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Messages - Siamese Moose

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Ingredients / Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« on: March 16, 2013, 12:59:22 PM »
I have used mustard seed in a Belgian Blond. The seeds don't taste like prepared mustard until you do a vinegar extract. The flavor was more nutty. This was part of an Iron Brewer competition.

I have also used dandelion greens (from my yard) as a bittering agent in a no-hop beer.

Finally, I use paw paw fruit (native to the Ohio valley) from the trees in my yard in a saison every year.

Events / Re: NHC Direct links email
« on: March 01, 2013, 07:11:22 PM »
Update on my registration:
My entries now show as paid, and my duplicate payments have all been refunded.

I do not envy the AHA staff right now, but they're getting it done!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison Dry Yeast
« on: February 28, 2013, 02:17:11 AM »
I'm curious to hear also. I teach classes at the LHBS, and they just asked me to use this to make a saison at my next class as a test of the flavor profile.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: San Diego Super Yeast
« on: February 27, 2013, 05:59:19 PM »
Check out some of the pro brewer forums on this yeast. There is widespread agreement that it should never be allowed to drop below 69°. In addition, do not ever allow the temperature to drop. If that first rush of fermentation heats it up, and then it cools as it slows, it will stall. If it were my beer, at this point I would crank the temperature to the upper 70°s and agitate the crap out of the carboy, and hope for the best.

Events / Re: NHC Direct links email
« on: February 27, 2013, 02:36:48 PM »
In my case my bank shows my card has been charged five times, but the registration site says I am still not paid. My most recent email (this morning) is the message from Gary telling me I have to pay by 1:00 MST or I will be deleted. At this point I am just sitting on it, and will not try paying again. I don't know what I'll do if I get deleted.

Events / Re: NHC Direct links email
« on: February 26, 2013, 09:29:17 PM »
I got my entries in, but it won't let me pay. Anytime I hit "Charge My Credit Card" I get a 404 Page Cannot Be Found error. The payment page shows the Ohio region is now full, and no more entries are being accepted.

I tried a few times, and just now received four automatic replies that show my card was charged $24 each time. However, the competition site says I am not paid. I guess I'll check later, and let Janis handle her current storm. If I have to I'll dispute the CC charges.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sanitizer in the Fermenter
« on: February 11, 2013, 06:36:41 PM »
I have put 10 gallons of fresh wort onto 2 gallons of star-san, and it came out fine. The iodine in the sanitizer will evaporate fairly quick, especially if there's any significant CO2 generation. If you're really worried about it add some fresh yeast a day before bottling.

Beer Recipes / Re: Pliny the Elder extract clone..
« on: January 24, 2013, 01:37:29 PM »
Vinnie wrote an article about Pliny for Zymurgy, in the July/August 2009 issue. It's available for download online here: He includes a little bit about the origin and changes over the years.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP Tasting Exam: Wow! That was hard!
« on: January 23, 2013, 02:25:55 PM »
It gets a whole lot easier with practice. Go to some competitions if you can. Our club has a program going to help teach judging (as well as to help new brewers with their beer). You can bring a beer to a meeting, and we'll have an experienced judge write up a scoresheet. Prospective judges are encouraged to join in, and get the opportunity to compare their perceptions with the primary judge. Then everybody sits down with the brewer to go over it, and the judges and brewers benefit. We do it without a time limit, so it's relaxed. Do this a few times and you won't worry about a time limit.

Ingredients / Re: Chestnuts
« on: January 22, 2013, 01:25:31 PM »
Is chestnut flour just raw chestnuts ground up?  I would assume so if it requires gelatinization... I would think that roasting would gelatinize the sugars.  Any ideas about what percentage of his mash is chestnut flour?

Here's the stuff we use (my wife also uses it in her homemade pasta - I really like it there): I assume it's just ground nuts. Roasting will not gelatinize, but I would think you'd get some different flavors out of it. Busalla uses it at 17%. I used 20%.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cold Steeping Dark Grains
« on: January 19, 2013, 03:31:32 PM »
I just did the cold steeping technique with the chocolate malt for an American Brown. (Brewed for a national television audience - details to come when I know the air date.) I have found that the beer is lacking in intensity for the chocolate character. The recipe originally called for 8 ounces of chocolate malt. I steeped 10. I first added the equivalent of 6 ounces, and found it very weak. I added all of the rest, and it's improved, but still weak. I'm going to steep more grain, and blend it in soon. I'm curious about other people's experiences here. Have you gotten good results with the same amount of grain as you previously mashed, or did you need to use more grain? I'll add that I really like the smooth character, but it just needs to be bumped up a bit from where it is now. The nice thing is, it's easy to bump it up with this method.

Beer Travel / Re: Louisville, Kentucky
« on: January 19, 2013, 02:51:24 PM »
I have been there a couple times. Some additions to your list: Rich O's ( and New Albanian (, just across the river in southern Indiana, and Apocalypse (, less than a year old opened by a couple of friends of mine who happen to be outstanding homebrewers.

Even if you're not into spirits, take a short drive south and take the tour at Jim Beam. It's well worth it.

Ingredients / Re: Chestnuts
« on: January 18, 2013, 06:19:59 PM »
While traveling in Italy in 2011 we visited the Busalla Brewery outside of Genoa (Liguria). They make a chestnut beer called Castagnasca. The brewer there is Gabriel (in the orange shirt), an Argentinian who went to school in Germany and now brews in Italy. He was very open about everything they did. He uses chestnut flour (there are tax advantages to using it, as the government is seeking to help the chestnut industry). He does a full cereal mash with it, as what he has requires gelatinization. I purchased some chestnut flour through Amazon, and used it at 20% in a CAP. It's a really pleasant beer. I would not describe the flavor as "nutty", but you know something is subtly different there.

Ingredients / Re: Mosaic Hops?
« on: October 31, 2012, 09:22:10 PM »
You are unlikely to find them for a while. According to a presentation given at Perrault Farms during the NHC preconference tour, there won't be enough in the pipeline for any to reach homebrewers until 2014 at the very earliest, and more likely not until 2015.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: One of the best brew days ever
« on: October 04, 2012, 01:08:35 PM »
I have a few neighbors who come over and brew with me on occasion. I call them my minions. It's a great deal for me, as they offered to pay for all the expenses, and I still get 5 gallons of beer.

As far as brewing in the rain, my boil-off rate gets rather unpredictable. Unless it's really windy I do not boil off as much as normal. I now plan for a lower final volume and top off as needed.

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