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Topics - fmader

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Commercial Beer Reviews / Columbus Brewing Company
« on: March 14, 2013, 05:57:38 PM »
I've spent the week in Columbus, OH and went to the Columbus Brewing Co. Restaurant twice during my stay. The first night I did the "Flight of Beers" taster. They only had four of their own beers on tap (5 on the menu): Pale Ale, IPA, BODHI DIPA, and SOhio Stout. I did get a taster of Breckenridge Vanilla Porter to round off the flight. The fifth of their beers that was on the menu was The Creeper, which was an imperial IPA. They said they only had 1 keg of it and were waiting to tap it on St. Patty's Day. I offered to buy the keg, but I just got an awkard stare.

Anyways, I only had the 4 oz of the pale ale. It was a solid APA, but that wasn't what I had come for. It was good, and I would drink it again.

The IPA is very nice. I have had that a handful of times before. I have bought bottles of it at my local giant eagle. It is a hazy pour with an orangish color. It has a very solid "Simarillo" finish. I would recommend this IPA to anybody who enjoys IPA's any day of the week. The menu said 60 IBU's, but it seemed a bit higher to me.

The BODHI DIPA is the reason why I went. I've read the raves about it, so that's what I wanted. I tasted it in the 4 oz taster and really liked it. I bought a growler of it. After drinking it in the hotel room, I started to get turned off by it. It lacked the body that I would want in an IPA. Don't get me wrong, I don't like the malt to clash with the hops, but this was thin. It was blonde in color and had a strong citrusy taste and aroma. I think it was to be 90 IBUs. I was actually let down by this beer considering the hype. I think I would have been let down without any hype. Anyways I finished the growler to go back and get it filled with something else.

The SOhio Stout is an imperial stout. Fantastic! Pours black as night with a nice bronze/mocha head. It is a very thick beer with a nice coffee presence. It advertizes Costa Rican coffee. Whatever it is, it's good. It is over 9% ABV and around 50 IBUs. This beer is fantastic and is what I refilled my growler with. The problem was, the growler is only 64 oz.

The brewery is small, but I would like them to expand their access to bottled beer more thoroughly in Ohio. I have only seen their Christmas Ale (Very good) and IPA on the shelves. I have no problem buying the IPA whenever I run across it, but I would love to run across their other brews as well.

Hop Growing / Rhizomes planted on 3/9/13
« on: March 09, 2013, 02:16:13 PM »
It is pushing 60 degrees today in Ohio, and my hops rhizomes came in the mail today....So they got planted! I grew a couple Centennial plants and a US Gold last year with much success. So, I put a pre-order in to the Thyme Garden back in October. The quality of these rhizomes are amazing. I would recommend them to anyone. They are based out of Oregon, and when the rhizomes arrived here, they were sealed in ziplock bags and still very moist. The rhizomes I ordered from another company last year were dry sticks....these are far from that.

I ordered rooted cuttings of Magnum, Nugget, Cascade, Chinook, and Willamette. The smaller three are standard cuttings, which are very very solid. They are Zeus, Mt. Hood and Perle.

This is the Nugget cutting I got!

I now have 11 total plants of 10 hops varieties planted along the side of the barn. Hopefully the "after" picture is a little more appetizing than this "before" picture.

Beer Travel / Columbus
« on: March 07, 2013, 06:04:24 PM »
I am traveling a few hours to Columbus, OH Sunday (3/10) for the week for work. I'm originally from West Virginia, so I've only recently been to Columbus once. I'm scouting out places to eat...and drink, and I'm thinking about going to the Columbus Brewing Co. Restaurant. I have had their IPA and Christmas beer and both are exceptional beers. I am anxious to try their BODHI DIPA and SOHIO Stout. Has anybody tried either of these beers? Or eaten at this place? If so, any reviews would be nice.

Any other recommendations on eateries/drinkeries :-) would be nice. I know Columbus has a handful of craft/micro breweries.


