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Messages - reverseapachemaster

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The Pub / Re: Elysian Just sold to Anheuser-Busch
« on: January 28, 2015, 08:38:59 AM »
not my point. My point is that the idea that a major buys up a craft and it 'stays the same' is only true to the extent that incremental adjustment must be slow enough to allow the customer to adapt their expectations. People didn't start wanting less hops in their bud because their tastes just inexplicably changed. Their expectations were handled through careful application of incremental change. We all drink goose island and say "it's still good" and as long as one generation is never so far from the last that we say, "jeez goose island tastes kind cheap and ricey lately doesn't it?" costs can be lowered. I don't know the history of fat tire recipe, perhaps it has changed and that's why people think less of it today but I expect it's that a) You personally think less of it because your palate has changed over the years and b) the palate of the 'average' craft beer drinker has shifted over the years. That's a different thing than AB slowly reducing the level of hopping in bud over the course of decades to cut production costs without admitting to their customer base that the beer was getting less and less tasty, the whole while pointing at customer desire as the reason for their low level of flavor.

I'm not so sure you can blame the drift away from hops in bud on manipulation by AB. If you look at the 1940s-1980s there was a drift away across the board from flavorful foods and bitter foods towards foods with high salt and sugar content and otherwise fairly bland. You can track those changes through other foods. You don't see the wedge salad become a popular item on menus in the 80s unless people wanted to consume complete blandness. AB sure steered into the skid on that one with their advertising and product adjustment but they can't be singularly blamed for it happening.

Ingredients / Re: low alpha hops for bittering is expensive
« on: January 28, 2015, 08:30:05 AM »
However, some of you have noted that you like the character of beer using low alpha hops for bittering. Aren't you at risk of getting a grassy flavor using so many hops? This would be a good challenge to find out which way tastes best. Or, would the two differing versions be similar?

To the extent that there is a vegetal character coming through, it may be part of the flavor contribution they are enjoying out of their bittering addition.

I believe the beers referenced here are lagers with a bittering addition and then small late additions--at least compared to the late additions of an IPA. It's probably well below the threshold to produce noticeable grassy flavors. Even using very low AA hops you're not getting anywhere near the vegetable content in these beers that you would get in an IPA, especially at the rate some people unload hops into their hoppy ales.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Krausen In The Wort?
« on: January 28, 2015, 08:09:57 AM »
I always get some of that falling back into the beer as I move the fermentor to the kitchen for racking and bottling. It isn't an issue. It's getting back in contact with the beer for minutes at most and it stays behind in the fermentor.

Now if you were scraping it all off the sides and back into the beer during fermentation then I might suggest that is not a best practice.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Unintentional Souring
« on: January 27, 2015, 07:56:16 AM »
Unless you are sanitizing your pre-boil equipment then it is already infected with bacteria and wild yeast. All that stuff is naturally present. You don't need to have grain present for them to show up. The boil kills it all off so it's not a sanitation problem on the cold side.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Quality, Impact, and Commercial Appeal
« on: January 27, 2015, 07:44:25 AM »
Hard to guess what would win people's choice. Lighter beers like CAP can be crowd pleasers, but get passed over as too average for a competition win.

I've sat on a bunch of BOS panels.  Honestly, there are a lot of lighter beers that win BOS, at least up here in WA.  Sure, there are plenty of RISs, IIPAs, and big Belgians, but I've also seen Pilsners, Milds, Kolschs, Dortmunders, ESBs, and Cal Commons win, too.  I could easily see a really good CAP walking away with BOS.

Each time I've judged over the past year it seems like it's become sort of a thing to try to pick a BOS beer that isn't an over the top beer. I'm not sure that's swinging the pendulum too hard the other direction but it's nice to see some recognition for a beer that isn't a barrel aged RIS or an IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIPA.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Making progress with SWMBO
« on: January 27, 2015, 07:41:20 AM »
Great primer and selection (last time I checked) at (no affiliation, yadda yadda).  Different roasters available depending on how much you roast at a time and you'll save a bunch of money compared to buying gourmet roasted coffee.

I've bought a couple times from burman, which is a little cheaper but doesn't have quite the selection. They are always running beans around $4-5/lb and sometimes they are interesting offerings. The downside is that they don't print any info on the bag and once they run out they take the info off the website so it's impossible to find the roast recommendations. I have to remember to copy the recommendations into an email.

The Pub / Re: Elysian Just sold to Anheuser-Busch
« on: January 26, 2015, 08:59:27 AM »
I don't think the goal for ABI is to trash the products or otherwise affect the production quality of the beers. Rather, it seems ABI is looking to cash in on the craft beer movement and by having a portfolio of respected craft breweries they can offer a total package for their distributors to sell with their mainstream lagers plus a mix of European imports and domestic craft offerings.

