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Messages - svejk

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Ingredients / Re: Cardamom
« on: July 04, 2012, 01:38:43 AM »
I only used it once. I put two pods in the kettle for the last few minutes of the boil, and it was more than enough.  In fact, I never wanted to use that spice again after that first beer.  I highly recommend erring on the side of caution.

Beer Recipes / Re: What makes a good Saison?
« on: July 02, 2012, 08:04:45 AM »
Great advice so far.  One other thing I'll add is that there is a tendency for some people to think that the spiciness of saisons comes from actual spices.  The best examples I've made have no spices at all.  Non-spiced saisons allow the character of the yeast provide the interesting flavor components.

That's great! You guys really had a first rate set-up. What a blast club night was!

Thank you - I think the NW clubs really did a great job of representing!

As far as finding yourself, if I would have been thinking ahead I would have worn a mariachi costume.  Those guys really stood out!

Cool stuff!  How did you shoot the videos?


One of our members has a digital camera with time-lapse mode, so we set it up on a tripod for the build. When the booth was finished, there is a camera mount on the booth itself. You can see the camera in this photo - next to beer #10:

The camera took one picture per second, and then it plays back at ~24 per second.  The battery ran out after a couple of hours, but it really didn't require much in the way of maintenance or monitoring.

General Homebrew Discussion / 2012 NHC Club Night Time-Lapse Videos
« on: June 27, 2012, 10:23:43 AM »
This was my first time attending a conference, and I now understand why so many people hit it every year.  It was a blast, and I'm already planning to make the trip across the country next year.

My club put together a couple of time-lapse videos that I thought some of you might be interested in.

Booth setup:

3.5 hours of pouring in 15 minutes - if you visited our booth, you should be able to spot yourself.  If not, there could be a few familiar faces:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: NHC and Twitter?
« on: June 17, 2012, 10:10:29 PM »
Is there a #NHC hashtag that everyone will use?

It looks like #NHC2012 is the main one. Unfortunately the National Hurricane Center pretty much dominates #NHC - not much of an issue up here in Seattle. Earthquakes yes, hurricanes no.

General Homebrew Discussion / NHC and Twitter?
« on: June 17, 2012, 07:16:36 PM »
I really don't use twitter all that much, but I did decide that it is really useful for beer related stuff - especially when time is of the essence.  With the NHC upon us this week, I assume there will be some "tweetable" moments, so if anybody wants to start following me, my username is Svejk1 (I can't believe somebody jumped on Svejk before me...). 

I would be very interested in following anybody who will be tweeting about the stuff they experience at the conference, so if you're going and will be tweeting, reply to this thread with your username so I (and anybody else who is interested) can follow you as well.  Thanks!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Summer Private Collection Yeast
« on: June 17, 2012, 11:11:08 AM »
Great to hear!  I emailed Wyeast about pitching 3724 and 3711 together with the goal of getting the flavor profile of the 3724 during the lag phase, and the non-stop attenuation of the 3711 during the rest of fermentation.   They said that this was a highly recommended plan, so when the 3726 is available, I'll do a split batch to compare that blend with it.

I'm a big fan of Wyeast 3522 Ardennes. Basic Brewing Radio had an episode a while back where they compared a bunch of Belgian yeast strains, and the 3522 really stood out.  If you're going to NHC, I'll have my Belgian Pale, Monk's Drool, at the hospitality suite right before Club Night:

Wood/Casks / Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. barrel
« on: June 04, 2012, 08:31:57 AM »
I agree that a sulfur stick sounds like a bad idea - I'm surprised they would suggest that because the vapors can explode (see Gordon Strong's "Brewing Better Beer" for details on that).

If you are going to NHC this year, you'll get a chance to try Naked City's Opacity at Pro Night .  It is an imperial stout that was aged in a Woodinville Whiskey barrel that my club collaborated on.  It really turned out great (info here 

We'll also have a few other beers aged in smaller barrels that we'll be serving both at club night and at a couple of hospitality shifts as well.

Equipment and Software / Re: Tired of crappy therm and hydrometer
« on: May 21, 2012, 08:58:48 AM »
For thermometers, I have been using an Atkins 330 digital thermometer:

It has a waterproof probe and has been working flawlessly for over 5 years.  They are prohibitively expensive new, but if you watch ebay, they come up once in a while and you should be able to get it for somewhere between $30 and $50.  If mine ever stopped working, I'd get another without question.

As far as hydrometers go, I was super bummed when I broke my Brewers Edge Precision hydrometer from Williams Brewing.  Make sure you look for the word "Precision" because the one without that word doesn't look all that great.  They were out of stock up until recently, but I just checked and you can now order them again.  I'm going to order my replacement now.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: To our Governing Committee
« on: April 29, 2012, 10:14:20 AM »
Seems that, long term, three rounds of judging is going to be the way to go.  That would mean you could have lots more smaller/local comps for the first round (and for the second round for that matter).

I think this solution makes a lot of sense. There are lots of competitions going on all year, so it could be set up so that the top few beers from each category would qualify that person to enter in that category for the NHC.  Record keeping may get a little cumbersome, but I think any ultimate solution will have drawbacks.

Under this scenario, if somebody has the wherewithal to qualify in 70 categories, then that would be truly impressive.

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.

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