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Old 02-13-2010, 01:49 PM   #1951
montman
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

We watched beer wars last night also (watch instantly on netflix).

It wasnt bad as mentioned above, a few interesting things I did not know like the distribution process. I would imagine that most people that would watch it or have heard of it are most likely already into craft beer and its like preaching to the choir.
It does remind you about how crazy it is that so much of the market share is taken up by AB/Inbev and Miller/Coors.

Last edited by montman; 02-13-2010 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 02-13-2010, 04:19 PM   #1952
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Quote:
RDH, have you ever shown a picture of your setup? I'm just about to switch to AG brewing and am trying to design a system, or possibly go straight for a pre-built all in one setup like the Keggle Brewer ( $2,495 + tax + shipping )

Any suggestions / pit falls to avoid?
I know this was meant for RDH, but I'll throw in my 2 cents anyways.

A lot of pre-built setups, while nice, are pretty over-priced (IMO). Sure it's convenient, but if you're anything like me you'll find some part of your system that drives you nuts and you'll end up wanting to make changes anyways. I have so much random brewing equipment collecting dust simply because I didn't know exactly what I wanted at the time.

I highly suggest checking out HBT and looking through some of the "build" threads. There's a ton of good info over there.

Personally, my current system is really ghetto. I have two 15g kettles, a 10g round Igloo cooler w/ a stainless braid for the MLT, and a couple of ghetto ass tables I use as a brew stand in my carport. I finally just got fed up w/ lifting and moving stuff around and am in the process of piecing together a (hopefully) fully-automated 20g system. I looked EVERYWHERE for a pre-fabbed system and just couldn't find exactly what I wanted for a reasonable price.

Don't have any pics of the kettles and the stand isn't welded up yet, but we'll be fermenting in these. Still haven't figured out how we want to control temps yet.


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Old 02-13-2010, 09:05 PM   #1953
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I'm brewing tomorrow so hopefully I'll get pictures posted after. My setup is WAY more ghetto, complete with plywood scraps and cinderblocks. My biggest limitation is actual physical space. If I had room for another fridge (or three!) I could brew much more often, both in terms of volume and frequency. As it is, I've got one chest freezer which is fermentation chamber, lagering/conditioning fridge, and serving fridge.
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:27 PM   #1954
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

This is my old setup [IMG][/IMG]

It's not a good angle, but it's currently in storage and I've been stovetop brewing in the meantime.

Basically, it's a 3 tier shelf unit my friend and I customized. Our water tank is at the top, mash in the middle and boil pot on the bottom. Valves and pipes control the flow between each level, so we don't have to do any lifting. There are burners under each pot. We actually added a much larger burner under the boil pot after this picture was taken.

This was basically a blueprint of the setup my old beer supplier (Kennywood in Crown Point, Indiana) had, but much much ghettoer.

He had more automated, sturdy and advanced gadgets on his, though our's likely cost under $300 to build. I wouldn't recommend going that cheap, spend a solid $150 on just the shelving tiers. You can convert kegs into pots, that's what we did for two of them (just bought a $55 aluminum pot for the third pot, the water pot). We took apart an old grill for propane parts and burners and just welded steel onto the shelving units to hold up the pots (and welded the burners to the supports).

It's not as pretty as it could be, but when I buy a house in a year or two I'll focus more on a permanent and even easier to use system.

Just make sure you don't have to lift anything and you'll already be ahead of the curve.
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:41 PM   #1955
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Originally Posted by Markusgc View Post
here ya go:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX-c3...&feature=email

I might be in the background somewhere, I'm definitely in the closing shot. This was filmed the day I kegged the "Suck It," so all the beer they show is actually "mine."
Nice, are you the dark haired guy in the last shot?

Enjoyed the clip, Half Acre up here in Chicago did a local piece similar to this that I actually found on Comcast's on demand service.

