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Messages - The Professor

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Equipment and Software / Re: Indestructible hydrometer
« on: June 28, 2014, 02:34:17 PM »
Does it exist? I need one.

I found the best way to never break a hydrometer is to buy an extra one.

I bought an extra one about 10 years ago 'just in case' ...but despite the slight additional clumsiness that has come with getting older,  I'm still using the first one I ever bought (in 1977).

Ingredients / Re: Your favorite Hops that are rarely mentioned...
« on: May 26, 2014, 04:09:44 PM »
I'd add Brewer's Gold, Cluster, and Nugget as underrated/under used...

Brewers Gold, Cluster, and Bullion are still my favorite 'old school-go to' hops.  I use these more than any other varieties.  Nugget and Colimbus are also ones I try to keep a supply of.

I guess I just don't like the overly citrus or 'tropical' flavors found in so many of the newer varieties, or if I do use them, I use them for blends, in  small quantities.

Other Fermentables / Re: aging mead
« on: May 16, 2014, 01:59:06 AM »
I wanted it to end at 1.035 but it just would not come down. I started with WLP Bourbon yeast then added 4 packs of dry Lav 71b and then tried re pitching with WOP high gravity yeast at the end but it didn't want to continue, the ABV was already 13%. OG 1.150 FG 1.058.

Do you think its done completely or can I squeeze a couple of points out over the next year?

I never tried to stop fermentation it did that all on its own.

If you give it time, it will still go down.  The fermentation often continues, albeit very slowly. Even my standard, wine strength  meads stay in the fermenter for up to six months...and my stronger ones get 1 racking after about 8 months, and then stay in a secondary vessel for up to 2 years before I even think of bottling some off.  And then I age them for a couple years more before consuming.

Decent mead can be made quickly enough.  Really, really great meads need more patience.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: US 05?
« on: May 16, 2014, 01:53:00 AM »
US-05 seems like the right choice, but a starting gravity of 1.100 is pretty high.  Anyone know what the alcohol tolerance is for US-05?  I know the 1056 is stated as 11% which is right around the 1.100 target gravity, and since they are similar strains, I would assume they have similar tolerance, but dont know for sure.

I've used US05 up to 12% ABV. worries, it can handle high gravity brews  just fine.   
I've even repitched the slurry into subsequent brews and never had any flavor or performance issues.
Dry yeast has sure come a LONG way quality wise.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Homebrew vs Commercial Brew
« on: March 24, 2014, 03:17:09 PM »
Killians Red is a pretty bad example of an Irish Red ale. It's a mass produced reddish BMC type beer. That said, kudos to you for having the better beer. It's a sign of a skilled brewer who can brew a beer as clean as a mass produced b eer!

I agree about the present state of Killian's Red...not much to write home about.

However, when it was first introduced it was quite good (and was marketed and labeled as an "ale", and definitely tasted like one in character).
It was actually quite good, and showed what the Coors brewers were really capable of.
But after a couple of years when it was rebranded as a lager and reformulated a few times, it seems that it was stripped of everything that made it at least stand out a bit. 
The only things left now are the name and the color.

On a side note...I was recently given a bottle of Killian's Stout...and it was not bad at all.
Predictably, it gets dismissed by the über geeks because 1) it is restrained and not 'over the top' (unlike many American stouts) and 2) because it is a Miller-Coors product.
I don't drink much store bought beer, but I'd add the GK  stout to my short list.

But I still prefer homebrew over any commercial beer.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dissent with Style
« on: March 21, 2014, 06:29:05 PM »
...Yeah, 'IPA' is evidently getting to be a loose term to Jim Koch. Tried the new Rebel IPA last week. It was fresh - smelled and tasted like a Pale Ale at best.

Oh, I don't know...IPA has become a pretty loose term in general in the USA.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Adding gelatin to an oaked beer
« on: February 21, 2014, 06:37:50 PM »
Even if you can't get it to 34F, the gelatin will help you if you can get it into the 50's (think jello in a fridge - it works better colder, but works at 50F eventually).

