Good news: I apparently am out of Fort St. John for sure by the end of November and back to Calgary (for now), word of mouth tells me that there is somebody to replace me. Sweet.
As for nerdy beer stuff...
Amazon.com sent me this awesome book I've wanted for awhile, Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels. Its a really in-depth book for advanced homebrewers or professional brewers. Lots of sceintific background, lots of graphs, charts, tables, and even references to scientific papers in journals. I've read 1/2 a chapter and already learned a few things!
- For malt extracts, use dry malt extracts. Liquid ME is hydrated and chemical reactions occur faster.
- For all my extract brewing to date, I had always mini-mashed the specialty malts together, sparged, and then boiled with a bunch of Light DME to get the initial SG up. However, I think from now on when I do my mini-mash I will add a bunch of 'regular' malted barley (likely pale 2-row). I'm thinking this would help with starch conversion in the mini-mash, and using real grains instead of DME apparently does provide some improvements and better control. I figure if I replace 1/3 or 1/2 of the DME I'd use normally with 2-row I might like the results.