How often do you volunteer at the brewery? Are you planning on expanding your brewing? How does it fit with poker (no idea if/how often or how high you play)?
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:07 PM   #1956
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Ha, gotta love the pump on a skateboard. Typical. What's your annual output? What's the package/draft split, and are you 100% the caged/corked bottles, or do you do 12ozers as well?
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:13 PM   #1957
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Not exactly. Don't forget about lactobacillus or brettanomyces used in sour beers.
you're really being specific here.

that's like saying all people are male or female - but wait! don't forget about the hermaphrodites!
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Nice, are you the dark haired guy in the last shot?
yeah, that's me.
Quote:
How often do you volunteer at the brewery? Are you planning on expanding your brewing? How does it fit with poker (no idea if/how often or how high you play)?
I help out about 3-4x a month. I'm planning to release a beer under my own label with the words "Proudly Brewed at the Saint Somewhere Brewery" on the logo. My bar is hosting a local beerfest in April and I hope to have "my" first beer out for it.

I never played too high in poker and I haven't been playing full time for about a year now because of my bartending gig, so it's now an occasional distraction as opposed to a job.
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Ha, gotta love the pump on a skateboard. Typical. What's your annual output? What's the package/draft split, and are you 100% the caged/corked bottles, or do you do 12ozers as well?
Saint Somewhere puts out about 200 barrels a year. As Bob says, "We put the Micro in Microbrewery."

The Lectio Divina, Saison Athene and Pays du Soleil are packaged in 750ml bottles with very occasional kegs made for special accounts. I plan to do the opposite, with draft being my focus and possibly some 750's when they're appropriate.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:19 PM   #1958
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Originally Posted by rapidacid View Post
RDH, have you ever shown a picture of your setup? I'm just about to switch to AG brewing and am trying to design a system, or possibly go straight for a pre-built all in one setup like the Keggle Brewer ( $2,495 + tax + shipping )

Any suggestions / pit falls to avoid?
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunDownHouse View Post
I'm sure I have somewhere but I can't seem to find them. I'll take some more and post them this weekend if I can remember. In any case, my setup is extremely ghetto, seeing as how brewers don't make much cash compensation. I'll PM you with details and advice unless the rest of the people in the thread say they care about that kind of thing.
OK, here's some from this weekend.

Overview-type shot:



As you can see I basically have a couple kegs and a piece of plywood as a makeshift table. Cinderblocks on the plywood serve to raise the height of my mash tun so that it can gravity drain to the kettle. The kettle itself is on a burner which, again, is on cinderblocks so that it is high enough to gravity drain to the fermenter.

My little mill. It sucks cranking 30lbs through this thing, takes forever but I just haven't had the time/money to hook up a corded drill.



Overall recommendations: I have two mash tuns, the 100qt monster you see above, and a 5g little guy. Both have problems. The 5g can't hold much grain, about 14lbs tops at a strike ratio of 1q/lb, and even that much grain means no mash out, small batch sparges, etc. 5g is really too small for much more than English milds, maybe American wheats, etc. On the other hand, the 100q is so big that if I put 14-15lbs of grain in it, it loses a lot of heat over 60 minutes. Just too much head space. I love being able to mash a whole 55lb bag of German Pilsner malt at once, if I want, but it's not so practical most of the time. So I'd say go with a MT that can do 10g of all-grain mash for most beers, but don't worry about needing room for your real monsters. If you're going to brew 10g of a 1.100 beer, you can sub extract and never know the difference.

As you can see, my brew "structure" is dirt cheap, which is the biggest pro it has. Something else I love, since I live in a small apartment, is that when I'm done, I can break it down. The kegs stack on each other, the plywood gets stood up against a wall, and it's out of sight, out of mind. The con is obviously that I do end up having to lift and move pots filled with hot liquid. My routine is that I mash in, mash out, and do two batch sparges. For the mash in, mash out, and each sparge, I have to get the hot liquor from the pot on the burner to my mash tun. Normally I take pitchers-full and scoop and dump until the pot is light enough to lift. After the first sparge and runoff is done, I scoop and dump my second sparge water into the mash tun, and then can put my boil kettle on the burner. For 12g batches, that's usually in the neighborhood of 8-9g of wort I need to lift from the ground up to my burner. It's a load, but nothing I ever think I can't physically do. Given that my setup uses one burner, one pump, and an improvised table, I can't imagine spending $2k+ on a brew structure. To not lift anything would require at least one more burner and another level OR another pump. That's ~$150, ~$300 max for the hardware and however much else for the structure.

