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Messages - el_capitan

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Kegging and Bottling / Are hoppy beers slow to carbonate?
« on: September 15, 2016, 08:55:32 PM »
I came up with a recipe as a homage to Surly's "Todd the Axeman" ale.  They use all Golden Promise and a combo of Citra and Mosaic in a 2:1 ratio.  I used all Maris Otter and flipped the hops ratio in the opposite direction, using twice as much Mosaic as Citra, since I had all of those ingredients on hand.

Preliminary results are really good, except that it's really slow to carb.  I cold-crashed for a couple days, then racked to a keg on top of 4.5 oz of pellets in a nylon stocking.  I like to keg hop at room temp for one week, and during that week I had the gas hooked up too. 

Now it's been in the kegerator and cold for a week, carbing alongside a saison and Palmer's Elevenses.  The other two beers are carbing nicely, but the IPA is still very minimally-carbed, even though it had an extra week to carb at room temps while dry hopping.

I've heard a hypothesis that IPA's are slow to carb due to hop oils floating on the surface in the keg.  What do you guys think?  Have you seen that your hoppy beers are slower to carb? 

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Stoneware Bottles
« on: September 15, 2016, 08:43:24 PM »
Yeah, those bottles are definitely unique and worth having in the stash.  I was impressed with the smoothness of the glaze on the inside.  I might have to pick up a couple more just for the heck of it.  Plus, for those of us who keg, bail-top bottles are pretty convenient because there's one less step in sanitizing and one less piece of equipment to worry about!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: HELP...NEW HOME BREWER...SERIOUS QUESTION
« on: September 15, 2016, 08:39:42 PM »
I have both models of the glass Big Mouth fermenters.  I haven't had any issues with the seal on the old screw-top model, and I'm still using the original foam gasket.  I guess maybe I got lucky there.

The newer fermenter is a better piece of equipment IMO - The glass is much thicker and there are volume gradations.  The cap is kind of weird though.  I think the key is to line it up really straight-on to be sure the silicone ribs go in straight and evenly.  If you cram it in there off-kilter, it will want to pop back out.

If you be sure to use a fermenter with plenty of extra headspace, and try to ferment at a cooler temperature (65-70 degrees) you should have no problems in the future. 

Welcome to brewing!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: fake beer help
« on: September 15, 2016, 08:34:15 PM »
Not a bad idea, Major, except for that in the play the actors will probably have to actually drink the fake beer.  If she just pours her tea down into the keg, and then pumps it back out, chances are that the actors will have a hard time "enjoying" what comes back out...


I second Pete's idea about getting a real keg of beer, as long as you're not breaking any laws doing so.  I don't know how beverage laws mix with theatre, or the ages of the actors involved.  Good luck!

The Pub / Any Josh Ritter fans here?
« on: September 13, 2016, 06:11:06 PM »
I've only seen Josh live once and it was an awesome show at First Ave in Minneapolis.  I've listened to most of his stuff, and I have to say that I don't think there are many other singer/songwriters out there who can match him. 

If you haven't heard any Josh Ritter, check out a few of these tunes.



The Curse

Getting Ready to Get Down


I could keep going here for a long time, but this gives you a pretty good sampling. 

As for albums, I think Hello Starling is a masterpiece, and The Beast in its Tracks is also solid.  If you ever get a chance to see him live, go for it!  Apparently, Stephen King is a big fan.  Josh also wrote a novel that I haven't read yet. Either way, if you're into handcrafted tunes, you'll like Josh.  Let me know what you think.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Stoneware Bottles
« on: September 13, 2016, 05:45:40 PM »
I had a few of those same bottles, and like you, used them as gifts.  I always got them back though and bottled special beers in them.  The most important thing is to keep them clean - never leave them open with residue in them.  A soak in oxyclean will loosen up anything in there, and then the bottle washer does the rest.  Rinse them out really well each time and you can be fairly confident that they're clean.

Unfortunately I had some in a soft-sided cooler when the strap broke.  They didn't survive.   :(  I got mine empty from a buddy so I can't comment on the beer though.  You can buy replacement gaskets if those get stiff or cracked.

Ingredients / Re: Brewtan B
« on: September 08, 2016, 06:18:18 PM »
Well I've been away from the forums for a while, and I'll admit that I only read through page 8 before posting BUT...

I have to say that on one hand, this certainly seems intriguing.

On the other hand, is this a solution looking for a problem?  So many people are hailing this as THE solution for an oxidation problem in beer.  But on a homebrew scale, how many people really see a problem with oxidation?  I've never had too much of a problem with drinking my way through a batch before it develops aging issues. 