Commercial Beer Reviews / Great Lakes Alchemy Hour DIPA
« on: March 02, 2013, 05:46:18 PM »
I don't remember this seasonal last year, so I'm guessin that it is new this year? Anyways, it is a great change of pace DIPA. It pours a nice amber color and has the nice amber malt taste and smoothness. The blend of nugget and mosaic hops gives it the nice change of pace. I feel that the aroma is very orangy, but the bitterness and taste if very earthy. It's not piny or fruity....kinda a smooth earthyness. The 9.4% ABV is very well disguised. I won't say that it is my favorite DIPA, but it is certainly a great change of pace. This DIPA might appeal to people who aren't fans of the traditional smack you in the face DIPA's that are out there.

Events / Cooper's Lake Brewers Fest
« on: February 18, 2013, 02:27:42 PM »
Has anybody ever participated in the Cooper's Lake Brewers Fest in Slippery Rock, PA? It sounds like a good time if they have it again this year. Last year was the 4th annual event and was held August 24-26th, but I can't find any info on it happening this year. It's $20 admission unless you brew on Saturday...then you camp for free. My brewing partner and I wanted to attend, but he had a conflicting schedule. I was just curious if anybody has attended this event and had any insight on it.

Beer Recipes / Bell's Java Stout
« on: February 15, 2013, 06:07:41 PM »
I've been searching for an all grain clone for Bell's Java Stout with no luck. Does anybody have one? Or even better, does anybody have a copy July/August 2003 issue of Zymurgy that could be PDF'd?

General Homebrew Discussion / 1st Yeast Harvest
« on: February 15, 2013, 01:14:00 PM »
I did my first yeast harvest last week. As far as I can tell, everything went perfectly. To me, the samples look very good. I harvested WLP 001 Cali Ale Yeast. The one thing that I might have done incorrectly is that I harvested it off a Pliny brew. From what I have read, you really don't want to harvest it off of a real hoppy beer, because of the hop flavor. My plan was to harvest it off of a two-hearted clone, but I did not filter that from the brew pot to the carboy, so there was a lot of trub left behind in that. I filtered the Pliny with a leg stalking. It looked much cleaner to be able to harvest. I'm not too concerned about the hop flavor because this yeast will be used APA's and IPA's. I do have a few questions....

How many times can I re-harvest yeast?
Does the yeast have better flavors further down the harvest line?
How long will this harvest yeast keep in the fridge?
As long as I keep re-harvesting this strain say at least once a month, will this yeast strain last forever, or will it die off over time?
Does it look good?...These are 8 oz mason jars...

Ingredients / Meridian Hops
« on: February 02, 2013, 02:53:42 PM »
Has anybody brewed with this new beast yet? I'm thinking about buying a pound, so I would appreciate any reviews.

Beer Recipes / Hopslam Clone?
« on: February 02, 2013, 11:09:50 AM »
I threw a recipe together last night to try and clone Hopslam, or create something along the same lines, or something just awesome. Here's what I have. What are your thoughts?

Batch = 5.5 gallons
OG = 1.098
60 minute mash @ 153
Mash out @ 175

American Two Row Pale = 15.5 lb
Caramel/Crystal 20L = 1 lb
Carapils = 8 oz
Caramel/Crystal 40L = 4 oz
Corn Sugar = 1.5 lb (added at the beginning of the boil)
Honey = 2 lb (last 10 minutes of boil)

60 minute = .5 oz Columbus
60 minute = 1 oz Simcoe
30 minute = 1 oz Centennial
0 minute = 3 oz Amarillo
0 minute = 1 oz Simcoe
Dry hop = 3 oz Simcoe (12-14 days)
Dry hop = 1 oz Amarillo (12-14 days)
Dry hop = .5 oz Simcoe (5 days)
Dry hop = .5 oz Amarillo (5 days)

