 PM »
Yep, should have given this my standard 3-week primary before racking, but wanted to make the comp deadline and thought any phenols\acetaldehyde wouldn't be out of place in such a spicy\estery style.  Hadn't considered the other negative side-effects that have been the downfall of this one.

In my impatience, beer quality suffered - I repent!  Never again!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Judged beer process\ingredients help
« on: August 18, 2010, 03:18:40 PM »
wow, good stuff, Fred - thanks!  Sure sounds like fermentation-related when put through that lens!  I had forgotten the slick-mouthfeel aspect of Diacetyl, that's good to know as I evidently can't pick up the flavor particularly well.

Gravity reading at 14 days was 1.006, I roused the yeast at that time and measured 1.004 a week later as it went into the keg and assumed it was as far as it would go (though I guess without another identical reading a few days later I shouldn't have assumed this).  Damn, sounds like I went against my normal steely resolve and kegged this one early, I should know better.

General Homebrew Discussion / Judged beer process\ingredients help
« on: August 18, 2010, 02:00:24 PM »
Hey all,

Just got my results from a recent BJCP competition and I got some feedback I'd like some help with.  Brewed a Saison that ended up stronger than anticipated (8.8%), so I entered it as a Belgian Specialty instead of a straight-up Saison.

Of the three judge's comments, 2 of the 3 (in various combinations) checked the boxes for Acetaldehyde, Diacetyl, and Vegetal (not DMS.  I can't say I pick up the latter two, but if 2 of 3 judges did, I'm guessing it's there.  I still really like the beer, but would like to know of any weakness in process or recipe here that would contribute to those characters:

10lb  Domestic 2-row
1lb    Munich
.75lb Wheat
1lb    Cane Sugar

1oz Amarillo @ 60
.75oz Amarillo @ 5
1.5oz Willamette @5

OG 1.070
FG  1.004

Pitched a 2-liter starter of WY3711.  Fermented two weeks in primary (got up to 76F), + one more in the keg before cooling and carbonating.  Fermentation behaved normally.  Aside from my less than traditional hop bill, anything look suspicious?  For such a low FG, the beer does not finish particularly dry with a semi-slick mouthfeel which is a little surprising.  Thinking hard about my ingredients, it occurred to me my Willamettes are I believe from the '07 crop - old hops?  Anything else look particularly Diacetyl or Vegetal producing?

Any input greatly appreciated!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: oxygenation tips
« on: August 12, 2010, 03:50:26 PM »

How long have you been doing this, and have you tried re-pitching the yeast into other batches?  I am wondering if the Olive Oil is good for one generation of yeast, or if it is good for multiple generations...  Very interesting. 

I've done the OO thing one virtually every batch of beer using liquid yeast I've brewed in the last year or so, since I first read about the procedure...however, that's probably only 5-6 batches since I was using dry yeast quite a bit too.  I drop the OO into the starter and aerate it through intermittent shaking for 8-12 hrs before it's pitched into the wort to help spread the sterols around.  Also, these have been single-generation beers - so can't comment on subsequent re-pitching.

I've had nothing but vigorous, full-fermentations on all those batches with no detectable additional esters.  In fact the only beer that's been 'excessively estery' was according to a judge in a recent comp I entered, but it was a batch in which I used dry yeast  and the temps spiked before I knew it.

I still want to do a test, splitting a batch of wort between three fermenters and treating them as such 1.) normal  wort aeration (shaking) and standard starter 2.) no wort aeration but with OO-treated starter and 3.) no aeration of wort AND no OO in the starter.  The results of that regimen could be quite revealing.

There was a good thread recently on ProBrewer on OO.  New Belgium evidently isn't using the process as standard, but several breweries are and getting good results.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: oxygenation tips
« on: August 05, 2010, 04:55:44 PM »
my oxygenation technique includes the smallest drop of olive oil possible (tip of a guitar string dipped in the OO) in the starter container on the morning of brewday, then quietly siphon wort into fermenter, pitch yeast  :)

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Brooklyn Sorachi Ace Saison
« on: July 23, 2010, 06:13:54 PM »
would love to track this one down - not sure I could find it on the W. Coast.

I've seen rants on this hop on other boards, but I had an all-Sorachi cask pale ale at a local brewery and really enjoyed it.  I'd use 'em in second. 

Seems like they could play very well in any number of Weizen beers too

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Anchor Brewing sold
« on: May 04, 2010, 06:39:04 PM »
That is a great (and encouraging) interview there.  Fritz is quite an engaging character - it was a treat to hear him talk.  Also impressed with Keith's two bits on Griffin's background and intents - sounds like this will be a good thing all around.

