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Messages - wactuary

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Beer Travel / Re: New York City
« on: May 13, 2013, 11:32:02 AM »
The pony bar, 8th ave at 44th, I believe. Excellent taps and very serious about their beer.

Do not go to new York beer company. That is some Disney type tgif-esque place.

Especially if you like sours, try Jimmy 's 33? I know I have the number wrong, but Jimmy's ##. It's down in the east village. N.Y.homebrewers guild meets their, I believe.

Pimp My System / Re: Show us your Son of a Fermentation Chillers!!
« on: May 01, 2013, 12:44:48 AM »
Mine isn't quite as furniture grade as the other one...

I also started with a son of fermentation chiller and used it for a few batches. I quickly redeployed the resources to build the "mother of all fermentation chillers" from the wort-o-matic website.

I wish I still had my original SoFC to photograph for you.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Scoresheet comment... Inappropriate?
« on: April 27, 2013, 01:48:33 PM »
To defend the judge a little...

The judge was probably feeling bad about a lower score for a clean beer and trying to convey that. I bet they did not realize the negative tone it conveyed. It can be hard to find a beer that is good on process and fits style parameters but does not fair well on a relative/subjective basis.

Either way, the comment doesn't belong, as no recipe tweaking will change the other beers on the table, but I bet it wasn't intended as negatively as it came across.

Just to be clear, are you looking for a brew kettle for 5 gallon batches, or a 5 gallon brew kettle for maybe 3 gallon batches? 

Events / NHC full pass available
« on: April 14, 2013, 06:58:06 PM »
I bought a full pass, Thursday through banquet, for someone who is no longer able to attend. I will happily transfer at cost to an AHA member who got shut out.

Please drop me a note.

Update 4/15 - ticket no longer available. Thank you!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Oops...Session IPA
« on: April 04, 2013, 09:21:10 PM »
I like SIPA.  It sounds like sippah, which kind of works for the drinkable session nature of it.

You can SIPA all day long.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: 3 gallon keg...five gallons of beer
« on: March 10, 2013, 12:00:29 AM »
Probably just ten seconds should be sufficient.  I'd try to slow the flow and gently put the co 2 in from the bottom.  It's not extremely important, so you can't really mess it up much.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Last minute BJCP
« on: February 24, 2013, 11:06:44 PM »
Good luck!

Equipment and Software / Re: Philmill
« on: January 09, 2013, 04:41:16 PM »
I have been using a Phil mill for well over 10 years. Initially as a convenience for extract/specialty/partial mash brews, but about 6 years ago I switched to 10 gallon all grain.

My observations:
Get the drill attachment, the hand crank is too cumbersome. I use a variable speed hand drill which works well.

Crush is consistent. Other mills may leave a more intact husk, but I don't condition my malt and I have no efficiency, clarity or stuck mash issues.

Durability: after probably 1000 pounds of grain, it is starting to show some age. The bearings are a little looser. Still works fine, but I doubt it will go another 1000 without at least a reconditioning. The roller itself shows no wear, just the bearing.

Feeder: I drilled out the feeder hole to fit the wide mouth generic 3 liter soda bottles so it feeds more uniformly then the smaller opening designed for normal 2 liter bottles. This was adequate for small amounts (about 2 pounds? ) of grain, but when I went all grain, I just rest a massive funnel over the soda bottle to make a hopper that takes about 10 pounds at a time. It works...

I hope this is helpful for you.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Conflicting Info for Bottle Conditioning
« on: December 24, 2012, 01:57:59 AM »
If your beer was fully fermented before adding the appropriate amount of bottling sugar and there is no infection, then,  depending on style, the beer should age well at room or cellar temp.  The issue is if the beer had residual sugar from incomplete fermentation, then the bottle bomb risk is there. And if there are any wild yeast or bacteria, refrigeration will keep them at bay.

I think the conflicting information you are getting is from different assumptions on homebrewer sanitation and fermentation practices. Those who assume solid practices will say bottles will keep for years. If you assume sub optimal cleanliness, then conservative and refrigerate.

I would suggest keeping some cold and some warm. Compare how they age and learn from this. If your beer doesn't age well at room temp, focus on sanitation or fermentation as indicated.

And of course, if the style is better fresh, then keep it on ice to keep that fresh flavor longest.

While I agree with the sentiment, I do not understand the barrels per year as a "definition" of craft, so I have trouble crossing a beer from the craft credential because that brew is owned by someone who brews "too much".  BA can choose to define it as they wish, but if Sam or Sierra exceed those limits while maintaining their quality and corporate philosophy as they have so far, I don't get it.

I've seen beer wars. I understand the influence of the mega brewers and their potential to undercut and push out the local guy. I agree. But maybe the term "craft brew" has outlived it's usefulness and a new label is in order. "small batch?"  "independent?". It may be that we are drifting to choosing brand on political and philosophical views and not on taste, ingredients or quality.

I personally never thought the "crafty" beers met the taste/quality standard of the real "craft" choices, buy with Kona or Goose Island, or Ommegang, who "sold out" to the foreign Duvel conglomerate, the line really is blurry.

Just my two cents.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Re: Labeling bottles
« on: October 10, 2012, 03:47:59 PM »
Rather than a glue stick, you can also use a small amount of milk.  Wet the back of the label with milk, stick it to the bottle.  Dries like glue, doesn't smell rancid.

+1 on the milk glue. Took me years to try for fear of rancid smell and a general disbelief it would work. It is the easiest, cheapest and most effective way I've found.

But my beer is usually in the fridge and not in an ice bath.

I'm so jealous of those who have a break in the heat.  Here in NJ I'm looking at 100+ weather.  Even the basement is pushing 80 these days.  I'll be brewing an Oktoberfest to be lagered in my new fermentation cabinet (thank you!) 

And I'll be using the new technique of boiling the first gallon or so of runnings for extra caramelization/maillard action, thanks to the recipe in the AHA big brew.  That recipe turned out wonderful, no chance it'll last through to October.

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