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Messages - morticaixavier

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Ingredients / Re: Spices for Winter Warmer - boil or steep?
« on: October 28, 2013, 07:37:46 AM »
Two words: Vodka tincture.

This works, if you don't mind the flavor of the raw uncooked spices.

I don't care for the tincture, myself, but it works for others.

This "spice stand" is an interesting approach.

I've been wondering about a hybrid approach. What if you toasted the spices in a dry pan and THEN made a tincture from them? this should wake up the flavours in the same way as cooking, maybe even a bit better and still give you the control of a tincture. something to try anyway.

The Pub / Re: Gotta brag just a leeetle
« on: October 28, 2013, 07:31:10 AM »
...I get to brew up 15 bbls of the stuff at thirsty bear in SF to be their pro-am entry next year at GABF

Gotta love when BOS is a sour beer! Maybe not the Pro-Am volunteer brewery - might make them a bit nervous!

Looks like the wild side of homebrewing has its hooks sunk deep into Mort!

Yeah, I wonder about that as well. we will see. The hook is in good and deep. the entire 'spare' shower is filled with various experiments now. (I say it's spare, my wife has started to imagine how nice it would be to have a shower in her bathroom)

You triple-rinse every beverage container you empty.


The Pub / Re: Third Year Anniversary!
« on: October 27, 2013, 02:50:46 PM »
Right on man. Nothing like a couple beers to settle the stomach after a week of drinking beer.

The Pub / Re: Gotta brag just a leeetle
« on: October 27, 2013, 02:49:37 PM »
Congrats man. I entered the same competition and took a first and a third in the Pilsner category and a first in Light Hybrid.

Is Thirsty Bear in San Fran going to brew your beer and if so are you going there when they make it? My wife and I went to Thirsty Bear 5 years ago when we were on our honeymoon, nice place. If you go check out The Monks Kettle while you are there.

Congrats again. Nice to see other organic brewers out there.

I'm not sure about the logistics of the brew at thirsty bear. I hope I get to be there. Heck I want to lug sacks of grain of stairs and shovel wet spent grain out of mash tuns. I'm gonna polish my much boots in anticipation (is there a special kind of polish you use on rubber much boots)

All Things Food / Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« on: October 27, 2013, 09:39:30 AM »
I had a realization the other day that most of the stuff on earth is actually made of chicken food.
;D. With the amazing daily conversion of said food into an egg!  Yesterday mine got into a nearly dead vole the cat had a flock of Velociraptors they descended..

Leeks.  Anyone grow them? How do you store them?  Dig and refrigerate?  Leave them in the ground?

I think I have heard of storing them in a box of moist sand in a root cellar type situation.

The Pub / Re: Gotta brag just a leeetle
« on: October 26, 2013, 08:53:02 AM »
Hey, Excellent!  Organic cherries are hard to come by here.  Sour (pie) cherries?

My first beer ever was a 7 Bridges kit.  Hooray for them. 

Enjoy your WIN!  What do you get?

Thanks everyone!
Pie cherries are hard to come by here. These were just assorted table cherries. Black, bing, who knows what else.

I get to brew up 15 bbls of the stuff at thirsty bear in SF to be their pro-am entry next year at GABF

The Pub / Gotta brag just a leeetle
« on: October 25, 2013, 07:45:34 PM »
I just won BOS in the National Organic Brewing Challenge for my Sour beer with Cherries! Only my second win.

The Pub / Re: 67% ABV beer
« on: October 25, 2013, 03:29:16 PM »
Sorry but there ain't no yeast that can ferment to 67.5% so that means it's just a high test whiskey with some beer in it and that ain't beer! It's beer-flavored whiskey.

I am pretty sure they manage to get this high mostly with yeast. It's possible the freeze concentrate it at some point but you can get a really really high ABV with progressive feeding along.

start out with 1 gallon of 1.090 or so wort, when that has attenuated out most of the way add another gallon of 1.100 wort, this will result in a gravity somewhere in the middle 1.050ish. that's easy on yeast. it attenuates most of the way and you hit it with a gallon of 1.200 wort. at some point the yeast will die form the alcohol, and I am sure it's well before 67.5 percent but might well be upwards of 20% as there are wines that are close to that. so at that point you have to remove some water to get the rest of the way. enter eisbeir.

