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Topics - cfleisher

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Beer Travel / Providence beer trip
« on: August 26, 2011, 02:40:14 AM »
I'm heading down to Providence, RI for two days over Labor Day weekend. Any suggestions for beer bars or breweries?

General Homebrew Discussion / gypsum addition
« on: August 13, 2011, 01:50:56 AM »
I've been reading up on water chemistry and am preparing to do a fresh hop ale. I'd like to get the most bang for my buck and was wondering if it would be worth adding gypsum.

I've had my water tested, and here are a few stats:
hardness = 65
ph = 5.93
alkalinity = 36

My questions are this: Do I need to add gypsum, and if so, how much? Also, should I add it to the mash, or if I'm just looking to maximize hop extraction, should I throw it into the wort before boil?

I'm probably splitting hairs here, but any advice is welcome.

Other Fermentables / Why remove scum?
« on: July 25, 2011, 06:14:35 PM »
Just made my first mead and I was wondering why every recipe calls for removing scum? Is this for clarification? Sanitation? What is it, exactly, that I'm removing?

Yeast and Fermentation / Straining direct onto trub
« on: July 24, 2011, 05:38:43 AM »
Has anyone tried straining wort directly onto the trub from a prior batch? (Same fermenter, which contains the yeast from a just-bottled batch.) I'm about to bottle a Saison and am very happy with how the yeast has performed, so I plan on using it again. I was wondering if I would be OK to pour a second Saison (slightly different recipe) directly into the fermenter of the previous one -- no additional sanitation of the bucket, which would have been emptied for bottling just a few hours prior.

It'd make for a busy day, to be sure, but I thought that it might avoid risk of contamination if I cut back on the steps for saving the yeast.

General Homebrew Discussion / Plastic primary fermenter for Mead?
« on: July 18, 2011, 03:37:54 PM »
I've been thinking about making mead for a long time, and the latest issue of Zymurgy convinced me to go ahead and try it. I was wondering, however, whether I should use glass or plastic for my primary. I'm a bit worried about the mead getting oxidized if it sits in the fermenter too long (more than 6 months.) Does anyone have experience with this?

General Homebrew Discussion / Spruce Tips
« on: June 06, 2011, 10:56:08 PM »
I was out yesterday picking spruce tips for a beer that Harpoon is planning to release this winter. I now want to try it on my own, and found a recipe in The Homebrewer's Garden that says to add 1-4 oz. for 60 min. That seems awfully long. I'd figure more like 15-20 min. would be plenty.

Does anybody have experience with spruce tips? I want enough flavor to come through a porter-like beer with molasses, but definitely would prefer to go light than over-do it. What are people's thoughts on quantity and length of time in the boil?


General Homebrew Discussion / AHA National results from Northeast?
« on: May 20, 2011, 12:43:06 AM »
Anybody who submitted their beers to Saratoga Springs received their results yet? I'm not holding out much hope for advancing to the second round, but would love to get some feedback.

General Homebrew Discussion / AHA Nationals?
« on: May 07, 2011, 07:02:06 PM »
Anybody know when we should expect to hear about the AHA National competition results?

Beer Travel / Philadelphia beer trip
« on: April 11, 2011, 11:56:02 PM »
I'm going to Philadelphia for 4 days and am trying to plan beer bar/brewery stops. I've been told that The Foodery and Monks are must-sees. Any other suggestions?


General Homebrew Discussion / Saaz and Cascade in an IPA?
« on: March 26, 2011, 03:36:10 PM »
I've got about 4 oz. each of Czech Saaz and Cascade pellets and was thinking about using them in an IPA. Anybody ever tried this flavor/aroma combination?

General Homebrew Discussion / Occassional diacetyl problem
« on: February 26, 2011, 06:51:15 PM »
I've been noticing a strong diacetyl presence in several bottles of doppelbock that I bottled about a month ago. Weird thing is that it's not every bottle. Some of them seem just fine. Is this possible, or am I just making this up? If some bottles have a diacetyl problem and others don't, what accounts for it? My sanitation methods are pretty thorough (or so I thought.)

General Homebrew Discussion / Dry hopping pilsners?
« on: February 19, 2011, 04:03:02 PM »
I'm thinking of dry hopping a Bohemian pilsner and was wondering if any of you had suggestions for best amounts/methods. I was thinking of using 2 oz. of Saaz pellets, added to the secondary (which is lagering) for 2 weeks before bottling. Should I dry hop in the primary before lagering, or does it even matter?

(I was drinking Sam Adams Noble Pils last night, which is what inspired the dry hopping idea. That beer is so aromatic!)

General Homebrew Discussion / Cocoa Nibs in secondary
« on: January 15, 2011, 03:36:25 PM »
I'm about to rack my milk stout onto 6 oz. of cocoa nibs. Any recommendations on how long I should keep it in the secondary? I'm looking for detectable chocolate flavor, but not so much that it dominates. I was thinking 2 weeks. Is this enough time?

General Homebrew Discussion / cocoa nibs vs. powder
« on: November 30, 2010, 02:05:06 AM »
Does anyone have experience using cocoa nibs vs. powder? A friend of mine has asked for a chocolate milk stout. I was planning on using my milk stout recipe (based on Left Hand's) and adding 8 oz. of cocoa powder, but heard that 8 oz. of nibs for 2 weeks in the secondary might give a cleaner, less grainy mouthfeel and flavor. Thoughts?

General Homebrew Discussion / Dry hopping with homegrown hops
« on: September 11, 2010, 03:06:15 PM »
I'd like to hear people's experiences on dry hopping with homegrown hops. I've heard conflicting information on this subject. A lot of people say that hops are naturally antiseptic, but others who've tried dry hopping with homegrown hops have said they've had mixed results, getting contaminated batches, etc. The only time I tried it, myself, I noticed some off flavors from contamination. What are people's experiences with this?

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