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Messages - mabrungard

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Beer Travel / Re: Travel to Indianapolis
« on: December 19, 2013, 01:55:44 PM »
Yes, as Kyle mentions, a cab is public transport in Indy.  The bus system is not the best. But there might be a bus that can get you to and from downtown to Broad Ripple.

The good thing is that downtown is somewhat compact and walkable, as long as its not freezing cold. Sun King is a little more than a mile walk from the Marriott and their tap room hours are a little limited. Ram and Rock Bottom are near the hotel.

If you want to enjoy Indiana beers, the Thomlinson Tap room is another good place to visit. It is an easy walk from the hotel. Mass Ave also is a great place to enjoy a beer.

Equipment and Software / Re: Can heater light bulb alternatives
« on: December 19, 2013, 01:46:04 PM »
A regular heating pad from the drug store is OK as long as it doesn't have an automatic shutoff circuit.

Ingredients / Re: Gotta Vent about CaraPils
« on: December 18, 2013, 01:54:05 PM »
+1 regarding wheat malt or flaked wheat for building head. Very effective. I also tried flaked barley for about a  half dozen brews. Flaked barley delivers about 10 times the beta-glucan as wheat and the head was huge! But I felt the flavor was downgraded in pale beers, even with teeny additions, so I switched to wheat. Wheat is more neutral tasting to me.

Beer Recipes / Re: How about an Oatmeal Stout recipe?
« on: December 18, 2013, 01:45:59 PM »
What about the contention that Michael Lewis makes in his book, Stout, where he said that oats were not a good contributor? I recall that he said the beer was rough or astringent, or something like that.

I don't understand how oats could impart that sort of flavor to beer since they don't seem to have that flavor in oatmeal. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Thermometers?
« on: December 16, 2013, 03:35:53 PM »

sure thing. make sure to use the 4.01 and 7.0 solution for calibration - they calibrate based upon a typical measured ph in the range of 5.0. also ATC is good up to 140F, so for accurate PH reading you will need to cool mash sample slightly (10-15F).... Im not sure how to account for PH variance taken at typical higher  mash temps in the 149-156F

...and your pH reading will still be off. All mash pH readings MUST be made at room temperature if you want to protect the probe and provide an accurate reading. ATC only corrects for the effect on the probe. It does not correct for the effect of temp on the pH of the mash. In other words, ATC is almost useless for brewing usage. Save your money and get a better meter and probe without ATC.

Questions about the forum? / Re: Buttons don't work
« on: December 15, 2013, 06:39:28 PM »
They work for me.

Try another browser. I'm using Chrome.

The Pub / Re: Plywood face frames?
« on: December 15, 2013, 06:37:45 PM »
No fancy moulding with a router. My basement is in a Craftsmen/Mission styling, so the woodwork is fairly square and blocky. By the way, all my cabinet doors and drawer faces were bought from a cabinet shop, so it looks professional.

The Pub / Re: Plywood face frames?
« on: December 15, 2013, 09:35:50 AM »
Phil, you are contemplating the thing that I just did for cabinets in my bar and basement. I used 3/4" oak and 3/4 birch plywood. For the painted cabinets, the birch was fine. The red oak cabinets came out very nicely after staining and sealing. Excepting for corner areas where the plywood edge is visible, you would have to look pretty hard to know they are not lumber faces.

When you consider that a ply face frame is more structurally sound than lumber pieces, it is easy to go that route. I gulped at the $50 per sheet cost of the oak plywood, but quickly calmed down when I considered the cost for finished oak lumber and the need to employ biscuits and other means to bring the frame together. I also had concern with the waste from having to cut out and waste the plywood for drawer and cabinet openings. But I couldn't argue with the cost and structural soundness.

I did 'route' the edges to create receiving channels at the corners and cabinet floors to enhance the structural joints. All joints were glued and finished nailed. I do not have a working router, but I do have my circular table and hand saws. I wanted to use a Dado blade to form the channels, but my table saw arbor was too short. So I had to make the channels the hard way with multiple parallel saw cuts and then chiseling out the channel to final depth and finish. It was a pain, but did not degrade the appearance of the finished product.

Regarding the ply edges, I could have planned for applying oak or birch veneers over those areas. But those edges are so hidden, a visitor would probably never see them. 

Go for it.

Yep! A side pickup avoids more of the trub and you can always tip the kettle to help direct most of the wort to the pickup.

The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: December 13, 2013, 07:00:29 AM »
Disagreed. I like bourbon. You guys can keep the scotch. I never found the taste for the stuff. And I realley detest peat, in whiskey and beer.

I had never tasted Scotch prior to this year. But when I did, all I could think as a BJCP judge was: Defect...chlorophenols.  The experience also helped me realize that some people just aren't very sensitive to chlorophenol in beer either. Possibly because they either don't taste it or think it's an attribute (probably from drinking scotch!).

Ingredients / Re: spruce tips
« on: December 11, 2013, 06:15:58 AM »
A properly produced spruce has NO pine-sol character. Just the notes that Jeff mentions above.

Ingredients / Re: spruce tips
« on: December 10, 2013, 10:22:17 AM »
Spruce tips are the very young first growths from the trees. They are very soft and sweet. They do not have much in the way of sprucey or piney flavor when they are very young.

Ingredients / Re: Time to mix up my hops
« on: December 07, 2013, 07:47:23 AM »
You will see a recipe for an all Brewers Gold IPA in the next issue of Zymurgy as part of the discussion on Burton water. Brewers Gold imparts a black currant note into the flavor spectrum. That hop is otherwise notable as being 'hoppy'. When I saw that in the flavor descriptions on various websites, I drew a question mark. But after tasting and smelling the finished beer, 'hoppy' is a good descriptor. 

After the fact, I found that a lot of English brewers and homebrewers use Brewers Gold. We Americans should bring it back onto our palate of flavors.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Thermometers?
« on: December 03, 2013, 03:04:56 PM »
+1 to Big Al's way of measuring mash temperature. Although the temp reading may be off, as long as the measurement device is consistent, the net effect is that you just adjust the desired temp up or down to suit your desired beer characteristics.  I suppose that the main deficiency would be that Big Al may need to ignore temperature recommendations from other brewers and base his mashing decisions more on his intuition. 

But, calibrating to a standard does allow you to recommend and compare temps more accurately.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Thermometers?
« on: December 03, 2013, 10:18:53 AM »
I do like the ruggedness of bi-metal probe thermometers, but they are easily uncalibrated with use or abuse. Having a traceable calibration thermometer to check those bi-metal thermometers is imperative. On top of that, the bi-metal thermometers may not be as linear in their response as some other types, so having that calibration standard and calibrating at mashing temps is good practice. 

With that said, those cheap electronic units that Sean Terrill mentioned months ago and Amanda pointed to above, seem to be a great deal and several are waterproof.  I see that you can pick up a calibratable unit for $19 (Model: RT301WA) and its spec says its within 0.9F.  That is pretty good since a much more expensive Thermapen is only slightly better (0.7F).  Considering that the cheap unit is made by the Thermapen people, I would skip to the cheaper option without a blink!

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