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Messages - gsandel

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1
 I was shut out of Seattle (and I am still bummed about that), hit Philly for my first, Michigan for my second, and decided for family's sake to skip San Diego....and boy, am I regretting that decision...enough to start to fantasize about excuses to make up to get to go.

The seminars are interesting, but they are the least part about the conference.  Your fellow AHA members are the real value.  The only issue is that it goes by too fast...it could easily be a week long (who could afford that!).

Go if you can.

2
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: No signs of fermentation
« on: April 07, 2015, 11:18:43 AM »
Answer depends on the yeast (liquid, dry), yeast condition or age, ale strain used, and amount pitched, and temperatures of wort at pitch and since all affect yeast growth.  If cold, the yeast could just drop right out of suspension, or if hot, you could have killed them.  Neither will ferment....but, I have also underpitched to a cool wort that never looked like it was fermenting, but did, and I had ones go so fast that I never saw it fermenting (but there was the telltale signs of fermentation having happened in the form of a yeast ring).

The fact that you poured your beer through a strainer indicates at least a minimum amount of oxygenation was happening, and a little shake of your beer to rouse the yeast and introduce some oxygen might help right away.

If you haven't seen something change (even slightly)or start to happen by this afternoon (presumably two full days and a little shake), you may decide to repitch with a yeast that matches your style and ambient temp of ferment.


3
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: bad batch
« on: April 07, 2015, 10:11:58 AM »
I think the goal is to try to salvage 120 bottles of beer.  You didn't mention any bottle conditioning procedures, such as amount of fermentables in your batch size (5 cases of beer, is what 12 gallons?  I forget now that I don't bottle), what temp and length of time in bottle conditioning.

I would give the bottles a little shake to rouse yeast in bottom of bottle, and store warm (say 70 degrees for a month or so) to see if you can get the bottles to carbonate....yeast do a fantastic job cleaning up after themselves in the bottle sometimes.  If that doesn't fix both problems (which depending on the off flavor may not) or mask the off flavor sufficiently enough for the girls I go with...then dump.  Unless you need the bottles for next batch.

High gravity beers also take longer to condition/carbonate, so it may just need some time.  I will assume that your 20 years experience and clear track record thus far will serve you in that you will refocus on your cleaning/sanitizing regime as well....sometimes I know I have gotten complacent and a not quite good batch results has straightened me out.  Good luck and report back if you figure it out.

4
All Grain Brewing / Re: A question regarding Munich and wheat beers
« on: March 31, 2015, 11:14:44 AM »
+3 A little Munich is sort of a secret ingredient to give it a little more complexity sans sweetness without sacrifice of too much attenuation.

5
My guess is that you got a bad one.  I am using chest freezer as keezer with a love temp controller, most set to 39 degrees. (in theory it runs more than yours, and is always on).  It is almost 5 years old.  My previous chest freezer was bought cheap off craigslist, and that one only lasted 3 years.

The only thing that I can think of is if the freezer clicks on and off more often to keep it in a narrower temp range than I would need for my application.  I don't know if you can set a minimum cycle time or a wider temp range with the Ranco.

I think that unplugging when not in use is always a good idea, however....especially if it cycles often to stay within a degree or so of your set point.

6
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lactose drying out a beer?
« on: March 16, 2015, 11:16:53 AM »
Having similar thoughts I have tried a moderate amount of lactose (10-15%) to add body in one case, and add sweetness in another to light (colored and bodied) beers.  In my opinion, at that rate, I didn't feel like it contributed much of either....of course, I didn't brew side by side comparisons.

Both beers were well loved *by everyone but me*, and I am likely to brew again, upping the ante on lactose somewhat, so "those people" won't drink my good stuff.

7
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Luxury
« on: March 16, 2015, 08:46:02 AM »
I watch people playing golf when driving by, and it seems kind of like fun if you didn't keep score...and you are drinking good beer and have good friends you are doing it with.  I think though I would rather keep my hobbies simple....I can take an enjoyable walk to the beer store if I feel the need.

Although fly fishing sounds awesome.

8
Equipment and Software / Re: sanke keg conversion
« on: March 12, 2015, 08:08:36 PM »
I also have said Brewer's Hardware Kits....it would be fine if the keg wasn't so hard to clean and make sure it is clean.  I still use the thermowell to monitor ferm temp, but not as intended.

