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Messages - svejk

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All Grain Brewing / Re: stuck fermentation
« on: April 14, 2012, 01:01:06 PM »
My guess is that you have probably reached terminal gravity, but if you want to be absolutely sure, you could pull a sample and put a packet of Nottingham (or yeast from another batch) in it.  If the gravity doesn't change in that sample, you can be sure that there is nothing besides Beano that can take the gravity down any further in the main batch.

The Pub / Re: Beer cellar
« on: April 14, 2012, 08:07:36 AM »
Woah, you're off to a great start!  In general, high gravity beers age really well so I would consider barleywines to be a good bet.  I recently had an Alaskan Barleywine from 2007 and it was fantastic.  A word of warning, though, I started aging beers several years ago, and it quickly became an obsession and I'm worried that the crew from "Hoarders: Buried Alive" will show up any day now.  Decide in the beginning how much space you want to devote to this and then once you fill it up, enact a strict "one in - one out" policy.

Other beers that are worth setting aside:
St Bernardus 12
Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux
Anything from Cantillon and 3 Fonteinen

I really like it when the beers have dates on them, but if they don't, then you should put a note on them yourself.  Oh, and I don't recommend any IPAs for aging - the hops usually turn into a hot mess.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Boiling in an erlenmeyer flask
« on: April 14, 2012, 07:46:01 AM »
I eventually gave up on boiling starters in my flask.  My problem was that the design was the perfect shape to shoot wort onto the ceiling above the stove.  My method now is to boil in a pot and then pour the cool wort into the sanitized flask.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Recipe Help!
« on: April 14, 2012, 07:40:08 AM »
Most all grain users have brewing software that helps with these calculations. I use Promash, but there are lots of options. You can also find websites that can help as well:

No matter what method you go with, you should take lots of notes on your early sessions so that you can dial in how your own system behaves.  If possible, you might also look to see if there is a homebrew club in your area because other brewers could either come over and show you the ropes on your system, or have you watch them brew on theirs.  If you do a search for all grain brewing on YouTube, you'll get a bunch of helpful videos that will give you lots of help with your early efforts.  Good luck!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: stuck ferment????
« on: March 06, 2012, 10:08:09 AM »
Before taking any extreme measures, you might want to pull a sample and dump a packet of Nottingham in it.  If there is any fermentable sugar left, that huge slug of yeast will take care of it in a short time and you can check the gravity to see where it ended up and that should be your target for the rest of the batch.

The Pub / Re: Tell Us About Your Pets
« on: June 08, 2011, 11:19:26 PM »
This is my buddy Mason.  Yes, he's pretty big - 22 lbs (10 kilos).  His nicknames are "Big Guy" and "10-K"

When I showed the picture of Mason to my wife, she wondered how somebody had a picture of our Corkie (even the pattern of her favorite chair is almost the same!):

Then again, Corkie is about 1/2 the size of Mason, but I thought they looked really similar.

We have a total of 6 cats - Corkie, Kelly, Kerry, Kegger, Captain Jack and Blackbeard, plus a crazy dog named Simcoe who loves to chase cats.  Here is Simcoe pretty much sitting on Kerry:

The Pub / Re: How low can you go?
« on: January 04, 2011, 05:26:47 PM »
If anybody is keeping track, put me down in the "no thanks to macros" column.  I started drinking back when there weren't any craft breweries in the US, so I had my fill of what they have to offer.  Fortunately in the Pacific NW, it seems that every bar has at least one local craft beer on tap (Mac & Jacks is our Bud).  I have a feeling if I lived in a less hospitable region, my opinion would likely change.

Beer Recipes / Re: IPA recipe... My FIrst!
« on: December 30, 2010, 11:55:09 AM »
I also agree that Majorvices is spot on, and will also recommend that you consider dry hopping with a variety of hops to add that "sticking your nose in a bag of hops" aroma.  I like Simcoe, Columbus and Centennial in the Pliny tradition, but you should look up some clone recipes for your favorite IPA to see what the brewery uses.  You'll also want this beer to finish fairly dry with a final gravity of 1.010-1.013, so you really should consider making a starter and limiting the less fermentable additions to minimal amounts (ie leave out the amber extract). 

