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Messages - skyler

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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.

Equipment and Software / Giant Tea Ball instead of Hop Bag?
« on: November 30, 2009, 10:47:40 PM »
I used a giant stainless steel tea ball (I think it's made for infusing spices into soups and mulled wine) to contain a couple ounces of tettnanger I used for bittering my Altbier last batch... it's still fermenting, so I don't know if the results were goof... but before I try it again, I was wondering if anyone has had bad experiences using something like this in lieu of a hop bag. Normally I use nothing to contain my hops, but when I brew with really large quantities of pellet hops, I need something to keep the hops from clogging my system.

The Pub / Re: What do you like besides homebrew
« on: November 30, 2009, 10:53:47 AM »
I read comic books, travel, and I have two cats. Before I was in law school (in my last year right now), I used to also used to travel a lot more frequently, and read about 10-15 novels a year in addition to the comic books. Hopefully I can get back to that after I pass the bar (well, after I pass both the CA and NY bar exams).

General Homebrew Discussion / The Blurred Lines Between Styles
« on: November 25, 2009, 12:19:19 PM »
A lot of my favorite beers fit neatly into several BJCP style categories. Many of the hoppy amber ales from California, for example, may fit better in the "American Pale Ale" category than "American Amber Ale" and many more Pale Ales could be considered IPA's as well. Cross-national style categories are of particular interest to me. If an American brewer produces something which closely resembles a Dusseldorf Altbier, he may well call it an "American Amber" or something like that.

In tasting an IPA that I recently made with only summit hops, I was considering this sliding style scale. I meant for the beer to be an American-hopped ESB, but the efficiency was higher than planned (I got a 15% jump in efficiency when my LHBS got a new mill), so I increased the hopping a bit to put it into English IPA territory. What I am tasting now is so clearly an American Pale Ale to my tastebuds. On paper the IBUs (50) are too high, but the low co-humulone of the summits have led me to consider this a more malt/hop balanced beer than an IPA, particularly given the yeast used (S-04) and the fermentation temperature (72F) lent considerable fruitiness.

So what is an English IPA, really? I don't even know if the style needs to exist. Most beers called IPA in Britain are just bitters with more hops. I never once saw an IPA in Britain that was over 6% abv, that's for sure. Near as I can tell, an English IPA, according to BJCP is just an American pale ale with English hops and malt. Given how many American breweries use English yeast as their house strain, that's how I see it, anyway.  

Do other people have the same difficulty I do with determining what to call a beer? Do certain differentiations just seem like they don't need to be there? I feel like IPA should be one category and American Amber Ale doesn't need to exist since Altbier, APA, and ESB tend to encompass the style well enough. And there should be a "Golden Ale" option in lieu of "Blonde Ale" to account for Cream Ales, Blonde Ales, and the British equivalents.

Ok, my 2¢.

The Pub / Re: Lets get to know each other!
« on: November 21, 2009, 05:43:56 PM »
Hey Skyler, do you know more of Persian cooking?

I can make really good kashk eh bademjoon (fried eggplant with tangy yogurt sauce), and I know how to make kebab, but that's about it. Khoreshes (Persian stews), which are the highest culinary art in Persian cuisine, are very time-consuming and I have never attempted to make any.

The Pub / Re: Who is a famous person that you've had a beer with?
« on: November 21, 2009, 12:38:16 PM »
He was drining a Heineken, but I was too young to drink: Keith Richards. I was 14 and on vacation in NYC. We saw the play, "Amadeus" and Keith Richards was sitting 2 rows ahead of us. I talked to him a little bit at intermission. A little kid asked him for an autograph and he signed it, "Mozart."

The Pub / Re: The United States is Being Scrapped.
« on: November 21, 2009, 12:36:25 PM »
Oh no! You don't keep your poop in little jars in the basement, do you?

I heard that Marlon Brando kept poo in jars.

The Pub / Re: Bourbon, Whiskey or Rye?
« on: November 21, 2009, 12:33:04 PM »
Nothing is better consumed neat than a good bourbon. But, I have found I much prefer Rye in cocktails (Manhattan, Sazerac) and mixed with Coke (Rye and Coke is great).

I don't think my booze palate is refined enough to enjoy Scotch, nor is my wallet wide enough to experiment with good ones. I don't understand Irish whiskeys. Personally, I consider them the pilsners of the whiskey world - they are the benchmark and the most widely consumed, but I just don't really appreciate them.

The Pub / Re: Lets get to know each other!
« on: November 21, 2009, 12:25:10 PM »
That's me and swmbo. We're at a cool, but overpriced beer bar in Portland called the Green Dragon (now owned by Rogue).

