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Messages - phunhog

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166
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Tried my first India Black Ale
« on: September 08, 2012, 08:44:15 PM »
I think this is one beer style where technique plays a big role.  I have only brewed a Black IPA once but it was one of my favorite beers.  The key I think is adding the dark malts only during the vorlauf and sparge. Gordon Strong talks about this in his book and it is where I got the idea from.  I doubt many commercial breweries do this. The dark grains, IMO, really are there to add color and ideally a not whole lot else.  The BIPA that I made still had a slight roast to it but it still tasted like an IPA.  A pro brewer tasted it and loved it and he even makes a BIPA....if that means anything ::)

167
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: White Labs vials?
« on: August 27, 2012, 08:56:51 PM »
So how does WL sanitize the vials for yeast? Dry heat??

I think they come sterile out of the manufacturing process. I doubt there is much that can live in hot plastic.

UV is an option too.

Kai
Hmmm....UV might be an option? Now I completely pulling this out of my....but I do a lot backpacking and I have one of these...http://www.steripen.com/classic  I wonder if I were to fill up a vial with water and use my steripen if that would sanitize the vial??   Probably easier to just continue to dunk them in Star-San.

168
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: White Labs vials?
« on: August 27, 2012, 08:24:58 PM »
I use them to store yeast.....what a novel concept! Seriously though....I will step up a starter, crash, and decant the yeast into sanitized vials. Basically I get 6-8 vials for every one that I buy!!  So how does WL sanitize the vials for yeast? Dry heat??

169
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Style Guidelines and Judging
« on: August 27, 2012, 06:32:58 PM »
OK...so I'm going through Zmag and looking for some recipe ideas to put my own spin on for the next brew session. I'm looking at the Cat. 10 winner, an American Amber. Based on the recipe submitted, this one is certainly pretty far outside the style guidelines for an Amber. 66 IBU's and nearly 7%ABV. That looks a lot more like an IPA to me.

I like to push the style guidelines to make my beer stand out a bit for competitions, but I'm always being dinged about stuff being a bit high alcohol for style.

Any thoughts on this from the judges out there? Just kind of surprised me that it would go gold at national level being that far out of style.

FYI....I believe that is the second year in a row that exact recipe has won Gold in Cat. 10 at the NHC.  It is the West Coast Blaster recipe from BCS. I have brewed it a few times and it is a fantastic beer!! Of course we all know that it isn't the recipe but the brewers skill that makes a great beer ;)

170
Zymurgy / Re: We need your brew dog photos!
« on: August 24, 2012, 04:57:01 PM »
WooHoo!! Socorro and I made the cut!! Extra biscuits for her and an extra beer for me!!

171
Going Pro / Re: realistically, what does it take?
« on: August 07, 2012, 11:05:22 AM »
Well I know in my case the law is a bit of a gray area.

I guess I misunderstood your original post, because I don't see any ambiguity there:

Quote
Any beer manufactured pursuant to this section may be removed from the premises where manufactured for use in competition at organized affairs, exhibitions or competitions, including homemakers' contests, tastings, or judgings.

It's explicitly legal to serve your homebrew at a "tasting" (festival), and if someone at the ABC says otherwise, they're wrong.

That's what I mean..I know of some clubs who have asked ABC to pour at beer festivals and they have been denied. Other clubs have just gone ahead and did it without any problems. Unfortunately from working in the government for 20+ years I know the easiest answer to give a member of the public is NO, especially when dealing with an issue that can be interpreted in different ways. It's not right but it happens all the time. That's where my " better to beg forgiveness than ask permission" statement came from.

172
Ingredients / Re: Hot peppers in an IPA
« on: August 06, 2012, 10:19:23 PM »
I make an award winning Green Chile Blonde and I add the peppers to the secondary. I actually roast mine on the BBQ, put them in plastic bags, and freeze them. Freezing is supposed to rupture the cell walls and let more of the "goodness" out.  I then put the frozen, whole (skins, seeds, etc) pepper in the secondary and rack the beer onto it.   Habanero sounds great, and I could be wrong, but won't it "fight" the hops too much in an IPA?

173
Ingredients / Re: best way to dry hop
« on: August 06, 2012, 10:11:58 PM »
I just drop my pellets into the primary, no secondary and no bags.  I leave my dry hops in for about 7 days then keg.  The hops will eventually drop to the bottom.  My beers come out clear and tasty.

I do the same thing. I do have a stainless screen I wrap around my racking cane to keep the hop particle transfer to a minimum. I leave the hops in for 5-7 days.

174
Going Pro / Re: realistically, what does it take?
« on: August 06, 2012, 04:42:39 PM »
Quote
Sadly it's also on who "interpets" the laws of your state.  I know some brewers/clubs have done so without any problems. Other brewers/clubs in the same state have asked the ABC and have been told no.  As a homebrewer I think this is a case of "it's better to beg forgiveness, than ask permission".

Are you referring to selling beer at festivals or just giving it away?

Both. For instance, this just came down the pipe in Illinois: http://goo.gl/Bb5xU

In my case I was just referring to giving away homebrew at festivals in small taster glasses.  Interesting to see what happens in Illinois. It is a bummer that they are locked out of the festivals right now but maybe people will see how ridiculous that is and get it changed.

175
Going Pro / Re: realistically, what does it take?
« on: August 06, 2012, 10:51:14 AM »
As a homebrewer I think this is a case of "it's better to beg forgiveness, than ask permission".

