Homebrew Swap 2010 Follow Up June 9, 2010 6:32 PM   Subscribe

Homebrew Swap Thread! Thanks to maurice and box for the booze!

Well, I got my homebrews from the homebrew swap, and sent out mine. Box sent me an IPA and a coffee stout, which I haven't tried yet, but am looking forward to, as I love stouts and IPAs.

Maurice sent me a cyser (cider and honey mead), which I tried tonight. It's awesome! It tastes a bit like apfelwein (dry and appley), but stronger and more winelike. It definitely had an apple flavor, and maybe an after-taste of clover. Of course, it was my first mead, so I could be way off on my tasting notes. Here's the bottle, which was pretty spiffy looking, and here it is in glasses.

I will post (crude, immature, never-read-a-Michael-Jackson-book) tasting notes for box's beers when I'm ready to try them!
posted by mccarty.tim to MetaFilter Gatherings at 6:32 PM (56 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Awesome! I just got my first beer too--an APA from hlewagast. I just put it in the refrigerator.

Thanks, revgeorge, for setting this up.
posted by box at 6:42 PM on June 9, 2010

I will so participate next time. Lets have a winter swap!

My "Suck On A Stick" Astringent Blonde Ale, "3 Year Old Hops" Double Sweet IPA and "Yellowstone Geyser" Triple Carbonated Sulfuric Stout should be ready by then.
posted by dirty lies at 7:07 PM on June 9, 2010

I will gladly try people's homebrews, but have none to swap.
posted by not_on_display at 7:08 PM on June 9, 2010

I want in on the next one if anyone is making a list.
posted by codswallop at 7:32 PM on June 9, 2010

I got beers from box today as well. They're currently in the fridge, and will be enjoyed tomorrow after a long day of home renovation.

Big thanks to revgeorge for organizing. A+++++ would exchange homebrew again!
posted by Hlewagast at 7:57 PM on June 9, 2010

I, too, would like to be on the next one! Just give me six weeks or so...
posted by smartyboots at 2:07 AM on June 10, 2010

So, anyone planning on joining the Reddit Homebrew Competition? I have a Lady Gagale citrus hefeweizen I might enter as a late competitor.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:40 AM on June 10, 2010

I received my three bottles of lager from kuujjuarapik and my wife and I already drank two of them. I didn't make tasting notes. Sorry :( I hope he likes his barleywine which appears to have been delivered.
posted by mkb at 6:13 AM on June 10, 2010

I sent mine off to booknerd earlier this week, and apparently her's are en route to me now. Looking forward to it!
posted by slogger at 7:14 AM on June 10, 2010

God I'd be terrified to have strangers drink the schlock I just brewed. Terrible. But when I'm better at it, this would be fun.
posted by Ouisch at 8:30 AM on June 10, 2010

Too bad nobody (me!) dropped a note to drewbage1847 when this was getting set up. He's pretty active in the homebrew community (and I would guess a fantastic brewer).
posted by slogger at 9:21 AM on June 10, 2010

According to UPS it will be a veritable flood of shipped beer arriving on my doorstep over the next few days. I can't wait! It'll give me something to sip while I upgrade the kegerator.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:28 AM on June 10, 2010

Yes, we got a well-decorated ESB from robocop yesterday that's in the fridge right now. From the description, it might be very similar to the second batch of ESB we made for our engagement party, so I'm thinking of holding off on drinking it until Tuesday so we can try them side by side (assuming we have bottles of ours leftover!).

Anyway, woo yeah awesome beer woooooo! I feel kind of guilty for participating at all, since we just sent out our FIRST EVER BATCH OF HOMEBREW and the level of deliciousness is probably not going to be up to par with the amazing things people are sending me. Suckers. (just kidding, I love you all).

Well, most of you anyway.
posted by booknerd at 9:51 AM on June 10, 2010

I sent mine to burnmp3s! Looking forward to receiving a bottle!

I got it, haven't got a chance to try it yet. I also received hlewagast's APA, which I also haven't tried. Mine are on the way!
posted by burnmp3s at 9:53 AM on June 10, 2010

see, homebrews are what my hebrew homeboys and I call each other when we meet on the street.

