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Old 05-29-2008, 11:34 PM   #1051
kidcolin
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

did I write a review of that recently? I think I got one written down somewhere but forgot to post it. I mostly agree with you. A little sweeter than my liking, and a little too "thin" on the palate. I expect a little more body in an imperial stout.

Picked up a Ruination today to enjoy with Lost, and a Black Belgian Stout from Allagash that I'll sample this weekend with some nice lamb I bought at the butcher. Maybe I'll save it for dessert. We'll see.
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Old 05-29-2008, 11:37 PM   #1052
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I don't recall another review of this. If you think this is too sweet, then don't bother with the Brooklyn. I don't mind sweeter beer, though.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:11 AM   #1053
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

RDH, Great Post!!!! I really enjoyed seeing all these steps and your explaination of the process was fantastic.

I keep thinking I want to try and do some home brewing but just get so intimidated by the process that I put it off. I can't say that I would be convinced by this but that is mostly because of all the extra stuff it seems you had to do with the grain.

How tough is it to get started home brewing on a simple level???
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:59 AM   #1054
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Might as well repost this old TR since it's lost in the archives and the pics are down. Fish, brewing is really easy. It's more or less boiling water. All-grain is a little more complicated: you have to build a mash tun, you have to worry about proper temperatures, proper volumes, etc. Those things are all easy to understand and figure out, but they can definitely be intimidating for someone who hasn't ever brewed, and I was even a bit confused before I did all-grain the first time. That's why almost all homebrewers start by using extract, not grain.

To brew with extract, the steps are this: Bring 6 gallons of water up to about 160, and steep some specialty grains for about 30 minutes. This is like making a tea. Then bring the water to a boil and add the extract. Add the hops according to whatever hopping schedule the beer calls for. After the boil, usually an hour, cool the wort down to 70 or so. Pitch your yeast into the wort. Ferment. Carbonate. Enjoy. Very simple process. Here's the old TR.

Today I brewed up a hefeweizen. Since this is the end of the booze forum, I thought I'd document the process with some pictures. This is my third batch of homebrew, so I'm still using extract.

The ingredients! From left to right, its the wheat dry malt extract, some specialty grains, one ounce of hops, and then, above the hops, irish moss. The malt extract and grains will provide the sugar my yeast will feed on, hops will give some flavor, and irish moss is an additive that acts as a clarifying agent.




Its important that I have a homebrew to remind myself why I'm doing this. This is a bottle from my last batch, an ESB.



I've already cleaned my equipment and sanitized everything that's going to touch the wort after its done boiling, so to get started in the actual process, I put my grains in a nylon grain bag and steep them in about 2.5 gallons of 155F water.




I let that steep, occasionally dunking it like a tea bag, for 30 minutes. Then I add another 3 gallons of water, for 5.5g total, and bring it to a boil. This takes about another 30 minutes on my electric stove. Once its boiling, I take the pot off the heat, dump in the DME, stir to make sure it gets dissolved, then put the pot back on the heat.



Once it gets back to a boil, I throw the hops in (in another bag) and set a timer for 60 minutes. After 35 minutes, I'll throw the irish moss in. After the hour of boiling - and you want to make sure its a vigorous boil that whole time - its time to cool the wort down. The fastest way to do that is with an immersion chiller. It hooks up to your sink and runs cold water through the copper coils. While that's cooling, I make sure my fermenter and lid is sanitized



and make sure my yeast starter is ready to go.



Once the wort is cool, about 70F, I siphon it into the fermenter and pitch the yeast. I also take a sample of the wort to check with the hydrometer. Since the wort has all these dissolved sugars, it has a different density than water. As the yeast eat the sugar and convert it into alcohol and CO2, the density will change yet again. The hydrometer measures the density (specific gravity) of the wort. This batch came out to 1.052 starting gravity, which is right where it should be. After fermentation, it should end up around 1.010 or so, meaning my beer will be around 5% ABV.



I'm going to leave the fermenter out for a few hours, until I know that the yeast have started partying. Then its time to put it in my kegerator that I've turned into a fermentation chamber since I started brewing. I'll be able to keep the beer fermenting at just the temperature I want, which is important to maintaining good flavor.



