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Messages - brewsumore

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Anxiety of Kegging
« on: April 21, 2015, 10:38:38 PM »
Sometimes, when I tip a keg and see that it is very low, I'll bottle the remaining beer and put it in my beer fridge or cellar it, or to just have an alternative to what remains on tap, and/or to share with friends.  It also helps to get rid of the anxiety of "will I have room for the next two kegs almost due to fit in here?" 

I went on a fishing trip last weekend and before heading out had a low keg of Dubbel and was bottling other beers too to share with a fishing buddy from another state, and so bottled what I figured would be two or three beers left of the dubbel, but ended up bottling eight of them.  No big deal, I keep lots of empty bottles and caps on hand for just such situations.

I'm going to brew an IPA, using the base recipe from Experimental Homebrewing: 88% pale, 8.8% crystal 60, and 3% carapils. Plus Denny's Favorite yeast, FWH, @5, whirlpool and dry hop.  Any suggestions wrt hops , oh ye Hop Gods? I have Chinook, Mosaic, Amarillo, Columbus and Citra. I might split up the batch into 2 or 3 for different dry hop combinations.

Maybe use all 5 of those hops.  Chinook for bittering.  Columbus at 30 min and dry hop.  The other three at 5 min and 0 min plus a bit more for dry hop, plus a 45 min hop stand.  I haven't done so but it sounds intriguing.  I know lots of folks warn about +3 hops, but depending on the combo/amounts used I like the complexity of 5-hop IPAs.

Equipment and Software / Re: Refractometer, what am I missing out on?
« on: April 12, 2015, 10:48:39 PM »
I trust the accuracy of my narrow range hydrometers for OG and FG, so as to correctly calculate ABV.  I figure that guests like a number they can trust, mostly for gauging how much they might consume before driving home.  That is, for each tap I show the beer name, the ABV, and the IBUs.

I batch sparge and use an $80 refractometer to check combined mash and sparge runoff in the kettle pre-boil, to compare it against the calculated pre-boil SG, to see if I am on track / want to make adjustments during the boil.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pics of recent brews?
« on: April 11, 2015, 09:10:52 PM »
My Weizenbock

Looks fantastic!

Yeah, and the beer looks fantastic too!

I liked a recent German Pils enough (like it a lot in fact) that on Saturday I'm brewing it again, and again with all German hops:  Magnum for bittering and some mittelfruh and spalter spalt at 30 and 5 minutes.  Single infusion @148 - 149F with target OG of 1.051.

Ingredients / Re: Is German magnum a noble hop?
« on: April 07, 2015, 03:03:15 PM »
Yeah, but if you talk to a couple German brewmasters they are most likely to tell you that using the nobel hops for bittering is a waste of hops (and wort!).

Boy! I used that same line in that discussion with AJ and he just poo poo'd that notion. If nothing else, AJ is consistent. Give him only the true German methods! Fingers in ears for anything contrary.

I met AJ and talked with him a couple / few times when I belonged to Brewers United for Real Potables (BURP) out in the MD/DC/VA area.  That club is the one I've belonged to whose membership constituted the most talented brewers overall compared to other clubs I've been able to join.  And AJ is like yourself, a pioneer in brewing chemistry.

Martin, I put my fingers in my ears when someone recommends to me brewing water software other than Bru'n Water.  Just when I learned v3.1, out comes the new one.  I LOVE it!

Ingredients / Re: Is German magnum a noble hop?
« on: April 07, 2015, 11:32:37 AM »
Noble hops are Hallertau Mittelfrueh, Tettnanger Tattnang, Spalter Spalt, and Czech Saaz. There are others sometimes thrown in, like Herrsbrucker, but the 4 above are not debated.

You missed Hersbruck Hersbrucker.

Galena is the mother plant for Magnum.  I like Galena more than I like Magnum.

No, I maybe spelled it wrong, but it was mentioned as a sometimes included. The first 4 are the classics, Hersbrucker, is sometimes called a noble hop, as are Fuggles, Goldings, and Styrian Goldings.

Jeff (or anyone),  for the GP recipe that I provided a link above, it calls for Spalter Spalt for a 30 min and a 5 min addition.  I have some Spalt Select on hand, but also have access to buy Spalter Spalt.  If you were in my position, which would you use? 

I brewed one batch and liked it so well I'm going to brew another, so I'm thinking to be safe I'll buy addiitonal Spalter Spalt as used before, but don't want to ovethink it.  The Spalt Select are fresh, sealed YVH hops.

Just degrees of gray where true noble hops are involved. 

My understanding is that the Spalt Select have a taste a little more like hallertau mittelfruh, the other parent for the disease resistant cultivar.

Edit:  I'e answered my own question:  Since the other hops in the recipe are hallertau mittelfruh, I'll buy more splater spalt hops to get a better range of hop flavor.  It's just a few more dollars!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Pliny the Elder with Amarillo?
« on: April 05, 2015, 09:24:29 AM »
Thanks guys.  I have brewed the original online recipe, and just ordered the hop extract, hops and US-05 to give the 3.0 a try.  Cheers.

