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Messages - Podo

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All Grain Brewing / Re: 109% Efficiency!
« on: December 12, 2010, 10:40:40 PM »
Not to change the subject, but the title of this post reminds me of one of the early Simpsons episodes where Homer is in a tank of water and the doctor says "this isn't right, this man is 104% body fat" because Homer is eating a turkey leg.  "Hey, no eating in the tank."  Sorry, nothing more of value to add!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Out?
« on: December 12, 2010, 10:35:01 PM »
The only time I use a mash out is when I'm brewing a wheat or rye beer to let the wort flow a little better.  I've also done one a few times when I screwed up my water calculations  >:(.  It would seem logical that a mash out would increase efficiency, because water can dissolve more sugar at higher temps, but if your sparge is higher temp than your mash, it seems like it should all even out.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Too Cold?
« on: December 09, 2010, 12:07:44 AM »
Thanks for the advice...whenever I learn something new about yeast, I'm always amazed how adaptive and flexible those little creatures are!

General Homebrew Discussion / Too Cold?
« on: December 08, 2010, 02:30:00 AM »
Last week I decided to brew a German Pils using WLP830, just as a cold snap hit our area.  Everythign went well with my brew, except that my fermenter is in the garage and it's so cold my fridge can't keep the wort above 50.  Right now it's at 48 degrees inside my fridge.  The yeast is going, although the lag time was a little long.  I'm not sure if I need to do anything to raise the temperature a little.  Is 48 degrees too cold to make good beer?  I thiink White Labs says the minimum temp for that yeast is 50. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Best way to prime your bottles
« on: December 08, 2010, 02:11:56 AM »
I try to estimate as closely as possible how much actual beer I'm going to end up with (I almost never get exactly 5 gal), and using that info, use my brewing software to figure out how much corn sugar I need.  I boil it in water for 5-10 minutes and then add it to the bottling bucket before adding the beer, so that when I add the beer, the swirling of the beer mixes it.  I have used that method for years and the only carbonation problem I've ever had was getting my sugar content right (and practice fixed that error), never in inconsistent carbonation.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Best Brew Software??
« on: December 08, 2010, 02:01:06 AM »
I've used ProMash and BeerSmith, and I find Beersmith a little simpler and more intuitive to use.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: When you brew a beer
« on: December 08, 2010, 01:38:10 AM »
I voted for best beer possible.  In my heart I'd like to develop my own unique beer, but I don't brew enough to make this really possible, and since i have small children, don't see ever having enough time to make it happen.

My weekend consists  of kegging my 60-minute IPA, building a workbench, brewing some Patersbier, and trick-or-treating.  And watching college football in between.

All Grain Brewing / Re: "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« on: October 21, 2010, 12:37:55 AM »
Denny, that is one cool picture.  "improvise"

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: cooling my wort (new brewer)
« on: October 21, 2010, 12:25:17 AM »
You can do the ice, but I think it's easier to chill gallon jugs in the fridge and use it to top up the wort to 5 gallons.  In my experience, if you let the wort sit in an ice bath to get down to about 130, you can add the cold water and generally get to pitching temps pretty quick.  When I did this, I used gallon jugs of spring water from teh grocery store and had good results.

I use hot water and a big scoop of oxyclean, and most labels are off in  an hour.

General Homebrew Discussion / Dry Hopping and Cold Conditioning
« on: October 16, 2010, 01:56:43 AM »
I'm making a clone of DFH 60-min IPA, and the recipe I have requires dry hopping.  I was also going to cold condition it for a few days just to help everything settle out before kegging.  Can I do both at the same time or should I dry hop at fermentation temps and cold condition toward the end of the dry hop time?

thanks in advance


All Grain Brewing / Lautering Time
« on: October 13, 2010, 12:46:16 AM »
Hello all,

I was wondering how much time I should be taking to get the runnings from the mash.  I batch sparge and make 5 gallon batches.  I haven't really timed it, but I guess it takes me 15 minutes apiece on the first and second runnings, maybe less.  Is that too quick?  Usually I'm itching to get on with boiling by the time I have my second runnings draining.  I've only had one stuck mash in about 3 years of all-grain brewing.  Does going slow provide any benefits other than reducing the chances of stuck mashes? 


the first few years I brewed it was kits exclusively.  Nowadays, I mix it up and brew recipes that are real popular on the forums (Denny's RIPA and BVIP, some others), ones that I make up myself.  I use Jamil's book when I want to try a category I've never done before, just to get a good baseline.

Yeast and Fermentation / Is S-04 supposed to smell like...
« on: May 26, 2010, 03:32:37 AM »
...farts?  I just bottled half a batch of a best bitter made with that yeast (made the other half with 1968), and when I was rinsing out my carboy the yeast had a mild stank to it.  Not rotten eggs, but definitely smelled like butt gas.  Any reason for that?  My beer looked perfectly normal prior to bottling, and tasted fine.

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