For additional information on IPAs, this website is helpful (even though it is specifically for double IPAs, the information is still interesting):

The Pub / Re: Getting a dog
« on: December 06, 2010, 10:28:32 AM »
I agree - just go to "look" at an available puppy and it's a done deal.  My wife and I went to look at puppies and the conversation was never "do we want one?", but "which one?".

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Outragious beer prices???
« on: November 29, 2010, 12:06:21 PM »
The way I see it is that the craft beer market is maturing and price increases for more sought after beers are a part of the natural progression.

We basically are left with a choice - either you can't get the beer because it was priced too low and sold out immediately and is no longer available, or it is available and it is expensive.  The way I see it, nobody owes me anything - if the asking price is too high then I won't pay it.  I don't expect the Lexus dealership to set Kia prices.  Fortunately a lot of what drives the high prices is that the beer is perceived to be better than more readily available and cheaper alternatives, but that isn't necessarily the case.  A modestly priced Girardin 1882 can hold its own against a whole lot of the higher priced sours.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Starter Sanitation
« on: November 29, 2010, 10:31:53 AM »
...I couldn't get the stopper to stay on the flask.

I agree with the others that you shouldn't have anything to worry about - it helps to remember that we are sanitizing our equipment rather than sterilizing it.  That said, our attention to detail should be especially keen when making starters because anything that happens this early in the process will multiply many times in the main batch.

One thing I'll add is that there was a Basic Brewing podcast a while back where they compared different starter methods and the finding was that it is actually better to cover the starter with foil rather than use an airlock.  Foil will allow more oxygen into the starter and that is beneficial to the yeast.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Outragious beer prices???
« on: November 29, 2010, 09:57:07 AM »
I think the point it becomes a freaking rip off is just shy of the point where people stop paying.

I'm a bit of a beer geek myself, and the way I look at it is that I would rather have the chance to try rare and sought after beers and sometimes the only way to make that happen is to pay the price.  There is an imbalance in the market where breweries will release a limited beer that took them a year to make for $10-$25/bottle and then it will show up on ebay for many times that amount.  I would rather see the brewery get that money, but the beer drinking public really isn't open to that idea.  In the case of a beer bar that raises the price on rare beers, it only makes sense to find the price that the market will bear.  Fortunately there are lots of other great beers available for reasonable prices - and besides, we can make our own!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Tour De Bohemia
« on: November 25, 2010, 01:48:58 PM »

Open fermenters are used most of the time. You can find some breweries with conical fermenters.
I have seen one small brewery that beer was fermented in open wood barrels and lagered in closed wood barrels. Beer was fantastic.

I'm heading to the Czech Republic in May and would love to know the name of this brewery so I can be sure to visit it.  Any other "must visit" places are also greatly appreciated.  Thanks for posting!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New Brewer / New Member
« on: November 23, 2010, 10:04:21 AM »
In addition to the other good advice given, I suggest that you search youtube for homebrewing videos.  It is really important to do lots of reading so you understand what is happening, but it also helps to watch.  For first recipes, porters are great.  Lagers are trickier, so get good at brewing ales before trying those.  Also, some beginning homebrewers think that beers that are lighter in flavor are easier to brew - the exact opposite is true.  They are difficult because there isn't a lot of flavor to cover up any mistakes.  Have fun!

Beer Travel / Re: Special PNW Beers
« on: November 22, 2010, 11:22:30 AM »
There were a few big releases in Oregon this last weekend including Pelican's Mother of All Storms and Hair of the Dog Matt, so if he was a dedicated beer geek he could have done a big road trip for you.

Dissident by Deschutes is fantastic and should be making it to Seattle very shortly.  It will probably sell out pretty quickly so he might need to watch for it and snag it quickly.  Jubelale is a good winter beer by Deschutes and is easy to find.

We also get Russian River beers, and I've seen Temptation at Whole Foods recently.

If growlers are an option, he could visit Black Raven in Redmond and pick up one of their limited release beers.

Malt and Vine in Redmond has a good representation of their inventory on their website, so you could take a look at that and see if there is something that interests you:

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