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Messages - kmccaf

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46
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: mandarina
« on: February 23, 2015, 07:54:32 PM »

Beyond the ipa/pale styles for this hop, where to go.  I keep having Saison pop in my head.  Am I crazy on this?  I'm going to order some hops tomorrow and I think I will pick up some.  By the prices you can tell it is popular.
My saison goes in The keg this week and will get some dry hop with mandarina.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I used it in a saison, and it was incredible. I think you will be very happy with it.

47
All Things Food / Re: For the cool-climate gardeners
« on: February 22, 2015, 12:14:37 PM »
Thanks Eric, I'll check them out. We're actually getting out our garden map and ordering seeds and onion plants today. I also like to try out hard to get varieties. We get most of our stuff from Johnny's Seeds in Maine. We're also members of the Northeast Organic Farmer's Association so we are able to buy all of our supplies and amendments in bulk as well as some cool varieties of potatoes. I can't wait to get out there but right now I can walk over my garden fence on top of the snow. Somewhere under there we have over wintered parsnips. I am shoveling off the cold frame today. Can you tell from the length of this post that I'm itching to get out there?

+1 on Johnny's Seeds. Good people, and great selection. I was just browsing their catalog this morning. I am starting to go a little crazy thinking about planting this year. I have a nice big palate to paint on now.

48
Ingredients / Re: Michigan Hops Farms Expanding.
« on: February 19, 2015, 12:29:00 PM »
Looking good, Michigan. I have really enjoyed the beers that have been made with Michigan hops. My wife and I bought a farm a month ago, and are looking to plant hops next year. Lots of research to do still.

49
Ingredients / Re: Post your water report
« on: February 19, 2015, 08:10:08 AM »
Had my well tested out at the new place. Here it is for Champaign IL:

pH 7.8

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 362
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.60
Cations / Anions, me/L 6.7 / 7.0
ppm
Sodium, Na 66
Potassium, K 1
Calcium, Ca 39
Magnesium, Mg 22
Total Hardness, CaCO3 189
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.2 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S < 1
Chloride, Cl < 1
Carbonate, CO3 < 1.0
Bicarbonate, HCO3 424
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 350
Total Phosphorus, P 0.03
Total Iron, Fe 0.25

"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit
That is pretty poor for brewing. Congratulations, it is even worse than mine.

Indeed! I am going to get RO installed. I knew it was not going to be good before we moved in.

50
Ingredients / Re: Post your water report
« on: February 19, 2015, 08:03:12 AM »
Had my well tested out at the new place. Here it is for Champaign IL:

pH 7.8

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 362
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.60
Cations / Anions, me/L 6.7 / 7.0
ppm
Sodium, Na 66
Potassium, K 1
Calcium, Ca 39
Magnesium, Mg 22
Total Hardness, CaCO3 189
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.2 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S < 1
Chloride, Cl < 1
Carbonate, CO3 < 1.0
Bicarbonate, HCO3 424
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 350
Total Phosphorus, P 0.03
Total Iron, Fe 0.25

"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit

51
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Wedding beer names
« on: February 17, 2015, 05:01:33 PM »
From the proof of our food and beer menu, ours were as follows:




Except that the 10pm saison tapping was changed from the peach/ginger thing to a beer called "Dupont". It was just the base beer from all the other saisons since the peach/ginger thing tasted weird in bench trials. The drunk people never noticed.

We didn't feel the need to make corny names. If they related to the wedding, great. If not, we didn't care.

PS - one of our groomsmen did actually wear a kilt.

Dunkel Do Balls is great! I will be using that. Nice looking menu.

My wedding beers were called "Karen the Red" and "Kyle the Blonde". I spent a loooong time trying to get the red ale to match my wife's hair. I also made a mead. Nothing fancy.

52
Ingredients / Re: Peppercorns of different varieties
« on: February 13, 2015, 03:20:53 PM »
I'll throw this out there. The people who run the Spice House in Chicago and Milwaukee once told me that there is no difference between Black, Green, Pink, and White peppercorns. They gave a talk on the history of the spice trade that involved people who made more money off the ones that looked different than black, but said that they are not actually different. The only one that tastes and is different is Szechuan.

