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Thread: Ymm, Beer

  1. #2261
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by Lavabe View Post
    I had that last at this time last year, and as soon as we did, we started losing to WVU.

    It's now on my banned list. We're talking major league infraction points.

    EarlJam, Wilson, and Shamm will verify.

    Cheers,
    Lavabe
    I bought my 12 pack on Monday, and finished it off yesterday. We haven't lost in that whole time span.
    Mmmm, BBQ!

  2. #2262
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Quote Originally Posted by blazindw View Post
    So, this is probably the right thread to go to for help in this area. I have decided 2009 is the year I start to drink some beer and like it. Ever since I started drinking, I've been hands-off to beer because I thought it was nasty. But, beer is usually the drink that has special deals at bars, not the Jack that I usually drink. So, I figured it's time to start trying some beers to see what I can add to my alcoholic arsenal.

    Can anyone recommend any everyday beers that you think I would like? Any sampler 6-packs that I should check out? Here's my limited beer experience so far, but I'm willing to try most:

    Shiner Bock - wasn't bad
    Strawberry Belgian Lambic - Enjoyed
    Some random Cider - Enjoyed
    Miller Lite - bleh
    Bud Lite - eh
    Corona (no lime) - eh
    Dos Equis - eh

    I hear some stouts are chocolaty or coffee-like in flavor, which I don't enjoy. Usually the fruity beers I have enjoyed more (haven't tried Blue Moon yet, but it's on my list). My goal is to have an everyday type of beer that I can enjoy and not have to ask for the random insert-fruit, insert-nationality beer that 1 bar in 50 may have. 'Preciate the help!
    Buy an inexpensive beer book such as Michael Jackson's (the bearded MJ, not the bleached MJ), Fred Eckhardt's (sp?) or a beer review book and make some selections from whatever book you buy. In addition to several hundred beer reviews, each book will describe multiple different styles of beer.

    The samplers at various brewpubs is also a great way to try different styles, pick your favorite from the 4-5 or so they serve and then finish off the evening with a pint of your favorite from that group.

  3. #2263
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Quote Originally Posted by devildeac View Post
    Buy an inexpensive beer book such as Michael Jackson's (the bearded MJ, not the bleached MJ), Fred Eckhardt's (sp?) or a beer review book and make some selections from whatever book you buy. In addition to several hundred beer reviews, each book will describe multiple different styles of beer.

    The samplers at various brewpubs is also a great way to try different styles, pick your favorite from the 4-5 or so they serve and then finish off the evening with a pint of your favorite from that group.
    Hmm, I think I'll do that (or at least look at one online).

    Quote Originally Posted by Lavabe View Post
    Earlier in the thread, we came up with brackets for our field of 65 (remember THAT, devildeac?). If you stay away from the porters/stouts initially, and go for the wheats, you will probably be doing the right thing. Also, as it is starting to turn spring (yeah, we had 1.5 inches of snow last night), a number of us shift our palates towards the wheats and summer ales, away from the porters and stouts. The fruit beers become more available.

    Several suggestions on the wheats and others:
    1) If you have a friend living in Wisconsin, your friend will become your best friend ever. New Glarus ... oooooooh. I'd wait until later in the summer for one of these, after you get more into brews.
    2) Leinenkugel is a classic American wheat that comes in a number of solid varieties, including honey weiss, and a number of berry wheats. I believe that CBaB and I discussed this a little earlier this thread. These are inexpensive, and certainly a change of pace for someone who has been sipping a few .... err, well, other beers.
    3) If you have a friend in St. Louis, O'Fallon's springtime "Wheach" (peach wheat) is a wonderful brew.
    4) I think Chicago's Goose Island Brewery has a number of simple, straightforward ales worth trying, including their Honker's Ale.
    5) Great Lakes Brewing Company is a godsend. You can find a lot of potent full-bodied porters, stock ales, later on, but some of their lagers are very pleasant (Dortmunder Lager). I'd definitely try their seasonal Irish Ale and Grassroots Ale.
    6) I don't think Sweetwater has made it up to your neck of the woods, but their Blue, summer ale (named after the SUV beginning with "hum"), and 420 would be worth tries.
    7) Look at your local store for Brooklyn Brewery, then research the varieties available there.
    8) By all means, SEEK OUT LOCAL BREWERIES. Let us know what you find. Contribute to the thread. Local brewers will often times have interesting new varieties for you to try, and most can not only tell you what makes the most sense for you to try, but they can usually tell you what food will pair well with your brew. The friendliness at the brewpub will also enhance your beer experience.

