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Topics - phillamb168

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Beer Recipes / Spitfire Ale clone
« on: February 09, 2011, 08:05:30 AM »
I recently chanced to purchase a few canned Spitfire from Shepard Neame. I'd had the bottle before but as it comes in clear glass it typically doesn't taste amazing. These cans were a revelation, though. Spitfire can be considered a Kentish ale, right? I'm a few credits shy of my BJCP degree but it seems like it would fit the bill. I ask because I remember the recent edition of Zymurgy had a bit on Kentish ales and how they were like warm fuzzy blankets (or am I mis-remembering?) and I couldn't agree more. I'm a fan of "extreme" beers like Mikkeller's "1000 IBU" but man, Spitfire is just super well-executed. That stuff is good. So I'm going to try to make some. I found this recipe:

What say ye? Otherwise I'm going to find that copy of Zymurgy and just try that. The nice thing about kentish ales is that my water is perfect for it, which is to say, out of the tap it's horrible for any type of beer other than kentish. Anyway, here's the malt bill:

For a 2 gallon brew.

120g Crystal malt

80g Maris Otter Malt

80g Amber malt

60 g torrified wheat.

Steep grains in about a gallon of water at 65C for 20 mins

1.5kg Pale Malt Extract.

60g wheat dried malt extract.

1/2oz Target hops.

Boil for 45mins.

1/2oz East Kent goldings hops

1/2 teasp Irish Moss.

Boil for a further 13mins then add

1/4oz East Kent goldings hops.

I used Safale S04 yeast, I also dry hop the wort with 1/4oz of East Kent Goldings Hops.

This is too cleared and then put into a 2 gallon barrel, then force carbonated. If you are bottling save 100 grams of the pale malt extract to prime the bottles, or subsitute dried malt extract and prime with that.

I have a feeling this may be a little stronger than the real Spitfire Ale, hopefully it taste good whatever the out come.

General Homebrew Discussion / Complements
« on: January 24, 2011, 12:34:57 PM »
Homebrewing is a pretty solo hobby around here, and while my wife usually raves about the beers I make, I know she'd say that no matter what (which is nice of course). But last night during The Game Which Shall Not Be Discussed a friend of mine (godfather for our little fella) told me, about my super-hoppy IPA, "This beer is amazing. Seriously, you could have this in an English pub next to Guinness and Fuller's and it wouldn't be out of place." How neat is it to hear something like that!??! Super happy :-)

All Grain Brewing / March pump weather-proofing
« on: January 21, 2011, 12:48:16 PM »
My AG setup is currently in the basement, and, well, there be spiders. Me no likey spiders, so I was thinking of moving the entire setup outside, where I can blast nooks and crannies with a pressure washer at the slightest sign of web. (Right now I'm forced to get somewhat close to them and use my benzene torch to kill them, but because there are a few on the ceiling every now and then, sometimes I get a present in my hair  :o )

...anyway. Has anyone tried putting their march pump into an all-weather housing before? I know I'd need to make sure to flush out any remaining liquid after brew day to make sure things don't freeze, but otherwise would it work?

The Pub / Pliny the Elder :-(
« on: January 21, 2011, 12:40:03 PM »
So I walk into my favorite beer store yesterday evening to try some new stuff, and lo and behold a bottle of Pliny the Elder is sitting there. I pick it up immediately but as soon as I do the owner comes over and says, "I'm sorry but it's my private collection, I just left it here temporarily."

OH the HUMANITY! But at least I got to hold a bottle.*

*Yes, this is silly because it's overhyped all the time, but still I'd love to try some.

All Things Food / New breed of popper-specific jalapeno introduced
« on: January 19, 2011, 04:27:32 PM »

All Grain Brewing / Roasting your own grain
« on: January 15, 2011, 09:41:26 AM »
There are several posts out there that talk about how to roast your own grain but I didn't see anything here about it yet, so I thought I'd share my experiences today while I roast a few different batches. I'm brewing a chili stout today, but it's a 1-gallon test batch, so I'll only be toasting 75 grams each time.

There's a lot of different times listed for different Lovibond ratings, but after my first batch this morning burned to a crisp I think it's safe to say that for most people, 150 C (300 F) will do the job. To get different L, just roast for different times.

Also, depending on whether or not you soak the grains for 15 minutes before roasting, you can get different flavors. Non-soaked grains will give you more toasty/roasty notes, while soaked grains give more caramel. Supposedly. We'll find out today.

My three different batches:
75 g maris otter, soaked for 15 minutes, roasted @ 150 C for 60 minutes (supposedly L60)
75 g maris otter, no soaking, roasted @ 150 C for 60 minutes (supposedly L120)
50 g flaked oats (not instant, but quick-cook. No soaking, roasted @ 150 C for 30 minutes. Doing this for just a bit of toast.

The Pub / Convention prices... :-(
« on: January 12, 2011, 08:31:58 AM »
That $270 is for one person? How much is it if I want to take my wife with me? As it is, if I decided to go it's going to be about $1,500 for plane tickets, $1,100 for hotel and then $270 x 2, which all said and done comes to a little more than $3,000. That doesn't include food and stuff of course. Does anybody else pay this much? I realize not all of you are coming from overseas, nor are you staying a week in the hotel, but jeez, this seems like an expensive thing.

Are the conventions usually on the west coast? Any chance that next year it'll be in NYC or something a little easier to get to?

