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Messages - mugwort

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: House Yeast
« on: February 24, 2014, 11:35:29 AM »
...The well-isolated round colonies on the plates shown above are known as single-cell isolates.  They are all the offspring of single yeast cells; therefore, they are pure yeast cultures. Emil Christian Hansen pioneered single-cell isolation at Carlsberg Laboratory....

Thank you, I really appreciate the pics and detailed explanations.  Thought about getting into this but nowhere to this level.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Brett gear
« on: February 24, 2014, 11:18:03 AM »

Here is the line I bought for my filler.  It's been working great for my regular beers thus far.  Silicone and can handle up to 20psi... Which is about double what I'm usually bottling at.

Thanks for the link!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Pretty sure I like flat AIPA
« on: February 21, 2014, 02:52:33 PM »
I think you guys aren't pouring hard enough. I'm not a huge fan of excess fizz in my hoppy brews, but that carbonation does a world of good when it comes to releasing hop aroma. I just pour it extra hard to kick out the extra carbonation.

Agreed.  I usually keep a lower carb level in my ipa keg, but dispense it after a CO2 feed so that it comes galloping out, leaving a creamy head sitting on top.  Lovely.

Equipment and Software / Re: All Grain setup
« on: February 21, 2014, 02:36:51 PM »

Maybe OP thinks we are trying to sell him something? Just click on the link. It's instructions on how to batch sparge using a home made cooler. Faster, cheaper method than what you are going to find on More Beer. I mean, you can certainly spend the money and still batch sparge on whatever you buy. And maybe you just have some extra money you want to spend. I get that, I love to spend money sometimes too. But at least check it out.

No, OP doesn't think that! I'm just leery of using any plastic with hot liquids. Considering the cooler companies tell you not to, I'd rather go SS.

I agree with you.

Though we're still far from a consensus on the safety of plastics (with so many different formulations), I think there are very legitimate concerns to consider with regard to heating plastics that are not formulated/tested for those temps. 

Even prior to any real-world usage or heating at all, studies have found that compounds released are absorbed into our bodies and can impact our endocrine systems.  Some of these compounds mimic estrogen and there are still a lot of unknowns regarding how people are actually affected by these chemicals.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not looking for any increase in the man-boobs department.

We can all debate the effect on the human body of these compounds, but what's need are more long-term studies.  What is pretty established is that you're sucking down plastic when you consume liquids that come into contact, especially at warmer temps.

Easy taste test: pour some water out of a non-refillable water jug into a glass.  Don't need much of a trained palate to taste the plastic.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Pretty sure I like flat AIPA
« on: February 21, 2014, 11:27:40 AM »
Is there a way to maintain different carbonation levels in only certain kegs or do I have to get a whole new regulator? 
Is there another way to do it?

I definitely think you can charge up selectively your dispensing kegs to maintain your desired carb levels.

I could never find the last leak in my system with its hundred points of contact and I got really tired of finding my tank empty.  Two regulators each with gas lines split to each fridge, always connected and valve-open to 9+ kegs seemed more hassle than it was worth.

Finally I just shut off the gas and let the existing pressure dispense my pours.  When a line began to slow or carbonation began to lesson I would open the valve for an appropriate charge.

This sanity and money saving change came with a surprise benefit.  I began to experience different beers styles through different carbonation levels and just as importantly, the same beer at different carbonation levels.

You get a keen sense of how much and how often you need to carb up for what it is you're after in each beer.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Taking it from the top (of the keg)
« on: February 07, 2014, 06:54:11 PM »

Kegging and Bottling / Taking it from the top (of the keg)
« on: February 07, 2014, 06:45:55 PM »
Interesting for those with a scarcity of time or patience...though I don't feel the need to get one.

Maybe this would be ideal for kegs which will be moved to and fro events or otherwise disturbed.

Now all we need is some sensor in that floating contraption that ascertains the volume and wifi's it to your tap app.

I just love the future.

Ingredients / Re: Bulk supplies
« on: February 02, 2014, 04:20:57 PM »
If you're really nutty (like me) you can order a few ice packs to accompany your hops -- ice packs that online retailers use for yeast shipments.  In my mind, takes the edge off.

Don't know if any hop suppliers give that option.

