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Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

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  1. J

    I went bananas on my first batch - literally...

    Unfortunately, I didn't judge the temps of my closet very well and the first few days of my fermentation were too high. After a few weeks in bottles, I tasted what should have been an Irish Stout and ended up being what I have decided to call, "Top O' the Banana Irish Stout". It sucks. It's...
  2. J

    Breweries in Chicago

    I'm heading up to Chicago this weekend to chat with some professors about grad school. I figure there have got to be plenty of great microbreweries, so I wanted to get any suggestions I could from you guys and gals on beer I should have while there.
  3. J

    How legal is underage homebrew?

    Louisiana was the last state to go from 18 to 21, so now all 50 require one to be 21 in order to purchase and/or drink beer. You certainly can't stop someone who's underage from buying homebrew supplies - grains, yeast, hops, etc, are all completely innocuous on their own.
  4. J

    2 Year Old Grains - still good?

    I'm doubting these grains are even usable, but...I'm starting to help our local LHBS owner get a brewing community up and running and while I was in the store, he said, "Yeah, those bags of grain have been there for like 2 years. Can you use them?" I said that I didn't think they'd be any good...
  5. J

    Teaching a Class on Brewing

    I think you've got the right idea, Texlaw. I was showing my girlfriend how to brew a couple of weekends ago and as I went through, step-by-step, I explained stuff. Then, during "dead" times (the hour long boil, chilling the wort, etc) I took the time to elaborate. I think I'm going to do...
  6. J

    Teaching a Class on Brewing

    Thanks - I do appreciate all the advice. I've already got an outline of the lesson, but you guys have confirmed what I thought was important. I really hope this helps to build a brewing community - I found out the local homebrew club has a whopping 10 members, 5 of which may show up to the...
  7. J

    Teaching a Class on Brewing

    So - our local LHBS sucks. It's primarily a bartending school/bar supplies shop and the guy is just nice enough to stock brewing supplies, though readily admits that he knows next to nothing about beer making. This has been to the chagrin of his sales, obviously. People want answers when...
  8. J

    Keeping Primary Cool during Fermentation

    The Beer Gods are undoubtedly looking down on me and saying, "Oh Ye of little faith..." I took a sample, absolutely beyond sure that I had ruined this beer. "Top O' the Banana Irish Stout" was going to be its name and I was going to drink every last bit of estery beer as propitiation for my...
  9. J

    Removing unwanted esters?

    The reason I asked is because there was an extremely banana-y smell coming from the airlock and I had had a day or two of hot fermentation. I was sure that this batch was going to be Esteriffic. I had already named it, "Top O' the Banana Irish Stout" (okay, not really). At any rate, I took a...
  10. J

    Removing unwanted esters?

    Sure, controlling them is ideal. My question is - what happens when your fermentation temperatures spike and your closet smells like bananas? What then?
  11. J

    Removing unwanted esters?

    So I've noticed a ton of threads about esters, what causes them, what they smell like, and even the chemistry behind them. What I haven't noticed are any ways of getting rid of them other than just waiting. I've seen people say they've had success with getting rid of them after a long time in...
  12. J

    Keeping Primary Cool during Fermentation

    So I've been swapping out bottles of frozen water in the tub and I've got the water around 55-65 degrees, depending upon the time of the day. Airlock activity has stopped, but I know that's not really an indication of anything. When I smell above the airlock, it smells like beer...it smells like...
  13. J

    Fermentation temperature ~77F, problem?

    You may want to search around - there's a few threads on this (though you do have to know what you're looking for). Too warm fermentation temperatures run the risk of producing Esters which produce fruity flavors (usually banana). Your beer won't explode at 77 degrees (unless you put...
  14. J

    Keeping Primary Cool during Fermentation

    Alright, so my fermentor is sitting in a plastic tub with some water, a milk jug that has frozen water in it, and towels draped on it. I haven't been home to check the temperature, but I will after I get out of class tonight. My plan is to continue with this, swapping out frozen things (bags...
  15. J

    Keeping Primary Cool during Fermentation

    So, I live in Eastern NC and a week out from Fall the heat decides to spike and we've got temps around upper 90's. Thus, on my first brew (which, by the way was a lot of fun and I can't wait to do the next), I've got high temps (71-77). I'm doing an Irish Stout from Midwest (extract). I've got...
  16. J

    Oh, the things you find on Craigslist

    I found this guy's ad on Craigslist and something just didn't seem right... What kind of extract is that guy using?!?! And how big is his brewpot?! In other news: my brew kit from Midwest came in yesterday, so beer making will begin this weekend. Wish me luck!
  17. J

    Looking to buy this kit - what do you think?

    I've actually got all those things (or something that will function in its place). Thanks so much for the advice, though.
  18. J

    Looking to buy this kit - what do you think?

    Actually, I was fortunate enough to have a 6 gal carboy sitting out in the garage. We've had it for years (I can remember it being around when I was like 5) and I've never really known what it was until I started reading about brewing. I drove home last weekend and got it out of the garage, so...
  19. J

    Looking to buy this kit - what do you think?

    I checked out American Brewmaster but their prices were sky high comparatively. I could've spent the same amount of money there and come out without the pot, an extra bucket, and a slew of other goodies. I placed my order with Midwest tonight, so I should be brewing by this Sunday! I brewed...
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