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Messages - mihalybaci

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Hop Growing / Re: Trim back first shoots?
« on: March 31, 2015, 06:38:37 AM »
Good info. I don't have enough crowns to really do a good side-by-side test myself. I started growing hops after I got the book, so I trimmed from the start without knowing how much affect it had. I have been trimming when most of them were over 4" tall, but I'm interested to know how tall everyone else lets theirs get before cutting back. I'm in Eastern PA and am just starting to see the first shoots (maybe 1" tall) on my Brewer's Gold, and its still getting down near freezing so I want to make sure that the plants are protected.

you can eat those early shoots like asparagus. reason enough to cut them back right there.
Eat the trimmings? I will have to try that this year. How tall do you let them get when you eat them? I imagine they get pretty woody pretty quickly.

Hop Growing / Trim back first shoots?
« on: March 30, 2015, 06:15:12 PM »
In the book "Homegrown Hops", David Beach mentions a technique where one cuts back all of the first hop shoots that come out in the spring, and then only letting the second round climb. He mentions that this method may produce enhanced hop production and reduce pests. Has any one tried this and does it produce noticeable results?


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Porter style and yeast choice
« on: January 13, 2015, 02:39:34 PM »
I used Wyeast 1275 in a SMaSH English-style IPA last year, and I really liked the yeast. It had some nice esters that complimented the hop character. I was going to use it in the sweet stout I made recently, but my LHBS was out, so I used Wyeast 1099 Whitbred ale instead (tasting results pending). I think the 023/1275 is worth a try.

All Grain Brewing / Re: brewhouse efficiency question
« on: November 24, 2014, 07:49:46 AM »
If you don't want to spend money on software, there are two freeware programs you could check out. - QBrew - BrewTarget

I don't have the link, but if you hunt around I'm sure there are on-line calculators as well.

There is an Odell IPA clone recipe in the July/August 2012 Zymurgy. They don't name a specific yeast, just that the house yeast is a "strong top-cropper with medium attenuation and low-medium flocculation." Based on that description, and Odell's tendency to make a lot of British-style ales, I would guess there house yeast an English strain.

I have done all those things before (probably on the same batch at some point), and they didn't affect the beer quality. I used to use a really thin, cheap kettle that always left some wort burned on the bottom and never noticed the flavor in the beer. As long as you didn't scrape the bottom and get the burned bits floating around I think you'll be fine.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop steeping process
« on: July 22, 2014, 06:31:17 AM »
I have gotten a lot of flavor by waiting until 170-180F. The aroma isn't quite as strong as dry hopping, but still plenty for less-hoppy styles. For my last brew, I killed the heat and immediately started chilling. Once the beer hit 175F I added the hops and left them in for 30 minutes with the chiller running the whole time. The wort was ~120F when I pulled the hops out.

I made a SMASH beer (sort of a hybrid english bitter) with just a first wort addition plus a whirlpool/steep addition, and I really liked the results. Lots of hop flavor, not quite as much aroma as dry hops though. I used the the same FWH/whirlpool additions for a saison I brewed on Sunday, hopefully it turns out just as well.

I've used DME, corn sugar/dextrose, and plain white table sugar for priming and have not noticed any difference. White sugar is cheap and readily available, so I use it and don't know of a reason to use anything else.

Other Fermentables / Re: First wine try
« on: May 07, 2014, 06:58:52 AM »
You'll probably need campden tablets (potassium metabisulfite, I think) to add to the grape must before adding the yeast in order to kill off any wild yeasts/bacteria. Not sure why that's preferred over low temperature pasteurization, maybe to preserve volatile aromatics.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Brett gear
« on: February 24, 2014, 07:52:04 AM »
I have never had a problem of later contamination after making sours (Flanders Red). After bottling, I just sanitize everything with a bleach solution (which I don't do for "regular" beers) and then follow my normal sanitization routine for the next batch.

Beer Travel / Re: Ft. Collins for the holidays
« on: December 20, 2013, 09:06:10 AM »
Yeah, the only reason I mention the bars is that depending on the day most of the places will close between 6-9 pm, so they aren't great for staying out late. I almost forgot Coopersmith's, they're a brewpub the next block down from Equinox and a good place to grab some food. Their Albert Damm Bitter and an order of banger's and mash is a good meal.

Beer Travel / Re: Ft. Collins for the holidays
« on: December 19, 2013, 01:27:19 PM »
There is also Pateros Creek, which specializes mostly in British-style session beers and Black Bottle, though I haven't been to that one since their grand opening. They were "okay" at the time. Other local bars with good beer selections are the "Tap and Handle" and "The Mayor of Old Town". They don't brew, but they'll have a lot of the FoCo beers as well as those from all over Colorado (and the world).

The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: December 12, 2013, 08:22:26 AM »
+1 for Bulleit, which I actually like a bit better than Maker's Mark. It's especially good in Alton Brown's egg nog recipe. My favorite bourbon though has to be Blanton's. At $50 per 750 mL it's not cheap, but it's really smooth with a nice vanilla character.

Speaking of Alton Brown, he recently posted a podcast with Julian Van Winkle owner of the Old Rip Van Winkle distillery. It's a really interesting discussion of bourbon (with a bourbon tasting afterwards) for those who are into that kind of thing.

Ingredients / Re: Time to mix up my hops
« on: December 05, 2013, 09:04:07 AM »
I used saphir hops in a light Belgian ale last year and thought they gave a nice bright, floral aroma.

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