    An important stat to get used to would be the IBUs (bitterness measurement). If you're not yet used to bitterness, then I'd be sure to look at the beers you like, and get their IBU score. You can then assess which future beers you'd like to try by looking at this stat.

    Cheers,
    Lavabe
    All these are great, Lavabe! Sweetwater is not in DC yet (although there's a couple places here that might have it...we have 1 bar that has the most kinds of beers in the world and another that's got about 300 different kinds), but I'm digging the name for the beer...I drive said SUV (the smaller version )

    I'm also feeling the Great Lakes beers being a native of Michigan. Next time I'm at my parents' house in Ohio or I make my way up to Detroit (1st Saturday in April hopefully!), I'll check for it.

    Finally, I'm assuming the higher the IBU score, the less bitter the beer is usually?
    2003-2004 HLM

    Duke | Mirecourt | Detroit| The U | USA

  4. #2264
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Quote Originally Posted by blazindw View Post
    Hmm, I think I'll do that (or at least look at one online).



    All these are great, Lavabe! Sweetwater is not in DC yet (although there's a couple places here that might have it...we have 1 bar that has the most kinds of beers in the world and another that's got about 300 different kinds), but I'm digging the name for the beer...I drive said SUV (the smaller version )

    I'm also feeling the Great Lakes beers being a native of Michigan. Next time I'm at my parents' house in Ohio or I make my way up to Detroit (1st Saturday in April hopefully!), I'll check for it.

    Finally, I'm assuming the higher the IBU score, the less bitter the beer is usually?
    Higher IBU=more bitter beer

  5. #2265
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Quote Originally Posted by devildeac View Post
    Higher IBU=more bitter beer
    Ah, ok, so a 80 IBU would be far more bitter than a 5 IBU, just to clarify?
    2003-2004 HLM

    Duke | Mirecourt | Detroit| The U | USA

  6. #2266
    Quote Originally Posted by blazindw View Post
    Ah, ok, so a 80 IBU would be far more bitter than a 5 IBU, just to clarify?
    correct and 80 would be pretty high...Barleywines, Imperial IPA, some stouts fall into that range..

    Like Lavabe said, this is probably a good time of year as heavier beers (porters and stouts) become replaced by wheat beers, etc. From your description of what you've tried and liked, you'll probably do well with the various summer offerings that breweries produce. Watch out for hoppy beers though which are also common this time year and might be tougher when starting out in trying new beers..

  7. #2267
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Quote Originally Posted by blazindw View Post
    Ah, ok, so a 80 IBU would be far more bitter than a 5 IBU, just to clarify?
    Yes. At 80 IBU, you are probably in the IPA or barleywine range (if not higher). In the 5 IBU range, you are probably talking about bud/coors/miller lite.

  8. #2268
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham-- 2 miles from Cameron, baby!
    Beer brewing is like chess-- the rules are really very simple, it's becoming a master that's hard.

    But for a starter, it's good to remember that there are really only five core steps to brewing beer.


    1. Boil grains or grain extracts for an absolute minimum of twenty minutes (preferably longer)
    2. Add hops somewhere during the back half of the boil
    3. After the boiled product (called "wort") has cooled below 75 degrees, add brewing yeast
    4. Cover and put in a dark place to ferment* till fermentation is complete (approx 1 week)
    5. Add bottling sugar and bottle the beer.


    *(use a vent or fermentation lock, unless you want to experience the "devildeac effect.")

    Do these five things and you will get an eminently drinkable beer. Of course, eminently drinkable can always be improved upon, and that's where the mastery (and a lot of the fun) come in.

    Homebrewers are prone to a bit of passion, so go in knowing that you will receive conflicting advice. My take is that on matters that are critical, there is little debate.

    Key among these matters is cleanliness. Wild yeast is ubiquitous and wants to get into your wort (that, btw, is one of the key things the 20+ minute is for-- killing wild yeast). Once the boil is over and has cooled, your primary concern is contamination with wild yeast-- which actually ferments fine, but tastes funky.