Just the first few results I found for it. I actually ordered from homebrew stuff from Amazon on 9/12/12

Hmm none of my links posted... basically amazon, adventures in homebrewing, etc...

Just Google "stainless carbonation cap"

The one from homebrewstuff comes up on amazon for $20.  Can't tell if it's as disassemblable (sorry bad word choice) as the one from williams.  Williams is priced better ($14 now though out of stock) and all components are replaceable.

Ingredients / Re: If you had to choose only 3...
« on: February 02, 2014, 04:01:49 PM »
Keeping i mind that my choices are influenced by a) if there is an organic option and b) trying to minimize the total distance traveled by my ingredients:

1) GW either CA Select or WA Select (the WA actually travels less than the CA for me because although it's grown here in CA it is malted up in WA soooo)
2)Gambrinus pils
3)Gambrinus 10L Munich

My soon to be list exactly.  Using up the last of my OG Gamb Pale to be replaced by OG GW WA select.

Just need to stop by Seven Bridges in Santa Cruz for 50# while ostensibly visiting family.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My latest disaster
« on: February 02, 2014, 11:29:24 AM »
Happened on the cereal mash for my wit, but I don't think the scorching was as bad.  Didn't show up in the beer thankfully.

Your beer's still in fermenter it sounds like.  If so, I'm trying to think of an addition that might help improve the flavor.

And...they are out of stock already.  This will be popular, as it sounds like it may outperform the plastic one, though I have few complaints with it as long as the soda bottle threads are well intact!  The silicone gasket on the stainless model is going to help with sealing tightly.

If it comes down to the soda threads maybe I'll just quick wrap them in plumber's tape to have all the bases covered.  When they come back in stock, that is.

Been waiting awhile for this to replace the plastic Carbonator I have, which has been leaky from day one.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Being Water Wise
« on: January 28, 2014, 02:50:56 PM »
Sanitizing with StarSan in a spray bottle uses much, much less than filling a vessel - even if you only fill the vessel half way.  I can usually make it through an entire brew day with less than 16 oz of StarSan this way.  StarSan is a contact sanitizer - only the surface to be sanitized needs to be wetted.  The rest of the sanitizer filling the vessel is unnecessary.  Of course, if you save the StarSan to reuse on another brew day this is a moot point.

Like others, I save leftover hot water from the HLT for cleaning, and use water from cooling for cleaning/rinsing.  Cooling water also gets put into empty 1-gallon water jugs and frozen for use when recirculating ice water to chill lagers.  Remaining chilling water gets used to water plants in the summer, and to fill the washing machine in winter. I let my mash sit a while after sparging and collect the last of the low-gravity runnings for starters.  Even if those runnings are too low a gravity for a starter, it's that much less DME and water that I need to use.

I do these things, and I live less that five miles from Lake Erie - so there's really not a water shortage here.  I think conservation is a good practice regardless of whether there's a shortage.  I do things like turn off the water faucet while brushing my teeth.  That might only save a little water, but it also saves all of the energy used to treat it and pump it to my house, as well as reducing the amount of chemicals that need to be used, produced and transported.  It's remarkable how far a little forethought can go toward reducing and conserving the resources we use.

Thanks.  You've got a bunch of good suggestions.  It might seem obvious but loads of homebrewers are still mixing up 5 gallons of Starsan each time they need some instead of making a gallon at a time and using a spray bottle when possible.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Adding Ingredients to Keg/Cask
« on: January 18, 2014, 05:16:55 PM »
I am surprised the cranberry flavor wasn't more dispersed.  What kind of cranberry addition was made and was it removed prior to tapping?

I'm a fan of keg additions using a nylon/cotton bag with as many marbles as necessary to keep the ingredients immersed.  Most additions tend to float, so bobbers are not needed for all but the most dense of ingredients.

With semi-non-fermentable ingredients like cracked coffee beans or toasted coconut flakes, I'll usually leave in the keg until blown.  They can come out if the flavors begin to grow out of proportion to the beer.

With fermentable additions like actual cranberries and pears it gets more interesting because you can have in-keg refermentation which will cloud your beer as well as change in flavor and sweetness over the contact time.  That may be a non-issue at fridge temps but it's something to keep in mind.

Your next brew sounds quite tasty.  Are you using Ceylon cinnamon?

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