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Messages - djsanta

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1
Beer Recipes / Re: How about an Oatmeal Stout recipe?
« on: December 23, 2013, 10:35:44 AM »
I prefer my stouts to have a very smooth, more subdued roasted quality than is probably advised. I minimize roasted barley and use more pale chocolate and midnight wheat to get a smoother quality. I also like to split the flaked oats and toast half of them.

+1 to Midnight Wheat.  Recently started putting it in my oatmeal stout in place of black roast and I love the results.  Extra smooth.  The lower roast has also turned it into a gateway beer for friends that "don't like dark beer."

2
Ingredients / Re: Time to mix up my hops
« on: December 05, 2013, 10:41:03 AM »
Willamette and Fuggles are big favs of mine.  And my Hefeweizen wouldn't be complete without Hallertau.

3
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dealing With Non-Homebrewers
« on: December 02, 2013, 11:30:03 AM »
The two taps at my house are open to all guests.  If I know they have a less discerning palate or only like certain styles I'll pour a taster first...like others I hate to see a half full pint sitting around at the end of the night.  My friends know I homebrew, but they also know my style selection is continually rotating, so if they want something specific they bring it.

As far as parties...I often bring homebrew, but usually just for me.  Most people (casual beer drinkers, not craft beer enthusiasts) will stick to what they know, be it BMC, Shocktop, or Sam Adams.  They often like my homebrew, but are satisfied with drinking the same old thing.

4
My kegerator has a two-tap tower.  The ball locks are cleaned and sanitized and beer lines get flushed with StarSan with each keg change.  I disassemble and clean the faucets a couple times a year unless I notice an issue earlier.

5
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: What Commercial Beers Do You Have Aging?
« on: November 21, 2013, 11:10:48 AM »
I highly recommend a hands off fridge because there's nothing like a well aged beer.
Doesn't it take a lot more time to age beer in the fridge?  I always figured cellar temps are the key to aging beer.

Indeed.  That's why I have it temp controlled at 55F.  Not too cold, not too hot.  Like any part of the brewing process, consistency is key!

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Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: What Commercial Beers Do You Have Aging?
« on: November 20, 2013, 09:59:57 AM »
Sadly, I've been drinking more than I've been buying the last few years, so my cellar is quite depleted.  I'm currently sitting on only a couple beers...

Stone Vertical Epic Ale - 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12
Firestone Walker Anniversary - 13, 14

I had Stone VEA 03, 04, 05...but they were consumed on nights when I'd already consumed too much.  It was 2006 that I finally got a second beer fridge solely for the purpose of aging beer.  It is my "hands off" stash that never gets touched because someone is "thirsty".  I've only been dipping in for special occasions. I highly recommend a hands off fridge because there's nothing like a well aged beer.

7
I think what I'm hearing (reading) is that I can recirc until chilling is done, shut the pump off, pull the line from the BK and put it in the fermenter, turn the pump back on, and pump the wort from the BK to the fermenter - nice and neat!

I would add a 10-20 minute rest after whirlpooling, to let the trub settle out.

+1 to the post-whirlpool rest.  When pumping to your fermenter don't pump too fast or you'll disturb that nice trub cone you developed during the whirlpool.

The other thing I did was calculate the dead space in my BK.  Adding that to the volume of my recipe lets me get everything out without having to tilt the kettle, which obviously dumps the trub too.

8
The Pub / Re: Fall back Spring Ahead Poll
« on: November 04, 2013, 11:06:18 AM »
Pick one and stick with it.  I don't care if it's ST or DT, just stop the nonsensical changing!

9
All Grain Brewing / Re: Low Efficiency....like really low
« on: October 30, 2013, 02:03:29 PM »
I've had the same problem before.  Crush was the first culprit.  I run a two-vessel system and after a traditional mash I do a full volume, continuously recirculating sparge and recirc until I hit my numbers.  With a bad crush I've had that take as long a 3.5 hours!  Double crushing at the LHBS is the easiest fix.

I also discovered that my thermometer was off, so when I thought I was mashing at 152F I was really over 160F.  I switched to a digital thermometer and haven't had any problems since.

10
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dry hopping in a keg
« on: October 29, 2013, 03:20:41 PM »
Here's your experiment: Leave them in the whole time.  Make thorough tasting notes every time you drink it, being sure to note the date.  When you finish the keg look back at your notes to determine the best length of time for that beer.  For future brews leave the beer on the dry hop for that amount of time, then pull or filter.  You'll then have a full keg dry hopped to your exact preference!

11
Zymurgy / Re: Pliny the Elder: Worth the 45 minute drive?
« on: September 27, 2013, 03:31:17 PM »
Get a few friends together and make a day of it.  I'd hope that there are other things to do in that area worth the drive.  Find something cool to do then use the excuse of "since I'm in town" and have a couple pints of Pliny!

12
Temp control is definitely the best choice for your next upgrade.  Fridge or freezer both work well.  I have one of each, both sourced from local friends...free.  Buy a good digital temp controller.  I have a Ranco that I love.  Shop around online, I found mine at an electronics dealer...$20 less than any of the popular homebrew sites.

13
Beer Recipes / Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
« on: September 06, 2013, 05:56:19 PM »
+1 to a little Carafa III or some Midnight Wheat...all color/no flavor, especially if added late in the mash.  Also, GMAC's "grain tea" idea if great.  Dose near the end of the boil to dial in the color you want.

14
Beer Recipes / Re: The Great Double IPA Project
« on: September 06, 2013, 05:49:35 PM »
FWH is the way to go.  Smooth bitterness.  My latest (D)IPAs have had FWH.  They're always bitter enough for the hop heads, yet many people who "don't like bitter beers" enjoy them too!  I don't know if there's a quantifiable difference, but the perception is SMOOTH.

15
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why didn't anyone tell me?
« on: August 29, 2013, 03:19:19 PM »
You just ran into a bad crowd.  Of all the homebrewers I've ever met only 1-2% of them are a-holes.  Unfortunately, this was your first experience...too bad.

If you do want to get into all-grain brewing on the cheap I highly recommend BIAB.  That's how I made the switch.  You can make some great beer using BIAB, and anyone who tells you that's not brewing can suck a rock!

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