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Topics - mtnrockhopper

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Questions about the forum? / Suggestion
« on: March 27, 2012, 05:37:12 AM »
Not sure if this is possible with simple machines, but I'd love a link (up next to unread and replies maybe) that would show a list of posts that have quoted me. It would be an easy way to find threads that I probably want to pay attention to first.

The Pub / Beer Saved the World
« on: March 22, 2012, 07:53:40 AM »
There is an interesting beer-related infographic over at Beer Saved the World
Click to Enlarge

The whole thing is just making me cry. Especially because it appears to be written by a brewer at our nearby Fordham/Old Dominion and received some credibility through a link on Fordham's facebook page.

Kegging and Bottling / Tightening keg posts
« on: February 27, 2012, 12:36:49 PM »
After buying used kegs and taking the posts off for cleaning and o-ring replacement, I'm wondering - when I put the posts back, how tight should I tighten them.
Purely academic at this point, since I basically wrenched them down until they cried out for mercy, then kept tightening until the crying stopped.

Questions about the forum? / Go Down
« on: February 17, 2012, 02:07:18 PM »
For me, on my browser at least, when I open a thread and click 'Go Down' the page jumps to the top post ("Go Up" at the bottom goes to the same place). Glitch or just me? Anyone else?

Yeast and Fermentation / Delaware Native Ale yeast
« on: February 16, 2012, 07:16:47 PM »
If you haven't heard of this, a few months ago Dogfish Head made an entirely Delaware beer with Delaware barley, fruit, hops ... and a yeast strain isolated from a local orchard by University of Delaware and Dogfish's yeast lab. The yeast is temporarily for sale through our local homebrew shop - Extreme Brewing.

The Pub / Victory cameo in commercial
« on: February 06, 2012, 07:06:19 AM »
I was watching the brain melter the other day and thought I saw a Victory tap handle in the background of a commercial. I did, I DID see a Victory tap handle in the background of a commercial.

I think we'd all agree that if your first date is at a bar that serves Victory, things will turn out above average.

Kegging and Bottling / Temperature control settings
« on: February 02, 2012, 07:59:40 AM »
I have a Johnson digital temperature controller hooked up to my new converted freezer kegerator. I'm wondering what controller settings people use. Mostly, I noticed that you can change the temperature differential which I guess is the range from when it shuts off cooling and turns it on again.  The default is 5 degrees, which seems like a wide swing?

Other Fermentables / 60 gallons of cider
« on: January 19, 2012, 12:20:43 PM »
Wanted to share - this is 60 gallons of cider fermented in my unheated garage. It's done fermenting and will probably be transfered to kegs and carboys next weekend. Much of it is being shared with friends in my homebrew club.

Homebrew Competitions / 2nd Annual Delaware Battle of the Brews
« on: January 06, 2012, 07:42:45 AM »
For the second year, the Delaware Department of Agriculture and Delaware State Fair will host the Battle of the Brews on July 21. This will again be an AHA/BJCP sanctioned event. Join us from 5-8pm for a public event with sampling from commercial Delmarva breweries and wineries, a 'People's Choice' award for the commerical beer/wine, music, and presentation of competition awards.

Details, printable flyers, etc. can be found at, but here are the most important things to remember: You must register at between April 2 & June 1, 2012 and then deliver your beer (in person or by mail - see website) by July 10. To maximize your beer karma, make sure you use plain bottles labeled with BJCP Bottle ID forms (attach with a rubber band please).

Cash prizes will be awarded for Best of Show winners and category winners will be honored with fame, notoriety, (and ribbons).  And we’ll have and craft beer education and sampling activities going on during judging.

Prizes -
Best of Show - $250 and free National AHA Competition entry
Second BOS - $150
Third BOS     - $50

The response to last year's competition was great with over 200 entries! Also several hundred participants turned out during the competition for free beer sampling from 3 Delaware breweries (Dogfish Head, Fordham/Old Dominion, and Twin Lakes). The local homebrew shop (Xtreme Brewing) also poured samples and the craft beer bloggers from Fermented Artistry came to talk to participants. We also had a homebrewing demonstration the following day in the Department of Agriculture's building, which has a demonstration kitchen. We brewed a State Fair Pale Ale.

The Delaware State Fair submitted the 2011 Battle of the Brews competition to the International Association of Fairs and Expositions competition for agricultural and competitive exhibits and won third place in its size division for ‘New or Unique Competitive Exhibits.’

Yeast and Fermentation / Boiling starters in a flask
« on: December 30, 2011, 07:10:36 AM »
I began making starters a while ago and recently got a flask. I like boiling the starter in the flask, but have a hell of a time dealing with foam from the boiling wort, which wants to shoot out all over the stove. Any suggestions on how to deal with that?

All Things Food / Cider brined turkey
« on: November 22, 2011, 11:21:56 AM »
This year we're going to brine our turkey with our hard cider from last year. I was surprised - when I searched for ideas I found a cider brine recipe from Emeril, so we're going to follow that with a few changes. Our version is below.

2 22oz bottles hard cider (ours)
3 quarts fresh apple cider
2 cups Kosher salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon whole allspice
4 cinnamon sticks
4 bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs oregano
1 gallon ice water

Pimp My System / Brewenstein - The Brewing Monster
« on: November 16, 2011, 08:52:43 PM »
My wife, Lori, and I built our own brewing system last summer. It builds on the system and techniques that we have learned - which was a 10G rubbermaid cooler mash tun, 7.5G kettle, and batch sparging. Previously, we were constantly lifting buckets, kettles, and mash tuns full of liquid several times during a brew session. Everyone loves a new gadget, but we also wanted our brewing to remain hands-on as much as possible while removing grunt work.

So looking to use the techniques we were used to, not wanting to buy a pump, and wanting to be able to get it out under my garage door left us with one option - build a '2.5 tier' brew system. The mash tun sits on a winch operated lift so that all liquid movement is done by gravity.  I believe its the first of its kind. I've seen kettles and hot liquor tanks that raise, but not mash tuns (I didn't to an exhaustive search though).

There are many more pictures of the build and first brew here, with captions explaining how it works.


All Grain Brewing / Volume of a pound of grain
« on: August 02, 2011, 09:25:02 AM »
Anyone know what volume a pound of grain takes up in a mash tun? I'd like to be able to calculate what the max amount of water I can add to my mash tun if it has X lbs of grain in it. This way I could figure out what my maximum mash-in volume would be (and therefore, maximum weight of grains the mash tun can handle and still be properly mashed) as well as maximum batch sparge volumes.

Homebrew Clubs / Blind tasting homebrew
« on: July 21, 2011, 06:54:25 AM »
I've had a request from some members to do blind homebrew tastings and review at the beginning of club meetings and am looking for thoughts or advice on how to get good feedback from this. The basic idea would be that those entering would bring enough beer so everyone gets a sample, bottles would be marked anonymously, and interested members would be given review sheets to rate/review each beer.  The idea is to get more than the usual "that's good" that we often get from face to face tasting, but I want to make sure it is useful and fun for those entering beer (and everybody else too).

Any thoughts on this?

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