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Messages - Joe Sr.

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 1.072 to 1.050
« on: December 18, 2012, 09:02:08 AM »
You could use some of it to make a starter.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg Virgin Questions
« on: December 18, 2012, 08:47:29 AM »
Finger tight plus 1/4 sounds about right.  Test them with pressure and star san and if they leak, give them another quarter turn.

I don't think I've ever had a post leak.  Poppets on the other hand...

All Grain Brewing / Re: BIAB efficiency
« on: December 18, 2012, 08:06:43 AM »
I have a friend whose grandmother sewed him an enormous pillowcase and he makes 15-gallon batches with BIAB. 

You're friend has an awesome grandmother.  I hope he makes her a batch of whatever she wants whenever she wants it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cold Steeping Dark Grains
« on: December 18, 2012, 08:02:08 AM »
If you cold steep the dark grains, do you use that water in the mash?  Or do you add it to the boil?

I've not been happy with the harsher roasted notes in my last two batches of porter and perhaps this could help eliminate them.  I've also thought of using debittered black malt, but I typically love me some roasted barley.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2 questions
« on: December 18, 2012, 07:58:35 AM »
Ok, I did the Ovaltine brew and... yuck!!!  The stuff smelled alright when boiling, with the malty cocoa-like flavor mixing with the orange peels, but now that it is fermenting it just smells like something awful.  I will let it ferment and then try it, and then I will probably just dump it.  And by the way, this brew was probably more expensive than just using DME.  Oh well, I wasn't planning on anything spectacular, I just like messing around to see what I can, and can not do.   ;)

Years ago I tried brewing a batch with whatever I could get at the local health food store (LHFS?).  They actually had (and maybe still have) a syrupy sweetener that was made from malted grain and rice.  If I recall, there were a couple different products like this.  But boy were they expensive.

I still have a jar of one of them somewhere.  If I can remember I'll snap a pic and upload it.  Obviously, they didn't make great beer or I would have fermented that jar long ago.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast advice for a Belgian Blond (18A)
« on: December 15, 2012, 11:42:39 AM »
Just about to keg my blonde.  Very fruity.  Not sure I like 3787 for a blonde.  It's certainly dry at 1.006, but I don't really like the fruitiness.

My Belgian Imperial Stout is interesting.  I don't think I'd do it again, though.  It may age out well, almost like a quad.  Fruity up front, sweet and roasty finish.  The yeast is definitely done, but I'd like it to attenuate more.  Maybe I'll put in on the 3787 for a week.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Weirdness with Repitched 1214
« on: December 15, 2012, 11:36:56 AM »
Thought I'd update this as I just took a gravity reading.  Pitched 1214 (re-pitch, 3rd gen?) on 11-10 at 1.088.

The beer is now at 1.024, cloudy as hell and the sample tastes yeasty.  The airlock is still bubbling somewhat regularly, so I think I'm going to wait a little more on kegging.  I'll probably fine it with gelatin first as my experience is that on re-pitches this yeast does not floc well (it could have been poorly harvested).

Four weeks in the fermenter.  I'm losing patience.  Depending on my mood I may transfer it to a cake of Trappist High Gravity just to finish it off later today, but then I won't be able to harvest that yeast...

See it's gradual. You make gradual changes you your recipe when you DON'T want your consumers to notice. If you are doing it to pull in new customers you make the keystone "bitter beer face" ad campaign. I stick by my hypothesis that these changes are driven exclusivly by profit margins and not by quality concerns.

I am not saying that small artisinal brewers are doing it purely for the love of the thing but I am saying that the standards a company chooses to hold itself to has a lot to do with the end quality of their products. And the big boys in the industry choose to hold themselves to standards that seem more driven by profit motive than by taste.

I understand the point that customers don't necessarily ask for something, but if the products of the large conglomerates didn't meet a need, then people wouldn't buy them. No one asked for an iPod, but did Apple manipulate people into thinking they wanted one, or did they provide a product that met a need? It seems like you're saying that the big brewers are manipulating drinkers into drinking less flavorful beer (or did I misinterpret?), but I don't think they would have as much of the market as they do without meeting some kind of need.