"'sup, Homebrew."

so these threads are always confusing for me.
posted by shmegegge at 10:39 AM on June 10, 2010

I call my beer-drinking homeboys 'brewham.'
posted by box at 10:54 AM on June 10, 2010

When I'm out drinking with David Beckham, I call him "asshole."

Wait. What?
posted by slogger at 11:15 AM on June 10, 2010

Here's the label for the ESB I sent out. Half the fun of brewing is drawing my rabbits.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:25 AM on June 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

I got robocop's ESB and felt immediate guilt - because he included an awesome trinket from his hometown, a sheet with notes on the beer, and a label.

In return, he (and peeedro) can expect some crumbled up newspaper, repurposed cardboard used in shipping a bike frame, lots of packing tape and some bubble wrap. Oh, and packing peanuts. And a sharpie-labeled cap that only identifies the beer to me.

Homebrewswap fail!

Next time, robocop, I'll do you right.

I'll probably be sampling his ESB tomorrow, and will certainly report back.
posted by pkphy39 at 12:18 PM on June 10, 2010

(oh, and robocop - my daughter LOVED the rabbits, as I opened the package while she was eating dinner).
posted by pkphy39 at 12:19 PM on June 10, 2010

Trinkets? Labels? All my guys got was a Ziploc bag and some secondhand packing peanuts.
posted by box at 12:56 PM on June 10, 2010

box: "Trinkets? Labels? All my guys got was a Ziploc bag and some secondhand packing peanuts"

Wait, no beer? Or is it some new variety of packing peanuts that turns into beer when you dissolve them in water?
posted by mkb at 1:42 PM on June 10, 2010

Ohhh, labels! I wanna see more labels!

/neither drinks or makes beer
posted by deborah at 1:44 PM on June 10, 2010

goy vey.
posted by not_on_display at 2:31 PM on June 10, 2010

Yay, Tim's beers arrived today. Congratulations on fooling the FedEx guy!
posted by box at 3:24 PM on June 10, 2010

Argh. My 1/4 Nut & 5/16 Barb on the new gas in ball lock seems to be leak prone. Is there some sort of rubber washer that's supposed to go in between them?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:46 PM on June 10, 2010

Both my bottles went out and I'm just waiting on the nice UPS/FedEx dude to deliver the .
I wanted to do labels, but my talent for design falls short of my standards, so no labels. I did include a full recipe.

I see some people sent multiple beers; hope I didn't mess up by just sending one 22-oz bomber of mine.
posted by caphector at 3:48 PM on June 10, 2010

Yeah, sorry for no labels, guys. I burnt out all my creativity juices on the Lady Gagale Citrus Hefeweizen.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:14 PM on June 10, 2010

Well, I just tried the coffee stout from box. Great job! I love stouts, but I never had a coffee stout before. It tasted just as a stout should, malty and roasty. It had insane head retention. Is it part wheat or carapils/carafoam/maltodexterin?
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:39 PM on June 10, 2010

OK, kuujjuarapik's lager gets a thumbs-up from me. Just the right amount of foam in the head, well-balanced, good body for a lager.
posted by mkb at 7:10 AM on June 11, 2010

I had revgeorge's Dark Red English last night to console myself after losing 1/3 of a tank of CO2 for want of 50 cents worth of plastic. Why oh why do I just trust what the Homebrew Guys at Modern Brewer say at face value? Every time I get something there on their advice, they leave out an important component.

Anyways, the beer was great. I've never had the beer it was based on (Short's Magician?) but I'll be definately on the lookout for it.

Glad your daughter enjoyed the bunnies, pkphy! Here's the label for the next beer I'm brewing this weekend.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:14 AM on June 11, 2010

I have beers from mccarty.tim and AngerBoy but I haven't opened any yet. I'm saving them for Saturday's US vs England game.

Glad you liked the cyser, Tim! It's the Fall Bounty Cyser recipe from The Compleat Meadmaker with local (central NY) wildflower honey. I'm very pleased with that one.
posted by maurice at 8:40 AM on June 11, 2010

robocop - you make labels BEFORE you even brew? I must be doing things backwards.

LOVE the label. Love it. Awesome.

Now I'm inspired to make a label for my "Hairy-armed Colorado Blonde", kegging tomorrow. :)

The ESB was delicious! I hope the coffee porter lives up to standards. I think my biggest ongoing problem is our local water (loaded with minerals and chloramine, that's what the mountains will do to a guy), but for the porter I actually went with bottled water, so you're safe (in that regard, at least).

