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Messages - Joe Sr.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Micro Barrel Aging
« on: December 06, 2013, 07:59:57 AM »
White whiskey?!?  AGHHHHH!!!!

But seriously, IMO you'll need more than a couple months to improve a bottle of white whiskey.  I don't care for the flavors, but there some what do.

Beer style suggestions for oak: Big stouts, old ales, barleywine, anything with strong bold flavors.  I've had oaked Belgians and found them to be nasty.  IMO the flavors don't pair well.

Beer is typically only aged a couple weeks.  Since the barrel you describe allows for tasting, you should begin tasting after maybe a week to 10 days and see where you're at.  I go longer on oak than some, but I seem to have a lower taste threshold for the tannins.

Priming - you can use carb tabs, but I've been unsatisfied with those.  You can also dose each bottle with precise measurements of sugar.  There are calculators for that, but I have no link for you.  Sorry.

I've done all my oaking with oak chips, never with a barrel although I frequently dream of it. 

The Pub / Re: White Whiskey
« on: December 06, 2013, 07:43:24 AM »
The moonshine I have always had is 100% corn and often sugar. The white whiskey is mostly corn with barley or rye or whatever they use as the other grain. I hear what Carl is saying but to me good bourbon is good because of the interaction of the spirit with the wood. I have found the flavors in "white whiskey" in bourbons that were oak aged and found those "white whiskey" flavors to be flaws to my pallet.

I'm with you.  I've tasted heads and tails before, and I don't think those are the flavors, though I'm glad Carl chimed in and he may be right.  Maybe they are making bad cuts to get more product, but some of the flavors are almost botanical.  I don't think they add anything botanical and the distiller gets good reviews from lots of people so who knows?  It's not the alcohol kick I've gotten from other jars I've tasted, but simply odd unpleasant flavors.

FWIW, I've had the aged stuff from another local distiller as well as one from Iowa and I just don't care for it.  The white whiskey flavors come through strongly and the whiskeys aren't smooth.  My guess is the spirits aren't aged long enough.  It seems people think these odd flavors are what makes it "craft" but to me they make it crap.  Especially at the micro distiller prices.

And Hendrick's gin?  That stuff goes on the shelf with the white whiskey.  Although I've had some guests who will drink it which means maybe I should move it up a shelf.  Or find more discerning guests... I'd put a smiley here, but I've never done that and I'm not starting.

The Pub / Re: White Whiskey
« on: December 05, 2013, 06:44:14 PM »
Slate had an article called "Unaged whiskey helps young microdistilleries keep afloat. There’s just one problem: It tastes awful

The bottle I bought a year ago was touched twice and still sits where I store my bourbon. It's awful. Truly awful.

You describe this bottle exactly. My buddy last night described if as metallic.

I may try running it through a brita and putting it on se charred chips. I can let it sit a few years. Ain't gonna drink it for sure.

As far as gin, I'll stick with Bombay sapphire.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Goose island bourbon co stout
« on: December 05, 2013, 05:54:20 PM »
Picked up two bottles on the way home.  Will drink one and save one for my planned but yet to happen stout party.  I already have some oak aged Old Rasputin awaiting that day...

The Pub / White Whiskey
« on: December 05, 2013, 09:31:04 AM »
A year or two ago someone gave me a bottle of this stuff from one of the local craft distilleries.  It's terrible.  I can't drink it and I can't serve it to friends.

I tried aging some on oak in Ball jars and did a sampling last night with a buddy.  The light toast American oak was still terrible.  The medium French oak had improved and had some oaky flavors but still could not out-compete the weird medicinal flavor of the whiskey.

I have most of a bottle left.  What do people do with this stuff?

I'm thinking maybe some charring some of the chips, or getting some charred oak cubes but I'm not sure the experiment is worth it anymore.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Another thread about plastic buckets (sorry)
« on: December 05, 2013, 09:24:15 AM »
This was my favorite forum 10yrs ago, nice to see things haven't changed much ;)

That's interesting, given that this forum has only been around a few years.

Perhaps he is fondly recall Tech Talk...

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Goose island bourbon co stout
« on: December 05, 2013, 09:23:16 AM »
Yeah, it is usually among the most, if not the single most, bourbon forward stouts around and it is less so this year. Still a great beer absolutely !

It's been years since I've had it, but I found it to be too bourbon forward for my preferences.  And I like me some bourbon.  For my money, it's also over-priced.  I'd rather have some Dragon's Milk.

I did have one of their BC Rye beers at a AHA event at the brewery a few years back and it was outstanding.  I think they were pouring a number of BC beers, but the rye is the only one that I recall clearly some years later.

I've got a meeting near a Binny's later today so maybe I'll pop in and see if there's any available.  Doesn't hurt to refresh the taste buds.

Equipment and Software / Re: Winter Fermentation Chamber
« on: December 04, 2013, 03:23:54 PM »
I lived in an old house in Cincinnati years ago that had a galvanized box built into the kitchen wall under the window where you could keep food cold in the winter months.  It was basically a box hanging outside the house with sliding door access from inside.  Perhaps you guys in cold climates could include one of these in your remodeling plans.

If my house had one of those, it would've got torn off, insulated and dry-walled in the remodeling plans.  I don't like drafts.

