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    Busy day all-grain...success!

    So I have two small kids and my wife works opposite hours lots of days, so I'm finding it increasingly difficult to do full all-grain brew days. So last month, I fit a "brew day" in on a busy day. I did a "mash in the bag" on my stovetop that produced about 6 gallons of wort. Then I carried...
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    Bright, fresh, hoppy IPA from old beer?

    So I'd like to have a couple of batches of nice IPA this summer, one in June and one in July...but I'm usually way too busy in the summer to do much brewing. So here's what I'm thinking of doing: 1. Brewing and filling (right now when I have the time) 2 kegs (to 4 gallons full each) of a...
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    First "No Sparge"...why haven't I done this before?

    I was feeling extra lazy today, so I did a "no sparge" instead of my typical batch sparge. I've been leary of trying this because my mash tun is only 36 quarts. I had 11 lbs of grain and I filled the cooler to the brim with about 7.5 gallons of water. I collected about 6.25 gallons in one...
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    Primary and age in the same barrel?

    I watched Michael Jackson's Beer Hunter--Burgundies of Belgium--and if I understood him correctly, lambic brewers do primary and aging in the same barrel. Has anyone tried this?
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    Coopers Ale Yeast review

    A while back, I brewed a pretty standard special bitter...I believe the recipe was more or less straight out of Brewing Classic Styles (all grain). All the brewing targets were hit and I pitched a full packet of rehydrated Coopers Ale yeast in the beer. This yeast purchase was completely...
  6. N

    Decoction and hsa?

    So I'm doing a decoction mash right now. For those worried about hot side aeration--how can you not be adding O2 with all of the stirring and transferring that takes place in decoction mashing?
  7. N

    Germal Pils--single decoction?

    I plan on brewing the German Pils from Brewing Classic Styles. It consists of 10.8 lbs of continental pilsner malt mashed at 147 for 90 minutes. I made a blonde ale last year in which I did a double decoction mash, and I must say that it added a certain malt characteristic that I really...
  8. N

    Holy Gelatin!

    Alright so I know that use of gelatin as a clarifying agent has been discussed extensively, but I just wanted to add my first experience with it. I brewed a bitter using Coopers yeast a last month and this beer sat in primary for 3 weeks and a keg for 3 weeks, 1.5 of that at 34 degrees. As of...
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    "Cold Shocking" Lager yeast?

    I'm going to take my first stab at lager beer. I have a crawl space under my stairs that stays a constant 50 degrees all winter and a fridge in my garage that ranges from 33 to 36. My plan is to do the primary fermentation in the crawl space, rack to corny and then lager the beer till...
  10. N

    A couple of newbie kegging questions

    I've been brewing for a few years and now I'm finally on the verge of jumping into kegging....call me a little slow. I think the system I'm going to go with is this: http://www.midwestsupplies.com/brew-logic-dual-tap-draft-system-with-reconditioned-co2-tank.html + adding two additional...
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    Whats that taste?

    There's a certain taste in many of the commercial beers I love--yet I've never been able to duplicate it in homebrew. First it will probably be useful to identify exactly what it is and what makes it. Its sort of a very light applish/white grape sort of sweetness. It’s very prominent in all...
  12. N

    Sour cherry ideas?

    I have a couple of small trees that are going to give me about 4 or 5 pounds of sour pie type cherries. I was thinking of using them in a saison. I would probably pit the cherries and put them in a grain bag and steep them in a half gallon of 170 degree water (for pasteurization) and then add...
  13. N

    Summer brew Fail

    I've been brewing for about a year and half now and have 26 batches under my belt (in more ways than one). Of those 26, I've dumped 4 due to bacterial infection (very sour vinegar taste, ring in bottle). All 4 of those occured last summer--all in a row in fact from mid June till mid August...
  14. N

    Epic fail

    Had a beautiful brew day. Hit an 80% efficiency on my Heff (60% last year). Beautiful starter...it even smells like a heff. Beautiful wort. Dropped my carboy in the garage just after I transferred the wort. I haven't cried since 2005, but I've been on the verge of it for the last 30...
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    Champaign yeast in an ESB?

    After 2 weeks in primary, my S-04 has appeared to have crapped out at 1.018 FG. I mashed at 151 for 90 minutes with an OG of 1.052 with the target FG at 1.012 to 1.010. The fermentation temp was 68. The beer at this point tastes pretty darn sweet and I don't want to bottle it yet. I was...
  16. N

    Maple Heff

    I'm going to try to brew a Heff with a gallon of maple syrup added after primary--as this is what John Palmer recommends so the syrup doesn't ferment all the way down. Has anyone tried this with sucess? Does this dilute my recipe? Do I need to pasteurize the syrup first? Thanks!
  17. N

    Old Old Porter?

    According to John Palmer, porters were originally made using 100% brown malt as the base and had brettanomyces due to the wooden fermentation vessels. This beer was aged 6 months to mellow out the horse blanket and astringency. Has anyone ever had (or brewed) a beer like this?
  18. N

    Experimenting with California Common yeast

    I have a standard Anchor Steam type beer in primary right now, and I'd like to reuse some yeast next weekend on an experimental brew. I'm thinking maybe a blonde ale type beer or a cream ale, but I'm open to suggestions. Any good tips on "non typical" brews to make with california lager yeast?
  19. N

    First competition......golden

    Sorry, I had to brag to somebody. Maybe I should quit competing now...:cross:
  20. N

    California Common BJCP guidelines question

    I'm brewing up a California Common type beer this weekend and plan on entering it in the "amber hybrid" 7B category in an upcoming competition. I'd like to use Perle for bittering and (maybe) Cluster and NB for flavor and aroma. Do the judges score down for using hops that are not 100% NB in...
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