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Messages - el_capitan

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The Pub / Re: Canadian Homebrewers Association
« on: November 09, 2016, 08:12:13 PM »
I live in MN and occasionally throw an "eh?" into my conversation, so I'm already halfway there.  Also I know some good Boundary Waters routes that would make it really easy to border-jump if need be.  Maybe I'll throw a lumberjack flannel into my bug-out bag too.  Eh?

Other Fermentables / Re: Maple Syrup Fermentation
« on: November 02, 2016, 06:02:29 PM »
The technical term for what you're trying to brew is "acerglyn".  Search with that term and you'll find quite a bit of info.  Let us know how it turns out.  I've only used maple syrup as a late addition in a porter brewed with maple sap in place of brewing water.  It was decent, but I didn't like the thinness of body and extract-like twang it gave the beer.  It definitely boosted the alcohol content though, which is why my Minnesota redneck cousins liked it enough to kill the batch for me. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Old brewing magazines
« on: November 02, 2016, 04:21:40 PM »
After reading this thread, I dug out my old stash of BYO and Zymurgy and moved them to my bathroom library drawer.  There's actually some interesting stuff in there, and a few recipes I would like to try.  I might weed them out a bit or just save them for my boys.  In another 10 years, they could be brewing too! 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Did NB sell out?
« on: October 22, 2016, 08:24:42 PM »
Well, in West-Central MN, NB and Midwest are my closest options for a full-service brewshop, so they've always been my go-to suppliers.  I typically make a couple trips to the cities each year to visit my sisters, and make it a point to hit the brewshop for about 6 months worth of batches.  They've always served me well. 

My mom is down there this weekend and so I'm having her pick me up some S-189 and Cotes des Blanc yeast for some cider.  I guess that as long as I can get the vast selection of supplies and ingredients that I need for decent prices and excellent customer service, I'll keep shopping with these guys.  I don't spend a damn cent on BMC beer, and I stretch my brewing penny as far as I can too, so I guess my buying power won't make or break InBev. 

This has been an interesting thread to read, for sure.  The market research aspect is kind of crazy to think about.  You fellas think of all the angles. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WY 1728 Scottish Ale ferment temps
« on: October 14, 2016, 08:26:24 PM »
I read on this forum that 1728 will throw the smoky ester when it is stressed by cold temps, not by warm ones.  For that reason I fermented with it at 57 degrees.  I think I got a bit of the smoke, but nothing that I would really notice if I wasn't looking for it.  The beer was nice and clean as always.  Great yeast!

Cool idea.  I grew some popcorn last summer and still have a bunch in jars.  Might have to give that a shot.  Next summer I'm going to grow some popping sorghum.  I bet that would be a good start to a gluten-free beer.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Last Year's Apple Juice
« on: October 04, 2016, 06:02:25 PM »

Sorry to steal the thread neddles.  Mom and Dad freeze most all their juice (no apple tho) and never had any issues.  I'd make applejack with it if it were me.   

I made some applejack last winter.  Started with hard cider, and freeze-distilled it down.  It ended up pretty strong, but also really darn tart.  I froze some maple sap, planning to jack that down too to test whether or not I can save some fuel during syrup season next spring.  It does work.  I've thought about mixing the concentrated sap/syrup with the applejack and calling it Maplejack.  But for now, everything is still frozen in the freezer because it's not too high on my "I care" list. 

I think I'd call it "Science Teacher Homebrew Blues". 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The Decline of Homebrewing
« on: September 28, 2016, 07:06:00 PM »

The learning doesn't stop.  At least it shouldn't.

I agree, Joe.  Ongoing learning is what keeps the hobby fresh and exciting, and pushes us to keep trying new things.  I've brewed for about 12 years now, and there was a period where I kind of stagnated.  But then I started digging into water chemistry, recipe formulation, brewing smaller batch sizes, trying new hop varieties, brewing different styles, etc.  I don't see myself ever getting out of the hobby, although I do know two guys who did quit brewing only 2-3 years into it. 

