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Old 06-27-2012, 11:49 AM   #4376
Wraths Unanimous
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http://www.homebrewfinds.com/

This site is a great resource for buying equipment, you can also set up some craigslist alerts which is great.

I would honestly just start out all grain, its not *that* much more expensive and you will probably go the route anyhow.

Pliny is right on with his advice. Brewing is fantastically complex with all of it's tiny details, but it's also super easy to brew your first batch and have it come out wonderful. It's pretty time intensive but it's by far my most fun and rewarding hobby.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:58 AM   #4377
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

^^^Good advice, especially regarding the pot and brew in a bag.
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:15 PM   #4378
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Hmmm... I guess I lack confidence. Still enjoying the simplicity of extract + specialty grains after about 5 batches. To each his own I suppose.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:02 PM   #4379
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Originally Posted by fold4once View Post
Hmmm... I guess I lack confidence. Still enjoying the simplicity of extract + specialty grains after about 5 batches. To each his own I suppose.
I guess I differ from the others, because I'd advise a first-timer to just use a pot they'd be ok cooking a giant-ass batch of chili in and go partial boil extract. Just cook up a batch of beer first and see if you're even interested in turning what is essentially boiling soup into ~50 bottles of beer over a couple weeks' time. With the quality of extract, yeast, and maybe most importantly, internet tips, a partial boil extract batch can come out pretty good these days. So dip your toes in before buying a $150 pot that you can't use for anything other than a shrimp boil should you not like brewing. The low barrier to entry is one of the great things about this hobby, let's not just discard it.

That being said, for those that do like it and are brewing extract, going all grain is one of those things where you'll look back and say, "What was I so intimidated about?" For me, I remember my first batch and how paranoid I was about following the kit instructions to a T. By my last extract batch, I couldn't believe I was so worried about messing up an extract batch, but was really worried about messing up my first planned all grain batch. By my third all grain, I couldn't believe I was worried at all.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:03 PM   #4380
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Also, Stone Ruination 10th finally showed up here, review to come as soon as I can sit down and enjoy it.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:20 AM   #4381
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Thanks guys, I will be around. Hopefully I will get my feet wet soon, but I have a tendency to procrastinate. And the pokerz........
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:23 AM   #4382
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Great tips, and love RDH's low cost option.

I was lucky and had two friends messing around with extract before I started, so by the time one quit I was already interested and we just jumped right into all grain. They hadn't had much success with the extract, but it was the other partner doing things his way instead of by the book that screwed it up.

In any case, our first all grain beer still remains one of our best to this day.

I also wouldn't advise just going big automatically either, even if you know you love it. Preferences are important. Originally we went big, from 5 gallons to 10 gallons and then planning to go even bigger. But these days, I do a lot of 1-3 gallon batches alone on my stove (all grain too), and I wouldn't have it any other way. The beer drinks fast and variety is never an issue.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:50 AM   #4383
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Quote:
Originally Posted by RunDownHouse View Post
I guess I differ from the others, because I'd advise a first-timer to just use a pot they'd be ok cooking a giant-ass batch of chili in and go partial boil extract. Just cook up a batch of beer first and see if you're even interested in turning what is essentially boiling soup into ~50 bottles of beer over a couple weeks' time. With the quality of extract, yeast, and maybe most importantly, internet tips, a partial boil extract batch can come out pretty good these days. So dip your toes in before buying a $150 pot that you can't use for anything other than a shrimp boil should you not like brewing. The low barrier to entry is one of the great things about this hobby, let's not just discard it.