So that's it. Pretty simple process. From cleaning/sanitizing at the start to cleanup at the end, it took me right about 4 hours. Hefes are pretty quick beers, so I expect it to ferment within a week, and then I'll put it straight in bottles for bottle conditioning for two weeks or so. Hope you enjoyed.
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:08 AM   #1055
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I was lucky in that I got a nice start-up kit as a present and I already had a big pot and the chest freezer/kegerator. Plenty of brewers get started with a 4 gallon pot and just let their beer bubble away in the coolest part of their house, and the beer still turns out as good beer. Part of the what I really like about homebrewing is that it gives me an excuse to play with new gadgets and toys.

Starter kits like this and this are pretty affordable, and you'll use almost all of that equipment for as long as you brew.
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Old 05-30-2008, 01:36 PM   #1056
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Quote:
Originally Posted by RunDownHouse View Post
I was lucky in that I got a nice start-up kit as a present and I already had a big pot and the chest freezer/kegerator. Plenty of brewers get started with a 4 gallon pot and just let their beer bubble away in the coolest part of their house, and the beer still turns out as good beer. Part of the what I really like about homebrewing is that it gives me an excuse to play with new gadgets and toys.

Starter kits like this and this are pretty affordable, and you'll use almost all of that equipment for as long as you brew.
Damn dude, That is FANTASTIC!!! Thank you for posting all that!!!

What temp do you like to keep your stuff at to ferment??

I have GOT to do this!!
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Old 05-30-2008, 03:04 PM   #1057
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

The ideal fermentation temps vary by style, but let me stress again that you'll almost definitely make great beer no matter what. If you want to make a beer that wins an award in a homebrew competition, you might get dinged for flavors that result from a too-high or too-low fermentation temperature. As something you can crack a bottle of, think about the day you brewed it up, and share with friends, whether you left it at 68F or 70F isn't such a big deal.

For me, home brew is all about smelling the fresh ingredients, relaxing while things are bubbling away, and then enjoying the fruits of my labor, as well as sharing it with friends. In a lot of ways, it's like cooking a great meal... but one that takes a couple weeks to taste. That leaves plenty of time to drink good beer and dream up my next batch.
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Old 05-30-2008, 03:31 PM   #1058
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

No pictures or detailed writeups (I find I'm pretty terrible at describing beer), so i'll just give a quick rundown of the 22nd stockport beer and cider festival. they had a choice of over 100 beers, including a surprising number of milds so i went into those first.

first was the old tom mild (oakwell), which i gave a 7.5, tbh i don't think you can go wrong with mild but this was fairly middle of the road.
next was sussex mild (arundel), 8, a bit stronger and it had a bit more flavour to it.
third was rutland panther (grainstore), 7, didn't seem to know what it wanted to be, seemed a bit too stouty but still drinkable.
fourth, i switched off the mild briefly onto stirling brig (traditional scottish ales) as it was described as a dark ruby ale and most of those from north of the border are very good. this didn't disappoint, 8, very dark to the point where it looked like another mild.
fifth i had what was called choc cherry mild (dunham massey), which is simply the best mild i've ever had. i don't know why they stick the word choc in there, hinting at chocolate, but you can definitely notice the cherries, yet they're not overpowering as they can be in something belgian like a frambozen or similar. 9.
sixth i went for the traditional bitter (crown), mainly because it was being brewed downstairs in a pub i occasionally frequented when i was living in sheffield, and i didn't know they'd started brewing again. they had a choice of five on, so they must be doing ok i guess. this beer was more or less average, 7, it had enough about it that it couldn't be lumped in with your standard bitters but didn't blow me away at all.
seventh was old bushy tail (bushy's), couldn't resist something from the isle of man, scored it 8.
finally i had northern county (facers), 6, i'm working out that if something is described as a session beer, it means it's basically tasteless and bland without being undrinkable.

was surprised at a few things. firstly the prices had been kept fairly low, i was drinking weakish beers (nothing more than about 4.5%) but i don't recall paying more than about £1.10/half for anything. was also refreshing that they didn't have a token system as many festivals tend to do. also they were offering the cider in third pint measures which is a GOOD THING as it's very easy to go over the top on them even drinking halves, and allows for more different ciders to be tasted. finally the entertainment didn't completely suck, although their u2 cover was significantly worse than their rem cover. compared to other beer fest "entertainment" i've seen (the pinnacle being one band walking off in a huff after being constantly heckled for general crapness) it was ok. may nip back tomorrow afternoon, but with a pub quiz in the evening i might give it a miss.
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:49 PM   #1059
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I just tried a bottle of Sierra Nevada's Summerfest. What a disappointment. It's a slightly grassy pale later with nothing else going for it. Skip it, and drink their pale ale instead.
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Old 06-04-2008, 01:00 AM   #1060
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I had the Left Hand Milk Stout while I was downtown at a show Sunday night. Aroma was pretty roasty, initial taste was milky, roasty, very good, but it really disappeared quickly. The end got thin fast, so overall I'd give this one a . The Milk Stout at my local brewery is much better, even if I make consolations for the fact that the Left Hand one could be a little less fresh (though it was on tap).

