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Messages - rustyl

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Gift for homebrewer with everything....
« on: September 07, 2013, 01:59:48 PM »
This is a fun topic. I really like the ingredients in a box idea. That would be fun. Also, there are tons of hats, shirts, glassware, etc. that you can get to wear proudly and advertise his craft. Like everyone else says, depends on the budget.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Deployed homebrewer
« on: September 07, 2013, 01:24:22 PM »
Thank you for your service! I can't wait to hear that you made it home safe. AMERICA!! F#@* YEAH!!

The answer might be "neither."  If you don't have good temperature control for fermentation, I'd get that set up first.  Whether your wort come from extract or all grain, and no matter how you package your beer, you'll get the most bang for your buck by getting fermentation temperatures under control.  A decent used fridge or freezer and a temperature controller, and you're on your way.

For me, the biggest jumps in the quality of the beers I make came from proper pitching of yeast and good fermentation temperature control.  If your primary goal is to make good beer (I think it should be), good fermentation practice is the key.  Wort production and packaging are really secondary.

All that said, I'd probably brew a lot less if I hadn't switched to kegging several years ago.  And, as others have said, jumping to all grain is really inexpensive if you're already able to boil and chill a full-volume batch.

I have my fermentation down to a downright science. I have been turning out some really good beer with extract/specialty grains (except that dang Irish Stout). I have a freezer and an incomplete kegerator fridge and a temperature control unit that seems to understand exactly what I want every time. Bottling is cumbersome, but I embrace it as "paying my dues". My ultimate goal is to take this hobby as far as I can. That means always stepping up to the next level when the finances permit and I've gotten comfortable with my current methods. The biggest reason I'm even undecided about kegging vs all grain first is because I'm really looking forward to being able to just pour a pint and hand it to a friend. Just the joy of having something on draft in the house. But all grain is the ultimate brewing experience in my eyes and I'm ready for it. I've got enough money saved up to do both....but I don't want two new things at once. I JUST CAN'T DECIDE!!! LOL  But you all are making it easier. Thanks.

General Homebrew Discussion / Opinion: Kegging or All Grain? Which first?
« on: September 05, 2013, 03:41:09 PM »
Being an extract/specialty grains brewer is exciting because I'm not even close to being done upgrading and expanding my system. I am constantly looking forward to what I'm going to get/do next. That brings me to the question:

In everyone's opinion, what should I do next: Upgrade to kegging or upgrade to all grain? I can only afford to do one or the other right now. I WILL be doing both eventually, but which one would YOU do first?

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Water
« on: August 31, 2013, 03:27:05 AM »
I use distilled in my boil but just add boiled tap water to get the final volume.  I'm not an expert and don't know if it's good or bad,  but my beer tastes good to me and my friends.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why didn't anyone tell me?
« on: August 30, 2013, 01:22:28 PM »
The is a really good group of gals and guys in the Cass River Homebrew Club, hope that is not too far for you.

 Not too far. I know Milford very well. I work very closely with the village and township.  I'll look you guys up.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why didn't anyone tell me?
« on: August 30, 2013, 01:18:07 PM »
 Wow everyone. Thank you all again for the great posts and support.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why didn't anyone tell me?
« on: August 30, 2013, 12:40:22 AM »
 I'm from Flint,  Michigan. Plenty of bars, and not too far from lots of breweries and craft breweries, but other than my brother, dad and  brother-in-law,  we haven't met any other Homebrewers. We are all into this hobby, but I'm the obsessed one that takes it to a whole other level.  They just follow my lead, which is scary considering how new at this I am. Flint is a crazy town, but I am a very social person and do fine keeping on the good side of the trouble here.  I'll take your advice and look for a nearby club. I kind of thought those were for advanced guys and girls that do competitions.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why didn't anyone tell me?
« on: August 29, 2013, 09:21:28 PM »
 You know, I can't help but feel cry baby-ish about this topic,  but where I live, I am the only homebrewer I know and, in my excitement to finally meet someone else and have conversation, I was really taken aback by the reception I received. I take my process very seriously and have an "all grain fund" building slowly.  Because that has been my goal from the start. I must have read How to Brew five times before I bought a single thing. I really appreciate the responses I got from you guys because it was pretty discouraging.  Normally,  I'd stand up and put jokers like that in their place,  but it did actually make me wonder how extract brewers are viewed among the masses.  What a great community this is! Thanks again.

General Homebrew Discussion / Why didn't anyone tell me?
« on: August 29, 2013, 07:49:06 PM »
 I've been " homebrewing"  for almost two years.  I've only been able to do extract so far because all grain equipment is expensive.  But I make really good beer and sanitize religiously,  monitor and control fermentation,  etc. I even filter and treat my water according to the knowledge I've gained from John Palmer.

 BUT,  today I introduced myself to a couple all grain brewers at a brew pub as a fellow homebrewer and was ridiculed right out of the building. All  this time I thought I was part of a community of beer makers to find out in a very public and embarrassing way that I am just a " water boiler". I know extract isn't as advanced as all grain,  but why didn't anyone tell me that it's not even really considered brewing? I had my kid brother with me,  which made me just want to fight the guys to save face.  But I just left.  I'm going this weekend to start buying all grain equipment,  because I'm obsessed with this hobby and I want to be a part of the real thing. I just think they should tell people when they start doing extract that they shouldn't brag too loudly until they move to the real thing.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Irish Stout too watery
« on: August 27, 2013, 07:07:32 PM »
 Ok. I  thank you all for responding. I agree that it is way too old. I brewed it at my dad's and then moved on to another beer at home and just simply forgot about it.  It probably got too warm and is also undercarbonated. I  will let it age for a while longer,  since I've got nothing to lose and just chalk it up as a lesson learned.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« on: August 27, 2013, 01:31:22 AM »
I'm new to homebrewing and can only do extract right now. The staff at the place I go to is never condescending. Not only do they talk to me in terms of extract, they give me advice on how to make the most out of it and share tricks to change up the kits I'm limited to. I learn something new every time I go in there and feel comfortable grabbing a kit off the shelf. I'm never afraid to ask a question that they've known the answer to for years and don't have to feel like I should be an expert to go in there. New homebrewers are welcomed and embraced. That's why I go there.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Irish Stout too watery
« on: August 27, 2013, 01:22:17 AM »
I suppose a little more info would help... I'm new to homebrewing;I can only do extract with specialty grains right now, so this was a kit, Brewer's Best to be exact. I did everything I thought I was supposed to do. I steeped the grains at 150F, I was clean, I followed every step to the letter. I don't remember what the OG was. I wrote it down, but it got lost when I moved.The only thing that I didn't do was bottle it when I was supposed to. I let it sit in secondary for almost 6 months. I thought it was a lost cause when I finally bottled it so I didn't take the gravity then, but I pitched conditioning yeast at bottling time just to try it and the carbonation is fine. I'm so new to the process, I didn't expect it to work. But I was surprised with good aroma, carbonation, and flavor. It's just watery.

General Homebrew Discussion / Irish Stout too watery
« on: August 27, 2013, 12:57:04 AM »
I bottled an Irish Stout about two weeks ago and just tried one today. Terrible mouth feel. It's like water. It has good aroma and a decent flavor (maybe a little too alcohol-ish), but it's like drinking alcoholic, flavored water. What a disappointment. There's no way to save this beer, is there?

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