A Tale of Two Sisters…

I received some birthday presents from my sisters.  One got me a great cookbook and Moleskine beer journal, the other got me a fart candle.  I guess I know which one really cares about me.  I’M MORE THAN JUST A BEER GEEK, EMILY!

BLITZKRIEG HOP IPA

Since it’s National IPA Day, what better time to review our exemplary Blitzkrieg Hop IPA?  Our attempt at making an extremely drinkable monster IPA was a resounding success.  The aroma is huge:  Hey, daddy-o, there’s some stone fruits, citrus, pine, and herbal notes.  At first sip, it’s like your tastebuds are beaten with a bat full of gigantic juicy hop flavor, extremely fruity and resiny at the same time.  Sweet, bready malts mix with smooth, clean bitterness to leave you ready for another sip.  Or gulp.  Seriously, someone will have to take this away from you, it’s impossible to stop drinking.  Though this is relatively low alcohol for the amount of hops we threw in, drinking too much of this will leave you sedated until your brain is hanging upside down.  All I have to say is this is the best IPA we’ve brewed so far (or anyone’s brewed), and is a fitting tribute to the Ramones, the band that turned me into a punk rocker even before I was in high school.  RIP The Ramones.  Long live the IPA.

BIRTHDAY BREW BONANZA

My girlfriend Molly’s birthday is coming up in October, so I wanted to brew a beer or three for her.  I wanted a beer that would capture her love of the ocean and mermaids, and a Gose seemed like the perfect solution:  sour and salty to balance out her natural sweetness (totally cheeseball, I know).  With the rest of the runnings we made two batches of Berliner Weiss— one plain and one fermented with peaches and citrus (reminiscent of peach Fresca, a favorite of Molly’s). 
The malt bill was simple: half wheat and half pilsner, with a pound of acid malt thrown in after 50 minutes of mashing.  These are all low IBU styles, so we mash hopped with an ounce of Tettnang.  The berliner weisses were brought to a boil and then immediately chilled, while the Gose got a full 60 minute boil, with an ounce of coriander and an ounce of sea salt added in the last 10 minutes.
Molly’s dog Jules came over to help with his mommy’s beer, and he got to meet our other furry assistant, Mr. Bojangles.  They had a great time sniffing each other’s undercarriage and thankfully not getting hair in all of our stuff.

We pitched lactobacillus in all three beers, and after three days we added hefeweizen yeast to the Gose and Nottingham to the weisses.  A few days later we added some brett to the weisses, and soon we’ll add the peaches and citra hops to the Fresca Weiss.  We’ve barely had any of these beer styles before, let alone brewed them, so I hope I didn’t screw up and give her 15 gallons of poo for her birthday!  If so, I’m sure Jules and Bojangles will love it. BIRTHDAY BREW BONANZA

My girlfriend Molly’s birthday is coming up in October, so I wanted to brew a beer or three for her.  I wanted a beer that would capture her love of the ocean and mermaids, and a Gose seemed like the perfect solution:  sour and salty to balance out her natural sweetness (totally cheeseball, I know).  With the rest of the runnings we made two batches of Berliner Weiss— one plain and one fermented with peaches and citrus (reminiscent of peach Fresca, a favorite of Molly’s). 
The malt bill was simple: half wheat and half pilsner, with a pound of acid malt thrown in after 50 minutes of mashing.  These are all low IBU styles, so we mash hopped with an ounce of Tettnang.  The berliner weisses were brought to a boil and then immediately chilled, while the Gose got a full 60 minute boil, with an ounce of coriander and an ounce of sea salt added in the last 10 minutes.
Molly’s dog Jules came over to help with his mommy’s beer, and he got to meet our other furry assistant, Mr. Bojangles.  They had a great time sniffing each other’s undercarriage and thankfully not getting hair in all of our stuff.