You should post what you think after it's done.  It's tasty.

Will do Jon.  There's a lot higher percentage of simcoe in this version.  You don't see me complaining.   ;D

As per my usual I'll brew 11 gal.  I ordered ingredients from YVH.  I still have another Imperial IPA on tap (Hop-Fu - 2014 NHC Gold for the category), but it's been a big hit and going fast.  I definitely commiserate with folks who have addictions, because I am definitely addicted to hoppy beers, so try to keep at least one in the rotation at all times, although not always an Impy.  Happy Easter everyone!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Pliny the Elder with Amarillo?
« on: April 05, 2015, 02:37:59 AM »
 Thanks guys.  I have brewed the original online recipe, and just ordered the hop extract, hops and US-05 to give the 3.0 a try.  Cheers.

Equipment and Software / Re: Chest Freezer Question
« on: April 04, 2015, 05:22:15 PM »
I use a 5 cf chest freezer as a fermentation chamber. I don't use damp rid or other dehumidifier. I never have puddles of water or even condensation hanging around. The walls of the freezer do have frost when the freezer is on for a long period (when cooling down after a brew day.)

I brew about once per month. When not in use I unplug the freezer.

Yeah - sorry - didn't mean to cause any confusion.  I just figured that if you're in ahumid climate with a closed, unplugged chest freezer that a dehumidifier would be great extra insurance against mold and mildew.

Neither do I ever get condensation in my fridge ferment chamber.  It is an old fridge and I just keep the doors cracked when it is unplugged.  Most of the time it stays on and is used as a spare fridge when not fermenting in it.

I mentioned how well the Eva Dry 500's work in my kegerator, just as the proof that they work well as a dehumidifier.

Equipment and Software / Re: Chest Freezer Question
« on: April 04, 2015, 05:14:36 PM »
What about DampRid?

I tried it before going to dehumidifiers.  I know some guys like it but in my experience temporary, messy, expensive.

Equipment and Software / Re: Chest Freezer Question
« on: April 04, 2015, 05:12:01 PM »
Picked this up today...

to use as a fermentation chamber. I plan on primarily fermenting ales and will most likely use this for about a week- 10 days at a time every other month.

When I'm not using this freezer for fermentation should I be unplugging it? Keeping it open? What about something for dehumidification? Obviously I want to avoid any mildew/mold.

A very popular dehumidifier among homebrewers for their kegerators is the Eva Dry 500.   A little bit spendy but they last for many years and work great -- completely worth it IMHO.  And if you go to a kegging system it could come in handy.  One would keep your empty, unplugged unit perfectly dry.

I keep two of them in my 7.0 cu ft kegerator and even when it is full of kegs (6), it keeps the inside bone dry - free of condensation.  I end up recharging the units (takes just few hours) every month or two.

Ingredients / Re: EXP 7270 Hops
« on: April 04, 2015, 02:39:16 PM »
Haven't used them. I'll wait on some other reviews before I buy some. Good to hear that the onion garlic thing ages out, but when I hear even loose comparisons to Summit, it's usually a negative for me.

Yeah, I know that I won't be using summit again, maybe unless for bittering which supposedly does not give the onion/garlic flavor.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Repitching Lager Yeast
« on: April 04, 2015, 02:16:43 PM »
I have gone to half a cake or better yet harvesting into a graduated 2 liter Ehrlenmeyer flask and measuring out the pitch using Mr. Malty (and adjusting for thickness encountered).  I have really liked those results.

I did this recently except using a sanitized measuring cup.  I took into consideration the amount of dead yeast and  trub mixed in with remaining live yeast of the yeast cake after the first ferment.  So where Mr. Malty Yeast Calculator recommended 7 oz. of yeast slurry (I assumed Jamil means from a recently completed starter), I took ~12 oz. from the bottom of the bucket, and added all of that into the second batch in a clean bucket.

I monitored and per the same cool pitch / gradual ramp temp-controlled process that I had used on the previous batch of the same SG, it took a similar time (3 days) for a healthy krauesen to visibly form on the surface of the second batch.

So my assumption was that this equated to a fairly equivalent "appropriate pitch" since I calculated the first batch also per Mr. Malty, but for rehydrated dry yeast.

I DO appreciate the different responses identifying that either way (whole or partial yeast cake) generally provides high quality results.  I'm taking that into consideration for future opportunities!   :D

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Jocky box?
« on: April 04, 2015, 01:43:42 PM »
Not a traditional jockey box, but some good ideas for an easy build on a different forum thread at:

Mine from that thread as shown on the last page, I use quite a bit and it works great.

The caulk/adhesive I used to seal the cut hole into my cooler has remained 100% rock solid adhered and waterproof.

Just some ideas...

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