Finally, if you're in an area with a fair number of breweries - especially production breweries over brewpubs - try swinging by and asking if they have any defective kegs laying around you could have or buy on the cheap. There's a good chance they will. If you can get a free 1/2bbl keg, you're a $30 weld job away from a 15.5g boil kettle. Finding a way to scavenge an old keg is MUCH cheaper than buying a $300 Blichmann brew pot.
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:25 AM   #1959
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

This is awesome .
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Old 02-17-2010, 05:06 PM   #1960
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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This is awesome .
Agreed

I've grown some interest in home brewing. My dad and brother make home made wine, how close/far away are the procedures?
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Old 02-17-2010, 06:32 PM   #1961
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

From what I've read, without having done wine, pretty close. There's a ton of equipment overlap, but biggest differences that I'm aware of are in finishing. Wines get sulfites, finings, and all that type of stuff, can be put up for long periods of time, and are always, as far as I know, bottled. Beers are often two weeks and done, fined only by whim, and can be kegged, which brings a whole new arena of equipment into play.

Beer can also be much cheaper on a batch-to-batch basis. Wine kits I see are often around $100. If you're all grain you can brew a 5%, 30 IBU beer for $15 or so. I knwo people definitely do both, mostly because the equipment overlap is so big. If I had the basic ingredients - grapes/juice, yeast, whatever else - I could probably make some wine without having to go out and buy anything else, at least until it was time to bottle.
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:40 AM   #1962
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Agreed

I've grown some interest in home brewing. My dad and brother make home made wine, how close/far away are the procedures?
It's the same basic process.

With wine, you ferment grape juice. Beer is fermented barley (or wheat) juice.

However, there is the extra step of conditioning beer to carbonate it.

If you're up in the air about it, a great place to start is cider. Basically you take some apple cider from the store, put it in a carboy (fermenter) with a bubbling air lock, add some yeast (I've used Champagne Yeast with success) and maybe a little pectic enzyme to clear it up. Let it sit for about 10-14 days and voila... Hard Cider.

There's probably more to making wine than that, and there are definitely a couple more steps making beer, but that might help you get the hang of things. Just go to your local homebrew/wine-making shop and tell 'em what you want to do. They'll send you home with the stuff you need (fairly minimal investment) and more specific instructions. Give it a go and ask us questions along the way. If you don't like it, then maybe this hobby isn't for you.
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:18 AM   #1963
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Haven't seen anyone mention it here, but I'm recently digging the Torpedo Extra IPA from Sierra Nevada.
I tried this for the first time last night and found it extremely enjoyable. It is very well balanced. This may sound contradictory but it was both crisp and malty at the same time. It also had a nice bitter/sweet contrast.

The orange color and resilient fluffy white head were picture worthy as well.
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:03 PM   #1964
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

RDH, is the grain mill really that bad or are you just spoiled by working at a brewery?

One or two brewing supply stores in the area makes us mill our own grain (at least it's free though) and they have what looks to be identical mills. It takes a bit, but often seems the length of time is directly related to having to keep the different bags of grain separate (since most of these places also sell by the half or whole lb, we won't use all the grain and can't just mix it up right there).

So anyways, I see these mills around for the low $100 range. I see them pop up cheaper on craigslist once in a blue moon and was thinking about buying one, that way I can just bulk buy most of my base grains and just mail order specialty grain. The closest brewing store near me is in a ****ty part of town (traffic wise) and I had grown spoiled being 10 minutes from a supplier a year ago.

TLDR Is the mill worth purchasing?
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:07 PM   #1965
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Nah, it's actually a really good mill in my limited experience. I got it used off craigslist, so I got the non-adjustable version. Even so, it gives a really good crush. If I had an adjustable, I would probably close the gap a bit, but as it is my efficiency is pretty much the same using it v. having the shop mill my grain. I'll see exactly how long it takes me to go through my grain this weekend, but 30lbs really will take a while. The biggest problem is the hopper. It can't hold more than 2, maybe 2.5lbs of grain, so you crank away for thirty seconds or a minute, then have to stop and load two more pounds in, etc. If I do motorize it I'll obviously have to build a bigger hopper as well.

