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Messages - BrewingRover

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Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Chico or Mills River?
« on: November 24, 2014, 11:29:47 AM »
Cracked my first 2014 celebration just now. Its a chico. The label is different. No more poinsettias.  Not quite as aromatic as I recall and the flavor is grapefruit zest dominant but I still get that typical celebration malt bill behind it.

I'd finished what I bought when you posted that, but restocked yesterday. The flowers are still there, but under the text

The Pub / Inside Anheuser-Busch’s Pilot Brewery
« on: November 24, 2014, 09:43:30 AM »

Pretty interesting stuff. Including the fact that they dump almost all of every batch.

I had my first taste of a friend's homebrew some time around 1990. It wasn't very good, but I found the idea interesting. A few years later I met a couple of other people who brewed and they made beer that tasted fairly good. (this was all in the beer wasteland that was Utah in the early 90's) I bought a copy of Charlie's book, and decided I didn't have the space in my tiny apartment to brew. That was followed by a move for grad school to another small apartment and then the LA area. I had space but I knew enough about fermentation temperatures to know I'd need something to control it, so I put the idea on the backburner again.

Jump to 2005, when we moved to the Chicago suburbs and the basement beckoned. Within a month, I'd bought a starter kit and brewed a batch of "IPA" that tasted good enough to make me keep trying. And now I've got a basement full of gear 8)

The Pub / Re: ABInBev acquires 10 Barrel Brewing
« on: November 06, 2014, 08:41:18 AM »
Personally, I haven't noticed any decline in the quality of beers coming from Goose Island since AB InBev took over. The only thing I've noticed is a wider availability of their products.

I think their beers are slightly more pedestrian, but still good. What I definitely notice is that AB uses GI to take over local brewery taps. Obviously this is the plan. So drink local, folks!
They are still local to me  ;) They have a pretty good APA called Green Line that is draft only and only in Chicago. That often shows up on tap with nothing but other macros, so it's a nice option.

BCBS has never been that interesting to me, but I love a Mathilda now and then.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That's a first
« on: November 05, 2014, 05:15:29 PM »
if you can just over 1 quart of starter in a .5 gallon canning jar you don't even have to transfer, shake the beejeesus out of it to aerate, pop the top and pitch the yeast. leave the dome lid on top and the band just one turn down so nothing slips off. it's as close as one can easily get to sterile starter media at home. stir plates won't work all that well with the canning jar I suppose but I've had good luck (without cell counts or viability checks mind, so grain of salt) with this method in the past.
Do you get good seals with that much headspace? I've read that too much can keep the vacuum from forming properly.

Oops, I totally missed page two of this thread  :-[

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Flashback Brewday
« on: November 05, 2014, 05:04:34 PM »
My first brew was an "IPA" that had a can of hopped extract, some hops, steeping grains, DME and a vial of something from White Labs  -- I was so excited I didn't pay any attention to specifics. It didn't taste like an IPA, but it was good enough to make me think that homebrewing was worth my time. I wouldn't try to recreate it, though.

The Pub / Re: Goodbye Tom Magliozzi
« on: November 03, 2014, 07:59:10 PM »
Didn't they do there last show only about a year ago? Very sad loss, I have always found then amusing. Sometimes down right hysterical.
Yea, it wasn't much more than a year. They were not great comedians but their laughter and good natures were contagious. Just fun people.
It was fall of 2012, although it was never announced on air.

I started listening to them when they were just a segment on Sunday Edition, way back when. Always entertaining and I would have loved to have had cappuccino with Tom in Hahvahd Square.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Chico or Mills River?
« on: November 02, 2014, 07:56:27 PM »
I bought my first Celebration of the year on Friday (I think they changed the recipe  :P ) and was wondering whether it was from Chico or the new brewery in Mills River. After some poking around on their web site, I found this
(6.6 MB PDF)

There's a code sprayed on the bottles that includes a C for Chico and an M for Mills River. It's pretty much impossible to read unless you shine a light into an empty bottle. My Celebration came from Chico, bottling line 2. The carrier didn't have all of the codes they list there, though.

The beer itself is excellent again. I look forward to this release more than any other seasonal.

*edit to correct a howling geographical error

All Grain Brewing / Re: carmel taste to wee heavy
« on: November 02, 2014, 03:09:38 PM »
You guys should explain what kind of oxidation. Most will be thinking that causes cardboard wet paper, not carmel...

This blog references a study by Charlie Bamforth on how bottled beer changes with aging.  Developing strong caramel flavor over time is one of those changes according to him. I noticed it back when I used to buy a lot of dusty imports.
That explains why the Fullers ESB you buy here tastes nothing like the cask beer they serve in London.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Fullers
« on: October 25, 2014, 07:39:13 AM »
Any idea how old the Vintage Ale was? I got a bottle of 2011 for my birthday and I'm wondering whether I should lay it down for a few years or drink it now.
You can go either way. It will be great now. I bought a 2004 vintage at the brewery shop and drank it last spring. It was still very, very good.

One of the best beers I ever had was London Pride on cask in London.  Delicious.
I had 2 pints at the Mawson Arms, which is attached to the brewery. I never wanted to leave. The brewery tour is highly recommended, but it is a bit outside of the city center.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brewing Frustrations
« on: October 19, 2014, 10:57:10 AM »
I'm not sure why anyone would mess with BIAB when batch sparging is so much more effective and even seems easier.

At the risk of offending those that BIAB, I agree.  I really wanted it to be as easy as everybody says, but after I tried it 3 times I decided that it just wasn't for me.
I see the big appeal of being able to mash and boil in the same pot. I also have two different Cheap and Easy coolers to mash in, so I don't think I would try it. I'm sure it seems easy to someone who's only done extract with steeped grains.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: CAMRA homebrew book
« on: October 16, 2014, 05:20:41 AM »
I have the 2010 edition and it's okay.  His take on brewing is interesting to read but it's unlikely you'll learn anything new. The biggest thing with the recipes is that most use "standard crystal", which he gives as a range of 130-170 EBC, so 50-65. I imagine the breweries are a bit more exact and I have found English crystal can vary a lot by maltster

I have brewed the London Pride recipe a couple of times and it gets in the ballpark of the cask beer.

I've had more fun with the Real Ale Almanac, which is out of print, but can be found online at used book sellers. The authors surveyed British brewers and list ingredients. Apparently they made things up in some cases, though.

The Pub / Re: I now officially hate UPS
« on: October 15, 2014, 09:30:51 PM »
To make matters worse, the Prick (with a capitol P) on the phone when I tried to ascertain what became of my property was all too gleeful when he found out they didn't ship because "It contained alcohol" (complete with a snarky little chuckle.) Guy was a REAL ass hole. And, quite frankly, I told him so. Which I'm not completely proud of. Just sayin'.

I had a UPS drone on the phone tell me to "go look in the bushes" when I inquired about a package that hadn't arrived, but they claimed to have delivered. As far as they were concerned, the driver had delivered it to my house, so tough cookies.

The Pub / Re: Pay to Play - Pretty Things Rant!
« on: October 14, 2014, 07:19:35 PM »
I believe New Glarus said that buying lines was a reason why it did not enter the Illinois market.  Anyway I've not heard anything recently about buying lines.
They were actually in Illinois for awhile, and gave up because of #$%* like this. This is a very good article on the mess here

If that's paywalled, Google "Pay-to-play infects Chicago beer market, Crain's investigation finds", and you should be able to read it.

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