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Messages - erockrph

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The Pub / Re: Lady brewers
« on: September 13, 2014, 09:21:39 PM »
Welcome! I got started brewing with my best friend and his wife. Between you and me, I like her tastes in beer better :) While I don't know too many woman brewers, I do find that my female friends are more likely to be into flavorful beers like IPAs and sours than their male counterparts. I think that might be because men tend to be groomed on mass-market lagers at a young age, while women are more likely to be approaching beer with a more open mind and unbiased palate.

As far as meads go, definitely do some reading and ask some questions here, but I highly recommend just diving right in with some smaller batches. It takes a little while to get your mead pipeline started up, so the sooner you start the better.

The Pub / Re: What's the Weather Like Where You Are?
« on: September 13, 2014, 09:10:58 PM »
66° and overcast with a light breeze, and I'm loving every second.
Yeah, we had a stretch last week that was hotter and certainly more humid than most of July and August. I was outside last night looking for auroras around midnight and it was definitely autumn. Slept like a baby. Now its time to drag my feet on my girlfriends requests to get out the bigger comforter.
I remember that stretch well. That's the week my central air died.  :-\

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Duvel Tripel Hop
« on: September 13, 2014, 09:09:32 PM »
I haven't had Tripel Hop in a few years, but to this day it's the only Belgian IPA I've ever wanted to put down in mass quantity. I don't remember the head retention issue. My tasting notes from 2011 mention "creamy white head", so I'm not sure what's happening there.

It's good to hear that this year's hop combo works well. I've heard some mixed reviews from when they were using Sorachi. The year they used Saaz/Styrian Goldings/Amarillo was amazing.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Alchemist Heady Topper
« on: September 13, 2014, 09:03:17 PM »
First and foremost - heavily hyped beers rarely live up to the hype, but Heady Topper is definitely one of the best commercial IPA's I've ever tried.

Aroma is like burying your face in a bag of hops. There's plenty of fruit, but there's also this great hop cone/lupulin on your fingers smell that rarely makes it all the way into the finished beer. The flavor has some citrus, but is more skewed to the piny/herbal side. Bitterness is nice and firm on the middle of the tongue, but not harsh or abrasive. The hop aroma and flavor are clearly more the focus than the bitterness. The finish has plenty of hop flavor continuing on for a good while.

What I really like about Heady Topper is that the bitterness doesn't feel harsh or raw, and it doesn't feel like someone just painted hop resin on your tongue that's never going to wash off. As much as I enjoy beers like "Go To" and "Enjoy By", or my own IPA's for that matter, I get some bitterness character that's a bit rough (almost like raw hops) when trying to push the hop flavor envelope. Whatever they're doing at Alchemist, they really have it dialed in.

The Pub / Re: What's the Weather Like Where You Are?
« on: September 13, 2014, 12:06:22 PM »
66° and overcast with a light breeze, and I'm loving every second.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Can I save my under carbed beer?
« on: September 13, 2014, 12:00:17 PM »

On bottle conditioned beers I find sometimes you get great carbonation after a week, but sometimes it takes a month.
+1 - 2 weeks just isn't enough time to call it undercarbonated. My bottled beers are typically drinkably carbonated at 10-14 days, but are still finishing carbonating 3-4 weeks after bottling. Give it some more time.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: CONGRATS JONATHON FULLER!!!
« on: September 13, 2014, 11:55:44 AM »
Awesome! Congrats!

Beer Recipes / Re: Skeleton Helles
« on: September 12, 2014, 06:05:52 PM »
I'm not sure you will be able to find Munich DME. I've only seen it as LME. I'd suggest you use some Pilsner DME and mash the Munich instead.

If you do have a source for Munich DME, please let us know. I'd love to get my hands on some.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mini batch newbie
« on: September 12, 2014, 03:28:39 PM »
I do no sparge BIAB batches in a cooler just like you are planning. I use a 5 gallon cooler for 3 gallon batches, so you should have plenty of room. My efficiency is generally 80% into the kettle for beers above 1.040. As long as you have a fine meshed bag, then squeeze out as much as you can. I'd you're using something with a wide mesh like muslin then I wouldn't  squeeze so much so you don't get husk material in the boil.

