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Messages - gimmeales

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Home brewing in Canada
« on: August 09, 2011, 09:14:41 AM »
The taxes on alcohlic beverages in Canada are why they cost so much there.

Sadly the death of interesting, characterful beers throughout history.  On one hand, it's great to see how brewers are able to produce full-flavored beers with a minimum of ingredients, but it's a shame that amazing old-timey beers have died out due to taxation.  I feel very fortunate to live where I do, having access to so many great craft beers, and the ability to brew to my own tastes.

Beer Recipes / Re: Southern Tier Pumpking Imperial Pumpkin Ale
« on: August 03, 2011, 03:30:12 PM »
Love that beer and would definitely say vanilla is a big flavor component however they are doing it.  I would also guess the pumpkin in the mash adds to the luscious mouthfeel.  For spices, I've also had very good luck with adding a smaller amount to the boil and dry-spicing (with equal amounts, adjusting to you preferences) after fermentation is done.  The aroma contributes as much or more to finished perceived flavors and the nuances of the spices are better preserved post-ferment.

I know we're talking spice blends here, but what also really hits me with that beer is the distinct character of a graham cracker crust.  THAT is what I'd really like to nail down.  Someone awhile back in another forum suggested lightly toasting honey malt in the oven as a small part of the grist - I loved that suggestion, but have yet to try it.  Anyone else think the malt-bill for Pumpking is another defining factor?

Equipment and Software / Re: Best propane burner for the money?
« on: July 28, 2011, 02:48:42 PM »
I've tweaked my KAB-4 till I'm blue in the face and have to say I'm underwhelmed.  I'm lucky to get two batches out of a tank of propane.  I knew it'd eat the stuff compared to my little turkey fryer unit, but thought the speed of heating would compensate a bit, no so in my case.

I have to open the vent fully to get a decent even, blue flame, but doesn't seem to be significantly faster to boil that my little 65k btu (10psi) unit.

For safety and efficiency's sake, I will eventually go electric but would love to have the banjo burner at least meet my expectations.

All Grain Brewing / Re: ball valuve and thermometer on new kettle
« on: July 28, 2011, 11:32:04 AM »
+1 on that budyy.  I have a thermometer on my boil kettle, and for the life me, I don't know why.  I never use it. 

I wonder if this is a function of the type of chiller and\or kettle used?  With a standard kettle, your average probe-style brewing thermometer has the bracket for mounting on the lip of the kettle - this is rendered useless on a converted keg whose opening doesn't have a vertically-oriented mounting point.  Also, if you have a therminator or other chiller that shows the temperature of wort exiting the kettle, I can see not needing a kettle mounted one, but with an immersion chiller, it's sure nice to quickly glance at that big dial, without having to find your probe, sanitize, insert, and wait for a reading while running through your end-of-brew process.

Having a keggle, I personally can't wait to install a thermometer

All Grain Brewing / Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
« on: July 22, 2011, 01:01:14 PM »
Can anyone verify that European malts are actually made with European barley? N. America grows more 2-row than anywhere else. I know Italian pasta is usually made from wheat from the Dakotas. I suspect the same thing happens with malts. Grown here, shipped there, malted there, shipped back here.

In which case the environmental impact of shipping would double, no?   ::)

All Grain Brewing / Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
« on: July 22, 2011, 11:13:36 AM »
What are people's experiences with GW's 'Pale Ale Malt' vs. 'Premium 2-row'?  I've only used the latter but have heard the formwe is kilned slightly darker (2-3l), and said to be more like your British Pale malt.  I may try a sack of this on my next malt order.

Ingredients / Re: KilnCoffee Malt
« on: July 19, 2011, 09:23:31 AM »
I really like this Malt - somewhat similar to Pale Chocolate, but with perhaps a bit more acrid, fruity roastiness (this is just from chewing the grain raw, side-by-side).  I use 5-6 oz in my big, sticky Old Ale and it adds a nice whisper of roast and deepens the dark ruby color.

I'm brewing a Porter this weekend or next and will augment the Roasted and Chocolate Malts with ~6oz of the Kilned Coffee.  I'm expecting good things.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How many people use hop bags?
« on: July 18, 2011, 09:05:41 AM »
I use a 5 gallon nylon paint strainer for everything but a FWH addition.  Works great -- minimal mess.

