Author Topic: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong  (Read 12374 times)

Offline Tim Thomssen

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #75 on: November 29, 2013, 06:54:17 PM »
Hey Gordon,

Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience!

Do you know how many competition medals and BOS awards you have won over the years?

What do you do with all those medals, are they on display or are they tucked away in a rather large box somewhere?

Cheers!

Tim Thomssen

Offline gordonstrong

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1355
    • View Profile
    • BJCP
Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #76 on: November 29, 2013, 07:29:11 PM »
Hey Gordon,

Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience!

Do you know how many competition medals and BOS awards you have won over the years?

What do you do with all those medals, are they on display or are they tucked away in a rather large box somewhere?

Cheers!

Tim Thomssen

Medals?  No idea.  BOSs?  18.  Haven't really entered anything since NHC 2010, though.

Medals and ribbons are in a variety of bags in storage.  Nicer awards (plaques) are on a wall.  The Ninkasis are on the wall.  Some of the nicer trophies that are glassware or an actual award are on shelves.  The Utopias bottles are on a shelf too.  My wife let me use our great room for all this stuff.  It has some favorite framed beer posters, like a Belgian Beer poster and a Stille Nacht poster I got at the brewery, also a sweet Anchor Brewing mirror that I won at the 2007 NHC.  That room has a pool table, various bookcases with beer books, a fireplace, a bar, a stereo, etc.  Kind of the home pub without the pub.  All the beer is in the walkin, which is through the adjacent garage door.  Basically, it's the stuff I'd have in my basement if I had a basement.

I'm not allowed to bring home new glassware, t-shirts, or hats.  Special stuff I have to sneak in ;-)
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline HoosierBrew

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2866
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #77 on: November 29, 2013, 07:41:34 PM »
Gordon,

  Do you have a style or two that you like to brew nowadays more often than others ? 
Jon H.

Offline gordonstrong

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1355
    • View Profile
    • BJCP
Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #78 on: November 29, 2013, 08:03:39 PM »
Gordon,

  Do you have a style or two that you like to brew nowadays more often than others ?

For the last two years, every recipe I've brewed has been a new recipe.  But I think I'm almost done with that project.

But in general, no.  I go through different moods, or I make things based on what ingredients I have around.  I had no interest in making a wheatwine, but I had a big sack of Durst wheat and not much else around, so I thought it would make the biggest dent in it.  Same with hops or yeast.

I like a wide range of styles and have a lot of kegs, so I tend to have a big variety on hand most times.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline someguy

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #79 on: January 24, 2014, 09:58:25 AM »
Great discussion !   

Hi Gordon.  I missed the submission window... I'm hoping that you have the time and energy to answer a couple more questions.  I loved your book, btw.

1) When doing a step mash, everyone quotes precise times like "let rest at 135F for 15 minutes".  However, most systems don't step from one temperature to another instantly.    Many take several minutes to go from 135F to 155F, for example. 

What I would like to know is when does one start and stop the timer on a step given that it can take 5 or more minutes to get the mash from one temp to next temp.

2) You state in your book that the enzymes brewers care about are mostly contained in the liquid part of the mash.   You also state that said enzymes will be inhibited if they are heated past sparge out temps, ie 170Fish.   

Given these two statements, how does one then add heat to an LT without damaging the enzymes ?   I am pretty sure that the bottom of a direct fired mash tun is hotter than 170F !  How do you manage heat additions when doing mash steps ?

I'd also like to know what equipment you brew with and how good it is in these regards.  Your book says you bought a 0.5 barrel system from Pico Systems and that you have made changes to it.  I can't find much information on your system on the web.  I'd love to know what you have changed on it and why.

3) You mention several times about heat differences within the mash bed.  You also mention that hot side aeration is not the issue that people think it is.    Given these two statements, have you considered a mash stirrer or continuous circulation of the mash liquids via a pump ?     

I do circulate my mash continuously.  In fact, I circulate even while I am sparging.   Do you think this is a bad practice ?

I cringe every time I pump wort and beer with a pump, thinking that I'm aerating it or somehow damaging it.   Are these fears founded or unfounded ?

I loved your suggestion of chilling the boiled wort in the kettle and letting the trub settle before racking to the primary.   I am going to adopt that practice on my next batch.

If I could make one comment about your book, I wish it had pictures of the equipment you use and more on the journey you went on to get to that point.   A carpenter is only as good as his tools.  I'm not trying to copy your tools, but understanding what you ended up with and why would allow me to focus more attention where I need to.  I know you go into detail on equipment but I found myself wanting to know more specifics, especially since I am in the middle of designing and building a new brew system.

Your book is crammed with great information.  I think you are right on with your all grain versus extract brewing view.  I also agree that Dave Miller's book is great reference for starting brewers.  You've given me a lot to think about.   Thanks for contributing so much to the brewing community. 


Offline someguy

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #80 on: January 25, 2014, 09:43:35 AM »
Further to the topic of heat addition to the mash, do you have any views on injecting steam directly into the mash ?

Offline jlg4398

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #81 on: March 06, 2014, 04:10:07 PM »
Hello gentleman, I'm a first time brewer in Rushville, IN. I pitched Safale American yeast into my wort then into my 5 gal. fermenting bucket. Twenty-four hours later it began bubbling. After three or four days it has stopped completely. Tomorrow, Mar. 7 is 7th day fermenting. My question is, should I bottle it tomorrow?
I don't have a hydrometer. All advise and suggestions welcomed.

Offline morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6078
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #82 on: March 06, 2014, 04:53:48 PM »
Hello gentleman, I'm a first time brewer in Rushville, IN. I pitched Safale American yeast into my wort then into my 5 gal. fermenting bucket. Twenty-four hours later it began bubbling. After three or four days it has stopped completely. Tomorrow, Mar. 7 is 7th day fermenting. My question is, should I bottle it tomorrow?
I don't have a hydrometer. All advise and suggestions welcomed.

kind of the wrong place for this but the answer is, go get a hydrometer. you just simply can't know if it's ready.

I will say that it's NOT ready to bottle after 7 days. go get a hydrometer and take a reading. then wait another week and take another reading. if they are the same go ahead and bottle if they are not the same wait another week and take another reading. once you get two readings 3-7 days apart that match THEN you will be ready to bottle
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline HoosierBrew

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2866
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #83 on: March 06, 2014, 06:18:35 PM »
+1.  I'm not Gordon, but if you're gonna home brew beer you simply MUST buy a hydrometer. Can't even debate it. A refractometer will read original gravity too, but can be unreliable for final gravity readings because of the alcohol present. A hydrometer is cheaper and more reliable. The only way to know when your beer is really done fermenting is to take 2 or 3 successive hydrometer readings a day or two apart each. If the readings are the same, fermentation is done and you can package the beer. This is pretty much a deal breaker if you're gonna homebrew.
Jon H.