Author Topic: Hey Gang from west suburban Chicago  (Read 7517 times)

Offline drowningman

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Hey Gang from west suburban Chicago
« on: December 03, 2008, 09:06:52 PM »
I just found BeerSmith and am amazed at it's depth.  I've enjoyed this hobby for three short years and I continue to learn something new each time I brew a new batch.  I enjoy staying true to styles, but also experimenting.  As far as a favorite style- don't know if I have one, but I'm Belgian by blood and always up for one.

I look forward to participating in the forums.  Proost!

Dman

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Hey Gang from west suburban Chicago
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2008, 07:35:36 AM »
Glad to have you with us!
Cheers
Preston
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

Offline SOGOAK

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Re: Hey Gang from west suburban Chicago
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2008, 08:10:16 PM »
Dman -Where in W suburbs are you?  I'm in Wheaton.  I learned about a year ago and since the beginning of Sugust have got 8 batches going.  3 have been consumed...
Good Recipe, Good Ingredients, Good Procedure, Good Sanitation = Good Brew.

Offline Rep

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Re: Hey Gang from west suburban Chicago
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2008, 06:53:24 AM »
I just found BeerSmith and am amazed at it's depth.  I've enjoyed this hobby for three short years and I continue to learn something new each time I brew a new batch.  I enjoy staying true to styles, but also experimenting.  As far as a favorite style- don't know if I have one, but I'm Belgian by blood and always up for one.

I look forward to participating in the forums.  Proost!

Dman

I also attempt to brew true to style.  But have to admit, at times I simply screw it up.  But for the most part, my product has been very drinkable.  It is also only getting better as I pay more attention to detail and expand the number of brewing processes I pay closer attention to.

Welcome to the forums.

Offline drowningman

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Re: Hey Gang from west suburban Chicago
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2008, 10:14:49 PM »
Hey guys!

Rep: Ya know, I found that brewing was more enjoyable if I didn't force myself to be perfect in every step of the brewing process (as I'm often guilty of in the things I do).  I'll share that I first took a class to learn about brewing and I was appalled that the instructor reached into the wort after the grommet he dropped in by accident.  However, you might be surprised that the ale came out quite well.  I find it funny now to think that I brewed almost a year before I took my first gravity reading.  My point is that I agree with you- taking steps one at a time is a great method for perfecting your talent and the brews you make, traditional or not.  Thanks for welcoming me.  What are you working on right now?

"Useless"- love the username!  Thanks also for having me.  I look forward to the forums and new internet friends.

Sogoak- I am in North Aurora, just a little west of you.  Right now I'm watching the Hawks kick the s**t out of the Oilers... Eight batches so far- not bad!  I get to one to two a month- several things keep me from tending to my hobby more often, but that's the way it goes.

What do you have going right now?  What's become your favorite?  Nice to have a fellow "Smither" locally.  Keep in touch.

Dman

Offline drowningman

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Re: Hey Gang from west suburban Chicago
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2008, 10:19:21 PM »
OK Sogoak- I'm an idiot- I just read what you have going on your post.  Funny thing is- after you click reply, it doesn't show everyone's brews...

Offline Rep

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Re: Hey Gang from west suburban Chicago
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2008, 09:02:31 AM »
Hey guys!

Rep: Ya know, I found that brewing was more enjoyable if I didn't force myself to be perfect in every step of the brewing process (as I'm often guilty of in the things I do).  I'll share that I first took a class to learn about brewing and I was appalled that the instructor reached into the wort after the grommet he dropped in by accident.  However, you might be surprised that the ale came out quite well.  I find it funny now to think that I brewed almost a year before I took my first gravity reading.  My point is that I agree with you- taking steps one at a time is a great method for perfecting your talent and the brews you make, traditional or not.  Thanks for welcoming me.  What are you working on right now?

"Useless"- love the username!  Thanks also for having me.  I look forward to the forums and new internet friends.

Sogoak- I am in North Aurora, just a little west of you.  Right now I'm watching the Hawks kick the s**t out of the Oilers... Eight batches so far- not bad!  I get to one to two a month- several things keep me from tending to my hobby more often, but that's the way it goes.

What do you have going right now?  What's become your favorite?  Nice to have a fellow "Smither" locally.  Keep in touch.

