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Messages - svejk

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Traditional Mead ? Dry or Semi-sweet
« on: August 13, 2013, 09:49:00 PM »
This one sounds like a "tweener" - the hydrometer tells you it's dry and your tongue tells you it's sweet.  If you have enough bottles, you could enter it in both categories and see which one it does better in!

Equipment and Software / Re: Bottle Capper
« on: July 18, 2013, 09:59:26 PM »
I have the smaller Colonna Capper and it has served me well for quite a few years.  If I ever decide that I'd like to cork the occasional bottle, I would probably upgrade to this one since it can used for both caps and corks:

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermenting during a heat wave
« on: July 18, 2013, 05:44:28 PM »
I like brewing saisons in the summer because the yeast are happy at higher temps.  Then again, summer in Seattle isn't exactly a real summer so the basement stays a great temp for ales for most of the time.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: High Carbonation Bottling
« on: July 18, 2013, 02:46:47 PM »
I use the heavy Belgian bottles for highly carbonated beers.  A few years ago there was an event at a local bar where the representative from Rochefort visited.  A friend picked up a whole bunch of those empties and shared the excess.

I'll echo the comments above, especially the part about Ballard.  If you catch the #40 bus heading north from downtown, it will pass through Fremont where you could jump off at 36th and Dayton and grab a bite to eat at Brouwer's Cafe.  (Using the transit directions on Google Maps will help you figure out which stop to get off at.)

After eating you could get back on the 40 at the same stop you got off at and continue on to Ballard.  Have the driver drop you at 15th and Leary and ask the driver to show you where the southbound stop is located so you can find your way back to the city later. 

From 15th and Leary you can easily walk to Reuben's Brews, Populuxe, Hilliards, NW Peaks and Peddler.  All 5 of these breweries were started within the last few years by homebrewers and they each have a unique approach to the same dream most of us share.  When you've had enough, you would just grab the same #40 bus back to the city.  Have a great time!

The Pub / Re: I am really disappointed in Sam Adams
« on: July 06, 2013, 02:24:32 PM »
Oh come on.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

They also ommitted '[...] that among these are [...]' what do they have against complete sentences? I'm sorry but that's the news ginning up controversy to put buts in seats.

Not to mention that now followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster will be upset with fox news that they decided to change the word "Creator" to "God"!  Come to think of it, the FSM folks may actually have a better reason to be upset.

Going Pro / Re: Pro opinion on Nanobrewery proposition
« on: July 02, 2013, 02:59:31 PM »
Here is a discussion on that you might find interesting:

Good luck with your project!

Going Pro / Re: First Pro Competition
« on: June 18, 2013, 04:24:30 PM »
Just curious, do the judges know whose beer they're drinking or is it judged blindly?

A friend of mine judged this competition and he told me that all beers were judged blindly.  In addition, since these were local breweries and local judges, they were asked to disclose if they had close connections at any breweries so they could judge categories that those breweries didn't enter to avoid any apparent conflicts.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: First Stuck Fermentation
« on: June 04, 2013, 10:46:19 PM »
One thing I will add to this conversation is that you could try a fast-ferment test.  Take a sample of the beer (at least enough to fill your hydrometer tube) and pitch an entire pack of Nottingham in it.  Since you're not drinking the sample and not worried about oxidation, shake the crap out of it and leave it at room temperature for a week or so.  Check the gravity again and if it hasn't moved with that much yeast, then you can be 100% sure that there aren't any remaining fermentables in the beer and it only cost you a few bucks.

On the other hand, if you do find that it fermented drier, then there is hope.  In this situation, I have tried just about every option out there (multiple packs of yeast, starters, etc.) and my only success came when I pitched a huge slug of healthy slurry from a local brewery or brewpub - on the order of a quart or more of a workhorse yeast like 1056.  Sure, it's overpitching, but I was able to take one of my larger (1.130+) beers down another 15 points using this method.

I also agree with the others who say you should set this aside.  Some beers that were cloyingly sweet when they were young turned into great beers with a few years on them.

The Pub / Re: Frivolous Magic Hat Lawsuit
« on: May 30, 2013, 03:07:51 PM »
Unfortunately Magic Hat has a history of this kind of thing:

They should take a lesson from Russian River and Avery - "Collaboration not Litigation", but that's probably never going to happen.

Other Fermentables / Re: Hydromel Carbonation
« on: May 25, 2013, 09:10:18 PM »
Thanks for the link!  I did finally end up getting it to hold onto a bit of carbonation by using a soda bottle and carbonator cap in the 30's, but if I decide that I want to serve it directly off the keg then I'll have to set up a new cobra with an extra long hose. I still suspect there is another factor in play that doesn't apply to beers because they rarely drop below 1.000, but I'm stumped.

Beer Recipes / Re: Low gravity saison
« on: May 25, 2013, 09:03:04 PM »
Great to hear it turned out so well - sounds like the perfect summer beer!

Other Fermentables / Re: Hydromel Carbonation
« on: May 23, 2013, 09:43:12 PM »
I guess I should be glad that my issue isn't regarding diving since those stakes are much, much higher!

Other Fermentables / Re: Hydromel Carbonation
« on: May 23, 2013, 09:23:12 PM »
That's worth a try.  I did find a couple more references to this phenomenon, and it appears that no matter what I try, I may be SOL:


"My understanding (and as I am not very familiar with meads, it wouldn't surprise me to learn I was wrong) is that grape wine and mead both have a hard time keeping co2 in solution (ie you can carb it, but as soon as you open, a gush will spring forth and little co2 stays in solution). This is one reason that true champaign takes so long to make: the wine stays on the lees for an extended period of time. Something about the breakdown of the dead yeast fortifies the solution with a substance that helps keep co2 in solution."


"Forcing a wine to hold carbonation can be challenging to say the least. It's the only thing in wine/mead making that has made me upset enough to stand there cussing.

That's one reason that Champagnes get all that lees aging - the mannoproteins and other whatnot that are released as the yeast undergo autolysis help hold CO2 in solution. You can either do lees aging, or you can use a big dose of a product like biolees and that may help. I've read that gum arabic also can help - I just got some but haven't tried it yet."

My hunch is that there is some other factor that I'm bumping up against.  I guess I should have paid more attention in Physics and Chemistry classes...

Other Fermentables / Re: Hydromel Carbonation
« on: May 23, 2013, 08:29:15 PM »
Thanks for the reply.  I was just using a cobra tap with a 2.5 ft hose which was why I tried the soda bottle/carbonator cap method.  The lack of a head didn't bother me as much as the perception that it didn't hold onto the carbonation.  I'm sure there was some carbonation still in solution, but there were no bubbles being released once it was in the glass and I was hoping that the bubbling would increase the nose.

In my google searches I did find a few references to the same phenomenon, but no explanations as to why it happens.  I may play around with hose length and pressures to see if I can figure it out.

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