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Messages - livefreebrewfree

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Equipment and Software / Re: Brewpots
« on: February 01, 2012, 05:40:52 PM »
I was just in this same position (see my thread at for the post I put up. I ended up getting a 10 gallon pot off Amazon and definitely don't regret it. I did a buddy brew day with two friends and they both had boilovers with their 8 gallon pots. Meanwhile, I was boiling away with no problems at all. So while I know budget fits into it a lot, you'll save yourself a ton of headaches if you save up a little more and get the bigger 10 gallon kettle.

I appreciate it though. But I don't think I would want to be lugging around a 60 qt. pot when I only plan on doing 5 gallon batches. I really don't see myself upgrading to 10 gallon batches anytime in the near future. But definitely great for anyone else looking. And if you ever find yourself in the Philly area, feel free to drop by and help me drill out my kettle!

I wish I would have seen this earlier.
I could have pointed you to this:

I bought 2 of them & added weldless valves, myself.
They're great.
If anyone else is looking for a kettle, I recommend them.
And...If you live in the Minneapolis area & need any help with your kettle drilling, pm me.
I'd be glad to help you with it.
I was terrified, on my first one.

Whelp, I finally made a decision after driving my wife crazy all week while I was searching for a kettle. Found this puppy on Amazon, there were only two left in stock. I decided to save myself some cash right now and skipped the valve. I'll probably add a weldless one later on. Thanks for the info everyone.

So I'm getting the feeling I should get something more along these lines.

Yep, full boil for 5 gallons. Used my buddy's 7.5 gal pot for a few batches and had no problems but of course I'd have problem as soon as I got my own I'm sure. I'd love to get a bigger one, but price is a factor which is why I won't be drilling out my own hole for the valves. $30-$40 for one bit for one hole doesn't make much sense to me. I"m thinking about the 8 gal Heavy Duty w/ball valve and thermometer coupler welded (32 qt) on For $159 shipped that's not a bad deal.

Other Fermentables / Re: Cider Yeast options
« on: December 31, 2011, 04:36:47 PM »
I think I'm going to try Wyeast 4134 sake yeast in my 3 gallon cider batch coming up. I bought it to make sake but never got around to it so I figured I'd use it now before the viability is questionable.

Equipment and Software / Good Deal? - 30 qt. Polar Ware Kettle on Amazon
« on: December 31, 2011, 03:05:37 AM »
I'm kinda wary of buying some stuff online but this looks like a decent seller. Just wondering if anyone had any experience with them and if this is indeed a decent price for a 30 qt polarware brew kettle that includes valves and thermometer. Based on what I've found online and in person, this is way cheaper and still decent quality.

All fittings are SS weldless with 1/2" threads and high temp silicone gaskets.
30 Quart Capacity
20 gauge Stainless Steel
1/2" NPT Weldless Compact valve with 3/8" flow port
Weldless thermometer

Beer Recipes / Re: Genesee Cream Ale Clone
« on: December 25, 2011, 05:04:15 AM »
This is awesome. I remember watching my uncle and father down good ole Genesee. I will be brewing this in the summer for the sailing trip we're all going to be on together.

Beer Recipes / Re: Pliny the Toddler - starter needed?
« on: December 25, 2011, 05:02:00 AM »
Sounds like I'm on the right track to improving my beers even more. I'll be picking up a 2L flask on Monday with my gift card from work. Now what do I do with the other $30 of the gift card. Hmmmm. I guess I could technically use it for ingredients, but I was going to buy them anyway. I already have the materials to make a copper immersion chiller, so that's out of the question. Suggestions?

Going Pro / Re: Brewing Books that you use and Could Not live without?
« on: December 24, 2011, 06:14:51 AM »
Just wanted to apologize for posting off topic. Those damn percocets kicked in and I was thrilled to be posting!

Merry Holidays everyone!

Beer Recipes / Re: Pliny the Toddler - starter needed?
« on: December 24, 2011, 06:12:32 AM »
Just checked that out. Looks like for liquid yeast you need a starter for anything over 1.029. It's funny using that calculator and then reading the information on the yeast packs that say the smack pack or vial is pitchable and you will achieve basically the same results with or without a starter for anything under 1.070.

Beer Recipes / Pliny the Toddler - starter needed?
« on: December 24, 2011, 05:44:06 AM »
I've never brewed a beer with such a low OG but I've also never used a starter before. I'll be picking up the necessary equipment to make a starter with a gift card I received from work so I was kind of anxious to try it out but wasn't sure if there was any downside to making a starter when you are brewing such a low OG beer. This will also be my 2nd all grain beer.

For those of you that don't know the recipe, here it is from the AHA Beer Recipe Blog:

Pliny the Toddler - Session IPA
Recipe taken from Zymurgy Magazine November/December 2011 Edition
All Grain

Ingredients for 5.5 U.S. Gallons
3.5   lb. Maris Otter
3.5   lb. Domestic 2-row
1.0   lb. Cara-Pils Malt
0.5   lb. Table Sugar
0.75   oz. Warrior 15.5% a.a. (60 mins)
0.75  oz. Columbus 11.4% a.a. (10 mins)
0.75  oz. Centennial 8.5% a.a. (10 mins)
0.75   oz. Cascade 8.5% a.a. (0 mins)
5   g Gypsum for water profile adjustment
1 starter/slurry
White Labs WLP 001 California Ale Yeast
Original gravity   1.048
ABV   4.7%
Boiling time   90 min
IBU   56
SRM   37
Single Infusion Mash at 152°F (67°C) for 60 minutes. 90 minute boil. Ferment at 65°F.

Going Pro / Re: Brewing Books that you use and Could Not live without?
« on: December 24, 2011, 05:26:11 AM »
Radical Brewing. I love Randy's point of view and the charts on the uses of adjuncts have been great during my experimental beers. Hands down one of my favorite beers I've brewed so far was a Belgian Pale Ale brewed with chamomile tea. I had the chance to do a tasting led by him at Iron Hill here in PA during Philly Beer Week for only $10. What a deal!

How to Brew has come in handy during my switch to all-grain but I wouldn't say I couldn't live without it.

I just brewed my first all-grain batch yesterday after building a 10 gallon mash tun from a rubbermaid cooler. It was a Chocolate Mint Stout (requested by the wifey) recipe from Radical Brewing slightly modified. Everything went well and I nailed my numbers all along the way. Found out that having BeerSmith software is a huge help. I was really concerned with pH but was told really not to worry about it until I find out I actually have a problem which I did. I used Whole Foods 365 spring water since our tap water is heavily chlorinated and just takes like crap anyway. I was surprised that it only took 25 minutes outside in an ice bath to cool down 5 gallons of boiling wort to 72 degrees. I'm still going to build a wort chiller for my next batch though.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Overshot my OG
« on: January 21, 2011, 06:22:22 PM »
As far as I know. Munich malts can't be steeped, and must be mashed for conversion. So you probably wouldn't have gotten anything from that. Was your hydrometer reading adjusted for temperature?

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