Are there any not-qute NHC conventions that go on besides the GABF? I want to meet you guys in person, but not if it's going to cost a month's salary.

The Pub / Video game football
« on: January 11, 2011, 02:10:25 PM »
Not the thread you probably think this is. But i wanted to share this, because it's HILARIOUS.

The Pub / Watcha plantin' this spring?
« on: January 10, 2011, 03:10:32 PM »
It's getting near that time of year when I need to put on the Wellies and make sure the rototiller is still working. What are you planning on doing in your garden/fire escape/desktop this year?

We claimed some land next to the railroad (space that's typically common-law'd into gardening space for village residents), 50 feet x 35 feet plot for us. There are lots of gardens all around that are about the same size and almost all the space is claimed, but we're taking an area that's overgrown with lots of God-knows-what. Wish I had a brush hog.

Plans are as follows: clear the land, put down paving stones and a small tin-roof shed, get a water collector and some simple drip irrigation set up, build two hop trelli (treillisisis?), build a porch swing, then do some plantin':

Cascade, Centennial, Hallertauer something hops, 2-row barley (1m x 4m patch, just an experiment), Carrots, Three sisters (sweet corn, pole beans, acorn and summer squash), lots of tomatoes, lots of eggplant, "vertical" potatoes (make a cylinder out of bailing wire and 1x2 supports, keep raising the soil level as the plants grow = small footprint with lots of yield), jalapenos, pumpkin, and then line the walkway with lavender, sage, rosemary, thyme.

LOTS of work but I told my wife if she lets me get a deep freezer I'll make sure we have vegetables to put in it.

General Homebrew Discussion / International Shipping for Hop Rhizomes?
« on: January 05, 2011, 09:59:10 AM »
My plan for the new year is to grow some hops in the yard, and I'd like to do Centennial, but can't get them from the UK or mainland Europe. Does anyone know what shipping regulations are in regards to rhizomes? I'd have them delivered first to my dad who would then send them to me here in France via UPS.

Kegging and Bottling / Best outdoor all-weather serving method?
« on: January 04, 2011, 02:30:26 PM »
I've already got a kegerator inside (room for two corneys, meh. want a keezer! wife not want. not get keezer) but I'd like to have something I can put out on the deck and leave there. For special occasions I suppose I could just bring out the kegerator, but I've heard that moving them around means you have to wait 24 hours before using it... And if it's cold out, 24 hours is a lot to ask.

Is there a good bare-bones dispensing system that I could just leave outside? I've considered a jockey box, but the problem is if there's any liquid in the lines at all, and it freezes, I have to build a brand new one. Also believe it or not it's super hard to find bags of ice here (I have NO idea why, it's the strangest cultural thing I've seen in France to date) so filling one of those things up with ice water before use is pretty difficult.

I already have electricity running out to the deck so if it needs to be plugged in that's no biggie. I don't currently have any covered areas on the deck but am building one this spring (which is why I'm asking about this now, so I can plan for any additional space requirements).

Beer Recipes / Roasty Chili Stout?
« on: December 31, 2010, 03:08:07 PM »
Hi everybody,

After my wife and I REALLY enjoyed the Mikkeller Texas Ranger ( I want to try to brew something similar. This would be a nice roasty toasty stout, with some poblano and chipotle chilis thrown in. Coffee aroma would be nice too. Any recommendations?

Commercial Beer Reviews / I LOVE MIKKELLER
« on: December 28, 2010, 11:58:47 AM »
I take zee mikkeller, and I smooch eet like thees:  :-* :-* :-* :-*

For the last two weeks I've been sampling the stuff I brought back from Belgium, and Mikkeller is always a standout. I've had the Texas Mikkeller Barrel Aged, which had a wonderfully complex smokey note from the chipotles it's aged with. Then there was the "1000" IBU hop atom bomb which was also barrel-aged and easily, EASILY the best beer I've ever had. After that we tried the Beer Geek Breakfast and Beer Geek Brunch, also barrel aged and dark dark dark dark, both of which tasted more or less like a strong chicory coffee with a dash of bourbon. Lastly, we had the '09 Santa's Little Helper, which easily bested the L’Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien ( that we had - too many bugs in it for it to be a real Christmas beer to me.

I also tried the Brew Dog/Mikkeller "Devine Rebel" which was very, very good. Both of those breweries are doing some wonderful stuff, and it brings a tear to me eye to see American-style cutting-edge brewing making a name for itself on the continent.

The Pub / Christmas/Holiday Beer Gifts
« on: December 24, 2010, 02:07:09 PM »
I did a Tripel for my mother-in-law, whose name I drew for the family Secret Santa. This was the same beer that I posted about earlier with a cough syrup flavor. Tried it this morning and (thankfully!) the cough syrup flavor is almost gone. It pours a beautiful copper color and has a nice bit of Coriander flavor. Here's a shot of the label I did on the 50cl bottles I used. Anybody else do something similar? Merry Christmas!

General Homebrew Discussion / Cough Syrup off flavor?
« on: December 20, 2010, 12:18:02 PM »
Anybody ever had a cough syrup off-flavor? I brewed a small-batch (1 gal carboy) Tripel for my MIL for Christmas and it appears to not be doing so well. OG 1060/FG 1015 but I was sampling from a half-bottle that came out of the dregs of the bottling bucket, so perhaps too much yeast?

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