Dman

What am I doing right now?  Increasing my efficiency is an issue I am working on.  I make good beer and would like to do it with better efficiency.

But....I have now identified a house beer and have brewed it three times.  To me, a house beer is one you enjoy, would be proud to serve to a variety of people with different tastes and is cheap and easy to brew.  I have a Pale Ale, (not my recipe), that meets that requirement.

My next project is to identify a second house beer.  This one would have some of the same ingredients as my first so that I can increase my bulk purchasing.  That is the real purpose here, to increase my pantry supplies in a systematic manner.

I attempt to move in a systematic manner taking one step at a time.

My goals have been to:
1)  Add procedures that make the beer taste better.
2)  Add processes to reduce the cost of a batch.
3)  Add equipment to make it easier to brew.

I actually had thought of writing an article for the Wiki that outlines a brewery/brewing growth trend using the above principles.

Offline SOGOAK

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Re: Hey Gang from west suburban Chicago
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2008, 10:22:25 AM »
That is funny!  I went through 3-4 batches before I got an accurate OG and FG. 

Rep, I am so down with what you outlined as general goals. 

I want to learn to better use gravities to brew.  I think we all know that for a basic ale you cook it, wait, bottle it, wait, and drink it.  But there are a couple batches that I moved too fast on that didn't come out right.  (too short ferment and aging) I initially was bummed out.  They were still good, but not great.  Then the last couple bottles that got another month old were amazing.  DOH!

Favorite beer right now is this "Fat Kid" by a guy on tastybrew.  It is a VERY dark amber with some brown sugar and 4 oz of Mt. Hood used at different intervals.  It is really unlike anything on the shelves.  Sorta Simple with about half a dozen things going on in there.

I definately want to get a Pale going as a regular too.

I joined Urban Knaves of Grain last month - another great forum.  It is funny how in this hobby the really experienced guys mostly just want rooks like me to do better.

I'm in the process of putting my recipees in BS.  Then I'll try to upload them.

I hear you too on bending rules a little.  As long as ingredients are good, instruments are clean, I think the rest should be flexible as long as notes are maintained.  I have been looking at mine noticing some ingredient changes, boil times and hop addition differences. etc.  I laugh at the things I didn't do on the first couple that are "Cardinal" now...Still got good beer!

I'm sure All Grain will really give me a chance to stumble around.  Being new, I can only wonder what  I'll be aiming for in a year or two.
Good Recipe, Good Ingredients, Good Procedure, Good Sanitation = Good Brew.

Offline Rep

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Re: Hey Gang from west suburban Chicago
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2008, 05:45:20 PM »
I am very particular when deciding recipes to brew.  I don't create my own yet.  I am currently brewing from the Jamil/Palmer book.  I have brewed a couple of brews from BeerSmith as I believe they would be well thought of before being added to the software package.  I will brew a beer taken from one of the well known beer related websites, but then, only from well established members of those sites.

My time, resources and liver are too valuable to mess around with somebodies experiment in progress.  Including my own.

Offline drowningman

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Re: Hey Gang from west suburban Chicago
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2008, 04:14:11 AM »
Fellas,

Efficiency... that's a good one.  When you figure it out let me know.  I always overfill at least a couple bottles making a mess and I swear some labels from empty retail bottles are glued on with epoxy.  I don't know if I've ever found the word "efficiency" in my homebrewing books. :)

I've acquainted myself woth a few Knaves running into them at a pub or two.  Pretty good guys.  And yes, most people in this hobby get off on helping others learn.

Other than a Theakston clone, I've only created my own recipes.  Since starting the hobby I continue to study traditional styles and the respective typical ingredients, and a few recipes from other brewers.  I then put something similar together using different amounts or substitutes.  Sometimes I may have a little more chocolate than roasted grain in stock- other times I might add aromatic malt (actually I use ths quite often) or throw in a little more crystal than a previous batch.  I bet you'll enjoy the hobby even more if you draw up your own and see how well you do.

As far as experimenting, I may have created my first signature brew- a hopped up amber cream ale.  It's balanced in hop/malty aroma, great head, very full and smooth, but finishes with a nice hop bitterness.  I'll get around to posting the recipe if you're interested.

Rep:  Good luck with your steps/methods post.  I'll look to hear from you when it's posted.
Dman