That being said, for those that do like it and are brewing extract, going all grain is one of those things where you'll look back and say, "What was I so intimidated about?" For me, I remember my first batch and how paranoid I was about following the kit instructions to a T. By my last extract batch, I couldn't believe I was so worried about messing up an extract batch, but was really worried about messing up my first planned all grain batch. By my third all grain, I couldn't believe I was worried at all.
I do agree with you that keeping it cheap to start is the right way to go but you can find a 7.5 gallon or 10 gallon pot for far less than $150. I know some people are against it but there is no problems using aluminum which will cut your costs drastically.
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:14 PM   #4384
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Yes I started with a 7 gallon aluminum pot that came with a nice burner for $30 on clearance. Though moving to a 10 gallon ss pot was some of the best money I've ever spent on brewing.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:40 PM   #4385
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Originally Posted by Jbrochu View Post
Yes I started with a 7 gallon aluminum pot that came with a nice burner for $30 on clearance.
Killer deal, obviously the way to go if you can find it. In general, I think the first thing you should spend money on is getting to a full boil, so getting there for under $50 is awesome.
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:38 AM   #4386
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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First off read How to Brew by John Palmer. An old edition is available free here. Also, start lurking at homebrewtalk.com, it's a fantastic website.
These, as well as posting in this thread is what got me off the ground. I'm only 4 batches in, but I love it. When I actually find a job and get some life situations figured out, I might actually be able to make the switch to all-grain. Fingers crossed. It's been really fun so far, and the best part is sharing your beer with your friends who might not believe that you actually made it by yourself.
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Old 06-30-2012, 01:49 PM   #4387
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When do you guys start your sparge. Ive been doing it as soon as i start draining my tun but i had pretty low gravity. I decided to sparge again and got a much higher gravity. Like 1.010 final running on first sparge, 1.040 on second sparge. Wtf?
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:05 PM   #4388
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Not completely sure I follow you Wraths. I drain my tun after mash, add spare water at 168F, mix, let sit for 10ish minutes and then drain. Is that what you're talking about?

Also, my Smash APA is cooling right now. I did ~3 gallons BIAB on my stove and it was insanely easy. So much less to clean up. I am moving to an apt next year so I was worried about how I could brew with my stuff outside but I'm not worried anymore. I'm just going to keep my batch size low and do it on th stove, so simple.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:30 PM   #4389
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What i mean is i have 3 water additions. Mash in at 15x for an hour, mash out at 168 for 15min, then my sparge water at 168. My question pertains to when i start adding the spare water, is it right after i start collecting wort or is it after ive already collected a few gallons?

Was supposed to hit a 1.050 og on the smash, ended up with 1.035. It is all wheat malt so i assume that had something to do with it?
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:52 PM   #4390
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Are you doing a batch sparge or a fly sparge?

For a batch sparge, after you hit your mashout temp and do your vorlauf, drain your tun. Then add the sparge water, stir, vorlauf, and drain again. (The mashout is optional.)

From what I've read, for a fly sparge you would step up to your mashout temp, then vorlauf till you run clear. After the vorlauf, start collecting your wort. When you have about an inch of wort above your grain bed, start doing the sparge. Try to maintain an inch of wort above the grain bed during the entire sparge. Collect wort until your wort gets bellow a certain pH. (I forget the pH.)

Regarding wheat malt, did you set your grain mill for a finer crush? I think wheat kernels are smaller than barley. A poor crush could easily screw up your efficiency.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:58 PM   #4391
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Homebrew shop milled the grains, afaik there was no adjustment. I am fly sparging and i guess ive just been adding water too soon and leaving sugars in the tun. Its weird because i usually hit my numbers...oh well the more you know
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Old 06-30-2012, 04:09 PM   #4392
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I don'y fly sparge, but from what I understand the most likely causes of poor efficiency are poor crush, channeling in the grain bed, or issues with pH of the sparge water.

If you normally hit your number and you used the same process this time, most likely you got a poor crush from your LHBS.
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Old 06-30-2012, 04:35 PM   #4393
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

When fly sparging it doesn't really matter, so long as you don't run dry. I guess if you add a ton of water the whole time, and keep a bunch above the bed, you could effectively turn a fly sparge into a batch without ever resuspending things, but I dunno, that'd be weird. My guess is it was something other than your sparge, especially if you have things pretty nailed down but they went haywire this one time.

And yeah, if it was 100% wheat and you had no problems sparging, probably something was up.
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:59 PM   #4394
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Yeah, just hit 78% eff on my english porter verses 48% on the SMaSH.
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:02 AM   #4395
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

A couple pictures from yesterday:

LHBS didn't have any brown malt so I made my own. Pale 2 row unmilled roasted at 225F for 30min, then 300F for 30min, and finally 350F for 30min turning them every 5 minutes. Then I used the rolling pin for a rough milling.

