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Messages - gmac

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast cake rehydration
« on: April 05, 2011, 07:30:41 PM »
If you were using an ale yeast, I'd suggest using only part of the slurry.  But since you're doing a lager, I'd go with the advice above.
What's the rationale for only using part of the yeast cake for an ale?  I know lager need larger starters but what's the downside to using a large starter for an ale?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Hopping a California Common
« on: April 05, 2011, 01:24:31 PM »
Thanks everyone. 
Unfortunately, I got sick over the weekend so this didnt' happen yet but it scheduled to happen tomorrow (work permitting).  I know some people use C hops in Cal. Commons but I don't have any and can't really get any for a while so I'm going to have to go with the Northern Brewer.  I really prefer Anchor to some other US IPA beers (I know they aren't the same) so I think for my tastes, NB will be a good starting hop anyway although I appreciate the suggestions.  I am also leaning toward the schedule Euge suggested but that could change.

As for as competing goes, that isn't likely in my future or at least not for quite a while.  I do wish I had someone nearby that knew what they were doing that could try my beers and tell me where to make improvements though.  My friends do not have discerning palettes.

Regarding Sulphates, my water is 37 mg/L.  Is this high?  That was mentioned elsewhere but I didn't get a reply to my number.  My water is fairly hard which I know isn't ideal for this type of beer but it is what I have to work with.  I have been acidifying my mash with a very low amount of citric acid which I have yet to detect as an off-flavour but there are more beer in primary's still to try.

The Pub / Re: For da Weaze
« on: April 04, 2011, 09:38:40 PM »
Dude, when you are stuck in MSP. make sure you hit the Rock Bottom Brewery, in the D concourse. Awesome pulled pork sandwich, and the IPA is great! I try and schedule all my flights through there with a good three hour lay over.

I'll give it a try.  I'm usually headed elsewhere from DTW at about 4 in the morning but I'll try to set something up for a longer layover at a better time of day.  Can't believe I'd want to spend MORE time in an airport though....

Equipment and Software / Re: Keezer built!
« on: April 04, 2011, 01:55:58 PM »
No offense but the part you built looks so much better than the rest of the freezer. 
Has anyone ever tried painting one of these with something to duplicate a wood grain finish?  The wood and taps look fantastic but the freezer needs something to pull it all together in my opinion.  I like the look of the wood clad ones but I'm not ready to take on that much work right now.
Great job. 

The Pub / Re: For da Weaze
« on: April 04, 2011, 01:49:49 PM »
Next time you're in Minneapolis, grab Pawtucket Patriot and head over to:
I'm in Minneapolis about 15 times a year and usually stay in that area a few times waiting for a plane.  Thank you for giving me something to look forward to the next time I'm stuck there.

The Pub / Re: For da Weaze
« on: April 04, 2011, 11:57:23 AM »
Just be careful what you do with all that bacon fat...

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Efficiency
« on: April 04, 2011, 11:53:12 AM »
Did exactly that last week.  1.058 OG was what I recorded for 5 US gallons.

All Grain Brewing / Re: single temp infusion
« on: April 04, 2011, 11:50:18 AM »
I was in the same camp as you a couple months ago and so here are my thoughts.
Regardless of the style of mashing/sparing you intend to do, you're gonna need a large pot to boil in, ingredients, a way to boil the wort and heat water etc.  So the only difference that I can see is the initial cost outlay for a system to try single infusion mashing.  Basically, I spent $50 on a cooler and braided line as outlined on Denny's site.  That's about all I can think of that I spent that I wouldn't need regardless.  To me, it is so simple and easy that I'd spend the $50 and start this way and then you can see what you think. 

Best part of it for me was that it has taught me a lot of the basics of all-grain without being overly complicated.  It may be the last method I try or just a stepping stone to something else but regardless, I am very glad I took this step. 
I've brewed 3 all grain beer so far and only the first has been tasted but it is very, very good.  Better than any extract beer so far but I am sure many others could brew better extract beers.  And I admit, there's a bit of personal pride in the taste just because I was able to do the entire process myself. 

I've also found it very easy to get better with this method.  My first beer was 65% efficiency, my next 83% and my last 87%. 
I may not have the best or final system yet but this is darn good way to get experience with all grain for a minimal capital outlay and what you learn with this approach will undoubtedly help you as you move further.
Hope that helps.

