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Messages - mthogan1997

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentation Head Space
« on: March 06, 2011, 08:17:56 PM »
I routinely do open fermentations in my buckets and my basement is roughly 124,363.636 gallons. No way is my fermentation producing enough CO2 to purge that space so I think your 2.5 gallons of head space is ok.

Equipment and Software / Re: How automated is your system
« on: February 07, 2011, 02:36:16 PM »
Gravity, it's automatic. I deal with severe automation on various professional and not so professional levels..... The LAST thing I want to hear myself say when brewing is: "What's it doing?"

Simple, organic: Heat water, soak grains, boil....done. Ooooohm.

I like that.  My life used to be uber complicated.  Brewing was the release from that nonsense.

Several years ago, I fully automated my brewing. I gradually came to hate brewing so I took my system apart and was ready to quit the hobby because the only thing I really did was clean the equipment - I hate cleaning.  I ran out of beer brewed a batch the old fashioned way just to finish off my grains/hops and haven't looked back. Brewing is again fun and relaxing now that I am the brewer.

I might work on an automatic cleaning system one day.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Lab
« on: February 01, 2011, 11:07:36 PM »
I rigged a webcam and use it for my telescope and microscope. It's nice to point things out to my daughter on the screen and then put the better lenses on for observation.

Here's the link that i based my webcam mod on:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2011 Brewing Goals
« on: December 30, 2010, 04:50:09 PM »
Slow down a bit in my brewing and concentrate on process control.  I made a crap ton of beer that was good in 2010.  I want to make 15 beers in 2011 that are fantastic.  

2010 was my year of process control. I was getting sloppy with weights, measures, etc. and this year I brewed using precisely measured ingredients (within .01 gram) - including water and invested in better temperature controls. My beer is better than it has ever been and is very repeatable.

2011 I am getting into quality control/experimentation. I set up a small lab in my basement and I'm going to start testing every aspect of my beer that is financially reasonable.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Schematic
« on: December 29, 2010, 02:16:47 PM »
Several years ago I built a RIMS that was completely push-button. The only thing I had to do was put in the crushed grain and turn it on and then clean up. After about 6 months I realized that I hated brewing beer and dreaded every brew day because I only did the 2 activities that I hate -  crushing grain and cleaning.

I dismantled my system and am happily doing everything the hard way and enjoying the hobby again.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pouring home brew at a beer event?
« on: December 28, 2010, 01:33:02 AM »
Government regulations exist to keep idiots and people of bad intention from hurting those who can't fend for themselves...

Ha ha ha. One of the best jokes I've read in awhile.

Seriously, government regulations exist to keep power in the hands of the elected (or however they got in power) or their donors.

Next you'll be saying that that the  reinheitsgebot was about keeping really nasty stuff out of beer....ooh, err, sorry. ;D

All Grain Brewing / Re: Haze issues with a bag of Maris Otter malt
« on: December 23, 2010, 10:06:29 PM »
I have had consistent haze problems with Fawcett&Sons Maris Otter pale malt. Never could figure out why, so I quit using it.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Decocotion mash
« on: November 24, 2010, 02:49:31 AM »
I pull my decoctions with a picture and just pull of the surface liquid.  I pull the liquid that is between the grains. 

Does it matter who's on the picture? ;)


Yes, it is suggested that he use a picture of Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albrecht von Preußen.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sparge Arm Ideas?
« on: November 24, 2010, 02:42:58 AM »
Manifold flowing into a pie pan. I used that method for 10ish years and got 85% efficiency. Last year I gave batch sparging a shot and after 1 less than good attempt and tweaking my equipment, I am getting roughly 82% but am saving a good 45 to 60 minutes on every brew.

I'd recommend looking at what is causing your low efficiency and fixing that - crush being the first thing I'd look at - before you started buying new equipment or changing your procedure. Without being able to fix what you have, I'd be surprised if fly sparging would help you as much as you expect.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Gluten Free Beer
« on: October 11, 2010, 01:14:12 AM »
Interesting information from our host:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How do you blend your beers.
« on: September 12, 2010, 01:02:19 PM »
"How do I know that I transfered 1.75 gal from first keg? Do I use scale?"

Fill a keg 1 quart at a time. Stick a wooden yardstick into the keg and note the heights of various volumes. I also do the same thing for my brew kettle (1/2 gallon increments). The wood is nice because it makes a nice easily readable wet line.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How Common Are Infected Batches?
« on: September 05, 2010, 02:01:52 PM »
"But that doesn't mean the ancient beer wouldn't bee good, I think we just won't ever know."

I think we can be sure that most beer was crap in the good old days. Don't believe it, try brewing without a thermometer, sanitizer, yeast, electricity/propane and stainless steel. Get your water from the nearest creek, river, pond or lake. It would probably be a good idea to pee in the water to replicate the good old days lack of sewage treatment. If there were sewers, somebody else's untreated "discharge" was probably just far enough upstream to not see "floaters."

People will eat, drink, smoke, and inject anything to kill a few brain cells.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The Dreaded O Word
« on: August 23, 2010, 07:34:07 AM »
Since I park cars in my brewery, I put caster wheels on my shelving (the 5-tier, free-standing kind they sell at lowes), and my brew rig. For the shelving, I attached the wheels to a sheet of 3/8 plywood and glued/screwed it to the bottom shelf.

Rolling the shelves and brew rig into position keeps everything close for set-up and clean up even though they are not close for storage.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Direct heat step mash - info for first-timer.
« on: August 14, 2010, 11:40:44 AM »
Unless you want an exhausting upper body workout, make a mix-masher, use a heavy duty drill with a paint mixer, or recirculate with a pump. I've done all three and the mix-masher is the easiest.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How does too much wood taste?
« on: July 07, 2010, 05:03:28 PM »
... but I'm still wondering how too much wood taste?

Woody. Seriously. Put some oak chips in your mouth for a minute and and take a sip of beer (don't swallow the chips). Woody.

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