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Messages - beerrat

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1
Other Fermentables / Re: Still semi sweet mead taste like pyment?
« on: May 20, 2013, 05:19:13 AM »
I've made a lot of meads, but never with WLP007.

When you say "like a pyment" what do you mean - many different pyments, so what is it you are tasting or smelling?
4 months is early for a mead to find itself, think 6-12 months.

What was start and end gravity?  What temperatures do you ferment at? 

I like to use wine yeast like Lalvin D47 or 71B and have had success with wyeast sweet mead yeast also. Suggest follow Curt Stock/Michael "Moonlight Meadery" Fairchild's protocols for nutrients and temperature.

2
Homebrew Clubs / Re: Do other clubs have this problem?
« on: May 08, 2013, 02:05:22 PM »
Apathy?  I know we'll never have a club like, say the Maltose Falcons, and I can live with that.  But I'm so frustrated with the apathy.  No one has any initiative. The officers have tried to encourage membership with discounts at LHBS, events, educational presentations, apparel, etc...  We're a stone's throw from the AHA conference this year.  I desperately wanted us to participate in club night.  There was no interest.  We have some great homebrewers, but my wife and I weren't about to single-handedly run our booth.  Sometimes, it seems like we're little more than an organized drinking club.  I've offered to put homebrewer bios and recipes on our newsletters and website to drum up interest and participation.  Crickets.  It's so frustrating.  We have annual dies of $15 and about 25 paid members.  We have a lot more who haven't paid. Our last meetings have had five and six attendees respectively.  Do I need to accept the reality that our club is what it is?  I'm grasping at straws here, folks.

Ah, the joys of volunteer organizations.  I am on the board of a number of non profits, and also involved in a couple local brew clubs.  With an older club, you will have members who on the surface seem apathetic, but really are folk no longer as passionate because they "been there, done that" stuff for years and time for new blood to help and energize.  Other passions replaced home brewing somewhat, and that's ok.  There is room for simply having a few beers with some old friends as part of the club. 

So when I joined, I asked myself, "what do I want to get out of a club?" What is the club I want to be part of, be proud of?  Then make it so.... with 1-2 others in the group that felt the same way we began executing.  You cannot make someone feel as passionate about something as you do, they have to come to it on their own.  So build it and they will come.  Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm - disappointment and frustration will not attract folk.

It sound like your group was similar in terms of actually having a good foundation  2-3 key events that have been going on for years, and a monthly meeting place with damn fine beers.

Building on those and see what the mix is for all these elements at every one: education, fun, social, club awareness and growth.

Monthly meetings - Still a social beer tasting event, but with an educational topic at every/every other for the first 1/3 of the meeting, then sharing home-brews - providing/getting feedback from experience brewers is a big perk to new folk; while socializing for the remaining portion. 

Brew day events - either at a member house or at a local homebrew shop - a way to introduce hobby and the club. Invite the press to attend it, new members or just interested folk, and have someone be there to engage them and explain what going on.

Competitions -good for internal bragging rights, or against that other local local brew clubs. Malt madness and War of the Worts two good ones for the PA clubs!  Enter comps yourself - start bringing back ribbons and you get enthusiasm from others.  Leads into education session on styles, what makes a good beer per BJCP, process discussions, etc.  Our club judges at a local country fair's homebrew contest and that is always fun and engaging for new and old when you talk about the winners and the rival clubs you beat ;-).

Road shows - demo's/speaking at local homebrew shops, beer festivals, historical, rotary, lions club etc about how to homebrew usually draws a few new people to the hobby. Sampling even more compelling.

Not sure what radio, press, or local TV you have out there, but makes friends with them.  They make good celebrity judges and will promote your events and hobby.

For any any of these you just need 2-3 folk to do it, other will jump in when it looks like fun.  Don't try to do more than what you have volunteers for, that will lead to frustration and burn out.  Do small things really well.

We been executing on this for the past 4 years and our member growth and event turn out has been very good.  A number of new faces at our meetings that have been engaging the older members for feedback bridges the gap you have.

Hope this helps.  Perhaps we'll see you at Club night.

Good luck!

3
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC regional experiences
« on: May 05, 2013, 08:39:43 AM »
Did folk that entered Atlanta get your judging sheets yet?  I have not.

I can see my scores online.  What does Mini-BOS being checked mean on the online entry page?

Thanks all for the feedback and education on min-BOS means! 

I receive my score sheets from Atlanta on 5/4.  I had some good beers and bad beers, and the comments for both were very helpful on how to make them all better.  Nice job!

