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Messages - fmader

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391
Ingredients / Re: spruce tips
« on: December 10, 2013, 07:17:22 PM »
I just kegged my spruce ale. I used my standard pale ale grain bill and hopped with chinook and cascade. I added about 8 oz of spruce tips with 5 minutes to go in the boil. Tasting notes going into the keg was very citrusy flavor. I liked it and expect it to be good carbed up.

I harvested the spruce tips from the new blue spruce growth in the the spring. You want to get them when they are about the size of the end of you pinky or the size of the tip of a small paint brush. I shrink wrapped them and froze them until I brewed it about 6 weeks ago.

Thanks for the information. Let me know how it turns out in a couple of weeks. I was thinking of a similar hop combo with the spruce tips plus maybe some simcoe.

My spruce tree doesn't seem to be in the best of health so I am not sure if there will be much new growth.

I thought about using Simcoe but opted out for whatever reason. Now that I think of it, I used all homegrown hops in it too. And it was Centennial instead of cascade. I don't remember exactly but something like 18 grams of chinook at 60, 14 grams of each at 30 and 0 minutes. Those amounts ate round about. I don't have my notes. My types recipe called for 1/2 oz chinook at 60 and half oz each at 30 and 0, but I opted to use my homegrowns at the last moment to keep the trend since the spruce was grown on peppery to. Harvesting the spruce tips isn't the funnest thing. It takes a lot to get a 1/2 pound.

392
Ingredients / Re: spruce tips
« on: December 10, 2013, 01:32:50 PM »
I just kegged my spruce ale. I used my standard pale ale grain bill and hopped with chinook and cascade. I added about 8 oz of spruce tips with 5 minutes to go in the boil. Tasting notes going into the keg was very citrusy flavor. I liked it and expect it to be good carbed up.

I harvested the spruce tips from the new blue spruce growth in the the spring. You want to get them when they are about the size of the end of you pinky or the size of the tip of a small paint brush. I shrink wrapped them and froze them until I brewed it about 6 weeks ago.

393
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Training up the new Assistant brewer
« on: December 10, 2013, 04:07:09 AM »
He's also going to understand the importance of a blue cooler too!

394
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Air Cooling
« on: December 09, 2013, 06:06:26 PM »

I love the efficiency I get chilling in the winter, 6 gallons from boiling to 58 in 12 minutes!

I brew outside, hook up the hoses when ready and let the runoff out into the lawn area to avoid the driveway, the small kids in the hood then go sledding:)

Yeah, if there's any benefit to ass-freezing cold temps it would be the low ground water temps. I chilled a Scottish 60/ the other day in about that time frame.
that and the beer I drink while brewing doesn't get warm either:)

+2.  Good call.

Fast chilling wort, beer staying chilled, and the avoidance of swamp ass are all benefits of brewing in the winter. One thing I don't like is clean up since I have a portable sink and use my chiller run off as my wash water. Rubber gloves only insulate so long.

395
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Air Cooling
« on: December 08, 2013, 07:03:36 PM »
Hmmm... I've never had the issue of the chiller or hoses freezing even when brewing at 15 degrees. I leave the hoses in the basement until I'm ready to use them. This way they stay soft and thawed. If you're still concerned about that... Maybe fill a handful of 2 liters up with water and leave outside to freeze them. When ready to chill, sanitize them and toss them in the hot wort.

I was not clear.  My IC water runs down my driveway.  That's not an option today.  I have a closed system with a Chugger pump I use to get lagers down to 48F quickly but I'm missing a hose fitting for that.  So my only real option was leaving it outside today.  It's down to 72F so about ready to pitch in 3 hours.  Not too shabby.

Dave

Gotcha... Yeah... Icy driveways aren't a great thing :P

396
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Air Cooling
« on: December 08, 2013, 06:52:36 PM »
Hmmm... I've never had the issue of the chiller or hoses freezing even when brewing at 15 degrees. I leave the hoses in the basement until I'm ready to use them. This way they stay soft and thawed. If you're still concerned about that... Maybe fill a handful of 2 liters up with water and leave outside to freeze them. When ready to chill, sanitize them and toss them in the hot wort.