However, I do have an unconditioned (in the winter) room in the basement that keeps all my wine and beer at steady cellar temps.  Summer time requires an A/C.  But for the wine, I could ventilate it to outside air and have a freeze-ass walk-in lagering chamber.  I did that one year.  It was a steady 40 degrees in there.  However, it being below the kitchen caused the floor to be cold.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dealing With Non-Homebrewers
« on: December 04, 2013, 03:15:29 PM »
And when I go to their house, all they offer me is Icehouse.  And if I bring my own Red Hook, they start drinking that. 

That qualifies for a "hey! WTF!"

Direct action sometimes needs to be taken.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Poor efficiency/very soft water
« on: December 04, 2013, 01:38:19 PM »
Doesn't the pound of Munich need to be mashed?

He clarified that the Munich was extract.

Those grains do not need to be mashed

No one said he should mash those grains.  The OP said he mashed.  He appears to be unclear on mashing. If the OP wants to worry about efficiency and extraction, he should mash grains that will convert.  Steeping I would not worry about.  For me, that's the take away here.  Relax, you're not mashing.  You'll get what you get from steeping.

You are correct, though, that there are sugars in the roasted grains.  Will those sugars give 6 points?  It's possible, but we don't know what he was expecting nor what he acheived.  I don't know your source for steeping grains for 5 minutes in room temp water, but if that works for you, great.  I've never before heard anyone discuss the efficiency of steeping.  IME, one does not steep grains to get fermentables but to get the flavor contributions to make an extract beer more complex. 

As far as process being sound, if you are correct that you can extract 80% of sugar in a 5 minute steep than there must be something wrong in his process if he only got 30% in a much longer steep.  Perhaps his gravity readings are off?

Overall, I think worrying about the gravity contribution of 2.25lbs of steeped grains in an extract batch containing 9.5lbs of extract is letting the tail wag the dog. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dealing With Non-Homebrewers
« on: December 04, 2013, 12:52:11 PM »
I recently received a $100.00 gift certificate for my LHBS from a group of friends with a note attached thanking me for the beer.

I've gotten those.  Those people get a mixed case at Christmas.

Equipment and Software / Re: Winter Fermentation Chamber
« on: December 04, 2013, 12:41:58 PM »
As far as building systems (as opposed to refrigeration) it's pretty common to have a system that uses cool outside air to modulate interior temps and minimize A/C in the "shoulder" months when seasons are changing.  You can also use a heat exchanger to recover heat from exhaust air to pre-heat intake and reduce heating costs.

Not so common in residential (single family) uses.  At least in my experience. 

In the bigger picture, trying to do this for a household refrigerator would require automation, duct work, etc. that would probably make it not cost effective.  Today's energy star appliances are pretty efficient. 

I do like to use outside cold air to cool soups, chili, or whatever needs to go into the fridge.  I would worry about leaving those outside overnight what with the squirrels and racoons.  I'm not sure how active possum are in the winter, but we've got too many of those, too.

The Pub / Re: Burlington woman charged with selling beer online
« on: December 04, 2013, 12:03:31 PM »
The problem is you get groups of people hoarding the beer because they can make a huge profit off of it.   You can buy Heady by the case in certain retail locations in Northern VT but there is a case limit.  The stores are reporting people lining up waiting for the delivery truck.  The beer, needless to say, is in high demand.  With these people buying to just resell online, the supply gets smaller so the victim becomes those people who just want to get the beer for themselves.

Of course if there are people out there willing to pay a $100 markup on the case, then there will be people acting as their distributor.

Meh.  I don't buy it that people who want the beer are victims because the supply gets limited.  All kinds of beer gets bought up and resold at higher prices just like vintage wine.  The correlation to vintage wine is not perfect, but some Sam Adams and Goose Island limited releases get bought up and resold at crazy prices.  Same with Westvletern 12 when it was released last year.

I want some Dark Lord, but I don't feel like a victim because I'm not able to get it and not willing to pay $100 for a bottle (I got out bid at the last auction I was at, thankfully).

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Another thread about plastic buckets (sorry)
« on: December 04, 2013, 11:54:40 AM »
Joe, these are labeled to 22 qts but are 6 gallon total. I drill 5/8" hole in the lid which fits a stopper and I can snugly fit a 3/4" o.d. 1/2" I.d. tube in the hole for blowoff. I routinely fill to 5 gallons plus a 1/4", then decant and pitch. On big beers I end up with a smidge of yeast in the blowoff but not enough to hurt anything.

It's hard to say how much blow off I'm getting, but I'm getting it just about every time in my 6 gallon Better Bottles.  I used to have some 6.5 gal glass carboys and that extra space was nice.

I keep hoping for the best, then I have a mess.  I need to be more proactive about it and get a better system than what I'm using to deal with blow off.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Another thread about plastic buckets (sorry)
« on: December 04, 2013, 08:30:21 AM »
I like these. Best of both worlds
I like those. Since I brew 3.5 gallon batches and use 5 gallon carboys, this would be a great alternative for a brewer like myself.

Those look pretty slick, but 22 qts is a tad on the small side since I'm locked in to the magic 5 gallon batch.  I'm getting tired of blow off from my 6 gallon fermenters and need to find a better option.

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