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Messages - Crispy275

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I really appreciate Fred posting this question. Having been on the AHA GC for several years, I have watched (and participated) as it moved from dithering over the By Laws and conventions to actively providing consultation, feedback and input to the AHA staff. It was a wake up call for me when I realized that the AHA was essentially 3.5 dedicated heads - Gary Glass, Janis Gross, Kate Porter and half of Jill Redding (she also publishes the BA's magazine - The New Brewer). BTW, the By Laws are actually a valuable touchstone for me, so the effort was not wasted, just not the most efficient use of our time.

When I realized this, it became clear that the input the GC brought to the AHA, along with the avenue members can take by speaking with their AHA GC, provides value and a reality check to the organization.

As a former economist, the world is all about the decisions we make with limited resources to accomplish our goals, whatever those may be. To work toward legalizing all 50 states, making it easier/legal to ship homebrew, or build a better website are just three examples of major initiatives that the AHA GC continues to bang the drum for. The Website is in a much better place, but how to get shipping homebrew recognized as a legal endeavor has been an on-going challenge.

Should the AHA spend its members scarce resources on a legal team that can possibly move this forward faster? Or should it facilitate a more grass roots effort? Or something in between? It is in these sort of discussions that I feel we add the most value. One members #1 priority may not be on another members radar. Anyway, I am rambling. As Fred has asked - what can we do for you now?

Events / Re: Northern Brewer NHC events planned!
« on: April 21, 2010, 05:14:00 PM »
Great - I just purchased mine and then decided to find the forum so I could pimp this event to my homebrew clubs and then I saw we were getting comped!

Jake - I'll just resell mine to someone else ;-)

Events / Re: Northern Brewer NHC events planned!
« on: April 13, 2010, 05:25:30 PM »
Fred - the AHA GC is over at 6:00ish, so we shouldn't have to miss any of it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Starter's OG
« on: November 16, 2009, 09:42:48 AM »
I agree with Jeff - I user a stir plate and just loosely cover with aluminum foil as well.

Also, a friend of mine who makes quarts of starters in advance with his pressure cooker weaned me away from making starters in the 1.040 range and closer to the 1.020 range. He provided me the info that basically boiled down to the fact that I am trying to get the yeast simply to reproduce, not make excessive alcohol.

However, after getting the smack pack/tube started with a low gravity starter, I will increase it with a second feeding of a higher OG starter. While I once heard I should try to match the gravity to be close to the end brew, I now am confortable just making the second round about 1.040, even if it is for a barley wine, tripple or other high gravity brew.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Water
« on: November 16, 2009, 09:35:17 AM »
One issue I have with my city water is high iron. the good thing about iron is that you can smell it's presence. The bad thing is it takes an RO system to remove it.

Ask your local water board for a copy of their most current analysis. It may even be posted on your local government website. From there you can compare it to the water profiles of your current style and determine if you need to do anything more (or less) with your water.

Kegging and Bottling / Keg, bottle or both?
« on: November 12, 2009, 10:46:59 AM »
Many homebrewers never keg, and many who set up a kegging system never bottle again.

And yet, some of us who do use kegs still bottle a significant amount to provide as gifts and competitions. And some keg exclusively but use a counter pressure bottle filler or beer gun to fill the occassional bottle.

How much do you bottle? Keg?

Other Fermentables / Heat or no heat
« on: November 12, 2009, 10:02:54 AM »
A simple question - do you use heat in making your mead or not?

All Things Food / Re: Beer Can Chicken
« on: November 11, 2009, 08:24:49 PM »
I periodically do a beer can chicken on the grill. Got a nifty twin bird stand, but have only two birds at once a couple of times.

I typically have to rummage for a can, or just put some beer in an empty coke can from one of my taps. While I have heard that it makes the chicken more moist inside, by the time I am done cooking (about an hour), almost all of the beer is still in the can.

What I think does make this an epicurian delight is the prep and method, not the beer. I typically will oil the bird, crush some sea salt, and sage, or do a french herb blend and carefully rub it in, under and all around the bird. The stand makes for a perfect tool to hold the bird in a good postion, and with a little aluminum foil dircectly under the ass of the bird, I avoid scorching the skin.

Honestly, without a spit, I doubt I would have ever ventured to try to roast a whole chicken in my little grill. But in the end, you couldn't tell me if I used a Scotch or a Pale Ale with the bird. Maybe an ounce is gone, and likely some of that ounce is lost jostling to impale the bird onto the stand and then taking it off the grill and off the stand.

The Pub / Re: Hey Guys
« on: November 11, 2009, 06:14:46 PM »
I went to Hop Cat last month for the first time and I really liked it. The $1 samples were an excellent way for me to sample 8-10 very interesting (commercial) brews.

