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Messages - skyler

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Ingredients / CaraFoam and CaraHell vs CaraPils and C10
« on: February 25, 2016, 04:16:54 PM »
I am working on putting together a "Blonde IPA" inspired by Pfriem. I would like to mimic the malt flavor I get from the carahell, but get a lighter color. Is carafoam the closest thing? My software shows me I can get 3.8 SRM from 5.5% carafoam. I have used the malt in the past, but not as the sole specialty malt, so I am a little concerned.

Ingredients / Re: Pale Ale hops - something different
« on: February 25, 2016, 03:48:50 PM »
Honestly, I like just about every oily hop as an aroma edition. Summit, Apollo, CTZ, Citra, Nelson Sauvin... My favorite hop profile in a pale ale that I have ever produced was a blend of Simcoe, Nelson Sauvin, and Summit (3-2-1, I think). But I find Nelson and Simcoe too difficult to obtain cheaply, so I rarely use either.

Interesting stuff. In the past, I experimented with flameout vs <180F for the whilrpool addition and found the <180F left a much better, bolder aroma. I had never even considered 170F vs 120F. My next thought is to try both in an IPA. Maybe something like FWH/60/5/170F for 20 mins/120F for 20 mins.

I am planning a "Blonde IPA" in the near future (inspired by Pfriem).

Water chemistry is another one. I've lost count of the homebrewers I have known who couldn't believe I used barely-treated tap water (when several excellent local breweries have done the same thing) and then were stunned by the quality of my beer made without complex recipe-specific water profiles.

BTW, I used to fret about my water until I moved and lost all my salts and just had to "wing it" for a couple brews. I have seen little evidence that a complex water profile improves anything over "get the right pH range and be done with it."

That article made me think about the crotchety homebrewer who slavishly decocts and secondarily ferments and everything. I imagine opposite sides at an AHA rally with no-sparge multi-ethnic hipster 23 year-olds of both genders on one end and old white men on the other with signs that say "MAKE BREWING GREAT AGAIN!"

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop use suggestions
« on: February 23, 2016, 03:18:02 PM »
Does anyone think El Dorado would play nicely as the sole late hop in a reasonably dry porter/stout?

How about pairing El Dorado with Citra and CTZ, 2/2/1 in an IPA?

Ingredients / Re: Question About Grain Storage
« on: January 02, 2016, 03:10:50 PM »
A few more details:

I store in two ways:

1. For base malts, I use vittles vault pet food storage containers that can comfortably fit 49-50 lbs of grain. 25 kg bags need to be used down 5-10 lbs before they will fit into the storage containers.
2. Unopened whole sacks of base malt can sometimes sit (above ground) for as long as a couple months before I open them up. Meanwhile, smaller amounts of specialty grains will sometimes sit in ziploc bags inside the vittles vaults or just on top of them - usually the only specialty grain that I keep for longer than a few weeks is Carafa Special II.

Here in Portland the humidity is pretty high, but the grain will be kept dry in the storage containers. I know to adjust strike temperature and to keep the grain dry. My only concern is the storage temperature, because the temperature can go below freezing and I want to know if that means the grain will be damaged in some way. It sounds like it isn't an issue for Steve Ruch, who lives near me, so I suppose it's not a problem.

Ingredients / Question About Grain Storage
« on: January 01, 2016, 12:17:28 PM »
My wife and I bought a house last summer, and I've been storing grain in the garage. Previously, when I lived in apartments, th grain was stored in whatever temperature it was in the apartment. This meant the grain was stored generally no colder than 58º F on a cold day when I was at work and no warmer than 85º F on a hot day because we had no air conditioning. It has dawned on me that my garage gets below freezing from time to time here in Portland - and that I am now storing my grain at a much colder temperature. Should I be concerned?

Commercial Beer Reviews / Stone Pale Ale 2.0
« on: June 22, 2015, 12:34:24 PM »
As a lukewarm fan of Stone Pale Ale, I was looking forward to the new version, assuming it would be hoppier, drier, and maybe lighter in color/abv. I was wrong on all counts. Anyway, here's how it would go down if I was judging this one in a homebrew comp.