We pitched lactobacillus in all three beers, and after three days we added hefeweizen yeast to the Gose and Nottingham to the weisses.  A few days later we added some brett to the weisses, and soon we’ll add the peaches and citra hops to the Fresca Weiss.  We’ve barely had any of these beer styles before, let alone brewed them, so I hope I didn’t screw up and give her 15 gallons of poo for her birthday!  If so, I’m sure Jules and Bojangles will love it. BIRTHDAY BREW BONANZA

My girlfriend Molly’s birthday is coming up in October, so I wanted to brew a beer or three for her.  I wanted a beer that would capture her love of the ocean and mermaids, and a Gose seemed like the perfect solution:  sour and salty to balance out her natural sweetness (totally cheeseball, I know).  With the rest of the runnings we made two batches of Berliner Weiss— one plain and one fermented with peaches and citrus (reminiscent of peach Fresca, a favorite of Molly’s). 
The malt bill was simple: half wheat and half pilsner, with a pound of acid malt thrown in after 50 minutes of mashing.  These are all low IBU styles, so we mash hopped with an ounce of Tettnang.  The berliner weisses were brought to a boil and then immediately chilled, while the Gose got a full 60 minute boil, with an ounce of coriander and an ounce of sea salt added in the last 10 minutes.
Molly’s dog Jules came over to help with his mommy’s beer, and he got to meet our other furry assistant, Mr. Bojangles.  They had a great time sniffing each other’s undercarriage and thankfully not getting hair in all of our stuff.

We pitched lactobacillus in all three beers, and after three days we added hefeweizen yeast to the Gose and Nottingham to the weisses.  A few days later we added some brett to the weisses, and soon we’ll add the peaches and citra hops to the Fresca Weiss.  We’ve barely had any of these beer styles before, let alone brewed them, so I hope I didn’t screw up and give her 15 gallons of poo for her birthday!  If so, I’m sure Jules and Bojangles will love it.

BIRTHDAY BREW BONANZA

My girlfriend Molly’s birthday is coming up in October, so I wanted to brew a beer or three for her. I wanted a beer that would capture her love of the ocean and mermaids, and a Gose seemed like the perfect solution: sour and salty to balance out her natural sweetness (totally cheeseball, I know). With the rest of the runnings we made two batches of Berliner Weiss— one plain and one fermented with peaches and citrus (reminiscent of peach Fresca, a favorite of Molly’s).
The malt bill was simple: half wheat and half pilsner, with a pound of acid malt thrown in after 50 minutes of mashing. These are all low IBU styles, so we mash hopped with an ounce of Tettnang. The berliner weisses were brought to a boil and then immediately chilled, while the Gose got a full 60 minute boil, with an ounce of coriander and an ounce of sea salt added in the last 10 minutes.

Molly’s dog Jules came over to help with his mommy’s beer, and he got to meet our other furry assistant, Mr. Bojangles. They had a great time sniffing each other’s undercarriage and thankfully not getting hair in all of our stuff. We pitched lactobacillus in all three beers, and after three days we added hefeweizen yeast to the Gose and Nottingham to the weisses. A few days later we added some brett to the weisses, and soon we’ll add the peaches and citra hops to the Fresca Weiss. We’ve barely had any of these beer styles before, let alone brewed them, so I hope I didn’t screw up and give her 15 gallons of poo for her birthday! If so, I’m sure Jules and Bojangles will love it.

Gotta clean the house? Boring, right? Nothing a liter of Bitburger and some Die Toten Hosen can’t fix. Prost!

Finally got my hands on this after several weeks of unrequited tumblr lust; now, time for a tasty hop education! Haven’t really had any single hop IPAs since some Mikkeller in Atlanta two years ago…

SHATTERED DREAMS

After our Mango Habenero Saison turned out so well, we’ve been set on brewing more beer with hot peppers. Chad had been set on doing a smoked chipotle porter, but then I had a much better idea: a hot pepper milk stout. I think that the sweetness would help balance the heat, much like the mango tempered the habenero.

