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Messages - bearcat

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Equipment and Software / Re: Refractometer.....
« on: April 26, 2011, 03:28:43 PM »
I got one on Ebay.  It was the same ones sold at my homebrew store.   You can find many options on Ebay.

you can get the newer versions with OG on the right fpr more if you don't want to multiply by 4.   I think they are valuable for preboil/ boil spot checks but still use the Hydrometer after cooling for the final OG reading.

All Grain Brewing / Re: dough-in method
« on: March 25, 2011, 01:20:48 PM »
I have a heated MT so when water reaches temp- dump all the grains in and grab the drill with the paint mixer attached and about 30 seconds later am done. 

All Things Food / Re: Homemade BBQ Sauce vs. Best Commercial
« on: March 23, 2011, 09:16:38 PM »
A simple good sauce is 2/3 KC Masterpiece original and 1/3 clover honey and mix in your dry rub as the 'makes it your own' sauce.   If you are looking for cheap n easy...well mostly easy.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Carboy cleaning
« on: March 23, 2011, 08:30:24 PM »
You could try a vinegar/water solution too.  Vinegar is a cheap - easily available - source of acetic acid.

Thanks guys.  Just wanted to report back in that the vinegar solutions worked well and solved the problem.   Thanks again.

General Homebrew Discussion / Carboy cleaning
« on: March 21, 2011, 06:16:24 PM »
Needs some direction. 

Ran into a first for me this past weekend.   I forgot about a carboy I had soaking in Oxyclean Free -- for about three weeks.   Now there is some clear like deposits all over the glass the I can't seem to reach completely with my carboy brush.   

I have tried a bleach soak for 24 hours and  Red Devil Lye-but that was a first using that product so I am not sure I handled that once correctly - I added 2 tablespoons of Red Devil Lye to the carboy-mixed and waited 24 hours...small little clear whatever-it-is still there. 

Next I did the search of the forums- didn't find anything to what I would call is my problem (-most addressed a white film these are small clear water looking bumps).  I know that they can be removed since I had some on my blow off tubes in a bucket next to it and they wiped off.   What I was thinking is to use my mix stir and drill and thread some green scrubbies through the holes on the mix stir paddles and fill with some more PBW or soap.....

And ideas fellow brewers?

Equipment and Software / Re: How automated is your system
« on: January 25, 2011, 03:26:42 PM »
My pump developed an issue to where I pretty much eliminated it from my brew day and went back to pouring the sparge water over the perforated tin foil or felt like the first time and kinda enjoyed it more.   Gave me something to do ... beside drink and that can lead to trouble before clean up.   So I guess I am getting less automated and enjoy it more.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Rice Hulls?
« on: January 21, 2011, 03:19:27 PM »
i used them occasionally when brewing with wheat or rye, but ever since I learned about malt conditioning on this site, IMO they are no longer necessary.

+.5  -should clarify I use a sabco keg with their false bottom..  I went from Denny's cooler method so I could direct fire my MT.   Didn't need them with Denny's setup as well.   I have a big bag just sitting there #5pounds is huge... maybe if I forget to malt condition someday I will need them again in a panic. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Belgian Tripel
« on: January 19, 2011, 07:00:07 PM »
Pretty much the same as yours, but I use Tinseth.

Thanks --concenration factor must be off  to then.  I will play with the numbers.

Actually, Tinseth and Rager give significantly different IBU numbers

Yup,,,  I would just switch the recipe to Tinseth but my concentration factor must have been off ... still is. to get the same IBU as Denny's posted recipe. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Belgian Tripel
« on: January 19, 2011, 06:30:00 PM »
Pretty much the same as yours, but I use Tinseth.

Thanks --concenration factor must be off  to then.  I will play with the numbers.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Belgian Tripel
« on: January 19, 2011, 06:15:25 PM »
I came up with a recipe that's remarkably similar to Westmalle.  Although I'm nearly positive Westmalle doesn't FWH, doing it makes this beer nearly spot on for Westmalle.  For extract, just replace the pils malt with an equal number of gravity units of the lightest extract you can find.  My recipe is in the recipe wiki here...

Hey Denny,

What are your setting for promash - I am trying to match up your IBU's on the Tripel.   I am set at -30% mash hopping, -65% FWH, Rager,  and 2% increase for Plug and 9% increase for pellet.   Thanks.

Equipment and Software / Re: Sight Gauge
« on: January 19, 2011, 05:49:14 PM »
Before you spend the Cash.. have you considered not putting it on?  Another option would be to use a calibrated stick/rod from a fixed point in the converted keg.   There are advantages/likes dislikes for both of course,  but I like the simplicity and less cleaning factor...   

Equipment and Software / Re: Just ordered a stir plate
« on: January 18, 2011, 02:27:02 PM »
There is another procedure that could be followed.   Based on the Maltose Falcons website that utilizes pressure canned wort with no worries of boil overs, cracking your flask due to heat scenario's, etc.
My procedure to make a starter lately has been:

1. sanitize the flask and stir bar.
2. flame the opening of the flask
3. flame lids on a jar or two (depending on starter size) of canned wort and dump into the santized flask
4. add yeast from sanitized yeast vessel.
5. start stir plate.

takes about 5 minutes total.

Of course there is options of doing the same thing with extra wort from brew day--.

Equipment and Software / Re: Just ordered a stir plate
« on: January 12, 2011, 03:59:09 PM »
I ordered one from

Let us know how it works.  A stir plate is on my wish list and that seems like a good deal if it works as advertised.

Not to say anything anti- is easier way to go about obtaining one,,, but you can do this yourself if you have the want-to.  It is the DIY section.  I am have made a few.  It is fun to watch two stir plates going that you made from computer parts and a trip to radio shack.   

Equipment and Software / Re: Just ordered a stir plate
« on: January 11, 2011, 08:05:46 PM »
Bearcat, is "anti-foam" a homebrewing product?

Thanks Denny.   The stuff looks like, to me, white slimmy runny glue.   Works really well though and in your BK too.

Equipment and Software / Re: Just ordered a stir plate
« on: January 11, 2011, 06:51:56 PM »
Awesome gadget to have.  I would also hint to use some anti foam or big enough flask/container to contain the krausen that may happen.   Way to just dramatically increase your yeast count from standard starter methods.

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