Oh, and it was a 16oz for 5 dollars. The menu said 6 but I did not argue.

They had a nice selection, I've been there before and all their draft beers (about 24 craft brews) are 3 dollars on Mondays.
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Old 06-04-2008, 03:39 PM   #1061
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I was recently in Montreal for vacation with some friends. For the first time in my life I was legally able to drink a beer (yay!). The convenience stores had a surprising good selection of imported beers.

Grolsch - I bought a 500ml can of this Dutch beer. Reminded me very much of Amstel and Heineken. Not a tremendous amount of flavor. It was a solid beer and pretty easy to drink. I would give it 3/5.

Sapporo - I bought a 650ml can of this imported Japanese beer. I really really liked this beer. It was extremely refreshing and was not bitter at all. I would definitely order this again and plan on trying to find some back in the states. 4/5

Les Trois Brassuers - Blonde - This is a brewery found in Montreal that also has three restaurants. The blonde beer was very good, especially with food. 3.5/5
http://www.les3brasseurs.ca/eng/our_story.php

La Fin du Monde - I bought a 12oz bottle of this for $2.40. At 9% this is a strong beer but you don't taste much alcohol. There are many spices in this beer and you are left with a ginger aftertaste. This is a rich, full flavoured beer that has many different levels. I really enjoyed this and would rate it 5/5.



Another cool experience was the Montreal beer festival. They had hundreds of different breweries in an outdoor setting offering samples. I tried a few beers but dont really remember any of the names.
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:25 AM   #1062
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

montreal rules. I've only been once and it was sooo cold but I loved it.

Quick review:
Bought a 4 pack of Flying Dog's Double Dog Double Pale Ale. 10.5% ABV. Basically a double IPA.

Poors a copper/red with a pretty nice head with decent retention. Nose is pretty hoppy with a big malt character.. like you'd get with an ESB.

Taste is very much like a bitter, hoppy red. Though it's very hoppy, that malt character you get with ESBs and strong reds is the dominant flavor (think Bear Republic's Red Rocket). It blends quite nicely with the citrusy, floral hops.

Also, surprisingly drinkable for such a strong flavored, high alcohol beer. It's not my favorite beer ever, but it's very good for the style. 3.5's.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:58 PM   #1063
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrWookie View Post
I just tried a bottle of Sierra Nevada's Summerfest. What a disappointment. It's a slightly grassy pale later with nothing else going for it. Skip it, and drink their pale ale instead.
seconded. this beer sucks hard.
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:54 AM   #1064
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Originally Posted by kidcolin View Post
montreal rules. I've only been once and it was sooo cold but I loved it.

Quick review:
Bought a 4 pack of Flying Dog's Double Dog Double Pale Ale. 10.5% ABV. Basically a double IPA.

Poors a copper/red with a pretty nice head with decent retention. Nose is pretty hoppy with a big malt character.. like you'd get with an ESB.

Taste is very much like a bitter, hoppy red. Though it's very hoppy, that malt character you get with ESBs and strong reds is the dominant flavor (think Bear Republic's Red Rocket). It blends quite nicely with the citrusy, floral hops.

Also, surprisingly drinkable for such a strong flavored, high alcohol beer. It's not my favorite beer ever, but it's very good for the style. 3.5's.
colin,

are you from the boston area? i live in the suburbs around walpole/norfolk
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:40 PM   #1065
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

grew up 15 minutes from Providence on the MA side of the MA/RI border. However I currently reside in Sac, CA.
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Old 06-10-2008, 02:35 PM   #1066
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I had the Boulder Beer "Hazed and Infused" last night. It's a dry hopped pale ale with 4.85% abv (so it says online, on the bottle there is nothing which I hate. I wish all states required a posting of the abv, IBUs, OG, FG AND ingredients in beer

It was a 12 oz bottle and poured a good sized, dull white head.