The Pub / Re: A lot of good guys on here.
« on: September 27, 2016, 07:01:12 PM »
I agree, Weaze.  There are a couple guys around here and on the NB forum who have really helped me out too.  A guy on the NB forum actually shipped me a two-keg setup with a regulator out of the goodness of his heart.  Amazing.  That was my push into kegging, and I still use all of that gear.  Totally unexpected. 

Another guy on this board has been great with sharing hop rhizomes back and forth, helping me to expand my hopyard to 10 varieties. 

I do my best to "pay it forward" by helping other brewers get started and acting as a brewing advisor for my community.  I've taught a bunch of classes which is really rewarding.  Recently I helped a guy set up a hopyard to support the brewpub he is opening in town this fall.  It's cool to be involved in a hobby that draws such a supportive and generous crowd of people.  Cheers to the generosity of homebrewers!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Last Year's Apple Juice
« on: September 24, 2016, 07:42:39 PM »
In the past I have frozen fresh-pressed cider, and upon thawing it started to ferment on its own.  I let the wild yeast take it, and I enjoyed that batch the most out of the five batches I did that fall.  I did yeast trials, and here were my rankings:

1) Wild yeast
2) Cote des Blancs
3) Munton's Ale
4) Montrachet
5) Pasteur Champagne

Beer Recipes / Re: Pilsner
« on: September 24, 2016, 09:56:14 AM »
I think your Sterling/Ahtuanum combo will give you a really nice herbal combo.  The Sterling all on its own can be kind of one-dimensional (speaking from using homegrowns, not commercial).  It's a really clean hop.  A buddy of mine down the road grows Saaz, so we might do two batches of pilsner - one with Sterling, one with Saaz.  If that happens, I'll report back.  It might be a while though.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Bru'nWater Pale Ale Profile?
« on: September 22, 2016, 09:41:20 PM »
Surly's, Todd the Axeman is an awesome beer. I had a friend bring me a four pack from Wisconsin down to Indiana. Definitely will be making road trips to Chicago area to pick up more.
How was the comparison from yours to the original?

Well, a while back on here, Denny mentioned the idea of brewing an "homage" to a commercial beer, rather than trying to really clone it.  I kind of liked that idea. 

So while Surly uses all Golden Promise, I went with all Maris Otter.  They use the same two hops (Citra and Mosaic) but in an opposite ratio.  I ended up using twice the Mosaic rather than twice the Citra.  I didn't go buy any of the Surly beer to make a comparison, because I'm sitting on a keg full of killer IPA already!  I will tell you this though - this beer satisfies me in the same way I would expect a commercial IPA to.  A wicked good beer. 

Equipment and Software / Re: Fermenter Recommendations
« on: September 20, 2016, 07:11:02 PM »
I've gone back and forth and still use both.  I bought a couple of the glass Big Mouth Bubblers, evo 1 and 2.  Both of mine seal well and are solid.  It's great being able to ferment in glass but also clean them well.  I also have four 6.5 gal plastic fermenters and I'll use those on the rare occasion when I have more than 2 batches going. 

The glass is heavier, but I sewed my own Brew-haulers with a padded foam bottom and lots of solid straps with hand-holds.  I like that they don't carry an odor from the previous batch, I get a solid window into the fermentation, and I just trust the glass more over plastic in terms of food safety/preference. 

I'm not going to get rid of my plastic anytime soon, but for now I prefer to be using glass and the Big Mouth Bubblers are working well for my needs. 

PS - That said, I think the Catalyst looks pretty sweet and I'd love to get my hands on one.  Hard to justify that expense though. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Good notes?
« on: September 20, 2016, 04:12:14 PM »
One really nice thing about my Google Docs spreadsheet is that I can access the files from my phone, from anywhere.  So although I do print a version, I really don't need to.  I can pull it up and add comments, measurements, etc. while I'm brewing.  I can also pull it up later if I'm having a beer with a buddy and they want to know details.  Or if I'm at the brewshop and decide on a whim to grab supplies for a recipe, I have access to all of that through the magical cloud.   :D

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