    Try to make sure that anything which touches your wort AFTER it cools has been sterilized. Don't get nutty about it-- brewer's yeast is bred to successfully ferment in wort even with some competition from wild yeast-- but just be aware.

    If you know someone that's into homebrewing, see if you can talk them into being there for your first brew, or giving an assist with purchases or whatnot. Homebrewers are generally pretty up for that kind of thing. It's not that hard, but doing it once with a coach will make it a lot easier.

  9. #2269
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    No problem, glad to help. One last bit advice...start buying beer in bottles only, no twist off caps. You drink the beer, save the bottle. One 5 gallon batch (which is what the kits make) will fill at least 48 12oz. bottles. Brown bottles are the best, but any will work. Also save the boxes for storing later on. Rinse the bottles out after drinking them, it will make sanitizing them that much easier.
    Do they make smaller kits? 48 bottles would last quite awhile in the DA household. (Mr. DA doesn't drink much beer.)

  10. #2270
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilAlumna View Post
    Do they make smaller kits? 48 bottles would last quite awhile in the DA household. (Mr. DA doesn't drink much beer.)
    They don't make the kits for smaller batches, but you can adjust your recipe and create your own. http://www.tastybrew.com/newrcp/styleview.html has a bunch of recipes, you will be looking for the extract versions. One thing you could do, is make the 5 gallon batch and share with friends, just ask them to return the bottles.
    Mmmm, BBQ!

  11. #2271
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    I've got to adjust some of these instructions. Not trying to step on your toes, I've just got a lot of experience to help you out.
    Quote Originally Posted by alteran View Post

    Boil grains or grain extracts for an absolute minimum of twenty minutes (preferably longer)
    You want to boil for one hour. The boil time does not actually start when the wort boils, it starts when it "breaks". At some point your brew pot is going to spew forth a ton of foam as those sugars are in action, (which is why you want a much larger pot than you think you will need, it will spill over and be very messy).

    Quote Originally Posted by alteran View Post
    Add hops somewhere during the back half of the boil.
    You will be adding hops, but if you only add them once, it will be at about the 10 minute mark of the boil. These are called the bittering hops. You also might add hops at the middle of the boil, and at the very end. The ones added at the end are called the aroma hops. Often the hops used at the different boil times are different varieties.

    Quote Originally Posted by alteran View Post
    After the boiled product (called "wort") has cooled below 75 degrees, add brewing yeast.
    This is correct, and very important. If it's too hot when you add it, you'll kill the yeast and your brew will never convert from sugar to alcohol. When I brew an extract kit, I boil 3 gallons of water, and keep 3 gallons in the fridge. Once the boil is done, I use the 3 cold gallons to bring the wort down to temperature (one gallon will have boiled off, so you are left with 5 gallons). You can also use a wort chiller, or place the pot in a bath tub filled with chilled water. The wort chiller works best, but can be pricey, even if you make yours like I did. The bath works fine, but can take a while, and you really want to chill it quickly.

    Quote Originally Posted by alteran View Post
    Cover and put in a dark place to ferment* till fermentation is complete (approx 1 week)
    You definitely want it in a dark, cool spot, but I would highly recommend wating a full 2 weeks. I used to wait only a week, and the quality is noticabely improved with the longer fermentation.

    Quote Originally Posted by alteran View Post
    Add bottling sugar and bottle the beer.
    Also true. 3/4 cup of corn sugar per 5 gallons of beer. Dilute it first in a cup of heated water, pour it in your bottling bucket, then add the beer. It will mix very well. You can also use brown sugar or honey, check some recipes out and see what they recommend.


    Also, the water you use is a huge ingredient, right? I suggest using spring water from the store. It's easy to control your volume, and you know it is clean. It's also cheap, a buck a gallon. DO NOT use distilled water!
    Mmmm, BBQ!

  12. #2272
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    One last note, do not boil your grains if you have any, only steep them. So if your kit has specialty grains, you make a tea for about 45 minutes, keeping the temperature at a steady 150-165 degrees. DO NOT go over 170! Once your tea is finished, you add your extracts to it and start boiling at that point.
    Mmmm, BBQ!

  13. #2273
    Ymm, beer denizens, I need your words of wisdom.

    As some of you may know, I am relocating from California to Charlotte, NC in May. I have some craft brews that I'd like to bring back with me, but I'm not sure about the best way to get them from point A to point B.