I appreciate that AHA members try to be on the cutting edge of brewing developments, but to me this seems kind of like a bandwagon issue.  Maybe I'm just too old-school?  What happened to pragmatism?  I shared this info with a friend who is starting a commercial brewery, so I see the value in the information.  Also, I'd be willing to give this product a try because the science seems solid.  But if I never do try Brewtan-B, I think I'll still enjoy the hell out of my homebrew at the end of a hard day's work. 


Ingredients / Re: what to make with these hops
« on: September 06, 2016, 07:31:19 PM »
Sterling makes a great pilsner.
I harvested a lot recently and have an imperial pilsner on my schedule for later in the year.
+1 on the sterling in pils.

Don't want to hijack the thread, but...I'm over in Hermiston, OR and would love to try to grow some Sterling.  It sounds like it grows well for you.  Do you think it would do well over here?

Sterling does well for me here in Minnesota.  I've used them successfully in a Pilsner, American Rye, and IPA.

Ingredients / Re: Underwhelmed by Horizon hops
« on: September 06, 2016, 05:39:34 PM »
90% of my hippy beers are bittered with Columbus.

Hippy beers, eh?  Do they come out tie-dyed?  Do they reek of patchouli?  Do you dry hop with a dreadlock?   :o

I did an all-Zeus IPA a couple years ago and definitely got the onion character that some people mention.  It was a decent beer, just a bit one-sided.  This past weekend I brewed one with all homegrown hops.  Sterling to bitter, then a hopburst of Zeus, Chinook, and Willamette.  Planning to DH with the same.  Should be a winner, although using homegrowns to bitter is kind of a gamble. 

Ingredients / Re: Dry Hopping Advice
« on: September 06, 2016, 05:33:45 PM »
I've never heard of the ascorbic acid trick either.  How much do you add to the keg?

Beer Recipes / Re: Did I miss the style?
« on: September 05, 2016, 06:13:55 PM »
I don't think the BUs are out of range. Styles too often kill creativity. Books like "BCS" are the harbinger of doom to delicious beers. What fun is it if all your beers taste the same? I just don't get it.

Obviously there are things that DON'T belong in beer (like pumpkin spice ;) ) but brewing is about having fun. Not glamming to styles. IMO.

I have to disagree with you there.  I have brewed about 20 of the BCS recipes and have made some fantastic beers that way.  It's great to have a good starting point to brew any BJCP style with proven recipes.  Once you brew the "standard" of a certain style, then you can start to tweak and change a recipe, or even just make up your own. 

That said, I've been brewing fairly loosely lately, not being too concerned about hitting a certain style.  This weekend I brewed two batches with all homegrown hops, which is kind of a crap shoot.  I think both batches are going to be great.  In fact, one will certainly be the Schiznitte (Sterling, Chinook, Zeus, Willamette). 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Malt conditioning
« on: September 04, 2016, 08:30:50 PM »
I've been malt conditioning for a couple years now.  I use 8 ml/lb of grain and it works well.  I have a Schmidling adjustable malt mill and I have that thing cranked down as tight as it will go.  The only time I have a problem with a stuck mash is when I have a lot of wheat or rye in the grain bill. 

Big ups to Kai for sharing this info originally on the NB board.

I use the same mill at the same setting and don't condition, yet I still have no problems.

Denny, I think you must be located in some sort of homebrewer's Nirvana, almost like an extra dimension or something. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Malt conditioning
« on: September 01, 2016, 08:16:36 PM »
I've been malt conditioning for a couple years now.  I use 8 ml/lb of grain and it works well.  I have a Schmidling adjustable malt mill and I have that thing cranked down as tight as it will go.  The only time I have a problem with a stuck mash is when I have a lot of wheat or rye in the grain bill. 

Big ups to Kai for sharing this info originally on the NB board.

The Pub / Re: Best beer themed songs
« on: August 22, 2016, 06:27:54 PM »
I haven't heard "Beer Run" in a long time. Great song!

B double, E double R U N beer run
B double, E double R U N beer run
All we need is a ten and fiver
A car and key and a sober driver
B double, E double R U N beer run

Todd Snider totally rocks!  Here's another good one from the ska band The Pietasters:

Maggie Mae - NOT the Rod Stewart song.

Yep, Todd Snider ! Good one.

The Pub / Re: note to self
« on: August 22, 2016, 05:57:37 PM »
If there's a finicky connection between your scale and its power supply, it doesn't help to plug it in and lick the terminal.

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