I agree.  Cold works best, obvously, but I've had it work pretty well at ambient cellar temps as well (60°F).  Since I don't serve my beers ice cold, clarity is not an issue.   
The gelatin will settle the yeast out effectively even if the the beer is not cold.
However, depending on the recipe and other procedures, it can still develop  chill haze if stored and served cold.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Craft Beer and Alcoholism
« on: February 14, 2014, 09:15:57 PM »
...while breweries want you to drink responsibly, most want your money more.  If they can squeeze an extra $3-$4 out of you (think 4 - 8oz pours in a sitting versus 3 pints cause you're probably likely to stop at 4 tastes but not at 2) then thats more revenue and profit. 

remember guys, its a business.  people are paying ridiculous premiums for high gravity.  it takes about the same amount of time to brew a mild as it does a 9% IIPA.  demand is for high gravity and high gravity equals higher profit and better labor utilization.

I totally agree on all points made. 
Very well stated, Paul.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Craft Beer and Alcoholism
« on: February 14, 2014, 02:17:37 PM »
...I can't understand why commercial examples of the highest alcohol beers are bottled in the bigest bottles....

I've puzzled about that one as well.  It was disappointing when Anchor stopped bottling Old Foghorn in 7oz bottles.

Considering  all the talk being tossed  around these days preaching  about and hyping  "respect for beer", the current trend of striving for very high alcohol levels and then packaging it in bomber sized bottles (or bars serving them on draft  by the pint) seems to turn the whole "respect for beer" argument into some kind of sham. 

Even my favorite "local" (which pioneered the concept of multiple taps featuring exclusively "good" beer here in NJ back in the 1980s) has suffered;  on a recent visit there I was shocked to hear the bartenders pushing mainly the hi-test brews as if the alcohol content was the main thing that the customers should be looking for in a beer.
Kind of sad, really...

Equipment and Software / Re: Floating Keg Dip Tube
« on: February 09, 2014, 06:17:41 AM »
An interesting take on an old idea.  The "RotoKeg" I purchased in 1980 did essentially the same thing in a similar but much simpler manner.
It did work pretty well, though!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: First kegging attempt, Explosion
« on: February 01, 2014, 02:24:50 AM »
Damn ! Can you post a pick of the top ? Who is the manufacturer?  Glad your ok! That is not cool. Good reminder to make sure you know where the gravity is before you seal it up.

Glad that you weren't in the vicinity when it blew.
Highly doubtful  (but not impossible) that it was a manufacturing defect.
I'd vote for it being either a matter of infection or the beer simply not being really done fermenting.

It's vey  true that homebrewers are quite often simply in too much of a hurry.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Out on a limb mixing yeast IIPLA
« on: January 23, 2014, 05:16:06 AM »
It's not crazy at all...I've done that on a number of occasions and never had a failure.   Just bear in mind that only one of the yeast strains will ultimately dominate.
A few times, the beer came out particularly fine; when that was the case I made sure to save the slurry and repitch it through a few generations to take advantage of the particularly efficient, dominant yeast.

Beer Recipes / Re: Homebrew recipe for the masses
« on: January 13, 2014, 10:49:43 PM »
Maybe I'll get wild and make a pale ale!

I've done exactly that for some special occasions it went over great every time.

If you keep the hop level in check and don't overdo it (as many homebrewers and newbie commercial micro brewers often do) it almost can't miss. Balance is the key to any beer, but especially a lighter tasting one like this. My standard for occasions such as this is usually OG 1.040 and 10 IBUs.

Just remember that without a lot of hops to hide behind, your sanitation will be especially important.

The Pub / Re: NB has a bacon beer kit (with bacon extract)
« on: January 11, 2014, 05:18:05 PM »

A new low in 'specialty' beer.

Is "Eggs benedict Beer" next?

Beer Recipes / Re: Added WAY to munch Munich
« on: January 05, 2014, 04:43:48 PM »
You can NEVER have too much Munich in a recipe.

I gotta go with garc_mall on this one. There is no such thing as too much munich. You may not have made the beer you thought you were making, you made a better one.

And depending on the mash temps and the yeast used, it may not even turn out overly malty in the end.
The recipe looks pretty darned good to me!  I'll agree with gymrat that you are probably making a better beer than you orignally planned.

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