Having be a part of corporate take-overs in a couple different places in my professional career (resulting in layoffs on both occasions), my suspicions and skepticism of a larger company not meddling in a smaller, successful, quality-centric operations is great.  This however, does not sound like a typical 'corporate buy-out'.  I don't drink much Anchor beer at all, but it'd be great to see it's heritage and passion preserved in a way that also lets them grow.

Numbers are important, but with something like a brewery, there are so many variables they can only help in a very limited way until you actually start crunching them yourself (a friend and I are currently putting together a business plan for a Brewpub, just for a sanity check on the whole thing).  Doug's overall assessment is lucid and realistic from what we've been able to learn, but again, are you going Nano, larger Production Brewery, Brewpub?  All have vastly different considerations not just in general setup and expertise needed.  How easy will the local authorities be to work with?  Who are your customers?  What will your rent be?

These are all big questions leading me to not 'pursue the dream', because I have just enough age and responsibility (wife, kid, mortgage) under my belt that I am far more risk averse than I would have been ten years ago (of course, then I hadn't then stumbled into this fascinating and addicting world of brewing beer).  Yes, starting a brewery on a shoestring budget can and will continue to work, but they are by far the exceptions to the rule and generally succeed because of an uncommon blend of skills, personality, hard freakin' work AND good doses of luck along the way.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Boil Times
« on: April 21, 2010, 04:33:11 PM »
My standard 90-min boils are a product of having too small a pot to do full all-grain boils, I have to boil-down to have enough room to add the last 1-1.5 gallons of wort from the sparge.

Even when I get a bigger pot, I think I'll stick with 90-minute boils.  The longer boil just 'feel' better, and I like to feel good when brewing :)

All Grain Brewing / Re: Brewhouse efficiency 'stuck' near 60%
« on: April 19, 2010, 04:44:30 PM »
Even when sparging with correct volumes, I was regularly getting only 55-60% extraction efficiency on my first half-dozen all-grain batches.  After looking at all other factors, including my crush (I crush my own), and water profile, and stirring during the mash, simply recirculating my entire first runnings 2 or 3 times bumped my efficiency up to 70%.  Also making sure to get my sparge water hot enough - my larger MLT soaks up a significant amount of heat.

I mash in a large rectangular cooler (I think 60-qt. w/stainless braid manifold), and batch sparge and wonder if my MLT geometry is a factor.  My grain bed is thick enough by most accounts (> 4 inches deep), but position and size of my manifold may be a factor.

Ingredients / Re: Planting hop rhizomes
« on: April 16, 2010, 08:07:32 PM »
Generally, you can use any regular, cheap ol' plastic planter with drainage holes, and bury the whole thing.  It keeps most of the roots in check, plus you can pack it with really a really good soil/compost/manure mix, and dig it up if you ever move.  Wish I;d done that, come to think of it...

Ahh cool - easy enough.  Thanks!

Ingredients / Re: Planting hop rhizomes
« on: April 16, 2010, 03:29:14 PM »
a general question - I got Rhizomes about 3 weeks ago and they've sat in my fridge since then.  From what I'm hearing I should put them in a planter before transplanting to the yard?  Am I too late to get them in the ground this year?

Also, what can be used to contain the Rhizomes in their planted area?  Any kind of in-ground 'box' they can be put it?  I'd prefer not to have to dig up my yard to keep them from taking over!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Trying to Find Yorkshire Yeast
« on: April 15, 2010, 10:11:29 PM »
The Innkeeper Ale kit from Northern Brewer intrigued me a year ago when it came out - especially for the yeast.  Now after hearing that cybi podcast, I MUST get my hands some!  Hopefully enough interest can be generated to get it out there year-round.

Kegging and Bottling / Help me design a killer kegerator!
« on: March 16, 2010, 06:59:48 PM »
Hey all,

I've been charged (well, I volunteered) for getting a workable kegerator system in my office.  The big challenge is that the new building we're in has a custom cabinet unit which had a beer dispensing system put in as an afterthought.  It currently houses two pony kegs and a flash chiller, which doesn't work for anything more than a single event - not long-term storage.  I'm wondering what options exist out there for converting this space into a properly refrigerated space.  What I'm looking at (without any cutting) is a box that is 41"H x 39.5"W x 31"D (all internal dimensions), but with a 'serving shelf' on the front that reduces the current opening to 22"H.  There is a possibility of cutting out the back of the cabinet to get another 8" of depth.  Will make more sense with some pics:

I'm hoping for: 1.)  suggestions on refridgerators\chest freezers that may fit the space as-is (i.e. cheap 'n easy) and/or  2.)  possibilities for a custom job, even referrals to companies in the NW (Seattle) that do this type of work.  I'm guessing number 2 is the mostly viable option considering the odd-sized space, but I want the experts to take a look and chime-in.  I really want to get draft beer back in the office! (wouldn't you?)


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