But that’s not the real reason I wanted to brew this. The truth is much… Stupider. You see, typically a milk stout is brewed with lactose, an unfermentable sugar, to add a bit of sweetness. You know what else has lactose? Breastmilk. You know whose refrigerator is full of breastmilk? Chad and Olivia’s. I bet no one’s brewed a beer with THAT ingredient! But that’s not even the best part! If we add chili peppers in the secondary, we could call it the Red Hot Chili Peppers Mother’s Milk stout! Get it? Like the album? But nooooooo, Chad and Olivia thought it was gross and weird and didn’t even value my dedication to pun-based recipes. Well, I guesd they’ll be sorry after I brew the General Ripper’s Precious Bodily Fluids Cream Ale (made with non-fluoridated water, of course).
AIN’T NO SMOGGY SMOG ON ROCKY TOP…
…but apparently there is plenty of rain.  We decided to work on our smoked beers during the two rainiest days so far this summer.  The success of last year’s Rocky Top Rauch (and complete failure of the Vols) inspired us to make a second attempt at a rauchbier, plus a smoked breakfast porter.  After consulting SEC rival forcera on smoking your own malt, we decided to put our smoker to (less than ideal) use.  We didn’t have time to construct screens for the malt to rest on, so I bought some cake pans and went Breaking Bad on them with a prison shank.  We split six pounds of 2-row in these perforated pans and smoked them with cherry wood for about five hours, misting and turning the grains whenever the intermittent monsoon would let us.  Though two days of biblical flooding may be an ominous portent for another Vols losing season, Chad remains optimistic and predicts an 8-4 record.  Cuz we know how well that prediction turned out last year.
Recipe:
12oz Carapils
1# Dingeman’s Smoked Malt
1# Crystal 120 L
2# Vienna
5# Munich
6# Cherry-smoked 2-row
6.25# 2-row
Mash at 153 for 60 min
The Rocky Top Rauch was a pretty simple boil, with a single bittering charge of 1oz Perle at 50min and .5oz Tettnang at flame-out.  We pitched a starter of WLP060 American Ale Blend.
The Smoked Breakfast Porter was a little more complicated:
1oz Willamette first-wort hops
4oz each Roasted Barley, Black Patent Malt, Chocolate Malt steep for 30min
.5oz Tettnang boil 60 min
1oz Goldings boil 20 min
8.5 oz Grade B Maple Syrup boil 5 min
This one got WLP013 London Ale Yeast, which supposedly has smokey, oakey esters.  After primary fermentation, we’ll rack it to a carboy and add coarse-ground coffee and more maple syrup.  With the addition of these beers, we have a pretty full laundry room… er, fermentation chamber.  The dry-hopped IPA and Pale Ale will be ready to bottle in a few days, while the pineapple saison is still sitting in the secondary with the brett and pineapple.  In a few days we’ll add a bag of frozen pineapple, some sugar and yeast nutrient, and maybe some dregs from a bottle of Orval.  We’ll let it sit and funkify at least another month, then dry hop it and bottle in some Belgian bottles.
Go Vols!  Don’t let us down… again. AIN’T NO SMOGGY SMOG ON ROCKY TOP…
…but apparently there is plenty of rain.  We decided to work on our smoked beers during the two rainiest days so far this summer.  The success of last year’s Rocky Top Rauch (and complete failure of the Vols) inspired us to make a second attempt at a rauchbier, plus a smoked breakfast porter.  After consulting SEC rival forcera on smoking your own malt, we decided to put our smoker to (less than ideal) use.  We didn’t have time to construct screens for the malt to rest on, so I bought some cake pans and went Breaking Bad on them with a prison shank.  We split six pounds of 2-row in these perforated pans and smoked them with cherry wood for about five hours, misting and turning the grains whenever the intermittent monsoon would let us.  Though two days of biblical flooding may be an ominous portent for another Vols losing season, Chad remains optimistic and predicts an 8-4 record.  Cuz we know how well that prediction turned out last year.
Recipe:
12oz Carapils
1# Dingeman’s Smoked Malt
1# Crystal 120 L
2# Vienna
5# Munich
6# Cherry-smoked 2-row
6.25# 2-row
Mash at 153 for 60 min
The Rocky Top Rauch was a pretty simple boil, with a single bittering charge of 1oz Perle at 50min and .5oz Tettnang at flame-out.  We pitched a starter of WLP060 American Ale Blend.
The Smoked Breakfast Porter was a little more complicated:
1oz Willamette first-wort hops
4oz each Roasted Barley, Black Patent Malt, Chocolate Malt steep for 30min
.5oz Tettnang boil 60 min
1oz Goldings boil 20 min
8.5 oz Grade B Maple Syrup boil 5 min
