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Messages - morticaixavier

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What Are You Drinking Tonight?
« on: July 22, 2013, 08:13:31 AM »
This beer F-ing ROCKS!

Tried a bomber, then went back and bought a case of bombers.  Lucky thing my local beer store has 20% off on Fridays!

hey cool.

My boss just got back from a couple days in ft bragg and brought me back a 750 of this. Looking forward to it even more now!

**EDIT** I just took a second look at the above label and it didn't appear to be quite the same. Turns out the bottle I have is brewed at North Coast. it looks slightly different in that the text is blue and the northcoast logo is in the middle.

Other Fermentables / Re: Strawberry Soda
« on: July 22, 2013, 07:45:37 AM »
Cheap easy strawberry champagne?

given that it was only actively fermenting for about 18 hours before going in the fridge I doubt there was a significant amount of alcohol in there so champagne? maybe not. and a pack of frozen organic strawberries, a cup of sugar or so and part of a pack of yeast = about 5-6 bucks for 1.5 liters of soda so cheap? maybe not so. Easy though for sure  ;D

Other Fermentables / Re: Strawberry Soda
« on: July 21, 2013, 07:47:38 PM »
Well I think it worked quite well.

I couldn't get fresh strawberries of course so I started with 1 package of frozen strawberries which I macerated with about a cup of evaporated cane juice (raw sugar) I added a handful of fresh mint leaves as well. I left that for about 4 or 5 hours to thaw. I gave it a good stir to break up all the berries added about 1.5 liters of water (maybe a bit less) and then brought it up to a boil (I meant only to bring it to 180 but I forgot).

The result was a lovely pink syrup with ugly whitish gunk floating around in it. I strained it through a ss mesh strainer.

Into two empty plastic 1 liter former sparkly water bottles with a sprinkle of us-05 in each. I squeezed out all the air from the bottle just for fun. By morning they were swelled and hard so I popped them in the fridge and had some with dinner tonight.

My son didn't like it because it was sparkly (he doesn't actually like soda ::)) but it's pretty good. decent fresh strawberry aroma and flavor. mint is there but is a supporting role. no boozy note although one person who tasted it detected a slight kombucha-y flavor but I don't get that.

I don't think this will become a regular occurrence at chez mort but it was a fun experiment. and dead simple.

I do want to make some flavour syrups and just mix them with the soda water I make by the keg load though.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison Dry Yeast
« on: July 21, 2013, 06:47:40 PM »
I just kegged by batch made with this. It started at 1.038 but I added 1 lb of honey after a couple days so all told it took this beer from 1.045 to 1.000 in about 2 weeks. I started at 65ish per my usuall and ramped up to 74ish  after a couple days. It stayed there the rest of the time and it had no problem finishing.

The flavour is hard to pin point right now because It is not fully carbed but it has a distinct lemony tartness and is otherwise pretty clean so far. I withold judgement.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Pellicle or mold in the bottle!?
« on: July 19, 2013, 12:01:37 PM »
Likely you introduced some o2 during bottling. Several of the organisms in a flanders culture will produce some sort of floaty. Generally pellicles are produced as a barrier to additional o2 dissolution so if some bottles got a little more air than others you might have pellicle form in some and not others.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermenting during a heat wave
« on: July 19, 2013, 09:50:06 AM »
Just for the sake of accuracy I would like to clarify some terms.

Swamp cooler or evaporative cooler - This is a method of cooling something below ambient temp via evaporation. This is the wet t-shirt method. You only need enough water to allow the t-shirt to continuously wick water up and stay wet. You might need to wet the shirt from above to some extent to make it work. It's not really dependent on the temp of the water being used because it's going to cool the fermenter via evaporation. this method requires enough air circulation (fan, breeze) to make sure the air is not saturated with moisture around the fermenter.

Ice in water cooler - this is actually using the ice to lower the temp of the whole mass of water and beer in the tub. You can cover this set up and it will work as well or better in a small enclosed area. You are transferring heat from the fermenting beer through the water into the ice. You can get much colder with this and you don't need to use the water, if you insulate your tub or box you can use ice packs to chill the air inside and get the same results. But insulation is required in that case because you do not have the thermal mass provided by all the extra water.