White Labs WLP001 California Ale
WYeast 1056 American Ale

General Homebrew Discussion / Fermenting Temperature
« on: January 27, 2013, 11:09:38 AM »
I brewed a Two-Hearted clone last Saturday. I had a difficult time keeping my fermenting room in the basement up to proper temperature during the week when it was 0-5 degrees for 4 straight days. I pitched White Labs 001 yeast, and the fermentation was pretty active Monday and into Tuesday. By Wednesday, it had slowed down (which isn't uncommon in some cases), but I noticed that the temperature of the fermenting beer had dropped to about 60 degrees. I brewed a Pliny the Elder clone yesterday and wanted find a way to get the temp back up in that room (old bathroom so it's small). So I put a halogen spot light in the room for a bit. It did a nice job raising the temperature to about 67-68 degrees. The Two-Hearted became active again, which I am happy about. How, if at all, will this affect the taste of the beer?

General Homebrew Discussion / Peach Wheat
« on: January 20, 2013, 08:20:05 PM »
I plan on making a peach wheat in the spring. I picked, pitted and skinned 4 1/2 pounds of sweet peaches in the fall and vacuum sealed and froze them. I plan on racking 5 gallons on them in the secondary. Is that enough? Too much? Or should I add some puree? I really don't want to add any extract. Thanks.

Beer Recipes / Red IPA
« on: January 20, 2013, 12:19:53 PM »
I have never made a Red IPA before, so I decided to throw together a recipe the other night. I'm trying to make something along the lines of Green Flash Hop Head Red or New Belgium Red Hoptober. After some research, here's what I come up with...Let me know what you think.

Batch = 5.5 gallon
OG = 1.070
IBUs roughly 75
70% efficiency

60 minute mash at 150
Two Row Pale = 9 lb 8 oz (64%)
Munich Malt = 3 lb 5.75 oz (22%)
Flaked Oats = 1 lb (6%)
Caramel/Crystal 120L = 10.67 oz (4%)
Caramel/Crystal 80L = 5.33 oz (2%)
Caramel/Crystal 40L = 5.33 oz (2%)
Chocolate Malt = 1 oz (0%)

60 minute = .75 oz Columbus
45 minute = .75 oz Nugget
10 minute = .25 oz Amarillo
10 minute = .25 oz Simcoe
5 minute = .25 oz Amarillo
5 minute = .25 oz Simcoe
0 minute = .5 oz Amarillo
0 minute = .5 oz Simcoe
Dry Hop = 1 oz Amarillo
Dry Hop = 1 oz Simcoe
***Thinking about upping the dry hopping to 1.5 oz of each Amarillo and Simcoe***

White Labs 051 California Ale V or WYeast 1272 American Ale II

General Homebrew Discussion / Shelf Life of Grain
« on: January 15, 2013, 07:18:27 PM »
What is the shelf life of unmilled grain? For instance...a 50 pound bag of Briess 2 row in it's original package. What about if it is shrink wrapped?

General Homebrew Discussion / Hop Pellets
« on: January 01, 2013, 06:15:17 PM »
Since I've started brewing about a year ago, I've suspended my hop pellets in a fine mesh hop bag for the boil. Recently I've become more observant that these bags can hold a lot of water in them. If they hold water within them, are they also restraining a lot of the hop flavor and aroma from reaching the wort? I've done this method because I was told to do this. I've watched videos of brewers just pitching the pellets directly into the wort. I have been afraid of doing this, because the pellets leave a messy sludge in the bags, and I don't really want this in my beer. Will there be a mess of a sludge left behind in the bottom of my brew pot or even in my carboy or do the pellets dissolve more when pitched directly into the wort? What do you do?

I understand that Falconer's Flight, FF 7c's and Zythos hop blends were developed by Hop Union to help alleviate some of the pressure on some of the high demand hops such as Amarillo, Citra, and Simcoe. I have a stash of Amarillo and Simcoe. I have never brewed with any of these blends, since I have the real thing, is it still worth purchasing any of these blends? If so, is there a large enough difference in the blends to purchase all three?


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