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Messages - skyler

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Homebrew Clubs / Good Club in the Bay Area?
« on: December 07, 2009, 02:40:40 PM »
I'll be moving back home to the bay area, specifically to Oakland or Berkeley, come this May. I want to join a club that will be a good fit for me. I'm 26, an all-grain brewer, and I have a pretty sophisticated palate. I'm interested in a club that's fairly social, but takes brewing seriously, as well. And I want to be able to enter frequent club competitions.


subtle grist changes are more what makes vienna distinct from oktoberfest, not just gravity.  vienna is typically all or mostly all vienna, whereas fest is usually base of vienna with munich and pils added.

no brewing this weekend, but we're doing a club brew next weekend - 70 gal in two days!

I have little experience with Vienna lagers, other than occasionally having a Negra Modelo or a Bohemia at a taqueria in San Francisco's Mission District that serves alcohol illegally after 2 am. I actually went to summer school in Vienna when I was 16 and only ever drank Pilsner there (along with tequila shots Wiener-style, with cinnamon-sprinkled Orange Slices rather than salt and lime).

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What to make with these ingredients
« on: December 07, 2009, 02:20:09 PM »
1 lb chocolate
4 oz black malt
the 120
maybe a little roasted barley
8-10 lb 2-row

Some hops at 60

Some more FWH

sounds like a decent porter to me. you could use either yeast.

Yeast and Fermentation / What is S-04?
« on: December 07, 2009, 02:07:04 PM »
I was wondering, since I had thought S-04 was the same strain as 1099, but noticed a different effect on the beers produced... is it 1098? And are 1098 and 007 the same strain? Mr. Malty says they are, but I have heard such different things about these strains.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Suggestions for 1450 Denny's Favorite
« on: December 07, 2009, 04:40:00 AM »
I was doing some research looking for a clone of Red Seal Ale, when I came across an old thread on the green boards where someone mentioned North Coast got their strain from the yeast bank at UC Davis (my alma mater). The same thread mentioned that a North Coast brewer took it to Brewtek and that it became CL50. Brewtek CL50 = Wyeast 1450, so I figure there is a very good chance that 1450 is North Coast's house strain - for their American style beers, anyway.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fining carbonated beer
« on: December 06, 2009, 07:52:09 PM »
As much as I hate when my beers are too cloudy, I am too lazy to do anythiung about it once it is keged. Oddly, I usually have the opposite problem: cloudy styles coming out clear. Nothing is more sad than having your wit go all translucent on you.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Suggestions for 1450 Denny's Favorite
« on: December 06, 2009, 07:46:32 PM »
As my internet research has convinced me that 1450 is North Coast's strain, I would say it produces excellent pale ales and stouts. You could try a dry stout with it - though you would have to work extra-hard to make sure none of that dark roasty beer ended up mixing with your fresh rye IPA wort.

Beer Travel / Re: Oktoberfest in Munich
« on: December 05, 2009, 09:19:55 PM »
The exchange rate really sucks right now :(

Dear God, I miss Deutschmarks, Shillings, Pesetas, Gilders, Lire, and Francs. Damn, some places were just so damn cheap, it was funny. Like Vienna - I remember 14 Shillings to the dollar back in 2000. And we used to go to a bar in Schwedenplatz called "Tequila 17" that was 17 schillings for a tequila shot with a cinnamon-covered slice of orange for chaser... oh to be 16...

Beer Travel / Re: Where to go in Amsterdam, Belgium, and Cologne?
« on: December 05, 2009, 09:13:19 PM »
This is all you need.

Koeln - go to Malzmuehle for good beer and food.  You are also a short train ride to Duesseldorf, which I have gone to rather than Koeln, but that is just me.  Love the Altbier.

Yes, I too prefer altbier over kölsch. However, Cologne has a Christmas Market that is supposedly really great, and I figured we could do some X-mas shopping. Also, I have already been to many fine brewpubs in Dusseldorf, but have not in Cologne. We still may well ride over to Dusseldorf for a day to have some beers (and visit with a friend who lives there).

Beer Travel / Re: Westvleteren 12 and other belgian beers
« on: December 04, 2009, 05:33:26 PM »
I've been thinking heavily on taking this trip.  What was the overall costs with lodging and everything.  Also, what language was spoken at most of the places.  I want to learn the necessary conversational Dutch or French before I go so I can get around and have a good time.

I have lived in France and been to Belgium and the Netherlands several times. In my experience, every Belgian and Dutch person I have ever met who was born after 1950 has been fluent or near-fluent in English. There is no reason to learn even one Dutch word. French is somewhat necessary in France, but I still say if you aren't damn good at French, you're better off not speaking any, except the phrase, "I cannot speak French, can you speak English?" For some reason, French people can't understand French when people speak it with foreign accents. I even remember translating a Swiss-German guy's French for some French people. His French knowledge and grammar was MUCH better than mine, but his accent was thick, so they couldn't understand a single word he said.

Beer Travel / Where to go in Amsterdam, Belgium, and Cologne?
« on: December 04, 2009, 03:31:17 PM »
The GF and I are heading to Europe (her first time leaving North America) in 11 days! :D

Our itinerary:

Dec 15-17 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Dec 17-20 Leuven, Belgium
Dec 20-22 Cologne, Germany
Dec 22 Brussels, Belgium
Dec 23-27 Bruges, Belgium
Dec 27-29 Amsterdam, Netherlands

And we're making the trip to Westvleteren to stop by St. Sixtus Monastery if I manage to make a reservation despite the time zone issue, as well as my not knowing ahead of time what my license plate number will be.

I would like to know thoughts on some nice Kolsch brewpubs and Amsterdam breweries/beer bars. Though I have been to each of these cities (besides Leuven and Westvleteren), I would appreciate any other beercentric (or perhaps coffeeshop-centric) advice my fellow homebrewers can offer.

Oh, and I am planning on stopping in Antwerp on my way back to Amsrterdam from Bruges just for a quick stop at Kulminator for a couple vintage ales.

I just brewed my first lager, an Oktoberfest. However, my hydrometer broke, so I am not sure if what I have will be an Oktoberfest or a Vienna Lager. I've been getting 80-83% efficiency the last 5 brews (I should add that my past 5-10 brews have produced far, far better beer than my previous 2+ years of brewing, thanks in no small part to this and other forums), so I built a recipe that would be an Oktoberfest from 78-84% and would be a Vienna Lager from 70-78... whatever it is, I just hope it's delicious. I put a lot of effort into this one, even customizing my water to be similar to Munich water. Also, I ended up with almost 9 gal of sweet wort, so I did a 110 min boil to get the volume down to 5.5 gal. I didn't notice any activity this morning, but the fermometer reads that the carboy is at 48F. in about 10 days when I transfer, I will be lagering this beside last month's altbier and probably taking a 2-month break from brewing.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Carbonation Problems
« on: December 02, 2009, 05:05:02 PM »
This is why I stopped bottling most beers. Sometimes carbonation just takes a long time. And sometimes a beer will overcarbonate, even when you do everything "right." I had a beer not carbonate for 4-5 months, then get over-carbonated almost immediately after.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How many carboys do you own?
« on: December 02, 2009, 04:55:20 PM »
2 buckets (well, two I use for fermenting, anyway)
1 6.5 gal glass
2 5 gal glass
2 5 gal better bottles

Equipment and Software / Re: Draining the boil kettle....
« on: December 01, 2009, 08:45:33 PM »
I used something like this recently with my pellet hops (, but I just throw the whole hops straight in - and I use a bazooka screen. I don't know how much hop utilization I got from this, though, and wont know for months, as the altbier I did this with will not be consumed for some time.

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