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Topics - morticaixavier

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Going Pro / CSB (Community Supported Breweries)
« on: December 06, 2013, 03:54:43 PM »
So what are everyone's thoughts on this model? CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) seems to be going strong after a decade or two run up. Farmers running CSA's make a heck of a lot closer to a living wage than those working for the wholesale market. They face a lot less risk each year as well already having much of their income pledged or even delivered regardless of actual yield.

Of course a lot of breweries can retail their product easily anyway but they still face the risk of opening the doors to the crickets and sitting on barrels of good beer as it goes bad (although from comments on another thread that may not be a problem right now). Also, many of the CSBs I have seen so far offer a set volume of product for your membership so the brewer does not gain the protection against major product losses that the farmer gets either.

So for the small start up brewer does the CSB model provide any of the benefits that the CSA model does for a small farm? If you could pre-sell memberships could this not provide a big boost over the first major barrier to entry into the business? Namely the cost of facilities/equipment.

I can also see how potential investors, seeing a pre-sold customer base might be more willing to risk their money with a new brewery.

But what about as beer drinkers/lovers. Would you pay up front for a years worth of beer? I imagine a lot of folks would at first at least to support a new brewery, a local brewery, a friend/relative, whatever. But, assuming the beer was good enough, would you re-up at the end of the initial term?

What considerations might make you more or less likely to re-up?

It's an interesting business model especially in this age of the 'local' and 'slow' food movements.

Ingredients / Gypsum post fermentation
« on: December 03, 2013, 08:22:19 PM »
Anyone want to help me with some math?

If I want to experiment with post fermentation gypsum additions and I only have a scale that reads 1 gram or more (no decimals) I will need to dilute a much larger amount of gypsum with something else so that I can realistically measure a given amount into my pint glass (or 1 pint mason jar, or whatever).

So I will boil and chill say 100 ml of filtered or RO water (RO probably better) and add ?? grams of gypsum. I will then add ?? ml of the resulting liquid to my 2 fluid oz of beer and taste. When I achieve the desired flavor profile I will multiply the ?? grams of gypsum represented by the ?? ml of solution by 320 to get the amount to add to the keg.

gypsum5 gallons = 320 * ((gypsum100 ml/100ml)*solution2 floz)

X = 320 * ((Y/100)*Z)
Where X is the total amount of gypsum for 5 gallons of beer, Y is the grams of gypsum added to the 100 ml of water, and Z is the ml of solution added to the sample 2 floz to achieve the flavor profile I want.

Is this right?

what would be a good place to start in terms of how many grams to dissolve in the initial 100 ml of water?

Kegging and Bottling / Keg hops - Pellets
« on: December 02, 2013, 08:38:20 PM »
Oh great and Powerful AHA(z)

If I put a couple oz of hop pellets in a fine mesh bag in my keg am I going to regret it when it comes time to serve the beer?

i.e. will there be little bits of hop gunk floating around in the beer and possibly clogging up the dip tube? I am hoping not, other wise I have to lay hands on some whole leaf hops toot sweet.

Equipment and Software / Monster mill - Issues
« on: November 25, 2013, 06:40:15 PM »
I have a Monster Mill 2 roller adjustable model and I have been having issues with the free roller stopping. It seems like the adjuster knobs are slipping but I can't figure out why exactly. I tighten the thumb screws and check the knobs for any movement and get none. I check the roller to make sure it's spinning freely and then put a couple lb of grain in and go. It gets through a couple cups and the free roller stops. I empty the grain and free the roller and start again. pretty frustrating.

It does seem like if I open the gap way up it works better but then I have to mill twice and there is no guarantee that it will behave any better the second time through. It seems like one side of the adjustable roller starts to move and once the two sides are far enough apart it stops rolling.

Any ideas? hints? I had the whole thing apart this weekend and cleaned everything well, does anyone oil the bushings? with what?

Yeast and Fermentation / How cold can brett go?
« on: November 16, 2013, 05:14:52 PM »
I've been playing around with the idea of fermenting either an all brett or mixed ferment at very cold temps. sort of a farmhouse lager. anybody tried something like this? intentionally or non?

My plan is to spit three gallons into 1 gallon fermenters and pitch straight brett into each and keep them at varying temps.

Right now that would mean room temp 60-70ish, what ever temp I set my ferm fridge at, maybe 50, and the serving fridge which is standard fridge temp so 38ish

Ingredients / malting
« on: November 13, 2013, 08:31:18 PM »
So last weekend I started malting some barley. I had a 5 lb bag of barley that I got for planting in the garden for next year and since I only needed about a lb of that for planting I decided to play around with the rest. This is not really a malting variety but it is what was available and should work for proof of concept.

On Saturday morning I put 500 grams of barley seed in a .5 gallon mason jar with a sprout screen lid and, after rinsing a few times I filled it up with water and let it soak over night, then I drained, rinsed and let sit for about 8 hours, filled it back up and soaked it for another 6 or so hours.

Upon draining again for a final rinse and soak I noticed the grains were already beginning to chit. there were little white bumps pushing out of one end of the grain.

So instead of refilling I laid the jar on it's side and started turning it every hour or so. The chits began to grow and branch out pretty quick and by last night they were about 1.5 - 2 times the length of the grain.

I took about 10 grains from a couple places in the mass and cut them in half and the acrospires was at least .75 times the length of the grain. everything I have read says that's when it's fully modified and the endosperm smooshed readily between my fingers so...

Into the dehydrator it went on the lowest setting spread between two trays. This morning it was getting nicely dried. The Chits were more or less completely dry and withered. I turned it up to 135*f let it ride a while longer. When I checked it before leaving for work it was 90% of the way there I would say. the grains were still a little soft so I left it to go a while longer.