The price of rice and corn are higher than malt, as pointed out by both August Schell and Stone Brewing's Mitch Steele in a recent interview on Basic Brewing Radio. That shoots a gaping hole through the "profit motive".

Companies (including brewers, regardless of their size) have a right to look for ways to make more money. You and I and everyone else have the right and the ability to choose or not choose their products.

I agree.  I fail to see how a gradual change indicates that there's been some nefarious long term plot by the big brewers to trick their customers into drinking something they wouldn't otherwise like.

Rather, I would bet it reflects a gradual change in consumer preferences.

Just because the big brewers are big doesn't mean they don't need to respond to the market.  US car makers learned that back in the 70s.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: getting started
« on: December 14, 2012, 10:02:06 AM »
Whichever way you go (glass or Better Bottle) I recommend keeping them in milk crates.  This makes it easier to lift and move them, protects the glass from inadvertent bumps/shattering, and helps to keep the BBs from flexing when you move them.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: getting started
« on: December 14, 2012, 08:25:28 AM »
Glass doesn't scratch, and plastic doesn't shatter. Both work well. If you do any extended aging in the carboy, I would recommend glass. Otherwise, I think it's just personal preference.
 And Camp Pendleton? Semper Fi. I spent some time there in the 90s...

I've given up on the glass carboys after cracking one recently.  Better Bottles require a bit more care in cleaning, in that you can't scour them with a bottle brush, but I have four and use them regularly.  Two are brand new, one is many years old.  No more glass for me.

I've left beer in them for well over a month, maybe two, with no ill effects.  But that's not really extended aging.

I don't really buy the idea that micro brewers are really competing with macros. Lamborghini doesn't compete with Ford.

Where they are competing is for the drinker who thinks they'll try something craft and picks a Blue Moon instead of a Hoegarden... oh wait.  Instead of an Allagash white, perhaps.  In this instance, the big brewers have been "crafty" and poached a consumer who might otherwise have tried a craft beer.

I can see the concern with that.  But I can also see where maybe Blue Moon is like the gateway drug to better beer.  Hopefully, people who drink it and like it try other Belgian-style beers and eventually wind up buying a four pack of Westy 12 for $350 on eBay.

Especially when we are talking about Goose Island or Craft Brewer's Alliance, we all need to pay attention to what's inside the bottle.

This is true.

As far as Goose goes, I haven't seen it fall off yet.  But I do think it's possible, if not likely, that it will.

My biggest concern with consolidation is that corporate interest will dilute the brands and the beers with the goal of producing the product cheaper.  We already have Beck's being made in America, and poorly at that.  I believe InBev has also begun cutting back or substituting some ingredients on Budweiser.  In this respect, consolidation could be the death nell of some long time brands, but that's just an opportunity for micros.  This, however, is off topic from the original post.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Dishwasher Sanitize vs. Jet Bottle Washer
« on: December 13, 2012, 03:01:09 PM »
But you should make sure you dont' end up with so much that you can taste it

It's not just volume but also the strength of the mixture.  I think that people tend to mix it stronger than necessary to be sure it does the job, but then you increase the risk of residual flavor.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Dishwasher Sanitize vs. Jet Bottle Washer
« on: December 13, 2012, 01:31:44 PM »
If you don't have one already, get a bottle tree or something similar that will allow you to set the bottles upside down to dry.  You don't need to rinse the iodophor, but you also don't want a puddle of it in your bottles when you fill them.

I use my jet washer for rinsing just about everything, so I would recommend having one.  Years ago, I bought a plastic one that is supposed to be easier on the plumbing but mostly I still use my old brass one.

I'm less concerned with the faux-craft labeling than the fact that the big boys control so much of the distribution network. That's really where they can kill off the smaller guys.

They own the production, though, not the distribution.  Owning so much of the production gives them a lot of weight with the distributors, I'm sure, but the distribution laws and three tier system are a whole different subject that has an impact on the retail availability of craft beers.

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