All Grain Brewing / Hopping a California Common
« on: April 02, 2011, 10:47:32 PM »
This question is hidden in another thread but judging by the lack or responses, I'm guessing it isn't to apparent.

So, I'm hoping to do a California Common tomorrow with Wyeast 2112, 9 lbs MO, 1 lb C40 and Northern Brewer hops.
I'm not that happy with the balance on my last few beers despite not using that much hops.  What would you recommend for good balance with distinct but not dominant hop character? 
I'm considering 1 oz @ 60 (AA7.8), 1/2 oz at 15 and 0 at flameout.  The BJCP guidelines I found on line didn't really give me a lot of direction when it came to hop flavour and aroma, just that it should be fairly bitter.  The last few beers I've done have been pretty bitter and although I like them, my wife is looking for more balance and malt and less hops.  This isn't going into any contest, just my belly.

Beer Recipes / Re: Maris Otter in a Steam Beer?
« on: April 02, 2011, 03:56:34 PM »
Hardness is 214, sulphates are 37 mg/L

Beer Recipes / Re: Maris Otter in a Steam Beer?
« on: April 02, 2011, 10:34:32 AM »
I'm gonna give this a shot but I wanted some opinions on hopping schedule.
I normally don't venture far from 1 oz at 60, 1 oz or less at 15, 1 oz or less at flameout.  I'm finding my beer to be a bit unbalanced and lacking in malt character with the hops dominant.
My last brew was 25 g at 60 (not quite an ounce), 15 at 15 and 15 at flameout.  We'll see how that goes.

But, since I'm going to do this before I get a chance to taste the last batch, I'm wondering what you all suggest for a hopping schedule for this.  I'm looking to get some bitterness but not an overwhelming amount as well an appropriate amount of hops flavour and aroma.  I checked the BJCP guidelines and they definitely discuss the bitter aspects of the style but not a lot about how much flavour or aroma you should expect in the style.  I'm not going to be entering any competitions but I'd like to get more maltiness and less dominance from the hops while still being close to the style.

I'm thinking 1 oz of NB hops (AA7.8) at 60 min, 1/2 oz at 15, no aroma hops.

I checked the recipe wiki for an Anchor clone but didn't find anything.  A search found too much...

All Grain Brewing / Thanks Everyone
« on: March 31, 2011, 05:48:10 PM »
I mentioned this in another post but it's sort of buried so I wanted to thank everyone who gave me advice on my first all-grain.  I tried it out last night with some friends and I have to say that I think it's pretty good.  Sure, there's lots of room for improvement but I'm sure that will come with experience. 

In particular I want to thank Denny for all his advice on batch sparging, Tschmidlin for his advice on starters and Euge for his real-time PM advice when things weren't going perfectly.  But also I wanted to thank all of you who weighed in with advice and encouragement. 

Thanks again.
ps.  This beer is a little sneaky.  Goes down very smooth but it certainly crept up on us last night.  Three guys went to work today with headaches.  Must be the water I used...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Steeping Grains
« on: March 30, 2011, 11:48:29 AM »
Just make sure you take them all out before you boil (strain if you have to).  I had bad advice my first few batches (not from here) and left the grains in while boiling.  Very, very cloudy beer.  Course, I still drank it...

The problem I have - and I always have one - is that there is so much reliance on CG effects now.  Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.  A movie is a classic, even if it's dated, and just because you can make flashier effects doesn't mean you can make it a better movie (I give you the "last" 3 Star Wars movies and Lucas' upgrades to the originals as examples).  

It's all about money.  You saw it in the theater so maybe your kids will go see it and they can cash in on the idea once again.  

I would never want to see Strange Brew re-done.  Best line - "My brother and I used to think drowning in beer'd be like Heaven.  Now he's not here and I got two soakers...this isn't Heaven, this sucks!"

Beer Recipes / Re: Maris Otter in a Steam Beer?
« on: March 30, 2011, 06:41:40 AM »
Thanks everyone.  I'm gonna try it.  Mostly because that's all I have but partly because it wasn't a unanimous "DON'T".  I don't have access to rye malt right now either so it's gonna be 9 lbs MO, 1 lb crystal 40 and Northern Brewer hops.  Wish me luck.

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