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Messages - pdbreen

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1
All Grain Brewing / Re: Batch Sparging and Time
« on: December 12, 2009, 11:19:15 AM »
Good to know!  I've been doing double-batch sparges and would stir in, let sit for 5 minutes, stir again and then drain.  So, eliminating the 5 minutes and second stir will cut about 15 minutes off the brew day.  This will bring me really close to my target of 4hrs from first flame on to all cleaned up.

You could cut off even more time by doing only one sparge addition, too.  Unless your tun isn't large enough to hold all the water at once, my experience with 2 sparge additions is that any potential minimal gain isn't worth the effort.

I'll give that a try next - I've got the room.  I eliminated the rest during the batch sparge for today's brew and I'm fairly certain I did lose some efficiency.  But, my numbers generally have a bit of flux, so tough to say if the change in process was the cause.  I'll have to do a few more this way before I know for sure.

2
... enter the chamber without a probe in its bowels...
This is my boomstick

What forum is this again?

3
My first big step after extract/grains was a switch to kegging.  I hated dealing with all the bottles and the switch to kegs made me enjoy things again.  Which for me was important, because I may have stopped brewing otherwise.  However, I did learn that I shouldn't have given my bottles away as I now keg, but like to bottle some of the better brews for portability/gifts/etc.

Next step was using starters and a stir plate.  This was followed by yeast washing which has saved a ton of money.

Next big step was to all grain.  I also hesitated with moving to all grain - it seemed so mysterious - but I'm so glad I did.  With batch sparging, it's really not that difficult to setup and get some great results.  It does make the brew day a bit longer, but I'm coming in right at 4 hours from first flame on to everything cleaned and put away.  And, there's lots of downtime during the mash and boil so I get lots of other things done as well.

Next on the list is building a keezer that will take me from 2 to 6 taps (or 4 taps and a lagering chamber).  I'm looking forward to being able to lager and experiment with a whole new set of beer styles and yeasties.

4
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Oops, missed
« on: December 11, 2009, 11:25:28 AM »
I'd go ahead and top it up to 5 gallons.  That should get you down to 1.061 or so which is a lot closer to your target.  Then, figure out where your calcs went wrong and try and fix that for next time.

+1 on this.  My guess is that you started with a 5gal boil and lost 1.5gal to evap instead of starting with a 6.5-7gal boil.

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Batch Sparging and Time
« on: December 10, 2009, 05:00:45 PM »
Good to know!  I've been doing double-batch sparges and would stir in, let sit for 5 minutes, stir again and then drain.  So, eliminating the 5 minutes and second stir will cut about 15 minutes off the brew day.  This will bring me really close to my target of 4hrs from first flame on to all cleaned up.

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Storing Grain?
« on: December 06, 2009, 06:33:14 PM »
petstore.com sells the 50lb/13gal vittles vault for ~$37 with free shipping over $75.  Each vault holds just about a 55lb bag.  The remainder goes in a food saver bag (or into the daily mash).

7
The Pub / Re: Eye Opening Documentary
« on: December 04, 2009, 07:47:28 PM »
.. just watched a documentary called King Corn (with brief commentary my Michael Pollan).  It is definitely eye opening, to say the least. 

Saw King Corn the other night (Netflix streaming is awesome!).  Interesting to learn that most of the corn that is being grown is totally inedible.  And, since "Super Size Me", it's been pretty easy to avoid the fast food meals.

Looking forward to watching Food, Inc. 

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Boiling Wort outdoors in winter
« on: December 03, 2009, 04:43:42 PM »
I figured a snow bank and the ambient air temperature would cool the work quickly with out the need to bring out the wort chiller.

I've found a chiller is still much, much faster - much greater surface area in contact with the wort.  I run a hose from inside my house to the chiller so I don't have to worry about freezing hose lines.

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Beer Travel / Re: Small Town Brewpubs
« on: December 03, 2009, 04:32:03 PM »
Waterbury, VT (pop. ~5,000) has one of the best I've ever visited - The Alchemist Pub & Brewery.  The beer is awesome and the food is pretty darn good as well!

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If the starter proves viable (slurry looks good, but haven't tested attenuation and it's an old pack), then a smoked porter tomorrow and hopefully a barley wine to age for next year on Monday or Tuesday.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Boiling Wort outdoors in winter
« on: December 03, 2009, 04:22:35 PM »
Your propane tank will frost (more than usual), but the fire will still be hot enough for the boil.  Try to stay out of the wind.  And, plan ahead where you discharge your chiller water - makes for good skating!

12
All Things Food / Re: Non stick pans
« on: November 13, 2009, 08:21:32 PM »
I've got all kinds of all-clad, but I just love my Lodge cast iron!  I only have one (got it to make cornbread), but it's become my everyday pan.

No soap for you!

13
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Faucet and line maintenance schedule
« on: November 13, 2009, 03:19:28 PM »
I flush mine with a water-alcohol solution usually in the 3.5% - 7% range pretty much on a daily basis.

I've got to try that!!

Roughly every other keg, I'll run oxiclean/pbw through the lines.  I was doing the first cleaning of 8 retired soda kegs yesterday, so was running a lot of oxiclean through the lines when I was pressure testing the rebuilt kegs.

14
Ingredients / Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
« on: November 13, 2009, 03:12:38 PM »
Same answer as the others - only using Marris Otter.  Picked up 3 sacks yesterday from North Country Malt @ $40/sack.  Works out to about 0.73/lb.
You say you went over to pick up a few sacks?  Is it hard to get to from Burlington, VT?  I'm in Southern NH but go up to Burlington once in a while and wondered if it is worth the hike over.

Probably an hour or so from Burlington and with GPS, not hard.  Rather a pleasant drive once you get off 89 actually.

15
The Pub / Re: Brew Dawgs!
« on: November 13, 2009, 11:21:36 AM »
Here's my dog, Nuclear.  She'll be 14 in Feb.



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