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Messages - Siamese Moose

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Homebrew Clubs / Re: Bottles with logos for NHC comp?
« on: March 05, 2014, 04:00:19 PM »
In my opinion that rule needs to disappear from all competitions, as it's long outlived it's intent. When there weren't many homebrewers, it was possible that the anonymity of competition entries might be lost, "because everyone knows Rob uses Bass bottles." That just doesn't apply anymore.

The Pub / Re: 5 issues craft beer drinkers should be aware of
« on: February 26, 2014, 10:38:38 PM »
I teach classes at the LHBS. It also has a tap room, so almost all of the students have a beer or two. I start the class with, "It's good brewing karma to have a beer while brewing. It's bad brewing practice to have too much." Especially at group brew events I get real worried about guys who have too much. I include about a five minute section on safety in my classes. As the pros say, there are brewers who have been burned, and brewers who are going to be burned, but there is no such thing as a brewer who does not get burned. I've lost track of the guys I know who've been burned, or "burned" by some other injury.

I'll throw in one thing that hasn't been mentioned:

I've twice come across high-ranking judges in the second round who first look for sediment before opening the bottle. If it wasn't there, they said out loud, "counter pressure filled", and proceeded on the assumption that the beer would be oxidized. Both of these guys really ticked me off, as I felt none of the beers were oxidized, but they wrote it and scored it down.

Because I'm sure that there are more judges like this, I prefer to enter bottle conditioned beers.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I'm in reruns!
« on: February 19, 2014, 05:00:14 PM »
Wow Rob! If I had known you were a celebrity, I would have fawned more when we judged together last weekend. Good job.

After doing IPAs with you in the morning, I got Belgian Strong Ales in the afternoon. I have decided that for all future competitions I have to specify to the organizers that I won't do two high gravity sessions on the same day. Oof!

General Homebrew Discussion / I'm in reruns!
« on: February 19, 2014, 01:15:09 PM »
A few months back I posted about appearing on The List, a syndicated news magazine. At the time my segment was cut really short due to breaking news of the day. Last night they ran a second, different segment, albeit still quite short. Still, here I am! Some was shot at my home (got my club flag prominently displayed), and some at the LHBS, Listermann's, where I teach their classes. The brewery shots are the Listermann/Triple Digit brewery.
I can't get the video to embed here, so here's the link: I'm the second story of the segment.


Ya know, Rob, at least in Roxanne's case her real life job does make a difference.  Her expertise has really helped the GC find a focus on a lot of issues.

Her old job, that is. She took early retirement. :)  For this group, it means she is spending more time on AHA and BJCP stuff.

I'm not on the list, but my infinitely more qualified wife is! (Roxanne Westendorf)

I know Denny doesn't care what a candidates real job is, but I'll make my pitch that Roxanne's deep background in consumer research has totally changed the way the AHA, and to a lesser extent the BA, conducts it's member polls. That's producing real changes in member service. That's all the promotion I'll do, I promise!

General Homebrew Discussion / Just Add Water
« on: February 13, 2014, 09:41:26 PM »
I just came across this during one of those idle sessions of following links. They had a booth at the London Bike Show, of all places! The price is 29.95 in British pounds (I can't find the symbol for pounds right now).

Real Ale at home does not get any easier than this!

Turn water into traditional Real Ale using the Moonshine brewing bag. To repeat Water is all you add into our unique, patented system to brew pint after pint of genuine Real Ale.

Two years in development with academic partners (Nottingham Trent University and Nottingham University) has resulted in our superb new system. The bag itself contains virtually all you need; just pour in 23 pints of tap water, add the contents of the enclosed sachet of ‘Moondust’ and leave for two weeks.

The result is 25 pints of Real Ale.

No more expensive, cumbersome equipment (which often ends up in the attic), just a bag of Moonshine, water and ten minutes of your time.

Equipment and Software / Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
« on: February 13, 2014, 07:51:49 PM »
There's no price listed yet, but Blichamnn has the Cornical coming out:


The next innovation coming off our workstations is a revolutionary NEW PATENT PENDING Cornicaltm MODULAR KEGGING AND FERMENTING SYSTEM.  Built with a Corny keg at its core, we've integrated an exchangable bottom to allow you to ferment with our conical bottom, then flip it over, switch to a standard keg bottom, and you're ready to carbonate and dispense!  The beauty of this system is the elimination of transferring the beer and also the competitive price!  The keg body is Italian made on modern automated machinery - no inferior welds like other imports.  The conical bottom is one piece and made right here at home!  We'll be in production this summer - check back for updates!!!

Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian Blond
« on: February 12, 2014, 02:35:34 PM »
I prefer a more mellow belgian quality so maybe I go with the Blond and ferment a bit cooler?

Exactly right!

Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian Blond
« on: February 11, 2014, 05:09:33 PM »
I've had a couple BOS beers with Belgian Blond, and your recipe is very close to mine (I use 10% sugar). Your target of 23 ibu's is good, but if you err, go lower. When my ibu's got to 25 it really affected the beer's score.

I also use 3522. My fermentation schedule is to start it at 62°, and let it free rise to the mid-70°s. I just try to make sure it doesn't cross 70° in the first 48 hours, or the phenols get a little too strong. If it stays cold too long it lacks the esters that I really like. I also prefer mine quite dry, so I mash at 147-8°, and it finishes around 1.008.

Other Fermentables / Re: Atomic Fireballs
« on: December 24, 2013, 02:35:54 PM »
Chuck Boyce, whose recipe was the basis for the conference mead recipe cited above, started by trying to use just the candies. It took way too much candy to get the level of heat he was looking for, and the extra sugar tasted candy sweet, not honey sweet like he was looking for in a sweet mead. Now he just uses the candy for visual effect at serving.

The Pub / Would this get you out on a bike?
« on: December 19, 2013, 09:34:31 PM »
Would this get you out on a bike?

Hey, it's Trappist!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First US Trappist Brewery!!!!
« on: December 18, 2013, 09:27:43 PM »
There is another Trappist monastery, Gethsemani, near Lexington KY, that is apparently at least considering building a brewery. They have reportedly had some consultations with local craft brewers. They already make a number of food products, This is the parent abbey of New Clairvaux, which is the people working with Sierra Nevada.

Ingredients / Re: Lactic acid to sour a Berliner
« on: August 19, 2013, 09:15:54 PM »
All right, time to 'fess up! This was NOT Denny's beer, it was my wife's. I asked for his input, and he suggested putting it on the forum. I didn't want to do that because that keg was going to Beer and Sweat* last Saturday, and I knew that some of the judges who would be there are regulars here, and many of them ask for sours. I did not want to bias a judge into looking for a lactic-dosed beer. Overall the beer is quite good, it was just not sour enough for Saturday. We ended up adding 1/2 oz. of 88% lactic acid, and it really could have used more. Unfortunately we did not have the time to try several iterations. In the end the beer got a 37.3 score, but didn't even make it into the mini-BOS (Beer and Sweat is a tough gig!). We now plan to just set the keg aside and let it mature properly.
I will add that we used a White Labs vial of lactobacillus, and the pro brewer we talked to said that was a big mistake. He said the Wyeast lacto is a different strain, and is much more aggressive and sour.

*Beer and Sweat is the World's Largest Homebrew Competition**. Forget mailing in two bottles - you haul your keg to the hotel, we judged 352 kegs in one session, and then had a great homebrew party through the evening. It's very similar to Club Night at the NHC, except it's help yourself to any of the kegs, and it lasts far longer.
**by volume

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