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Messages - gmac

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Yeast and Fermentation / WLP001 vs Wyeast
« on: May 01, 2011, 08:18:38 AM »
I'm not gonna mention the Wyeast # because I don't want this to turn into another Rush discussion but are WLP001 and Wyeast California lager the same yeast?  I brewed the other day with WLP001 and right now things look very very similar in terms of how the yeast is acting.  Given that White Labs call theirs a California Ale and not a lager, I was thinking I'd see more aggressive fermentation and more krausen but right now, not much. 

Anyway, just wondering if there is any appreciable difference between the two.

The Pub / Re: Weed and Feed?
« on: May 01, 2011, 08:13:30 AM »
Personally, it wouldn't bother me one bit if they just outlawed all the chemical fertilizers and such.  Nobody needs "perfect" or "better than the Jones's" lawns.

My lawns never been perfect but they banned "Cosmetic" herbicide use here in Ontario a couple years ago.  Basically, you can't spray your lawn.  A lot of people were pretty upset and a bunch just do it anyway.  Biggest thing I've noticed is public parks are pretty weedy now but otherwise, no big deal.  I do find it frustrating that golf courses are exempt because they are a "business" and they are one of the largest users of weed control products and fertilizers.

I worked in formulation screening for a major ag chem company for many years and I can tell you that most of the products on the market today are pretty safe when used properly.  Most farmers use them wisely because they are looking to maximize profit and chemicals are expensive so any way they can reduce product reduces cost.  Homeowners don't think this way and usually over do their applications.

Here we can get our water report that lists what major ag chemicals are in the water.  Mine's pretty good but not perfect.  Atrazine is an older chemical with a long soil life that used to be used in large volumes.  It's been replaced by newer products that don't have the carry-over concerns but it's still hanging around.  Like mentioned before, the bigger concern is ground water nitrate levels which can lead to all kinds of problems.

I am also amazed at how much water is used on lawns in general.  Groundwater is dwindling in a lot of areas but people still water.  Where I live, we've always had a low volume municipal well and no one can water.  Everyone's lawns look like crap in August, no one cares.  It's just a lawn.  I'll spend my time being proud of my kids or my beer before I worry about being proud of my lawn...

The Pub / Re: Post your local Gas Prices here...
« on: May 01, 2011, 08:02:18 AM »
$5.22 CAN for 1 US gallon.  Add on the exchange rate and it jumps to $5.53 US/gal.

Ingredients / "Sparkloid" finings
« on: April 30, 2011, 02:17:53 PM »
Anyone ever heard of these?  I got them at my local (and can I say, crappy) wine shop to try to clear up some beer but I have no idea what they are.  I asked they girl at the store if they were gelatin or what they were.  She said "No, they're sparkloid".  Apparently that is one of the elements missing from my periodic table.

There's no instructions for use on the package, all it says is "Enough to clear 90L of wine". 

Yes useless, but it's all they had and for a couple bucks I brought them home hoping that someone on here was smarter than the lady at the wine shop.

All Things Food / Re: I'd like to discuss bacon, again.
« on: April 30, 2011, 01:44:14 PM »
This reminds me, I've gotta order my pig.

The Pub / Re: Storms in the southeast
« on: April 29, 2011, 02:59:30 PM »
Glad you're ok, hope you have electricity soon and that things get back to normal for you.  Really sad about all the damage and destruction and I can't imagine how the people who lost loved ones must feel.  Building, and beer, can be made new but unfortunately, not everything can.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Using whole kernel corn
« on: April 29, 2011, 02:19:59 PM »
But what's the best you can do?  I'll have to enter a contest some day but for now I'll just be the judge (BTW, I got first place in my last solo contest)

All Grain Brewing / Re: 2 - Weeks to get it done
« on: April 29, 2011, 02:18:05 PM »
Final results were 23L of 1.060.  No room to water it down so it is what it is.  Could take a bit longer to ferment out now that it's higher.  Not worried about it.  If it's not done on time, I'll drink it later.  No sense rushing things if it turns out badly.  Still, 11 or 12 days on the yeast cake and then a fast force carb, should be do-able.  We shall see.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Using whole kernel corn
« on: April 29, 2011, 02:12:07 PM »
The only batch I've entered into a comp scored  37 (34 and 39.)
I've never entered a contest.  Is that good or bad?