This one got WLP013 London Ale Yeast, which supposedly has smokey, oakey esters.  After primary fermentation, we’ll rack it to a carboy and add coarse-ground coffee and more maple syrup.  With the addition of these beers, we have a pretty full laundry room… er, fermentation chamber.  The dry-hopped IPA and Pale Ale will be ready to bottle in a few days, while the pineapple saison is still sitting in the secondary with the brett and pineapple.  In a few days we’ll add a bag of frozen pineapple, some sugar and yeast nutrient, and maybe some dregs from a bottle of Orval.  We’ll let it sit and funkify at least another month, then dry hop it and bottle in some Belgian bottles.
Go Vols!  Don’t let us down… again. AIN’T NO SMOGGY SMOG ON ROCKY TOP…
…but apparently there is plenty of rain.  We decided to work on our smoked beers during the two rainiest days so far this summer.  The success of last year’s Rocky Top Rauch (and complete failure of the Vols) inspired us to make a second attempt at a rauchbier, plus a smoked breakfast porter.  After consulting SEC rival forcera on smoking your own malt, we decided to put our smoker to (less than ideal) use.  We didn’t have time to construct screens for the malt to rest on, so I bought some cake pans and went Breaking Bad on them with a prison shank.  We split six pounds of 2-row in these perforated pans and smoked them with cherry wood for about five hours, misting and turning the grains whenever the intermittent monsoon would let us.  Though two days of biblical flooding may be an ominous portent for another Vols losing season, Chad remains optimistic and predicts an 8-4 record.  Cuz we know how well that prediction turned out last year.
Recipe:
12oz Carapils
1# Dingeman’s Smoked Malt
1# Crystal 120 L
2# Vienna
5# Munich
6# Cherry-smoked 2-row
6.25# 2-row
Mash at 153 for 60 min
The Rocky Top Rauch was a pretty simple boil, with a single bittering charge of 1oz Perle at 50min and .5oz Tettnang at flame-out.  We pitched a starter of WLP060 American Ale Blend.
The Smoked Breakfast Porter was a little more complicated:
1oz Willamette first-wort hops
4oz each Roasted Barley, Black Patent Malt, Chocolate Malt steep for 30min
.5oz Tettnang boil 60 min
1oz Goldings boil 20 min
8.5 oz Grade B Maple Syrup boil 5 min
This one got WLP013 London Ale Yeast, which supposedly has smokey, oakey esters.  After primary fermentation, we’ll rack it to a carboy and add coarse-ground coffee and more maple syrup.  With the addition of these beers, we have a pretty full laundry room… er, fermentation chamber.  The dry-hopped IPA and Pale Ale will be ready to bottle in a few days, while the pineapple saison is still sitting in the secondary with the brett and pineapple.  In a few days we’ll add a bag of frozen pineapple, some sugar and yeast nutrient, and maybe some dregs from a bottle of Orval.  We’ll let it sit and funkify at least another month, then dry hop it and bottle in some Belgian bottles.
Go Vols!  Don’t let us down… again. AIN’T NO SMOGGY SMOG ON ROCKY TOP…
…but apparently there is plenty of rain.  We decided to work on our smoked beers during the two rainiest days so far this summer.  The success of last year’s Rocky Top Rauch (and complete failure of the Vols) inspired us to make a second attempt at a rauchbier, plus a smoked breakfast porter.  After consulting SEC rival forcera on smoking your own malt, we decided to put our smoker to (less than ideal) use.  We didn’t have time to construct screens for the malt to rest on, so I bought some cake pans and went Breaking Bad on them with a prison shank.  We split six pounds of 2-row in these perforated pans and smoked them with cherry wood for about five hours, misting and turning the grains whenever the intermittent monsoon would let us.  Though two days of biblical flooding may be an ominous portent for another Vols losing season, Chad remains optimistic and predicts an 8-4 record.  Cuz we know how well that prediction turned out last year.
Recipe:
12oz Carapils
1# Dingeman’s Smoked Malt
1# Crystal 120 L
2# Vienna
5# Munich
6# Cherry-smoked 2-row
6.25# 2-row
Mash at 153 for 60 min
The Rocky Top Rauch was a pretty simple boil, with a single bittering charge of 1oz Perle at 50min and .5oz Tettnang at flame-out.  We pitched a starter of WLP060 American Ale Blend.
The Smoked Breakfast Porter was a little more complicated:
1oz Willamette first-wort hops
4oz each Roasted Barley, Black Patent Malt, Chocolate Malt steep for 30min
.5oz Tettnang boil 60 min
1oz Goldings boil 20 min
8.5 oz Grade B Maple Syrup boil 5 min
This one got WLP013 London Ale Yeast, which supposedly has smokey, oakey esters.  After primary fermentation, we’ll rack it to a carboy and add coarse-ground coffee and more maple syrup.  With the addition of these beers, we have a pretty full laundry room… er, fermentation chamber.  The dry-hopped IPA and Pale Ale will be ready to bottle in a few days, while the pineapple saison is still sitting in the secondary with the brett and pineapple.  In a few days we’ll add a bag of frozen pineapple, some sugar and yeast nutrient, and maybe some dregs from a bottle of Orval.  We’ll let it sit and funkify at least another month, then dry hop it and bottle in some Belgian bottles.
Go Vols!  Don’t let us down… again.

