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Messages - kmccaf

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The Pub / Re: What's the Weather Like Where You Are?
« on: October 17, 2013, 04:13:46 PM »
Perfect alt brewing weather!  We've been 68 daytime, 33 nighttime.  I have an alt fermenting with 1007 in tub of water in the garage.  Garage goes from 38 to 72, beer stays at 52!

Pretty much the same here in Central Illinois. Little higher temp at night. But I have an alt with 1007 in a tub that is also loving it! Lovin' this weather after the week of mid 80's we had a couple of weeks ago.

Well, this is a great place to learn about the process! I would say go for it. The best thing about homebrewing is that you can customize your brew to suit your tastes. Brewing a cider, or something with fruit in it can be as difficult or simple as you want to make it. It depends on what you are going for, and the amount of dedication you want to put into it. Brewing really isn't rocket science, so once you have a sound process, customizing your brew to your tastes becomes a lot of fun.

Here's a great setup for some nice easy pragmatic brewing:

Brewed up my first beer since May. It was a Belgian Pale, with a lot of homegrown Brewer's Gold, as well as some Caliente pellets. Pitched the Unibroue yeast, and is chugging away today. Also used some Jaggery for the fermentables.

Ingredients / Re: TT Landlord with extra late hops?
« on: October 02, 2013, 11:11:52 AM »
I say go for it! Willamette should be a fine complementary hop for the style, and should not be too overwhelming.

All Things Food / Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« on: August 21, 2013, 07:48:53 AM »
Knowing that tomato vines, if buried, will root, I shoveled some soil on top of the bottom 16-18" of some of my tomato vines this spring after they got too tall and laid down, just for an experiment. I thought that more roots=increased nutrient uptake and might mean larger yield. They were still in their vegetative state and were not blooming nor had they set fruit. Today I noticed some red peeking from the soil where I had buried the vines. Subterranean tomatoes! Dug'em up and tasted a few next to above ground tomatoes from the same plant with the same apparent ripeness, based on color . The subterranean tomatoes seemed to be less acidic and more umami. The tomatoes were Oxheart.
This is really weird! But true! There will be more experimenting next year.
Just thought I'd share.

That's really interesting! I love Oxhearts but they take forever to ripen. Would love to hear back on the experiment.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Experience with Saflager 34/70?
« on: August 14, 2013, 06:42:54 AM »
Perhaps the best beer I have made was with 34/70. It was a Czech Dark Lager. Very malty. I am going to brew it again with 833 to see what the impact of the yeast was, but that was one fine brew.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Who's Brewing Today? s
« on: August 12, 2013, 02:00:57 PM »
Just finishing the final cleanup from yesterdays brew.  It was my first attempt at an all Galaxy hopped Pale Ale.  All went well in the brew.  I think it's going to be a keeper!

Then I worked on an ESB recipe I have been wanting to brew.  So it's off to the LHBS for some Target and Saaz hops.  And for the starter I'll get going tonight, I think I'll get a pack of Wyeast 1968.  Or, I have been toying with the idea of using one I haven't tried.  Wyeast 1469 - West Yorkshire Ale.  If they have a pack of this I may try it......

Wyeast 1469 description:
This strain produces ales with a full chewy malt flavor and character, but finishes dry, producing famously balanced beers. Expect moderate nutty and stone-fruit esters. Best used for the production of cask-conditioned bitters, ESB and mild ales. Reliably flocculent, producing bright beer without filtration.

Enjoy your brew day!

1469 is my favorite yeast. It makes great ESBs and Bitters. Love 1968 as well though. Let us know what you think!

Ingredients / Re: Where to find NZ hops?
« on: August 06, 2013, 04:12:47 PM »
For what it's worth, I'm a big fan of Motueka in combination with Galaxy.  I tried Riwaka as well once and they were great but harder to find. 
I get mine from but I'm guessing that there is likely someone in the US that would be easier for most of you.  But if not, give them a try because they are great.  I love how they show the country of origin for every hop they sell.

+1 to Riwaka. Fantastic hop. I think in For the Love of Hops, Hieronymous stated that New Zealand was going to limit exports of it. I've been drinking an IPA that is Pacific Gem, Pacific Jade, and Riwaka, and it is a mighty fine brew. Really wish I could get more Riwaka.

Ingredients / Re: Where to find NZ hops?
« on: August 06, 2013, 11:36:37 AM »
I get them at farm house brewing supply.

Beer Recipes / Re: Mild Brown Ale
« on: August 05, 2013, 07:30:34 AM »
You may want to back off on the Amber a bit as well. Its a fairly strong malt and with that much you may end up closer to a porter than a brown. Maybe a .5 lbs would be noticeable, but not overpowering.

I agree that it is a strong malt. However, I used 10% in a beer once and quite liked it. YMMV.

The Pub / Re: the best bombers you can get?
« on: July 26, 2013, 07:55:10 AM »
Boulevard--Saison Brett

Good luck finding that! It took me two cities worth of looking to get my little stash of 5 bottles going.

All of Boulevard's Smokestack Series is excellent though.

I guess they sent it all to DFW.1. It's all over, just sitting on the shelves. People don't know what they are passing by.

1.) Of course, I sit here in my office wondering, do I go with a parody of DFW via non-fiction, or fiction? Will the reader know or care? There is also the possibility of relating stories of running into DFW's family at the grocery store.i. But most likely no will give a s@$. I wonder what all these beers on the shelf are. This is Brett. Saison--Brett.

i.) His dad looks just like him. It is startling.
2.) Edit: My wife informs that DFW may have meant Dallas Fort-Worth, rather than the Champaign, IL writer David Foster Wallace who is often referred to as DFW. In which case, my DFW parody may have not made sense.

The Pub / Re: the best bombers you can get?
« on: July 25, 2013, 12:43:20 PM »
Boulevard--Saison Brett

Good luck finding that! It took me two cities worth of looking to get my little stash of 5 bottles going.

All of Boulevard's Smokestack Series is excellent though.

Really! There are a couple of places it is always in stock at around here. I feel a little bit more pride in my town today.

The Pub / Re: the best bombers you can get?
« on: July 25, 2013, 08:36:08 AM »
Boulevard--Saison Brett
Smuttynose--Big Beer Series (Really Old Brown Dog is phenomenal).

Ingredients / Re: Amber Malt
« on: July 20, 2013, 06:21:58 PM »
I've used Amber before in a Porter.  It's similar (to me) to Biscuit or Victory, except more intense, a little redder, and slightly roasty.  I think @ 5% it won't be overbearing, but I wouldn't use a large % in a pale beer.  It is really good in Brown, Porter, or Stout though.
This is a really good description. I've been experimenting with some different "character" malts in my APA, and used 5% Amber in it recently. I really like the result, but that little bit of roasty edge probably pushes it out of an APA if you're worried about style guidelines. I think it would be great in a bitter, amber, brown, porter, etc.

+1 to all this. Amber Malt used to be what gave my beers a "house" character, so I've used it quite a bit. In addition to what's been stated, I found it gave a black tea kind of character to my beer in higher percentage, around 10%. A little goes a long way. I liked it a lot more in my bitters, ESBs, and porters, than my APA, FWIW.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What Are You Drinking Tonight?
« on: July 20, 2013, 06:27:35 AM »
Had my Czech Dark Lager, and Two Brother's Dog Days Dortmunder.

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