The Pub / Re: Vegan Oktoberfest
« on: September 12, 2014, 12:21:40 PM »
Not that I'm from the area, but I was interested until I saw the typo on the food page:

Urban Pie’s one of a kind German pizzas including a special sausage and potato pizza with creamy leak sauce!

I've got no interest with someone taking a creamy leak on my pizza!  :o

Honestly, I have friends who are vegan and/or various shades of vegetarian. While I wouldn't eat it every day, I do enjoy a lot of veg/vegan food. In particular, food that is not specifically designed to be a meat replacement. Tofu in a sir fry? Sure. Tofurky? No, thanks. I love black bean burgers, but I'm not a fan of fake meat patties.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First brew day check
« on: September 12, 2014, 09:55:17 AM »
+3, do I hear a 4?
I'm in. +4

For your first few brews, I'd highly recommend brewing well-known recipes. Once you get the process down, and are producing beers without any significant flaws, then you can start dabbling with recipes. If you've never brewed a beer before and you run into an issue with the beer, then it will be easier to determine what went wrong if you know the recipe is tried and tested.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mashing Question Using Canned Pumpkin
« on: September 12, 2014, 09:45:57 AM »
Just to be contrary, why bother to mash the pumpkin at all? I just brewed a Pumpkin Saison yesterday using a 15 oz can of pumpkin puree and 2 15 oz cans of pumpkin pie mix, roasted (actually probably more sauteed on a stove top than roasted) for about a half hour or so to develop some color, then added to the boil with about 15 minutes left. I wasn't looking for the pumpkin to add any sugars (the base saison recipe has plenty, plus I tossed in some maple syrup, too), just some flavor (mostly from the pie mix spices) and color. It was certainly simpler, and I don't see a downside, except maybe the enjoyment of adding an interesting step to the mash process.
Pumpkin does contain a fair amount of starch, so that could lead to haze issues if it's not mashed. Pumpkin also contains pectin, so that could set into a pectin haze if boiled. Clarity issues aside, if you're happy with the results of using pumpkin in the boil, then I don't see much else of an issue.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Alpha Analytics
« on: September 12, 2014, 08:42:58 AM »
So not exactly worth it to check out the specs on a pound or two of hops. But this is way more info than you typically get from Hops Direct, freshops, or any of the other small growers or resellers. I wouldn't mind paying an extra buck a pound to get this kind of detail.

It's way more information than one needs for brewing.  The basic brewing values (alpha, beta, and HSI) are all one needs.  Overall oil content v/w is good to know for making consistent flavor/aroma additions. However, the volatile oil breakdown is only important to large breweries that purchase alphas and oils.
There's still a lot of research to be done on hop oils, but as an IPA brewer I would definitely start tracking things like linalool/geraniol/citronellol if I had the ability to do so. A lot of these hop oils allegedly represent the flavors and aromas I'm trying to cram in my beer. Having this data available would certainly help focus some experimentation.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Alpha Analytics
« on: September 12, 2014, 07:42:46 AM »
Wow! I'm impressed at the level of detail you're able to get from them. If the price and sample sizes are right I'd even consider sending some samples from hops I've purchased in bulk.
The service cost $100.00.  I took advantage of the 15% discount that Hopunion was offering to AHA members.
So not exactly worth it to check out the specs on a pound or two of hops. But this is way more info than you typically get from Hops Direct, freshops, or any of the other small growers or resellers. I wouldn't mind paying an extra buck a pound to get this kind of detail.

Beer Recipes / Re: Celtic chestnut beer
« on: September 12, 2014, 06:37:13 AM »
Wormwood is an excellent bittering herb. very strong so go easy on it.
+10100 - I tried making my own Absinthe once. The flavor was horrendous and clung to my tongue for hours. The ensuing vomiting was epic. Needless to say, I stick to the commercial stuff nowadays.

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