397
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Air Cooling
« on: December 08, 2013, 06:22:19 PM »
I actually did this last year when there was 10 inches of snow on the ground. I shoveled snow up against the brew pot clear up to the top. It took a couple hours to chill. Then when thinking about it afterwards, the snow did nothing but insulate the brew pot. You would be better off just leaving it open to the air instead of lining it with snow. As far as any other adverse affects on the brew, I don't know. I will always you my chiller after that escapade. I can chill my wort in about 15 minutes in 25 degree weather with my immersion chiller.

398
Ingredients / Re: Time to mix up my hops
« on: December 07, 2013, 08:00:46 AM »
Mt. Hood is an under-rated IPA hop.

In addition... Troegs Perpetual IPA has Mt. Hood in it. I believe it's Bravo, Chinook, and Mt Hood in the boil... Mt Hood and Nugget in the hop back and dry hopped with Citra and cascade. This beer is very solid and has a unique hop taste compared to the wave of fruit bombs that are out there. The Mt Hood gives it a mild spice like flavor as a back note to the other hops.

399
Ingredients / Re: Time to mix up my hops
« on: December 06, 2013, 09:22:37 PM »
Mt. Hood is an under-rated IPA hop.

400
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Thermometers?
« on: December 02, 2013, 06:32:40 PM »
I posted a link to this thermometer last night in a different thread :


http://www.thomassci.com/Instruments/Digital-Thermometers/_/Thomas-Traceable-Lollipop-ShockWaterproof-Thermometer/

Can't say enough good things about this one.  It's affordable, NIST-traceable, and has a long stem (8") which reaches easily into the center of my mash cooler. I've checked it a few times against a laboratory reference thermometer and it stays within 1/2 a degree F. It sells on Amazon fairly often for even less.

EDIT  -  I bought the cheaper of the two in this link.

And I seconded this last night too! Quality piece of equipment!

401
Beer Recipes / Re: Hop Burst IPA
« on: December 01, 2013, 08:04:13 PM »
Are you really going to leave us hanging on these 9 varieties?!?!  ;)

402
Ingredients / Re: To stock up on "high demand" hops or not?
« on: December 01, 2013, 08:02:19 PM »
What's the shelf life in a freezer?  I've had some Magnum for about a year now....

Dave

I really don't have an experienced answer for this, but I would assume if stored properly, you're fine. I just brewed a holiday IPA a few weeks ago. I used newer cascades and cascades that were left over from last year's holiday IPA. They were shrink wrapped and stored in the freezer. They smelled just about identical to each other. I don't have an answer on how it tastes quite yet, but I expect it to be dandy.

403
All Grain Brewing / Re: FG too low again!
« on: December 01, 2013, 07:30:28 PM »
Beersmith (and other software) will help you estimate your strike temp for mash water pretty accurately. It might stabilize your process for mashing a bit. That could be one solution. But thermometer inaccuracy could be an issue too. I use a digital lollipop thermometer (NIST traceable) that works very well :

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Traceable-Shockproof-Waterproof-Thermometer/dp/B006OCN3PC/ref=sr_1_1?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1385950460&sr=1-1&keywords=digital+lollipop+thermometer

It's very affordable too.

+1 on the thermometer!

404
Ingredients / Re: To stock up on "high demand" hops or not?
« on: December 01, 2013, 01:18:35 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions. I just counted. I have 18-20 pounds. Most of which are solid finishing hops, which I have no doubt will be used up without any issue in 2014. My mistake was when I bought pounds of Nugget, Warrior, Galena, and Summit. I will never use up those bittering hops before they go south. I think I will buy bittering hops on an "as needed" basis from now on.

405
Ingredients / Re: To stock up on "high demand" hops or not?
« on: December 01, 2013, 12:28:38 PM »
Understood. I had planned on brewing 30 batches this year but will end up with 20. I took four months off of brewing to finish up grad school. 4 months is easily 8 to 10 batches for me, so that may explain the excess hops. You've seen my IPA recipes, Jon, I won't have an issue burning through them rather quickly!

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