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bernardsmith

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The Thoroughbrews are a great group. Don't really have time to attend their meetings at the moment but a really good group of people. I focus on mead and because I also enjoy making small batches of cheese I am currently trying to see if I can blend my cheese making with my mead making and use the whey that is left over from the cheese to use in my meads and braggots (mead- beer hybrids).
 

Andrew Hodgson

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The Thoroughbrews are a great group. Don't really have time to attend their meetings at the moment but a really good group of people. I focus on mead and because I also enjoy making small batches of cheese I am currently trying to see if I can blend my cheese making with my mead making and use the whey that is left over from the cheese to use in my meads and braggots (mead- beer hybrids).
The meeting really impressed me. You read all these theories on here and folks talk about their brewing philosophies etc. but going to a place where there are ordinary people doing pretty incredible things was a whole different experience, getting to taste homemade beverages really made me want to improve quality every single step.

I try to absorb all of your mead knowledge on here (there is a lot to take in!), the idea of blending the cheese-making and mead-making is intriguing to me I hope it goes well for you. I love hobbies that can be intertwined and create synergies (and put waste-products to use!). Looking forward to seeing how your whey experiments go (was going to insert whey pun but I saw the thread where you posted about using the whey and those folks over there have done enough).
Cheers.:mug:
 

bernardsmith

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What you say is really the key to improving: engaging with others with real experience and who can offer you really good feedback when you share what you make. I wish there was a group that was focused on mead making. Although one or two of the members make really good meads, their real focus is on brewing beer
 

Andrew Hodgson

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I am very interested in mead, I'll admit I haven't tasted many. I did get a couple melomel(ish) bottles from Saratoga Winery, but these are 88% wine dregs or something with 12% honey added. They are OK just not "real" mead I suppose. If honey weren't so expensive I would probably have 5 1 gallon jugs of mead ripping right now. But start slow young grasshopper, once I get the JAOM under my belt I will look to try a more traditional mead. Picked up the Make Mead like a Viking book from SSPL and man I really enjoy it.
 

bernardsmith

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Many flaws in Make Mead Like a Viking. You would be better with Schramm's book The Compleat Mead Maker or Steve Piatz's The Complete Guide to Mead Making. And while brewers tend to view 5 gallon batches as standard (Just as easy to brew 5 gallons as 1 is their mantra - and that makes sense when it takes the same time (all day) to brew one gallon as it does five) but when it comes to making mead five gallons of crap is far harder to swallow than one gallon of good mead and you can make one different gallon each evening after you get home from work and the kids are asleep and still have time to binge watch three episodes of a TV show on Netflix. And so you develop your skills in mead making by magnitudes before you have made your fourth 5 gallon batch of ale. So, in my opinion, unless you want to spend months drinking the same mead glass after glass after glass it makes far more sense to think about mead in terms of one gallon batches - and so you can buy small volumes of different varietal honeys (or larger volumes) and can focus on low session meads - high ABV meads; on traditionals, cysers, pyments, metheglyns, melomels, bochets, braggots, indigenous/historical meads, and - in my opinion - the best approach is to focus on traditionals (honey, water, yeast and nutrients) - naked meads with no fruit or spices or nuts etc to hide any flaws behind. Once you have mastered traditionals - the world is yours.
 

Andrew Hodgson

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I think that will be my next attempt at mead in the near future, 1 gallon of traditional as you said to hone the actual process before adding in tons of variables and blowing a bunch of expensive honey on something I lose control of.
 

Andrew Hodgson

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Welcome to the area! I'm excited that the weather has finally turned nice so I can get back to brewing outside!
Thanks! Lived here almost all my life but I accept your welcome into the fraternity of brewers. I am still tied to the stovetop for now but I would love to be outside with a cold brew brewing up more in this recent weather we are enjoying.
 

Andrew Hodgson

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Andrew Hodgson

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I am going to submit a sour just for giggles, first submission ever. Saw that last year only 9 in the category but the BOS winner was a berliner weisse so we shall see. I wish I had other stuff to enter that was worth the 8$ and 2 bottles.
 

BrewMan13

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Yeah, I've been looking at the past results too. Outside of IPA, none of the categories had a huge number of entries, IIRC. Anyway, I'm submitting an oatmeal stout and brown ale. The oatmeal stout came out great. I just kegged the brown ale yesterday, so too early to tell, but it's getting submitted regardless. There's a guy in ABC submitting 6 brews, all in different categories.
 

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Nice those sound tasty, i should have preapred more so I had a shot at more categories. It looked like a pretty strong boston/vermont contingent last year as well we will see what the massholes and mountain folk bring over. It will definitely be a fun time. I have a feeling I will be falling into an Uber to get home.
 

