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Old 06-28-2009, 06:12 PM   #1
MattHollingsworth
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Default further along getting set up in Croatia

So, everything is coming along nicely so far on getting the brewery together in Croatia.

Found a supply for grain in Slovenija and drove there Friday and picked 50 kg of Maris Otter, Crystal Malt of 50, 150 and 350 (EBC color, roughly twice Lovibond), Munich, Wheat, Black malt and Chocolate malt. That 350 EBC Crystal should be about like Special B, I think. It's around 175 L. Also got 1 kg of Styrian Goldings pellets. Tasty!

Also bought a pretty massive propane burner while we were there. 12.5 KW burner (what, 44k BTUs?). By massive, I mean the size and weight. It's heavy as hell, maybe 30 pounds and has a much wider spread for where the flame comes out than what I had before. Once stuff's setup, I'll post pics.

We loaded the car with that burner and maybe 62 or so KG of grain and got across the border back to Croatia with no hassle, no fees or anything. So that was nice. Didn't even lie or anything.

Found a local cleaner called Oxy something that seems very similar to Oxiclean. Been using it to clean and it does that foaming thing that PBW does.

Received my precise water report from the city.

Found a good, cheap source for distilled water. Bicarbonates are at 386, so I WILL be diluting except for maybe some stouts.

Found a source for free brown Erdinger bottles, half liter in size. Most glass here is green, so this is great.

Bought a small welding kit for O2. The setup I had for the States wouldn't work here. The screw on top is a different size. Set this up tonight and tested it with my old micro porous stone and it works like a charm.

Ordered a stirplate from the States and it arrived in great shape and works great with my 2L Kimax flask.

Ordered a bunch of stuff which hasn't arrived yet, which will complete the brewery for the first stage. Various goodies arriving from the States and Belgium. I'll see if the hops arrive from the States or not. If not, I can always use a lot of Styrian Goldings.

I will likely buy a chest freezer and convert it for a fermentation chamber.

Anyway, proceeding apace. While I *might* brew earlier, the basic plan is to head to the Great British Beer Festival in early August and brew upon my return.

Thanks for the all the advice and ideas from everyone here.

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Old 06-28-2009, 07:33 PM   #2
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So Matt, what size batches?

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Old 06-28-2009, 08:27 PM   #3
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I don't do huge batches. Around 6 gallons. That grain's enough for nine batches: West Coast Pale Ale, Dark Amber American Ale, American IPA, American Barleywine, Best Bitter, ESB, Brit Imperial Stout, Brit Barleywine and a Belgian Golden Strong Ale.

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Old 06-29-2009, 09:43 PM   #4
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Nice progress. Continued luck!

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Old 06-30-2009, 07:10 AM   #5
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Thanks!

One thing I also found interesting:

As soon as we crossed the boarded into Slovenija, we started seeing hops growing by the side of the road. I have NEVER seen them in Croatia. In Croatia, it's grapes. Seems in Slovenija it's hops. Presumably they're Styrian Goldings or Super Styrians. Don't know what the people are using them for when they're growing them by their house in small amounts. There's no homebrew scene there, really.

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Old 06-30-2009, 08:06 AM   #6
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I was deployed to Croatia in Feb-Oct 2000 with SFOR. For a time we were stationed in Okucani at a small outpost. Several times we followed routes through Zagreb out to Rijeka to scout supply routes. Croatia is a beautiful country, I look forward to going back in the future. Interested how it goes bringing American recipes like IPA's and letting your Croatian counterparts give 'em a try. Let us know how that goes.

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Old 06-30-2009, 09:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FailureDrill View Post
I was deployed to Croatia in Feb-Oct 2000 with SFOR. For a time we were stationed in Okucani at a small outpost. Several times we followed routes through Zagreb out to Rijeka to scout supply routes. Croatia is a beautiful country, I look forward to going back in the future. Interested how it goes bringing American recipes like IPA's and letting your Croatian counterparts give 'em a try. Let us know how that goes.
I haven't been to Okučani, but my fiancee is from Kutina, which is near there.

Yeah, the countryside is pretty nice. Pretty sparsely populated in the majority of the country, which makes for some nice nature.

Don't know if IPAs will go over big but we'll see. I aim to make what *I* like, which does include IPA and Barleywine and Imperial Stout. One of my closest friends here has been to the States and had Sierra Nevada, so I told him that I'd be making something similar and he likes SNPA, so we'll see. People here are into lagers and are sometimes fiercely loyal to crappy beer that is not even produced by a Croatian company. They don't KNOW that Heineken owns one brewery and InBev owns the other, but they are loyal to those beers almost like they are to football teams. Only sometimes though.
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Old 06-30-2009, 03:20 PM   #8
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Did you pull over and grab a bagful of those hops?

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Old 06-30-2009, 03:27 PM   #9
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Did you pull over and grab a bagful of those hops?
Didn't look ready and I'm no thief!

;-)

I'll be going up there regularly though, every couple of months or something. So, I'll likely see if I can round up some one of these days.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:39 AM   #10
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Amarillo, Columbus and Palisade hop pellets just arrived from the States too! Woo hoo! They made it through customs fine, packages unopened. But I'm guessing "Amarillo hop pellets" written on the customs form meant absolutely nothing to local officials.

Awaiting some whole hops from Freshops. Hopefully those make it through too!

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