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Topics - beerrat

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PA / Exeter, PA - Wyoming Valley Home Brewers Mead Making Demo/Sample
« on: July 25, 2011, 11:42:29 PM »
Come enjoy an evening of mead making and sampling at our regular club meeting.
We'll help you know your sack from your pyment!

Members and non members always welcome!

Monday August 1, 7:00pm in the back room of Sabatini's Pizza, 1925 Wyoming Avenue. Exeter, PA 18643. Exeter.

Having a hard time getting any good mead in Pennsylvania   - our stupid/archaic state owned wine stores makes obtaining anything like Redstone, Rabbits Foot, Long Island, Moon Light meadery's virtually impossible. 

The only one available to me is something called Bunratty Mead - an import from Ireland.  Anyone ever have it?

Anyone one have any local PA meads they feel are good reference meads?

Classifieds / Wanter: Cluster hop rhizomes
« on: May 25, 2011, 01:21:36 AM »
Probably a little late in the season, but I'm looking for 1-2 Cluster hop rhizomes.  Get in this year and harvest next.  Hav not been able to source these elsewhere. 

I can trade for a some 4 year old brewers gold partitions, or name a price.

Bison Brewery and 7 Bridges pro am entries are due this weekend.  Anyone east of the Mississippi have issues shipping to the NC drop off location?  Seem the drop off moved from address listed on web site and UPS holding packages to that "old" address...  Or at least mine.
I've been in contact with contest sponsors to resolve.  Just want others to be aware and see if experiencing same issue.

Ingredients / Substitute for Special "B"?
« on: January 16, 2011, 04:24:55 PM »
I'm working on a robust porter recipe that calls for special B about 3% of the grain bill.  I'm not familiar with this grain, and don't have it on hand.  Is there another grain I can substitute for this for flavor that it may add, say in the crystal family?  looks like it ads color too, which I can get from crystal 120.

I have done some google searches, and most discuss color, not flavor.



Equipment and Software / Copper boil kettle - taste impact?
« on: December 22, 2010, 02:22:25 PM »
Can anyone can cite a source, or even from personal experience if boiling wort in a copper vs stainless steel vs aluminum brew pot impacts final taste of a beer.  I'm thinking if any, maybe lagers could be impacted.

I'm interested in historical brewing, specifically 1890-1910,  and from what I understand, boil kettles were made of copper then.

Wondering if I need a copper kettle to replicate taste. I have a stainless one now. 

Ingredients / can I turn crystal 40 into crystal 80?
« on: December 11, 2010, 01:56:47 AM »
Have a recipe that calls for crystal 80, but have only 40L on hand.  Can I roast crystal in oven for x time to make 40 into 80?

Been looking on web, but found no info. 

General Homebrew Discussion / A day in the life of a nano brewer
« on: October 16, 2010, 02:07:31 PM »
My local nano brewer, Breaker Brewing Company did a neat "day in the life" video - only about 6 minutes.. enjoy!

Cool look into the equipment they use.

Oh, and they make good beer too.

<<updated link>>:

Equipment and Software / Fermentation chamber ideas
« on: September 17, 2010, 03:46:16 PM »
I have a refrigerator/freezer for my kegs and beer, and do not want to buy another one, just to maintain fermentation temps.  Want one to do ales and lagers (of course, not at same time)

My thoughts are to use a fermentation chamber (insulated plywood box) that had some means to be cooled by adjacent refrigerator.  Either via air (like: or chilled fluid; either using fan/pump and temperature controller.

I think the added benefit of this is saved floor space by using the adjacent refrigerator.

Thoughts from those whom have done this?

Ingredients / 2010 Hop harvest NE PA
« on: September 12, 2010, 02:39:49 PM »
Just wanted to share this year's initial hop harvest from my small patch in Dunmore PA.  I have 3 bines of brewers gold (3 year old) and cascades (2 year old) growing on a chain link fence.  Been a dry year and I did not water as I should have. 

Only about 4 oz of Cascades, with maybe another 2 oz still on the bine.
12oz of Brewers Gold with about a pound still to be picked!!

A BG/Cascade pale ale on deck to be brewed next week!

Brewer's Gold:

Kegging and Bottling / Long term bottle and cap/cork methods
« on: August 09, 2010, 05:59:58 PM »
Been a few threads of late on what to beers/mead/etc to make to save for multiyear celebrations, and how to bottle them in terms of carbonation, and transfer.

I have a mead that I made during spring chemo fun that I want to bottle and celebrate for many years to come!

Any thoughts on the right combination of bottle, cork, cap, etc for say 25+ years?

I have a both a corker and a capper.

Is there a difference in cork quality, natural vs regular matter.  Store on the side to keep moist for a mead apply like in wine?  Seal with wax, etc?  I'm not sure side storage will work out for me, so synthetic corks ok long term?  

Would wax work similar to this method :

Equipment and Software / Any home-brew weighing scale recommendations?
« on: August 07, 2010, 12:40:15 AM »
Bought a cheap scale a few years back and is lacking in the < 1 oz and gram range accuracy - recommendations?

What I have is ok for base grains, but not for fine tuning smaller additions - especially when I do 2-3gal experimental batches.

Ok - last year I posted that the basement dehumidifier ate my mead.  Well I discovered on Sunday that this year, it sampled my cyser.

So it appears I'm not checking my air lock and ensuring it I filled with liquid often enough in dehumidifier season.

Besides checking every week, anyone have suggestions for air locks for long term aging as I will forget to check again!

I use the standard 2 piece air lock, with a zip lock bag over top.

Will a bubbler be better?

Sunday morning, walk down to the basement for cat food.  Cellar smells of beer.  I checked the kegs sitting in the corner and see about 1 gallon of beer on the floor.

A slow leak from the beer out poppet.  Damn!  Black lager puddle. :(

I don't have a frig or kegerator for my beer, so I usually slap on a cobra tap to fill a growler or 2-liter with a carbonator cap and chill in the frig.  Once filled, I pull off the tap and flush out with star san.

I wiped down the beer post and thought all was good.  I guess next time I'll start spraying the post with starsan and look for leaks when pulling off the tap.

The basement did smell nice though!

Ingredients / Brewing herbs - lemon and bee balm
« on: July 14, 2010, 02:05:56 PM »
I've grown my own hops and used them in an annual harvest ale.  I've been thinking about expanding the scope from just simply hops to other items I've grown.  Not doing barley - tried and too much work ;-)

I've been reading The Home Brewers Garden by J and D Fisher and inventoried by yard for brewing plants options.

I have a lot of options, as I have a pretty diverse urban garden, but am settling in on lemon balm and/or bee balm for this year's brew.

Anyone use these lemon or bee balm?  Will "dry hopping" with lemon balm offer any aroma? success, failures, tips, styles?

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