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Messages - Tristan

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Beer Recipes / Re: How do you step up an IPA to Double IPA?
« on: July 04, 2012, 01:39:07 PM »
Looks like an awesome recipe.  I'd suggest deleting the crystal malts and the flaked maize; maize to me it increases the front end sweetness even though the finish seems drier.  With all the added alcohol the perception could be a beer that is too sweet.

Also, you may want to pick a yeast that attenuates highly.  I really like the San Diego Super Yeast.  Last time I used it I got about 83% attenuation (American Blonde Ale, OG 1.050 mashed at 152).

Just a random thought, but it would be cool to do a step mash or a hochurz decoction ( with a IIPA.  I wonder if this would have the same effect as performing the procedure on a German Pilsner, malty but dry.  Maybe mash in thick (.9 qt/lb) at 140-145, then infuse high 150s (158) and then another infusion or a decoction for mash out (168-170).  This might be fun.  FWIW I like doing decoctions so when I brew my next IIPA I'd probably do a double infusion single decoction, just for giggles.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Temp question: How exact?
« on: November 11, 2011, 01:40:42 PM »
You can also put your fermentor in a tote or bin filled with water.  The water level should be up to or close to the wort level inside the fermentor.  You can float a thermometer in that water.  Water is a good conductor so this temperature should be pretty close to the wort temp.  The added benefit is that you can manipulate the water by adding heating (aquarium heater and pump, available at wally world) or cooling (frozen water bottles, etc).  This also increases thermal mass and mitigates wild swings in temperature.

Equipment and Software / Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
« on: October 20, 2011, 10:09:43 PM »
I bought this drill for my basement remodeling project and I've been really happy with it.  Nice thing about this brand is that Menards will swap the drill for a new one, no questions asked, if it dies in the first 3 years!  That being said I've had it for 2 and it's been bullet proof!

Ingredients / Re: Home smoked malt
« on: October 18, 2011, 12:44:32 PM »
I'm planning to smoke some malt in the next couple of weeks for a darker beer I'll be making, so I'll let you know how it goes.  I've built a cold smoke chamber for the grain, so it's all ready to go.

Tom, would you mind posting some pics/additional info?  Was the smoker difficult to build?

Ingredients / Re: Home smoked malt
« on: October 17, 2011, 09:52:02 PM »
I've smoked wheat malt on one occasion.  I smoked it for 4 hours in collanders at 140 degrees with white oak chips.  I also sprayed the malt down with distilled water and tried to stir it every 15 minutes.  The aroma wasn't super strong but noticeable.   I used 100% home smoked wheat malt for a Gratzer and it came out perfect.  The smoke flavor it there but it doesn't dominate; allowing the other flavors to be enjoyed.

I just bought some rauch malt from Northern Brewer and the smoke smell is subtle.  From what I've heard talking to other brewers that have made smoke beers; the fresher the smoked malt is the more intense quality it lends to the beer.

I'll be watching this thread with interest and hopefully brewers with more experience will chime in.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Whoaaaaaa!!!!!!!
« on: October 01, 2011, 12:46:14 AM »
Nice "find!"  I love that book and just read it for the first time this month.  The way concepts are described really increased my understanding.  One of my co-workers dropped by my office last year and said, "Hey I found this book at a thrift store for 50 cents and thought of you."  I couldn't believe it!  I thanked her and told her that I'd been meaning to buy a copy of the book for years.

Ingredients / Re: Phosphoric acid
« on: September 29, 2011, 09:12:35 PM »
I recently started adjusted the pH of my sparge water with 10% phosphoric acid. 

How powerful is this stuff? 

How powerful?  10%   :D

I've gotten 75% on my hands and it started irritating them instantly, but I didn't get a burn.  I would stay on the safe side and use caution/ wear gloves if you have them.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Rye Pale Ale clarity
« on: September 29, 2011, 09:04:22 PM »
The forecast looks cloudy with a 100% chance of hops.  ;D I've used rye at pretty low percentage and noticed cloudiness.  The beer didn't last long enough to clear.  You can always do a beta-glucan and a higher protein rest if you're aiming for clarity or maybe gelatin.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegerator best practices.
« on: September 23, 2011, 04:13:58 PM »
I would recommend cleaning/sanitizing the taps/lines when you change kegs over.  A soak in oxyclean free or PBW, rinse, then running starsan through the lines/taps usually does the trick.

Equipment and Software / Re: Brewer's Gloves?
« on: September 23, 2011, 02:53:06 AM »
I've been using some silcon hot mitts, but I was thinking of buying one of these:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Kangen Water
« on: September 22, 2011, 04:30:52 PM »
Got to say I roll with a cheap "Watts" RO system I bought from Amazon for under $200.  One of the best investments I've ever made.  Hard to believe anyone would pay this kind of money for any water treatment system, unless you are on the space shuttle and need to recycle bodily fluids.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pumpkin Beer
« on: September 22, 2011, 01:49:12 AM »
I just brewed a Pumpkin "Pi" Ale this afternoon.  I've never brewed one up until today and I've always wanted to.  The wort smelled and tasted delicious.  I'm not sure if it's a beer I'll want to drink a lot of in one sitting.  It will be a nice beer to give sixers of to friends and family; or if I like it too much just to hoard.

Ingredients / Re: OH MY GAWD...disgusting...yuck yuck
« on: September 20, 2011, 07:14:08 PM »
LOL!!!!  Can't wait to see the article Denny.

Equipment and Software / Re: Tempature control for fermentation chamber
« on: September 20, 2011, 03:03:45 PM »
The two stage thermostats are great.  You might be able to get by with a single stage.  I have a slightly different situation.  One of my freezers is out in the garage; I use this freezer most often as a temp controller because it is in the same spot I brew.  In the winter it gets cold enough in my garage to freeze.  I switch the Johnson digital thermostat to heating and connect a heating blanket.  I found the type of heating blanket without an auto-shut off and it works really well while using minimal power.  When the weather gets warm enough in the spring then I switch the thermostat  back to cooling and plug in the freezer.

Edit:  This is the model I use:

Beer Travel / Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
« on: September 02, 2011, 08:48:39 PM »
If you're in my neck of the woods in Wausau, WI; Red Eye Brewing Company ( and Bull Falls Brewery (, two blocks from Bull Falls Homebrew Depot) are very good. There is also a Great Dane up in Wausau, but you will be better off visiting the Madison location IMHO.

If you're going through Stevens Point, WI on Highway 51/39, Oso Brewery ( is right off the highway and brews wonderful beer as well as operates one the state's great homebrew shops, Point Brew Supply.  There is a restaurant in the same area called "Christian's Bistro" ( that is operated by a Chef who trained under Emeril.  From what I've heard this is one of the area's best restaurants.

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