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Messages - reverseapachemaster

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Equipment and Software / Re: Newest Toy
« on: July 14, 2018, 05:21:11 PM »
There's so much unsupported myth in beer history and brewing. I don't know the origin of this "godisgood" story but the word yeast (often spelled yest) appears in brewing and beer texts at least back to the middle ages in Europe. If you look at nearly every culture that brews some type of alcoholic beverage, they figured out well before the common era the function of yeast. Some reused vessels that made a good beverage and unintentionally repitched. Others repitched slurry from the bottom of their vessels or added fermented liquid from a prior batch to a new one. Humans didn't know yeast was a fungus until the nineteenth century but they definitely knew fermentation was not a supernatural force.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sours
« on: July 14, 2018, 05:02:29 PM »
There's no reason to pay that kind of money for a recipe kit.

Kettle sours are a good way to get your feet wet brewing sour beer as long as you can keep wort warm for an extended period of time (or can find one of the lacto strains that doesn't need more warmth than room temperature). With a kettle sour you mash as normal and when collecting your runnings you'll pitch lactobacillus and keep the wort in the 80s-90s for 1-3 days (mostly depending upon how warm you can keep the wort) and when it is sufficiently sour you boil and continue as normal. Keep the wort in a container with as little access to air as possible.
Keep IBUs very low. Your beer will be ready to drink within normal timeframes for clean beers and the resulting beer does not carry over bacteria to worry about with your racking/bottling equipment. This creates a boring but sour beer. It's sufficient as a base for adding fruit or dry hopping.

If you want to create a sour beer with more character you will want to look at the "normal" process for long term aging. It's still not an expensive or difficult process. You just brew as usual, pitch a sour blend and have a lot of patience. Aside from patience you need to check every 3-4 weeks to make sure the cap/stopper is secure on the carboy and the airlock is full of liquid. Letting in air through the top of the carboy will result in excessive amounts of acetic acid. You'll also want to think about getting separate racking/bottling equipment.

If you need to buy a kit or premade recipe just buy a hefeweizen kit and swap out the hefe yeast for a sour blend that has lacto, pedio and brett. This is the base recipe for the majority of pale sour beers out there. No need to pay several times that price because somebody wrote sour beer on the kit. If you want to kettle sour swap out the hefe yeast for a neutral ale yeast (or you can use any Belgian yeast) and buy lacto. Lots of people have good luck kettle souring with the good belly juice from the grocery store.

You can sour pretty much anything although I'd recommend keeping away from anything with roasted barley or black patent which sometimes create acrid or burnt tire flavors. If you're buying kits you can buy some of the basic recipe kits for brown ale, pale ale, wit, pilsner, altbier, etc. and change out the yeast and keep the IBUs below 20 for sour beer you're aging, right around 10 if you're kettle souring.

Homebrew Con 2018 / Re: "Style Hunter" Provisional Styles
« on: July 10, 2018, 08:24:56 PM »
Are we going to use this thread to complain about the new styles or should we start a new one?

Everyone on this forum knows they would slap the bag and pass it around with friends, just to try it, and we’ll, for quality control.

I was offered the opportunity to slap the bag and I did.

So I found this beer at a beerfest here in Colorado and tried it out as promised.

The beer is served out of a plastic bladder in a box. The bag is thick--a lot thicker than the mylar bags I've seen for boxed wine (although my experience with boxed wine is minimal). It reminds me more of IV bags at a hospital. I guess it serves the intended purpose but I still don't understand the appeal personally.

The beer is minimally carbonated but not flat. It holds carbonation similar to a gravity keg. I've drank a lot of minimally carbonated and flat sour beer from my own brewing but I'd be surprised there's a big market for this. It's a little heavy and dull in the mouthfeel.

Flavor-wise it reminds me of some not great spontaneous experiments of my own. It's not particularly sour and the flavor profile is mostly earthy flavors in the forest floor/damp basement profile. They definitely need some work on these beers (like most breweries state-side brewing spontaneous beers) and wish they would have spent more time perfecting the beer over rushing out an unusual concept.

Events / Re: GABF Sessions - Am I Crazy?
« on: July 05, 2018, 05:49:27 PM »
Depends on how serious you intend to be about drinking at either session. You can drink a lot of beer in one session if you get in line early for the session and avoid the handful of booths with really long lines.

Personally if I really felt like I needed to try that many breweries that I needed two sessions then I'd hit sessions on two different days. But OTOH with the size of the event I think you might need two events to catch breweries across the entire geographic spread.

Also keep in mind there are tons of events all around town with tap takeovers, special tappings and brewery events that if you're looking to party with craft beer you don't have to limit yourself to the expensive GABF sessions.

All Things Food / Re: Water Profile for Brewed Coffe
« on: July 05, 2018, 05:34:48 PM »
Most coffee water profiles are close to low mineral brewing profiles. You need some minerals to round out the flavor but not so much that you taste them or get any kind of aggressive addition from the water. You can get really technical with it but I feel like I get a good water profile out of filtered water through a typical consumer carbon filter system.

All Grain Brewing / Re: efficiency
« on: June 25, 2018, 05:06:46 PM »
I agree the shop mill is the likely culprit but in the event it isn't milling then your change in water profile is the second place I would look. You say the ph is 5.3 and used to be 6. How are you measuring this? Ph strips are not particularly reliable, especially if you measure hot liquids.