+1 to this - works great - and a fraction of the cost LHBS will charge for an indentical bag with a drawstring at the top.  It's just elastic on the top, so I either tie it off on the handle of my smaller kettle, or now in my bigger keggle, I use a binder clip to hold the bag fast against the side.  Super easy to just open the single bag, dump in the charge, and close it up again.  The large size gives plenty of room for pellets or flowers to swirl around in the wort, and removing one bag of hop mass at the end of boil is super-convenient.

Interesting. Well, I'll definitely use it again, so will see where it lands.  Not a lot about this yeast on the internet, but I distinctly remember a thread (on homebrewtalk iirc), where a couple users mentioned the low-attenuation, which ended up as my experience as well.  I hydrated in ~80f water as I do with all Fermentis products, and it was very quick to start, but petered out quickly too.  Even rousing the yeast after a week or so didn't budge the FG.

I suppose I could have measured mash temps wrong and mashed at 158 instead of 148, but don't think that's the case.

Only way to know will be to brew a couple more Belgian-styles in the near future, darn.

I think T-58 could do a decent Wit, I'd be concerned with it under attenuation though.  While I read that it could be an under-attenuator, I tried to counter that by recently throwing it at my standard Saison grist and mash schedule (mashed high 140's, cane sugar in the boil, and higher ferment temps - 76-78f), and it still only finished at 1.015.  Distinctly Belgian esters, but lots of pear, honey, and melon character - much more like a Tripel than a Saison, though faint peppery notes emerge as the beer warms.  Main complaint is the heavy mouthfeel for what should be a crisp style.  Good flavor\aroma though, I'll use it again.

Ingredients / Re: Hazlenut Beer
« on: July 14, 2011, 02:19:56 PM »
If the nuts are raw (definitely shouldn't be salted!) gently roast in the oven till they taste good, then chop and add in a mesh bag in secondary.   The roasting evidently helps leave behind some of the fats and oils (maybe transfer to a paper towel to soak up even more before adding to beer).  The oils do reduce head retention, but not as much as you think if the process above is followed.

This was from the ProBrewer forums where Ron from Jolly Pumpkin said 1lb per BBL would  provide a decent nut character - sounds pretty darn low to me though, if rjharper used 1lb in a homebrewed batch, I'd probably lean more to his ratio of 1lb per homebrewed batch.

Ingredients / Re: CTZ Hops anywhere?
« on: June 20, 2011, 01:21:34 PM »
Thanks for all the sources guys! - and thanks Blatz for pointing out the obvious, may have looked over those mentally because they weren't pellets (which I prefer), so went on looking forgetting some DO exist.

Man, too bad to hear about Simcoe - was really looking forward to trying that in a few beers.  Maybe a local brewery can spare a few ounces around...

Ingredients / CTZ Hops anywhere?
« on: June 20, 2011, 08:08:10 AM »
Was dismayed when going to place my yearly hop order that neither Freshops or HopsDirect has any Columbus left this year.  Anyone know where any are available at less that your average LHBS retail prices?

Also, apparently Simcoe are at a premium now?  Wanted to start brewing with them, but then also noticed Putterbaugh Farms (Hops Direct) doesn't even have any on-top for the '11 harvest :(


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: AHA member discount program
« on: June 13, 2011, 03:32:48 PM »
This is good to hear, as this has been a frustration of mine as well.  I've also found however, that if you ask a host or bartender at a brewpub, some will still give a discount.

Ingredients / Re: Whole sour cherry source?
« on: June 08, 2011, 07:18:33 AM »
Cool Tom - I've got family in Spokane and further north, will have to do some asking around!  Wow, you made quite a haul last year :-P   Actually, I remember now my neighbor cut down a Cherry tree a few years back - I remember being annoyed at the time because the pits it left all over my driveway...stuck to tires, shoes, etc.  Wonder what they were now!

Wow, mahleb sounds really interesting morticaixavier!  I'm not sure how the 'floral notes' would go in Porter, but I will definitely track some down and give it a try in something.

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