They taste slightly sweet and... well... malty. so I'm pretty excited. It's only one lb but I figure I can make a test of it. mash it and see what kind of yield I see.

just thought I'd share.

Ingredients / simcoe
« on: November 12, 2013, 09:06:27 PM »
Tell me about this hop. I am a (mostly) organic brewer and this is the first year I have seen organic simcoe available so I snapped 6 oz up.

I've got two brewdays coming up one is my holiday beer for this years gifts the other is my annual barleywine to celebrate my sons birth (this will be the third year).

I also grabbed some magnum and cascade and have some liberty, sterling, and one other that slips my mind at the moment although I know it's an American variant of a noble hop.

I know this hop has a reputation for being catty and I don't mind a little dankness I don't want an overwhelming preponderance of it. Are there tricks and tips for best utilizing this hop in order to minimize that contribution?

any other thoughts that you would like to share?

Commercial Beer Reviews / Yellowhammer - Frankenhammer 2013
« on: November 04, 2013, 02:36:22 AM »
This strong ale pours a deep rich garnet red. brilliant clarity. firm off white head that fades fairly quickly.

The aroma is warm malt and alcohol warmth. Slight candy cherry sweetness. Mild woody character. little to no hop aroma.

Flavour is sweet and malty, again some candy like cherry/brandy sweetness Little perceptible hop flavour but enough bitterness to provide some balance. Warming alcohol but not hot.

Mouthfeel is very sweet and rich, not cloying but for sure a sipper. The wood character comes through as a bracing mild astringency in the very end of the sip.

Overall a very enjoyable winter warmer to sip sitting by the fire. Pared well with homegrown green corn tamales and the second wood fire of the 'winter'

The Pub / Gotta give props to My Beautiful Wife
« on: November 02, 2013, 07:27:11 PM »
She just sold her first piece of Art. She's a professional artist now!

anybody else have an art habit?

Yeast and Fermentation / Interesting Yeast experiment
« on: November 01, 2013, 09:41:01 PM »
Could be more experimental but it might be fun.

A couple weeks ago I brewed a 40 liter batch of farmhouse ale with malted rye and wheat. I had two different yeast cultures I grew up from dregs, one from the Prairie Ales 'merica saison and one from Mystic brewing Saison Renaud. Tonight I am going to take my first gravity sample and taste.

In my research I discovered that the Prairie yeast is actually a strain of wine yeast and two strains of brett. and I think that's brilliant. What I am hopeing is that it will allow for a low gravity table strength Saison (mines ~1.048) but because the wine yeast will be poor at fermenting malt sugars the brett will still have plenty of stuff to work with.

Anyway, I was just thinking about it and thought I would share. I'll update tomorrow or later tonight.

The Pub / Gotta brag just a leeetle
« on: October 26, 2013, 02:45:34 AM »
I just won BOS in the National Organic Brewing Challenge for my Sour beer with Cherries! Only my second win.

General Homebrew Discussion / new personality chart
« on: October 06, 2013, 06:41:09 PM »

thought this was kinda funny

Yeast and Fermentation / Sourdough beer
« on: July 29, 2013, 03:11:27 PM »

I have started another project. this weekend I boiled up 65 grams of DME in 650 mL of filtered water and stirred in one large dollop of my sour dough starter.

This starter is pretty sour and has a nice but still restrained funk.

So far it has behaved like a normal sacc starter with about .5 inches white krausen with a little brown gunk on top. I'm going to let it go for a while before trying to step it up into an actual beer so I will see if a pellicle forms or anything.

General Homebrew Discussion / And So the Solera Begins
« on: July 22, 2013, 07:35:54 PM »

I did it. not sure what I was thinking but I let that monkey climb right up on my back and grab a good solid hold I'm afraid.

last weekend I coated my 20 liter balcones rumble barrel in bees wax over all surfaces except the heads. This weekend I transferred a batch of farmhouse style fermented with Almanac Brewers Reserve #1 dregs and topped it off with a gallon or so of A similar recipe brewed with the belle saison.

Took some gravity readings while I was at it and was blown away.

The Belle Saison batch, just yeast, not bugs. 1.000 down from only 1.045 but still.

The Sour batch has gone from 1.048 to 0.98. woof.

Both taste pretty good all by themselves but the sour portion was starting to get really really nice. I would highly recommend this beer as a dregs starter for a sour project.

The Almanac beer has tremendous mouth feel for such a low gravity.

So finally to the questions, if anyone is still reading.

1) I topped the barrel off to the tippy top, till beer started to overflow a bit. Is this right? do I want any air space? as I sample (not often) should I re-top off?
2) I am planning to let this ride for another 4 months so the original almanac brew will be 6 months old, draw off 2-3 gallons and replace with something similar. Does this seem right? after than I will go with a 6 - 12 month cycle until I am totally sick of it or the barrel goes way way south.

Other Fermentables / Strawberry Soda
« on: July 17, 2013, 03:24:35 PM »
So my 2.5 year old REALLY wants to brew this weekend. I asked him what he wanted to brew and he said strawberry soda.

Well I am not one to deny my child's wish to brew so.

I am thinking I will make a strawberry syrup by soaking strawberries overnight in sugar to draw out the juices. maybe a little heat or maybe not. Add this syrup to an empty two liter bottle with water and enough additional sugar to get to the sweetness we want.

I have some us-05 in the fridge I figure .25 packets of that and leave it on the counter till the bottle gets tight and then chill.

Anybody have any additional ideas?

would a few drops of vanilla or almond extract go amiss?

Oooh how about some fresh mint leaves?

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