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Messages - johnf

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Opinion about posting Jamil's recipes
« on: February 09, 2012, 03:17:08 PM »
would love to see some downloadable brewing books. 

Brewers Publications has some books available on Kindle but only a handful.  Actually we are working on a new digital initiative beginning this year.  We will be investing in both epub format (works on most all readers) and a kindle format for titles.  The conversion process is note a quick thing as our books are not text only.  Text only books are pretty quick and easy but you start throwing in recipes, sidebars, charts and graphs and it can throw a lot of formatting out of whack.  

In any case, I have two of them in production right now.  How to Brew by John Palmer is first up on deck and will be followed by Sacred Herbal and Healing Beers.  This technology will also allow us to bring back out of print titles that have been requested (think the Lambic book from the Classic Beer Style Series).  I'd love to be able to have them all up asap but as mentioned it is more complicated than you may think though I expect it will get easier as time goes on.  I'd rather take the time and do them right if we are going to put them out there.  In the end with all the variables that come into play with these eReaders, I am doing what we can to ensure a good experience for the reader despite some technological limitations.  

Stay posted on new releases and when eBooks are released by following progress on:
Facebook facebook/BrewersPublications, twitter handle @beerbooks and the new BP website is


Kristi, I would love to see Analysis of Brewing Techniques available electronically. A few years back I tried to buy a copy used and it was basically impossible. I got one from like Alabama or something through inter-library loan and read it but I would love to own a copy.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Way to maximize vanilla flavors from yeast?
« on: February 04, 2012, 06:46:41 AM »
What strains give vanilla flavors? I've never noticed that before.

I notice it a lot in German wheat beers bought bottled in the US (but not similar or identical beers draught in Germany). I'm not sure if it is the clove dropping out that makes the vanilla apparent or the vanilla isn't there to begin with and the result of a chemical reaction. I get it reliably in Aventinus.

Now that Perlick sells a forward sealing stainless steel faucet with variable resistance I think anyone buying forward sealing faucets should consider those. Northern Brewer and B3 (probably most other places) are selling them.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Way to maximize vanilla flavors from yeast?
« on: February 03, 2012, 10:24:55 PM »
If you want vanilla without other phenolics I would use a non-phenolic yeast and add vanilla.

Events / Re: AHA Conference is SOLD OUT!
« on: February 03, 2012, 08:19:20 PM »
I guess given that there's a waitlist, there must be some procedure for refunding or transferring a reservation. Does anyone know for sure?

For Oakland I had to give up my registration. I just emailed they AHA, they refunded me, gave it to the next person on the waitlist. Not automated, but very easy.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Kolbach Index And Total Protein Question
« on: February 02, 2012, 04:52:12 PM »
You have to try these days to get SNR < 38,  but that's probably a fine rule of thumb.

I typically only do one more around the 12% rule of thumb so unless you are buying crap malted barley (or six row, but typically you are mating that with a nitrogen diluting adjunct) basically wheat beers.

I like to dough in "cold" (104 F) for a number of reasons. Cheap insurance against getting a random bag of undermodified malt from the corner of the malting bin or something (so I get some beta glucan degredation), I don't have to stir (no gelatinization = no dough balls), and I have time to fix the pH if needed before I get to the important rest. So in heating to my next rest (145 typically at 2 degrees F per minute) I guess I get some proteolysis, but no ill effects noted.

Then there was that interview on TBN last year with Dr. Bamforth where he dropped the bombshell that far more proteolysis inhibiting enzymes survive malting than proteolytic enzymes and proteolysis doesn't really happen in the mash anyway. So I don't know what to think. I've been meaning to look into that but I get lazy around technical journals since I don't hang out at libraries or have an ASBC membership. Also as I get older I am less interested in technical reading and my background is not in natural sciences anyway. If someone has any insight on this issue and can explain it to me like I'm 15, I would love to hear it.

Equipment and Software / Re: How's your Thermapen?
« on: February 02, 2012, 04:39:54 PM »
Mine is about two years old and seeing signs that I should replace the battery. I rarely use it for homebrewing anymore, but it's great for cooking. I recommend them to everyone.

All Grain Brewing / Re: How careful are you?
« on: February 02, 2012, 04:36:49 PM »
I have gotten less particular about some things and more about others over time. These days I don't stress about any deviance in OG from planned over half a degree Plato. If I am within a degree and a half at the beginning of boil I can get within my target range by making a slight boil adjustment. So while I do weigh grain on a postal scale (it's easy and I have the scale) I would be fine with a volume based measurement.

All Things Food / Re: Big Green Egg
« on: January 22, 2012, 03:53:00 AM »
Boulderbrewer check out this site for good reviews on lump ...

