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Food & Wine Ground >> Homebrew Contest (Jonwell Help)


6/14/06 2:24 PM
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Bill Brasky
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Edited: 14-Jun-06
Member Since: 11/24/2002
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My friend and I were arguing the other day about who was the better homebrewer. We're both extract brewers, so neither of us is what I would call talented, but between the two of us we've probably brewed 200 gallons of beer or so. I need an extract recipe that will be a crowd pleaser that will beat the pants off this guy. I'm pretty sure he's going to go with a dark beer, perhaps a stout or even a barley wine, so I'd like to go the other direction with something lighter (but still malty) and easier to drink. I was thinking a good Belgian Trippel or maybe a British Pale Ale. Any ideas?
6/14/06 3:41 PM
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MikeZev
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Edited: 14-Jun-06
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the best i've made so far, and is good in the summertime, was a pale ale with bitter orange peel. i'll have to look for the recipe
6/14/06 3:47 PM
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Bill Brasky
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Edited: 14-Jun-06
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I like the sound of that, as long as the orange peel isn't overpowering. Post the recipe if you can find it.
6/14/06 3:55 PM
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MikeZev
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Edited: 14-Jun-06
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th orange peeel is very subtle. i actually bought a standard pale ale kit (fermented with corn sugar) and made a couple modifications. it wasnt a superhighquality beer but it was pretty good. i'l look for the recipe tonight.
6/14/06 4:06 PM
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Bill Brasky
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Edited: 14-Jun-06
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Corn sugar? That doesn't sound very good.
6/14/06 4:37 PM
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MikeZev
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Edited: 14-Jun-06
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it was used as a substitute for a portion of malt extract. its not a particularly good ingredient but it doesnt taste too bad.
6/14/06 6:36 PM
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Extendo
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Edited: 14-Jun-06
Member Since: 05/12/2002
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I thought you were suggesting an OG homebrew contest. I'm thinking of taking up this hobby as well.
6/14/06 6:55 PM
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Bill Brasky
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Edited: 14-Jun-06
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It's one of the best hobbies ever. I highly recommend it.
6/14/06 7:14 PM
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Jonwell
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Edited: 14-Jun-06
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I have a couple recipes I could lay down, and Fulkrum probly does too. The best extract beers I've made are a belgian wit and strawberry hef. If you want malty though you may want to step up to doing a large partial mash... with marris otter malt and WY1968, I made a British pale ale that was plenty malty and quite delicious. The judges in the contest I put it in agreed. I also have a really good strong honey red ale recipe that's made some of the best beer I've ever had. Let me know.
6/15/06 12:33 AM
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Bill Brasky
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Edited: 15-Jun-06
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I spoke to my friend and we decided that we would each brew a barley wine.
6/15/06 2:52 AM
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Jonwell
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Edited: 15-Jun-06
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Hmmm... hope you can keep a cool fermentation during the summer. Don't have any barleywine recipes, but if you want to post what you're thinking I'll be happy to give my humble input.
6/15/06 10:50 AM
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Bill Brasky
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Edited: 15-Jun-06
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Why would the frementation need to be cool if I'm using ale yeast? Here's what I'm thinking so far: I'm only going to use light malt extract, but a shitload of it, and to achieve the requisite amber color I'm going to steep some specialty grains. My reasoning is that I think my friend will use amber extract along with specialty grains and his beer will end up too dark. Even if his isn't too dark I think that by using light extract I'll have an advantage in drinkability. The other thing I'm thinking is that I'm going to use a different hop variety than what is standard. Again, I think he'll use whatever is recommended by the staff of the homebrew store, and his beer will end up with that sort of grape-fruity bitterness that is delicious, but won't compare well to something with a fresher hop taste/aroma. I'll let you know what hops I'm considering after I do a little research. I also know that he won't be able to start brewing until mid-July, so I'll start ASAP to give me an advantage in aging/mellowing. Basically I'm going to cheat. I figure this will be like a wine tasting, where the voters almost always pick the cheapest, sweetest bottle as their favorite - not because it's the best bottle, but rather because after sampling all of the dry wines it's all their palate can handle.
6/15/06 2:39 PM
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Jonwell
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Edited: 15-Jun-06
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Well relatively cool. If you can ferment an ale down around 65-68 degrees, it'll be much cleaner than if you did it in the 70s- at higher temps, yeast produces high-weight fusel alcohols that taste very strong. With a barleywine and lots of alcohol, this can become a pretty important point. Some guys talk about fermenting WLP001 or WY1056 (standard american ale yeast) down to 55 degrees to get an almost lager-like cleanliness, but the yeast really wasn't intended to go that low, so, at your risk. I've always preferred to use the lightest malt extract I could, then make up color and flavor with specialty grains. The reason is simply because you don't know the ratio of what grains make up amber extract, so reproduceability and predictability suffer. If you want another advantage, I'd recommend mashing a couple pounds of base malt, it really adds to the malty character of the beer. You can do it in the kettle with a linen mesh back and a thermometer, it's really easy. Knowing your judges would be a good idea... if they're not beer drinkers, an american style barleywine may be way over the top for them. A more british approach may help you out there. In either case I'd recommend mashing some Marris Otter 2-row for the malty flavor. Let me know :) If you want, I can run your ideas through Promash and see where you come up along the lines of IBU, color, gravity, etc.
6/15/06 6:13 PM
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Jonwell
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Edited: 15-Jun-06
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As an aside, I just kegged 5 gallons of witbier, and it's fooking awesome. The recipe is just the all-grain kit from Northern Brewer.
6/15/06 6:23 PM
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Bill Brasky
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Edited: 15-Jun-06 06:26 PM
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Here's the website of the local shop where I buy my homebrew supplies.  They have the extract version of the Marris Otter malt you mentioned.  I just can't decide on how I want to hop this thing.

