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Messages - Crispy275

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Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Sierra Nevada 30
« on: April 26, 2010, 04:18:03 PM »
I was very happy with the Stout. The silky smoothness and creamy flavor were well balanced with lots of hops. It has been a long time since I tasted a stout that was as nice as this one was.

Someone else suggested it was more Porter like, but I feel it was all Stout. Black, full of chocolate and malt goodness in the aroma, with a hint of citrus hops. Solid body and If I recall correctly, somewhere north of 9% ABV makes this an Imperial Stout. Creamy and silky, with chocolate and coffee flavors, and again, more citriusy hops in the flavor.

Nice lingering bitterness. Sadly, I opend this beer the day it was available, and I felt so full that I left a portion in the bottle undrunk, as I found myself full and satisfied. Wish I had shared it with someone. I remember to do so when I open my second bottle in the future!

I winced a little at the word "dithering" because yesterday morning I got up at 5 and read the BA bylaws very carefully in an effort to understand the relationship of AHA to the BA. Bylaws do matter in the NPO world--I'm on a bylaws committee right now for another organization, and the committee was formed because the bylaws were standing in the way of that organization's growth. But I agree bylaws can't be the be-all end-all. I once made a similar decision on another committee--forget updating the manual, let's do some direct action--and it was the right call.

I agree - my use of the word "dithering" was one better suited for conversation and not the written word. It has a derogatory inference, and I did not mean to imply the By Laws were unimportant. I did qualify that it was valuable work, but in my opinion (and I am not speaking for the AHA GC, just myself), other issues at the time required greater attention. The old BOA was combining and becoming the BA, and the focus was appropriatly shifted to actions that assisted in making the AHA a healthier organization.

My apologies for my choice of words. But I also stand by my contention that the priorities we shifted to were more important. I have read and re-read the AHA GC By-Laws probably more times than most, as it provides me with direction, and serves as a reminder to what is expected from those of us who serve on the GC. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Pitched Nottingham yeast too hot.
« on: April 23, 2010, 05:29:41 PM »
Recently I have been added occassional dry yeasts into my brew cycles.

I find rehydrating the dry similar insurance to stepping up the liquids. White Labs states you can pitch its tube into 5 gallons and you are supposed to be good to go. I find stepping it up a couple of times isn't that much of an effort (now that I have a fairly equiped fermentation area, with stir plate, PBW, Iodophor, Star San, etc.).

The first time I used Nottingham yeast was for a Big brew recipe many years ago (Rob Moline's recipe), and I just added 2 packets (they are cheap) in lieu of hydrating it. It worked out fine.

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 22, 2010, 12:14:00 AM »
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 14, 2010, 12:25:30 AM »
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, 04:42:48 PM »
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, 04:35:17 PM »
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, 05:46:59 PM »
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, 05:02:54 PM »
A simple question - do you use heat in making your mead or not?

All Things Food / Re: Beer Can Chicken
« on: November 12, 2009, 03:24:49 AM »
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 12, 2009, 01:14:46 AM »
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, 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?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast and Zip Lock baggies
« on: November 11, 2009, 01:53:33 AM »
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, 09:03:50 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.

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