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Topics - sailortodd

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General Homebrew Discussion / What to do when you can't brew
« on: November 05, 2011, 06:23:54 AM »
In part I'm seeking ideas, but I am also giving an idea (maybe two).

Let's set this up. I am currently in Bahrain, a Muslim country where alcohol is tightly controlled and supplies are hard to come by. Worse, I'm on a ship here, so it's impossible to actually brew. It means I'm stuck unable to brew and I can't get my hands on any craft beer (none at all out in town, the best I can do is Guinness or maybe Killkenny, otherwise it's some standard European or American golden lager). Needless to say, I'm suffering from hop withdrawal. I'm also suffering from hobby withdrawal, as, between brewing and researching my next brew, I was able to occupy several hours of my weeks. Being on a ship actually stationed in Bahrain (rather than one that deploys to here and is underway and busy most of the time), I have some time on my hands that needs to be filled.

Enter pipe smoking. This has recently become the passion that fills the void left by brewing (don't get me wrong, I'm still passionate about brewing, but cannot act on it). It's a pastime that requires you to refine your technique for the best smoking experience, occupies an hour per bowlful of tobacco and allows you to hone your skill at flavor profiling. Anyone else an avid smoker?

Anyone else been faced with times they can't brew and need something to fill that time?

I am brewing in just about 24 hrs, and don't have time to make a starter at this point really (or as far as I understand, I don't). I have never used one before, and had no problems as far as I could tell, but maybe my senses just aren't yet refined enough to figure out the subtle off tones from too-stressed yeast. My interest now is because as I've read more, it seems like the rule overwhelmingly rather than the exception. Next time I'll use a starter. However, now, I'm at a point where it's too late. So, how important is it really with one vial of WLP001 California Ale yeast pitching into a beer of approx 1.055 OG?

If I don't, do I need to go to the LHBS and buy a second vial? Just go with the one as I've done in my ignorant past with no noticeable ill effect? My experience has been that WLP001 is fairly robust, and carries its weight like a worker ant, but it seems like there are some major supporters of the yeast starter. Thanks in advance for the advice.

Yeast and Fermentation / High fermentation temps
« on: July 02, 2011, 06:21:23 PM »
I recently collaborated on an IPA with a buddy, and it is currently fermenting at his place. Unfortunately, the temp control at his place isn't great, and is out of my hands. The ambient temp will likely be around 75-77 a good portion of the time. Kind of out of my control, and I wish I could do something about it, but all I'll really be able to do is taste the results. For reference, recipe as follows:

10# pale LME
.75# Crystal 40L (steeped)
.75# Victory (steeped)
1.5 oz Willamette x 60 min
.5oz Northern Brewer x 60 min
1 oz Willamette x 15 min
1 oz Willamette x 1 min
.5 oz Willamette DH @ 7 days
2 packets US-05 dry yeast.

At such high ferm temps, what can I expect with US-05? Overwhelming fruity esters? Fusel alcohols that'll make it taste like jet fuel? Just kind of curious how bad it can be.

Equipment and Software / tube screen and "ice cube" ice chest LT
« on: July 02, 2011, 05:04:20 PM »
I have a 48 qt ice cube ice chest that I'd like to convert into my first MLT. I was wondering if a 9 or 12 inch tube screen, similar to this (found on, but available also at my LHBS):

will be enough to drain the cooler, or if it wouldn't cover enough of the bottom of the cooler to be effective. I've seen SS braid pulled off of water hoses used similarly, but does it use the same length? I know the braid has a tendency to collapse, but the tube screen I'm looking into is stiff, not flexible.

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