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Messages - majorvices

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Going Pro / Re: Formal education
« on: December 01, 2017, 01:13:11 PM »
I hired a guy who went to Knoxville. Seems like they cover the basics pretty well. I think that there are some online courses that you could take that would be just as good. As with all schools the education is only part of the deal. I have hired and trained 3 brewers who went off to either start other breweries or work for other breweries as head brewers across the SE. 2 out of the three received educations after they worked for me but all of their real education came on the job.

I have hired other folks with brewing education who literally didn't know jack.

Having a formal education is great because you can expect to make more money, the rest is up to work ethic.

Beer Recipes / Re: Bier de Garde
« on: November 30, 2017, 11:00:17 PM »
Haha! Martin Bier de Garde..... like that ring

Beer Recipes / Re: Bier de Garde
« on: November 30, 2017, 07:40:41 PM »

A little ester character is ok for biere de garde IMO but the real goal from the yeast should be to leave behind a lot of malt flavor. Personally I would opt for a malt forward ale or lager strain.

Thanks that's exactly what I was thinking.

Beer Recipes / Bier de Garde
« on: November 30, 2017, 12:19:18 PM »
I haven't brewed one of these in a long while but I did a 10 gallon Bier de Marz based on an old recipe yesterday. was a fun brew. I split the batch between Kolsch and German ale yeast based on what I remembered from Framhouse Ales (that Bier de Garde is brewed with an Ale yeast at cooler temps or a lager at slightly warmer temps).

Today I started researching a recipe for another Bier de Garde and was surprised to see lots of recipes (if not almost all of them) suggesting to use a more Belgian driven strain. I see that Wyeast now has a Bier de Garde strain that is definitely Belgian flavor forward.

The BJCP guide says "The malt flavor lasts into the finish but the finish is medium-dry to dry, never cloying. Alcohol can provide some additional dryness in the finish. Low to no hop flavor, although paler versions can have slightly higher levels of herbal or spicy hop flavor (which can also come from the yeast). Smooth, well-lagered character. No diacetyl." And this lends me to think more neutral yeast flavors.

I do realize there can be a broad spectrum with any Belgian/French "style" but I was wondering if my information is simply outdated or what is the deal?

The Pub / Re: Left Hand Suing Whitelabs
« on: November 30, 2017, 11:36:18 AM »
I still use White Labs and Wyeast without fear.

Yeah me too I just don't spend $500+ dollars for a 20 bbl pitch anymore, I grow yeast up from packs.
Do you make some QA checks as you grow up? Just asking as to why that is better for you.

There are multiple reasons why it is better, I can get packs of yeast within a week WL and WY were taking sometimes 4-6 weeks or longer to get me a pitch and when one showed up DOA that was a real problem. As far as quality checks, everything acting "normal" is a pretty big deal, once I have the pitch grown up I will do a cell count/viability, check for misshapen cells and do a sensory evaluation. If everything checks out I will pitch either into a 15 or 20 bbl batch depending on what I am trying to do. Takes me a week to go from a single pack of yeast to a 20 bbl pitch so time saving is huge and I have started a regular rotation so as to keep better track of generations.

Having the problems with WY has forced me to start taking more control of my yeast in house so that is a good thing but still smarting from the issues I had from them last year.

I still primarily use WL and WY, but also use Yeast Bay and Imperial.  I definitely think that the explosion of craft beer has caused a strain on the yeast companies. I still trust all of their products but I do not think they are infallible.

The Pub / Re: Left Hand Suing Whitelabs
« on: November 30, 2017, 01:48:19 AM »
I still use White Labs and Wyeast without fear.

Yeah me too I just don't spend $500+ dollars for a 20 bbl pitch anymore, I grow yeast up from packs.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The pellet debate
« on: November 30, 2017, 01:11:02 AM »
Man, if homegrown hops work for you that is great! Personally I don't care for the vegal character I get from whole hops (even in dry hopping), but that's just my personal taste buds. I also don't care for wet hop beers, we all have things we like and dislike, that doesn't mean anyone is right or wrong.