Assuming, of course, that UPS didn't hear the sloshing I did when handling the boxes, and bust things up prohibition-style.
posted by pkphy39 at 7:01 PM on June 11, 2010

I was all ready to tell the UPS folks it was salad dressing, but they didn't even ask.
posted by box at 7:19 PM on June 11, 2010

@box, I tell 'em it's "yeast samples for testing" if they ask.
posted by caphector at 7:24 PM on June 11, 2010

for the porter I actually went with bottled water

Heh. So you remember that water crisis the Boston area had a few weeks ago? That's when I brewed this. The day before the brew, my wife said, "So do you think they'll run out of water in Boston stores and come up here for it tomorrow?" We made eye contact and scrambled to the store.

The next day, when she went back to do her weekly shopping, there was a separate line snaking through the store leading to nigh-empty shelves where water once dwelt.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:37 PM on June 11, 2010

My water is hard, but I heard from a fellow homebrew geek in my area that our water profile is good for most beers, so long as they're amber or darker. So, I'm using spring water for the strawberry blonde I'm fermenting, but I used tap water for the porter I have bottle conditioning.

Speaking of strawberry blondes, has anyone tried adding strawberries to beer? What's your favorite method? I'm debating just getting the bottle of extract, since it's cheaper than buying a lot of strawberries and messing it up somehow... But I also hear that real strawberries can taste better, if you do it right, but nobody seems to agree on the best way to "do it right."
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:12 AM on June 12, 2010

Strawberries are said to be pretty delicate and hard to get the flavor out of. I'd be inclined to grab some of the Oregon Fruit Purees (I think they do strawberry), ferment the base beer to completion then pour the puree into secondary and rack the beer on top of it.

That might require using a tertiary to clear but your yeasties won't blow all the flavor our the airlock. My suspicion is that this technique would get a good strawberry flavor.

The last thing I'd do is taste before bottling. If it's good, then you're OK. If it's not, measure out some small samples. Say, 1-3 oz each, then add a measured amount of strawberry flavor extract to the beer to figure out what tastes best. Then scale that up to your actual beer volume and add the equivalent amount.
posted by caphector at 9:20 AM on June 12, 2010

My wife and I tried three beers this afternoon:

First up was a wheat stout from Tim. This was not a style I'd had before (plenty of stouts; no wheat stouts) but both my wife and I thought this was our favorite of all three. It was beautifully dark with a modest head but good head retention. It was more bitter than I expected but very nicely balanced.

Next was Tim's pale ale. This had a nice head but was a little cloudy. Crisp, well balanced, and a lingering aftertaste. This would have been a great session beer if we only had more than one.

Finally, we had AngerBoy's vanilla porter. This was another really dark beer. Not much head. A strong, bitter taste but with an undercurrent of vanilla that made it very pleasant.

Thanks, guys!
posted by maurice at 1:36 PM on June 12, 2010

Glad you liked the wheat stout! Here's a link to buy the kit it was made from.

And here's the pale ale.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:40 PM on June 12, 2010

Tried brewing with rye yesterday. That was a disaster.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:39 AM on June 14, 2010

MKB is a masterful barleywiner. Generous pint bottles filled with complex dark chocolate flavors with something roasted in there and a nice creamy head. Anyone that gets his beer in the next swap is in for a treat. Thanks, mkb!
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:15 AM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've been out of town, and am glad that someone got this thread going. I can confirm that robocop's ESB packaging puts mine to shame. During the next homebrew swap I will be accepting bribes for people who want to be paired with robocop - also I will trick someone else into managing the swap so that way the bribes aren't unethical.

For anyone interested in the process I took the spreadsheet as a CSV file and wrote some PHP to load it into an array, and then pair people up. It was quickly written code that had a good chance of getting into an infinite loop, but for my purposes hitting ctrl-c and re-trying was a sufficient workaround. I then manually reviewed the results to make sure "Please no apfelwein" wasn't paired up with "I'm sending apfelwein."

In the future it's probably a good idea to close the swap to new entrants a week before notifying people of their partners, so that any dropouts can happen before they are paired with someone. Luckily, everyone who signed up seems to have delivered on their promises - I haven't heard any complaints yet. I think that says a lot about the community here: we save people from a life of slavery and can be counted on to send beer promised months earlier.