AIN’T NO SMOGGY SMOG ON ROCKY TOP…

…but apparently there is plenty of rain.  We decided to work on our smoked beers during the two rainiest days so far this summer.  The success of last year’s Rocky Top Rauch (and complete failure of the Vols) inspired us to make a second attempt at a rauchbier, plus a smoked breakfast porter.  After consulting SEC rival forcera on smoking your own malt, we decided to put our smoker to (less than ideal) use.  We didn’t have time to construct screens for the malt to rest on, so I bought some cake pans and went Breaking Bad on them with a prison shank.  We split six pounds of 2-row in these perforated pans and smoked them with cherry wood for about five hours, misting and turning the grains whenever the intermittent monsoon would let us.  Though two days of biblical flooding may be an ominous portent for another Vols losing season, Chad remains optimistic and predicts an 8-4 record.  Cuz we know how well that prediction turned out last year.

Recipe:

  • 12oz Carapils
  • 1# Dingeman’s Smoked Malt
  • 1# Crystal 120 L
  • 2# Vienna
  • 5# Munich
  • 6# Cherry-smoked 2-row
  • 6.25# 2-row
  • Mash at 153 for 60 min

The Rocky Top Rauch was a pretty simple boil, with a single bittering charge of 1oz Perle at 50min and .5oz Tettnang at flame-out.  We pitched a starter of WLP060 American Ale Blend.

The Smoked Breakfast Porter was a little more complicated:

  • 1oz Willamette first-wort hops
  • 4oz each Roasted Barley, Black Patent Malt, Chocolate Malt steep for 30min
  • .5oz Tettnang boil 60 min
  • 1oz Goldings boil 20 min
  • 8.5 oz Grade B Maple Syrup boil 5 min

This one got WLP013 London Ale Yeast, which supposedly has smokey, oakey esters.  After primary fermentation, we’ll rack it to a carboy and add coarse-ground coffee and more maple syrup.  With the addition of these beers, we have a pretty full laundry room… er, fermentation chamber.  The dry-hopped IPA and Pale Ale will be ready to bottle in a few days, while the pineapple saison is still sitting in the secondary with the brett and pineapple.  In a few days we’ll add a bag of frozen pineapple, some sugar and yeast nutrient, and maybe some dregs from a bottle of Orval.  We’ll let it sit and funkify at least another month, then dry hop it and bottle in some Belgian bottles.

Go Vols!  Don’t let us down… again.

Q

funkychickenbrewing asked:

Can you give any advice on smoking your own malt? We're looking at doing another Rocky Top Rauch (Go Vols!) plus a smoked breakfast porter.

A

forcera:

You mean like smoke them like this???

To be fair he could smoke just about anyone in a race.

Anyway on to smoking malt. 

When smoking malt I found three things to be important. First is the temperature in the smoker. Second is having a low moisture level in the malt while smoking the malt. Third is the type of wood that you use. I’ll go over my process and then address the three key issues. I’ll also go over a few other things and throw in my recipe. I found that the recipe is the easy part. Smoked beers are really made in the smoker. 

When I smoke my malt I set my smoker up for a cold smoke, see the following picture. I use my small Webber grill as the fire box and run some ducking into the smoker to transfer the smoke. I’ll talk more about cold smoking when I go over the temperature. 

image

(Yes, I know there is match lite charcoal in this picture. Normally I would never use it however it was on sale and a bonus fuel points item when I bought it, $.15 per gallon if I remember correctly. Normally I use natural lump and start the fire with a chimney)

To hold the malt I form a pan out of screen that will fit in the main body of my smoker. I use screen similar to a metal screen that you would find on a window. My smoker will hold around six pounds of malt at a time. 

image

With this setup I typically smoke my malt for around four hours. During this time I rotate malt every 30-45 minutes, whenever I would check on the fire. I just mix the malt around so that the malt gets equal exposure the smoke. I like the intensity and complexity of the smoke that I get from this length of time.