Further information about me: I'm half-Persian, which might make me the only middle-eastern person on this forum (the most common Persian fermented beverage is salty carbonated yogurt  ???). I grew up in the easy bay area (near Oakland and Berkeley) and I am in my third and final year of law school in Portland, OR. I plan on moving back to the bay area in June, and maybe New York after that (taking both the NY and CA bar exams). I have spent considerable time in Europe, both traveling and studying abroad. I spent 7 months in Nice, France; 4 months in London; 3 months in Siena, Italy; and 3 months in Santander, Spain. I have been to Europe 14 times and hope to some day move there permanently (perhaps doing estate planning work for an American expatriate community).

My favorite beers are Dubbels, Tripels, Big Dark Belgians, and English/American pale ales and IPA's - particularly those on the darker side of the style. I tend to brew a lot of just about every style of ale (SWMBO loves dark English ales), making about every fourth batch an "experiment" of some kind.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: German Ale Yeast 1007
« on: November 20, 2009, 04:41:51 PM »
I decided to call my Drifter-inspired pale ale Hobo Pale Ale. This will be my first time brewing with Nelson Sauvin and my first time using Optic malt. German yeast, English and Belgian malt, Kiwi and American hops - this beer is going to be all over the place.

Kegging and Bottling / How Long does a 15lb CO2 tank last you?
« on: November 20, 2009, 02:55:14 PM »
I was wondering how many 5-gal cornies get carbonated and served from a single 15lb tank on your systems?

I serve at 12 PSI, and I tried the "shake" method on two kegs (but switched to the "wait" method after that). I have gone through 2 force carbonated kegs and have another 2 (one of which was primed for 3 weeks with 1/3 cup cane sugar) are now half empty - should I expect to carbonate and serve any more kegs after these 2?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: German Ale Yeast 1007
« on: November 19, 2009, 05:15:30 PM »

Yeah, but those people are crazy!  Do you know they have a yeast named after a _homebrewer_?????  Crazy, I tell ya!

Honestly, everyone knows homebrewers are all terrible people. ;) But seriously, before I started going on homebrew forums, I had no idea who you were and didn't know what to think about a yeast called "Denny's Fav 50" except that it might have something to do with moons over my hammy. Now that I am familiar with you and your fine recipes, I think it's really cool that a prominent homebrewer was honored by Wyeast that way. But, given the strain's likely origin from the yeast bank of my alma mater, I think, had Wyeast called 1450, "Davis Aggie Ale" or "American Ale III" or something like that, I would have tried it years earlier and enjoyed its fine, "dry-but-malty" beers for that much longer (though in those days my temp control and brewing knowledge were limited, so I may have sworn off that yeast prematurely the way I swore off PacMan due to my own mistakes).

Now, a real question about 1007: how versatile is this yeast? Could I use it to produce an "American-style" pale ale? I have a big slurry ready when I transfer my alt (fermented at 58, then raised to 62 after a week) to secondary/lagering. I was thinking about using this opportunity to brew something in the vein of Widmer's Drifter pale ale (a pale ale with a judicious amount of Summit and Nelson Sauvin). Having never used 1007 (though I have used WLP029 and WLP011), would it likely produce a nice beer with this recipe?:

10 lbs TF Optic
8 oz Simpson's Medium Crystal
8 oz CaraVienne

.25 oz Summit (18.5% AA)           60 min
.5 oz Nelson Sauvin (11% AA)     15 min
.75 oz Summit (18.5% AA)            5 min
.5 oz Nelson Sauvin (11% AA)      5 min
1 oz Summit (18.5% AA)               0 min
1 oz Nelson Sauvin (11% AA)       0 min

Mash at 150 for 60 min

Wyeast 1007 German Ale
Ferm at 58-60F
Likely OG 1.059, Likely FG

Since I have been getting 80% efficiency lately, I am expecting this to be a bigger beer than Drifter, at around 1.059 and around 40 IBU - on the frontier between APA and IPA. My other option is to use US-05, though I would prefer to use half a fresh yeast cake if it would be at all appropriate. This beer will likely spend months in secondary before being dry-hopped with either summit or NS or some combination thereof.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling from Kegs.
« on: November 13, 2009, 03:38:27 PM »
I did my first "keg bottling" recently. But rather than bottle a few bottles from a force carbonated keg, I simply added my priming sugar to the keg, followed by the beer, then I set the pressure down to 4, and poured the beer through my kegerator  faucet into 5 gallons worth of bottles. I found this was a lot easier than using a bottling bucket, and I imagine it was more sanitary as well.

I will certainly try the "tube connected to cobra head" technique if I want to bottle a few from a force-carbonated keg.

Beer Travel / Re: Recommendations for Seattle
« on: November 12, 2009, 04:59:47 PM »
I really like Pike Brewing at the Pike Place Market. I've seen it dissed on a few boards but I've always enjoyed myself.

Elysian is supposed to be very good, haven't made it there yet.

Pike Brewing is good, but Elysian is great. I love both those places, but I really love Elysian. I always go to the one in Capitol Hill when I'm in Seattle... wish they opened one in Portland.

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