I loved Firesign theatre!

Beer Recipes / Unusual Session Beers
« on: November 11, 2009, 10:07:26 AM »
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?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast and Zip Lock baggies
« on: November 10, 2009, 06:53:33 PM »
I try to use the yeast within a month. I have, on occassion, dumped it into a flask and stired it with some fresh DME and water to get it going, but only rarely.

Just two weeks ago I used a baggie of 1056 that was from July (Late October when used, so 14-15 weeks, and it did fine. Slower than usual signs of activity (a little at 36 hours, good robust krausen at 4 days). However, I have also thrown out baggies as they got older and just said hell with it, I am going to get some fresh.

Questions about the forum? / Re: bigger images
« on: November 09, 2009, 02:03:50 PM »
On the other hand, I represent the Luddite sub-section of society. I got my first pc (a Dell laptop rugidized 286) in 1989, and I have been somewhat annoyed with them ever since (computers - not Dell).

From tossing my cell phone onto I-94 over 5 years ago and going back to a land line, to making due with Windows 98 until it became so shahky and vunerable that I figured it would just be better to get a new machine, I do not represent the majority here.

And now Denny has authorized me to be a Moderator. Ha!

A computer does 3 things for me.
Connects me to the Internet and email.
Has Word and Excel.
I can use ProMash on it.

That is it. And I do a lot with those three things. Oh, and occassionally I play Solitare as well.

-How much home brewing do you do in an average year?
I make exactly 20 ten gallon batches - another drop and I would be breaking the law  ;)

-What is your current cost to make a batch, and how much does that make?
I make 10 gallon batches, and the style of beer greatly effects my cost. I will be brewing a 10 gallon English Mild next week, and the ingredients for this was $20. And also about $5 - $8 worth of propane, cost for 50-75 gallons of water to chill the wort, a buck or two for the PBW to clean and the Iodophor to sanitize. And let's not forget the $1,000+ for the 3 half barrel system and grain mill...
When I make a ten gallon batch of my Russian Imperial Stout, it costs close to $100. A typical 10 gallon batch of a hoppy American Pale Ale is closer to $40 - $50.

-If properly licensed, how would you go about distributing your beer?
As Gail points out, I would have to follow the draconian 3 tier distribution laws here in Michigan. I once contemplated brewing for a local resturant, but in the end I was discouraged by the fact that I would have to use a distributor, even if I lugged the kegs to the resturant myself.

-If you could, would you be willing to take your hobby to the next level and try to start a business?

-If yes, what is holding you back?
Can't afford the pay cut today.

My "dream" is to retire succesfully from my current career and then move somewhere near the coast and open up a homebrew supply shop with an attached mini-brewery - say a 3 barrel system. Then, make boutique 750ml bottle of beers and sell them locally. This would allow me to be immersed into my hobby and passion, while paying for it and making a little coin as well. Not the grandest of dreams, but it is where my mind takes me when I think of the future...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How many carboys do you own?
« on: November 09, 2009, 07:50:58 AM »
OK, this is a little over the top, but I have an excuse...which is I love this hobby!

In 2005 when the FORD and Ann Arbor Brewers Guild clubs helped me put together a presentation for Baltimore that required 18 carboys to ferment out 18 different yeast strains, Pat Babcock came to me and said that he could "loan" me 8 of his carboys and 9 of his kegs. He said I would be doing him a favor if I could hold on to them for a little while, as their house was having some renovations being done.

Four years later, I guess i have "adopted" these vessels, and they do come in handy during the peak of my brewing season (coming up shortly). So, I have

5     6.5 gallon  (2 with Flanders Red in them)
23   5 gallon     (2 with a cider and a cyser going right now)
6     3 gallon     (5 filled with various meads aging, and 1 with a Flanders Red aging - damn, I need more of these size ones!))
30+  one gallon and half gallon cider jugs and growlers
17 Kegs
Oh, and did I mention the 53 gallon barrel filled with Flanders Red for the last year?

I have a closet in the basement that I converted to house 24 of these carboys. I try to keep my long suffering ale wife from realizing the sheer quantity by making sure at least a half dozen or so are fermenting something at any given time. This past spring I didn't have much ferementing and she began to notice all of these empty carboys laying around in the basement. She started asking me to put these away and didn't I have a closet for these? I sort of "hide" them until I started up the kettles again, but she is now aware of the sheer quantity of glass ware in my fermenting area.

Did I mention that I have broken 5 carboys in my life? Fortunatly, only one small cut and only one had beer in it, the other 4 were during the cleaning process. Slippery little bugers, aren't they?  :-*

Thanks Jeff. After giving this some more thought, I think we will go ahead and take this members contribution and see what happens. And hopefully the next time they can follow the recipe.

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