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Messages - factory

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1
All Grain Brewing / Re: Multi step infusion mash
« on: September 12, 2017, 07:52:44 AM »
Not terrible at all.  Do a mash at 148-150F for 90 min. and you'll be good.
I'm with Denny on this.  I used to do step mashes (when called for) in a round cooler.  I was often frustrated that I didn't hit the temps when adding boiling water, even with using brewing software and taking/using careful notes.  I was listening to a podcast from Jamil Z a few years ago, and he suggested that there would be no appreciable difference in just doing a single infusion mash.  In my experience, there is no perceived difference in outcomes.  I'm sure that there will be folks that say otherwise, but a long sacc rest, single infusion will get you very close to what you want.

2
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Do you know what day this is?
« on: September 12, 2017, 07:12:34 AM »
Geez, I thought that was every day.  ;D
Definitely +1

3
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegs freezing in the winter
« on: September 12, 2017, 07:11:18 AM »
If you have a couple of temperature controllers, you can add a small ceramic heater inside the fridge and set it to maintain temps above freezing. Use the second controller on the fridge itself to kick on if it gets too warm.  I do this to maintain a narrow band of temperature +/- 2F.

4
Kegging and Bottling / Re: less than full keg
« on: September 12, 2017, 03:29:48 AM »
No problems other than as already mentioned.  I've used 5 gallon kegs for half batches before.
+1 and +1.  CO2 is your friend.

5
All Grain Brewing / Re: How long do you cold crash your beer
« on: September 08, 2017, 09:30:37 AM »
"And as another said, use a blow off not a air lock."

Sorry, I'm new to brewing...could you explain why?

Thanks.   

I think what they are referring to is that when you cool down a beer from fermentation temp to cold crash/lager temps, that the pressure inside the fermenter lowers and creates suction.  That will suck out all of the sanitizer in the airlock into your beer.  Could cause some off-flavor problems.  I just put a stopper in the airlock hole so almost no air gets in.  To date, I've never had a problem with the stopper getting sucked in, or too much suction that would prevent opening the lid.  I ferment in a stainless bucket with a lid.  Not sure if anything unusual would happen if using this method with a glass carboy.

6
All Grain Brewing / Re: Pumpkin Lager Questions
« on: September 08, 2017, 06:53:42 AM »
I have used pumpkin in both the mash and the boil, however, neither produced much in the way of pumpkin flavor.  Most of the sensation/perception of "pumpkin" comes from the spices that I use, which mirror what one would normally use for pumpkin pie.

I normally buy "pie" pumpkins and then bake them with a generous portion of brown sugar to caramelize them and soften them up.  Then I take an old school potato masher and smash them up really well.  That mixture goes into the mash.  I tried boiling, but that was a bit of a mess, and IMHO, not worth the effort to try to strain out the pumpkin so it wouldn't clog my plate chiller at run-off.  I suppose you could boil and chill with an immersion chiller and then just transfer the whole wort into the fermenter, pumpkin and all.  I did that with my first batch (using LME) and the pumpkin settled nicely to the bottom of the fermenter.

Very long story, but I just mash the pumpkin.  It's easier, and you get a little flavor and color.  BTW I use about 6-8 lbs of pumpkin, pre-cooking weight.

7
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Not clear beer
« on: January 27, 2016, 07:01:40 AM »
Must be a trend.  My American Porter blew yesterday.   :(

8
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Explosive fermentation
« on: January 27, 2016, 06:57:48 AM »
If there was krausen on top of the beer, I wouldn't worry too much.  The krausen layer should keep out any critters.  Some brewers do an "open" fermentation with no issues.

9
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: need some direction
« on: January 15, 2016, 07:32:24 AM »
Probably the best book with the most current knowledge is "How to Brew" by John Palmer. There are lots of other good books, but that's probably the best one to start with.
+1

I still read through certain chapters of it every now and then.  Also, I would say that the best way to improve is 1) brew as often as you can and take good notes. 2) taste at each step of the process 3) pay attention to your volumes and temperatures. 3) lots of healthy yeast -look into yeast starters 4) control your fermentation temps

10
All Things Food / Re: Smokin time
« on: January 14, 2016, 07:19:36 AM »
After smoking for the past 4 years, I've used my Bradley Electric smoker and the Weber for the past year.  Both have produced great and I mean great BBQ.  I was thinking of going with a horizantal smoker but for what the Weber does and how well it works, I don't know if i'll get another one.

I am, however, heavily considering a Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg.

I keep checking out the Big Green Egg whenever I stop by the local Taylor's DoIt Center.  I'm going to take the plunge one of these days and pick one up.

I smoke my ribs with a nine spice dry rub.

11
All Grain Brewing / Re: rice hulls
« on: January 14, 2016, 07:09:49 AM »
I've had a couple of issues with stuck/slow recirculation and sparging.  Mostly with wheat, and rye in the grist.  Maybe I recirculate to quickly, but for me rice hulls are cheap insurance against the headache of stopping the process, stirring everything up, and getting everything going again.

To each his own, I guess.

12
All Grain Brewing / Re: rice hulls
« on: January 13, 2016, 08:34:42 AM »
I go with 1 oz hulls per pound of huskless adjust/malt. In your case, 4 oz would be plenty. BUT, I also weight that against the amount of barley malt I'm using. In your case, you have a scant 4 pounds huskless to 12 pounds husked. I would probably skip the hulls altogether if it were me, and because I'm familiar with my system.

I actually double that amount.  I would use 1/2 lb. of rice hulls in my system.  I mash in a 10 gallon Blichmann Boilermaker with the Blichmann false bottom.  I also don't account for any additional water because the rice hulls make up such a small percentage of the overall grist.

13
Kegging and Bottling / Re: reusing brown beer bottles
« on: January 08, 2016, 09:36:47 PM »
Sierra Nevada bottles crack at the top of the neck with my hand capper quite often. Not sure if that's because of my capper or the bottles, but use caution.

Stone bottles are a royal PITA to get the labels off, BTW ;)

Stone bottles are the worst!!!

14
Equipment and Software / Re: Getting hot water in my garage
« on: January 08, 2016, 09:22:19 AM »
Some of this depends upon the mineral content of your water. If you have softer water then running hot water for food or beer probably isn't a big deal. However for those of us not in that situation it's terrible water. When I flush the water heater out comes rocks about the size of aquarium gravel. The water from the hot water heater doesn't taste good and the mineral content changes the flavor of coffee and tea. Beer too, if one were to use it for brewing.

Definitely true!  We have good water here in Virginia Beach.  Very soft and a very low mineral content.  The last place I lived had similar characteristics.  I'm spoiled.

15
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: January 08, 2016, 09:19:05 AM »
well I like 570 or 575 for my blonde. the 575 is blend with Trappist and belgian ale, so i might lean towards 530. 500 is more fruity ester than 530.

I didn't even consider the 575 when I was looking at their list at the LHBS.  I'll try that in my 3rd batch.  Or I'll use the 500 for something else. I briefly considered the 570 but was talked out of it by the kid at the store.  There are a lot of Belgian yeasts to choose from, so it will be fun to try them.

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