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Messages - narvin

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The Pub / Re: Will this get me kicked off the forum?
« on: May 17, 2015, 05:52:52 AM »
Maybe the Thing's wife's vagina...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Prop. 65?
« on: April 27, 2015, 07:04:41 AM »
The list of chemicals that require a warning:

My best guess is that the keg contains anabolic steroids.

Beer Travel / Re: Belgium, Ireland - Where do I drink?
« on: April 18, 2015, 03:33:15 PM »
Brussels is easy... you have to hit Delerium Cafe, Cantillon,  Moeder Lambic, and there's lots of other options around town.  Timmermans was also a cool tour... although they are owned by the Martins hotel conglomerate , you can see some great lambic history in a museum upstairs and they also have pumped a lot of money into restoring the brewery.  In Brugge, Le Trappiste is an awesome bar in a Medieval brick basement with a great selection.  Fort Lapin is a cool  micro/nano brewery that has the spirit of an American small brewery with great Belgian beer .

Not sure about Ireland, but they actually bottle Guinness at Timmermans from some contracting agreement!  Maybe you could ask for one and skip the Irish leg of the tour.  I like the Green/Yellow Spot whisky but the beer will be disappointing after Belgium.

Equipment and Software / Re: Chest Freezer 101
« on: April 07, 2015, 06:44:11 PM »
So, you're measuring air temp in the freezer as well as the probe taped to your fermenter?  You care about the temperature of the beer, so I'd only pay attention to that. The temperature controller should keep the freezer on until the beer temp drops below your set point.  Why is the freezer turning off if the water temp doesn't fall below 67?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Show off your foam!
« on: March 01, 2015, 11:31:56 AM »
The only other thing I have been doing different other than using a grant is taking better care of the mash bed, which has also brought my efficiency up to near 80%.

Can you explain what this means?  Disturbing it less, or perhaps raking it?  I assume you're fly sparging  ;)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
« on: March 01, 2015, 11:28:22 AM »

Steven Deeds and I have already proven that stir plates add little to no value when preparing a starter.  Stir plates were designed to prevent clumping in suspension cell culturing.  They crept into home brewing via people involved in cancer research, which is an area of science that is a big time user of suspension cell culturing.  Add in the fact that most home brewers propagate yeast incorrectly, and most stirred starters end up underperforming a simple shaken starter that is pitched at high krausen.

KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) is the best approach when propagating yeast.  Avoid introducing anything into the starter media that absolutely does not need to be there, including a stir bar.  Everything that comes into contact with the culture when it is small is an infection threat due to the fact that bacteria multiply eight-fold every time yeast cells double.  Boiling only kills vegetative cells, which is why I autoclave (pressure cook) the media that I use for my really small starters.

Dissolved O2 level matters, but one doesn't need to use pure O2.  The shaken, not stirred method (a.k.a. "James Bond Method") that I outlined in a couple of threads produces a very healthy starter.  It's a low-cost, low-tech, easy to perform method that produces excellent results.

And, other people have found different results.

But, above all, it should be known that "Shaken, not stirred" is a terrible way to make a Martini.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
« on: March 01, 2015, 11:18:34 AM »
....also WLP 001 is a very easy to use yeast, not at all temperamental. Great beginners yeast and again very forgiving of mistakes.

+1.  That yeast is a beast.  Just remember that every yeast does have it's own behavior.  People have been recommending starters not because it's a one size fits all approach, but because eventually you'll hit a style of beer that you absolutely have to pitch more than 100 billion cells for a 5 gallon batch to get the optimal flavor profile and attenuation.  More often than not, it's better to err on the side of a starter.  Of course, overpitching can also give you sub-optimal fermentation, but by commercial standards homebrewers almost always start by underpitching.

This is why we can't have nice things.

The Pub / Re: Nerd Alert! Star Wars Action Figures
« on: February 27, 2015, 07:05:44 AM »
I bent my wookiee.

Going Pro / Re: The most expensive ingredient in beer...
« on: February 25, 2015, 07:16:07 PM »
I'm not sure about every state, but in most a business purchasing raw ingredients for resale in a manufactured product is exempt from sales tax.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Me being a beer snob
« on: February 23, 2015, 09:02:22 AM »
I have a bunch of nice Belgian chalices... I'll post my favorite when I get home.

I thought this one was super cool, and they gave it to me for free at the brewery, but (un)fortunately it was the only thing that broken in my suitcase.

Going Pro / Re: The most expensive ingredient in beer...
« on: February 23, 2015, 06:23:29 AM »
For us, federal and state excise taxes make up about 19% of our cost on an average beer. As you get larger and you take advantage of economies of scale AND you pay the larger tax rate, I could easily see the cost being 40% of the costs.

Taxes really become crazy when you start looking at labor costs...

19% of your cost sounds reasonable.  The thing that seemed a little crazy was the claim that 40% of retail price was taxes.  I guess I can see this in the same sense that 40% of my "costs" are taxes, ignoring the fact that removing taxes would not necessarily mean I would still make the same salary and also not have to pay for things like private pirate insurance and personally security and other things required to keep society going.

Going Pro / Re: The most expensive ingredient in beer...
« on: February 22, 2015, 03:22:53 PM »
Are you talking about business taxes in general, or just the beer specific taxes?  $7 a barrel plus state alcohol tax seems like it would be way less than 40%.

Edit: I guess if you count sales taxes, which are levied on the sale price and not the cost of production, it would add a lot to the overall "cost" of the beer compared to raw materials.  But that seems like a silly comparison since it's going to be directly proportional to revenue for the brewery.

Going Pro / The most expensive ingredient in beer...
« on: February 22, 2015, 10:03:42 AM »

I'm all for the lowering of excise taxes for small brewers, but these numbers don't seem to add up.  Any pros have a comment?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: brew steps for sour beer
« on: February 12, 2015, 07:56:55 AM »
It depends.  If I want a true Lambic style beer, I'm going to pitch everything in the primary because this is how the beer is traditionally made and it definitely seems to get the most sour bang for your buck.  If I want a beer with less acidity but lots of Brett B character, a secondary pitch is fine.

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