Poured from bottle

Aroma - mild orange and grassy hops, sweet malt, lightly fruity (from hops or yeast) 5

Appearance - Deep gold/light amber, clear, thin head 3

Flavor - Biscuit and sweet malt upfront, then excessive bitterness. Not very hoppy, but there is a distracting slight orange and herbal hoppy quality reminiscent of orange juice from concentrate. Maltier and less aromatic than 1.0 and simultaneously too bitter and too sweet without striking a balance between the two. 6

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body, nice carbonation. A bit big for the style. 3

Overall impression - This doesn't taste like a more modern or updated pale ale, but like an amateurish attempt at showcasing Mandarina Bavaria. Fermentation character seems clean enough, but otherwise this beer is unbalanced. I suspect the malt base would make for a pleasant beer if it were much less bitter, but the bitterness combined with low hop aroma makes this very fresh bottle taste like it has spent the past two years in the back of the refrigerator. 4

Score: 21/50

This as a replacement for the overpriced-but-delicious Stone Pale Ale 1.0 is very disappointing. Yuck.

Beer Travel / Re: Latest can't miss suggestions for Portland please
« on: June 14, 2015, 09:01:44 AM »
My favorites are Breakside, Deschutes, Hair of the Dog, and Hopworks. The Commons and Upright are good for unique Belgian styles. Cascade is also a good spot for sour beers. I also like Migration and Bridgeport for happy hour, though neither will blow you away with their beer (good, not great).

Places I would skip: anywhere owned by Rogue, Alameda, Tug Boat, Baerlic, Base Camp, Occidental, Kell's (obviously).

10 Barrel got bought out by Anheuser-Busch, but the beer is still excellent and food is good. McMenamin's has crappy beer, but they are fun places to watch movies or play pool.

Perhaps I should just be looking into opening a beer cart or bar and forget about industrial brewing for another several years.

I think that's the direction I'd be looking.

Yeah, the truth is that, more than anything else, I would like to have a place to go to that is as nice and comfortable as any of the good pubs in Britain that I miss so much. Serving my own beer seemed like icing on the cake, but I think It's smarter to move from beer cart to beer bar to brewpub rather than trying to do two things at once while teaching high school English September to June.

Thanks, Denny. It's good to hear that from someone reasonably local. If I try to talk about it to most Portlanders I know, everyone thinks food cart + craft beer = massive profit. The math I've done implies that it only works if the cart itself can be run essentially without me and sell an average 5 pints an hour.

In truth, the beer cart and brewery are two different businesses that don't necessarily need each other (the brewery needs a tap room, but I don't know that a cart pod is sufficient). Perhaps I should just be looking into opening a beer cart or bar and forget about industrial brewing for another several years.

Something else to consider is that if you prove this is viable under the regulatory environment and a profitable way for a brewery to sell beer that other breweries in Portland are going to start doing the same thing and create competition in that space. Can you rent space in a pod under an agreement with the landlord to exclude other breweries/beer carts in the same space?
Yes, that's how most (if not all) cart pods work. I would have the only beer and wine service in my pod. I should mention that Rogue does have a beer cart in a nicely-located pod (I just found out about it in my research).

Will your beer cart offer something that makes your experience unique (e.g. randalls, keg hopping, casks) that larger breweries cannot efficiently provide in that market? Will the novelty of your operation wear off when others do the same thing and diminish sales?
Actually yes. Although the concept was based on the idea that a cart was simply the cheapest way to get beer out, I am a big fan of cask beer and basically none of the breweries in Portland consistently serve English ale on cask. The few that do all serve the cask beer ice cold, which ruins it for me. There is, at present, no brewery in Portland that has a particularly "British" tilt. I would be offering English ales and IPA's and would attempt to have some sort of English-inspired branding. As for dry hopping, dry beaning, and the like, that is reasonably easy to achieve when you're using firkins and pins anyway.

With that in mind, would it make sense to try to buy out your own pod where you could necessarily exclude other beer sales and select the quality of food that surrounds your beer?

A few reasons: 1) there is not much real estate that is "pod-worthy" in inner east side Portland that isn't already a pod. What remains isn't for sale. 2) I don't have half a million dollars to spend. 3) If I had that much money, I would open a larger production brewpub in a brick and mortar location.

Ingredients / Re: Old Malt
« on: June 06, 2015, 08:04:06 AM »
It is the strangest thing - I haven't ever had this problem before and I brew a lot of low-gravity beers.

Ingredients / Old Malt
« on: June 05, 2015, 02:41:04 PM »
I brewed a 1.040 pale ale not so long ago with golden promise left over from a long ago brew day (more than one year). The malt was in an airtight "vittles vault" container the whole time, so I figured it was worth using. Anyway, the beer came out oddly astringent. I even used polyclar to try to clean it of the tannins to little avail. It doesn't taste stale or anything, just a little astringent, like a back of the throat bitterness. I don't think the problem was caused by the water or the hops, so it must be from the malt or the process. I don't think I oversparged (I batch sparged), but I suppose it's possible. My question is whether old malt can do this or if I must have just sparged too aggressively this time?

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