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Topics - BrewingRover

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Commercial Beer Reviews / Fuller's Vintage Ale
« on: April 05, 2014, 02:06:03 AM »
I'm enjoying a bottle of the 2004 vintage, in honor of ten years in Illinois and my current job. There's still some hop presence and it's got nice carbonation. It's got a dry finish, with some honey and sherry notes and lots of malt character. I'm having it at cellar temp, on the advice of the tour guide at the brewery. I think colder would mask some flavor.

I'm going to have to buy this every year moving forward. I bought this at the brewery and they had a lot of different years available. Sad to say, it will be a while before I can visit there again.

The Pub / Interesting post on hops by Stan Hieronymus
« on: February 06, 2014, 01:29:55 AM »

"America’s smaller brewers — smaller meaning Boston Beer Company on down — produced 7.4 per cent of the beer sold domestically in 2013 and used 52 percent of the hops grown domestically."

The Pub / Orval in danger of losing its Trappist status
« on: December 17, 2013, 03:47:32 PM »
They're committed to keeping production at its current level, but they may not have enough monks to be certified as Trappist.

Yeast and Fermentation / Other uses for Wyeast 2112
« on: November 30, 2013, 06:04:18 PM »
I brewed a steam beer with this (sue me, Anchor  8) ) and would like to use the yeast cake in something else. None of Wyeast's suggested styles are all that appealing.
   Baltic Porter
   Christmas/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer
   Cream Ale
   Other Smoked Beer
   Premium American Lager
   Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer

I'd consider a Baltic Porter, but I've got a plenty of high gravity beers going right now. I was thinking maybe a 1554 type pseudo-lager. Any other suggestions?

I'm planning a big barley wine and an undetermined small beer from the second runnings. I would like to maximize energy and water use and use the hottest chiller water from the barleywine to produce the second beer. Are there potential consequences for leaving the grain as is for the couple of hours it will take to get the water ready?

I recall an article in BYO that claimed tannins were extracted anytime the mash was exposed to air. The piece was savaged by batch spargers and supposedly some follow-up experiments were done, but I never saw any.

Going Pro / The economics of going pro from an outsider's point of view
« on: October 05, 2013, 12:39:13 PM »
Interesting piece. I had no idea Lagunitas took that long to become fully profitable.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Goose Island 25th Anniversary Ale
« on: May 28, 2013, 06:34:30 PM »
They say on the web site it's based on an unreleased beer called Honker’s Deluxe. It's a very nice ESB, with good malt and hops balance and a little sweetness in the finish. It left me in the mind of fresh Fuller's ESB, but with a little more alcohol and carbonation. I will buy more while it's available.

I'm not sure if this is only a local thing or if it will get wider distribution than the Chicago area. I've seen complaints on some rating sites that they didn't do some big stout/Belgian thing, but this is a tribute to the beers that inspired John Hall to open a brewpub back in 1988, when that was a pretty risky move.

The Pub / AB InBev accused of mislabeling ABV
« on: February 26, 2013, 10:02:35 PM »

The most interesting thing to me is that they're accused of reaching their final ABV by adding water and CO2. I drank enough 4% BMC in Utah to think that's the truth.

The Pub / Anchor expansion plans
« on: February 20, 2013, 11:49:22 PM »

They had a 270 bbl brewhouse in storage for almost 20 years!

Beer Travel / Fuller's Brewery Tour (with pics)
« on: October 28, 2012, 08:06:51 PM »
I was in London a couple of weeks ago and made the trip out to Chiswick to do the Fuller’s tour. It’s a great time and I highly recommend it, but it will take up half a day. The view is exciting as you walk from the Tube and I could smell the wort as I got closer

The brewery is almost right on the Thames, and it's rather peaceful out back

There’s been a brewery on the site since the mid 17th century, while the current company was formed in 1845. My guide John has worked there for 41 years and a lot of good anecdotes. They’ve run out of space to expand, so they’ve crammed things in everywhere and left some things they can’t remove, like the old mash tun and a kettle.

The hop store. I believe he said their honey blonde used the Liberty hops seen here

You go right through the working brewery, which gets loud, so I missed some of what John said. Some surprises for me: they have only one mash tun and two kettles, but that makes sense given that they partigyle a lot of their beers. They also had some handy signs explaining their process

They used open square fermenters up until the 1990s, and left one of them in place

There were fewer new fermenters than I had guessed

The tour ends in their tasting room, which had all the regular Fullers and Gales beers on cask or tap. (Don't tell CAMRA, but I could hear the cask breather when he used the Gales Seafarer hand pump) He also opened bottles of 1845 and 2011 Vintage Ale. John was straightforward about Gales and said that Fuller's had bought them for their pub estate, but they do maintain the original recipes and use the Gales yeast strain.

John was also surprised when I asked about the Wyeast and White Labs strains. He was sure Fuller's didn't provide their strain to the companies, and of course neither company actually says Fuller's anywhere.

After the tour, I hit the gift shop, which featured Vintage Ale for 1999, 2000, and 2004 on. A 2004 bottle made it back to my cellar. (2001-3 had much smaller production)

Lunch in the pub finished the trip. It's a really good time but it is a time commitment, so keep that in mind if it's your first time in London. I also suggest just filling out their tour request form. I tried emailing first to see if booking from overseas was going to be a problem, and I think that just complicated things.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Binding Römer Pils
« on: October 13, 2012, 08:41:01 PM »
I'm in Frankfurt, Germany on my way to Spain and saw Binding advertised as Frankfurt's local brewery. I try to heed Michael Jackson's advice and drink local beer whenever I can, so we had this on tap at a small bar in Mainz this afternoon. Wow, everything I've ever heard about fresh German beer is true. This has a lovely malt and hop balance, with a bit more bitterness than I was anticipating. We had two of these as dusk fell over Schillerplatz, before heading off for our train.

I highly recommend Mainz, should you pass this way. It's a very walkable town and St. Stephan's Church has stunning stained glass by Marc Chagall. Some nice nice strolling along the Rhine as well.

The Pub / New button finally fixed?
« on: September 29, 2012, 12:02:48 AM »
It's suddenly working for me in Firefox. Did I just jinx things?

The Pub / Samuel Adams sharing hops again
« on: July 02, 2012, 09:53:03 PM »
Citra, Simcoe and Ahtahnum. Sorry, you have to be commercial to get in on this.

The Pub / Google Streetview takes you inside an LHBS
« on: November 11, 2011, 04:10:46 AM »
On Chicago's North Side

I'd read that they were going to start doing this for businesses. Here's the full street address
3625 N Kedzie Ave  Chicago, IL 60618

Commercial Beer Reviews / 2011 SN Celebration
« on: November 03, 2011, 12:51:47 AM »
Picked up a six of this at my local market this evening. I think they changed the recipe ;D

I love this beer and look forward to its release every year. It's such a great balance of malt and hops. I'm buying a couple of 12s as soon as I see them this year. It disappeared pretty fast in my neck of the woods last year. My market still has some 12s of Tumbler to get rid of, unfortunately.

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