Beer Travel / Re: Houston/Austin
« on: June 21, 2018, 05:16:07 PM »
Yeah Houston traffic is really rough so either coordinate to hit places close to one another or pick one place. St. Arnold's is Houston's largest and oldest craft brewery. It probably won't blow you away but you won't find bad beer, either. Karbach is also a solid brewery but an AB Inbev acquisition.

Lots of breweries in Houston make one or two good beers and the rest are not great so unless you are really committed to going to a brewery then you might have a better experience tasting Houston's breadth of craft beer at one of the better known bars. Hay Merchant, Flying Saucer, Gingerman are all good options. If you're on the north side Petrol Station is good.

Austin traffic is bad and will be especially bad around the rivers between Austin and San Antonio because of the holiday. Stay off I-35 in Austin if you can. Austin will be crowded in general with the holiday so plan accordingly.

Live Oak is definitely worth the stop. Either of the Pinthouse Pizza locations are also worthwhile stops. I like Austin Beerworks on the north side as well. I am not too familiar with some of the newer breweries like Zilker and Lazarus although I hear good things about both.

If you want the most access to breweries in Austin then the northwest side of town around the 1/MoPAC and 183 intersection will put the most around you. In that general area is Austin Beerworks, Pinthouse Pizza (Burnet), Adelbert's, Celis, Circle, 4th Tap, Oskar Blues, NXNW, and I think one or two others have opened up there. Not all of those are worth your time but plenty of options. The Whole Foods grocery store near there has a solid tap list as well.

If you want to hit beer bars then Bangers and Craft Pride on Rainey St. are the best options.

You'll find some of the Jester King shelf beers around town. Maybe some of the limited but not brewery-only releases if something came out recently. Your best options for more limited offerings are sunrise bottle shop (it's in a gas station, really) or whip-in. Specs sometimes has some good stuff on the shelves and they have locations all around town.

Consumption rate would definitely drive decisions for me about what size equipment to buy. I brew a lot of small batches in the 1-3 gallon range. I don't drink as much as I would like to maintain weight and if I brewed larger batches I'd brew way less than I want. OTOH, if I wanted to brew less frequently a larger system would be the way to go.

Really think about how much time you spend drinking at home versus out, how much you drink when you're home and how much you're the kind of person who drinks the same beer over and over. Do you buy the same six pack to keep in your fridge or do you usually look for something new?

Hop Growing / Re: Hops on clay
« on: June 06, 2018, 03:03:25 AM »
My old house had a lot of clay. Hops did ok directly in the ground but I had problems any time the ground dried out too much because it turns into a literal brick. I eventually moved the hops into raised beds with a mix of potting soil and natural soil and they grew a lot better.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Prepping Whiskey Barrel
« on: June 04, 2018, 06:50:17 PM »
Smart people differ about the right way to treat barrels, which probably means there are several good ways to accomplish the same goals. What you need is to make sure the barrel won't leak and isn't infected.

Personally after a four month empty period I would swell the barrel by soaking the exterior in distilled water for a few days with a bung in it to make sure it is tight and won't leak. Adding more alcohol inside the barrel while you do this wouldn't be a bad idea.

You could add a storage solution of hot water plus sulfite plus citric acid or just hot water to the inside of the barrel but IMO it's more important to have a good seal on the outside of the barrel than the inside. If the inside is damp it's probably fine but the outside is probably dry enough that it might leak a little.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brut IPA
« on: June 04, 2018, 06:43:22 PM »
Brut IPA really seems like a stab at bringing the west coast, clear IPA style back into marketability by making a new version of it.

I can't claim to be an expert on the emerging style but the few I have had reminded me of a really thin pale ale with the low bitterness of those early 2010s hop burst pale ales. It's not dry, just really thin.

Doesn't scratch any itch for me. I'll take a regular pale ale over it any day.

Yeah I wouldn't be afraid to use them. Conventionally lambic brewers use aged European hops with low alpha acid but I've brewed plenty of beer with aged American varieties as well. You need to age them sufficiently to diminish the alpha acids but 2008 is probably more than enough time. Beta acids don't roll off as easily so I would compare the beta content of those varieties against some of the noble hops and adjust your hop volumes accordingly.

The Steal This Beer podcast episode with Gene and Os from talkbeer goes into an interesting discussion about the acquisitions and why all of this makes sense when it seems so clearly like the driver is asleep at the wheel.

The short of what the host (Augie Carton) argues is that the share price for AB Inbev is based around the valuation of Bud/Bud Light as a premium brand. If there are craft beers selling at $20/bottle that's a higher valuation than the Bud products. So they can buy out a brewery in that space, produce an enormous volume and not just lower the product's price but lower the value per ounce of beer across that entire style. You can see that with BCBS and BA stouts, Wicked Weed and sours, etc.

I'm not entirely convinced that's true but it is an interesting theory. I do think it is partially true to the extent that protecting Bud is the number one priority and having beers selling at a greater premium was a problem to deal with; however, a lot of that also appears to be a desire to diversify and then conform craft breweries to the Bud production/sales method not the other way around. After all, both AB and Inbev have long been in the business of brewery acquisition.

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