It had a flowery aroma but the taste didn't live up to the smell. It tasted a little bland, but I don't regularly drink pale ales like this, I've been drinking heavier IPAs, Stouts and just bigger beers in general lately, so perhaps this had something to do with it.

It was part of the "make your own 6 pack" that I got on mother's day, so it was 1 dollar and some odd change for the bottle.

Overall I give it a 2.5/5. It's not the end of the world to drink this beer, but it's not something I'd ever order again, unless I were faced with a decision like MGD, Budweiser, Coors, Red Dog or this.
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Old 06-14-2008, 05:57 PM   #1067
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Brief review, no pics. I was at Beers of the World again today, and Mendocino's new Belgian White caught my eye. They're a respectable brewery that hasn't put out anything too exotic, but I saw this for the low low price of $6.67 for a six pack, and I decided to give it a shot.

It pours a nice pale cloudy color once you swirl the yeast in. It has a decent head that lasts longer than I expected. It's lacing my glass nicely. The aroma is quite solid for this style: orange, lemon, coriander, and the yeasty, wheaty malt. Taking a sip, and it's clear that this beer is as steal. It's not quite as good as Allagash's white, but it's less than half the price. It's definitely better than the Victory brew I tried a little while back. This has a good helping of all the flavors I like in a Belgian white. I'm going back and forth between 3.5 and 4 hearts for this beer, but I think it's low price kicks it up into the range. I'm going to have to go back to BotW and buy a case.
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Old 06-14-2008, 11:42 PM   #1068
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

the 90-IPA has made its way to cali. Bought a 4-pack.

It's great, but you know what? I like Racer 5 more. Man I love Racer 5.
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Old 06-15-2008, 12:15 AM   #1069
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

More than the 90? Wow. That's quite the compliment. If you said more than the 60 I'd be less surprised, but beating out the 90 is a tall order.
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Old 06-15-2008, 02:42 AM   #1070
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I think I'm just more of a fan of true IPAs than their double/imperial counterparts. I love the 90 and other great doubles, but I like the more refreshing IPAs as they do a better job highlighting the hops, I feel. I mean I'm just overcome with joy when I pop open a racer 5 and all that hoppy goodness hits my nose.

Plus a 6 pack for $9 beats a 4 pack for $10.

Alright, a quick review. Green Flash Brewing Co's Hop Head Red Ale. As you may recall, I thought very highly of their IPA and I thought their barleywine and imperial IPA were solid but unspectacular. This is 6% ABV. The label says this is "Amarillo dry hopped at 45 ibus".. I have no idea what that means.

Pours an amber/red color with a fairly solid head. Nice retention and leaves behind a nice lace. Nose is typical of strong red ales.. good bitter hop character mixed with rich malts.

Taste is along the same lines. About what you would expect, I suppose. I was expecting perhaps a tad more hoppiness, but it's still got a good kick. Fairly bitter. A little on the heavy side with regards to mouth feel. The caramel malts are very apparent in the finish. Overall very well balanced. It's like a little milder version of Bear Repbulic's Red Rocket Ale (from what I can recall based on memory). I don't enjoy it quite as much as I enjoyed their IPA, but it's still a very nice brew I wouldn't mind having again, be it a 6 pack or at a bar. 3.5's imo.
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Old 06-15-2008, 09:51 AM   #1071
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Huh. You might give the DFH 60 min IPA a shot if you can find it then. It's a little more of a "refreshing IPA."
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Old 06-15-2008, 04:01 PM   #1072
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Breckenridge Brewery's small batch 471 double IPA is the most drinkable double IPA Iv'e ever had. Insane hoppyness and ABV, yet very easy to drink. My favorite IPA ever.

Kidcolin - you should try that one.
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Old 06-15-2008, 04:06 PM   #1073
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Huh. You might give the DFH 60 min IPA a shot if you can find it then. It's a little more of a "refreshing IPA."
I do like their 60 a lot, but haven't seen it in cali.

I think Stone's Ruination is my favorite Imperial IPA, as it's not overly sweet with malts. It's just an all out hop attack.

cws,

never seen it or heard of it. Where is it available?
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Old 06-15-2008, 04:58 PM   #1074
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

http://www.breckenridgebrewery.com/b...tributors.html

these are the main distributors.

not sure what state you are in - but I get it in center city Philadelphia.
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Old 06-15-2008, 08:02 PM   #1075
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I'm in Cal and spend a few weeks a year in MA. Not seeing them in either state
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