www.beernut.com

6/15/06 7:33 PM
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Jonwell
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Edited: 15-Jun-06
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What style are you going after? ANy BW's you like in particular?
6/16/06 12:30 PM
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Bill Brasky
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Edited: 16-Jun-06
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I certainly want to go with an English barley wine. The only barley wines I've had were the Uinta X, Bigfoot, and one I made a long time ago. The Bigfoot is good, but I'd like less bitterness for purposes of winning the competition.
6/18/06 4:22 PM
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Jonwell
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Edited: 18-Jun-06
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Ya that's definitely an american style BW. The British barleywines don't have veyr much in the way of hop character. Per the BJCP guide: " Strong, intense, complex, multi-layered malt flavors ranging from bready and biscuity through nutty, deep toast, dark caramel, toffee, and/or molasses. Moderate to high malty sweetness on the palate, although the finish may be moderately sweet to moderately dry (depending on aging). Some oxidative or vinous flavors may be present, and often complex alcohol flavors should be evident. Moderate to fairly high fruitiness, often with a dried-fruit character. Hop bitterness may range from just enough for balance to a firm presence; balance therefore ranges from malty to somewhat bitter. Low to moderately high hop flavor (usually UK varieties). Low to no diacetyl." I would definitely use 1968 yeast. Marris Otter too. Lots of caramel malt, no dark malts. You just need enough hops to balance the sweetness. Challenger, target, EKG, or fuggles would be the appropriate hops. Oh also, I am getting the hang of water chemistry, so if you can get a chemistry report of the water you're brewing with, I can maybe point out a couple of ways to help there.
6/18/06 5:08 PM
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Bill Brasky
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Edited: 18-Jun-06
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Thanks for the suggestions. As far as water goes I typically just buy 5 gallons of spring water at the grocery store and brew with that.
6/18/06 6:23 PM
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Bill Brasky
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Edited: 18-Jun-06
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What is 1968 yeast?
6/19/06 1:12 AM
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Jonwell
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Edited: 19-Jun-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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Wyeast 1968, london ale yeast. The White Labs equivilant is 004 I think.
6/25/06 4:21 AM
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Shinken4
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Edited: 25-Jun-06
Member Since: 08/29/2002
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ttt
6/27/06 2:44 AM
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Jonwell
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Edited: 27-Jun-06
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How goes it Bill?
6/30/06 11:33 PM
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Bill Brasky
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Edited: 30-Jun-06
Member Since: 11/24/2002
Posts: 5391
I've been in Palm Springs (hot as fuck-all) for the past 5 days, so I haven't started brewing yet. I'm going to Bainbridge Is., WA tomorrow (any OGers in the area?) until after the 4th, and I have the Invitational on the 15th, so it might be a while before I brew.
7/1/06 2:54 AM
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Jonwell
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Edited: 01-Jul-06
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lol ya in general we beach folk advise you to skip the desert entirely.

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