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Topics - Crispy275

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Beer Recipes / Unusual Session Beers
« on: November 11, 2009, 05:07:26 PM »
We all know that a good session beer is lower in alcohol, yet still satifies the palate. Alts, Kolsch, Mild, smaller Brown's, Dry Irish Stout, Classic American Pilsners, and small ales come to mind.

However i am looking for interesting session beers that are not to style. Beers that start at or below 1.040.

I have been thinking around doing a Belgian Single. But rather than just cutting the grain and hop bill by half and risking an inspid and watery brew, I was wondering if anyone else has ever had success with either this "quasi-style", or other brews that may not be stylistically accurate, but light, refreshing, with lots of good, balanced flavors, but not much alcohol. Recipes would be great, but even just some tips and tricks.

I keep thinking of Belgian style adaptations, because of the wonderful flavor profiles of so many of the Belgian yeast, but I am sure there must be some others out there who may have already either perfected, or are well down the road to creating such satisfying brews.

Additionally, are there particular hops that people find more delightful in a light beer, and others to avoid? I mean, beyond the obvious, such as not using Summit hops. What very low alpha hops shine in the smallest beers?

And finally, what malt additions have you used in a small beer that really gives that brew a satisfying nudge toward this goal?

The AHA Governing Committee elections are coming up and we are looking for candidates for new Governing Committee members.  Four of the 15 seats are available this year, and three of our current Governing Committee members have reached the end of their term limits.

The AHA Governing Committee plays a significant role in shaping the present and future direction of the AHA.  Thanks to your help, along with the efforts of staff, the generosity of the pro brewing community and guidance from our Governing Committee, we have once again exceeded our membership and revenue targets in advance of the year-end deadlines.

The AHA continues to have challenges and opportunities, but the future is really what we make it.  We need to continue our efforts to push ourselves forward and expand the community of membership, manage the conference and competition, improve Zymurgy, and many more tasks, all of which will result in our being a strong, effective, independent organization.  This is your AHA.  We need you to take charge of it and get involved.

Governing Committee members are required to be available for monthly teleconferences (currently scheduled for the second Tuesday of each month) and attend our one face-to-face meeting at the National Homebrewers Conference each year (next year in Minneapolis, June 17-19, 2010).  Members are also connected via the Internet, both as the GC and as part of various committees on specific topics.  It's a three-year term.

Besides great ideas and boundless enthusiasm, candidates should have had some experience in organizations at the local or regional level.  Initiative, perseverance, and creativity are welcome.  The AHA Governing Committee acts both as a sounding board and a management consultant team for the AHA.  Additionally, committee work provides structure, content and feet on the ground support in the case of National Homebrewers Conferences.

You may nominate yourself or someone else (please check first to see if he/she is available and interested).  Candidates should submit a short written statement of no more than 500 words, which should explain your qualifications for the job (experience, abilities, constituency, etc) and what your vision is for the future of the AHA.  Please include your contact information and send it all to Susan Ruud  ( no later than December 1st, 2009.

Thanks, and we look forward to the elections.

A club that I am a member of has been using a standard American Burboun barrel for a couple of years to age beers in, and we now make an annual 53 gallon Flanders Red. We utilize the Wyeast 3278 Belgian Lambic Blend. It contains Belgian-style wheat beer yeast, sherry yeast, two Brettanomyces strains and lactic acid bacteria. David Logsdon suggested that since we will not be able to tear the barrel apart and clean it every few years that this would be a better blend to use.

It is time for the 9 brewers involved to make a new batch, age it for two months, then do the transfer.

One member has elected to use a neutral yeat (WLP001) for various reasons. He believes it should be fine because the beer will sit on the bugs and yeast for a year and pick up all the flavors.

I am concerned that the American yeast is a very attenuative and neutral yeast, and by the time the beer gets to the barrel, the sugars available to a yeast will be eaten, and the neutral character of the WLP001 will prevail. While there will be an opportunity for the Brett strains to impart their particular characteristics to the beer, the Belgian strains will be absent. It is the first two yeasts (wheat and sherry)  that will likely not provide any contribution to the barrel.
Now, a couple of other members of this group have chimed in and suggested that the ultimate blending of everyone's contribution is likely to dissipate any loss of character. I can't say with any certainty that I can refute this. I just have a concern that it potentially can have a dilutative effect.

What do others think? The beer was brewed mid-late October, and my offer of a slurry of the WYeast blend may be moot at this point, but I am looking for feedback as to whether I should relax and not worry, or break into said brewers basement and innoculate his batch  ;D

Yeast and Fermentation / Yeast and Zip Lock baggies
« on: October 21, 2009, 01:25:01 PM »
Over the years I have accumulated a number of handy tips, but this is one I like to shout about from the mountain top. Someone told me about this over ten years ago, and I have used it on dozens of occassions.

I was informed that Zip Lock baggies are sanitized from the factory. Because of this, you can put yeast into a brand new baggie and store it for several weeks. For instance, if you wanted to obtain yeast from a local microbrewery, all you would need to do is to open the baggie for the first time (after the brewer has sprayed his sanitizer around the dump valve), being careful to keep your fingers on the outside of the baggie. Fill it up, zip it and toss it into your cold storage. I always write the strain and date with a Sharpie pen before I fill it up. I prefer one gallon Zip Locks for this operation.

I also do this for yeast strains if I know I am going to want to use it again relatively shortly. If I used a glass carboy for primary, I rack it to secondary and leave a couple of tablesppons of wort/beer behind. I swirl it around to get the yeast cake into a slurry, torch or wipe the opening with a vodka soaked papertowel, and lay the carboy on a low table. I do this because when tilting the carboy uoside it gets a little awkward if i by myself, and I use the table to stabilize the carboy. I just make sure the neck of the carboy does not touch the inside of the baggie at any time.

My friend Jeff Renner always ferments his primaries in a bucket to harvest (skim) the yeast in the krausen. And side-by-side experiements have shown that people prefered the brews made with subsequent batches using the top-croped yeast versus what settles on the bottom. However, if you prefer to use all glass for both primaries and secondaries, this is the way to go.

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