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Messages - Siamese Moose

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I would doubt you could do it by weight. Bottle quality varies a lot between suppliers. Take a look sometime at the bottles you've broken. Some are nicely symmetrical, with even wall thicknesses all the way around. Others are not, with big differences in wall thickness from one point to another. Those asymmetrical bottles weigh the same as the better ones, but clearly they won't have the same pressure capabilities. There are some breweries out there whose bottles I never reuse anymore.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How to Add Vanilla
« on: March 20, 2012, 04:57:04 PM »
OTOH, I've never used vodka or anything else to sanitize the beans and it's never caused me any problems.

Oh, I know most people get away with it, most of the time. The pros I know won't chance it anymore. They know other pros who have had to dump batches.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How to Add Vanilla
« on: March 18, 2012, 01:27:51 PM »
Vodka at the very minimum. I've had this conversation with two pro brewers (including one from Sam Adams). Raw vanilla beans are absolutely loaded with bacteria. The SA guy said it's the most troublesome ingredient they've ever used. Both pros pasteurize their beans in sealed containers, and then flush the whole thing into a bright tank without ever exposing the beans to air. Keeping it sealed this way they manage to keep most of the aroma, and still avoid infection.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP001 fermented cold
« on: February 25, 2012, 08:07:58 PM »
For the 2008 NHC in Cincinnati the conference beer was an Imperial Cream Ale. (The local craft pros created the recipe, donated everything, and brewed it for us.) It was fermented with 001 at 56°. I don't remember the exact fermentation time, but Rick DeBar, the brewer who actually made the beer, said fermentation took about the same as any other 1.075 beer he'd ever done. The beer was very well received at the conference.

Going Pro / Re: Brewery internship?
« on: February 23, 2012, 10:35:09 PM »
I volunteer at a 1500 barrel/year brewery. We have the two owner/brewers, four full-time employees, and a dozen part-time volunteers. The owners were friends of mine for years before they opened, so that's how I started. I thought I was going pro, and went in with the intent to learn pro brewing. They knew and welcomed that. My situation fell apart, but I still work 2 shifts per week. (I'm otherwise retired.) To get in as a volunteer, you need: 1: Know brewing, be a homebrewer, and preferably BJCP certified. 2. Be prepared to do any job asked. In my case the only thing I won't do is lift full half-barrels (back issue), but I spent most of my time cleaning floors and cleaning/sanitizing kegs. I occasionally brew, bottle, keg, filter, and kibitiz on recipes. The other volunteers were accepted because of the ability to make a long-term commitment. I estimate 60 hours of training is required to become an asset. Anything less than that and you are a liability. In a small brewery they just don't have the time to train you.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How much did you brew in 2009?
« on: January 03, 2010, 02:22:30 AM »
30 sessions, 185 gallons, not including wine or mead.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Trapistes Rochefort 6,8,&10
« on: December 28, 2009, 09:52:19 PM »
Tour trivia question would be, "What is the dog's name?"

Wow, that's a new one to me. I don't remember any dogs. I guess you got the "celebrity tour".

Thanks for all of the replies. I have been working with a local company where one of my fellow club members works. They've got many different pint glass options available. After the holidays he will be meeting with their distributor, and showing him a sheet of different Belgian shapes, and seeing what might be available. I'm concerned about the minimum quantity, but they might do a minimum total, pints + Belgians, which would make it easy. I'm planning on screen printing. If it has to be an etch, I can get a home kit for that.

Did an English IPA this morning. Used the yeast slurry from an ESB that I just racked. Doing a Helles Bock (decocted) tomorrow. Did I mention I'm off this week?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New section coming!
« on: December 05, 2009, 11:24:36 PM »
"Other fermentables"

Interesting choice of words, since Roxanne has been pushing competitions in our area to include an "other fermentables" category. We're getting a lot of people locally fermenting different stuff. In Roxanne's case, that includes maple syrup, date palm sugar, and agave nectar (in addition to using them in beer and mead). The Mountain Brewer Open (Greater Huntington Homebrewers Assn.) got 6 or 7 entries in the first case of somebody actually including the category.

I have a Belgian Barleywine just into the fermenter, and I hope to add an ESB this weekend.
Belgian Barleywine?  Mind posting the recipe?
Sure, but it's a brand new, never-before brewed recipe, so I don't know how it will turn out. It's just something I've wanted to do for a while, and I had a nice big slurry of White Labs 575 Belgian Blend, so I figured it was time. My inspiration was Scaldis, but I made no attempt to make a clone. The recipe is just my own ideas. The recipe for 5.5 gallons:
7' Belgian Pale, 6' Belgian Pils, 3.5' Briess 6-row pale, 1/2' Caravienne, 1/2' Aromatic, mash at 149° for 90 minutes. 2' clear candi sugar added, boil 90 minutes. 1.5 oz. Styrian Goldings pellets (5.2 aa) for 70 min., 1 oz Sterling whole (8.7 aa) each for 15, 5, and at knockout. Pitched the yeast at 62°, fermenter rose to 70° before starting to drop off. Over 1/2 gallon blew off in the first 18 hours (wow!). OG 1.106, FG TBD, calculated 42 ibu's.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Boiling Wort outdoors in winter
« on: December 04, 2009, 09:45:19 PM »
I'll second the comments about evaporation rate. Mine varies quite dramatically depending on the wind, and a little on the humidity (and I brew on a protected walk-out basement patio that is sheltered on three sides). It's always nearly double the rate I experience during the summer. I have not had much success in predicting it very accurately, so I now target to get five gallons or less, and dilute as needed in the fermenter.

I have a Belgian Barleywine just into the fermenter, and I hope to add an ESB this weekend.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Trapistes Rochefort 6,8,&10
« on: December 02, 2009, 12:41:37 PM »
We had the good fortune to visit Rochefort a few years ago. The brewhouse really is a brewing cathedral. The tour (given by the brewmaster, Gumar Santos) ended in the tasting room. He served us 6, then he served us 8, then 10, and then, "Which did you like?", and more came around. Then, "How about some beer for the bus?" Plus everyone got a Rochefort chalice. Very nice.

Their fermentation process is rather unusual (at least to me). They brew Tuesday through Thursday, two batches each day, and one on Friday, all of the same beer. The first batch goes into the unitank around 11:00 AM on Tuesday, and the yeast is pitched. The second batch goes on top of that, followed by each successive batch through the week. After the last batch the fermenter is exactly half-full. (They did some experimentation, and found that the flavor was not the same if the tank was filled any higher.) The temperature is held at 24° C (76° F). That beer is bottled on Monday morning, so the last batch spends less than 72 hours in the fermenter. They never dump the trub, nor dump or skim the yeast. The bottling line is very state-of-the-art, and is massively oversized compared to most breweries. They want to be able to bottle an entire week's production in one work shift, because bottling is a very noisy process, and they're trying to minimize how long they disturb the monks. The bottles are conditioned from six to ten weeks, depending on the beer. The conditioning rooms are not heated or cooled. They look like oversized garages, and the temperature is controlled by opening or closing the doors.

General Homebrew Discussion / Where to get custom Belgian-style glassware?
« on: November 27, 2009, 09:21:47 PM »
I want to get some custom glasses with my logo on them. I know of several places where I can get standard pub glasses, but I especially want some Belgian styles. Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance,

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