Most of the time what will hold the yeast back is the high wort gravity and resulting osmotic pressure rather than the high beer ABV.

but anyway. If someone offered me a sip I'd taste it but I agree. it's not really beer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sparge temp
« on: October 25, 2013, 03:23:51 PM »
I want to follow up on this sparge temp issue.  Clearly the previous posters who said that tannin extraction is due to pH are correct.  But I would argue that it is also a function of temperature.  According to a number of brewing experts (Palmer, et al.) one should not sparge with water over 170* specifically to avoid tannin extraction.

Now I am fairly sure that the experienced brewer who monitors the mash pH, can and does (as you have said you do) avoid tannin extraction above that temp.  What I am saying is that this practice should probably be left to those experienced brewers who know for sure it will work - but not for the new brewer nor should it be communicated that this is a general rule.

For the average home brewer the extremely small cost associated with the increase in efficiency is basically of no value, but the safety in being sure to avoid tannin extraction would be far more important IMO.

I hesitated in saying the above for a couple of days because I am not what I would call an expert home brewer, and as a consequence usually defer to those with more knowledge and experience... But I think I'm right on this point.  However, as always I am open to being corrected.

while I see your point and it's a valid one, I would add that pH in the mash is important for more than just avoiding tannin extraction. And the pH range is the same that you want to see in your mash and sparge water to make sure you get the right Kettle pH AND to avoid tannin extraction.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Dip tube
« on: October 25, 2013, 03:20:43 PM »
Here's my thought process. Seems like the first couple pours are wasted unless you are a yeast lover. Then I saw that new style keg that has a concave bottom to keep yeast away from the center. How about trimming the bottom inch or so off the dip tube?  Has anyone tried that? Thoughts?

sure, folks do that a lot. you still lose the beer but as you say, it's a loss anyway. However, I find if you let it settle for a couple days in the fridge before pulling that first pint you only lose maybe half a pint while trimming the dip tube will likely leave behind at least a full pint. but still, not much to worry about.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bourbon Barrel Stout
« on: October 25, 2013, 09:16:31 AM »
Correction, it took about 80% of the 5 gal carboy.  Yikes.
Topped it up this AM, smelled SOOOO gooood!

I put the rest in a gowler and an airlock.  <=== Does that work?

sure, if you transferred carefully you can use that to top up the barrel as you take 'samples' for 'analysis' over the next couple months.

Beer Recipes / Re: Nov/Dec 2010 Barleywine recipes
« on: October 25, 2013, 08:19:12 AM »
you don't fill it with water right? just count on keeping the air cool? less mess potential that way.
Correct. I think water would cause fast temperature fluctuations when you add new ice. Air slows that down so the temperature is more steady. And you're right - no leaks, drips, etc.
I think I could cold crash too by filling the cooler with ice after fermentation. Haven't tried that yet.

I bet that would work well. If you add some rock salt for sure.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Corny to cask conversion?
« on: October 25, 2013, 07:34:49 AM »
If your using a picnic tap as long as the tap is below the keg it will work like a siphon just use gas to start then open relief valve. Its hokey but works.

I've been trying to put my finger on this since this thread appeared. now I feel stupid. Thanks for beating me to it.

Maybe the AHA can work on legislation to up the home production limit.  200 gals just isnt reasonable when you live in an area with minimal good beer choices.
That works out to 3 6-packs a week for each of the 2 adults living in the house, I can't imagine that would be an easy limit to raise.  On the other hand, how do they know how much you brewed?

on the other hand, that's just over 2 beers a night per adult IF there are only 2 living in the house. if there are three adults and the limit is still 200 gallons then your down to less than 1 beer a night per person, still not the end of the world. but imagine if there were 4 adults in the house, why then your talking about less than 4 beers per week per person. And that's just madness... madness I say  ;D


200 gallons among 4 adults = 17.53 fl oz per day rather than less than 4 beers per week.

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