I have heard terrible things about Cowboy
So where do you buy lump?  The only thing I see around here is cowboy, maybe I need to shop in a different place or buy online.

Around here the store brand at a few places is Royal Oak. Wal-Mart sells Royal Oak, BGE brand is Royal Oak (at a higher price).

There look to be a number of stores around Seattle selling Wicked Good. If a place carries Wicked Good, they probably have some other decent stuff too.

We are now accepting entries for the 2012 KCBM Homebrew Competition.

All the info is here:


Entries close February 4.

We ship prizes and ship promptly.

Stan Hieronymous will be speaking at the awards banquet on the 18th.

Detailed information on the awards banquet and a hotel group discount will be on the competition site shortly.

If you can come out and judge or steward, you can sign up via the competition entry system.

All Things Food / Re: shelf stable eggs
« on: January 05, 2012, 10:26:50 PM »
Might work, not sure how permeable wax is. The egg should be very sanitary after boiling though. I am doubtful the pressure cooking would be positive from a culinary point of view.

I am a big fan of 1000 year eggs in general. They are not particularly gross (one of those things where the idea or the name or the appearance is what is gross, not the actual flavor or texture). They can be a bit on the sulfury side but preparation can usually take care of that.

McGee has a procedure where you use a brine rather than the mud cake and the result is not excessively sulfury and the white is clear and the yolk is bright yellow (so, much better looking than normal). Been meaning to try that since I read On Food and Cooking a couple of years ago.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: 5.2 stablizer and partial mash
« on: November 30, 2011, 04:32:09 PM »
If you have a pH meter and are curious about 5.2, do the following.

1. Calibrate your meter.
2. Mash some pilsner malt with some distilled water, stir well, let sit for 10 minutes or so.
3. Test the  pH
4. Add the recommended amount of 5.2
5. Test the pH
6. Add more 5.2 up to twice the recommended amount
7. Test the pH
8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until you are convinced or you have run out of 5.2, whichever occurs first.

I've never entered a competition, but would like to.

I'm trying to find some information regarding competition results of Bottle Conditioned beer vs. Kegged and Bottled.

I'm guessing that most folks have better competition results by bottling the force carbonated beer.

I'd like to see some data.


I don't think there is any non-anecdotal data.

If you look at the anecdotal data you will find that most of the winningest brewers are bottle force carbonated beer. However, I don't think that implies any causation.

Some judges have a bias against bottle conditioned beer and some have a bias against non-bottle conditioned beer (especially if the fill level is high). Most judges don't have a bias.

Beer Travel / Re: Portland Oregon, near convention center
« on: November 17, 2011, 12:43:44 AM »
Well, she really enjoyed her trip!  The fall colors were amazing from her pictures. 

She went to Belmont Station to pick up some beers for me and came home with Hair of the Dog Adam and Blue Dot, Cascade Apricot, Caldera RauchBock, and Ninkasi Believer Red.

She liked the food trucks downtown the most with The Whole Bowl being the story of the trip.  She really enjoyed Nong's Khao Man Gai.

Thanks for the tips.

Those are probably 2 of the 5 most famous PDX food carts. I'm hoping she didn't eat enough foot cart meals to just luck upon them ;)

Those are all great beers. Surprised you don't get Caldera in Colorado though, we get it in lowly Missouri.

Beer Travel / Re: Portland Oregon, near convention center
« on: November 09, 2011, 07:13:36 PM »
My wife will be in Portland for a conference at the convention center through Saturday.  She is staying just a couple blocks north on Multnomah.  She does not have a rental car.

She flew Southwest, purely for the fact that she can check a bag for free and bring me back some beer since I unfortunately could not make the trip with her to drink beer.

Are there any good liquor stores to get a good selection of Portland beers that I can't get in Colorado near the convention center?  I'd love to get some Cascade, Hair of the Dog, etc.  Any other recommendations welcome!

Also, any solid, local eateries close by would be a big help.  She will be rather busy during the event, so free time is limited, and she is about 7 weeks pregnant, so she can't do too much drinking.

Thanks guys(and girls!)

Unfortunately the area immediately around the convention center is not the best for the things you are asking for. If the weather is nice and she likes to walk or if she is okay with some short bus rides, that opens it up a lot.

For beer she will probably want to take the bus down to Beer Mongerers. One bus and a short walk. Belmont Station is the other Eastside bottle shop but a little further away. Hair of the Dog and Cascade bottles can be bought at the tasting rooms and both are on the way to Beer Mongerers. She should be able to hit all three locations and be back in 2 hours. A taxi would be faster, naturally.

As for restaurants, Toro Bravo is about a mile from the convention center (should be closer to her hotel) and people rave about it. I usually recommend Pok Pok but that is a little further.

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