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Crazy Climber

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About Crazy Climber

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    Brewer
  • Birthday February 14

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    Male
  • Location
    New England
  1. I'm very "type-A" in general, and I guess that applies to my brewing, as well. I brew about once every 4 weeks. I've got my next 6 batches planned out, taking me into January. :blush: So, doing the math, it's July now and I already know what I'll be drinking next March! There's so many new/different things I want to try, plus so many past "successes" that I want to brew again to have on hand, that my schedule fills up very quickly. It works for me, though. I've been at this hobby for 2.5 years and still enjoy trying new techniques & recipes, as well as brewing old favorites. As for buying ingredients, I'm usually 1 or 2 batches ahead at any given point in time, but with grains, I usually try to get them as close to brew day as possible.
  2. "haerbob3" post=378968 said:Have you contacted Brad with your findings?? I am sure he will be interested in this point. It is a bit of a flaw in my not so humble opinion Brad is supposedly working on cleaning up the bugs in BeerSmith and this issue is one of those that is definitely on his list. No idea how the fix will work (see: the Law of Unintended Consequences, causing one problem while fixing another), but FWIW, a fix is supposedly coming in a few months.
  3. Or, option 4 could simply be that they'll be moving to an in-house forum, which makes use of already-established MB accounts, and need to be able to match back to the current forum's accounts in order to port over the info. In short, I think Beer-lord had it right when he wrote: "Beer-lord" post=371320 said:Just a guess but I think the mrbeer.com site and the forum will be under one roof whereas this forum is a relatively generic forum that is simply tweaked for each group that wants to use (it).
  4. I did this with lime over two years ago, so the details are a little hazy, but I think the zest of 2 lemons would be appropriate for an MB-sized batch. Put the zest in a hop sack.
  5. I haven't done a Saison before, but from what I've read: WLP565 - very prone to getting stuck. Sometimes it's recommended to pitch another clean-fermenting yeast (US-05, for example), about 75% of the way through primary fermentation, to achieve full attenuation. WLP566 - much better attenuating than 565. Wyeast 3711 French Saison - sounds like a really good choice, as it is happier at lower temps than most Saison yeasts, and ferments all the way through. As swen noted, one thing about Saison is that there's room for interpretation. Mixing yeasts (like with the 565 situation mentioned above), or fermenting at high temps or normal temps....it all fits. Good luck!
  6. Wow, that's an interesting one. Sounds right up my alley; I love RyePA's. And Simcoe. And IPA's that are flavor/aroma-focused. Be sure to send the UPS tracking number to me when you ship mine!
  7. I can relate to the OP's story very strongly. My wife got me a kit and 3 refills for Christmas 2 years ago, figuring I'd MAYBE make 1 or 2 batches and be done with it. I had the same expectations. But, after the first batch, I could feel the "gravitational pull" starting to take effect, and it wasn't long before it was my primary hobby, to the surprise of both of us. But, we're both fine with that. She's happy because it's a hobby that doesn't 'involve leaving her home alone with the kids (unlike golf, for example). I'm happy because it's a hobby that involves drinking good beer. The classic win-win scenario.
  8. I did the same thing at a local retailer, for the first time just this week! Stopped in the local "packie," and the manager asked how she could help me. I said, "I've got a weird request for you -- I'd like to buy some of your empties." She said, "not a weird request, at all. You're a homebrewer, looking to bottle your beer in them, right? Do you want Grolsch bottles, or do you have a capper?" She said she used to charge people 7 cents for a 5-cent empty but had a change of heart and lets them go for the cost of the deposit. $1.20 later, I had a case of empty Sammy's and was on my way out the door! I have a new second-favorite packie (after Table and Vine, of course), and I'll be sure to give them more of my business, thanks to their homebrewer-friendly approach.
