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Messages - kmccaf

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Other Fermentables / Re: orange blossom honey online
« on: December 04, 2014, 09:51:34 AM »
I do love flying bee ranch - they introduced me to meadowfoam honey and I've made 4 batches of that mead with their honey, in addition to about a dozen batches from their other varietals - but for the orange blossom mentioned in the subject, I have been most pleased with Honey Pacifica.  On occasion the cold packed orange blossom has been a little maltier than I like but I haven't found any blossom aroma/flavor that I prefer elsewhere.  Makes one of those "I could share this, but then I wouldn't be able to drink it all myself!" meads.


My Meadowfoam Braggot is just incredible. Meadowfoam Saison, not as good.

This may not be the advice you are looking for but I rarely cool my wort past 80 degrees before running off to a fermentor and letting it brought down to pitching temps overnight. There is no harm in doing that, if your sanitation techniques are sound you can feel safe within 12 hours of hitting fermentor.

+1 I do this more and more. Since most of my brewing occurs in the Winter, when I am done brewing, I will cool it to 80ish, run it off into the fermenters with sanitized bottles of ice. That usually gets it to around 70 by the time the transfer is done. I then let them sit in the carhold until before I go to sleep. Take them inside and pitch the yeast. Lagers sit in the sun room overnight, and get the yeast in the morning.

Other Fermentables / Re: orange blossom honey online
« on: December 03, 2014, 08:04:52 PM »
I really like this farm:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: November 14, 2014, 10:13:42 AM »
I'll be brewing a rye porter with crystal rye and chocolate rye. Base will be a mix of Munich and rye. Late hops will be Sterling, then fermented with 1450.

All Things Food / Re: Thanksgiving is Coming!
« on: November 13, 2014, 07:20:29 PM »
I'll be at my Dad's, so not much cooking for me. I do plan on making some cranberry sauce with the last of my cranberries from this year's harvest. My 4-year old should get a kick out of watching/hearing them all pop as they cook up.

I'll probably bring some Sriracha chevre as well. Unfortunately I might have to use store bought cheese as I don't think I'll have time to make up a fresh batch before T-day.

I'm 27 and I still get a kick out of the cranberries popping!

Otherwise, the wife and I just tested out a new roasted squash and tart apple soup that was quite good. Gonna need another test to cut through the sweetness. Still need some test batches on the veggie pot pie. Turns out poultry seasoning is great on tofu. The pumpkin chocolate cheesecake is going to be vegan this year, not that that is too much of a change. Looking forward to the broccoli and green bean casseroles as well.

Thanksgiving is by far the best holiday!

The Pub / Re: What to read
« on: November 13, 2014, 07:42:58 AM »
I would also add anything by Graham Greene and anything by Cormac McCarthy.  Blood Meridian is phenomenal.  The Road bothered me for ages.  Still does.  All The Pretty Horses is great, despite the movie. 

Avoid D.H. Lawrence.  I labored for most of the summer with The Plumed Serpent.  I gave up.  Not a proud moment, but I only have so much time.
Cormac McCarthy writes books that haunt me too, but are so rewarding to read. I only got have way through the last border trilogy book because as the wife says, "ain't going to have a happy ending".

I also read all of Edward Abbey's stuff when I was knocking around the Canyons and lousy stinking desert in the 90s.

If anyone is into the Southwest, Craig Childs has some excellent books.

Blood Meridian is tough going. The violence in that book is mind boggling. I really enjoyed Sutree. I would also add anything by Flannery O'Connor is great. I reread most of Hemingway's short stories over the summer...still great. It is odd to me that Hemingway is now an underrated writer. I do enjoy reading Edward Abbey, although I haven't read too much of it. I'll have to check out Craig Childs.

The Pub / Re: What to read
« on: November 12, 2014, 07:36:35 PM »
Henning Mankell's Wallander series.  Anything by Roddy Doyle.  For light reading, Faulkner and Styron.