4
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC regional experiences
« on: May 03, 2013, 02:17:21 PM »
Did folk that entered Atlanta get your judging sheets yet?  I have not.

I can see my scores online.  What does Mini-BOS being checked mean on the online entry page?

5
Equipment and Software / Re: Small fridge for temp control?
« on: January 23, 2013, 05:47:30 AM »
Take a tape measure and check bottom and top clearance before you buy.  It took me a while to find one that I could use without major modifications.

Back in 2011, I bought a Vissani 52-Bottle Wine Cooler at HomeDepot.  It was one of the few small refrigerators/chillers that would fit a 6 gal carboy or a 5 gallon bucket.  It was $200.

Still working out fine.  Easily fits 6 gal glass carboy, or buckets with no modifications.  I use a ranco temp controller with it.  I do primary lager fermentation at 50F with no issues.  I did have to raise the unit off the carpet with some wood blocks for air circulation as it did get hot running in the summer.

You can see the old thread here: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=7465.msg119716#msg119716

6
Events / Re: NHC Hospitality suite & Club Night -- How much beer????
« on: January 02, 2013, 11:53:27 AM »
Getting excited about this event.  We have a couple club members that will help out on club night, but are unable to attend the full conference.  Do all club night volunteers need to be paid conference attendees if they will only be at club night?

7
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegging without a fridge
« on: December 04, 2012, 12:34:57 PM »
I want to start kegging but I don't have a dedicated fridge.  Can I keg at room temp and fill a growler to put in the fridge?

I don't have a dedicated fridge and have been kegging for about 3 years.  My basement maintains a range of 58F-80F.  I pour off into a 2 liters sealed with carb caps.  Allows me to chill it and drink as I like.  Pour a glass, and then apply CO2 via the cap. 

Works fine for me until  I ever finish my basement and get a fridge down there.  Even then, I have about 10 kegs, so not all fit anyway.

8
Ingredients / Re: Getting orange!
« on: November 29, 2012, 06:25:37 PM »
I liked it.  I'll try it again and tune the recipe. Want to try it with some chocolate next.

9
Ingredients / Re: Getting orange!
« on: November 28, 2012, 04:44:19 PM »
I cheated a bit by adding orange teas at bottling to taste.  Twinings honeybush, mandarin & orange and Tazo wild sweet orange.  I really wanted the tea flavors to come out, so may have been too much as folk either loved or hated it.

10
Beer Recipes / Re: First lager!!
« on: November 28, 2012, 04:38:59 PM »
My first lager ( last January ) was a Munich Helles and I got a silver at NHC.  Your results may vary (i.e. Gold :) ).

Temp control, big yeast pitch, O2, and time/patience.  I also use a method that I heard from Jamil Zainasheff about letting the wort sit overnight at fermentation temp, transferring to another vessel, hitting it with O2 and pitch the yeast.  I was amazed at how much break material formed just overnight in the first carboy.  It is now a method I use with all my lagers.  I pitch cold ( 44 F ) and let it free rise to 50 F and hold it there. 

Good luck!

What is the rationale for leaving sit overnight before O2 and pitch?  Leave the break material behind?

11
I've used 2206 at 50f with good success.

12
Events / Re: NHC Hospitality suite & Club Night -- How much beer????
« on: September 01, 2012, 10:14:07 AM »
Thanks for the feedback.....so not as daunting as the need for 100-200 gallons of brew.   So we'll likely focus on club night only with 5-10 taps.  Goal will be to run out vs take back any beer.




13
Events / NHC Hospitality suite & Club Night -- How much beer????
« on: August 30, 2012, 05:26:00 AM »
I wondering if clubs that were participating at this year's NHC and provided beer could share how much beer they went though at club night, hospitality suite, etc.

How many taps did your club have at club night?
How much beer did your club go through?

How many taps did your club have at the hospitality suite?
How many hours did your club host the hospitality suite for?
How much beer did your club go through?

Any other beer needs?  How about for tasting during a presentation?  How much?

I had heard to shoot for 250 gallons and that seemed very prohibitive for a small club.

14
Other Fermentables / Re: 16% Sweet Mead?
« on: August 10, 2012, 06:26:53 AM »
Sounds like you did what I would do.

Just checking.. did you use the wyeast sweet mead yeast?  If so it looks like you keep the yeast so healthy during ferment that they were able to perform better. NB instructions/formulation likely don't assume such care.

Also, what temp did you ferment at?

So how does it taste - besides the dryness?  Any hot alcohol/off  tastes, etc?

15
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Ken Schramm in Hospital
« on: August 04, 2012, 06:12:45 AM »
Raising a glass to Ken's speedy, safe and pain free recovery!

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