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Messages - tumarkin

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The Pub / Re: Distilling
« on: October 21, 2010, 04:17:56 AM »
Punatic, I like where you're coming from (and I don't mean Hawaii, although I like that too).

As to aging, it is both time consuming and expensive. But it's one of the keys to making great whisky. A keg loses about 2% a year, so a 12 yr single malt lost almost 25% of the original volume to aging. This loss is called the Angel's Share (one of the most poetical descriptions, gotta love it!).

Cost is not the issue, as Weaze said.... it's a HOBBY. Cost isn't the issue (well, let's be honest, it is an issue, but we don't let it stop us). It's all about the process, the quality, and the satisfaction we get from making our own..... whether it's beer, whisky, cooking, bbq, woodwork, music, .......whatever our hobbies are.

The Pub / Re: Distilling
« on: October 20, 2010, 01:00:09 PM »
[Look, I was an anarchist before you were born, but this isn't the right place for parts of this discussion.  That's all I'm trying to say.  We're all guests here and we all should do as our hosts ask.

Agreed, and what's the favorite distilled beverage of this particular anarchist?

The Pub / Re: Distilling
« on: October 20, 2010, 12:07:46 PM »
Old news, we are continuing to talk about it, and with the reserved blessings of the mods & AHA powers-that-be.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: CO2 vs priming sugar
« on: October 20, 2010, 12:05:30 PM »
Bottling & kegging both have their pros & cons. You can certainly carbonate your keg with priming sugar, approaching it like a great big bottle. But you're going to need CO2 to push it out of the keg anyhow. You might check Craigslist, etc, to try & find a used CO2 tank & regulator. Go for it, it's worth it.

The Pub / Re: Distilling
« on: October 20, 2010, 05:46:47 AM »
ok, so let's take this in a more 'pc' & socially acceptable direction for a bit..... apparently there are a bunch of us who love distilled products. what's your favorite(s)?

My favorites are the types that would come out of a pot-still as opposed to those from a fractionating column.
Slivovic for example is a very clean drink, but has lots of flavor. Vodka, is TOO clean and flavorless for me.

I don't think you'll get much disagreement on that. Flavor is why most of us brew our own beer. While my taste in liquor is pretty eclectic; my favorite, by far, is single malt whisky. Hard to narrow that down to a favorite, but Talisker ranks pretty high (as does Springbank, Highland Park, The Macallan, Ardbeg and many others). Really depends on my mood & the time/place.

The Pub / Re: Distilling
« on: October 20, 2010, 04:22:21 AM »
ok, so let's take this in a more 'pc' & socially acceptable direction for a bit..... apparently there are a bunch of us who love distilled products. what's your favorite(s)?

The Pub / Re: Distilling
« on: October 19, 2010, 11:30:44 AM »
And not adding to the myth that homebrewers are up to anythnig shady.

Well, if'n I was a moonshiner, I'd want to set my still up in the shade.

All jokes aside, I certainly understand the AHA concern about the discussion of distilling (from a hands-on technical viewpoint) and in regard to possible efforts to legalize distilling. Our mission & purpose are about beer and brewing, not distillation, wine-making, etc. I can see where some might think it's not in the interest of the organization, or even might be bad for our primary interests, to consider efforts to legalize home distillation.

On the other hand, there is a strong and direct tie in between beer and whisky distillation, not to mention cross-fertillization with whisky barrels being used to age beer and even in some cases beer barrels being used to age whisky. I firmly believe that if we homebrewers had the freedom to learn to safely distill at home, our creativity, experimentation and willingness to explore & push the limits would benefit the craft brewing industry and their ventures in distillation.

While this currently may be a minority opinion and interest, I'd like to see us continue our discussions here rather than take it to a distillation forum in the hopes that more home brewers may become interested in making home distillation legal. It may be a while before that would gain enough traction to become a goal of the AHA but we have to start somewhere. Its both an issue of freedom (and I think most home brewers are in favor of that) but also of huge p[otential benefit to our interest in alcoholic beverages. If I had a brewery, I'd like the freedom to brew, distill, make a mead or a wine, blend all of 'em (or some of /em) together - in short to follow my creativity and taste wherever it might lead.

That is not currently possible with our laws today, but I can dream about the time when it might be possible. If enough of us share that dream we can make it happen. If we discuss it, we might find that more share that dream in our organization than we suspect... and if not, then maybe we'll convince them that we have a viable plan, but only if we continue to discuss and build interest & consensus.

(how's that for diplomaticly stating the postition?)

Equipment and Software / Re: Better Bottle Stoppers and Dry Traps
« on: October 19, 2010, 07:59:37 AM »
Since y'all are obviously using Better Bottles, let me shift the thread a bit. I've been thinking about starting to use them, but one thing concerns me. Some of my older carboys have scratch marks right at the top (where the stopper goes) from the handles of wire carboy brushes. I solved that problem by sliding plastic tubing over the handle to protect against scratches. This became a non-issue for me after I started using PBW to soak carboys.