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Yeah, I've been looking at the past results too. Outside of IPA, none of the categories had a huge number of entries, IIRC. Anyway, I'm submitting an oatmeal stout and brown ale. The oatmeal stout came out great. I just kegged the brown ale yesterday, so too early to tell, but it's getting submitted regardless. There's a guy in ABC submitting 6 brews, all in different categories.

I am pulling my porter - so down to five. Did not want to carb. Never had that happen. I was worried as I accidentally added more priming sugar due to the tare being incorrectly set on my scale.
 

BrewMan13

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Just an FYI for anyone interested the deadline for knickerbocker entries is Saturday.
Some places you can drop off up to the 19th.
I am pulling my porter - so down to five. Did not want to carb. Never had that happen. I was worried as I accidentally added more priming sugar due to the tare being incorrectly set on my scale.
I've had that issue in the past when I bottled everything. Had a barleywine that took forever. I had other issues with bottling, so I just keg almost everything now. Thicker beers still take longer to force carb though.
 

Andrew Hodgson

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Congrats on the win and getting picked to have your beer brewed at Frog Alley! Look forward to trying it.
Thank you thank you I was blown away by the response to the beer wish I had brought a couple bottles for people to try but I didn’t expect such good feedback so it didn’t even cross my mind.

Jesus am I hungover. Did not stop drinking fine libations until I dropped in the wee hours this morning.
 

BrewMan13

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Thank you thank you I was blown away by the response to the beer wish I had brought a couple bottles for people to try but I didn’t expect such good feedback so it didn’t even cross my mind.

Jesus am I hungover. Did not stop drinking fine libations until I dropped in the wee hours this morning.
Hey Andrew, I was just looking back in this thread, and noticed you're into mead as well. There's a meadery near where I live in Delmar called The Royal Meadery. I go there all the time and talk shop with Greg, one of the owners, super nice guy & place; very knowledgeable about beer and cider as well (he actually judged mead and cider I think for KBOTB). A bit of a trek from Saratoga, but you should check it out sometime if you haven't.
 

Andrew Hodgson

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Hey Andrew, I was just looking back in this thread, and noticed you're into mead as well. There's a meadery near where I live in Delmar called The Royal Meadery. I go there all the time and talk shop with Greg, one of the owners, super nice guy & place; very knowledgeable about beer and cider as well (he actually judged mead and cider I think for KBOTB). A bit of a trek from Saratoga, but you should check it out sometime if you haven't.
That is pretty cool, I haven't found a commercial mead I like yet so I have to make the trek down and grab some. I tried some a winery makes up here and it really wasn't great, but it was also 88% wine must and 12% honey so more of a fortified grape wine than proper mead I guess. I'll put that on the list along with Groennfell in VT. My mead-making is pretty amateurish so far, one JAOM under my belt and a sour cherry short mead fermenting now but am going to keep experimenting and see if I can make something halfway decent. At least I have yeast nutrients and degas now, baby steps.

I hope they change the blue law so those guys can expand, I never understood the no selling wine in the grocery store thing, NY has 4AM bar closing time but you can't get wine at a grocery store, seems weird to me.
 

BrewMan13

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That is pretty cool, I haven't found a commercial mead I like yet so I have to make the trek down and grab some. I tried some a winery makes up here and it really wasn't great, but it was also 88% wine must and 12% honey so more of a fortified grape wine than proper mead I guess. I'll put that on the list along with Groennfell in VT. My mead-making is pretty amateurish so far, one JAOM under my belt and a sour cherry short mead fermenting now but am going to keep experimenting and see if I can make something halfway decent. At least I have yeast nutrients and degas now, baby steps.

I hope they change the blue law so those guys can expand, I never understood the no selling wine in the grocery store thing, NY has 4AM bar closing time but you can't get wine at a grocery store, seems weird to me.
Royal has a few full strength meads, and a constantly evolving lineup of "session" (~7%) meads. I've had a few of the Groennfell session meads and in a word, they're bland, and 2/5 cans were gushers. Royal is much better, and not just saying that because they're local. Never had anything full strength from Groennfell, though.
And there is a mead bill that Greg helped push through, not sure when it gets enacted though.
 
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Andrew Hodgson

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Royal has a few full strength meads, and a constantly evolving lineup of "session" (still 7%) meads. I've had a few of the Groennfell session meads and in a word, they're bland, and 2/5 cans were gushers. Royal is much better, and not just saying that because they're local. Never had anything full strength from Groennfell, though.
And there is a mead bill that Greg helped push through, not sure when it gets enacted though.
That sounds good, I like the strong stuff and the more sessionable strength I will have to take a trip on down to pick up a few bottles.
 

BrewMan13

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That sounds good, I like the strong stuff and the more sessionable strength I will have to take a trip on down to pick up a few bottles.
They currently have a sour cherry, apple cyser, cranberry orange, and "queens" for full strength options. Queens is the boldest flavored of those offerings as it has some buckwheat honey in the mix - my favorite of the bunch.
Also a brewery literally right next door.
 