I guess as a home brewer you can get away with that (though I would have ethical issues), but if you're going pro the only thing worse than an alcohol-related conviction on your record is a tax-related conviction.

Well I know in my case the law is a bit of a gray area. http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/government-affairs/statutes/california
Homebrew can be removed for competition and the festival that I poured at has a Best Beer and People's Choice competition.   My HBC has poured at the festival since it began.

176
Going Pro / Re: realistically, what does it take?
« on: August 06, 2012, 09:52:46 AM »
I own a 10 bbl brewery (www.yellowhammerbrewery.com) and what it takes is a lot of time and money. Architecs, lawyers, graphoc designers, blood sweat and tears. And kegs. YUou need a lot of those.

It can certainly be done and it can be done on a budget but to really make anything worthwhile you are going to need to spend over 100K, and reality much mroe than that. The point of opening a brewery is to open a sucessful business. You establish a brand and produce a product that people consume. It's hell of a lot of work, but it is also awesome and has great rewards.

As far as "selling a few kegs", aside from the legality issues and license expense (I think we pay the ABC $1000 per year for the priviledge to sell beer) my only question is .... why? You will not ever be monetarilly compensated on a 10 gallon system and in the end if you are brewing for 6-8 hours to sell a couple kegs you will basically be paying to sell your own beer. Doesn;t make sense to me one bit. If it is just about the gratification of people enjoying your beer you can do that far easier on the homebrew level.

 
+1..!!!!
As someone who seriously wanted to go the nano route I am so glad to hear people with some experience give advice like this!  The real reason I wanted to open a brewery is for the personal satisfaction of people enjoying my beer.  You are right it IS far easier to do on the homebrew level and with a lot less headaches.
Obviously I can't sell my beer....but that doesn't mean I don't have a brewery!!  We have a website, FB page, sell t-shirts and stickers, pour at beer festivals and private events, etc....I often wonder how many people think we are a commercial brewery ;D  In fact somebody the other day said it is an "underground brewery" which is cool...though I was quick to point out that we don't sell our beer.  We get everything out of it that a nanobrewery would ( personal satisfaction, name recognition, etc...) but without all or most of the headaches ( fees/permits, licensing/zoning, negative cashflow, expectations).

Ok this really intrigues me!  I thought you had to be a "beer company" in order to pour at beer festivals.  Is it possible to sell your beer at a festival?

It's gonna depend on the laws of your state. Some can. Some can't.
Sadly it's also on who "interpets" the laws of your state.  I know some brewers/clubs have done so without any problems. Other brewers/clubs in the same state have asked the ABC and have been told no.  As a homebrewer I think this is a case of "it's better to beg forgiveness, than ask permission". 

177
Going Pro / Re: realistically, what does it take?
« on: August 06, 2012, 06:57:03 AM »


That's a great idea!  I'm the same as you, actually.  It would just be really fun to share my beer with people.  Have you tried making/selling glassware?
[/quote]

Yes!! A friends daughter hand etched a couple dozen glasses with a close resemblance of my logo. People loved them because they obviously weren't mass produced and no two were exactly alike.

178
Going Pro / Re: realistically, what does it take?
« on: August 05, 2012, 10:27:39 PM »
Absolutely not!! I can't legally sell beer, the beer was given away.  At the beer festival though I did sell brewery t-shirts. The sales of the shirts covered all my beer costs, paid for my jockey box, and I think we had 50 bucks left over. Again....certainly not making any real money.

179
Going Pro / Re: realistically, what does it take?
« on: August 05, 2012, 09:17:36 PM »
I own a 10 bbl brewery (www.yellowhammerbrewery.com) and what it takes is a lot of time and money. Architecs, lawyers, graphoc designers, blood sweat and tears. And kegs. YUou need a lot of those.

It can certainly be done and it can be done on a budget but to really make anything worthwhile you are going to need to spend over 100K, and reality much mroe than that. The point of opening a brewery is to open a sucessful business. You establish a brand and produce a product that people consume. It's hell of a lot of work, but it is also awesome and has great rewards.

As far as "selling a few kegs", aside from the legality issues and license expense (I think we pay the ABC $1000 per year for the priviledge to sell beer) my only question is .... why? You will not ever be monetarilly compensated on a 10 gallon system and in the end if you are brewing for 6-8 hours to sell a couple kegs you will basically be paying to sell your own beer. Doesn;t make sense to me one bit. If it is just about the gratification of people enjoying your beer you can do that far easier on the homebrew level.

 
+1..!!!!
As someone who seriously wanted to go the nano route I am so glad to hear people with some experience give advice like this!  The real reason I wanted to open a brewery is for the personal satisfaction of people enjoying my beer.  You are right it IS far easier to do on the homebrew level and with a lot less headaches.
Obviously I can't sell my beer....but that doesn't mean I don't have a brewery!!  We have a website, FB page, sell t-shirts and stickers, pour at beer festivals and private events, etc....I often wonder how many people think we are a commercial brewery ;D  In fact somebody the other day said it is an "underground brewery" which is cool...though I was quick to point out that we don't sell our beer.  We get everything out of it that a nanobrewery would ( personal satisfaction, name recognition, etc...) but without all or most of the headaches ( fees/permits, licensing/zoning, negative cashflow, expectations). 

180
USPS does not allow alcohol.

Fedex and UPS will ship licensed establishment's products to states that allow it.

Homebrew? No that is yeast samples. Homemade BBQ sauce/marinaide. Homemade vinegar.  ;)

Gotcha!! But I have always wondered why my friends want to buy my homemade vinegar ??? Must be good??

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