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Messages - beerrat

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Other Fermentables / Re: Sulfur smell in a pear cider
« on: October 17, 2011, 07:02:09 PM »
Yep - I just need to be patient.  The sulfur smell is pretty much gone - all on its own.  I usually wait out most things I brew, but was told that perries be done in a short time and ready in 3-4 weeks. 

Thank you all as always!

Other Fermentables / Sulfur smell in a pear cider
« on: October 12, 2011, 06:04:05 PM »

Ah, my first pear cider and I'm confronted by a distinct sulfur smell, first noticed in day 10 when it appear fermentation is done and I racked to secondary, and still existing on day 25.  I'm guessing that I either I racked off yeast to soon, should have used yeast nutrients like I do for my meads, or simply need to wait until this clears up.

The pear juice is from a fresh pressing at a very good cider mill.  I used lalvin-47.  Fermented at 64f.
The OG was low ( a very wet year) 1.040, so perhaps not enough nutrients and yeast stressed?
A friend did a batch from the same source, used safale-05 and having same type of sulfur smell.


I am a fan of brew in a bag, if you get the right bag, and it does not melt and tear when you lift out the bag.   :(

Difficult if you only had one brew pot or no other device to hold 8 gallons of wort so you could clean out the brew pot  --  which is likely if you were doing brew in a bag to save on equipment.

Ingredients / Re: Show us your Hops 2011!
« on: August 28, 2011, 02:58:46 PM »
I had a good harvest from my Brewer's Gold and Cascades this year.  I still have to harvest the first year hallertau, but not expecting a lot from them. Overall a good year in NE PA.

Here are shots of the harvests and fresh hop AIPA brew shots...  a recipe with ~4lbs of fresh home grown hops!
The harvest: cut, sit and pick:

3lbs of cascades, 1 lb of Brewer's Gold:

1lb of Brewer's Gold at 60, 1lb of Cascades at 10,5, and flameout!

Hop stew!

Other Fermentables / Re: Clarifying mead
« on: August 25, 2011, 01:05:09 AM »
Beerat, if you live on the eastern end of the state, there is a meadery near Binghamton, NY called Magpie Farms Winery ( ). I have had the pleasure of tasting some of his meads before he went commercial and they were very good. (even the dry ones which really aren't to my sweet tooth palate)

Excellent - only an hour away!

Stonekeep meadery in Birdsboro makes some decent meads, but don't know if you can get them in state stores.  If  you are close, they usually have an open house every month or two.

I made a run down to Lancaster area and grabbed all the varieties of Stonekeep meads, Frecon Farms ciders, as well as Mt Hope winery's meads. I have not tried the Stonekeep's yet. I'm planning to have a mead tasting party in a couple weeks.

What do you think about Mt Hope's offerings? I had their sweet mead and found it enjoyable - but I was camping in the woods.

(I did enjoy some good brewpub beer at Mt Joy's Bebe's Brewery too!)

Homebrew Clubs / A 2-3 hour "How to brew all grain" class suggestions
« on: August 08, 2011, 09:47:02 PM »
I've been trying to come up with a 2-3 hour max all grain brewing class/demo/"teach in" for our home brew club.   Meads, wines and extract brewing can be done in that time frame, but stumped on right approach for all grain.

Given it takes me 6 hours to do a full al grain brew, anyone have suggestions on approach to "boil this down" (pardon the pun)?

Want more hands on then slide ware.  Perhaps use approach the cooking shows do were you show the mash steps in one mash tun, then have one another mash tun previously started that you would do the sparging on?

Ingredients / Re: Show us your Hops 2011!
« on: August 04, 2011, 02:14:59 AM »
Here's how mine hops looked about a week ago in NE PA.
2nd year Hallertau:
4th year Brewers Gold

The brewer's gold are doing great and ready to harvest... I'm expecting a lot!.  Cascades likely 3-4 more weeks, maybe 2-3 batches worth.  The hallertau probably around same time as cascades, and same amount.
overall a good year in NE PA.

Fermenting a hefe at 62f and the house temp as been in upper 80 low 90's at times (I'm cheap and only run A/C when really needed).  The unti is working fine, plenty of room for blowoff tube and collector along with the 6 gal bucket.  Room for the 3 bottles of meads I like a little chilled too!

A well attended event.  We made a dry mead during the meeting, and sampled a handful of home made ones.

Thank you for the feedback.  I have noted I need to avoid "meade's".  ;-(
Appreciate the tip on Stonekeep.  It is in driving range (about 2 hours).
A limited selection of Rabbits Foot is available Pittsburgh area state stores, but I can't have shipped to my local one. (wtf!)

I'll just keep making my own, and have the contest judges help me calibrate!
I forgot to note that Mt Hope also produces some meads. I need to double check to see if true meads or fortified wines.

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?

Other Fermentables / Re: Clarifying mead
« on: July 10, 2011, 06:37:17 PM »
This mead ended up getting 3rd at the 2010 Malt madness (a score of 38.5).  It did not do so well at first round of the 2011 NHC - only a 27.5 - was dinged as I declare the varietals.  Lesson learned - you do not have to list the type of honey, and should not if you can not make out the distinction of the varietal.

Now the hard part for me in the state of PA is getting good commercial calibration meads - those listed in the BJCP guide are not available to me in this archaic state controlled wine and spirit system.  Looks like road trips to neighboring states.

Equipment and Software / Re: Copper boil kettle - taste impact?
« on: July 10, 2011, 06:15:09 PM »
I just had a tour of Lion Brewery in Wilkes-Barre PA.  They replaced their copper kettle with a stainless steel one a while back.  I asked if there was a flavor change, and the tour guide did say they ended up adding a significant amount of copper tubing in the kettle and replacing steel tubing with copper as beers did have a different flavor profile without it.  The person on the tour could not give me more detail then that.  I'm assuming this cost them some $ and time ;-)  so there was enough of an impact of the missing copper to merit adding it back.

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