Before:


After:


Also picked and used my Centennial hops. Got .63oz while wet so the equivalent of like .13oz of dry Centennial. They went in at 2min and I'm not really expecting to get too much flavor or aroma at all from them. They did smell extremely good and were quite sticky.

Centennial Hops:
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:38 AM   #4396
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Those hops were harvested from this years plant? Isn't it kind of early for a harvest? My 3 yr old isn't ready but it's looking like I could get a LB+.

The home roasting looked awesome, let us know how it comes out.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:41 AM   #4397
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

though it's now been a week since getting back from portland, I finally have all of my notes put into BA and Ratebeer.

I didn't mention it ahead of time, but this was very much a beer focused trip for me. I knew there was going to be lots of drinking, so it was more a matter of hitting up a good amount of places. I'd been to pdx before, so I knew the lay of the land and places to hit up.

Right at the top of my list was Cascade Brewing Co. For those not familiar with them, they specialize in making sours. I won't run down all of the beers I tried there, but here are a few highlights:

Cascade Sang Noir:

this was the 2011 version. Poured from tap into a tulip. Pours a dark red color with a small head.

Very tart aromas strike right off the bat backed up by notes of sour cherries, funk, dark red fruits and a touch of leather. Very aromatic and sour at the same time.

Wonderful medium bodied feel that is extremely tart and sour. This is mouth puckering with flavors of sour cherries, leather and loads of dark red fruits.

This is one of the best flemish styled reds that I've had. A wonderful beer that encapsulates what a sour is all about.

4.45/5

Cascade Nightfall

poured from tap. Pours a clear red color with a nice foamy head.

Very floral aromatics with some roses, violets, cherries, currants and a touch of fresh picked berries.

This has an excellent medium feel along with nice tart flavors of cherries, violets, roses and some currants.

A very tasty sour. Nice and tart without being overtly sour and more of the berry kick.

4.08/5

Barrel Aged Bruin

Poured from tap into a snifter at the tap room in Portland. Pours a dark amber color with a small head.

Very much in a Flemish red style with aromas of tart raspberries, sour cherries, leather, and some red fruits.

Smooth and silky medium body with a nice acidic tart streak to it. Well balanced flavors of leather, sour cherries, some sherry flavors and a touch of candy.

The candy and sherry flavors threw me off a slight bit. The sourness wasn't too much compared to the sang noir. A real quality oud bruin. Not all too surprising that cascade would do a great job

4.15/5

I ended up here 3x during my trip. No shocker that I went nuts on the sours as I didn't really try much else other than one of their saisons. I went here last year and sure as hell made it a point to come here a few times to really dig into their brews and really pay attention to the beers I was having.

there were obviously many bars that I hit up, but I also had to hit up both Hopworks Urban and Hair of the Dog.

HotD was easily one of my favorite stops and the only thing that sucked was that I was kinda beer'd out at that point. I wanted to stay longer, but I just couldn't really drink much more at that point in time and had a dinner reso later that evening. Still, I went through their walk the dog samplers and was really really impressed by:

Hair of the Dog Adam

Had from tap at HotD. Poured into a pint glass and pours a dark brown color with a small head.

Rich, but balanced, aromas of espresso beans, chocolate, caramel and some warm toffee aromas. Very pungent and very good complexity.

Full bodied and extremely smooth. There isn't even a hint of the alcohol on this. Great depth and polish with wonderful notes of toffee, warm caramel, dark chocolate and some bits of smoke notes as well.

This was killer stuff. One of the best brews on my trip to portland and I was damn glad I finally had a chance to try it.

4.4/5

the Adam is an old ale and they had vintage bottles of that the:

Fred

poured from tap into pint glass. Pours a dark orange color with a nice head.

Well balanced with nice malty aromas of navel oranges, hops, citrus notes and some spice tones. Good depth to it as well.

Full bodied with a real nice and smooth feel. Good depth of flavor with notes of navel oranges, hops and a good dose of spices as well.

This was really enjoyable. Full bodied and well balanced with no hint of the alcohol at all.

4.03/5

the vintage bottles could only be consumed at HotD. So as much as I wanted to buy one, it would've only been me drinking on it and it pretty much would've been a bit of a waste as there would be no way I could finish a full 750 vintage bottle.