Andrew Hodgson

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Figured I would throw this out here for the Albany area folks.

for 2019 I am going to start buying base malt by the bag, was poking around on prices in the area and found that the Homebrew Emporium is selling NY 2-row: https://beerbrew.com/.

At 90$ for a 55lb bag I am torn between the cost and supporting in-state maltsters. Anybody use empire 2-row before? I don't have a ton of experience with base malts so far(only used Great Western Malt Company 2-row and Munton's Pure Marris Otter so far). Any thoughts on how it performs vs price etc? Any insight is appreciated.
 

BrewMan13

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I've used a bag of that before, since I too really wanted to support in-state companies and farms. However, since 2-row is such a neutral "utility" malt, I can't say I noticed a heck of a lot of difference and so I went back to the regular breiss stuff.
As a side note, I'm not sure if it's available to homebrewers, but there's another local malt company some places in the area have been using called "convergence craft". Reports are that it's "huskier" than what they're used to. So you either take the efficiency hit, or do something like double grind.
 

ProblemChild

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a lot of the NY malt does need a finer crush. efficiency is good but will not be if you use a normal crush. For most malt, a .045 gap in my three-roller mill does just fine. NY malt probably should be crushed closer to .035 and you have to check to see if a second pass is needed. Good tasty malt and efficiency is only slightly less than other malts, you just need to pay close attention to the crush.
 

63belair

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FYI - Homebrew emporium does a bulk buy either once or twice a year.

I'd love to support local maltsters, but $90/sack of 2-row is too rich for my blood for base malt.
 

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Putting in a couple. Porter, American Strong, Pale Ale, Saison.

I am bringing my porter to Saratoga and Albany brew clubs due to results drinking more like a Baltic Porter and I need input.

I tried to cold brew my dark malts. The results were smooth and very tasty, but the roast and chocolate are so restrained it might miss style.
 

Andrew Hodgson

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Putting in a couple. Porter, American Strong, Pale Ale, Saison.

I am bringing my porter to Saratoga and Albany brew clubs due to results drinking more like a Baltic Porter and I need input.

I tried to cold brew my dark malts. The results were smooth and very tasty, but the roast and chocolate are so restrained it might miss style.
Very nice, well if you are coming up to Saratoga tomorrow for the meeting I will see you then! Although I won't be much help telling the difference between a Porter and a Baltic Porter. I am also wary of style for my entry so I'll probably just punt and throw it in mixed ferm. I don't know why but I am hesitant to have it judged as a historically accurate Gose. I'll also look for feedback tomorrow and see.
 

ProblemChild

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Very nice, well if you are coming up to Saratoga tomorrow for the meeting I will see you then! Although I won't be much help telling the difference between a Porter and a Baltic Porter. I am also wary of style for my entry so I'll probably just punt and throw it in mixed ferm. I don't know why but I am hesitant to have it judged as a historically accurate Gose. I'll also look for feedback tomorrow and see.
Need to get into sours this summer. Any kind really. Just love them
 

BrewMan13

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I've dabbled in sours a little...still got some bottles of my first sour (blueberry lambic-style), which came out pretty good all things considered. My first completely wild fermentation will be on fairly soon as it's approaching a year. I'll bring it to the March ABC if it's any good (got a personal story behind it to share, so fingers crossed that the beer lives up to my hopes for it). Also have a "flanders red" style going with the same wild yeast, but that one's a ways off...
 

ProblemChild

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I've dabbled in sours a little...still got some bottles of my first sour (blueberry lambic-style), which came out pretty good all things considered. My first completely wild fermentation will be on fairly soon as it's approaching a year. I'll bring it to the March ABC if it's any good (got a personal story behind it to share, so fingers crossed that the beer lives up to my hopes for it). Also have a "flanders red" style going with the same wild yeast, but that one's a ways off...
I do want to hear about it for sure - especially the Flanders red.
 

BrewMan13

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I do want to hear about it for sure - especially the Flanders red.
Obviously I can tell/show you in person, but I'll likely make a post of my wild yeast adventures on here.
Since the Flanders red is also using the captured wild yeast, it's not "authentic" Belgian-style, but I tried to approximate the recipe of said style. Just did that in November, so a ways to go, but I'll take a peak to see how it's progressing when I rack the first one.
 

ProblemChild

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Putting in a couple. Porter, American Strong, Pale Ale, Saison.

I am bringing my porter to Saratoga and Albany brew clubs due to results drinking more like a Baltic Porter and I need input.

I tried to cold brew my dark malts. The results were smooth and very tasty, but the roast and chocolate are so restrained it might miss style.

Got some great feedback in Saratoga tonight. Astringency is creeping in and I need to get a few things corrected on recipe balance. Got things I can work on now.
 
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