So the mill is fine, the hopper not so much and hand cranking is not so fun.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:58 PM   #1966
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Should be easy enuf to get a 60HZ/120V motor off eBay or online somewhere and DIY a metal connector to hook it up to the shaft on your mill. mebbe square off the shaft or drill thru it or something. Just make sure the motors strong enuf to do the job.

Making the hopper bigger is sooper dooper easy. get a box open at both ends where the ends are slightly smaller than the top of ur hopper (screw/glue together 4 bits of thin plywood mebbe). Plonk it on top for a taller hopper.
Or am I missing something?

Last edited by dogsballs; 02-19-2010 at 12:04 AM.
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:10 AM   #1967
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

No, not really missing anything. Lots of people use a motor with a couple of sheaves, lots of people get an old water cooler bottle and cut it up to use as a hopper, stuff like that, but as I said, I live in a small apartment, and building a mill rig complete with sheaves, motor, hopper, etc, is just too big and too much trouble for my current living conditions.

But yeah, one day I'll have a nice Bodine motor running my mill with 20lb+ hopper and brew structure with two pumps.
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Old 02-19-2010, 03:57 AM   #1968
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Radeberger vs. Becks'

Radeberger looks pretty yellowish/golden and clear as you might expect of a pilsner. Can't say much about the head. while on tap, it was poured at lightning speed in a busy club.
Carbonation is fine--I like
The taste is slightly too alcoholic. Just very slightly, not bothersome. The bitterness is ok.
But for some reason, I don't like the aftertaste. There's something slightly too heavy, unpleasant about it. It's just that the aftertaste makes it less refreshing than a pilsner should be. I feel a beck's is a bit "arbitrary," there's not too much distinctive in its taste. But it leaves a light bitterness, nothing challenging. Beck's is not impressive, but uncomplicated.
I can't seem to find the right words but Radeberger, a few seconds after zipping, feels just too full. It's nothing you want to have a bunch of when in a drinking mood.

Bottom line: both Beck's and Radeberger go down just fine. But with Beck's, it's just fine--while unspectacular--after a few seconds while Radeberger leaves an aroma too heavy for a pilsner. A pilsner should be a beer that you can drink a few off without feeling "full"--but that's not true of Radeberger.
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:06 PM   #1969
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Any recommendations on a good IPA I could find in the KC area? I live in Oklahoma, don't have much access to good beers very often...
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:13 PM   #1970
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Any recommendations on a good IPA I could find in the KC area? I live in Oklahoma, don't have much access to good beers very often...
I've heard nothing but good stuff about Boulevard Beers.
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:35 PM   #1971
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Pretty sure you can get Bell's in KC, at least on the MO side, so off to enjoy some Two-Hearted Ale you go.
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:45 PM   #1972
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Pretty sure you can get Bell's in KC, at least on the MO side, so off to enjoy some Two-Hearted Ale you go.
i have had two hearted before, its pretty awesome...its my backup plan if i cant find anything i havent tried.
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:54 PM   #1973
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Not sure if Founder's is available there, but their Centennial IPA is also a great beer out of the midwest (yes, I have a thing for Centennials). Boulevard overall is definitely a solid choice.
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Old 02-20-2010, 10:50 AM   #1974
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Managed to get a few bottles of Trappistes Rochefort number 6, which I was first introduced to by an insane Dutchman at the Cambridge beer festival but had been unable to find anywhere else since (apparently it is much harder to get hold of than the other numbers for some reason).

Have to say this is one of the best and most interesting beers I have ever had. Very complex flavors and a great acidity. 7.5% vol and I would recommend it to anyone, so if you see it anywhere buy a few.
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:08 PM   #1975
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Took me about 30 minutes to mill 32 pounds of grain this morning through my JSP malt mill.
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