We've been hearing about the IBU tests coming back surprisingly low for at least 15 years now (especially on super hoppy beers), so absolutely no surprise there. But at least you have a guideline to base your taste buds off of. I typically brew low IBU beers anyway and I think those of us brewing on the low to mid side (20-35 BUs) are getting close. In fact I may be one of the few here that has had my beer tested at a lab for BUs and ABV and they came very, very close. Since I am a commercial brewer it is important that my ABV comes within .2% of the stated guidlines hence the test. But the problem really accentuates itself on highly hopped IPAs and IIPAs.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The pellet debate
« on: November 28, 2017, 12:30:49 PM »
I use my homegrown hops a LOT, almost exclusively for BITTERING.  Mine have an approximate alpha acid value near the middle of the normal range.  They are typically about 21-23% moisture when harvested, occasionally as low as 20% or as high as 25%, but about 22% is typical.  As such...

IF using undried hops, you'll want to use about 4.5 times as much as dried ones.

If you normally use pellet hops and are concerned about the difference between pellets and whole hop cones, then the OP is right, you'll want to use about an extra 10%, approximately, to account for that.

I don't see use of homegrowns for bittering as a novelty thing.  I see it as being very resourceful.  I don't have to buy a lot of hops anymore, even for bittering.

I'll assume most people aren't growing as many hops as you are then. If you get the "feel" for it I'm sure you can figure out how much hops to use for bittering based on experience. I'm guessing most people are using homegrown hops for one or two batches a year.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The pellet debate
« on: November 27, 2017, 07:13:13 PM »
Homegrown hops are fun to use but use them more as a novelty, don't expect to have any idea what the AA will be or how much bitterness they will provide (or aroma for that matter).

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First time lagering
« on: November 25, 2017, 01:45:57 PM »
My last 3 lagers I have pitched one can of Imperial Organic Yeast with no starter.  Had visible and vigorous airlock activity within 12 hours.  I have been very happy with the results.  Cans were fresh (less than two weeks from "canned on" date.)

In this case I think you are fine not making a starter. In any case where the yeast has some age on it a starter would be very beneficial for a lager or use a good dry strain. 34/70 makes a fine lager.

I will add, if you are pitching a lager yeast at fermentation temps (say 48-52) and getting activity 12-24 hours later, you know you pitched enough yeast. If you are having to pitch warm to get the yeast started then cool down to fermentation temps you aren't necessarily pitching enough yeast.

The Pub / Re: Left Hand Suing Whitelabs
« on: November 25, 2017, 01:42:09 PM »
Unfortunately it has happened with Wyeast too. Tom Schmidlin and I had the exact same problem with the exact same strain and the nexact same time that we corroborated about at the CBC this year. That problem cost the company over $50K (easily) in dumped product and an untold amount in falling sales from that particular beer. Another time I had an overnight pitch from Wyeast show up DOA and they refused to replace or refund it. Surprised Left Hand doesn't have a sophisticated enough yeast lab to plate/slant and grow up their own strains.

Ingredients / Re: Cholaca
« on: November 11, 2017, 01:02:11 PM »
I have a bottle I have been meaning to use. I think it can be used post fermentation, according to the bottle..

Going Pro / Re: Starting Wage for a Test-Batch Brewer?
« on: October 31, 2017, 01:07:13 PM »
That's awesome! Sounds like a fun gig!

All Things Food / Re: Himalayan Salt Block
« on: October 04, 2017, 02:59:33 PM »
Used it last night as a cold platter for shrimp. Will plan to do some steaks on it. How long did it take to heat up?

I'm not exactly sure. I sprinkled water on it it when it sizzled I figured it was ready. For the potatoes I precooked them in microwave first then just browned them on salt slabs.

All Things Food / Re: Himalayan Salt Block
« on: September 30, 2017, 04:54:53 PM »
I have used them a lot!  I have cooked steak and potatoes on the gas stove (these things can handle a lot of heat) and I have cooked pizza on them on the grill. Also got the idea from this forum to make ceviche on them (pressed between two.) They make great platters for cold dishes like ceviche.

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