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Topics - etbrew

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Equipment and Software / Hot plate for boiling?
« on: June 07, 2016, 12:33:17 AM »
Anyone ever use an electric hotplate to boil with and if so do you have a recommendation for a particular model? 


Yeast and Fermentation / Reusing yeast
« on: December 13, 2014, 07:55:34 PM »
I have reused yeast twice but because I'd like to save some money, and hate throwing away what looks like perfectly good yeast, I'd like to reuse more. I How many times do all of you reuse yeast?

General Homebrew Discussion / Sanitizing method
« on: November 21, 2014, 04:44:18 PM »
I use star san to sanitize my equipment and have always filled a bucket with sanitizer and let it soak.  I feel like I am wasting a ton of water doing that and am think of just spraying my fermenter with a star san solution from a spray bottle.

Do any of you do this and/or do any of you know if that method would be effective? 


Equipment and Software / Beersmith2
« on: September 30, 2014, 12:13:22 PM »
Anyone use Beersmith 2 and is it worth the cost to upgrade from Beersmith?

Kegging and Bottling / What size CO2 tank is appropriate?
« on: February 12, 2014, 12:49:28 AM »
I have almost completed a two year remodeling project that included a bar with 6 taps and moving my brewing operation from the kitchen to the garage.  I'm getting ready to build my keezer and I am certain the 5lb CO2 tank I have is not going to work with 6 kegs.  What size CO2 tank would you recommend for 6 kegs? 

General Homebrew Discussion / Thank You AHA community
« on: February 12, 2014, 12:31:49 AM »
I just started reading Gordon Strong's Brewing Better Beer and he talks a lot about learning from other brewers and it occured to me that I don't really know any other brewers except all of you on this forum.  I have never met any of you but the immense body of knowledge and experience in the AHA and this forum have been instrumental in furthering my understanding of the brewing pocess.

I have not asked many questions on the forum over the years but I have read a lot.  It turns out most of the question I have had were answered somewhere in time on this forum and all I had to do was seach for it!   

With that said I'd like to send out a big thank you to the AHA community for helping to teach me how to brew better beer  ;D


General Homebrew Discussion / Suggestion for home bar build
« on: February 19, 2011, 01:53:13 AM »
I bought a house about 7 months ago and it had a bar but was in need of updating.  I am in the process of remodeling the bar area and would like some suggestion on where to find good ideas on how to set up a bar for kegs. 

I don't have the money to start kegging now but I want the bar to be keg ready when I can make the switch.  I had planned to use an old chest freezer I have for the kegs but I can't figure out a way to configure the bar so I can access the freezer from the top. All the commercial examples I've seen of home bars have two taps (not enough) on an overpriced under counter fridge. 

Any help would be appreciated.  Pics would be great too  ;D


All Grain Brewing / How much mash water do I use???
« on: October 17, 2010, 09:45:33 AM »
I'm brewing my second all grain batch today.  I'm doing my water calculations and I can't figure out what to do ??? .  My first batch was a low gravity brown ale I mashed using a ratio of 2 quarts water to 1 lb of grain.  That ratio on that batch yielded me almost exactly half the boil volume so I sparged with an equal amount of water.

The batch I'm brewing today is a higher gravity porter.  It has 13lbs of grain and at 2 quarts to 1 lb of grain that gives me 6.5 gallons of mash water.  I'm going to loose a gallon or so to the grain which would leave me needing to sparge with 1 gallon to reach a boil volume of 6.5 gallons.

I've read different numbers on mash water ratios from 2 quarts per pound down to 1 quart per pound.  What should I use for a water grain ratio?   

Equipment and Software / What can I do with a keg...
« on: October 13, 2010, 08:54:09 PM »
I was offered a 15 gallon keg for 10 bucks but I'm not sure if it's something I will be able to use.  I only make 5 gallon batches so I certainly can't fill it.  It is a commercial keg.  If I wanted to put beer in it how would I clean it and/or fill it?  What else could I do with it? 

Yeast and Fermentation / Cold start with 1098
« on: September 26, 2010, 09:07:15 PM »
I just brewed a brown ale using Wyeast 1098.  This was my first all grain batch and the first batch using a new chilling method (I used my IC to recirculate ice water vs using tap water).  The chilling method worked great.  I was able to chill 5 gallons to 65 degrees in 20 minutes and then put it in a swamp cooler.  The water in my swamp cooler was 70 degrees so I threw in some ice bottles, went back to check on it a while later and it was sitting at 52 degrees.

I pulled out the ice bottles but I'm wondering what effects the cold temp will have on fermentation.  Should I add hot water to bump the temp up or just let it go?  

Commercial Beer Reviews / Magic Hat HiPA
« on: September 21, 2010, 09:06:54 PM »
I just love Magic Hat's HiPA and Blind Faith.  How can they make beer like that and also make beers like the latest odd notion (tastes like green apple candy  >:(

Their other mediocre beers Wacko, #9, and Circus Boy are big sellers ($$$) but couldn't they use the odd notion series as a way to showcase their creativity instead of making mediocre beers (ok I'm being nice...the fall odd notion is awful)?

Anyway, my beer rant for the day...I feel a little better now.

Yeast and Fermentation / Fermentation Temperatures
« on: July 28, 2010, 12:43:52 AM »
I have an IPA fermenting right now and it's the first batch I have tried to really control the temperature.  The carboy is in a swamp cooler that I've been able to maintain in the lower 60s.  My question is should I leave it in the lower 60s through out primary and secondary fermentation (I'm dry hopping in secondary) or should I let the temperature rise after primary fermentation is complete? 

General Homebrew Discussion / Good beers for high fermentation temps
« on: July 06, 2010, 08:45:11 PM »
Hi everyone,
I want to brew some beer to give as a wedding present in October.  Currently the only place I have to ferment in is my basement which is hovering under 70 but I suspect it will warm up to the mid seventies with the current east coast heat wave. 

Do any of you have recommendations for beer styles that will do well at fermentation temps above 70 and that will be ready to drink by early October??  Also what yeast strains would do well at these temps?

Commercial Beer Reviews / Victory Beers
« on: January 31, 2010, 04:00:22 AM »
Vermont has just recently started selling Victory beers.  So far I have tried the Hop Devil, Golden monkey, Prima Pils, and the Storm King Stout.  They came recommended very highly from a friend but I have been very unimpressed (except for the Golden Monkey...I liked that).  I find the hops to be very muddy in character and kind of grassy.  I guess I'm finding it kind of hard to describe what in the hop character I don't really like.  What do you all think of the victory beers? 

Yeast and Fermentation / Yeast alcohol tolerance concern
« on: January 25, 2010, 09:20:46 PM »
I'm planning on brewing an imperial stout this week.  I'm estimating the OG to be approx 1.110+ and I'm shooting for a FG of the 1.022+ range.  I have made my starter with Wyeast 1056 and then realized the alcohol tolerance for this yeast is around 10% ABV This beer will be close to that level and I'm worried it won't ferment completely, or it get's most of the job done, look like it has finished fermenting, I bottle it, and I get no carbonation.

So I have a a couple questions:
Will this yeast be able to handle the alcohol level?
If not, do any of you have a suggestion for another yeast strain I should use?  (my fermentation temp will be around 66 F)
Is there a way I could tell if I killed the yeast before bottling?


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