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

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  1. TopherM

    Apple Mead = Cyser?

    Thanks for the input. I'm going to enter it in Cyser and see how it goes, then reevaluate for the next one. I had read the style description, and know that it technically fits in that category, I'm just worried about the judges misinterpreting it because cider/mead cysers dominate the entries...
  2. TopherM

    Pasteurizing instead of K-Sorbate

    I regularly pastuerize still meads, and won 5 best in shows and a national medal for melomels using this method in 2017. I cap prior to the water bath. Start the water bath with however hot my sink water gets, around the high 120s, then ramp up very slowly and hold at 161F for about 5 minutes...
  3. TopherM

    Apple Mead = Cyser?

    I make my own syrups and add them to meads. If I add apple syrup to a mead, is it technically a cyser? Does cyser imply the blending of a cider and a mead, or just any apple flavored mead? Need to know where to enter it in BJCP. I'm leaning towards entering it as a cyser either way, as I think...
  4. TopherM

    New Bill Could Allow States to Add Homebrew Sales on Cottage Licenses

    Don't know if this was on purpose, or just a strange coincidence, but the real H.J.Res.59 defines rules for the "distribution of hazardous chemicals." That would adequately define some people's homebrew :)
  5. TopherM

    I have a two keg system. I want to make it three...what do I need?

    A third keg (sorry, couldn't resist!)
  6. TopherM

    Anybody do workout while brewing?

    I do several extended sets of 12oz curls.
  7. TopherM

    Question on making a Perry melomel

    I'm making my own syrups instead of adding fruit to fermentation. I basically puree the fruit and boil that puree with light corn syrup and reduce it down just a bit. I then cool and put that fruit syrup in mason jars in the fridge for about a week. I add this syrup to my ciders, meads and...
  8. TopherM

    Did I rouse the yeast?

    Pulp Brewing: "Bring out the yeast." "The yeast are sleeping." "Well, I guess you're gonna have to go wake them up now, won't you?." Seriously, though, the answer is probably not. Airlock activity means very little. You can get airlock activity from a completely empty carboy if the atmospheric...
  9. TopherM

    Preliminary research - electric brewing for 2.5 gallon batches?

    I put a 2200 watt element in my old 5 gallon pot, build a stilldragon controller, and wired a GFCI for slightly over $100. I brew 2.5-3.0 gallon batches in that on 110V power and get a strong boil. The stilldragon controller is a potentiometer controller, so it goes from 0-100% power to the...
  10. TopherM

    Unibrau Pro 45L 120V Brew System

    I know this is a little bit old, but just wanted to note that I do 3 gallon 120v eBIAB batches in a 5 gallon pot with a 2200 watt element controlled by a stilldragon controller. It cost me about $100 total to make. Not fancy, but it makes the same quality beer!
  11. TopherM

    Where to get Spruce

    Spruce tree (sorry, had to do it)!
  12. TopherM

    Which BJCP Catagery

    You can put it into experimental if you really want to. HOWEVER, if you want to win medals in BJCP, you really need to formulate your original recipe around the style guidelines, not just brew something and then try to fit it into a category after the fact. You'll score much higher if you have...
  13. TopherM

    Rise of the Gruit

    Just FYI, there are some historical inaccuracies in this article. I don't say this to discount the article, it's still great, but the real history of gruit is very interesting as well. Basically, no one really knows what constituted gruit. The recipe was owned and controlled by a small handful...
  14. TopherM

    Scorpion Pepper Tincture - How Much?

    So I make a medal winning Mango Habanero Berliner Weiss, and people are always telling me to make the Habanero more prominent when I serve it at fests. I made a double batch that's already all fermented out with the mango and habanero tincture in there. I served 1/2 of the batch at a fest...
  15. TopherM

    Indoor BIAB

    If this was a BJCP competition, the 2nd round doesn't have scores. just general feedback and ranking among the other beers in the flight. Also, the 2nd round is typically the most experienced judges, so it's not uncommon for them to give more accurate feedback than the 1st round.
  16. TopherM

    3 word story

    Ever purposefully inhaled
  17. TopherM

    Adding Tang to Beer

    Adding Tang or that candy or anything like that equates to adding sugar and artificial flavors. At the very least, if you don't want to use real fruit, you should find a quality extract. The artificial flavors are going to taste just that - artificial.
  18. TopherM

    How to increase cider ABV post fermentation

    You could pitch some Brett . The Brett would definitely take care of the remaining sugars, but it might take 4-6 more months. Brett ciders are delicious, if you're into that kind of thing.
  19. TopherM

    Add PID to Stilldragon Design

    Thank you for the replies! Sounds like I'll go ahead and build a new controller based on a single version of that Electric Brewery diagram. If I add an on/off switch, where would it go in the circuit. Between the SSR and the power source?
  20. TopherM

    Add PID to Stilldragon Design

    Basically, could someone send me a wiring diagram for a single PID, single SSR, single thermocoupler? Thanks!