    Here's my situation:
    1. I'll be traveling cross-country with my buddy, making many stops along the way.
    2. Not sure how many stops, but we're thinking the trip will take about a week give or take a few days. We're planning on not planning any thing specific but doing as much as possible.

    So what's the most desirable way to transport? Can I get by without using a cooler? Some of the beer is currently refrigerated, some isn't. How hot is too hot?

  14. #2274
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by 2535Miles View Post
    So what's the most desirable way to transport? Can I get by without using a cooler? Some of the beer is currently refrigerated, some isn't. How hot is too hot?
    Too hot is over 80 for an extended time. I'd wrap them up in a blanket or something, and keep them on your floorboard. It's the lowest part of the car, and the blanket should act as an insulator. Assuming your longest periods out of the car will be at night while y'all sleep, then I think they will make it back fine. Maybe even invest in a couple of those freezer packs. You can freeze them in your hotel, or at least chill them in an ice bucket overnight. Wrap them with the bottles during the day.
    Mmmm, BBQ!

  15. #2275
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lexington, KY

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by blazindw View Post
    ...we have 1 bar that has the most kinds of beers in the world and another that's got about 300 different kinds), but I'm digging the name for the beer...I drive said SUV (the smaller version )

    I'm also feeling the Great Lakes beers being a native of Michigan. Next time I'm at my parents' house in Ohio or I make my way up to Detroit (1st Saturday in April hopefully!), I'll check for it.
    There are only a few American places that carry Madagascar's "Three Horses Beer," and there's a bar in DC that has most of the good African beers. My friend who does work in Mali insists that I must go and visit said bar. Maybe we're talking about the same place.

    Most of Great Lakes Brewery's collection is a bit high on the IBUs for someone who hasn't gotten used to bitters, but the ones I suggested should be okay.

    FWIW, devildeac is 100% correct on going with samplers if you go to a local microbrew.

    Pre-ManU vs. Liverpool Cheers,
    Lavabe

  16. #2276
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    Too hot is over 80 for an extended time. I'd wrap them up in a blanket or something, and keep them on your floorboard. It's the lowest part of the car, and the blanket should act as an insulator. Assuming your longest periods out of the car will be at night while y'all sleep, then I think they will make it back fine. Maybe even invest in a couple of those freezer packs. You can freeze them in your hotel, or at least chill them in an ice bucket overnight. Wrap them with the bottles during the day.
    Buy a $2-3 styrofoam cooler and use hotel ice every night. CB&B's suggestiions are good ones, too.

  17. #2277
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Lavabe View Post
    There are only a few American places that carry Madagascar's "Three Horses Beer," and there's a bar in DC that has most of the good African beers. My friend who does work in Mali insists that I must go and visit said bar. Maybe we're talking about the same place.
    We probably are...the Brickskeller:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brickskeller

    I should also report that after my rec basketball game, I went out with some friends to watch the game, and I had a Sam Adam's Winter Lager. I liked it! The Project's going well so far!
    2003-2004 HLM

    Duke | Mirecourt | Detroit| The U | USA

  18. #2278
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by blazindw View Post
    We probably are...the Brickskeller:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brickskeller

    I should also report that after my rec basketball game, I went out with some friends to watch the game, and I had a Sam Adam's Winter Lager. I liked it! The Project's going well so far!
    Wow that bar has been around forever. One of my classmates was a waitress there, we used to tease her about all the beers she had to know. As far as we were concerned, if it was over 50 cents a glass it sucked. Man, if I knew then what I knew now, I'd have followed her to work daily.
    In her honor I say "man". I used to call everyone "man" back then, including females. It was a bad habit, and it drove her nuts. Cheers to Laura!
    Mmmm, BBQ!

  19. #2279
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    I used to work 2 blocks from the Brickskellar! Needless to say, it got a lot of my happy hour $$. I tried hard to never order the same brew twice. Only thing that I didn't like was their lack of draught beers; sounds like they have a new space in Chinatown for that - may have to visit next time I get to DC.

  20. #2280
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Faint of tongue and palate? Fear these beer:


    http://www.beertutor.com/beers/index.php?t=highest_ibu

    Thanks to RMD as he provided this link to me several months ago.

    Hey, where is he?

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