I think the money (keg plus kit) would be better spent saving for a proper fermenter...there are many options out there.


9
The Pub / Re: Jim Koch has a problem....
« on: January 05, 2015, 05:14:52 PM »
Still,

He is a pretty nice guy to meet, and I do enjoy some of his beers from time to time, but last time I had a Boston Lager it was the best "free" choice at a casino...

Big beer is big business....and I have been increasingly skeptical of the business of craft brewers getting bigger.  It isn't that the beer isn't good, but it increasingly has gotten more impersonal.  That small brewery now has a humongously popular new tap room, distributes in 12 states and isn't so glad to see me if anyone there recognizes or misses me at all.

I am feeling even more compelled to brew my own small batches...not sure what that means for craft brewing.

10
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bell's Two Hearted...a lesson
« on: July 18, 2014, 07:41:46 AM »
I am pretty meh about a beer you can get everywhere, even if it is one of my favorites (which most all national brands are not, but I am lucky to have a few excellent locals, and a lot of good ones).  Would we be over the moon on Cantillion or Westy if we could all get it at Buffalo Wild Wings?

While being on everywhere is great for the brewery, and builds a brand following with Joe six-pack; a beer you can get anywhere becomes a "safe" beer....where no other choice is "interesting" enough.

I am not sure that many on this forum will ever be all that brand loyal.

11
Equipment and Software / Re: brew nanny
« on: April 03, 2014, 11:07:09 AM »
I think it is cool.  But to me, it is cool at $20, and dumb at $100.  I bet it costs closer to the latter, therefore, to me, dumb.

It is especially cool to anyone (not me) that is doing brewing science at home.  Perhaps the AHA could buy a few and lend them out with their Science grants when needed.




12
Equipment and Software / Zymurgy Mobile App question/help
« on: April 02, 2014, 03:17:00 PM »
Is there any plan to offer the Android version of the Zymurgy app for Amazon Kindle Fire users?

I have been trying in vain to get a software program to work on my PC that emulates an Android device so that I may access the Google Play App store to download the APK file so that I may side load it onto my Kindle Fire reader.

If I had an Android device it would be relatively easy (but I don't).  It seems silly to have a device that I do almost all of my reading on (Kindle), and not be able to have my favorite magazine.  Failing AHA's plans to offer the app for the Amazon ecosystem, would any fellow member or AHA staff member be willing to send me a copy of the Zymurgy APK file?




13
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I was surprised...
« on: February 18, 2014, 10:33:48 PM »
For the first decade I read, and re-read Charlie P's books religiously...and then, as my experience mounted, I didn't use the book at all.  I eventually moved on to Daniels' Designing Great Beers, and then I think that info got a little stale (in the second decade), and desperately needs an update.  I recently got a copy of Palmer's book as a gift, and I couldn't stay focused....it isn't that it isn't good info, but still pretty basic.  I am sure there are nuggets in there, but I lose interest.  I feel like I am half way between the two in my philosophy anyway(that is what brewing is, ultimately, philosophy on a bunch of a priori and a posteriori prepositions).  There is also the battle between the art and science, the free form movement of American Homebrewing and the BJCP style guide, but it is changing so fast, a regularly published book can not keep up with all of us, though I wish it could.  The internet and this forum works wonders, however.

I still have my original copy of The New Complete Joy....I should try to read it again....but fear the worst.

14
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Entry Limits for 2014
« on: October 18, 2013, 03:06:29 PM »
I am also planning on bringing one....whichever is my best beer (IMO) avaliable at the time....no, I am not brewing special for it.  That makes it far more interesting.  Ninkaski (or whatever it is) is a bad idea now that this hobby is popular.

Bring your best, expect to win, and if you don't, you get important feedback to try again next year.  Too many entries dilutes the ability of even good judges (of whatever rank) to provide good feedback.

15
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Tips to keep refrigerator from running constantly
« on: September 07, 2013, 02:25:31 PM »
time to make or buy more beer.  A full fridge is a happier fridge, and it runs less overall because there is more mass in the fridge that stays at a more constant temp than the air in an empty fridge...or so I have been told.

Keep those coils clean is the most important thing, though.

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