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Messages - jkirkham

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Homebrew Clubs / Re: Digital Club Membership Forms
« on: February 14, 2018, 08:27:07 PM »
Seems pretty sweet. I wish I was more of a techy. Do you know if you can make cards expire? Like if people don’t pay dues? I saw the option to auto update but haven’t tinkered around with any of this. Let me know if you get something cool going.

Equipment and Software / Thermowell pops out
« on: February 13, 2018, 04:18:44 PM »
I am new to using thermowells and the one I have made of silica can be a pain.  It usually only occurs at the start of fermentation when the carboy and silica stopper are wet.  I haven’t found a remedy or way around this yet. I try to make sure the carboy hole is dry but if I’m pitching liquid yeast usually I get some yeast on the side. And I have to wipe the yeast off to get the thermo well to stick.

Has anyone else had a similar issue to this?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Longer beer line, less foam??
« on: February 13, 2018, 08:08:10 AM »
You have lots of good reading material— so I’m sure you’ve read about carbonation level & temp & and beerline diameter and height of taps, etc.  To share my experience... I have a keezer with faucets in the collar and 2.5 g kegs and 3/16” line.  Temp is 38* ... regulator at 11psi... line is 10 ft and pour is very good.  ymmv.   Best—

I also use 3/16” line and leave my fridge at 38*. My line is 8’ for 3 kegs that are connected by manifold and I adjust psi semi often depending what I have going. When I start getting a lot of foam I either turn the psi off, or sometimes I depressurize and leave the psi from 8-14. That usually happens after the keg has been sitting at 20-30 for a few days though.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg temperature
« on: February 13, 2018, 07:59:41 AM »
I feel like if your keg is cold to touch the insides are also cold.  I have never used a infrared thermometer but if your keg is in the fridge for two days it should be cold unless the fridge is broken.

Is your fridge on a temp controller? Mine is and the cooling elements are on the roof and 3 walls, higher up than where the kegs sit.  The bottom of my fridge is warmer than the top. And parts of those elements are about 2 feet away from the tops of kegs. I make sure my temp probe is closer to the bottom of the fridge than where the default probe was.

For me once I put something in the keg I just start carbing the beer. The keg will find equilibrium after a few days anyways. Depending how fast I need the keg carbed I leave my co2 tank between 20-30psi. I also have a manifold for other kegs though, at times I will lower psi to pour properly if necessary. I also use the liquid crystal strips for verification.

Homebrewer Bios / Re: From Arizona
« on: February 13, 2018, 07:37:44 AM »
Hello All,
I'm really glad to find this forum. I've been homebrewing here in northern Arizona for almost two years. I got started with a Mr Beer threshold kit and have since tried my luck with extract, all grain, and BIAB kits. I'm starting to develop my own recipes using BeerSmith software, mostly clones of beer SWMBO likes.
This is a fun and fulFILLING hobby. I wish there was a LBHS near me, the closest one being 60 minutes south in Phoenix.
Looking forward to learning  how to improve my craft and sharing what I've already learned.


Where in Northern Arizona? I’m in flagstaff.

Going Pro / Re: Opening a LHBS
« on: February 11, 2018, 06:02:19 AM »
My friend just took over a lhbs and right now it’s kind of a struggle is how I feel. He receives inventory from brewcraft USA. He also sells cheese and wine kits. Purchasing equipment grain and hops is probably the least of your worries because a supplier is happy to take your money. What I feel you really need is cheap rent and routine customers.

There is only one lhbs where I live in a town of 75k and I think my friend is breaking even, even when he buys grain through a brewery because the shipping is cheaper. An over saturated market is the worst market to enter and if there are other home brew shops I feel like the message you will be giving off is that you can do it better.

I would not expect to make tons of money, my friend barely pays himself and can’t afford to pay even one employee.

If I were going to do it, it would be more of a passion business I would do in the side.

You’re not just competing with local shops, but also online retailers.

Going Pro / Re: Switching careers to brew?
« on: February 11, 2018, 05:51:52 AM »
I would stick more on the consulting side if you can. There is only one part time brewer at the brewery I work at and she happens to be more full time at another brewery in town.

At best I think you could give recommendations on the side of system they may want or even recipes.

All the brewers where I work are full time. Shifts starting at 4am going into the afternoon.

To me there is no real part time “brewer” unless you want to be the guy who comes in to wash kegs periodically.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: What do you do with empty beer lines?
« on: February 10, 2018, 05:42:10 PM »
I soak the quick disconnects in pbw solution and fill a keg with pbw as well. I run solution through the lines (about a gallon or so) but lately I let the (hot) solution soak in the lines for about 20 minutes. I do the same with star San and periodically I break down the faucets and soak them.
I work at a brewery and they do the same thing weekly but with caustic acid and no sanitizer.

