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Topics - mxstar21

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Yeast and Fermentation / Desperately need some yeast advice!
« on: January 03, 2012, 09:04:07 PM »
My parents are flying from Kansas to come visit this Friday for two weeks.  I am in Hawaii.  I am wanting to do a 8-10 day Pale Ale for my Dad, but my LHBS (only one on the Island) is out of my 1st choice (WLP 090), and 2nd choice (WLP 001).  I tweaked one of the recipe's from the Zymurgy issue that had the 6-10 day recipes.

My options are- WLP 002, 004, 005, 007, 013, 041, and 862.  There are a few other White Labs yeasts that are in stock, but I don't think they would work well.

I can get dry yeast no problem, but I just really have had great results with White Labs and would like to stick with one of their strains.

I am thinking WLP 041, or WLP 862 with a starter.  Any advice?  I am not too sure the Cry Havoc would be that great for a fast-turn around, but maybe it is.  I haven't ever used any of these strains, so any advice would be appreciated.  Should I just go with some dry yeast?  I have access to US-04, 05; Nottingham, Cooper's, Munton's,

Equipment and Software / Chilling a conical
« on: May 30, 2011, 03:43:12 AM »
I want a conical fermenter.

Anybody have any tips?  My garage is normally around 85-90 degrees.  Gotta love Hawaii! ;)

I was thinking of using my old immersion chiller, and installing it inside the conical and pump cold water through the chiller.  I would hook up a temperature controller to the pump and install the probe into the conical.   The pump will be in a cooler with water, and I will rotate frozen water bottles.  I am pretty good at fabricating things, so I am not worried about installing the probe or chiller and causing sanitation issues.

My idea is kinda from the mash re-circulation concept for the RIMS or HERMS systems.  (at least my understanding).

Will the cold water circulating through the fermenting beer cause any problems?

Please give me some ideas or thoughts to my potential future project. Thanks!

Beer Recipes / How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
« on: May 16, 2011, 02:46:50 AM »
I am new to the AHA, but I use Beersmith when designing beers, and I try to fit the guidelines.  I know the Black IPA is new, but what category do you enter it in?  Thanks!

Pimp My System / My new chiller
« on: May 14, 2011, 12:47:14 AM »

All metal pieces are bonded together, I checked continuity with a multi-meter.  I then spray painted it with Plasti-Dip to repel water.  The switch controls the march pump, and the outlet is so I can plug a pond pump into it and push ice cold water through the chiller.  I brew outside and plug the setup into a GFCI outlet, otherwise the outlet on my chiller rig would be a GFCI receptacle.

I tested it tonight with boiling water, and was truly impressed.  It may not look as good, but the cost was no where close to the competition.  I did not put the aeration port into mine, no biggie in my opinion.

Pimp My System / My recently built 5 tap kegerator
« on: April 27, 2011, 11:27:57 PM »

Still tweaking it a little.  I am going to run the stout faucet on beer gas, and I am going to finish the 4 New Belgium tap handles on one side with chalk-board paint.  I will leave the other side of them with the original logo.

Homebrewer Bios / James Gray
« on: April 24, 2011, 11:01:46 PM »
Who Are You (please include a picture):

My name is James Gray, and I am a medium-voltage electrician/power-plant operator in the U.S. Army.

Home Town (City, State):
I am from De Soto, KS, but currently stationed at Schofield Barracks, HI.

Homebrew Club:

I've been a homebrewer since:
About 2 years.

Do you have a homebrewing disaster you'd like to share?
Worst one to date has been while racking from carboy to bottling bucket to batch prime, and not checking the spigot to make sure it was closed.  The spigot was rotated up, but I had it open.  Lost about 3 gallons of beer.

What is your favorite style(s) to brew?
I love Wheats, Belgian styles (except Witbier  :-X), IPA, and my favorite creation Peanut Butter Porter.

What style(s) will you never brew?
Witbier, Sour Ale

What was the first beer you ever brewed?  How did it turn out?
It was a Mr. Beer batch.  Turned out OK.  Mr. Beer was a good learning experience.  First 5 gallon was a pale ale extract, and turned out great.  First all-grain was a Pineapple Wheat and was amazing!

Have you ever had a homebrew mistake that turned out great?
Made mistakes, but nothing that turned out better.

What is your favorite beer recipe?
Peanut Butter Porter

Are you a BJCP Judge?  If so, what is your rank and how long have you been judging?


Do you have a good beer judging story you'd like to share with the rest of the homebrewing world?

Do you have a favorite homebrew trick or gadget that you've found to make your beer better/brewing easier, etc?
Best so far is modified my brew kettle to hold immersion chiller, while keeping the lid on the kettle, and circulating ice cold water with a pond pump through chiller.  My current projects are to build a bottling table, brewing stand, and chill wizard using uniistrut.

Describe your brew system.
Currently using 2 propane burners with 15 gallon mash tun pot on burner, 10 gallon HLT, 11 gallon brew kettle.  Currently designing, and going to build a brew system like Sabco's, but out of uni-strut.  Serve beer out of a converted refrigerator with 5 taps.  Bottle for competitions or gifts with a Blichmann Beer Gun.

How frequently do you brew (times/month or /year)?
I shoot for twice a month.

What is your favorite malt?  Why?
I can't pick just one, but Special B and Golden Naked Oates are pretty close.  They are both great in my favorite styles.

What is your favorite hop? Why?
Currently Calypso, or Citra for my IPA, Tettanger is pretty good also.

Do you have a favorite or house yeast? What qualities do you like about that yeast?
WLP 351 Bavarian Wheat Yeast or WLP 500 Tappist ale yeast.  I love what they add to my beer.

Do you have a good homebrew club story you'd like to share?

What haven't we asked that you would really like to answer?
I just joined AHA about a month ago.  I am married, have a 19 month old daughter, and another kid on the way due around the first of October.

If you could serve your homebrew to someone famous, who would it be and what would you give her/him?
Sam Calagione.  He seems like a cool guy to hangout with, plus he knows a thing or two about good beer.

Can you send a picture or two of some labels you've created for your homebrew?
Too focused on fine tuning my recipes to do labels.  I will eventually get into them.

What's the most unusual ingredient you've ever used in a brew?
Peanut Butter, Pecans

Do you have any pets or kids named after beer styles or ingredients?
Bradah Zeke Hawaiian Style Dark Strong Ale

How many medals have you won from homebrew competitions?
1 competition, 1 2nd place medal for Light/Hybrid ale

Do you brew alone, with friends or with someone you live with?
Just me

Are you an indoor or outdoor brewer?
Mostly outdoor.

List some of the names you've given your beers. Which is your favorite?
Haven't really came up with too many names, except for the previously mentioned one.  Trying to fine tune some recipes before naming them.

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