We should get together with some fine whiskey and homebrew and discuss these writers. Good stuff. Also, Mark Twain is always great, and you can pick him up anytime.

I'll drive south. You drive north. Meet in Kankakee

Cigars with that whiskey?

Sounds good to me!

The Pub / Re: What to read
« on: November 12, 2014, 05:09:04 PM »
Henning Mankell's Wallander series.  Anything by Roddy Doyle.  For light reading, Faulkner and Styron.


We should get together with some fine whiskey and homebrew and discuss these writers. Good stuff. Also, Mark Twain is always great, and you can pick him up anytime.

The Pub / Re: What to read
« on: November 12, 2014, 02:18:46 PM »
Im a big fan of James and the Giant Peach
And the book was way better than the movie

+1.  Roald Dahl is pretty cracked.  If you can find his collected short stories, buy it.  Definitely a twisted mind.

+2 "Lamb to the Slaughter" is one of the best short stories ever.

The Pub / Re: What to read
« on: November 10, 2014, 02:29:29 PM »
Kate Atkinson might be a good writer for you to check out. Case Histories is particularly good. +1 to Bill Bryson's books. A nice book for some bathroom reading is Randall Munroe's What If.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Storing Aging Beer
« on: November 07, 2014, 10:42:20 AM »
I know ya'll will squeal a bit...but I might include IIPA as a potential to that list.

Sure fresh is awesome, but I kid you not, a well aged strong IIPA coupled with a fresh keg dryhop is not to be sneezed at.


You'll hear no sqealing from me. I like to set aside a dozen or so bottles of IIPA for future consumption. I really like a Big Foot Barleywine grainbill in my IIPA as well.

Beer Recipes / Re: Help Please! I need to fill a friend's keg
« on: November 06, 2014, 05:15:07 PM »
How about a bock with an ale yeast?

The Pub / Re: ABInBev acquires 10 Barrel Brewing
« on: November 06, 2014, 10:17:29 AM »
Personally, I haven't noticed any decline in the quality of beers coming from Goose Island since AB InBev took over. The only thing I've noticed is a wider availability of their products.

I think their beers are slightly more pedestrian, but still good. What I definitely notice is that AB uses GI to take over local brewery taps. Obviously this is the plan. So drink local, folks!
They are still local to me  ;) They have a pretty good APA called Green Line that is draft only and only in Chicago. That often shows up on tap with nothing but other macros, so it's a nice option.

BCBS has never been that interesting to me, but I love a Mathilda now and then.

We have a pub with Green Line down here in Champaign. It is one of my favorites. I really enjoyed Madame Rose and Lolita when I had them as well.

After I got my Bachlor's degree in 2010, I stopped in a liquor store and bought the starter kit from better brewing, and got an extract hefe. Made a pretty good beer. Went all grain a year or so later, and am still a batch sparger! I have always been a dyi kind of person, and there were flavors I could envision that I wasn't getting in commercial beer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Smoke Malt % in a IIPA
« on: November 03, 2014, 08:40:03 AM »
IIPA's aren't meant for aging. I'd just target an American Barleywine to start.

As far as the smoke malt goes, personally I'm not a big fan except at really low levels in a porter. But even despite my prejudice, I can't think of a worse style to add rauchmalz to than IIPA.

My suggestion would be to brew it as an American Barleywine, and maybe use oak instead of smoke if you want a little extra complexity. That really seems like a scenario that will stand up to aging a lot better than a Rauch IIPA.

+1 to this. I can't see any amount of smoke marrying well with a IIPA and IIPA age very poorly and are best when fresh. A smoked barleywine, OTOH, could be interesting.

I've thought about a smoked barleywine before, and Denny talked me out of it some years ago on a different forum. I think he was right to do so. The big malty sherry like notes just did not sound like a match for smoke. I just can't see the flavors of smoked malt and a barleywine fitting together. OTOH, it is your beer, and their is only one way to find out if you like it. I do love me a gratzer.

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