Aside: anyone interested in running an installation of BrewBlogger for MeFi members?
posted by revgeorge at 7:36 AM on June 14, 2010

I can handle a BrewBlogger install easily enough.
posted by mkb at 7:56 AM on June 14, 2010

Since I was bored and had some extra time I set up a BrewBlogger installation.

You can find it at arandomdomain.com/brew. I've hacked it a bit so you can create an account (hit Join in the nav bar).

Revgeorge, since you set up the swap I figure you'll want an admin account. MeMail me your username and I'll upgrade it.
posted by caphector at 2:49 PM on June 14, 2010

I had robocop is bleeding's Extra Sophisticated Bunny tonight. [pic] Tasted great! My wife said that if we were at a bar, she'd be ordering a second round of it.

My tasting notes are that it's on the malty side with a great hop flavor. The BJCP guidelines for an ESB largely ring true for this beer, although I didn't get a bitter hop bite at the end. I wouldn't worry too much about that though, writing up this description has made me want another Bunny. When's the next swap? I'm thirsty!
posted by revgeorge at 7:20 PM on June 14, 2010

I've added my recipes to caphector's MeFi Homebrew Site: English Dark Red and Holiday Spiced Ale (originally from here).
posted by revgeorge at 7:54 PM on June 14, 2010

Yeah, I think the change in technique (using the mesh bag throughout the boil) lead to the reduction in hop finish. First, the bag made my mash way more efficient, sending my OG wwaaayyy up from what was planned. Second, the bag tended to pick up dissolved hop pellet trub, thus keeping it out of the boil. I tried to wipe it back down, but couldn't get everything. I'll upload the recipe shortly.

The Bunny seems to be a hit, though, so I'll try to do it up again at some point. I've got an apfelwine and a pale fermenting at the moment, so we'll see when I get the space.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:17 AM on June 15, 2010

I'm drinking an ESB from booknerd right now. Nice and hoppy, smooth, good head retention. It had a nice color until I poured a little too much from the bottle and got some sediment. Maybe a bit more carbonation than I was expecting. This is very enjoyable and I wish I had another.
posted by maurice at 4:14 PM on June 15, 2010

Man, the floor is sticky in here.
posted by not_on_display at 6:10 PM on June 15, 2010

I'm not sure what you expected to find in here. Maybe if you keep looking you can find the thread full of beer nerds upset over getting beer. I don't have the link to it, but I remember the most favorited comment was "GRAR I just got this beer in the mail and that ruined my whole day!!!"
posted by revgeorge at 10:27 AM on June 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm just waiting to get my beer in the mail; apparently both of my trade buddies have had issues getting to UPS.

Not ready to pull a public humiliation on 'em, but starting to wonder....
posted by caphector at 7:16 PM on June 16, 2010

In case anyone is curious, this should be a map of all the trades.

I didn't geocode individual addresses, just ZIP codes so your address isn't visible in this map. But from a high-level view you can see all the beer that criss-crossed the US.
posted by revgeorge at 11:00 AM on June 17, 2010 [4 favorites]

I tried one of casconed's beers tonight; not sure what it was, but it was quite nice. Great lacing, great head, good aroma and quite tasty. Neglected to take a picture or three since my lighting was terrible.

Would drink again!
posted by caphector at 11:11 PM on June 27, 2010

Oh good, the thread is still open. I'm drinking craven_morhead's barleywine right now. The good news is that it has some great flavors. It's a malt bomb that finishes strong, with a raisiny finish. Just what a barleywine should be.

The bad news? It isn't carbonated :(

I'm looking forward to the winter wheat he sent along, the barleywine was obviously well brewed.
posted by revgeorge at 5:59 PM on June 30, 2010

I tried the other beer I got (a chocolate raspberry stout from DJ djduckie) the other day. Interesting beer; the raspberry dominates it, with the roast malts coming in from below to support it.

There seemed to be some medicinal flavors, unfortunately, so I'm going to take the beer to my BJCP class to see if we can tell if it's a fermentation issue or something with the flavoring.

By the way, I just signed up for a BJCP class, so I'm learning more about tasting and judging beers. If I pass the test I'll be happy to evaluate beers for people.
posted by caphector at 11:16 AM on July 4, 2010

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