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Messages - Richard

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Beer Travel / Re: Craft Beer in San Fransisco / Palo Alto
« on: April 12, 2019, 05:20:50 PM »
Dan Gordon's (formerly Gordon Biersch) brewpub at 640  Emerson in Palo Alto:

Palo Alto Brewing; has a tap room at 233 University Ave, Palo Alto

Rose and Crown, British-style pub with a good selection of beer at 547 Emerson St, Palo Alto

The Dutch Goose in Menlo Park. Not necessarily the best beer selection or food, but it has been there since 1966 and is prominent in the history of Stanford University and the rise of Silicon Valley. Worth a visit just because of the historical significance:

Tied House brewpub in Mountain View, and AHA members get a discount:

Freewheel Brewing Company brewpub in Redwood City:

Alpha Acid brewing in Belmont has a tasting room:

Then there is my house in Palo Alto, with a good selection of beer but an unpredictable menu! Send me a private message if you want more information on the area. San Jose has quite a few brewpubs, too.

Equipment and Software / Re: testing a hydrometer
« on: April 09, 2019, 03:54:20 PM »
A pint’s a pound the world around.  :)
Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

In the 1970s I worked with a Brit who had their version of this: "A pint of clear water weighs a pound and a quarter." It rhymed better when he said it. At that time they used Imperial pints, which are larger than our pints. So a pint is NOT a pound the world around because the definition of a pint is (or was) different.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: yeast washing with RO water?
« on: April 07, 2019, 05:22:35 PM »

But is any beer out there made with real water?


Thinking of making my beer with imaginary water.   For a dry finish.

And a complex flavor.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: yeast washing with RO water?
« on: April 04, 2019, 04:48:27 AM »
heard that RO water is a little acidic.
Technically, RO water is a perfect pH 7.0, which is the dividing line between acid and base, so it is neutral on that scale. What you may have heard is that it is corrosive, which is true. Another way to phrase it is that there are lots of things that will happily dissolve in pure water at a much faster rate than they dissolve in "normal" water.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Inconsistent carbonation in bottles
« on: April 04, 2019, 01:49:07 AM »
I agree that this sounds like a low-level infection that can cause carbonation problems without any real effect on the taste. I had a similar problem a couple of years ago, but since I washed all my bottles and equipment with iodophor it has gone away. One washing was all it took, which tells me that it was a wild yeast that StarSan would not kill but which was killed by the iodophor.

That setup is a whole lot better than a mylar balloon. I have used the balloon approach, and all the ones I have gotten have a one-way valve that must be defeated to allow the CO2 to come back out, and the diameter of the neck is not a good match to any of the airlock hardware I have so it is hard to mount.

Edit: after looking at the comments on the manufacturer's web site, this appears to be flimsy and unreliable. Still a good idea, just not implemented well.

Thanks for catching that, Robert. I thought it might be too subtle.

The New York Times reported today (see the link below to the article) that AB Inbev announced their purchase of the homebrew supply company MoreBeer, along with negotiations to purchase Lagunitas Brewing from Heineken. AB recently purchased Northern Brewer, another major supplier to homebrewers, setting off speculation that they were trying to take over the homebrewing market. This latest move has only further fueled the speculation and concern by homebrewers across the country. AB Inbev spokesperson Anita Knapp denied this and says there is no need to worry. “We are not trying to take over the world, just the first half of the alphabet. Although the purchase of Lagunitas wil be difficult we hope that we will soon be able to proceed to acquire Kona Brewing and Jaded Brewing, for some diversification. The plan will end after we purchase Bell’s because we clearly don’t need another A. Please note that Sierra Nevada has never been on our radar and never will be.”

See the article at

Beer Recipes / Re: Scottish ale
« on: March 29, 2019, 11:33:08 PM »
And, before the style nazis start in, you can't even taste the 1% peated malt addition. ;)

Then what's the point of adding it?

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Leaking Spigot in Primary Fermentor
« on: March 25, 2019, 04:54:34 AM »
Plan otherise... time to invest in a glass carboy even thought I really like my wide mouth fermonster!

Stick with the Fermonster and double-check your spigots before filling. I have a Fermonster and I would never go back to glass carboys.

I'm American, I even like my British ales cold and fizzy

Yeah, my British ales are quite Americanized, too. I like them stronger and with more foam than the Brits do.

That reminds me of my last visit to the north of England in 2016. I was dismayed to see that all the pubs carried American beers in addition to local ales and cask ales. One evening I was at the bar waiting for a refill and a guy asked for a Coors. The bartender pulled the handle and just got a hiss and a spit or two of foam from an empty keg. The customer then asked for a Bud Light, and the bartender again got just a dying sigh from an empty keg. I turned to the guy next to me and asked "I wonder what his third choice is when his first two were Coors and Bud Light?" The answer was Foster's.

I think that 1000 Watts is total overkill. I mash in a well-insulated kettle and I need less than 100 W to maintain a mash temperature (with the top on). Using a high-power element increases your chance of scorching the mash if you don't keep it moving fast enough. Also, most of the ones I have seen are described as being for heating water. If you heat mash you will definitely get a burnt layer building up over time, so make sure you get one that can be thoroughly cleaned. That means the shield around the heating element must be removable so you can scour the surface of the element clean.

All Grain Brewing / Re: 6 gallons of beer on the floor....
« on: March 24, 2019, 05:24:13 PM »
I stopped using my glass carboy because I feared an experience like yours, although I don't do pressure transfer. My biggest concern was when I was washing it and turning it upside down to drain, etc. I got a PET carboy with spigot and I love being able to lift it with one hand. I also like being able to stick my arm in it all the way to the bottom for cleaning.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Grain Crush versus BIAB
« on: March 24, 2019, 05:16:41 PM »
You can now also purchase larger quantities and store them uncrushed for months, further lowering your costs.

OK, then I would say that the 38 - 40 F temperature is the STORAGE temperature, not the serving temperature. US refrigerators can't be set to temperatures above 42 F because that is the max temperature for food safety. After various attempts to force mine to regulate higher I have given up. I store the beer at a low temperature but generally let it warm up a bit (how much depends on the style) before I serve it. I don't really measure the final temperature in the glass, but now I might start doing that just for fun!

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