After running several batches through the smoker I found that the temperature is the most important thing to watch. I keep the temperature under 120 F, closer to 100 F if possible. This is why I set my smoker up for a cold smoke. I also try to pick a weekend where it’s going to be cooler to help keep the temperature down. I found the if the temperature goes above 120 F I would get some unpleasant flavors and aromas. The flavors and aromas were similar to ash and burnt wood. 

While smoking the malt you do need a low level of moisture in the malt. This helps the smoke adhere to the malt. You do not want the malt to be wet just slightly damp. To accomplish this I use a spray bottle filled with water on a fine mist setting. During the first two hours I mist the malt every 30-45 minutes, I do this after rotating the malt. I stop misting the malt with about two hours left in the smoking process. You need to stop this so that the malt has time to dry out before being pulled out of the smoker. 

The wood that you use in the smoker is really a personal preference however I feel very strongly about using fruit woods. Apple is my house wood that I use for almost everything. I like the subtly sweet flavor and aroma that come from using fruit woods. I suggest against using woods like hickory because of their association with bacon. Yes the style guidelines say that the aroma can be “bacon-like” however I don’t want that aroma in my beer. I want the aroma to be more BBQ than bacon. In the batches were I used hickory wood the flavor reminded everyone of bacon but not BBQ. Sure when using fruit woods people still say bacon, but people also say BBQ. 

Those are the three big things to watch out for. One other thing to make sure you do is to let the malt thoroughly cool before storing in a closed container. A paper grocery bag works fine. I sealed the malt up once and the heat formed condensation. When I went to grind the malt it just turned to mush. We wound up drying the malt in the oven and it produced a WONDERFUL beer, but I would rather not go through that again. Also some people say that you need to give the malt a week or so to rest after smoking but I have found this to not be true. I like to use the malt on the following day if at all possible. I have never tried smoking and brewing on the same day so I cannot comment on that. Normally when I have my cold smoker already setup I’m smoking several things to my attention is diverted to that. I found that when the smoked malt is used quickly it is much more intense and the complexity is greater. After waiting a week I would never get the same level of smoke, for the same weight of smoked malt, and the aroma and flavor were very one note. 

when I brew I make a 6 gallon batch and transfer 5.5 gallons to my fermentor. I also have an efficiency of around 65%

My recipe is

5.25# Two Row (39.3%)

5.25# Smoked Two Row (39.3%)

1.5# Dark Munich (11.2%)

.75# Cara Munich (5.6%)

.25# Carafoam (1.9%) I add it to everything for head retention

.25# Melanoidin (1.9%)

.125# Black Patent (.8%)

Mash at 152 F for 60 minutes

Boil for 60 minutes

enough clean bittering hop at 60 minutes to get around 30 IBUs

1 oz Tettnanger at 10 minutes

I make the beer as a lager and I use WLP833 German Bock Lager for all of my lagers. If you can’t do lager you can use WLP060 American Ale Yeast Blend. While the lager yeast works best the ale version works. WLP060 is super clean, I think it’s cleaner than WLP001. 

I hope that helps. Also remember to taste the malt during the smoking process. That will let you know when it’s reached the level of smoke that you want. If you have any other questions I’m more than willing to help out. 

Time to try this!

brewshack said: Love the sound of the tea pale, it’s something I really want to try myself, is it something you’ve done before? Do you think flame out is the best place for addition, will you add any additional tea liquor during secondary?

We’ve never done a brew with green tea before, so hopefully this will turn out great!  I think flame-out best mimics the tea-steeping process, as well as preserves the flavors more than say first-wort teabagging would.  We are going to add about two or three teabags worth of liquor as a pseudo dry hop.

brasseur said: Is that warm must flowing into your boiler? Beware of hotside aeration, it will seriously oxydize your beer.

When we first got this set-up I had some high temp tubing running from the MLT to the kettle, but I got rid of it because we kept getting air in the hose which led to some bubbling/ slow runoff times.  I suppose a hose clamp would eliminate that problem, but I’ve never noticed any stale cardboard tastes coming from any of the beers we’ve done, even after months of storage.  However, I am looking to put a dip-tube in the tun, which will require the tubing and hose-clamp to maintain a siphon.  So, thus far, we’ve managed to keep the spectre of hot side aeration at bay.