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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9335) 14 years ago
Any home brewers out there with recipes, tips, techniques, etc to share?
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+13655) 14 years ago
As a homebrewer for over 15 years, the sagest piece of advice I can offer is: brew often.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9335) 14 years ago
Ah . . . sage advice indeed Gunnar

Just minutes ago I finished bottling a hearty, hoppy, amber ale that promises to be darned tasty.

Are you an all grain brewer? I've never made the transition to all grains - I still go the partial extract route. We prefer ales, so I've no experience with lagers, pilsners, bocks and the like either.

But in any case, brewing often is good. We're finishing off the last of the porter, stout, and red ale that we brewed up for the holidays and are just starting on the first of the 2006 brews, also a (tasty) amber ale (see below).
--Hal

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Basic Winter Amber #2 / partial extract
(5 gallons)

Grain Bill
7lbs. Light Liquid Malt Extract
1lb. Victory Malt
1lb. Crystal Malt - 60L
1lb. Pale Belgium Malt

1lb. Dark clover honey
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Hop Schedule
1oz. Domestic Cascade (loose) Hops / Alpha 11% - 60 minutes
1oz. Domestic Cascade (loose) Hops / Alpha 11% - 15 minutes

1oz. Domestic Perle (loose) Hops / Alpha 6.6% - dry hop in secondary fermentation/conditioning
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11 grams Windsor Yeast
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5oz. Priming sugar
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Notes:

Grains - 60 minute steep at 160F
60 minute Wort boil

Racked off into secondary after 7 days primary fermentation - 7 days in secondary / conditioning

Bag hops for dry hopping in secondary

Batch primed.

Drinkable at 14 days - should be very drinkable at 30 days.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+13655) 14 years ago
I am an all-grain brewer. I brew on the average around 25 five-gallon batches per year. I have brewed damn near every style of beer commercially available.

This weekend I plan on brewing a Bavarian weissbier and a Maibock.

Currently I have on tap a mild, ESB, and a Belgian dubbel.

I have lagering in the keg a Bohemeian Pilsner, German Pilsner, and a Vienna (my lagering fridge in the basement holds three kegs).

Bottled I have a Double IPA, a Russian Imperial Stout, a pilsner, 18th century London porter, and three different varieties of Belgian lambic.

I also have 16 gallons of mead aging in carboys. I also have many vintages of apple mead aging in bottles that date back to 1993.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9335) 14 years ago
Yeah, we brew around two (5 gal) batches of beer a month (a little more around the holidays).

You're way ahead of me Gunnar when it comes to expertise and experience

I've yet to convince myself to get into lagering - I suppose someday if I ever tire of ales, I'll take the plunge.

Mead - ah good stuff, especially when aged. I've a couple 12oz bottles of mead left from a batch I made in the autumn of `91 - it's smooth and mellow almost like a sherry. Personally I think it needs to age 5 years or so before it's worth drinking.

I also use apple juice (fresh cider if it's in season) when I brew mead, so I suppose technically it's Melomel, but it's good whatever it's called. Do you use champagne yeast for your meads?

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If you've not read this, you might find it of some interest:

Samuel Child, "EVERY MAN HIS OWN BREWER" - A SMALL TREATISE, EXPLAINING THE ART AND MYSTERY OF BREWING PORTER, ALE, TWOPENNY, AND TABLE-BEER; Recommending and proving the ease and possibility OF EVERY MAN's [sic] BREWING HIS OWN BEER, IN ANY QUANTITY - From one Peck to a hundred Quarters of Malt, CALCULATED BY EXPOSING THE DECEPTION IN BREWING; To reduce the expence [sic] of a Family, and lessen the destructive practice of Public-house tipling . . . Fourth Edition, Carefully Revised (London: 1794?).
http://www.jbsumner.com/p...child.html
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+13655) 14 years ago
Yeah, most of my meads are cysers, too. My uncle in Bozeman has several apple trees on his property, and he owns a cider press to boot. I usually add a gallon of honey to 4.5 gallons of apple juice,

As far as yeasts for meads go, I generally stay away from Champagne yeasts, as the resulting product tastes too much like rocket fuel. I like Lavlin K1-V1116 Montpellier, Lavlin D-47 White Wine, and my favorite, Red Star Cote Des Blancs.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+9770) 14 years ago
Jeez, I wish I'd had this mead advice last fall. We had so many apples we just watched the poor tree practically lie down under them. After picking many buckets and making much cider and apple sauce, we gave up. The grass under the tree is covered in apples and there are still some rotting on the branches. Next time the tree produces like mad, I'll let you guys know.

Amorette
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9335) 14 years ago
>> I like Lavlin K1-V1116 Montpellier, Lavlin D-47 White Wine, and my favorite, Red Star Cote Des Blancs.

I've used Red Star's Montrachet yeast, but I've had the best results with their Pasteur Champagne yeast.

Have you talked with anyone who's used Wyeast 3632 Mead (Dry)? I've read that it's a winner - it seems popular with the SCA crowd who are big mead fans.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9335) 14 years ago
>> Jeez, I wish I'd had this mead advice last fall. We had so many apples we just watched the poor tree practically lie down under them. . . .

Amorette, Sounds to me like you've the basic ingredient for lots of tasty things there. Apple butter . . . apple jelly . . . cider . . . you could even try your had at some mead.

There's a gnarled, old apple tree in the field across from our house - a remnant of the days when our neighborhood (Orchard Homes) was actually the site of orchards and dairy farms. Last February I pruned the old thing back a bit and come spring it went into overdrive - by fall it was so full apples that it looked red from a distance. We think it's probably a some type of Macintosh (similar to the Bitterroot Macs that sometimes show up in the grocery stores) as that was a popular variety in the Missoula valley in the early 20th century.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+13655) 14 years ago
The Wyeast Dry Mead yeast does have a reputation for being an awesome yeast. Unfortunately, the only liquid mead yeast I have ever tried is the Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast, which sucks swampwater.

Wyeast also produces a cider yeast that supposedly is the only way to go to make hard cider, but again, I have not tried it.
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