From my understanding pink peppercorns are from a differently species.  And Black, green and white peppercorns are from the same plant, but are different in the maturity and/or processing.

That may be true. The presentation was 4 or 5 years ago. I should really look into it since I've been repeating this ever since.

53
Ingredients / Re: Peppercorns of different varieties
« on: February 13, 2015, 07:23:47 AM »
I'll throw this out there. The people who run the Spice House in Chicago and Milwaukee once told me that there is no difference between Black, Green, Pink, and White peppercorns. They gave a talk on the history of the spice trade that involved people who made more money off the ones that looked different than black, but said that they are not actually different. The only one that tastes and is different is Szechuan.

54
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Steady vs. Rising Temperature
« on: February 11, 2015, 08:57:50 PM »
It depends on the beer I am making.

Edit - I should say more.
Pilsners pitch colder by a few degrees and let rise to a steady temperature for 3/4 fermentaion, then do a D-rest.
American ales pitch cool and let it come up.
British beers I would pitch warmer and let it come up a little.
Saisons would be pitched high and slowly ramped up.

+1 exactly what I do.

55
Ingredients / Re: Pellet vs. Leaf Hops
« on: February 11, 2015, 07:18:12 AM »
I mostly use whole hops. They do take up a lot of space, but that is kind of a good thing for me. It makes sure I don't buy too many hops without using the ones I already have. I changed the way I brew partly because of my fondness for whole hops. I start buying hops when the harvest comes in and start my brew year with the freshest cones, and stop brewing around May. So, I brew in the Fall and Spring. No need to worry about the whole cones not storing as long this way.

Also, there is something very pleasing about using whole cones that I do not get with pellets. It's sentimental, but the look and feel of whole cones adds to my brewing experience.

56
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: looking to brew something different
« on: February 11, 2015, 05:49:15 AM »
Landbier.

Pils, Munich, and a touch caramunich. Bitter with Perle, and use a healthy dose of noble hops to finish. 830 or 835 to ferment.

Drink young.

57
Ingredients / Re: Good News For Hop Lovers
« on: February 09, 2015, 02:50:55 PM »
FresHops is a great source. i used to get an order or two from them every year. I do like the clarity of wort produced when filtering through a bed of cones.

I have purchased rhizomes and coir yarn from Freshops in the past, but their hops are too darn expensive, especially when West Coast to East Cost shipping is factored into the equation.  Working with Mark Garetz when he owned HopTech and then Hops Direct has shown me what to expect from well-handled cones. 

If all goes well this growing season, I will be giving hops away.

I hear ya about the expense. However, their hops are incredible. The best Mt. Hood I have ever used has been from them. I really use that one a lot, and damn it is tasty.

58
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brew Weekend
« on: February 07, 2015, 08:00:28 AM »
I think I will brew Hopfenunmalz's Ballentine recipe, and split it into two fermenters. One will get Bry97, and the other 833. Looking forward to opening my big fresh bag of Cluster from hops direct, and using my homegrown Brewer's Gold which smelled amazing this year.

59
Hop Growing / Re: 2015 Hop season
« on: February 06, 2015, 07:52:32 PM »
I dug out a few crowns last fall in order to plant more latitude 39-friendly cultivars.  I kept the hop with no name, Cascade, and Spalt Select (which performed surprisingly well).  I added Early Cluster (Cluster is an awesome, but overlooked hop), another Challenger selection, Southern Brewer, Southern Cross, and Yeoman.

I am very interested in Early Cluster. Was looking at Late Cluster myself. Super Alpha would be a good one for your latitude. Beautiful foliage as well. I will continue growing it as an ornamental if I don like the flavors.

60
Ingredients / Re: Dr. Rudi aka Super Alpha
« on: February 06, 2015, 06:37:42 AM »
Let us know how it turns out. I bought some for a single apa myself. I planted Super Alpha, and would love to know what it has going for it. It gave me only a dozen or so cones last year, but was an insanely gigantic bine.

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