Ingredients / Re: Vienna Malt in a pilsner??
« on: February 03, 2018, 08:13:18 PM »
Due to a last minute change of mind in what I wanted to brew. I ended up sending a grain order of 90% German Pilsner  and 10% German Vienna to my LHBS, which my wife picked up for me. I have a Pilsner yeast. What will the added Vienna do to a Pilsner? Should I just brew it or should I pick up a different yeast and brew a different style. I'm fairly new to all grain brewing and appreciate any help/suggestions.

If you are ready to brew, then brew it. The Vienna will add some color, and a little toasty flavor. If you want to determine what it does on your system and process, brew a Pilsner with 100% Pils malt and compare. Take good tasting notes on both beers if the second is brewed much later.

Add the Vienna, and in another batch go 80/20. I have been playing with Munich this way. I was gifted 4 55lb bags of Munich and have been making SmaSh beers. You may find that you really enjoy Vienna. I know I do.
The yeast is going to do what it’s going to do to your wort, add a lil flava.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: High temp fermentation
« on: February 03, 2018, 07:12:10 PM »
Leave the lid off and put some foil loosely over the top is what Drew does.

I have always wanted to try a open fermentation or even a spontaneous one. What is the purpose of the foil? Yea it is loosely on but does air go in and out of the vessel? I feel like not having an airlock or blowoff valve would/could lead to some kind of contamination.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: High temp fermentation
« on: February 02, 2018, 06:12:52 PM »
I'll bet you a homebrew that your beer is fine. I always crank the temps on Saisons (ramping one right now using WLP590 French Saison and WLP644 Saccharomyces Bruxellensis Trois) to make sure they attenuate fully. Drinking the incredibly delicious product of the last brew using those yeasts as a split batch saison. RDWHAHB!

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

This is the only beer I made so far with the luxury of heat control during primary. It finished visually very quickly and was starting to for pelicle before I had to take it down to 68*. Since being back on heat at 80* the pelicle has started to reform.

I am with you on the thinking it’s fine. Maybe long term 90s might be bad.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Re-hydrating dry yeast US-05
« on: February 01, 2018, 07:01:26 PM »
I've read numerous articles and post stating not to use RO or distilled water when rehydrating dry yeast due to the water pressure.  If I use bottled water, won't I have to boil it to kill off bacteria? Other problem is this will turn it into distilled water.  Looking for some help.

Have you considered not rehydrating at all and just dumping the dry yeast into the fermenter? I was turned on to this method and now just over pitch followed by shaking the carboy.

Yeast and Fermentation / High temp fermentation
« on: February 01, 2018, 06:58:00 PM »
I was wondering the effects of a high temp on a beer post primary fermentation.
I have a sour going, it is in secondary and i fermented the beer at 85*. Because I needed my temp controller I allowed the beer to lower its temp to 68*up to 72* because the controller was for a neipa.

I just left the temp probe out after I transferred the neipa, but the heat wrap on, because I wanted to clean and sanitize the thermwell probe. I left the probe alone for a day and when I put my thermwell probe back in the sour the reading was at 94*.

Could anything bad happen from this? The temp is back down In the 80s. Around 85*.
Can off flavors be created from too high a temp?

I used 3711 yeast. Brett b. And a Belgian sour mix.

Thank you for discussing.

Beer Travel / Re: Costa Rica
« on: January 26, 2018, 05:28:45 AM »
Anyone been to Costa Rica lately? My wife is going to travel there for her Masters, I'm thinking I might join her for a bit. Any good beer spots? Other travel tips?
Imperial is the national beer, you can find some interesting things at some stores.
There was a volcano brewing company. I think it has moved and is now located in tamerindo. I went to the old one and it was solid, but also in the middle of no where.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP670
« on: January 18, 2018, 11:58:01 PM »
Looking to do the Tank 7 Clone recipe on AHA website and want to use the WLP670 Farmhouse Blend yeast.  Couple of questions:

- Is it appropriate to do a starter with this blend or will that throw off the ratios of yeast within the blend?
- If no starter, is it best to buy 2 tubes of yeast instead or will underpitching create some of the more interesting flavors this beer may benefit from?  OG fairly high at 1.072
- Thoughts on conditioning time with this yeast after fermentation?  Some reviews seem to suggest it really comes alive if given an extra 2 months or so post-fermentation.


This is me but I would buy two tubes and pitch them both. My last experience with bugs and building up a culture went pretty well though.

I think the thing about Brett is that it takes a while for it to really be active. I feel like if you pitch one tube your farm house strain won’t be able to attenuate fully, but that won’t really be a problem because slowly the Brett will finish the beer. You may not come out with a really good farm house base for your beer though.

If you make a starter I think the farm house yeast will be able to do the job, but the Brett will also be there. You could try this and probably have similar results to pitching two tubes.

I have a mixed fermentation I am currently fermenting that is less than a month old.  It is already in secondary and the pellicle is starting to form. I used 3711 from 2 bottle dregs with two Brett strains, lacto, pedio. I tasted the beer when I transferred it into secondary and it definitely taste like 3711 and Brett, surprisingly, but the sour bugs hadn’t really done much yet.

Good luck.

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