  9. You beat me to it (by 8 hours), mashani -- I was going to post that chart because it's basically a graphical representation of the BU/GU ratio I mentioned earlier. Same concept. I like the ratio because it's easy to calculate whether the chart is handy or not. I occasionally sort my list of past recipes by the bitterness ratio (in BeerSmith, or a spreadsheet) and see how they compare to each other. That gives me an idea of how my tastebuds are likely to perceive a future recipe -- bitter, malty/sweet, balanced, etc. With experience, you can begin to mentallly formulate your own version of that chart, based on your particular perceptions. And you make a good point regarding how the types of malts used will have an impact on perceived bitterness. Stouts "need" a lot of bitterness just to balance the strong, roasty flavors of the malts, for example.
  10. A good beer should score just as well at the NHC as it would at a local club contest. Worst case, you know you're getting feedback from competent judges (which is still possible but not guaranteed at a small competition). Go all in!!
  11. "Wings_Fan_In_KC" post=315085 said:That's an interesting take CC. My boil is usually 1 gallon so I've never ended up with too much wort but your method sure makes me think.....why the frick didn't I think of that? Follow me here...........you add the water to the brewpot and then monitor the temp. As soon as it hits mid 60's you pull it out of the ice bath and BAM!, you have the perfect temp for pitching. Genius! Yep, that's the general idea. Rather than trying to hit a perfect mix of separate cold water and hot wort, I try to put both together ASAP, so that (A ) I only have to monitor that one, mixed temperature, and (B ) the wort gets cooled that much quicker. I usually finish my boil/chill with 1.25 - 1.4 gallons of wort, so adding a gallon of almost-frozen water to that gets me real close to my fermenting volume, and gives me a head-start on the chilling process. Still need the ice bath, though.
  12. Crazy Climber's 2013 total: 13.8 gallons Bottled: 2.4 - Kolsch 4.5 - "house" IPA, double batch 2.4 - Basil lager 4.5 - Bavarian Pils, double batch Fermenting: Horse's Ass Ale (ginger) Saison Hard Lemonade Hard Iced Tea On deck: Irish Red (first attempt at BIAB) 2012 total: 32 gallons 2011 total: 22 gallons
  13. After quickly advancing beyond straight-up MB recipes, I had essentially forgotten how quick and easy it can be to brew up a good beer with an MB refill. I brewed the Winter Dark with a packet of Booster a couple of months ago, and have been enjoying it for the past couple of weeks. It was so quick and easy compared to what I'm used to (steeps, partial-mashes, hour-plus boils, major chilling efforts, etc.). Yes, it was pricey, but my time is worth something, too. I also spiced up half the batch at bottling time using cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and almond extract. That half came out great, too. I think I'm going to have to work some more straight-up MB batches into my rotation, like Fedora Dave does, in between the more labor-intensive batches. The ease with which you can get good results is a definite plus.
  14. SF- Interesting idea you have there...I say that because I had the same idea! Slightly different approach, but here's what I did: I fermented the MB Winter Dark for the whole 3 weeks, straight up. Then, at bottling time, I bottled half the batch as-is (so I had an idea of what "pure" MB Winter Dark tastes like). Once I had bottled half of it, I then added the spices/extracts, to make my "Holiday Winter Dark." I drank the "Holiday" tester last weekend and was very, very pleased with the results. The spices are subtle, but present in aroma and taste. I agree with Dave that nutmeg is strong, so use sparingly. My additions were as follows: 1/8 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract Keep in mind, that was for HALF of a MB-sized batch, so double those for a full LBK. Next time, I might just leave out the nutmeg and bump up the liquid extracts. The cinnamon is just fine, and can always be increased as a nice pour-time addition, when sprinkled on the head (of the beer, that is) and rim of the glass. Enjoy yours!
  15. Thanks, guys, for all the insights. I just got my scoresheets back from my first competition. My IIPA got a 33 from both judges. This was my first attempt at an IIPA, so I'm pretty pleased with that. (This beer was brewed with organic LME from Northern Brewer, 1 lb of light DME, table sugar, Simcoe and Cascade, and fermented w/ US-05 in my MB LBK.) And as was mentioned often here, the comments are very helpful. Truth be told, the whole reason I entered was to get the expert, unbiased feedback. They felt my submission was a little too balanced for an IIPA. I get the impression from the entirety of the comments that it might have scored better had I entered it as an American IPA. But, that's good stuff to know, and I do plan to tweak my recipe for the next time I brew this. For that reason alone, I call this experience a "mission accomplished!"
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