IMO it's really less about competing against the local craft brewery and more about competing against the larger craft brewers who are competing for tap handles in places ABI and MillerCoors have traditionally had little competition. If they can convince Chili's and Applebees to take out the Sam Adams or Fat Tire handle and put in Goose Island or Elysian then they can control all the taps. They can also sell a complete package of handles to sports bars and other places that are expanding their beer offerings beyond the, "Oh we have everything! Bud, Bud Light, Miller..." but don't have much understanding of craft beer or any real interest in understanding it except knowing they need to sell it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: commerical schwarzbier examples
« on: January 26, 2015, 08:42:12 AM »
I am surprised Prost doesn't make one but I do not believe they have one in their line up.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Making progress with SWMBO
« on: January 26, 2015, 08:40:44 AM »
My wife and I separately dabbled in beer when we started dating but that was at a time where there was very little craft beer in the area. Our interest skyrocketed after we started dating and especially after one of her friends encouraged me to start brewing. Shortly after I started brewing I discovered sours and immediately fell in love with them. She didn't like them at all so I thought I could brew up a carboy and drink it all by myself but before I could get that first sour beer bottled she had already caught the sour beer bug and now I have to share all of them.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: WYeast
« on: January 26, 2015, 08:34:25 AM »
FWIW some of the WY offerings are seasonal and/or were released once or twice and then have not come back out so if you're looking for something in particular you should check to see if it should be available in stores at this time.

Adding dry sugar to a fermented beer risks creating nucleation points on all of the sugar crystals and creating a lot of foaming. You're better off mixing it with water and boiling into a syrup like priming sugar. It is going to give you a very dry and thin beer though. You may be better off using extract to create a thick wort and add that to the fermented beer.

It will not be a problem if you add sugar and then want to reuse the yeast.

I am concerned that you somehow ended up with almost 50% of the gravity you should have received. If you want to talk about your mash/sparge technique we can help make sure you don't have this problem going forward.

All Grain Brewing / Re: All The Variables
« on: January 25, 2015, 08:55:38 AM »
please list all you can think of below:

Nobody is going to sit down and write an essay for you of all the problems one may have with a mash. There are books well-suited to address that broad question. If you have specific issues with this specific recipe or brew then you would be better suited to offer some information that will allow us to help answer this more specific question. Otherwise I would suggest taking a look at a book like How to Brew or Gordon Strong's book.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Faster Finished Beer
« on: January 24, 2015, 07:15:19 PM »

Most yeast strains will deliver beer ready for carbonation in two weeks or less, particularly if you have good fermentation processes and you ramp temperatures as primary fermentation starts to wind down.

Yes, but when refermenting in the bottle a few weeks seems to help improve the flavor.  Here's some good information on bottle conditioning:

You're taking information discussing maturation over a year and applying it to a few weeks. That is incomparable.

Certainly the beer is changing over time in the bottle but if you're seeing sudden changes in the quality of the beer over a few weeks in the bottle then that is likely the yeast continuing to clean up fermentation byproducts that would not otherwise be there with good fermentation practices. That is not always the case but it is often the case.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Faster Finished Beer
« on: January 24, 2015, 11:15:53 AM »
I once brewed a dunkelweizen and had it drinking from bottles in seven days. Three in the fermentor, four in the bottle. It got a little smoother by the next week but the fresh wheat taste was fantastic.

Most yeast strains will deliver beer ready for carbonation in two weeks or less, particularly if you have good fermentation processes and you ramp temperatures as primary fermentation starts to wind down. Bigger beers often need more time, as well as lagers. Various strains can need more or less time based upon how you use them. For example, I ferment my saisons at very warm temperatures and those beer benefit from some additional aging, particularly at cooler temperatures, to mellow the harsher yeast character present in younger beer (a process I adopted from commercial saison brewers who also ferment hot) but those same strains fermented cooler can be ready to drink quicker.

The idea that you need weeks and weeks before you can drink a beer comes partially out of the old 1-2-3 schedule advocated in Joy of Homebrewing and other older homebrewing texts and partially out of the nonsense concocted on certain homebrewing forums in the previous decade that has taught new brewers that you don't need to worry about fermentation techniques because it's unthinkable to brew beer that doesn't need a month or more in the fermentor and another two months to bottle condition.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Bottled Guinness with no widget
« on: January 24, 2015, 10:59:54 AM »
I believe they are using the same technology that Left Hand uses for their nitro beers that does not require a widget. It's unusual that they are quite insistent that you should drink that beer out of the bottle when the Guinness pour has been part of their marketing for so long.

My thought on the taste is that the beer is more carbonated now, which is making the beer feel thinner and more acidic.

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