I was also impressed by their little dog Adam

had at the tap room. Poured from tap into a pint glass. Pours a great amber color with a real good head.

Well balanced and classic bitter notes of toffee, caramel, malts and some biscuits. Very nice depth considering the abv.

Very good feel, but lacking some depth on the flavors of malts, toffee, and caramel.

It's shocking how much flavor is brought at 3.2%. Seriously, it's a massive achievement and this is just a real good beer on the whole. This is a picture perfect session brew.


3.8/5

that was listed at 3.2 abv. Absolutely can't go wrong with that and it is the run-off from the Adam itself (I think that's what they said).

My visit to HUB was on the shorter side as it was more me having time to kill and wanting to visit HUB. I ended up there with Sethypooh. I wasn't there too long as he had to leave after two beers. I moved on after having:

HUB Lager

had this on tap at Hopworks. Pours a real nice clear straw color with a small head.

Balanced with real nice aromas of grains, crackers and some hop aromas as well.

Very smooth and complete feel with good flavors of grains, biscuits and a touch of hops.

This was a real quality pilsner. It was very smooth and had a real nice subtle take to it.

3.78/5

though it says lager, it's really a czech pilsner. I don't really care about the micro-minutia, I enjoyed it.

I also had:

Velvet ESB

poured from tap into a pint glass. Pours a nice amber color with a small head.

Very good good aromas of toffee, caramel and some malts. Nice depth and has all the classic esb aromas that I want.

Very good balance with a nice and smooth medium feel. Lacking some depth but with good flavors of malts, toffee and some bitter notes.

An enjoyable ESB. Has the right amount of bitterness and malt flavors that I want. Very drinkable and good ESB.

3.63/5

though I was more impressed by Lucky Labrador's ESB that I had after a walk from HUB:
Hellraiser ESB

foamy head to it.

Very good aromas of bitter hops, toffee, and caramel. It's lacking some depth though.

Extremely good medium/full body with a really nice smooth feel. Balanced with good notes of toffee and caramel with some malty tones and a very nice bitter finish.

This was a very enjoyable ESB. Well balanced with just the right amount of bitterness in the taste.

3.93/5


I actually would've stayed at Lucky Labrador longer than 1 beer, but dinner was calling and I needed to walk there as well.

A ton of stuff was drunk when I was there. I ended up being able to take down about 30 notes on my phone and that wasn't really all that close to what I drank in my time in Portland. I will end things with this from
Heater-Allen

Pils

poured from bomber into glass. Pours a great clear straw color with a small head.

Crisp and pristine with really good aromas of crackers, noble hops, and grains. Very good depth and very aromatic.

Really good light body with a delicious crisp feel and flavors of crackers, biscuits and noble hops.

This was a spot on pilsner. Wonderful lighter body and real crisp. It was a real good night capper.

4.03/5

If you haven't had any heater-allen brews and are a fan of german styles, these are musts. Sadly Rick Allen doesn't ship anywhere, so anyone that lives on PDX please hook me up and I'll be more than glad to ship through some 3 floyds, Bell's, or Half-Acre
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:22 AM   #4398
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Quote:
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Those hops were harvested from this years plant? Isn't it kind of early for a harvest? My 3 yr old isn't ready but it's looking like I could get a LB+.

The home roasting looked awesome, let us know how it comes out.
Yea this years plant. I do think it's a bit early in general but I think these were ready. Most had a papery, springy body, and some were yellowing/browning. I do have a ton of burs still on the same plant, and a lot of burs on my Cascade/Chinook, so I'm expecting another harvest at the more traditional time. Might get enough between the three plants to do a whole 5gal with no commercial hops.

Good write up about your trip kdog. I'm insanely jealous you got to try all those HotD brews!
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:35 PM   #4399
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

For those that have been interested in homebrewing recently here is a solid deal for a mash tun.

http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...uctId=13098797
Use a mail in rebate to get it for $10: http://ace.imageg.net/graphics/coupon/July2012final.pdf
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:44 PM   #4400
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Also, if someone who wants to get into it wants a burner I'll give you one free (you pay shipping). No idea if it's even worth shipping to you but if you are interested I'll figure out the cost to ship and let you know.
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