Do y'all have any issues with scratches (from whatever source) in the Better Bottles? I love that they're non-breakable, & thus solve the safety issues of glass carboys. But what about scratching or other long-term issues?

The Pub / Re: Distilling
« on: October 18, 2010, 04:10:01 PM »

   I may be taking his post the wrong way, but I think this was the line of reasoning.

I don't think you're taking his post the wrong way. I understand the line of reasoning. I just don't agree with it.

The Pub / Re: Distilling
« on: October 18, 2010, 03:46:49 PM »
After much discussion, this thread will allowed to continue as long as the content doesn't stray into the distillation process.  This corresponds with the trend of breweries getting involved with distillation.  We've put a lot of effort into disproving the notion that homebrewers are moonshiners and don't feel that the organization as a whole benefits from discussions that confuse that effort.

I don't necessarily agree with this line of thinking. I'm not a moonshiner, I don't distill (yet). But learning about and discussing the distillation process helps further my understanding & appreciation of single malt whisky - it doesn't mean that I'm moving to the hills and getting a fast car to outrun the revenooers.

I'm glad that there is recognition somewhere up the line that our discussions are in line with "the trend of breweries getting involved with distillation." As I'd pointed out previously, a lot of the creativity in the craft brewing industry can be traced to brewers who learned their craft at home and then went professional. Unfortunately, there's no legal way to mirror this in distillation. No legal way for brewers to become home distillers and experiment and develop their chops or try something new. That can and should be changed.

I firmly believe it's possible, no desirable, for us to bring the discussion of home distillation out of the shadows and start to lobby for it to become legal. I understand that there are those in the anti-liquor, neo-prohibitionist, right wing that will be appalled by any such efforts, not to mention that the big liquor lobbyists would be up in arms...... but the discussion has to start somewhere.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: fermentation woes - chlorine?
« on: October 18, 2010, 12:57:37 PM »
fill the tub so that it comes as high up the side of the carboy as you can without causing it to float. obviously, your tub has to be deep enough to accommodate that. you don't want the tub too big though (width & length), as more water makes it harder for the frozen jug to drop the temp enough. you can also try covering the carboy with a tshirt. as the water wicks up & evaporates it will have a cooling effect also. these solutions work, though obviously not anywhere near as well as a fridge & temp controller.

dont worry about the residual star san.... it's truly not a problem, you'll never taste it from what's left by the foam.

The Pub / Re: Finally arriving!
« on: October 18, 2010, 12:52:50 PM »
So the event was quite a success. We ended up having to have the distributor pick up more beer about 2 hours after the event started. I knew they hadn't ordered enough beer.  ;) Already have a few local restaurants requesting kegs.

And so it Begins.....

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer in the Bible
« on: October 18, 2010, 12:29:34 PM »
My favorite quote out of the Bible is:

"But Beer was lonely. So God created Pretzels. And it was good."

Guinessess 5:20

couldn't find that in mine, what version do you have, the Saint Gambrinus version?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: fermentation woes - chlorine?
« on: October 18, 2010, 12:15:06 PM »
as you're aware, making a starter is certainly advisable, but not absolutely necessary. you obviously got fermentation, but not enough to lower to target fg. take home lesson.... make starters in the future. on the dry yeast, as mentioned there have been a couple of recalls recently. certainly possible you got a bad sachet, thus no surprise on it not helping.

you mention using  Zephyr Hills water..... are you using their spring water or their distilled? There are a number of things that can limit fermentations. minerals are certainly one, and if you're using distilled (probably not, but....) then that could be an issue. certainly more of an issue with an extract batch than with all grain.

your higher temps would lead to a faster, more complete fermentation, but also one with potential off flavors - but that's not the source of this particular problem. for the future, it is possible to get cooler ferm temps without a dedicated brewing fridge. put the fermenter in a large tub of water. fill two gallon jugs about 3/4 full and put in your freezer. put one in the tub in the morning when you go to work, swap it out for the other when you get home in the evening. low tech but effective temp control. given your ambient temps, you may not get as low as you like, but should help considerably.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Midnight Sun Brewing!
« on: October 17, 2010, 01:15:09 PM »
hmmmm...... if they're available in Virginia, they might be available in Atlanta. Whenever I get up that way, Green's is always one of my stops. They're a great liquor store with an extensive selection of both beers and single malts (other stuff too, but that's what floats my boat). Certainly, they've got a lot of things that aren't available down here in Gainesville, FL. I'll have to see if they've got anything from Midnight Sun next time I'm there.

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