Today was a screwed-up cream ale sort of thing that started as something else and changed gears twice.
8.5 lbs of pale malt, 0.5 lbs of C45, 100 grams of chocolate malt and 1 lb of flaked corn. 1/2 oz of Northern Brewer at 60, 1/2 oz of Liberty leaf at 30, 1/4 oz at 15 and 1/4 oz at flameout.
No idea what this will be like.  Here's hop(p)ing.

Thinking about trying a mild tomorrow and an Octoberfest sometime next week.
Then, I will need to start drinking to make space.  Off to open the cottage next weekend, taking 5 gals of Cali Common with me if I get it kegged soon.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Using whole kernel corn
« on: April 29, 2011, 12:11:08 PM »
Make sure it doesn't have any "stuff" in it that you wouldn't want in your beer.
Hey, you're the one growing the 3rd arm.  If I grew a tail, it would be handy for brushing away all these pesky flies...

I'll be sure it's just plain corn.  They also have feed barley, wonder how hard it would be to start malting my own... 

One thing I'm finding about this hobby is that it's like fly fishing.  Take a ball of yarn that costs 2 bucks, cut it into 100 little pieces and sell them in packages for tying flies and that same yarn is worth about $125 bucks a ball.  I know flaked corn won't break me but at over $2500 a tonne, someone is making a killing and it isn't the guy growing it.

All Grain Brewing / Re: 2 - Weeks to get it done
« on: April 29, 2011, 12:01:58 PM »
If you're always overshoothing though, you might want to take a look at how you're coming up with your recipes and make an adjustment.

This one was sort of seat of my pants as you can tell.  I have been underestimating my efficiency because I keep thinking it shouldn't be as good as it has been but the last 5 batches have been pretty stable at 85-89%.  I started my first recipe at a 65% assumption and I've been working down each time from there.  But, I drop the grain by 1 lb and I get more efficiency that seems to offset my change.  I think from here on, working at 87% will get me closer.

I keep telling myself my next beer will be a session mild at 3-4% but then something comes up and I change plans. 
I may try for a mild really soon, maybe even tomorrow since I'm gonna have to back off my O'fest plans until I get a really good starter going for that one.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Using whole kernel corn
« on: April 29, 2011, 11:46:20 AM »
Not sure if you're brewing or shipping fragiles overseas...  That just looks bizarre.

I forgot about the germ and oils.  Darn it.  I may try flaked corn that they use in calf starter.  Not sure what it's like but it's cooked and flaked and costs about 20 cents a pound and doesn't require a 4 hour round trip to get.  Worth the experiment at least.

All Grain Brewing / Re: 2 - Weeks to get it done
« on: April 29, 2011, 11:00:58 AM »
If you scaled back to 5 gallons, you can just pitch both vials and be done with it.  That is way more than enough yeast for 5 gallons of 4-4.5% beer.

What kind of efficiency do you get?  Because unless you're down around 60% you're going to overshoot your target ABV.  Or did your target change?

Uh oh...  My efficiency has been running close to 90 the last couple batches.  I'm guessing this will be a little strong?  9 lbs of malt plus a pound of corn.  9x36 =324+38=362/5 =1.072 predicted OG?  Take 85% of that, 1.061 or there abouts?  Does that sound right?  Probably end up closer to 6 or 6.5 ABV?  Took the pre-boil gravity.  7.4 gallons (28L) at 1.044.

I seem to have a bad habit of overshooting my goal.  I was gonna leave the corn out and then at the last minute I figured, screw it why not.  Well, I'm sure it will be ok, just need some moderation.

All Grain Brewing / Re: 2 - Weeks to get it done
« on: April 29, 2011, 09:03:55 AM »
I checked Mr. Malty this morning.  I'd need a 3.2 L starter if I used one vial for 5 gals.  I'm going to make a starter right now and get the yeast going, probably pitch it just before bed tonight or tomorrow AM.  Hate the idea of leaving it unpitched. 
Also, I scaled back to just 5 in the interest of time today.

This is mashing right now.
8.5 lbs Pale
0.5 lbs C 45
1 lb Flaked corn
100 grams Chocolate Malt (like I said earlier, my favourite Cream Ale is  Muskoka Cream Ale which is more dark amber/copper than pale)

Not even sure of the hops yet, this one is really a work in progress (don't worry, I have much better plans for my O'fest etc)
I also discovered I have 2 more ounces of Cascade and 2 of Willamette. 
Keep the suggestions coming, I'm off to get more propane.                 

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