Going Pro / Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« on: July 19, 2013, 09:20:11 AM »
you still have to deal with the feds and pay a bond but that goes towards your taxes due them anyway.

The bond is held as collateral against the taxes on future production. You only get it back if you go out of business.

right. wasn't totally clear there. thanks

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Uh oh, didn't mix yeast well.
« on: July 17, 2013, 01:09:20 PM »
just have a capper and a little dish of dry yeast with you every time you open a bottle to drink. no pfft on opening, add yeast and recap!

Other Fermentables / Re: Strawberry Soda
« on: July 17, 2013, 10:36:30 AM »
Wont this make strawberry wine if you ferment it.

the idea is that you let it ferment only enough to carbonate the bottle then refrigerate it and consume quickly. It's how all soda used to be made. There won't be enough alcohol to be significant and as long as you do small enough batches and it's not gross you will drink it all up before it becomes an issue.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 1056 Smack Pack Viability
« on: July 17, 2013, 08:26:27 AM »
Do I need one or two packs?  I'm not too familiar using pitching rate calculators...

FWIW, this won't be ready to pitch by Friday.

How long does starter prep usually take?

if you make the starter now and are able to give it a good swirl every hour or so for the next 36 it should be mostly done by tomorrow night, Friday morning at the latest. Then you have to crash cool it to decant the spent 'beer' that will take another 12-24 hours.

so you could pitch on Saturday morning or afternoon. I leave wort overnight without pitching all the time.

Other Fermentables / Strawberry Soda
« on: July 17, 2013, 08:24:35 AM »
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?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 1056 Smack Pack Viability
« on: July 17, 2013, 08:04:47 AM »
If the yeast is good you should only need to use one of the packs and save the other.

pitch one smack pack into each.

Do I need one or two packs?  I'm not too familiar using pitching rate calculators...

If you are looking to pitch 10 gallons of 1.050ish ale with packs with best by dates probably sometime in august as the latest you are going to need both packs in a 3 liter starter to approach ideal cell counts. I think you would be fine with both packs in two liters but that is under pitching according to best practices.

check out enter your batch volume and expected gravity. enter the production date which is stamped right on the pack of wyeast I think. if not that is the best by date and the production date is minus 4 months from there. Select intermittent shaking from the aeration method menu and you can play around with the steps and the starter volumes and see the cell count change.

I would pitch each into it's own 1 liter starter, when they are done on Friday morning or so put them in the fridge to crash. during the boil pull off 2 liters of wort and chill it as quickly as you can. decant the spent starter wort and add the fresh wort. Let that work while you finish your boil, chill etc. when you are at pitching temp just pitch the full volume.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 1056 Smack Pack Viability
« on: July 17, 2013, 07:35:03 AM »
+1 to a starter. 200 grams of DME + enough water to make 2 liters boil for 5 minutes and chill to room temp. pitch both packs.

If you don't have a 5 liter flask or a gallon jug, use two .5 gallon or even 1 quart jugs and make 700 ml starters with 70 grams of DME each. pitch one smack pack into each.

If you got this yeast back at the end of may it's already getting somewhat elderly anyway. give it a pick me up.

Going Pro / Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« on: July 16, 2013, 02:15:58 PM »
Massachusetts is doing something similar. you still have to deal with the feds and pay a bond but that goes towards your taxes due them anyway. I imagine your locality will have some ideas around what can and can't be a) a brewery and b) a tasting room not to mention local ordinances regarding intent to serve alcohol. but yeah it's pretty cool!

Ingredients / Re: WLP050 Tennessee Whiskey Yeast
« on: July 16, 2013, 01:43:26 PM »
Any other ideas on how to use this yeast in a higher gravity beer?

I actually think it would work well in any high gravity beer. I was just taking the pi$$ on the peated malt thing. If you like that though you should try it. I might be tempted to get the scotch whisky yeast instead if you are after the smoke character. It reminded me of the edinborough yeast in the mild earthiness it lent.

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